The Gathering started as a way for Sijo Antwione Alferos to share what he had grown up with in the Martial Arts. Tradition, respect, honor and a sense of family. At a time when the arts seemed to have spread to every corner of the world, what had been lost was the true essence of their teachings. He, along with a handful of his peers got together to share and connect with one another as well as give the younger students a chance to live what they live, see what they see and feel what they feel.
After the first Gathering there was an overwhelming sense that it was important and necessary to continue.
Four times a year, every year, we gather as a family to share and learn from one another without the burden of ego, politics or any of the other issues that plague our community. To quote our Mission Statement, we embrace our martial arts brethren and endeavor to seek out similarities while learning to respect the differences in our arts. Each Gathering is unique unto themselves and explore different aspects of our training.
The Spring Gathering (Water) is always focused on healing. Rejuvenation and rebirth are taught through various methods of healing; physical, mental and emotional. Qigong, Yoga, Shiatsu and various other methods have been taught at our previous Spring Gatherings. This Gathering does not have reference to, or application of the fighting arts, in order to truly embrace the healing mentality and benefits. This helps everyone see how important it is to practice good health; even when has nothing to do with inflicting pain on someone else or upon themselves.
The Fall Gathering (Earth) is a reminder for us to stay grounded in our roots. This Gathering is a chance for everyone to work on the true essence of life; basics. There are so many arts and all of them have unique and useful ways of developing the attributes needed to master them. In this Gathering, we take those basics and find how they work for us. Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Western among other methods have been taught at these Gatherings. Nothing fancy or complicated, just good, sounds basics and mechanics.
The Summer Gathering (Fire) is centered on our Martial skill. This is the time of year where we develop our combative instincts. Some of the systems previously taught include, Mok Gar, Corto Mano and other Filipino Arts, Iron Palm, Capoeira and others. This Gathering exists to reflect the true nature and simplicity of our studies. This is the time to show the essence of our arts. This is our reminder to stay true to the culture and heritage we are representing by teaching honest and functional material.
The Winter Gathering (Wind) is our largest of the year. Masters and students from all over world meet to once again draw from the well in a 3-day event. The first day is always focused on healing, followed by the next day?s combative study and concluded with the third day, centered on basics as taught by our Grandmasters.