MASSENA - Over 40 area martial artists recently attended two seminars held at the Massena High School gym conducted by Michael Campos, founder and director of Zen-Do Kai International.
The first ran from 10 to 11 a.m. and was friendly competition. The following adult class explored several close-in techniques and ended with a few possible responses to a multiple-attacker simulation.
Seminar attendees came from many upstate studios including those in Massena, Malone, Potsdam and Canton. At least two came from the central New York area.
Since he retired from teaching public school over a dozen years ago, Mr. Campos has kept busy by conducting weekend seminars and other training venues as well as overseeing advanced rank testing all over the world. He began his martial arts training at age 15 in 1959 when he took judo lessons at a 23rd Street studio in his native New York City.
He also studied Tae Kwon Do while serving as a U.S. Army MP from 1961-64. While attending Albany State and then graduate school at Ohio University, he continued training in the major Okinawan and Japanese systems.
In 1974, he opened his first independent studio in Johnstown and soon, his senior students began branching out. His protege, Robert Gifford, opened the first Northern New York studio in Massena in 1975.
Mr. Campos kept himself in the public eye by sponsoring open tournaments, running seminars for law enforcement officers, offering rape prevention programs and even hosted a cable TV show on the martial arts in 1977.
He was also a consistent winner on the regional tournament circuit with over 100 trophies and awards to his credit. He has been listed or featured in Whos Who In The Martial Arts, Whos Who In Karate and Whos Who In American Martial Arts.
In 1983, he undertrook his most ambitious project: an annual three-day open martial arts camp called Super Summer Seminars that is currently held at HCCC in Herkimer every July. Past instructors have included Tak Kubota, Bill Wallace, Fumio Demura, Joe Lewis, Larry Tatum, Wally Jay and George Dillman. To learn more about him, view his videos and news clips on YouTube or visit his systems website: www.zdkusa.com. For more information on the Massena studio, visit www.massenazdk.org.