I REMEMBER SENSEI PETER CIOLFI
by Sensei Brad Cosby
I think it was a Black Belt grading last year Sensei Peter and I were talking Sensei Peter said to me "Brad the quality of the Black Belt today is so much better than it used to be, but I sure miss the workouts we used to have".
The year is 1970 (maybe earlier). The place is a judo dojo on Duncan Street in Welland. I think I may have been fourteen, a green belt when I first meet Peter Ciolfi. Peter was among a group who showed up for karate as taught by Sensei Shintani. Peter, Ron, Denis, Ray, Rollie and Domenic all learning basic punch and kick. I travelled the area with Sensei Shintani in the seventies from Niagara Falls to Simcoe, six nights a week. It was after a Friday night workout in Welland Sensei Shintani said to me "Barry, I want you to work out with Peter Ciolfi at the workouts and go as hard as you can". So it began, facing Peter three, four times a week, going as hard as we could. One would get an edge, forcing the other to reach deeper inside. I remember standing in front of the mirrors at one of Sensei's workouts at Brock in a pool of sweat and glancing over at Peter's reflection, then at the other reflections and realizing whatever we were doing was contagious. Every one of the karateka had that same determined look as Peter. We became a new breed of Black Belt. A very active, always on the floor type. I faced Peter many times, in kihon kumite, across the ring at tournaments and demonstrations and trying to be quicker during techniques.
They truly were near magical workouts full of feeling and drive. The best way we can keep the memory of Sensei Peter with us is to do it hard, do it fast and most of all do it with feeling. Always remember the way Sensei Peter was humble in victory but never saying good enough and to learn from mistakes but never give up.
Good-bye my friend, and thank you.
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