Archive for July 31, 2013

Finally the truth about Vietnam

By Alex Ferguson

Last week, Barack Obama met with Truong Tan Sang, the current “president” of Communist Vietnam. Obama is quoted as saying, “At the conclusion of the meeting, President Sang shared a letter with me sent by Ho Chi Minh to Harry Truman. And we discussed the fact that Ho Chi Minh was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson.”
The question is, does Obama actually believe this Communist claptrap, or is he just cynically repeating the lies he learned as a lad.
At the time of the Truman letter, Ho Chi Minh was looking for some easy foreign aid, but Harry Truman saw right through him.

Truman knew all he needed to know about Minh’s suppression of freedom in North Vietnam. He was well aware of the enslavement, torture and murder of the Vietnamese people.

Typically, the only time the liberal left ever quotes Minh directly is in reference to this lying letter. Let’s change the paradigm and look at what he really said when he wasn’t hustling the rubes.
That necessarily takes us to a remarkable collection titled: “Selected Writings, 1920-1966;” edited by Bernard B. Fall. Here are some excerpts:

  • (1921) Russia has never hesitated to come to the help of peoples awakened by its historic and victorious revolution. One of its first important acts was the founding of the University of the East.
  • The 62 nationalities represented at the university form a commune.
  • The University of the East … has fulfilled a great task, namely: 1 – It teaches to the future vanguard militants the principles of class struggle. 2 – It establishes between the proletarian vanguard of the colonies a close contact with the Western proletariat, thus preparing the way for the close and effective cooperation which will alone ensure the final victory of the international working class. 3 – It teaches the colonized people …, to know one another and to unite, by creating the basis of a future union of Eastern countries, one of the wings of the proletarian revolution.
  • (1926) The Communist International is struggling unremittingly against the rapacious capitalists in all the countries in the world.
  • (1921) Victory to Vietnam’s revolution. Victory to the to the world’s revolution.
  • (1951) The antidemocratic camp is headed by the United States.
  • (1957) The national question can no longer be viewed from an abstract and isolated point of view. Marxism-Leninism has shown that national movements effectively directed against imperialism unfailingly contribute to the general revolutionary struggle and that national claims and national movements must not be estimated according to their strictly local political and social character in a narrow-minded way, but according to the part they play against the imperialist forces of the world.
  • (1960) Socialism will ultimately triumph throughout the world.

Another impeccable source of clarity is a 1995 Wall Street Journal interview with Bui Tin, the former North Vietnamese Army colonel who accepted the surrender of Saigon in 1975:

Question: Was the National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) independent?

Answer: No. It was set up by the Communist Party … we
always said there was only one party, only one
army in the war to liberate the South and unite
the nation.

In his interview with Stephen Young, Bui Tin was quite
forthcoming about the source of Communist victory. (The American antiwar movement) was essential to our strategy. Support of the war from our rear was completely secure while the American rear was vulnerable. Every day our leadership would listen to
the world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the
growth of the American antiwar movement.

Visits by people like Jane Fonda and former Attorney Gen. Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reversals. We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war and that she would struggle along with us … America lost because of its democracy, through dissent and and protest. It lost the ability to mobilize a will to win … If Johnson had granted Gen. William Westmoreland requests to enter Laos and block the Ho Chi Minh
Trail, Hanoi could not have won the war.

And finally, we turn to Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap’s published memoirs:
What we still don’t understand is why you Americans
stopped the bombing of Hanoi. You had us on the ropes.
If you had pressed us a little harder, just for another day
or two, we were ready to surrender!

It was the same at the battle of TET. You defeated us!
We knew it, and we thought you knew it, but we were
elated to notice your media was helping us. They were
causing more disruption in American than we could in
the battlefields. We were ready to surrender. You had

Alex Ferguson is a longtime Whittier resident.

Whittier sports briefs for July 31, 2013

Lil All Stars tee ball

Children will have the opportunity to learn the basic fundamentals, rules and organization of tee ball.

The first three weeks will be broken into skill drills such as batting, throwing, catching and positional play, along with team concepts. The final week will be a scrimmage to imitate a game situation. Parents must stay at park for the entire class. Participants should bring a glove.

Classes are slated Saturdays from Sept. 7 to 28 at Michigan Park, 8228 Michigan Ave. in Whittier.

Youngsters ages 3 to 4 can register for either the 8:30 or 9:20 a.m. session, while children ages 4 to 6 can sign up for either the 10:10 or 11 a.m. class. The fee is $50 for residents and $55 for nonresidents.

For information, call 562-567-9430 or visit

Sports marketplace

The second annual Whittier Sports Marketplace is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at York Field, 9110 Santa Fe Springs Road in Whittier.

The event will allow patrons to buy, sell or trade new and used sports equipment.

Youth golf classes

Children ages 5 to 17 can sign up for beginning golf classes that cover the basic fundamentals as well as strategies and skills. Intermediate classes will include swing training, club selection, etiquette and short game. Students will receive a bucket of balls each lesson, and equipment is included.

Sessions are scheduled Fridays from 6 to 7 p.m. Aug. 9 to 30, and Saturdays from 10 to 11 a.m. Aug. 10 to 31 at La Mirada Golf Course, 15501 E. Alicante Road in La Mirada.

Classes are also slated for Fridays from Sept. 6 to 27, and Saturdays from Sept. 7 to 28.

The fee is $47 for residents and $52 for nonresidents.

For information, call 562-567-9430 or visit

Adult golf classes

The city of Whittier also offers adults a chance to hit the links.

Students will receive a bucket of balls each lesson, and equipment is included.

Sessions are slotted for 7 to 8 p.m. Mondays from Aug. 5 to 26, 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesdays from Aug. 6 to 27, and Saturdays from Aug. 10 to 31, at La Mirada Golf Course, 15501 E. Alicante Road in La Mirada.

Classes are also scheduled for Mondays from Sept. 2 to 23, Tuesdays from Sept. 3 to 24, and Saturdays from Sept. 7 to 28. The fee is $71 for residents and $81 for nonresidents.

For information, call 562-567-9430 or visit

LA Fit Boot Camp

LA Fit Boot Camp will educate on how to live a healthy lifestyle. The program, open to ages 15 and up, will be offered from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Aug. 14 to Sept. 11, and from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturdays, Aug. 17 to Sept. 14, at Whittier Community Center, 7630 Washington Ave. in Whittier.

Participants should bring a towel, water, tennis shoes and comfortable workout clothes. The fee is $35 for residents and $40 for nonresidents.

For information, call 562-567-9430 or visit

Lil All Stars basketball

The Lil All Stars basketball program will give youngsters an opportunity to learn the basic fundamentals, rules and organization of basketball.

Classes are scheduled Saturdays from Aug. 3 to 24 at the Whittier Community Center, 7630 Washington Ave.

Children ages 3 to 4 can sign up for either the 8:30 or 9:20 a.m. class while youngsters ages 4 to 6 can register for either the 10:10 or 11 a.m. session.

Parents must remain in the gym for the entire duration of class. Participants must bring a basketball.

The fee is $50 for residents and $55 for nonresidents.

For more information, call 562-567-9430 or visit

Beginning gymnastics

This program, open to ages 8 to 18, includes warm-up exercises for conditioning and flexibility, as well as floor exercises and balance beam work. Instruction also is given on other apparatus, including mini-trampoline, bars, vault and tumbling.

The Tuesday session is slated from 6:30 to 7:25 p.m. Aug. 6 to Sept. 10 at the Parnell Park Activity Center, 15390 Lambert Road. The fee is $59.

For more information, call 562-567-9430 or visit

Learn to shred

Children ages 6 to 17 can register for a beginning skateboarding program offered by the city of Whittier.

The five-class session will run Saturdays from 9 to 10:30 a.m., Aug. 10 to Sept. 7 at Whittier Community Center, 7630 Washington Ave.

The fee is $107 for residents and $122 for nonresidents. Students must wear a helmet, elbow and knee pads, and bring their own skateboard.

For more information, call 562-567-9430 or visit

Family fitness and health

The city of Whittier will offer a family fitness and health class this summer.

Parents can bring their son or daughter to work out together for a healthier and better life. There will be different options available for adults and kids. The same parent and child partners must attend. Child must be at least 8 years old.

One more session is scheduled from Aug. 14 to Sept. 11 at the Whittier Community Center, 7630 Washington Ave.

The fee is $35 for residents and $40 for nonresidents.

For more information, call 562-567-9430 or visit

Recreational swim

Palm Park offers recreational swimming until Aug. 25. Recreational swimming will also be offered on Aug. 31, Sept. 1 and 2.

The program is scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Sunday. The fee is $2. No swimming is slated for Aug. 16, 20 and 23.

An adult must accompany any child under age 7.

For more information, call 562-567-9430 or visit


The full Monte

Paul White, left, interviews former Whittier Mayor Monte Wicker during the Whittier Host Lions Club meeting on July 25, 2013, at the American Red Cross building on Washington Avenue. Wicker, 96, was feted for his longevity and his community involvement. His harmonica playing brought the packed house down.

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Longtime Lion, Whittier gem brings down the house
By Tim Traeger
WHITTIER – A packed houseful of Lions feted longtime Whittier Host Lions Club member and former mayor Monte Wicker on Thursday, July 23, 2013 and the 96-year-old brought down the house with his sage wit and his harmonica.
In a hilarious format coined “Legendary Lion of the Day,” emcee and fellow Lion Paul White coaxed some humor from the founder of Monte’s Camera in Uptown, both sitting on lounge chairs on stage at the American Red Cross building on Friends Avenue.
“My father was a charter member of the Whittier Host Lions in 1922,” Wicker began. “It impressed me so much the word ‘Lion.’ And I’ll never forget. He took me to a meeting and they brought in a full-sized Lion from Gay’s Lion Farm in El Monte. They had him on a leash but I later learned he didn’t have any teeth.”
When did Wicker join the Lions Club?
“I’ve been around the Lions Club so long I don’t even remember,” he deadpanned.
Do you remember who your sponsor was?
“Give us a point of reference. How old are you?” White asked. “You appear a lot younger than you really are.”
“I just learned yesterday to add and subtract and I came up with a number. Ninety-six.”
“Tell us about growing up in Whittier. Outside of the club you certainly have a great presence here.”
“This is one of the best towns in the world. I’m sure of that,” Wicker said. “Growing up in Whittier was great. We had parades every year for awhile. I remember when they brought a whole herd of sheep down Philadelphia and down Greenleaf.”
“Were there any good-looking ones?”” asked Frank Hill, also a longtime club member.
“It depends,” Wicker said. “I guess so.”
“I guess he’s an animal lover,” rang out a voice in the crowd to spasms of laughter.
“You shared stories from the past about this building in particular. Take us back. Tell us about some memories you had in this building,” White said.
“Do you know how many times I got snookered in here? This building, for all the time I’ve been in high school, we had all our dances here.”
Any extra-curriculars that went on during those dances? White asked.
Wicker talked of a friend named Ed McClain who helped smuggle liquor into the hall. Monte would drop a 30-foot string down and Ed would tie it to a bottle.
It was determined Wicker served as Lions president in 1969.
“I have absolutely no recollection,” Wicker said. It was also determined Wicker has been a Lion for a gazillion years.
“I went to a Lions Club meeting in 1922, when I was about 5. The reason I remember it is when I was sitting there they walked this great big lion by. It scared me to death. Then they told me it had no teeth. Afterwards.”
White then asked Monte about the love of his life, Beverly Harris. The lovebirds have been dating since 1956.
“I’ve loved her more than any woman I’ve ever known, except you, Ellen, sorry, he said looking skyward in reference to his first wife.”
“Beverly and I were in a play together. I had the hots for her. So I was invited to a party at the Assistance League. So I called her up and said, ‘Beverly, this is Monte Wicker.’”
“Are you going to the Assistance League party?”
“I said so will you go with me?”
“So we’ve been going together ever since. She’s a fabulous woman. How long have I known you?” Monte asked Beverly from the stage.
“Hey, she remembers!” Wicker said.
“That’s remarkable, because she’s only 35,” White joked.
“Maybe 36,” Wicker said.
“Whittier has always been a fabulous town. The Lions Club has always been the best club in town. And I wouldn’t trade growing up here for any place in the world.”
“Monte’s dad was a charter member of the club back on May 22, 1922. We’ve had a consecutive Wicker in our Lions Club for the last 90-plus years,” said fellow Lion Ron Copley. “That’s more than amazing.”
White finished by thanking Monte’s son, Kim, for helping him arrange the “interview.”
“Kim was one of the sober ones in the family,” the elder Wicker said. “We have others …”
Asked about public service, Wicker said, “I was in the Army a couple of years.”
“The Civil War?” joked another voice.
“I do things and enjoy them and then put them out of my mind. Because something else it going to happen that’s just as good.”
“I hear tell that you’re a fantastic harmonica player,” White said.
At the urging of the crowd, Wicker, who has been playing the harmonica since fourth grade, asked Beverly what to play.
“Begin & Bevuine,” Harris said.
For the next two full minutes, Wicker belted out the tune.
“That was a treat for all of us,” White said.
“You should hear me on the clarinet,” Wicker smiled.
Before Wicker’s presentation, Lion Vince Daigneault gave out the final of 11 scholarships to two deserving students.
Katie Martorano, a graduate of La Serna High, received her first club scholarship in 2010. She is now a double major in communications and studio arts with a minor in art history at Loyola Marymount. She plans on becoming an interior decorator. Shows it pays to stay in touch with the Lions.
“This young lady is receiving her fourth ongoing scholarship. It’s the first one we’ve walked through four years of college, Daigneault said.
“I promise to keep in touch with you guys so I can watch you grow even older,” Martorano said.
The first recipient of the Mac and Carolyn McFarland Scholarship was Ganeev Sangh, 18, a product of Whittier High. He plans on becoming a doctor and will attend UCLA.
“The second recipient today is a special young man. We try and isolate now the best of the best. We are looking for the best students from high schools involved in our program. And now we are able to distinguish a specific scholarship for the absolute best student from that particular year.”
Sangh was the “absolute best choice” to receive the first McFarland scholarship, Daigneault said.
“It’s a pleasure for me to present this to you,” Mac McFarland said. “My wife and I established this criteria to have a student (win) from any of the five high schools.”
Tim Traeger is former editor of the Whittier Daily News. Follow him on Twitter at @411whittier, e-mail him at or call 626-646-7352.

‘Ribs 4 Kids’ dinner fundraiser returns Aug. 2

“Ribs 4 Kids,” the popular drive-through dinner fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Whittier, is back but will only be making one appearance in 2013 on Friday, Aug.2.

The concept for this fundraiser is a pretty simple one; sell something people want, make it easy, and reap the benefits of making a donation to a worthwhile cause.

For the price of $25, patrons receive a dinner that includes a full rack of ribs barbequed on site by Steve Hernandez of Steve’s BBQ in Uptown Whittier, a serving of potato salad, cheesy garlic bread and a Coca Cola product. Each meal is designed to serve two people.

Beverages are donated by Coca Cola Refreshments, and all of the food is prepared by Steve’s BBQ. While this is already a delicious meal at a great price, the icing on the cake is the fact that the entire dinner is done in a drive-through on-site at the Boys & Girls Club, so all you have to do is pull in the driveway and your meal will be handed to you and you will be sent on your way home.

While pre-sales are encouraged, dinners will also be available for purchase the night of the event. Tickets are available online at, at the Boys & Girls Club of Whittier front desk, 7905 Greenleaf Ave., or by calling Amanda at (562) 945-3787, ext. 113 or by e-mail at On Aug. 2, dinners will be available for pickup from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

This week’s homily by The Rev. Thomas M. Boles, P.h.D.

Novelist A.J. Cronin had been in practice as a physician for almost 10 years when he developed a gastric ulcer that required complete rest.

He went to a farm in the Scottish Highlands to recuperate. He says, “The first few days of leisure were pleasant enough, but soon the enforced idleness of Fyne Farm became insufferable. I had often, at the back of my mind, nursed the vague illusion that I might write. I had actually thought out the theme of a novel, the tragic record of man’s egotism and bitter pride.

Upstairs in my cold, clean bedroom was a scrubbed deal table and a very hard chair. The next morning I found myself in this chair, facing a new exercise book, open upon the table, slowly becoming aware that, short of dog-Latin prescriptions, I had never composed a significant phrase in all my life.

It was a discouraging thought as I picked up my pen. Never mind, I began. Even though Cronin struggled to write 500 words a day and eventually threw his first draft on the farm’s trash heap, he finished Hatter’s Castle. The book was dramatized, translated into 22 languages, and sold some five million copies. The world had lost a physician, but gained a novelist.


Now therefore perform the doing of it;
that as there was a readiness to will,
so there may be a performance also
out of that which ye have.

2 Corinthians 8: 11

Still time to save ‘traditional’ marriage

By Brad Dacus
The fight for traditional marriage is not yet over in California — or across the nation — but the outlook is certainly sobering. You wouldn’t know it from listening to the media, but there is actually no solid basis for county clerks to be issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples just yet.
But since the California Supreme Court shirked its duty this week (that sure sounds familiar!) and declined to stop state and county officials from becoming a law unto themselves … there is no time to waste in protecting churches in the exercise of their First Amendment rights.
About five years ago, the Pacific Justice Institute saw this threat coming and drafted model policies and bylaw language for churches to adopt in order to give themselves the best possible protection against lawsuits by homosexual activists.
Many of you have already been proactive in ensuring that your congregations have acted on our recommendations. But since we continue to be contacted by pastors whose churches are now facing possible lawsuits without having taken adequate precautions, we want to strongly encourage each of you to make sure that your church is protected.
Please forward this e-mail to any fellow believers, pastors and churches who might not have taken these steps.
Note that we cannot send out our specific recommendations and policy updates in a mass e-mail or post them on our website — they must be requested on an individual basis to limit the possibility that they will fall into the hands of LGBT activists bent on destroying religious freedom as we know it.
E-mail us via to request these documents. We do not charge for these recommendations or any follow-up advice from our attorneys; it is our honor and calling to serve the people of God and do everything possible to maintain our God-given freedoms.
Our model policies are designed to anticipate a broad range of scenarios, including not only same-sex weddings, but same-sex couples signing up for marriage retreats, transgender use of restrooms, and same-sex couples seeking to enroll children in church-run schools or preschool.
These are not merely hypotheticals — we have dealt with them all and don’t want to see any more churches caught off guard.
Will you help us spread the word? I look forward to hearing from you!
Brad Dacus is president of the Pacific Justice Institute
Like PJI on Facebook at

Annual backpack give-away set Aug. 10

Ready for school?

The annual Backpack Give-Away will take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013 at Lee Owens Park on Greenleaf Avenue in Whittier.

Members of the Hispanic Outreach Taskforce (HOT) want to make sure every student in attendance receives a backpack and all the school supplies needed to start the new school year.

In order to achieve its goal HOT needs help with donations of school supplies like notebooks, pens, pencils, paper, three-ring binders, rulers, pencil boxes to include inside the backpacks.

Supplies for the backpacks should be delivered to Community Grace Brethren Church, 8109 Greenleaf Ave., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 6-8.

A community walk is set at 10 a.m. at Lee Owens Park to pass out fliers notifying residents of the Backpack Give-Away.

In addition at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 8, volunteers are needed to fill the backpacks at Grace church. At least 20 volunteers are needed.

There is still time to reserve a booth for the event. A limited number of 10 by 10 canopies are available. E-mail or call James Arenas at 562-789-0550 or 951-545-1270 for more information or to reserve your space.


Allen Ginsberg’s lost obituary

By Alex Ferguson
The recent death of Beat poet Allen Ginsberg has engendered great keening and lamentation amongst our media elite.

Reading through page after page of fawning praise, one would suppose that they were grieving over the demise of some great humanitarian or artistic giant; a Gandhi or Milton whose passing has, in some measure, impoverished humankind.

Apparently, our cardinals of camp have fully canonized him as a secular saint. They even held a “Special Memorial Event” at UCLA’s Veteran’s Wadsworth Theater (6-22-97); the accolades and adulation amounting to nothing less than a Marxist mass.

“Poet is priest,” L.A. columnist Robert Sheer wrote of him back in 1960. “What a brave and gentle patriot …,” he tells us today.
Actually, not. Allen Ginsberg was a perverse little commie creep who robbed our poetry of all that was beautiful, uplifting, and ennobling and made it into something sordid, ugly, and vile.

Novelist Joyce Cary said that, nowadays, “anything the artist spits is art,” and that is exactly what we got from Allen Ginsberg. Sputum!

Like so many icons of the New Left, Ginsberg was raised in a Communist home; his Russian born Marxist mother, Naomi, eventually dying a raving lunatic in some madhouse. This was in 1956, the year that Khrushchev denounced Stalin as a mass-murderer. It was also the same year that the murderous Soviet Army crushed the Hungarian Revolution.

American Communism went into a tailspin. Allen, himself, “was hospitalized briefly in a psychiatric ward,” but seems to have eluded the snake pit’s clutches by switching his loyalty from Josef Stalin to Leon Trotsky. “America,” he intoned in his poem of the same name, “when will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?”

You remember Leon Trotsky. He was Lenin’s Commissar of the Red Army. It was he who engineered what came to be known as the “Red Terror,” in which millions were starved and murdered. Kind of a strange choice of hero for “a lifelong pacifist who eschewed violence no matter the cause in which it was employed.” (Sheer), but Ginsberg also supported the Viet Cong’s terrorist guerillas with equally embarrassing fervor.

Of course, this was the essence of Ginsberg’s so-called poetry. “He believed poetry should cause trouble,” according to U.C. San Diego literature professor Jerome Rothenberg. He and his fellow Beats “shocked and outraged the literary world with their scatology and obscenity and seeming disregard for meter and rhyme,” according to L.A. Times staff writer Tony Perry.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that today’s “literary world” loves scatology and obscenity and hates meter and rhyme. They love Ginsberg’s “absolute defiance.” You see, like some kind of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” America’s legitimate arts establishment has been replaced by these clueless cultural gurus who proclaim Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings to be great art, just as they assure us that this drip’s sick scribblings are great poetry.

The fact is that Ginsberg’s “art” consisted of getting stoned on LSD or speed or any one of a wide variety of narcotic drugs, and then writing down the disjointed rantings that these chemicals dredged up from the deepest depths of his depraved subconscious mind. What we get is stream-of-barely-conscious filth promoting drugs, socialism, and homoerotic promiscuity.

“Homoerotic”? Sure. Like his idol, Walt Witman, Ginsberg was gay, and that would be no one’s business but his own if it weren’t for his penchant for little boys. Poet Jeffrey Hart writes in May’s “National Review” that Ginsberg was a supporter of the North American Man-Boy Love Association. Moreover, Tony Perry tells us that, “he recently scandalized even some of his followers by suggesting that laws against sex with children are outmoded.”

It is not bad enough that our self-anointed intelligentsia believes that the emperor is clothed. Garbage resonates to garbage, and the garbage that spewed out of Allen Ginsberg resonates deep within their sordid souls.

Can legalized pedophilia be far behind?

Alex Ferguson is a longtime Whittier resident.

Learn ins, outs of health care reform

Want to know what pending health care reform will mean to you? Join Congresswoman Linda Sanchez and state Assemblyman Ian Calderon for a free community series, “Health Care Reform & You” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at the Whittier Community Center, 7630 Washington Ave. in Whittier.

The series will address the Affordable Care Act, health insurance options, how to get financial help to buy health insurance, how to enroll in health insurance, imminent changes to Medicare and Medi-Cal and more.

Major sponsors for the series include PIH Health, Kaiser Permanente, Rose Hills, Cancer Action Network and AppleCare.

Parking is free.

For more information, call Ernesto Morales at 562-463-4553 or visit

Martial arts legends come together in Whittier

Aikido Ai of Southern California, located at 6725 Comstock Ave. in Whittier, hosted gathering of top masters and grand masters to demonstrate Limalama on July 14.

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By Robert Rosenblatt and Eric Terrazas

Staff Writers
WHITTIER – The world of the Polynesian martial arts came together July 14, 2013 at the Aikido Ai of Southern California dojo located at 6725 Comstock Ave.

Richard Nunez, a Whittier resident and one of the founders of the first Limalama association, sponsored a gathering of top masters and grand masters to demonstrate Limalama, which is a unique hybrid style of self-defense.

The event also featured a graduation ceremony for different ranks from first-degree to ninth-degree black belt. Honorees in attendance included black belt Hall of Fame masters from Mexico and California.

Fabricio Gomez of Tijuana Limalama presented a strong exhibit of the street-fighting style in front of an audience that packed the studio. Gomez was promoted to ninth-degree black belt by Grand Master Nunez. Nunez and Solomon Kaihewalu are the last two surviving original members from the first Limalama association, which started the system of martial arts known worldwide as the inside, close, in-your-face style of Limalama.

Limalama is a Polynesian style of martial arts that feature elements of boxing, judo, aikido, kung fu, kickboxing and open-handed techniques. In addition to Nunez and Kaihewalu, the first Limalama association also featured Tino Tuiolosega, John Marolt, Sal Esquivel and Haumea “Tiny” Lefiti.

One of the graduates was Bob Brown, a Whittier resident who was promoted to seventh-degree black belt. Brown is a former United States Secret Service agent and worked as a detective with the Pasadena Police Department. He is a master weapons instructor in knife and stick fighting and helped guard Presidents Ford and Reagan, serving as their driver and last line of defense.

Another honoree was Mario Vasquez, a Whittier resident who was promoted to fifth-degree black belt.

“It felt good,” Vasquez said of his achievement. “It was something I worked hard for – putting in the hours and the days.”

Alfred Urquidez, the youngest brother of martial arts legend Benny “the Jet” Urquidez, also attended the event. Alfred, who holds a sixth-degree black belt in Kenpo-Shotokan, still teaches in Arleta.

Gabriel Zayas, who holds an eighth-degree black belt, was also in attendance. Zayas is the founder and CEO of the International Polynesian Martial Arts Organization, and owns 20 schools of Limalama in Mexico and two schools in Los Angeles.

Zayas and Nunez will help host the 13th annual international “War of the Warriors” martial arts championships, which will be presented by the International Polynesian Martial Arts Organization. The event is scheduled for Sunday, July 28, 2013 at the DoubleTree Hotel, 13111 Sycamore Drive in Norwalk.

For more information on the “War of the Warriors,” call 323-789-6825 or 323-216-7372. For more information on Aikido Ai of Southern California, call 562-696-1838.

@411whittierspts on twitter