Black Belt - - EDITOR'S NOTE - — Robert W. Young, Edi­tor-in-Chief

Trekking to Las Ve­gas ev­ery sum­mer for the Mar­tial Arts Su­perShow, put on an­nu­ally by the Mar­tial Arts In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion, is some­thing of a tra­di­tion here at Black Belt for a num­ber of rea­sons. First, it’s Ve­gas. No mat­ter how hard At­lantic City tries, there can be only one Ve­gas. And no mat­ter how nice South­ern Cal­i­for­nia is, Ve­gas is … Ve­gas.

But there’s much more than that. We al­ways look for­ward to go­ing be­cause it gives us a chance to hob­nob with the cream of the crop of the mar­tial arts com­mu­nity. We get to shake hands with hun­dreds of in­struc­tors and school own­ers from across the coun­try and a few from abroad while lis­ten­ing to them ex­plain where they think the in­dus­try is headed and what they would like to see in our magazine. And we get to catch up with many of the masters we fea­ture in our pages. (Un­for­tu­nately, we can’t train with them like you can be­cause we’re work­ing.)

This year’s Su­perShow is sched­uled for July 1-3 at the Bel­la­gio. Here are a few of the in­struc­tors you’ve seen in the pages of Black Belt who have con­firmed they’ll be there to con­duct classes: Bill Wal­lace, the man known as “Su­per­foot”; Stephen K. Hayes, nin­jutsu pioneer; Eyal Yanilov, head of Krav Maga Global; Tom Patire, founder of the CDT and LRT self­de­fense sys­tems; Herb Perez, 1992 Olympic taek­wondo gold medal­ist; and Harinder Singh, jeet kune do in­struc­tor and fit­ness coach.

In ad­di­tion, our con­tact at MAIA told us that Da­mon Gil­bert prob­a­bly will be at the show with Team Paul Mitchell and will most likely speak. Gil­bert, as you may re­mem­ber, was in­ter­viewed for a fea­ture on ka­jukenbo in our Fe­bru­ary/March 2018 is­sue.

The other 2018 pre­sen­ters may not have made it into our pages yet, but they have just as much teach­ing and busi­ness wis­dom to of­fer. They in­clude Apolo Ladra, Marcelo Garcia, Dave Ko­var, Melody Shu­man, Ja­son Han, Robby Beard, Eric San­ta­maria, Abid Ben­wali, Tom Scott and Jack­son Ru­dolph.

Our MAIA rep also noted that plenty of other VIPs will be in the house, and we’re in no po­si­tion to dis­agree. Nearly ev­ery year, we run into ac­tor and mar­tial artist Michael Jai White, mar­tial arts his­to­rian Emil Farkas, for­mer tour­na­ment champ Chris­tine Ban­non-Ro­drigues, JKD in­struc­tor Gary Dill, the one and only Mas­ter Ken, BJJ au­thor­ity Ri­cardo Li­bo­rio and Dana Ab­bott, the swords­man on this is­sue’s cover. Be­ing true mar­tial artists, they’re al­ways open to pho­tos, au­to­graphs and con­ver­sa­tions, so go ahead and in­tro­duce your­self if they show up this year.

What does all this add up to? An in­dus­try event that, even if you’re not a school owner, is a blast to at­tend. And an event that’s fondly re­mem­bered all year long.

Is it July yet?

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