The first few weeks of January were momentous for Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios and the martial arts.
There was the Grand Opening of Z-Ultimate National Headquarters in Huntington Beach, where there was a huge celebration, ribbon cutting ceremony, 1st National Workout and other special events.
There was the 1st Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios Masters Seminar, where martial arts masters with a combined one hundred and sixty-plus years of experience shared their knowledge with students from all over the country.
There was the 1st Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios Black Belt Test, where students from across the country came to earn their Black Belts. If you ask anyone who has ever earned a Black Belt, they will tell you it is one of the most significant events that can happen in someone’s life.
There was also the 1st Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios Winter Grand Championship Martial Arts Tournament, which was a smashing success with thousands of competitors and spectators jamming the UC Bren Event Center to watch exciting competition, dynamic martial arts demonstrations and Master Frank Ley be promoted to 7th Degree Black Belt after thirty plus-years of martial arts training.
All of those events were phenomenal and indicative of the type of quality and environment that Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios stands for; none of them would have been possible without the participation and belief of everyone at Z-Ultimate, from the students all the way up to the Masters.
However, there was another event that took place that many do not know about. And this event, while not as high-profile as the more public events that took place, has a much deeper meaning for everyone involved with Z-Ultimate, from the highest ranking masters all the way down to the brand-new beginning student.
This event was important because it connected Z-Ultimate with it’s martial arts roots. Shihan Paul Taylor, President and 9th Degree Black Belt of Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios, was able to go back east to New England and re-connect with one of the last living links to one of the most influential martial artists in Kenpo history, Professor Nick Cerio.
Professor Cerio was and still is one of the most respected Kenpo practitioners in the martial arts history. Cerio originally began training under George Pesare, the man credited with bringing Kenpo to the New England area.
Professor Cerio had training in boxing, judo, tae kwon do, Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu, (one of the “original” styles of Kenpo), Sil Lum Kung Fu, Hakkoryo Jujitsu, Shotokan, Kyokushinkai Karate and Okinawan Karate. He also held multiple ranks in many of these styles, from 1st degree Black Belt all the way to 10th Degre Black Belt in Nick Cerio’s Kenpo.
Ten years before his death, Cerio began training a high ranking martial artist in Kenpo who came to him disenchanted with how and what he had been taught in Kenpo. This martial artist decided to go straight to the living Kenpo legend and asked if he could train with Professor Cerio.
When Professor Cerio asked this martial artist what he wanted, the martial artist replied, “I want to know everything you know.” It is said that Professor Cerio smiled and said, “I like your attitude, kid.”
For the next ten years, this martial artist was personally trained by Professor Cerio. The Professor handed down his knowledge and secrets, leaving nothing out. After ten years, this martial artist became one of the highest ranking Black Belts ever promoted by Professor Cerio in Nick Cerio’s Kenpo and one of the small number of people certified and authorized to teach Cerio’s Kenpo in the world.
This martial artist is 10th Degree Black Belt, Shihan Joseph Nesta.
Shihan Nesta is a Kenpo treasure and direct link to Z-Ultimate’s Kenpo lineage and history. Shihan Taylor and Z-Ultimate were very excited and honored to host Shihan Nesta when he came out for Z-Ultimate’s Grand Opening weekend.
Shihan Nesta shared his formidable knowledge in the martial arts with Black Belts of all levels. He was warm, gracious, humble and eager to pass on the knowledge Professor Cerio shared with him for all those years.
Upon his leaving to return home, he told me he was very impressed with all the Z-Ultimate is doing and he is proud to be a martial arts advisor for our company. He told me that he thought Professor Cerio would approve of the culture and attitude of Z-Ultimate, who’s mission is to provide the student with “Z-Ultimate” in personalized martial arts instruction in one of the most well-rounded martial arts styles in the world.
Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios is proud to have Shihan Joseph Nesta as a martial arts advisor and welcomes him as a part of the Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios Family.