In June the Masters Hall of Fame will be coming to Ft. Worth for the 2014 Hall of Fame inductees’ ceremony. On Friday, Saturday February 7th a special ceremony was held at Steve Shelby’s Martial Arts School in Dallas to honor Grandmaster James Toney. Unlike a lot of these types of events this was a more laid back venue giving everyone time to mingle and pay respects to not just Grandmaster Toney, but the other varying Master’s in attendance as well.
The event was hosted by Master Jaime Cashion and featured a who’s who of legends in the martial arts including Allen Steen, Pat Burleson, Keith Yates, Skipper Mullins, Roy Kurban, and too many more to name as well as special video tributes from Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock, and Art Comacho. Throughout this ceremony many of these legendary Master’s as well as family spoke about Master Toney telling stories that not only spoke of his contributions to the martial arts, but also of his stature as a black belt, man, friend, father and so much more. Prior to presenting his award there was also a short video showcasing some early videos and images of Master Toney in all walks of life sparking old memories for some and taking others back in time to see one of the many reasons we were all there in the first place as not only friend and family, but also martial artists.
Grandmaster J. Pat Burleson presented the award to Grandmaster Toney to a rousing applause and admiration from the crowd. There was a clear passion and love for this great man in the room that was only dwarfed by his heart felt acceptance speech to those there to honor him. He stood like the champion he is to accept this award and once again pour our more wisdom and love into the room that will no doubt stay with all in attendance.
As a martial artist as time moves forward there are times where the lines become blurred to where it all begin, especially if you have never had the opportunity to meet these great icons that started it all. This was a night that would put any true martial artist in awe to see those legends stand before them and know that it is because of them that you have had the opportunities to become the martial artist you are now. It’s always amazing to see these true icons in the martial arts gathered together, but even more amazing to see the affect they have had on those around them and to witness both young and old have the chance to meet them face to face.
Congratulations to Grandmaster James Toney on his well-deserved induction into the Masters Hall of Fame and thank you for everything you have done for the martial arts and those around you.
Don’t miss out on the Masters Hall of Fame 2014 event when it comes to Ft. Worth on June 7th with special key note speakers Art Comacho and Don “The Dragon” Wilson.
For more information head over to www.mastershalloffame.org/