Aaron Banks’ 2013 World Professional Martial Arts Hall of Fame

I recently attended Aaron Banks’s World Professional Martial Arts Hall of Fame at the Holiday Inn Grand Ballroom on 57th Street in New York City. Grandmaster Aaron Banks was a legend in the world of New York martial arts, having created the Oriental World of Self Defense, which was at one time broadcast on NBC SportsWorld and ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Many of Banks’s hundreds of demonstrations at one time filled every seat in Madison Square Garden and other venues, and he innovated a number of common practices in traditional American martial arts tournaments today.

These days, his World Professional Martial Arts Hall of Fame events are much more low key, but still attract high-profile practitioners strictly through word of mouth. Saturday evening’s event honored many masters and featured many more. Among the guest list were famed kick-boxer Louis Neglia, who spoke of performing in many of Aaron Banks’s tournaments, Grandmaster Rico Guy, Grandmaster Ron Van Clief, Master Dennis Burgess, Grandmaster Jerry Ornstein, Grandmaster Ernest Hyman, Grandmaster Juan Otero Jr., and many, many other legendary figures from the world of American martial arts.

The evening included demonstrations, award presentations and a very special tribute to the legendary Grandmaster Ronald Duncan Sr., whose sons Ron Jr. and Gregory were in attendance to accept an award on their father’s behalf.

Click Here to read a CNN iReport I filed for the event.