It is with a heavy heart that I write this news post and share the passing of IS3 Kasama Gary E. Benson.

I don’t remember the first time I met Gary but it seems like I have known him all my life. His admiration for me always made me a bit uncomfortable as he was my senior in life and had much more experiance in Martial Arts in general than I have. A few years after my teacher (Mangisursuro Michael G. Inay) died, Gary got involved in my efforts to continue the expansion and exploration of Inayan Eskrima. Although there has been many opportunities for him to separate himself from my work, he stayed loyal and continued to be a driving force for IS3 Eskrima in his area and throughout the state of WI, USA. Through his acceptance of me and my struggles I came to love him like a true brother and even a father figure in my life. He was truly one of the kindest Martial Artiest I have ever met. I never heard him speak ill of another individual and always admired his way of staying positive even in the hardest of times.  We shared wonderful moments in life, Training Martial Arts, listening to Reggae music, riding motorcycles, long talks about our love for nature and our hopes for humanity. Gary had a wonderful life. Although it was a struggle at times (as any good life should have IMO), he had a wonderful and loving wife, three beautiful children, five exceptional grandchildren, and countless friends. I could write for days about this wonderful man and the brief time in life we shared but somethings go better unsaid. I will wear the ring you gave me as long as it fits and walk with you my heart as I continue our dreams. I will honor you in our traditional ways for the next three days and into the future. Fly high and free my friend and thank you for the time we walked this path together. Although sad, your family is strong. You did a good job here and can rest well in that you made this world better for many. I will always love you my friend.

Until we meet again I will listen for your words in the wind,  look for you soul on the wings of the birds in flight and your smile in the stars.

R.I.P. Gary you have done well.

Gary1