Thanks for stopping by again today.
So what does Karate have to do with Mensa?
Well, if you happen to be Grand Master Sam Pearson that would be a whole lot to be proud of.
First off, you might have heard of Mensa, but so far didn’t really know what they are all about. Let me enlighten you:
Mensa, the high IQ society, provides a forum for intellectual exchange among its members.
There are members in more than 100 countries around the world.
Activities include the exchange of ideas through lectures, discussions, journals, special-interest groups, and local, regional, national and international gatherings; the investigations of members’ opinions and attitudes; and assistance to researchers, inside and outside Mensa, in projects dealing with intelligence or Mensa.
Mensa is open to persons who have attained a score within the upper two percent of the general population on an approved intelligence test that has been properly administered and supervised.
One of their members is Sam Pearson.
And I will be honest with you: Until this morning I hadn’t heard of him myself.
Grand Master SamPearson is THE man who brought martial arts to the East Carolina town of New Bern in the early 70s.
You have to know that even at the age of 74 he is still a force to reckon with and still works out at the Twin Rivers YMCA.
Sam Pearson was born in 1936. After being raised by his granny in Florida, he was returned to his mom, who according to his own recollection, was on her third husband by then.
His father didn’t play much of role in his upbringing and so as a 17-year old he looked for direction in the outside world.
Thus, in 1953, wanting to change his life and find that direction he was missing, Sam Pearson joined the no-nonsense U.S. Marines who are known till today for promising their recruits a rough time. A promise made is a promise kept.
Nobody else from his high school at the time joined the Marines. His USMC career would last 20 years.
During a tour in Vietnam he was exposed to the devastating Agent Orange which was used to kill the vegatation so the Viet Cong couldn’t hide in it. Only problem was that our guys were affected by it which was denied by government authorities for way too long.
Like what happened to so many servicemen, the exposure broke down his immune system, causing all kinds of debillitating ailments.
Sam Pearson has battled numerous ailments such as PTSD, diabetes and high blood pressure and even Parkinson’s disease.
Only 3 years ago during a short period, everything seemed to be breaking down, including severly painful shingles across his face.
Things looked very bleak and robbed him of his joy of life. But somehow things turned around and he is doing a lot better today.
Way back in 1974, he introduced martial arts to New Bern, NC.
The current head instructor is his former student and New Bern policeman Ronnie Lovick who is a 7th degree black belt.
During the early 70s, karate and other martial arts started to become really popular in the United States after many servicemen returned from Asia.
The school was operated at several locations. During the daytime Sam Pearson worked as head of security of a shopping mall.
He ensured that all of his students were worthy of pursuing the martial arts. He looked for honest and dedicated individuals who also did not smoke or drink.
Counting the years that he instructed in the Marines, Sam Pearson has probably taught more than 2,000 students over almost 50 years.
Besides all his great accomplishments, Sam Pearson is most proud of the fact that he is a member in Mensa, the international IQ-society.
Semper Fi, Sam Pearson!