Ted Kresge Deja Vu

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Ted Kresge Deja Vu

Postby John Giacoletti » Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:57 am

Kresge is best remembered in Uechi circles as the man who taught himself karate from GEM's The Way of Karate. He claimed to be Kanei Uechi's US Correspondence Secretary. While in the military he opened Uechi schools in Britain, Wales, Holland and West Germany. Retiring from the military, Kresge settled in the Tampa Bay area and operated 11 karate schools, sponsored tournaments with over 2500 entrants, achived 5th degreee BB and outlived his predictions that the world would end. He also compiled an encyclopaedia of Karate which is now a collector's item and taught over 10,000 students.

Kresge now lives a reclusive life in St. Petersburg, Florida and has gained local notority for his annual Christimas light displays. This year his display has been chosed by the NBC Today show as one of three finalists in a nationwide contest for the best Christmas display.

Ted and Kim Kresge's St. Petersburg house is locally renowned for an elaborate Christmas display that includes more than half a million Christmas lights, computer operated Christmas tree decorations and a fiber optic forest.


See my research post as a "Guest" Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:23 pm or search the forums for "Ted Kresge."

http://forums.uechi-ryu.com/viewtopic.php?p=113422&highlight=kresge&sid=6019dfbd2a3bfa1de9

The Kresges began decorating their home at 2719 Oakdale St. in 1977, and the extravaganza has grown steadily since then. New items this year include several polar bears, computer operated lights on the Christmas tree, and the fiber optic trees, one of which has more than 150,000 lights.


I want to know who signed this guy's Dan certificates :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby CANDANeh » Thu Dec 15, 2005 10:38 am

I want to know who signed this guy's Dan certificates


Well John...it was Santa :wink: Image
In return he guides his sleigh to St. Petersburg, as the lights can be seen from up north here eh :lol:
From "sensei" to "Elf" in one lifetime! Would like to hear what former students say about him, I suspect he was well liked.
I wish him well
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Postby f.Channell » Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:10 pm

Ted Kresge is listed in Kanei Uechi's book as a student of James Thompson.

From what I understand James Thompson has no idea how he was listed that way.

There's a lot more to the story but you have to feel some sorrow for a man so passionate about an art who through whatever disturbance of the mind called it evil and turned his back on it.

Ted Kresge was my first Sensei's teacher.

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Postby Stryke » Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:54 am

I was under the impression George ranked him shodan in Uechi ?
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Postby f.Channell » Fri Dec 16, 2005 1:40 am

Any certificates at that time would have come from Kanei Uechi.

I don't know if they had separate test boards outside New England at that time. I was happy riding my trike and watching kung fu back then.

I think Ted Kresge may have later been in the USKA if memory serves.

Still amazing to think he self taught himself from a book. I think he was on a ship in the navy or something.

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Postby Stryke » Fri Dec 16, 2005 5:02 am

Fred I could be wrong .... but I`m fairly positive George gave him shodan and later regretted it .

here it is

Back in the 60s, I was the only Uechi game outside of Okinawa. I tried very hard to get people 'on board', including helping guys like Dukes and Ted Kresge progress with their Uechi via 8mm film, letters and eventually a 10 booklet course which became the Uechi book.

I'm guilty of being very gullible and issued Ted Kresge a 'conditional' Shodan certificate, so he could continue to teach Uechi while he was stationed in Germany. The conditional part was that he was supposed to resume his training when he returned to the USA. He returned, opened up a school in Florida and became the USKA chief US representative with an inflated rank. Many current teachers in Florida got their start with Ted.



Seems guys Like Kresge and Fred Dukes , abused Georges good Nature , then once he had his foot in the door I imagined he tried this stuff with others .
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Ted Kresge

Postby John Giacoletti » Fri Dec 16, 2005 7:03 am

Thank you Fred and Stryke for the contributions to this ongoing research project I've had for a few years.

In addition to the eleven dojo that Ted Kresge founded in the Tampa Bay, Florida area and surrounding counties, he used his commanding personal charisma, intensity and drive to introduce Uechi karate training into the physical education program at what was then St. Petersburg Junior College in the late 1960's and early 1970's.

I remember seeing some of his classes which he took out of the gym and into an outside quadrangle between the Social Arts, Science, Library and Cafeteria/Bookstore buildings. He introduced hundreds if not thousands of students in those years to Sanchin, Junebe undo and Hojo undo. Many continued their training in his Kresge Academy.

After Uechi Kanei Sensei appointed Master Tosh to administer Florida as a separate Uechi jurisdiction, many of Master Tosh's first students were, of course, Kresge's Black Belts and senior students. I believe Kresge's standards were quite conservative and demanding. He didn't promote more than forty students to Shodan.

The influence of Kresge and then Tosh contributed to the differences in the regional paths in the growth of Uechi in the US. Earl, the two Mattsons, Thompson and Tosh each developed through their individual creativity, interpretation and understanding Uechi-Ryu training as we know it today.

With his characteristic reticense and reserve, Seizen Breyette told me he had reviewed the correspondence between Uechi Kanei and Ted Kresge. I state this only to confirm that Kresge did, in fact, have a regular communication with Kanei Sensei in Okinawa. And that Uechi Kanei Sensei obviously wanted the Uechi style to flourish and grow.
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Postby Stryke » Fri Dec 16, 2005 7:30 am

Glad to hear your doing some research and establishing the history John .

If folks like you dont do it , it`ll likely be lost in a generation or so .

thats to me is a huge benifit of these forums , that it`ll provide a historical resource , not just a palce to discuss ideas and grow , but somewhere things can be kept for future researchers .

Maybe you`d share some of your findings when your redy maybe give us a rough timeline or something ?
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Postby Dana Sheets » Fri Dec 16, 2005 3:17 pm

Perhaps some forum history buffs would enjoy contributing to the Wikpedia entry for Uechi-Ryu. And possibly correcting any errors therein.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uechi_Ryu
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Good thread, John

Postby Van Canna » Fri Dec 16, 2005 3:21 pm

I worked out with Kresge in the Boston ‘Mattson Academy’ back in the 6o’s when Ted came to visit and learn from George.

His Uechi, certainly unpolished, but one undeniable thing:

Ted was a bundle of energy and enthusiasm on the floor and very strong and dedicated in his performance.

He was also a very nice, friendly and respectful person. Whatever he may have been, the man accomplished almost ‘impossibles’ in his life, and for this he has my respect.
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Postby jorvik » Fri Dec 16, 2005 8:23 pm

Well I don't know anything about those across the pond :D .......but I do know that Dave Scott introduced Uechi to England, and that another guy got hold of GEM's book and started teaching something called "Mushindo" a bit before that......the only other English guy I know of was a guy called Harry Benfield, I don't know how he came about his Uechi knowledge.but he went to Oki and was accredited by Kanei Uechi. ( Mr.Benfield was a friend of my Goju teacher and the teacher of my Escima teacher ( in Uechi that is :D ) .I saw him once and I met some of his brothers students in Wado -Ryu. He was/is a seriously "Hard" man :wink: ..........n.b.
just for the information :wink: .....
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Postby Van Canna » Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:01 pm

Harry Benfield was a great guy, and a good/tough practitioner.

We worked out together and had some fun together.

We loved to eat at a little Chinese restaurant in Chinatown with great and inexpensive food.

When living in town, Harry would patronize that restaurant every day.

I miss those old days and the old friends. :(
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Postby f.Channell » Sat Dec 17, 2005 2:44 am

Stryke,

Haven't seen that quote thanks.

As far as Ted Kresge goes I have a hard time discussing someone in detail who is still with us.

Hopefully his lights have brought happiness to more people than Karate would have.

If Van says he was a good guy that is enough for me. I know I might not be here if not for him.

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Postby Stryke » Sat Dec 17, 2005 3:03 am

As far as Ted Kresge goes I have a hard time discussing someone in detail who is still with us.

Hopefully his lights have brought happiness to more people than Karate would have.


I think this is a good point , no need to imagine or suppose what his motivations are/where

He must of ahd some talent to recieve his rank and undoubtedly sounds like he influenced many folks , If he changed paths no crime there .

And I like christmas lights !!!

no shortage of characters in life no matter what you do , martial arts most deffinately .
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Postby Van Canna » Sat Dec 17, 2005 4:09 am

f.Channell wrote:Stryke,

Haven't seen that quote thanks.

As far as Ted Kresge goes I have a hard time discussing someone in detail who is still with us.

Hopefully his lights have brought happiness to more people than Karate would have.

If Van says he was a good guy that is enough for me. I know I might not be here if not for him.

F.


You are correct Fred, and so are you Marcus.

I find it difficult as well to cast a pall as unintentional and good natured as it may seem.

Look at how many self proclaimed Uechi Ryu 'stars' have fallen by the wayside over the years, or quit outright, or sat back behind pretentious behavior.

I remember Ted fondly for his tenacity and sheer 'guts' to get out there and 'get it' his own way, much like you and Marcus today. You are still training and competing in hard Judo matches, and Marcus has fought internationally full contact _ against world class champions and will do so again.

Ted was, and still is, able to touch so many lives with all that he did and does. I see him as a noble person, flaws and all.

And he didn't think twice about getting into a tough sparring match 'of the day' at the Mattson Academy.

We had some formidable, open tournaments fighters back then.

I wish him happiness.
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