Bill Glasheen wrote:
I absolutely was aware that Tomoyose Ryuko had studied Goju. So did David Finkelstein - one of my early (second) Uechi instructors. It's one reason why David and "Tommy" got along so well. That and the fact that they're both great guys.
I didn't know it was Miyagi Chojun though. But that makes sense. In any case it was clear that his father wanted his son to have teachers other than himself. And being a father and having tried teaching my own son, I totally get that.
If you're as good as Tomoyose Ryuyu and you want your son to study from the best, well... you could do a lot worse than Miyagi Chojun.
I've been meaning to reply to this one. According to the interview, Ryuko Tomoyose training under Chojun Miyagi was not at his father's recommendation, but rather due to geography, the younger Tomoyose's youthful gall, and his father's reputation.
CFA=Classical Fighting Arts
CFA: Did you go to Wakayama?
RT: I was born in mainland Japan, but was sent back to Okinawa when I was three years old to be raised by my grandparents. When I was thirteen I passed the entrance examination to the junior high school in Shuri. Today it's called Shuri High school, but then it was called the Prefectural First Middle High School. While I was there I began my study of karate. At school we were taught Shorin Ryu, but from time to time I would see my father's karate, and it looked very different. So I wanted to do a different style from school.
CFA: Uechi Ryu?
RT: No. First I studied Goju Ryu with Chojun Miyagi sensei.
CFA: What sort of person was he?
RT: He was a wonderful man. I was just a thirteen or fourteen year old kid, so I knew nothing about manners or how to speak to people correctly. I went to his home and told him, "Teach me karate." He just smiled and told me to sit down, then he started to ask me questions. Finally he asked me my name and I told him, Ryuko Tomoyose. He asked me immediately if I had relatives in Kansai, and so I told him about my father. He replied: "classes are Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You can come."
Definitely makes for a more entertaining story then 'my dad referred me to Miyagi sensei'!
Bill Glasheen wrote:
It's also worth mentioning that the Sanchin that Miyagi was taught (by Higashionna Kanryo) was the early open-handed one. That being the case, I'm wondering which Sanchin(s) Tommy was exposed to.
Tomoyose says in the interview that he did not learn Sanchin from Miyagi. He says he was a student of Miyagi for 18 months and during that time he learned four kata (assuming by "Gekkisai kata" he means Gekkisai dai ichi and Gekkisai dai ni). However Miyagi taught Sanchin sixth in his syllabus of kata, so Tomoyose did not have the chance to progress that far. He likely saw other students practicing Sanchin I would assume, but does not discuss that or any differences between Goju and Uechi Sanchin in the interview.
CFA: Did you practice Hojo Undo a lot?
RT: Not so much. Miyagi Sensei taught me the Gekkisai Kata, Saifa, and Seiyunchin. I just started to learn Kururunfa in 1945.
CFA: Did Miyagi Sensei teach you Sanchin?
RT: No. Chojun Sensei taught the kata in this order; Gekkisai, Saifa, Seiyunchin, Kururunfa, then Sanchin. In Uechi Ryu, of course, they teach Sanchin first.