A Uechi visit to Central Kentucky

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A Uechi visit to Central Kentucky

Postby Bill Glasheen » Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:55 pm

I don't know how specific I want to get here, as I don't know how much anonymity is preferred. But I'll get specific enough.

A fellow Kentucky Uechi practitioner here (Bert) has been kind enough to invite me to his school. It took some searching on Google Maps to find it, but find it I did. As I told Bert, I once worked as a geologist in another life, getting recruited out of the chemistry lab when there was a need by my company. I was to take measurements of the magnetic field every 1000 feet on every road through 4 counties in the Ozark mountains. So yea, I have no problem finding my way. It's partly a guy thing I suppose, and a gift that some of us have. As I told him, I don't do GPS.

This area is south of what they call E-Town in Kentucky. To you folks used to big cities, it isn't. It's farm country. The biggest employer is the hospital in the nearby town. Otherwise it looks like largely an agricultural area in some hilly areas of Kentucky. I suppose they have horses hidden in barns as well in the area. ;)

This was a small, family-oriented school that worked out in a recreation room attached to a christian church and camp area. There's really nothing remarkable about the area except for a few houses here and there, and the people you'd meet in any location you made a stop. Bert's son appeared to be the most advanced student in the class that day. He was a skinny kid about my height, and about the same weight I was back when I also ran cross country.

The most significant thing I can say about the experience is that people appeared to enjoy what they were doing. I quietly mingled with the group in the first part of the workout. After warmups, hojoundo, and Sanchin, people broke up into groups. That's when I got to have fun, taking a few at a time through kata and asking them if they knew what any particular move was for.

The young girls in particular were fun. They seemed to enjoy what they were doing, and didn't mind me coming in and encouraging them to try things with their partners. One young girl in particular with a fairly distinct rural accent was completely fascinated by the Kanji and katakana on my belt. Of course I used it as a teaching opportunity.

I also had fun working out with Bert's son. When you're the most advanced student in a class and you're a teenager, you don't always get a chance to cut loose. It took a bit of prodding from me, but I finally got his son to try to hurt me. It had been waaaay to long since I had done any arm or leg conditioning. I get a chuckle when kids are worried about hurting someone. It's always fun to cut loose when and if you can.

Bert's a good man practicing pretty much without an organization. Good for him. I'm looking forward to us meeting up on a semi-regular basis. Right now I've yet to start anything here in Louisville. I'm just pumping iron and stretching to stay in shape. I really am not trying to, but... doing only weights and no karate have caused me to get a little bigger. Oh well... I'm sure it will all tone back down again once I do more repetition work. That will be happening when/if I get the folks in my gym to let me do my thing.

- Bill
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Postby Glenn » Fri Oct 22, 2010 5:59 am

You're making me nostalgic again Bill. I lived just south of E-town for 12 years, near Cecilia about half-way between E-town and where Bert is now, and Bert and I first trained in Uechi Ryu in E-town

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A few might recall that sign from the Orlando Bloom-Kirsten Dunst movie set in E-town (and a few scenes were actually filmed there)

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You were in the Pennyroyal region (usually pronounced, and sometimes written, Pennyrile)...beautiful country

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The Union and Confederate presidents during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, were both born in the Pennyroyal not too far from where you were.

Go south another 30 or so miles and you'd be at the region's most famous attraction, Mammoth Cave, the longest known cave in the world

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Glad you and Bert finally connected!
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Postby Bill Glasheen » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:03 pm

Hey, Glenn!

I wish I could say the landscape was that beautiful. Alas there's been a bad drought in the region. I noted as I drove south that the trees are just dropping their leaves. Fall will be skipped. Meanwhile it's peak color season in the Blue Ridge Parkway, where summer heat was interrupted by a seasonal tropical storm.

I did see fully harvested fields, and farm equipment at work.

I went through E-town on I-65, so I don't know much about it other than the tall signs for gas and fast food (which perhaps go together...).

It's a nice area of God's country.

- Bill
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Yes Virginia, there are other Uechi Instructors!

Postby KentuckyUechi » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:59 am

All of my students really seemed to enjoy your visit. As you now know Uechi-Ryu is VERY rare in this part of the country. Other than myself, you are now probably the only other Uechi Instructor to teach in Hardin County (and possibly Kentucky), in the last 20-25yrs.

One of the girl's asked a question last night about how long I'd known you or been your friend. When I said I had only met you Tuesday, they were alarmed. "Is that safe? What if he was a psycho?" They felt better about it when, I told them that I had my good friend Glenn do a thorough background check on you, :lol: and that we had other mutual friends.

It took a bit of prodding from me, but I finally got his son to try to hurt me.

I don't usually have that problem, with his boney arms, it usually doesn't take long for him to find a nerve or two during Kotickitai! :) As a matter of fact, we were sparring last nite (sans the hand and foot "Pillows"), and I caught a good knee in the side of my quad. I could still feel it when I hit the gym today.

I did see fully harvested fields, and farm equipment at work.
This morning there was a smokey haze over "E-town" because yesterday a combine caught fire. And with the drought it was quickly a wildfire. And that wasn't the only one.
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Postby CANDANeh » Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:24 am

"Is that safe? What if he was a psycho?"

ALL "ueichika" from the 1900`s have psychotic tendencies :lol:
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Postby KentuckyUechi » Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:11 pm

How true! I'm living proof. :multi:
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Re: Yes Virginia, there are other Uechi Instructors!

Postby MikeK » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:21 pm

KentuckyUechi wrote:"Is that safe? What if he was a psycho?"


Is that safe? Well Bill isn't safe to begin with. Remember to keep your guard up both physically and intellectually.

What if he was a psycho? With Bill you probably wouldn't even notice. :lol:

Bert,
Pick Bill's brain as he has a lot to offer, part of his Borg version of Uechi Ryu. 8)

Hope things are going well for you Bill. Get that new school started and don't forget about working on that book! 8)
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