Hi Bill and team!
Please forgive me, as this is a double post (you will find it on Canna-sensei's Forum as well).
Simply, I thought it might get more attention and attention on your "roundtable" than it would clogging up Van-sensei's self-defense discussion. Here goes:
Yes, this current situation with the masters is sad indeed!
But who said life was fair? And who are we to judge when all we are surrounded by are innuendos and half-truths?!
Parents and children come to me all the time at my dojo to tell me about their PROBLEMS! Frankly, however, I must tell you that I couldn't care less!
Focusing on problems will only lead to more problems! As one gentleman said in the previous post, the time has come to search for solutions instead!
As an exercise in college, my professor once asked our class to come up with ways that we could eliminate prisons here in the United States! Eliminate PRISONS! HA!
Of course, we all thought this to be a stupid and unrealistic goal. But with such an intriguing question posed, we went to work on it in earnest. After less than an hour, we had no less than 30 ideas of how to do away with dentention facilities in America--for good!
Yes, some ideas were stupid, some even unrealistic. But all had a common theme: Each one focused not on the hatred we feel for criminals, nor did they revolve around beliefs, values or emotions based on our political, socio-economic or religious affiliations. No, each proposal shared a common goal of trying to intelligently solve a seemingly "unsolvable" problem.
Let's not turn our backs on the masters! Let's not congratulate them for their stupidity, either! Let's work together in the same spirit and harmony that we display daily on these forums to come up with a "high road" solution to this short-term set back.
I don't know about you folks, but I love Uechi-ryu. I also had the unique priveledge of living and training with these masters for 5 years in Okinawa and Japan. These men are the link to our past and the guardians of our style. But they are just MEN!! They are human and they will make mistakes!
But I must be honest: Just because this is true, I am not ready, willing or able to turn my back on them! Has your teacher ever turned his or her back on you for your shortcomings? Let's give these men the same respect!
Better yet, let's help them see their errant thinking and hurtful ways. Let's petition, write letters (I'll translate!), visit, workout, talk, fight, argue and exchange. Only this way will we be able to maintain that "bridge" that so many of you have talked about for future generations.
I'm here to help. What's YOUR agenda? Call me and we'll chat: (978) 858-0123.