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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 1999 7:32 pm 
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
I have been told that I can post it. I do so with mixed feelings, as I know some of the people involved. For now I will say nothing other than the obvious that this is sad.

Bill

**************************************

Dear George and Susan

Hope this finds you both in good health. It has been a while since you've had any news out of Michigan, so this is an update. You may not want to post this, but it is up to you.

In recent phone conversations with Mr. Dave Moyle, he has told me that Rick Lambert of South Haven, himself, and his satellite dojos in the Upper Penninsula are all following Ron Klein as far as testing and instruction and are no longer involved with the NAC. I was not sure if you were aware of this, but they are conducting their own testings through Ron's organization (Shinwa Uechi Budo) and are issuing their own rank and diplomas rather than going through you or Okinawa. This leaves me the only NAC dojo in Michigan. According to the NAC charter, I cannot form a test board myself or test my own students, and it is not feasable for my students to travel to the East Coast to test, or conversely to bring someone out here at my expense. Therefore, I must at this time request permission to go directly to Kanmei Uechi in order to provide Dan rank for those of my students who are eligable. If you could get back to me with regarding the information and addresses I would need for this, it would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely

John VanDeLaare
Battle Creek Budokan


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 1999 9:59 pm 
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Location: Mount Dora, Florida
Fair is fair. If we discuss embarrassing issues involving other organizations, it is only right that we expose our own dirty linen.

I agree with D.J. that teachers must not award rank without a board of senior instructors being present. NAC also requires that at least one senior must be assigned to the board by NAC.

I'm late for a class. . . will discuss this more later.

------------------
GEM


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 1999 6:39 am 
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Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Wow - this is a heavy set of folks to work with. But I am having similar issues to that of the author of the thread.

I am hoping to test a young shodan (age 19) for Nidan, and have written/sent video tapes to Okinawa (being Okikukai, I tend to have less Senior-Seniors around than you lucky NAC folks). My hope (and recommendation/solution - never present a problem without at least one possible solution, that's what I was taught) is to gather a board of Uechi and Shohei folks to administer the test (my preliminary board consists of a nidan, a sandan-me-, and a yondan), videotape it, and send it to the requisite senior-seniors for review and validation (or (gasp) rejection). Actual certificates would then include appropriate signatures, and though the process might take a touch longer, the integrity of the system remains solid.

I am a firm believer in formal procedures for promotion, as they protect us from ourselves (what decent instructor sends a questionable student up for promotion?) and provide some kind of general consensus on what the expectations are concerning each rank. When travel is contraindicated, some payment in the form of "red tape" should be expected. At least, that's how I see us preserving the competency levels in our style.

Not to join the good Doctor on the soap box...

Chris Long


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 1999 6:53 pm 
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Chris

For what it is worth...

You know I would do anything I could to help you. Ultimately the rules of the game are up to your (present day) instructor to approve. But your approach has face validity.

By the way, I will be in Phoenix for a conference in the first part of May. I speak at the conference on May 4. Any chance we can touch base?

Bill


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 1999 4:44 am 
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Location: Flagstaff, AZ
GEM, Bill, JD, et al. -

I very much believe testing should simulate some stresses - for a variety of reasons. I am also a BIG fan of cross-training; other styles, even other sports. This shows my UVa roots quite clearly - Bill-Sensei taught me the value of this, after all. Like the tests he brought me up in, I assemble a testing board and follow as exactly as I can the required regimen and flow of a dan test - for kyu ranks. This lets everyone get used to the rigors of an actual test, to include the courtesies and stresses. On these kyu tests (due to the dearth of available Uechi practitioners in Flagstaff and my beliefs in cross-training), I invite practitioners from Wado Ryu, Kempo, and of course anyone from our style(s). To date, agreement has been outstanding on what constitutes passing performances. Which tends to reinforce my belief that good karate is recognized regardless of style (we all appreciate some of Stephen Segalls moves...)

Additionally, within the dojos I run, the Ikkyu test is our in-house shodan test. Students selected for potential testing must pass my test, and if they pass, they are treated as shodans within the dojo from that moment on. I have been quite lucky (even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then...), and have a 100% pass rate to date on my 13 candidates. Until now, I always sent my candidates down to Okinawa for actual dan testing. But here in Arizona, this is no longer feasible...

That's why I came up with all the requirements I use. Because I am only a sandan, and technically unable to even recommend dan testing for candidates, I tend to jump through some hoops. This does not bother me - for the reasons I mentioned above (previous post). It does, however, keep me on my toes...

JD - I work out in Flagstaff Arizona, though I'm moving to Haiti on a 2-year contract in August. I'm hoping to make GEM's summer camp again this summer, as I had a blast and learned all kinds of nasty tricks... About that soapbox - I only need occasional access to it, and will be happy with the back corner.

Bill - I am headed to Okinawa on 2 or 3 May, and will unfortunately miss your visit to my area. If you start to pine for practice, or just want to see some of the Arizona practitioners, there is a great gentleman named Al Saddler teaching in Phoenix. His number is (602)249-3070. I work with him (and his students) every couple of months, and they are extrememly gracious hosts. I have even fed him a few students who graduated from NAU. And my version of 38-special (which is actually 26-not-too-bad) needs your help desparately. Even after all you tried to do, my kicks remain horrible, and are an absolute last resort (though my students have GREAT kicks, since I emphasize them so much)

Out of beer - gotta go. Thanks for letting me pontificate.

Chris Long


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 1999 5:45 am 
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I'm a firm believer in pre-tests, where outside seniors put a student through the rigors of the test, prior to the formal testing. Often, teachers look at their own students with eyes that filter out mistakes that an objective board will see. I don't like to see students fail and prefer that marginal students are informed prior to the test that six more months is needed.

I also don't agree with video testing, because it eliminates the primary element of the test that makes it a test. . . stress of performing before an outside and hopefully objective board.

Although certificates can be issued by separate organizations, we should feel confident enough to allow any senior, from any reputable organization, to sit in on a testing board.

We may not teach or perform certain new testing requirements, but any senior worth his stripe/s will know if the student is performing it correctly.

Although pre-testing will not eliminate all failures at the formal test, this procedure will insure that the majority of candidats will make the grade. Student who survive the pre-testing will have confidence in knowledge that they should pass. The few that screw up, due to whatever reason, may feel disappointment, but not humiliation and anger at their teacher for recommending them for a test in which they were not qualified to take.

------------------
GEM

[This message has been edited by gmattson (edited 03-26-99).]


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 1999 11:11 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
chris,

As JD mentioned ther are other senior Uechi instructors in Arizona. One individual that stands out in my mind is Frank Chavez who is located in Phoeneiz. Frank is a real nice guy and a very good practitioner. Have you run into him yet?

Mike


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 1999 5:53 am 
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Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Mike et al. -

I work closely with Jessie Chavez, who may indeed me the same as Frank Chavez. Jessie/Jesus/Chewie (he goes by all three, so who knows about Frank?) is an excellent, under-ranked Sandan, whose daughter is my assistant (and the 19 year-old previously mentioned). He (Jessie) works closely with Jack Summers-Sensei. There a couple other people in the woodwork, but formal dojos are hard to find in the AZ area. Al Saddler's teacher, Krom-Sensei (spelling?) is somewhere in the Prescott area, but my information is limited. I intend to hit Saddler's dojo on Wednesday, so if information on this is needed, let me know. I am generally a lazy person, and find it easier to visit people who have published practice times. But you (and JD) are right, there is a wealth of Uechi information around here, you just have to work too damn hard...

Anyways, Jessie's partner-in-crime (who's name escapes me at the moment) is a big part of my plans for any authorized Dan-testing for the student in question (Jessie himself is off on assignment in the middle east somewhere).

Hope all is well with everyone, and may your bruises be as colorful as mine...

Chris Long


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 1999 5:36 am 
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Location: Flagstaff, AZ
P.S. -

I asked my assistant (Jessica Sanchez, daughter of Jessie Sanchez) about Frank as mentioned above. I will be hopefully meeting him, as he is the yondan who is supposed to help me test Jessica (since he was one of her teachers, and is a student of Summers-Sensei). I look forward to it, but have not had the honor to date.

Sorry about my confusion. Names are not my strong point...

Chris Long


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