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 Post subject: GOING. . .going. . .g...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 1999 4:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 405
Location: Tewksbury, MA USA
Hey, team!

How's everyone? And thanks for the intro, Mike!

The comment of mine Mike refers to was one made over the continued splinterization of our beloved Uechi (read: whatever) ryu.

What I was referring to was the lack of interest in participating in Uechi events these days. No numbers at our tournament, no interest in holding regional competitions and/or events (yes, Virginia group, I'll give you your "props"!), no real exchange between dojo and no discussion (outside these forums) between the students/teachers themselves!

My theory: 10 years from now, no one will say: Hey, Tom, remember that Thursday night workout. . . But they might remember that summer camp, that tourny, that special workout with Sensei Whatever.

Our Uechi events DEFINE our karate experience and are the richest aspect of our training, our dojo and ourselves.

My message: get involved!

My prediction: In another decade, we will only know each other by our screen names and/or but some other form of cyber-ridiculousness.

Get out of your dojo! Get on your teachers' backs! Call them out of their caves, awaken the old guard -- and the new -- from their slumber! Uechi is slipping away from us. If it does during our watch, it will be this generation's fault!

Respectfully,

Gary

------------------
Gary J. Khoury
http://www.uechi-ryu.com/khoury


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 Post subject: GOING. . .going. . .g...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 1999 4:54 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 159
Location: Valrico, Florida, USA
Gary,
how about the view from below....I'm just a white belt...

<BLOCKQUOTE>"no real exchange between dojo and no discussion (outside these forums) between the students/teachers themselves!"</BLOCKQUOTE>
Part of that could be the class size hindering discussion...or tradtion and respect intimidating the nubies, forming a pattern that's hard to break.

<BLOCKQUOTE>My theory: 10 years from now, no one will say: Hey, Tom, remember that Thursday night workout. . . But they might remember that summer camp, that tourny, that special workout with Sensei Whatever.</BLOCKQUOTE>
Definately!

I've yet to even see an event, outside of TV or the movies. "Is real-life different?" he asks tongue in cheek...

Rick


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 Post subject: GOING. . .going. . .g...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 1999 7:17 am 
I just had a dark thought, Gary...

Closed-door Karate -- I wonder if [a large number of] instructors just DON'T want their students to go outside the dojo and DON'T want them to learn anything from someone else other than themselves.

------------------
Allen - uechi@ici.net - http://www.uechi-ryu.org


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 Post subject: GOING. . .going. . .g...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 1999 10:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 2075
Location: Boston, MA
Gary,

I think "isolationism" and "openness" have always co-existed in the arts and, yes, in Uechi ryu. When GEM leaves the scene, will there be another to replace him? I tend to think not. He holds a special place in the history of Uechi-ryu in the U.S. Yet, it doesn't necesarily mean that isularity will prevail -- not as long as you, BillG, MikeM, MikeD, TracyR, BobB, LoriSan, RickW and many others continue to maintain a open, welcoming dojo for others to visit. Not as long as the above folks, the Doctor, and many others are willing to visit and practice.

Things will inevitably change. It doesn't have to be for the worse.

david


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 Post subject: GOING. . .going. . .g...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 1999 11:42 am 
david,

You talk about "When GM leaves the scene."

That IS a scary thought, because he is the real cement of the NAC; the one we look up to for unity. It ispossible to even imagine a summer camp without him, etc. You are right that things will change, but we will never again have the cohesion which we do now.

------------------
Allen - uechi@ici.net - http://www.uechi-ryu.org


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 Post subject: GOING. . .going. . .g...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 1999 9:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 405
Location: Tewksbury, MA USA
Doctor X and others:

But this is true of our relationship with Okinawa as well, no? Who will lead when the Nakahodos, the Kanmeis and the Yonamines "fade"? Who is developing relationships with the next generations of Okinawan instructors, who among them is preparing himself or herself to lead in the new millenium?

And what of ourselves? Are you willing to face the music as GEM does on a daily basis? Are you distinguishing yourself, your style of teaching, or your dojo to be the epicenter of Uechi-ryu in the year 2000 and beyond?

There are a couple of Uechi notables with 300 or more students in the area who have decided that the best course of action is to bury their head in the proverbial sand! Without their leadership skills and business acumen, who will lead? And when that person emerges, who will be inclined to follow?

We've GOT to cement personal relationships NOW! We've got to get active, get involved, get WORKING! If we do not solidify our bonds with one another and sketch out our plans for the future, this fragile egg is going to crack and crumble.

Call me Humpty Dumpty.

Keep training,

Gary

------------------
Gary J. Khoury
http://www.uechi-ryu.com/khoury


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 Post subject: GOING. . .going. . .g...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 1999 11:54 pm 
Gary, Going to be like opening a can of catfood. But wait! GEM is still young yet.

------------------
Allen - uechi@ici.net - http://www.uechi-ryu.org


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 Post subject: GOING. . .going. . .g...
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 1999 1:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 3754
Location: Richmond, VA
Ah yes, the 'Virginia' group. Actually it is the Virginia, Maryland, District of Columbia, Delaware and Pennsylvania group to date.

About a year ago, we had Raffi Derdarian sensei of Providence fame visit us. Last month it was Peggy Hess of Florida, and two years ago, James Thompson. Three years ago, Uechi Kanmei sensei and his son Kanji sensei joined us.

The next 'regional' workout is tentatively scheduled for May 15 just south of DC in Alexandria. Anyone care to join us down here 'Where the South Begins?' All ranks and affiliations are welcome.

Regards, Rich


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 Post subject: GOING. . .going. . .g...
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 1999 2:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 989
Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
David,

Your words ring true. Although it is generally the tendency for most of us to look at the glass as half empty, we can be wrong. Who's to say that the change won't be a positive one after the hierarchy is gone. Maybe people will heed Gary's warning and come out of the proverbial closet and start making the necessary connections. Maybe the Virginia group will be the ones to make the necessary inroads to regional seminars and bipartisen workouts. Who knows.
(BTW, thanks for coming to the dojo...the invitation is always open for you and who you bring)

Gary,

The problem with the passing of the Okinawan "greats" as you mentioned is that we in America seem to worship the Okinawans for just being Okinawan sometimes. It doesn't matter who they are. You made some very interesting points when you said that for the most part their Uechi was no better than what is being done here in America (sorry for the poor paraphrase).
Maybe we should just treat them as equals instead of gods. Kanbun Uechi and Kanei Uechi are gone and their students will not be around forever. Will the Kanji Uechi(s) of Okinawa (sorry again as he is the only one of that generation that I know) be able to take over and promote the style or simply continue to pull it apart from the world outside of Okinawa?

yours in Budo,

Mike


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 Post subject: GOING. . .going. . .g...
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 1999 5:37 am 
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
The problem with the passing of the Okinawan "greats" as you mentioned is that we in America seem to worship the Okinawans for just being Okinawan sometimes.
Bob Campbell once called this "Okinawa disease". Prejudice works in many bizarre ways. I agree that we need to forget the skin color and culture and treat all the great practitioners around this earth for what they can do in the dojo, and - yes - what they can do outside the dojo.

On a side note....I really like Kanji Uechi. He's like a Kanei who can speak some English and shoot a basketball. A reluctant, happy member of the Uechi tribe. I hope you get the opportunity to meet him one day. I'm not suggesting anything. Not even sure that he has any of the genius of some in his line....just saying that he's a great guy.

GARY

I second your motion for involvement and initiative. We've really got a great group in our greater community. The more we collectively do and the more we collectively improve the lot of the style....the more all the things people worry about (heir(s) apparent, etc) will become moot.

-- Bill


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 Post subject: GOING. . .going. . .g...
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 1999 4:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 2075
Location: Boston, MA
Doctor J.D.,

I am pretty much in agreement with what you post. Any difference may be due to what we each emphasize or feel about. With "respect" or "legacy", yes, these are important but I of the view that one simply deals with these by acting with integrity and honesty in accord with one's beliefs. Hopefully, the respect follows and the legacy is those who choose follow one's example. But I know full well that one will always have detractors, not because the detractors are necessarily scum but because their core beliefs and thus their actions are different.

In this forum, most of us agree that trying to maintain unity is important and we worry about it. Outside of this forum, there are those who couldn't care less about this "unity", not because they are trying to hide something (though some may be) but because they want to maintain a "tradition" and disagree with some of the experimenting that is going on and sanctioned by GEM. In the eyes of those in that fold, this is to be respected and their juniors will carry on that legacy. These splits are obviously not characteristic of just Uechi Ryu but of the arts in general from Japanese to Okinawan, Chinese, Filipino and others. Personally, I just accept this to be the case and will act as I believe and will try to respect those who act otherwise as long as their actions are grounded in integrity and honesty. But I don't it serves me one way or another to worry about getting respect in return.

We each may also respect different facets of a person. I respect integrity and honesty in a practitioner and not necessarily his/her fighting skills. I say this despite considering myself a fighter, first and foremost, based on my own particular history. I'm not even saying I a great fighter. I am just a person whose not afraid to fight. Yet, I am in awe of the non-fighters but warriors like a Ghandi or a Mandela. I am because they acted with full integrity in conformity with their beliefs. And, for the record, I am a shtty Uechi-Ryu stylist. I make no pretense at leaving a legacy in this arena. I leave that to the many others in this forum who so much more qualified.

I was brought into this Uechi world by Bob Campbell. I am forever indebted. In my eyes, Bob is the greatest fighter I have personally known. (and I am not talking just within the ring.) He is respected my me for that. He is also more respected by me for breaking into the Chinese Martial arts when few non Asians could. That fact that he did speaks of his belief in "cross training" and evolution long before these topics were discussed in these forums. The fact that he made it into the kwoons spoke of a herculean effort at breaking racial barriers in a time when these barriers not so invisible and as solid as rock. For this I respect him more than I will ever of his fighting abilities.

For all my respect for Bob, I respect GEM as much if not more. I am convinced no one has done as much for Uechi in the US then this man. I think I seen this man evolved. He has put up with a lot and still tries to hold it together for those to follow. This is important to him and acts as best he can to promote the growth and unity of this art. He doesn't show great ego when students branch out. Instead, he promotes it wholeheartedly for the student and for the art. He just ask that folks give back.

Is Bob a better fighter than GEM? I don't think GEM would even want the comparison. Indeed, it useless to make such a comparison. GEM is his own man with his own laudable qualities and to be RESPECTED for those. He need not worry about his legacy, nor need he worry about his detractors. All he has to do is to continue to act with the same integrity in accordance with his beliefs.

Anthony, I am not writing a post mortem for GEM but sometimes we would do well to day something good about someone while they are around. And, I respectfully disagree with your assessment that GEM does karate like a 30 year old. Gem does karate like a young 35 year old! And you have watch for his sneaky front kicks.

respectfully,

david


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 Post subject: GOING. . .going. . .g...
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 1999 3:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 989
Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
Bill,

Just wanted to say that I agree whole-heartedly with your opinion concerning Kanji Uechi. He is one of the nicest people I have ever met. He is a good friend and a wonderful budoka (great athlete too!)He plays football and baseball like he grew up with it.

I hope a person with his demeanor takes up the reins when the time comes.

Yours in budo,

mike


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