You have revealed to everyone reading this forum that either you: A.) Never get involved in any large organizational Uechi-ryu activites, or B.) You move seamlessly across association boundaries, interacting positively with our ShoHei (and other) brothers and sisters in and outside of your dojo/karate practice on a regular basis.
In either case, you must be an exceptionally happy guy.
That understood, your question is still a good one. Why SHOULD we care? I mean, on a personal level. Does it effect me, Gary Khoury, in my personal karate practice if the Okinawan's, Sensei X & Sensei Y or association 1 and association 2 do not "get along" ? Well, I guess that depends on your level of involvement in karate and your personal vision of what the "Uechi" experience should be like for you.
Me? I'm a little old school. I like to get involved. I like to see the Okinawns once a year. I like summer camp, tournys, exchange workouts, guest instructors and all the other organization activities that make us uniquely Uechi-ryu.
Do me a favor and click back to the Home Page and read my letter to the greater Uechi community there. Or, let me ask you this, instead:
You ever go to the Thompson Island summer camps? Did you visit the Nova Scotia camp in 1986? Meet Mr. Nakahodo when he was in the States with Mr. Inada and Takara last year? Have Jim Maloney visit your dojo for a seminar? See Uechi legend Bob Campbell in PERSON?!
If yes, you KNOW why you should "care" about Uechi/ShoHei politics. You should care because WE DON'T DO THESE THINGS ANYMORE! And those that we do garner, maybe, 1/10th the support they used to.
That doesn't bother you, Rick? Nothing to be concerned about regarding these FACTS?
Next week our our Uechi-ryu WORLD (HA HA HA HA HA HA HAH A HAHA HAHAHHAA HA AH A) Championships. Do you know how many competitors we will have there that day? That's right, exactly 1/10th as many as we used to get at Clarence Wilder's old New England Championships years ago.
Ooops, sorry. Did you ever attend one of those exciting tournaments, or did you miss those, too?
If, on the other hand, your answer to my question above is no, let me let you in on a little secret: You (collectively) can kid yourself into thinking that you're not missing out on anything. You can trick yourself into believing that "politics" don't matter in my training. But let me assure you my friend, YOU ARE and THEY DO!!!
What's at stake here? What are we missing out on? What is there to care about? Exposure to Okinawan & American Masters; comraderie between budoka; lifelong memories; valuable exchange, knowledge and experiences; the development of important relationships; the ability to learn and train with the world's best. . .The list is endless!
The Uechi-ryu karate world does not end at the doorstep of your dojo, Rick. Uechi-ryu has a LONG, PROUD tradition of exchange between dojos both here and overseas. Politics are keeping us from maintaining and honoring this tradition, and in doing so are: Hindering the progress of our students (and ourselves!); eating away at the relationships GEM, Canna-sensei and MANY others toiled to develop over DECADES; discouraging participation in regional, national and international Uechi events, and; destroying the fabric of the style each one of us has endeavored to preserve through our perseverance and hard practice!
No, Rick, I am not bothered by Tomoyose-sensei's "We are all brothers" comment. I know Mr. Tomoyose personally. I am bothered by the fact that he makes statements like this while HE SNUBS HIS OWN STUDENT (GEM)AND ROBS HARD WORKING KARATEKA (like me, you and others)IN NEW ENGLAND THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN AND TRAIN WITH HIM.
If Mr. Tomoyose truly believes this "we are all brothers" bull****, why isn't he here, Rick? If he really believes his own words, why does he make Hachidan Van Canna spend HUNDREDS of dollars to travel to Florida just to say Hi? If we are truly united, why doesn't he lay down the law, and get to Boston and talk to GEM and straighten out this mess and organize a summer or winter camp and send invitations to Uechi dojo to attend the All-Okinawan tourny and encourage more exchange and offer his time and expertise in the name of this "3-kata style" of karate called UECHI ryu?
Because it's BS, he knows it I know it and now YOU know it.
And we're ALL suffering because of it. You too, Rick.