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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 1999 6:17 pm 
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Posts: 670
Gary, sh** really does flow down hill. You are absoutely right about bring the question to the highest levels of all the groups. Teachers here in the states are following the lead of their Okinawan masters and the politics continues. (If you don't believe me, don't hold your breath waiting for a reply to your snail mail.. and I thnk you know what I mean) My latest understanding is that two "Uechi" groups in Okinawa have gotten together as far back as October. (This is second hand info BTW)

Now, who is left to open the door to unification or (whatever term one would apply)?? It's no one on this forum as best I can tell.

I don't give a bleep what patch I wear. Where I train has to do with geography, convienience, and being with a respected teacher of UECHI-RYU. I contacted George and Mike M. before finding a Uechi/Shohei dojo near home.

It went something like this.

Teacher," We call it ShoHei Ryu here now."

Returning Student," Do you still do Sanchin?

Teacher, " Yes"

Returning Student, "Here's my tuition"

VTY

Kevin


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 1999 6:43 pm 
A very serious question that does constantly role around the edges of many discussions on these forums. Topics that seem to have no connection to politics often have them creep in. Oddly it seems that many are willing to visit other association dojos or have others visit theirs. There are stories of cross association workouts, and testing boards. So crossing associations does not have to be an issue.

On another forum JD posted this comment:

"I remember a comment at my very first meeting with Sensei Tomoyose in which one uechi-ka (SOKE) said to Sensei - "I'm sorry - I don't have the right patch!" and Sensei replied "The patch does not matter at all! We are ALL brothers in karate."

Clearly this is his view as he welcomed all who came to the workouts and has made clear overtures to Sensei Mattson even though the association he is connected to pulled out of the Boston workout.

So if, for the most part, this is a common view then just what is the problem that has to be solved. If we do not identify it then no one will be able to solve it. Certainly not us. What stops an association from working with another? Yes there may be a "power" issue but that should only keep them separate, it should not keep them from co-operating (although the people working towards getting karate into the Olympics might just disagree there).

If we look in our own backyard, what stops one dojo from working out with another? One person dislikes another. The fact that they are of another association may only be a side point. They just don't like that person so they cut off contact with him and anyone connected to him. This is true here in North America.

So if we are going to tackle this issue we must approach it honestly. Just what is the issue? I cannot say I have any knowledge of what underlies the issue, but from an outside perspective it seems clear that many of the political problems arise from issues the Seniors in Okinawa have with Uechi Kanmae Sensei.

Don't know what they are. These are probably very personal issues and therefore none of my business. I do not care to know any details. No disrespect intended to the Seniors of ALL associations. Just stating what I see from a distance.

However, everyone calls for the Uechi world to be nice and get along, but it doesn't happen. So if we are indeed to look at this very tough issue, that is so sensitive to approach, then we must look at the root of the problem.

If I am incorrect in my evaluation then please join in the discussion and identify what must be solved.

Assigning BLAME will NOT solve the problem.

The Masters tour should have come to Boston. Uechi Karateka should have filled the other seminars. But neither happened. When we read the posts of those would had the pleasure and honour of working with Tomoyose Sensei we can only shake our heads over such a lost opportunity. It should never happen again.

I applaud Gary for posting this tough question. I repeat his ending comment:

"READ THIS AGAIN! Ask yourself the same question! Not just of Mr. Tomoyose, but of other high-ranking "Uechi" masters too. Ask this also of our own Mr. Uechi. Ask it of yourself!"

Rick

P.S. Going away for the weekend, hope I still am allowed access on Sunday night.


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 1999 10:14 pm 
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Posts: 405
Location: Tewksbury, MA USA
This is the second time that I have read this:

On another forum JD posted this comment:

"I remember a comment at my very first meeting with Sensei Tomoyose in which one uechi-ka (SOKE) said to Sensei - "I'm sorry, I don't have the right patch!" and Sensei replied "The patch does not matter at all! We are ALL brothers in karate."

WHY DOES THIS MAKE SENSE TO ANYONE?! WHY ARE YOU BUYING THIS "BILL OF GOODS"?

I swear to God, it's like being told by a sales person that the old Pinto is a good, solid car while its manufacturer is making recalls and discontinuing future production!

What is wrong here? Why the mixed message? Why fiddle with Uechi-ryu? Why add/delete/change kata, kumites, bunkai?

If we are all truly brothers, why can't we "work things out"? What is standing in our way? IS anything standing in our way? Is it us or is it them? Who's in charge here anyway?

What can we do? What CAN'T we do? Can we make a whole new organization and start fresh? Can we demand that Okinawan seniors return to their "roots" instead?

I ask, not because I know the answers to these questions, but because I WANT TO KNOW!!

Please help! Everyone -- Lurkers, too!

This is too important to ignore! Keep thinking! Keep posting! And, as always,

Keep training!

Gary

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


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 1999 1:42 am 
We are ALL children of Uechi-ryu with out greatest ancestor being Kanbun Uechi.

Children are often torn inside by the divorce of their parents, and often wish for them to join together and guide us as one. Some of us may be hurt deeply by the trauma, but if there are irreconcilable differences then we have to live with the way things are and go forward.

But you won’t live with these differences, therefore your task ahead will be a difficult one.

One possible starting place for you to look for a solution to Okinawan unity is to make it so everyone has to want it, then let those at the top know it. Small voice, no results; big voice, results.

------------------
Allen - [email]uechi@ici.net">uechi@ici.net</A> - <A HREF="http://www.uechi-ryu.org[/email]


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 1999 4:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 159
Location: Valrico, Florida, USA
I truely don't understand this thread...the larger conceptual thread, not just this handfull of messages.

Why should I care? As long as I can learn a good, solid, practical, useful form...what difference does it make what it's called, or why? (I can see, for those who want to teach...the need for legitimization...but for the rest of us????)

Kevin said, "I don't give a bleep what patch I wear."

Patch? What patch? (rhetorical)
oh well...

It seems that Gary did not care for Sensei Tomoyose's comment, "We are ALL brothers in karate."
I don't have a problem with it...if it's taken and applied in context...as I understand it he was talking to a man who was Uechi "rooted" and just happened to be apart of a different business organization.
For me this is akin to being in a foreign country and meeting another English/American speeking individual...I'm not about to walk away from him just because he's a computer programmer for Sun, while I'm a computer programmer for Microsoft.
(for the record, I'm not affiliated with either...I'm just making a point)

Like I said in the beginning...
I truely don't understand this thread...
Why should I care?
(If I should care then I deserve to know why.)


[This message has been edited by RickLiebespach (edited 05-14-99).]


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 1999 5:20 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 405
Location: Tewksbury, MA USA
There is a sub-topic circulating on this Forum (and, indeed, throughout the Uechi world) that everyone is aware of, yet no one wants to tackle head on: POLITICS.

First, I have to apologize because to illuminate my topic today, I must use a concise, to-the point question that is not my own. I do this without the consent of the author of this question, and therefore ask him and/or the Forum administrator to "lock" this post if I have overstepped my bounds.

This question demands serious consideration. It is a real issue and should be addressed with respect, deep interest and some concern.

I am not beating anyone's political drum here. Having lived and trained in Okinawa; having studied both under Mr. Nakahodo and Mr. Uechi; having visited numerous dojo and developed many lasting relationships throughout the US and Japan, my practice of Uechi-ryu is essentially "non-denominational".

That said, let me shut up and put Michael Murphy's poignant post here (again) for your review. Michael writes:

I don't mean to say anything to offend anyone, and anyone who knows me, knows that I hate the political BS to no end, however, I have to ask this question in lieu of Tomoyose's visit to the states. Why hasn't a man of his reputation and place in Uechi history put an end to all this bickering? Couldn't he stop it if he wanted to? I would think (without having ever met the man) he would possess the clout to do something. Anyway, sorry to sound negative, I'm just curious.

Yours in budo,

mike

READ THIS AGAIN! Ask yourself the same question! Not just of Mr. Tomoyose, but of other high-ranking "Uechi" masters too. Ask this also of our own Mr. Uechi. Ask it of yourself!

Looking forward to your replies.

Gary

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


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 1999 12:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 405
Location: Tewksbury, MA USA
Dear Rick:

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?!

Yes? No?

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.

Gary


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 1999 1:55 am 
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Posts: 989
Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
Gary-san,

What you say is extremely revealing and blunt. I don't know what to make of it. I asked my question in the truest sense of curiosity having no ties to Okinawa other than my association to Kanmei Uechi and his family. I know no other Okinawan, and only interested in working budo through Uechi-ryu karate-do. I also know that no one wants to talk about this issue. Perhaps it hurts people or simply a sore spot with some, but people want to know why!

That's where people like you come into this; people who have trained and lived in Okinawa and know these people personally. It is a shame, however, that others shy away from the topic, and what can be done to solve it if possible. Is there such a solution out there? Is Nakahodo sensei or Uechi sensei holding out for some concession from the other? I don't know, but I would like to find out. I'm also saddened by Tomoyose's comments and lack of concern for the Boston area's missing of the seminar. Don't they know how many people up hear care and would love to work with him if only for an hour or two. I know I am one of those.

As for Rick's comments of "Why should I care?" No offense Rick, but that is a sad comment. I know, for training purposes that you probably don't care who you train with so long as they are good and they care about helping you get better, but this is your style. You should care that it has been split apart and a lot of good knowledge is now unavailable to many people for no reason other than the patch they wear on their gi. I find that disturbing, but I care. I would like to see the division made whole again before I hang up the old belt. It's the right thing to do.

I'm with Gary here, come forth and make a difference in whatever way you can. It's good to see someone try and make a difference and not just be accepting of the status quo. Do not get discouraged Gary, you have a lot of people out there vocal or not who are wishing you luck in this endeavor. Don't let them down.

Yours in Budo,

Mike


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 1999 6:06 am 
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Location: Valrico, Florida, USA
Gary,
I've never been to anything larger than class. I've only been in MA since January (I don't count my 3 months of TKD 20 years ago). Only once, this year, have we had a guest instructor, Frank Gorman. (I'm in the Tampa area of Florida....I can hear the groans already....) That was a good experience. :-) Sensei Gorman is a good teacher.

I have not gotten to any of those gatherings you've mentioned. Partly because I've been ignorant of them and partly because of time/money/family/business. I've not heard of anything in the Florida area that has occured at a time when I wasn't otherwise commited. I do look forward to going to some, but it hasn't worked out yet.

I have interacted with some others outside our dojo, but only thru the internet so far. I place no barriers except those placed by others against me. Sometimes that comes in the form of their believing that they can't fellowship with me...other times the person proves they weren't worthy of trust and friendship...but everyone starts out with a open hand of fellowship.
You say, "In either case, you must be an exceptionally happy guy." That's a fair statement. That's not to say I walk thru this world with rose colored glasses. Being a christian, I of all people should be aware that this world is not always nice, (There are 2 basic world views: 1. people are basically good with a proclivity for evil; 2. people are basically evil with a proclivity for good. I accept #2), but I try not to filter out people until they show me that they should be filtered out.

"That understood, your question is still a good one." - Thank you. I try. :-)

I've read a number of your postings and know the same is true of you. This posting was enegetic and eye-opening. And to an extent, I needed that. If you had no passion then you would be missing one third of your growth. I agree, we must fight for unity. For people to cast each other aside is wrong, harmful and foolish...and if the guys in O can't see that then maybe they too are missing a third of their growth.<SMALL> (gee. maybe I should have posted that anon. is it too late? I guess once I get beliefs, then I'm kind of oppinionated with them...I guess I need to be careful in that respect...It's easy to hurt people...healing is much harder.)</SMALL>

In answer to your questions.....("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?! ")....

No. I've not had much chance since I've only been "here" for 4 months.

You said, "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.....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! "

I was unaware of all this. A good man and teacher has said that once you see truth, you can't unsee truth. That applies to me in this area now. I agree that politics are eating away at relationships. By their very definition they must...but that doesn't make it right. I know of no reason why our unity should not be restored. I can understand how some could question the way leadership went when Kanbun died. It would have helped if someone had laid down the rules for succession. Did they? For a white belt like myself, good instruction is easy to find. But I can understand how a high ranking belt would have a hard time taking non-administrative direction from a belt lower than himself....and I'm sure there's more to it than that. But if not, then they missed a chance to make it work. But they (collective, both sides), could still make it work...

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.

I agree.


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 1999 6:11 pm 
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Location: Valrico, Florida, USA
Mike,

My comment of "Why should I care?", comes from an attitude of...'Politics' within Uechi (I'm using the term genericly to apply to all Uechi rooted systems), is a lousy reason for divison. I don't believe it should divide us and I will treat it as a concept not worthy of my respect...in hopes that those who use it to cause division will see my example of unity, and grow up.

Being just a nubie, I have been unaware of the things you guys just shared. These things should not be sacreficed.

I join you in saying that "I would like to see the division made whole again before I hang up the old belt. It's the right thing to do."

Thank you for your encouragement to "come forth and make a difference". I will continue to grow and look forward to meeting all of you some day...preferably at a unified gathering.

Rick Liebespach


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 1999 6:32 pm 
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Posts: 2425
Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Gary San:

I posted "an" answer on another forum to your question.

I haven't actually found your response. Maybe it's there, and I missed it.

I really respectfully request the honor of a response from you to this question:

What can I, John T., do to help resolve these political differences?

I was at the '83, '84, '90, '94 camps and worked a bit with Sensei Cambell at the '84 camp. This is not to blow my own horn, but to respond to the questions. Nobody is perfect.

Frankly, if "we" can't come up with a "plan" to assist "unification" then we're just blowing smoke and making more "aggravation and discontent". You can't actually get people to re-unify by telling them they are "(pick word-your choice)".

Want to write a letter to Okinawa? I'll sign it. Want me to attend your seminars? Sure-sorry to miss this round. Want me to visit Soke dojos? Sure. Want me to sit down with a group to discuss the matter? Sure. (That's assuming you can even find a group that knows or cares what I feel or who I am!!!!)


Please-a plan, I beg you.

JOHN T

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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 1999 2:45 am 
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Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
Rick-san,

It is was good to see your post to Gary's and my reply. You do make a difference, whether you are a "nubie" or an old timer. It is my belief that if the people who carry on this feud (whether they be Okinawan or not)see their students' desire to patch the differences, the more they will be forced to do the right thing.

This may be harsh, but maybe it's simply time to stop listening to people, be they your sensei or not, who tell you to stay away from a certain group because their sensei told them to stay away from it. Who knows.

Bottom line, this is not budo in any shape or form. The Okinwans are not exclusive in their ownership of this word, because from this example they are not adhering to its meaning. That means it is up to us to remind them what it is all about, be it subtle or bluntly. ****** it up and patch up the difference. Unification is power; the power to expand our knowledge of the world of Uechi and budo.

John-san,

What can you do? I hope you don't mind me chirping in a few suggestions?.?. Be a part of the solution and make it happen. You and I John come from the same background. We both know what control freaks and power mongers can do to the general population. We both found a solution to this problem and came out better for it. You are with the Shohei group and have some insight to what they know. What do they want? What's their beef and why? Let's put it out on the table and tackle it one problem at a time. Maybe all this needs is a few people who are not taking sides and are willing to sit down and talk to come up with a viable plan of action. It's better than the other option. And for me, I've long since stopped living other people's grudges; it's time for people to make up their own mind.

Yours in budo,

Mike


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 1999 1:26 pm 
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Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Mike San;

Thank you for responding. I hope Gary San (or Sensei in both cases if decorum is proper) will also respond.

The Shohei-ryu group on this side of the pond, honestly, doesn't want anything in the sense that they don't seem to talk about "reunification" much. FRom that I deduce that they do not feel it's is possible.

I am not going to put a great deal of personal feelings on this public forum, because I am sure they will be misunderstood.

I suggest a meeting.

There were things (allegedley) said overseas ALLEGEDLY that certain parties were loath to accept.

If I am ever privy to exactly what was said, I will pass it along in private.

I suggest a group letter.

Maybe everyone will not sign it. Excuse me, may not everyone will wish to sign it.

Gary is quite correct in that resolving this is IMPORTANT.

I am frustrated, but my frustration is calloused over, his is not. That's a good thing.

JOHN T


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 1999 6:10 pm 
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John, JD, and Bill,

The question still remains. What is the problem? You can't fix the problem if you don't know what it is. Who can tell us? And even if it is an Okinawan problem that won't be resolved because of culture quirks, then why can't we try to resolve what we can here in the states. Who knows, perhaps pressure from the states would be enough to sway a few minds over in Okinawa. At least make them think a little.

Bill-sensei,

You are right and I've said it before. The longer this goes on the more difficult it will become to resolve the issue. As for your friend who likes the idea of the division....what can I say. This person obviously doesn't understand the nature of things. What advantages does he think he attained? I can think of a dozen disadvantages right off the top of my head. Too bad.

I still would like answers to the questions. Will a petition work? It could work either way in my opinion, but it's worth a try.

yours in budo,

mike


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 1999 6:30 pm 
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Posts: 148
Location: Boca Raton, FL
I posted this on Canna sensei's forum in response to his comments about Tomoyose sensei's visit. I think it is also appropriate here:

Van,

I know I missed out on a truly remarkable event, one that may not be repeated for some time, if ever. Personally, I took no affront from your remark. I am sure that every Florida uechi/shohei/etc-ka had a reasonable excuse for not attending (prior commitments, didn't know, to far to drive, etc, etc).

But maybe it also pointed out how difficult it is to truly bury the hatchet and get on with life. The political **** in uechiworld seems to have a life of its own that continues to be handed down from (some)
teachers to student, just like our beloved kata.

Can we small fry settle this? I truly doubt it unless all the senior-senior-seniors are dead and buried and we get truly fed up with
all the bull****. No, all you SSS's (Okinawan, American, whatever) need to get together and iron out whatever perceived differences there are, eliminate the egos (a difficult task at best) and JUST SHUT UP AND
TRAIN!

No disrespect intended to you.


Count me in with Gary on this.

Moe Mensale


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