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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 1999 6:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 468
Location: Marlboro,MA US
The truth is always on the floor. What we need to do is just get together and work out. There are plenty or people who just wish to train and have fun, build those memories. The bull**** stops here, with you, with me. Rent a gym, put 100 students in there for a workout. No seminar, just work. Now when someone expresses and opinion you will know what that person is about. The next workout you will have 150 people training. Word will spread and you can change the course. We can't change things with the net, petitions etc. We change things on the floor....

just a thought.


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 1999 7:22 pm 
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Mike

The friend I speak of has his reasons for liking the status quo. Perhaps I see things differently - even his motives. But it isn't constructive to dwell on differences - they will always be there. In my mind, the diversity of points of view and approaches is the potential strength and NOT the downfall of an organization.

Tracy

I believe (and practice) the philosophy espoused by you and J.D. and others to just train and to visit others. This practice has great value. I find that even those who prefer the breakup are delighted to cross paths with others, even if only in the closet (so to speak).

To all

I think a multi-pronged approach is probably the best avenue, along with a healthy dose of realism. To use the analogy placed forth by Al, you can no more get some senior seniors to work together than you can get divorced parents to reunite in spite of the wishes of their children. But you CAN expect and even demand a minimum level of courtesy and respect from everyone - regardless of rank or position. The "how" is the hard part.

-- Bill


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 1999 8:03 pm 
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Gary sensei should be lauded for his straight thrust to the heart of the problem !

The answer ? There is no answer for the now ; not until all the seniors have passed on to that great new dojo in the sky to continue their stupid useless , demented bickering !

Then what are we left with ? Just a name and younger generations of high dans that really don't know what gives in isolation !

The only name that new generations should venerate is UECHI_RYU out of respect for the family regardless of present animosities !

The Shohei masters say they do not care or recognize current Uechi practitioners , both on Okinawa and in the World ! The American Shohei contingents rejoice in this cult like "superiority complex" , yet , as Gary points out they have no-one good enough to present a good showing at the Okinawa fighting championships ! And neither does the Uechi world for the moment ! Or does it !! Wait until you see Josh Wiseman , a third generation Bob Bethoney student , under the tutelage of John Sullivan sensei [ 1997 Uechi Champion - Brockton student ] in action at the upcoming tournament ; 6 foot 4 inches __ 220 lb of solid steel mindset machine ! And what of Roy Bedard and the formidable Jim DE Luca , Gary's Student ?? There are lots more great fighters , unknown , country wide whom Gary is endeavoring to bring together for the future ; that is the only answer much to your denial !

The younger high dans in Okinawa , after the old masters have passed away , will respect and bond with American Shohei/Uechi groups if we produce high caliber fighters who will give them a run for their money A la Gary Khoury style !

At our discussion at lunch with Gary And Tracy sensei yesterday , we are in agreement that this is the only thing which will bring the groups together in mutual respect ! Sheep in wolf's clothing be damned ! Don't just talk tough and argue superior knowledge ; get on the floor with the above guys and show us what the future of American Shohei/ Uechi really looks like !

Sign a petition ? Give me a break __forgetaboutit !


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Van Canna


[This message has been edited by Van Canna (edited 05-17-99).]

[This message has been edited by Van Canna (edited 05-17-99).]


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 1999 2:05 am 
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Jd san ,

Tommy-san reiterated that the OKK seniors, with the possible exception of one , would welcome any American soke representative without rancor !

I have no problem with visiting Okinawa except that in my experience most of the Americans who did visit have come back with an attitude and a superiority complex that made me want to puke ! Then they would visit my Sparring class at Mattson sensei dojo and could not show me anything other than a few kicks in the legs while getting slammed across the floor by " non Uechi techniques " among the cry "foul" ! I had some visiting TKD fighters in the dojo during those classes who were brown belts and yet would kick the s*** out the cocky new Oki shodan arrivals ! You cannot block kicks you don't see !

Also their being proud of how some of the Okinawans kicked their asses and 'tested' them so hard in sanchin made me think of them as victims , grist for the Okinawan mill….. They were so intimidated and so willing to play sheep , that the Okinawans must have been doubling up in laughter at the stupid foreigners while sipping sake at the evening parties !

To me that proves the dubious mentality of some of those " masters" , in particular the ones who enjoyed hurting Americans while standing still in sanchin with dangerous uncontrolled blows but would refuse a return treatment ! Master Kanei Uechi or Master Tomoyose never did that ; obviously they had nothing to prove !

The only people they had respect for were Bob Campbell , Art Rabesa , Bob Bethoney , Jim Maloney and Al Wharton because they knew they would not take any s** from them and that there would be a pay back time , i.e., Al Wharton Kicked one of their " Champions" so hard during the Okinawan tournament he was not able to continue the match !



Also , while I can understand the reluctance of some of The Okinawans in wanting to visit the US seniors in exchange for cultural reason , why don't they visit with their fighters to show us how tough they can be in full contact matches against the Americans ? I have in mind the yearly full knock out tournament hosted by my friend George Pesare in Rhode Island ! I'd be very impressed if some Okinawan champion or local American Shohei/Uechi Champion would take the crown like Bob Bethoney did one year ! But don't hold your breath !

The moral of this story is that the only way to get respect for us Americans , whether OKK or Soke or whatever organizations will continue to flourish in the years to come , is to show up in Okinawa with a strong American fighting team , and not to go down to kiss A*** and play dummy ; According to what Gary sensei recounts , some Americans are just as good if not better than their Okinawan brothers ; only you must believe !
Once you see Josh Wiseman in action you will know what I mean ! Wait until Gary puts together an elite American team ; then you will see a real change in attitude overseas ! And I am going to be right behind Gary in helping to materialize his dream !

You said < There is, also, a cultural pride one has to concede to Okinawa.
We learned the style from them and they may wonder about
traveling to the country of students--let us not forget the money
involved! >

Very true , and I respect that ! But let them travel not to work out in 'exchange ' but to fight against the Americans of different style persuasion !

Also why is it so difficult for an American fighter to score points in their tournaments ? But that's another story for Gary to tell if someday he should be so inclined !


------------------
Van Canna


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 1999 2:06 am 
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Posts: 2427
Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
VAN SENSEI, GARY, BILL SENSEI MIKE:

Thank you for listening friends. I've had my two cents to put in. No problem. No letter. No problem.

Water on my (-------) no problem.

Whatever I can do to help, I'll do.

JOHN T

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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 1999 5:14 am 
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Gentlemen

I am touched - deeply touched - by Gary's feelings and wishes. I am even more touched that Gary and others would be so bold as to publically state their frustrations. You have to realize that Gary understands the Asian mindset better than most (and better than many who claim to understand - but don't). To be as public as Gary has been, to be as bold as he has been in his feelings is either naive or too American or emotionally out of control or....very touching and very courageous.

I might add that there are a few lurkers (and I can name names) who are happy that the divisions exist. There are all kinds of people out there. There are many interests and many agendas. I wonder how many remember a thread that occured a few years back (when mine was the only forum on George's page) where I went toe-to-toe with a gentlman who stated he was GLAD that the Shohei group was being formed and expressed near contempt for "the other guys." We finished our debate with a rather interesting friendship. We both respect each other and we have since done favors for each other. But I believe this gentleman still feels the same way.

Fascinating....it is the Japanese who best understand the concept of a greater good and the idea of many with different agendas working for the good of the cause (it is called "wa" in Japanese). And yet these schisms usually start in Asia. And then the leaders come west to divide and conquer. Responsibilities are given. New ranks are awarded. People's futures get locked in concrete shoes (now there's an interesting metaphor). Before you know it, bridges are burned and it becomes difficult to return. And in Japan/Okinawa, forgiveness for words spoken and deeds done is not the same as what we westerners with our Judeo-Christian ethic might think.

I have heard some speak about the "death of the ryu". Basically there's only so much of this BS (and all the aftershocks and political battles and rank inflation aftermath) that can happen before some see the senseless nature of the traditional organizations. Good people with tremendous abilities and big followings outside the "inner circles" get shunned. Next thing you know, the meaning of the original style concept is lost, and the integrity of what many consider a "style" dissolves. Already we see a surge of "alphabet" organizations in the western hemisphere that are completely divorced of an official Asian link. And a few are doing just fine.

And it makes you wonder if that is what the original feuders meant to happen in the first place.

-- Bill


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 1999 5:35 am 
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Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Bill Sensei:

You points about the division overseas are strong ones.

The "Ryu" in part, may have died with Kanei O Sensei.

I personally cannot see myself (a nobody on Okinawa) convincing any senior over there to do anything. This is frustrating! this is why Gary Sensei is in part so frustrated.

(I think)

But perhaps we can try, I dunno.

JOHN T

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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 1999 5:49 am 
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Just to set the record straight.....

I SUPPORT GARY


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 1999 10:40 am 
Van,

The things we all discussed over lunch on Saturday should get started right away.

------------------
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: Tue May 18, 1999 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 989
Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
Allen,

What things were discussed. Let's bring them out in the open as well.

Van Canna Sensei & Jim,

There is something I do not understand, and perhaps it has to do with my lack of knowledge with the Okinawan culture. Why do we have to impress them with our fighting? To gain their respect, why do we have to be able to beat them in a competition fight? Are they not as equally impressed with good kata, bunkai, yakosku kumite as they are with jiyu kumite? I ask this not to be ignorant, but because I really don't know.

From a historical perspective, was Kanei Uechi Sensei and his father proficient fighters in their days? I have never heard their fighting theories or exploits. Would they tend to back the better kata or the better fighting?

I am certainly not backing away from jiyu kumite. Personally, I like sparring, and those who know me and have worked with me know that I am usually the first person to volunteer to spar (i.e. seminars, test boards, etc.). I just don't put the same emphasis on the sparring as some seem to do over kata.

Sensei, you have the history and the ties to Okinawa, can you answer these questions (and the many more that will arise with your answer? :-)

Yours in Budo,

Mike


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 1999 4:58 pm 
T. Rose just started a thread entitled "When you look back??" That was the main meat.

------------------
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: Wed May 19, 1999 2:56 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 405
Location: Tewksbury, MA USA
Mike-sensei:

NEVER sparring before kata! NEVER!

Kata is the foundation and basis of traditional karate. If you do not know or cannot perform our Uechi kata, irrespective of whether or not you can fight, you are a useless peice of s**t to me.

HOWEVER, if you can do the kata and you will not or cannot not fight, you are telling me something about yourself, too.

In regards to your earlier question, and in line with my "Why Fight" post, if it "comes down to it" with the Okinawans, we will not be doing dueling kata. We will be fighting and we will need to be prepared!

Respectfully,

Gary

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


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 1999 11:18 am 
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Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
To all,

Mattson sensei makes some great point, if not disturbing to me, about the current situation being based on money. If that is true, then that is exceptionally sad. If the problem is rooted in who gets the dollar in Okinawa, then does that mean that the most revered masters like Tomoyose sensei would come to Boston if we just paid him enough? Not that I am naive or anything, but if that is true that would certainly make me rethink my thoughts on the Okinawans (the seniors involoved of course and not the entire population). I hope, although I trust sensei Mattson's opinion, that this is not the case, because to split up such a wonderful style because of money...........? WOW!

Anyway, perhaps Van Canna Sensei or others in the know can answer the question concerning how Kanbun and Kanei Sensei regarded sparring and did they actually spar themselves (obviously not in competition, but in the dojo).

Yours in budo,

Mike


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 1999 3:20 pm 
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Mike:

Money had nothing to do with the tour being cancelled in Boston! And certainly Tomoyose sensei had nothing to do with the organizational decision to cancel.

Funny about Japanese group mindset. . . 20 people can meet in a room and one strong-willed individual can 'extract' a "concensus" from the group.

Unlike his father, Kanmei is a very strong willed individual who is totally responsible for SOKE, along with the good and very bad decisions made over the years. It has been my feeling that Mr. Takimiyagi pulls the strings in OKK and makes the decisions that result in many of the disasterous desisions made over the past ten years involving OKK.

There is no question in my mind that when the decision to form a new organization was made, power and money played an important role. As OKK member dojo became disenchanted and rejoined SOKE, much of the blame for this was placed on my doorstep.

The cancellation of the Boston tour was a strictly a personal action against me. . . money had nothing to do with it.

If we were talking about two corporations. . . Sony and Hitachi, we would evaluate what has happened during the past 10- 15 years much diffently than we do now. Many of you are shocked when I simply opened your minds to the realities of life. We treat the organizations we belong to like they were religions. And of course Religions aren't businesses, are they!!

Instead of blindly following your leaders, try to understand the underlying reasons for their decisions and actions. There is nothing wrong with paying dues, having a certificate fee, paying honorarium and travel expenses for visiting Okinawans. There is nothing wrong with our parent organizations functioning like a business. It is wrong though, when people hide behind the sanctity of their positions, while acting in a less than honorable manner.

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


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 Post subject: IMPORTANT!!
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 1999 5:51 am 
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Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
Thank you sensei for clearing that up a little.

See you on Saturday!

Yours in Budo,

Mike


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