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
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 !