I just learned that Joe Lewis will be attending and teaching at SummerFest this year!
What can I say about Sensei Lewis. He is a living legend, a title he richly deserves. Joe is looking forward to teaching a couple of seminars on Saturday and Sunday and spending some time under the tent, talking about the "good old days" and his experiences with Bruce Lee and other martial art legends.
Also Tsukasa Higa, Renshi, will also be with us the whole weekend. What an impressive martial artist he is. I received this email (edited) from Sensei Higa today:
Dear Mr. Mattson,
It was real nice to talk to you yesterday (July 15, 2004). To my surprise one of my students, Mike Shelby, was corresponding with you on July and previous month in Uechi mail bag. My family and referenced deshi (or student) Mike have just returned from Tampa, Clearwater, and Miami yesterday from training/vacation. Of course, one of the reasons to take a long trip was to train/introduce my new student to my sensei Nakamatsu of Kitanakagusuku Dojo, Okinawa. He was my sensei for 9 years in Okinawa from 1989 to 1998. Presently I hold 6 Dan in Sho-Hei-Ryu and 2 Dan in Okinawa Kobudo Fukushin Hozon Kyokkai (mouthful, in other words, Okinawan Kobudo preservation and promotion Association (Still mouthful!)).
I trained with now deceased sensei Toshiyuki Itokazu (amicably called Toshi) from 1980 to 1985 in Tampa Fl. I continued to train under Sensei Nakamatsu, Kitanakagusuku (again mouthful!) dojo from 1989~1998 in Okinawa. Sensei Nakamatsu is still my sensei at present.
In my teenage era, I trained under sensei Nakazato of Sho-Rin-Ji Kempo and held 2nd degree; Judo -2 years-1st degree black belt; Aikido-3 years and Tai-Chi-Quan in Okinawa for 1 year. Aikido and Tai-Chi-Quan did not have a belt system.
I have performed numerous demonstrations with my students and Sensei Toshi as a student at the Strawberry Festival in Fl., USAF, Okinawa Association of New York and Washington. Last year, I donated my time for Nestor Folta's 20/50 Cerebration seminar on Columbus Day (Oct 12, 2003) in Virginia. In 20/50 Celebration, I introduced Kobudo and the History of Uechi-Ryu. If you wish to utilize me to introduce Kobudo or the History of Uechi-ryu, I can be at your service.
My strong point is --I can read and write Japanese and understand Okinawan dialect. Thus, I can explain Chinese characters for true meaning of the Chinese characters, for example, Bu-Shi-Do (Code of Samurai);It-Ken-It-shin (one fist ; one heart): Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan (Fu (wind ; move like a wind): Rin (forest; Calm as forest): Ka (Fire; Attack like a fire): Zan (mountain; Defend like a mountain), etc. Moreover, I can explain how our 8 katas name were derived; for example, San-chin, Kan-Shi-Way, Kasha, Sheikh, Season, Kanchin, and Sansei-ryu were derived from Sho-Shi-Wa and Uechi Kanbun names.
I also would like to share with you on one chapter of my translation, the Uechi History which was written 10 years ago by Sensei Takamiyagi. When I arrive MA, the rest of five chapters will be handed to you. Also I would like to share the content of the Uechi-Ryu Bible (Published 1977 yes, the thick book!) and an introduction to Okinawan Traditional Karate (Published 1997). Attach is also my updated and un-updated resume and my dojo manual for your information. The above packages will be forwarded to you within a few days.
I would be much honored to be with your SummerFest days. Sincerely,
Tsukasa (Scott) Higa PE July 21 2004