Sunset of the tigers

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Sunset of the tigers

Postby Van Canna » Fri Feb 26, 1999 2:50 am

Date: Sun, Feb 22, 1998 at 20:20:57 (EST)
Poster: Van Canna <##>
To: Everyone
Subject: Sunset of the tigers
When I was a young shodan in my brand new dojo , I used to do meditation exercises
sitting on the floor of my empty dojo facing the inspirational photos of our beloved masters ,
kanbun Uechi and his son Kanei Uechi! I also treasured the photo of sensei Ryuyu
Tomoyose next to Kanbun and Kanei taken in Japan around 1940! My meditation consisted
of looking at the photos and imagining myself back in time as a shadow in the same
footsteps of these charismatic figures , living in my mind’s eye, their adventures, their
methods of training , their dojos and the pains and joys of their lives often wondering how
they coped with destiny! In his post, Mike relates the experience of awakening feelings upon
gazing on the two Masters!! Deep in my reverie , and totally immersed in the
physiognomies of Kanbun and kanei , I would , most often than not , be struck by those
noble features, all at the same time, exuding fierceness ,resolve , compassion and
sadness!! The eyes would seem to tell the stories of a thousand years in their look of
melancholia ! During the late 60’s sensei Tomoyose’s long visit to the US, I was lucky to
have been able to spend much personal time with him both at my dojo and on a social
basis!! I came to worship him not only because of his tremendous teaching ability and
physical prowess[ he had the strongest, deadliest, so called tiger’s teeth: Shoken, Hiraken,
nukite and Sokusen [toe kick]], but because of his humble and benevolent make up, along
with a great gift of sharing introspective,personal and emotional feelings! As to the "tigers
teeth" he would say that both Kanbun and Kanei were fearsome in their development ;
Kanbun, especially, would practice by squatting and jumping on his toes and could shatter a
stone with a well placed sokusen!! Something else he told me I still carry locked in my heart
: On his death bed , Master Kanbun Uechi, just before he gave up his ghost, rose to the
floor with superhuman effort, assumed a sanchin stance, and screamed "NO, NOT ME ,
NOT NOW" and then collapsed!! His fighting spirit would not let him welcome death, what
he did in his last moments was to "PUNCH DEATH IN THE THROAT UNTIL IT DRAGGED
HIM AWAY" My deepest respects to the family,

Van Canna
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