Rengokai fiasco

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Rengokai fiasco

Postby RACastanet » Sun Mar 14, 1999 6:40 pm

Well, well. The afore-mentioned group of Okinawans is going to be in DC on May 12. That is less than two hours away from Richmond.
I had heard of this visit earlier and had circled the date on my calendar. What an opportunity, to be so close to the 'Masters'! Based on what has transpired, I believe that I will use that vacation day for July when I head up to Buzzards Bay. I just would not be comfortable around them. What a shame.

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Rengokai fiasco

Postby miked » Mon Mar 15, 1999 7:56 am

Other than Mark Brelsford's thoughtful post on this topic to Bill Glasheen's forum, reprinted in this forum, we have yet to hear an explanation concerning this decision from an offical Okikukai source. There may very well be valid and legitimate reasons for this decision, to which none of us are privy. Until such time as we learn of those reasons I would encourage all to reserve opinion in this matter. A "rush to judgment" serves no justice.

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Rengokai fiasco

Postby T Rose » Mon Mar 15, 1999 7:24 pm

I wonder if we had a unified American Uechi front for last twenty years how things would have turned out? I wonder if it is even possible. There will always be someone saying their Okinawan is bigger thans yours or I learned from such and such in Okinawa and he/she taught me special. Like Mark Brelsford, my door is open to all practitioners. I have never had a problem with any other practitioner who really wanted to train and have fun, all patches are welcome.

We in America have a knowlege base in our seniors that we have yet to mine. Buzz Durkin, Art Rabesa, Van Cann, Jim Maloney, Bob Cambell, Clarence Wilder, James Thompson, George Mattson, Walter Mattson, John Spencer.... just to name a few. Our next level of practioners is just as inspiring (and they all speak English as a plus).

I wonder what would happen if we Americans ever got our stuff wired right???
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Rengokai fiasco

Postby Cecil » Mon Mar 15, 1999 8:50 pm

"So who really loses here? Right - all the students who don't give a crap about the politics - but would really have liked the opportunity to "touch and see" the legends they have heard about all these years."

Don't lose heart Uechi-ryu stylists: you are not alone. I've seen the politics in my own style, where some students don't speak to teachers and some masters are mad at you if you've trained under a student s/he disfavors.

This is why on the one hand, I am annoyed at the guys who get one or two black belts in the same or different styles, then break away, declare their own system, and teach their students a hodge-podge of techniques. Then again, I TOTALLY understand why they do, because old habits die hard in organizations, and methods are held on to in the name of tradition whether or not they are still relevent; OR only a select few or favored nucleus of students are taught; OR a student gets overlooked and ends up becoming a master in his/her own right. If the "rebel" rebels because he really wants to push the art forward, hey! Great! If it's out of ego, then well, that's bad. I think the thing that scares me about the politics is that I fear that I may one day get fed up, break off, form my own style of an already fragmented style, and even though I mean well, contribute to the chaos! When will the madness end? Never. Not as long as there are people involved.

I still don't understand why there aren't more open tournaments where one style, say Judo, gets to compete with another style, say Karate-DO or Gungfu. For that matter, you can't even get different schools under the same system to have a peaceful tournament. All you'd have to do is allow the student to score a point by his/her system, or by a system listed in the tournament. I wonder if the fear really is that someone may have his students realize that their skills are ineffective against people who are not inside of their paradigm.


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Rengokai fiasco

Postby david » Tue Mar 16, 1999 1:32 am


Here's my "cop-out". I just train. I am just a student. I don't have a school. I don't expect to have one. I don't need to be sanctioned. I don't care about the rank. I don't need the rank. I just train.

Politics rack aikido. Must be at least ten different organizations/associations in the U.S., some with affiliations with "masters" back in Japan. Heads of the affiliations can barely stand each other. Some openly disdain the others. Whenever I go to another city, I train. I look up the dojos and visit them. If I like the training, the vibes, I keep going or go again on another visit. If I don't like the dojo, no big deal. I just don't go back.

FMA's have their politics too. Same thing. I train. I like the skills and attitude of a certain teacher, I go back. I don't. No big deal. I don't have to train with them.

In Uechi, I happen to like George sensei's classes. I continue to train when I can with him (and as long as he doesn't kick me out). I don't know the Okinawan "masters". Looks like I won't anytime soon. So what? I still train.

I just want to train with people I respect and who respect the fact that I want to train.

Life is too short for the other distractions.

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Rengokai fiasco

Postby gmattson » Tue Mar 16, 1999 1:50 pm

You have the true Budo spirit David. When entering the dojo, you leave all outside concerns at the door. All of us. . .Teachers and students alike, should work very hard to maintain the dojo's "Sacred Space". . .

Once teachers use the dojo to manipulate opinions, promote politics or malign personalities, the dojo becomes an extension of the outside world and loses it's "sacredness".

The dojo (and by extension dojo activities) must be absent of politics, open to all sincere and dedicated students and free of negative and defeatist thoughts.

On the other hand, we all can and should take an active role in the political process outside of the dojo. Only through the judicious exchange of information and intelligent pursuit of progressive goals will the martial arts continue to improve and will it's participants grow in a positive manner.

In this regard David, you are an excellent example of what I consider to be a true Martial Artist!

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