More gems from the GEM oldsite mailbag:
I am sending this email to you privately, concerning the recent "banter" on the Forum's. I have nothing to say about the recent issues specifically, although I believe that you're correct when you state that there's a lot of underlying baggage out there. When I have posted, I've tried always to look at principles and interpretations and not at personalities. I believe that you are trying to do the same thing. As I said when we first met in November, I think your web site is great. Just like Karate itself, it's a vehicle for self-expression. As some people practice Karate for self-expression in a negative way, some practice to help them understand themselves.
It's the same on the web. Some people will post negatively, just to hurt because it's easy to hide behind the keyboard. You can't control that; you only can be an example hoping that others will understand.
I believe you are doing this on your web site quite successfully.
When I first started studying Karate it was called Uechi-ryu. I was 12 years old and I didn't understand the beauty of the art. As I grew up, it eventually was called Okikukai then finally Shohei-ryu. It was still the same movements, same principles. When people "banter" and shut doors, it's the students that get hurt. It's not the people "bantering" that lose out. It's the student that loses out, the one that is sincerely interested in the way. I'm sure you understand better than anyone, you've been living this for the last 40 years.
I apologize for the rambling, but my point is I think you're doing a great job being fair and open, in addressing these issues. Even though I don't practice Uechi/Shohei-ryu anymore, my Hsing-I and Bagua definitely have its flavor. That's the way it should be, and I believe you'd agree with that.
Uechi/Shohei-ryu will always have a special place in my heart. One of my best memories in practicing Uechi/Shohei-ryu was when I attended the 1990 camp in Henniker, NH. It was great because there was actual strength in the little differences that each dojo brought to the camp.
This is what art is. I'd like to be involved in the camp this year, I'd like to give something back to the folks who study Uechi-ryu. I could possibly teach the Shan Xi version of Hsing-I's five element fists or the Single Palm change out of Sun Lu Tang's Bagua system.
Thanks for taking the time to read my email. Hopefully, we will see each other soon.
The following was sent to me by a Cyberdojo member. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. GEM
Then these two collections of sayings would be all I think I would need. CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE If a child lives with criticism, they learn to condemn. If a child lives with hostility, they learn to fight. If a child lives with ridicule, they learn to be shy. If a child lives with shame, they learn to feel guilty. If a child lives with tolerance, they learn to be patient. If a child lives with encouragement, they learn confidence. If a child lives with praise, they learn justice. If a child lives with security, they learn to have faith. If a child lives with approval, they learn to like themselves. If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, they learn to find love in the world. Shaolin Principle Learn the ways to preserve rather than destroy Avoid rather than check, check rather than hurt Hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill For all life is precious, nor can any be replaced.
I acquired these on a great site: Patrick McCarthy - International Ryukyu Karate É Ben
More wonderful examples of the real voice of uechi-ryu!