A place to share ideas, concerns, questions, and thoughts about women and the martial arts.

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Postby Lori » Tue Mar 09, 1999 5:10 am

A warm welcome to forum participation Joan-san!

Very nice to hear from another female karateka -

Thank you for sharing your experiences - I appreciate your insight into the Uechi world as viewed from a woman with your background! It must have been wonderful to have worked with Kanei Sensei as one of the first American woman blackbelts in Okinawa - please tell us more!

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Postby Joan Neide » Tue Mar 09, 1999 7:36 pm

Anecdote "... a short, entertaining account of some happenings, usually personally or biographical."

Fall 1974: While studying in Okinawa under the tutelage of Mr. Uechi, Mr. Uechi became very conscious of his graying hair. During one workout he emerged from upstairs (home was located above the dojo)with his hair colored to dark black. No one made any comments and the workout began. Alas, as the heat built in the room and we all began to sweat, Mr. Uechi's hair began to "melt". He soon has streaks of black dye dripping down the side of his face onto his neck. The class just kept working out not daring to make a comment. After the class ended Mr. Uechi returned upstairs.

Next day his hair had returned to its natural gray.

Spring 1975: Mr. Uechi came down to the workout with his radio in hand. After plugging in his radio he turned on the Little League Baseball World Championships. That year Okinawa had a qualifying team. During one of the drills something exciting happen on the radio. Mr. Uechi turned to the radio and became totally enthralled with the baseball game and forgot about the workout. We kept drilling the same technique over and over again. Mr. Uechi had not told us to stop. Twenty minutes later at the end of the inning he remembered to tell us to stop. We finished the workout, but a little sorer than normal.

Thanks for letting me be a little nostalgic and sharing some pleasant memories.

Joan Neide
Joan Neide
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Postby Lori » Wed Mar 10, 1999 3:23 am


Thank you for the great stories! It is wonderful to have such a personal window into Kanei Sensei's dojo! Please feel free to get as nostalgic as you like! Your stories - as one of the pioneer women of Uechi-ryu, are a valuable part of our history and I appreciate your taking the time to share them with us!

Mentioned you to my sensei, John Bassett, and he remembers you from Howard Flynns dojo, and speaks very highly of you.

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Postby Van Canna » Wed Mar 10, 1999 4:30 am

Hi Joan ,

Delighted to see on board ! How are you ?

Hope you stick around ; you have so much to offer ! Will you be at camp this year ?

Best ,

Van Canna
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Van Canna
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Postby JohnC » Wed Mar 10, 1999 4:47 am


An interesting project might be to trace the early lineage of women karateka in Uechi-Ryu and Paingainoon in a formal way. See where and in what circumstances women were inspired to begin and "allowed" to learn. The occurances might be so slim that the project would need to be expanded to women who studied in MA in Fukien Province or Okinawa in sister styles(!) - White Crane, Wing Chun, Goju, etc. during the later 1800's and up through the era prior to WWII and American occupation of Okinawa.

It seems from a cursory view, that the pioneers were probably wives of teachers and learned more in privacy. I'm sure there could be some interesting life stories and quotes from those training in the very early years.

It would also be interesting to see if there was any noticeable differences between the Shushiwa/Chinese family allowances over Okinawan allowances for women in the dojo/kwoon.

Could be a nice historical piece that would add a curious and intriguing facet to karate folklore. A follow up would be pioneering Western women in the 50's 60's and 70's.

Just after posting this idea, I'm thinking there must already be several works along this line. Whaddya think?


[This message has been edited by JohnC (edited 03-09-99).]
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Postby David in Sacramento » Wed Mar 10, 1999 7:51 am

With Pride and Honor it feels good to say:

Thats my teacher!

Dave Shorey in Sacramento
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Postby miked » Thu Mar 11, 1999 5:40 am

Dear JOan,

A heart-felt welcome from another transplant to CA. I Left MA, in 88, to move to So. California and never looked back. Digging my car out of snowdrifts might have been great for practicing my sanchin stance but I preferred to practicing in a warm dojo than in freezing temps. Wouldn't you agree that those Easterners don't know what they're missing? Maybe we can convince some of them to come out and visit. Looking forward to training with you sometime soon.

All the best,

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Postby SandieB » Sun Mar 28, 1999 6:47 pm

Hello John C.,

I am so happy you should bring the topic of tracing female karateka lineage at this time. Both of my daughters have recently begun to ask questions such as did Mrs. Uechi study karate? What about Kanei-Sensei's daughters, did they? We need to remember the female student in the dojo, the world from their viewpoint, especially historically speaking, is male dominated. Can we begin to incorporate a little female empowerment somehow? Perhaps a round robin of top female Uechi-ryu students/instructors who could visit the dojos and give a small talk to our girls about the hows and whys of their entrance into martial arts? Our boys have magnificent role models, as do our girls, but I feel the girls need a little more exposure to all of the wonderful Women in our style. What do you think?

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