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 Post subject: Master Tomoyose
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 30372
A great sensei, but more important...a wonderful person and friend. I miss my time with him from the past.

Beautiful form and a grip you would not believe.

Last I saw him was during the Rengokai seminar in Florida some years back.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=558476007567265

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Van


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 Post subject: Re: Master Tomoyose
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17143
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
I've enjoyed my interactions with him, and felt honored to have him on one of my previous testing boards.

Like Jim Thompson, he has an enigmatic way of teaching. The helpful comments are brief and subtle, and he holds a lot back. You need to approach him with an empty cup and a curious mind to get what you came for.

A lot of my opinions of him were formed by the late Rad Smith - my first Uechi instructor - who had the pleasure of working with and seeing him many years back. Rad in fact told me that Mr. Tomoyose's comments were the reason George promoted him to shodan after an unusually short (but highly intense) training period in the old Cambridge and Hancock Street dojo. Apparently there was a mutual admiration thing going on. If you've met both, you would understand. Rad had some interesting stories to tell about "Tommy" and his physical exploits. David Finkelstein as well had much positive to say.

Good man!

See Mr. Tomoyose featured in this documentary from 3:30 to 5:15. The entire show in fact is very interesting.

..... Okinawan Longevity and Health

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Master Tomoyose
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 989
Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
Hi Sensei Bill,

Master Tomoyose is an incredible man/teacher. In the few short times I had the pleasure to work with him he never amazed me with his patience and openness, like a father to a son. I remember the first time I worked out with him, he asked me to demonstrate Sanseiryu for him. I can't tell you how honored and frightened I felt that I was asked, just one among many. Anyway, after performing a kata that I thought was so so, he simply looked at me and said, "Very good, I liked it very much." I can't tell you how distraught I felt at this. After working with many Okinawans and Japanese teachers, I got to learn that when they told you something was good, it usually meant that they didn't like it and were just brushing you off because you weren't worth correcting. I'm sure some understand what I'm saying here. However, after wallowing in a corner somewhere and trying to figure out why I wasted so many years in the martial arts, someone who had trained on Okinawa for many years (I'll leave his name out of this) asked me what was wrong. I told him and he started laughing. He told me that my thoughts on Okinawan instructors was basically true EXCEPT for Tomoyose Sensei. When he told you what you did was good, he meant it. I can't tell you how much better I felt and how proud I was to acknowledge what I do and teach was somewhat justified. It will always be a fond memory of mine that I will cherish!

Just thought I would share.

thanks and Happy New Year!

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Master Tomoyose
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 17143
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Good times, Mike!

I have a good one for you...

Around the time I was training and tested for my Nanadan, I was suffering from some tendonitis in both my shoulders. It was an overtraining thing... I was pushing too hard to look perfect for my test, and I overdid it. So anyhow... I did my kata during the Saturday night "test", and all was good. Later George had me do the Fuzhou Suparinpei for Mr. Tomoyose so he could see what I was working on. All seemed great.

The next Sunday, Mr. Tomoyose asked me to do a kata. I forget which... it was probably Seisan. So I did it for him and a large group. And then came this question from nowhere.

How old are you?

The question floored me. I was in the best of shape. I was buff... I was benching the most in my life, and squatting a respectable weight. There was nothing old about my external physical appearance.

And then it hit me. Dana Sheets had come up to me the night before and commented that my strikes were a little low. Dana is my good friend, and she has permission to tell me exactly what she thinks - even if it's brutal. Low strikes... asking about my age...

No, I didn't have osteoarthritis in my shoulders. But my overtraining was making me look like it.

I subsequently went on an aggressive rehab program for both my shoulders to rid myself of the bothersome tendonitis. The left one in particular was bugging me from a rotator cuff tear I experienced decades ago. Since then, his comment and Dana's have helped me train smarter, and I'm aging more gracefully because of it.

Yes, Mr. Tomoyose has an enigmatic way of teaching. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. :-)

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Master Tomoyose
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:39 am
Posts: 20
His father seems to have been a fascinating character.


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