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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 1999 8:03 pm 
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Lori-san,

Just a quick note to thank you (& Tony) for sharing your experience & insights with Sensei Tomoyose. It was the next best thing to being there (almost Image !)

I, too, have a fond memory when Sensei Tomoyose visited Sensei Thompson's Summer Camp in '91 (I think) ... he watched me do Sanchin and then held my arms and looked me in the eyes and said "Don't want it so bad!" Kind of sums up my life's journey.

Thanks again... Jackie


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 1999 10:30 pm 
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Lori,

Thanks to you and Anthony for posting your reminiscence of the meeting with Tomoyose Sensei.

For those of us who weren't there it's an inspiration.

Hoping to meet you at summer camp.

Best wishes,

David


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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 1999 4:34 am 
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Posts: 875
J.D.-san:
So true on the politics. Granted - I've only worked with Tomoyose Sensei one single day - but that day has enriched my study and my love for this art I've chosen to study - if this art is to continue - we must find a way to cut through the political BS and focus on the fundamentals - as Tomoyose sensei did in his seminar. He did not have an "agenda" - he expressed nothing but love for karate and for the students - all the students of uechi-ryu - the patch made no difference to him - why should it be so important to us? Maybe we should all give up wearing the stupid patch anyway. We can only conjecture as to the political intrigue behind where when and how this whole Rengokai tour was conceived, developed and implemented - and that is what it will remain - conjecture. The reality of the tour is simply this - an opportunity to visit and work with a true Uechi-ryu icon - and a fine one at that - one with a warm welcome and sincere love for his art - that was very apparent during his seminar. I believe that your autograph is very appropriate to the situation today - even politically - It is all in the mind! and will become what we choose to emphasize.

Jackie and David-sans:
You are quite welcome! I'm happy that these forums provide a place for sharing such experiences - we can all be enriched by these precious gems in our training - kind of brings the focus back down to basics. I also look forward to meeting both of you at camp.

Just a side note on the emphasis placed by Tomoyose sensei on the "big three" - he did not say that the other kata were worthless or unimportant - he did stress that when those kata were appropriate to our level of training - we should put all we can into them - but not to emphasize the fact that the more kata we knew the better off we would be. His point was that the entire system could be found in the three majors - and there was no need to spend a bunch of time learning many kata on a superficial basis - more important was to focus on the few that encompassed the system - as they alone will take a lifetime to master! After watching Tomoyose Sensei perform sanchin - I have to agree that I need at least a lifetime to approach that type of understanding of sanchin myself!

Peace,
Lori


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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 1999 5:07 am 
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This past mother's day will always be memorable for me. I had the incredible fortune to participate in a seminar by Sensei Tomoyose - as part of the Rengokai Tour.

Upon entering the facility where the seminars were being held - I came upon Sensei Tomoyose and Sensei Canna engaged in a warm reunion - Sensei Canna introduced me to Sensei Tomoyose and I was very warmly greeted with a big smile as he clasped my hand with kind words of welcome. To say that I was somewhat overcome is an understatement. I only hope I didn't stutter.

Sensei Tomoyose did not teach the first of the two morning sessions - Senseis Tomoyose and Canna caught up - while others of us huddled on the periphery scarcely believing our luck to be able to witness such an exchange.

During the second session - Sensei Tomoyose spent the majority of the time on sanchin. He also took the time to give some personal anecdotes about Uechi-ryu and the development of the style - the part his father played in enticing Kanbun Sensei to resume teaching - and what makes our style so unique and special among the other Okinawan styles. We had a mixture of students who were Uechi and non-uechi - so, after a description on the importance of sanchin - he actually DEMONSTRATED sanchin - (it was BEAUTIFUL!) and proceeded to instruct the non-uechi people in the fundamentals - he explained that they were incredibly fortunate to get so much information in one day - as sanchin was originally taught for 10 years! For us Uechi-ka - we did three sanchins - he watched us individually - did some checks and made some suggestions and minor corrections - it was quite an experience. He also told us that he has been taught to do ONLY three sanchins a day. No more.

In between working with the non-uechi students and us - he also taught kotikitae - (reference the conditioning thread for his comments) - and like I mentioned before - I actually got to kotikitae with Sensei - I hope the picture comes out!

Sensei also allowed time for questions - and there were the usual questions about technique and certain specifics of kata - he did show some of the "older" ways of doing some parts of the katas - including opening moves from sanseiryu followed by a shoken - all in one piece - as one move - so incredibly fluid and beautiful - I really wish I had it on tape - but I will certainly cherish the memory. Then there were a few other questions - one of mine was about the women of uechi-ryu - especially in the early days. I also wanted to know if he had heard anything from Kanbun Sensei relating to why women should or should not study - I had read somewhere that Kanbun sensei had mentioned that sanchin study was not good for women of child-bearing age. Sensei told us that there were very few women in uechi-ryu - and none in the original days - not because they weren't capable he said - the benefits to women of this type of study are many - especially to those of childbearing age! It was only that in those days - neither Kanbun Sensei or his father probably even considered that a woman would want to study such an art - women were of a much different mindset in those days. Even now there are relatively few women who study seriously - but he feels that uechi-ryu, although a very difficult and demanding style - has many benefits for women as well as men - and he is happy to see women studying uechi-ryu.

I was the only female uechi-ka at the Rengokai unfortunately! Where are all you women?

There is so much still milling around in my head from the seminar - as I remember them I'll try and put down a few more thoughts here. For now I will just remark that Sensei Tomoyose was not only incredible to watch demonstrate and teach - he was also a very warm and friendly soul - with a big smile, a sense of humor - and unending patience and attention for every single person that approached him. There was absolutely no sense of aloofness that I have witnessed in other very senior senior seniors - he took an equal amount of time with every single individual - tirelessly posing for picture after picture - signing autograph after autograph - taking extra time to put the calligraphy on the back that said "The secrets of karate are revealed in the hard working" and not only did he do that - but he took the time to explain the meaning to each person - he must have done that dozens and dozens of times - and I don't think one person felt rushed - he had a way of making each one of us feel that he had all the time in the world for us. And all this in the face of an extremely demanding schedule - (they were in Atlanta the day before - and were leaving the next morning for the next stop) and at the mercy of the organizers of the event as far as their rest and relaxation was concerned - of which I don't think they got much! It didn't seem as if the red carpet had really been rolled out for them. The overture made by the Okinawans to submit to such a demanding promotional tour and to project souch a friendly attitude and willingness to teach seems to me to be very warm - I know there have been a lot of politics with this Rengokai thing - and frankly I have no understanding of what is really going on behind the scenes - but from what I witnessed - these senseis are doing this out of a sense of duty and a sincere desire to build some bridges between Okinawa and the U.S. - the politics seem to lie with the organizers - NOT the senseis. At least not from what I could see. I remember a comment at my very first meeting with Sensei Tomoyose in which one uechi-ka (SOKE) said to Sensei - "I'm sorry - I don't have the right patch!" and Sensei replied "The patch does not matter at all! We are ALL brothers in karate!" Now if Tomoyose sensei can say that - why can't more of us?

One final comment on this post - A comment that Tomoyse sensei made about our style and the study of karate: He said that in Okinawa they have a saying - and it was very important to our study of Uechi-ryu. The saying is "Good crop - head down. Bad crop - head up." So he admonished us to keep our heads down. Do not concern ourselves with learning kata after kata after kata - there is so much to be revealed in our three major kata it will take a lifetime to learn. He said if your kata right now is seichin - then do seichin - over and over - slowly - with care and precision - then as fast as you can - you will discover many "treasures" within. Once learning the kata of our sytem - concentrate on the three main kata - the other five were designed for demonstration purposes ONLY - the true art of uechi-ryu lies within the big three. Overall he said he was very pleased with what he saw from us - told us that our senseis were doing a good job - we should keep folllowing their instructions. He told us to remember the saying - to be a good crop and keep our heads down - that was his strongest advice of the day.

That can apply to so many things - our study - our focus - our politics - our humility - our approach to our study and our attitudes with each other within and without our dojo. As we grow - stretch our wings outside the dojo - make contacts through the internet or associations or whatever - we need to remember our roots - keep our heads down - and trust our senseis to become farmers of a "good crop" - when we get those arrogant heads up too far we run the risk of being burnt by too much sunshine. Without these types of reminders we run the risk of becoming just common weeds.

Peace,
Lori


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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 1999 9:37 am 
Lori, thanks for sharing with us less fortunate mortals.

------------------
Allen - [email]uechi@ici.net">uechi@ici.net</A> - <A HREF="http://www.uechi-ryu.org[/email]


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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 1999 11:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 15, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 21
Location: Indianapolis , IN.
The quote by Sensei rings very true, about all martial artists being brothers. Regardless
of style all systems try to teach the same aspects of human development. I remember, while visiting a dojo one time. I was warming up before the class was to start. I happen to be practicing kata from a system not followed in that dojo. I was told that,"Only our style is practiced here."
I am sure following the quote made by Sensei.He would not quite agree.So long as the regular class went on.


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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 1999 8:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 61
Location: dartmouth, ns canada
Dear Lori-

It's been ages since I have been here, too busy to keep up.

What a nice thread to read upon my return. I was so enraptured while reading, I almost forgot to be jealous!

...sigh...I only wish I had of been there with you...

Natalie


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 1999 2:21 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 875
Natalie-san!

Great to see you on the forums again! Welcome back! Though your recent trips are enough to make me jealous as well! Are you over the tropical fever yet?

Meeting Tomoyose Sensei was an incredible stroke of luck - Who could have known that the whole Rengokai tour - with all the changes and such - would have ended up with a session so close to me? It is truly an experience that I will never forget - who knows if I will ever have such a chance again? And being that Tomoyse Sensei has basically retired from teaching - I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to participate... I only hope that I will be able to remember and work on the lessons he taught...

Glad you dropped in - please don't be a stranger!

Peace,
Lori


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 1999 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 61
Location: dartmouth, ns canada
Dear Lori-

No, I am still suffering from those trips! I have DIF (dreaded island fever). My skin is still dry, I long to don a bathing suit, have a slushy drink and listen to some reggae! I fear I will never get over it, and will suffer until my next trip to the tropics.

Looking forward to meeting you at the Canadian camp.

Nat


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 1999 3:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 22
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Hello Lori-san,

It's been a while! Thanks for this post. How incredibly fortunate you were. Keep your head down! Great advise! I wonder why so many lose sight of this concept? It seems to me that our egos present us with a threat greater than anything that comes from without!

Peace,
Melanie


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