I remember Jason when he was a little kid
, please give him my regards. Is he teaching in Three Rivers? We are located just a tad north of Schoolcraft.
Now. My question is... What is a pioneer??????
When we discuss "pioneers" I believe it is important to separate two things.
There are martial artists who are technically outstanding and who have had a significant amount of experience and training.
There are martial artists who have additional skills in leadership, organization and creating a sense of community. Fighting battles and struggling with issues that are far more difficult than anything experienced on the dojo floor.
I believe that the latter have perhaps made the most significant contributions to the development and acceptance of Uechi Ryu in North America. And have added to the evolution and enrichment of an art we can call our own. This is what I think of when I think of pioneer. Basically people whose leadership efforts result in our having a legacy which otherwise would sputter out and die.
This is not to take anything away from highly respected and skilled teachers and practitioners. There are some fantastic martial artists I have had the good fortune to call instructor and friend, but I can't say that they have really contributed to creating a sense of community and acceptance of the art. Again I do not, in anyway, imply or suggest any disrespect or negative implication focused on skilled and dedicated students and instructors of the arts.
So Walkman, if you use the definition of pioneer I outlined above who fits the list?