I know how busy all of you are and I’m trying to communicate with you in the most productive manner possible.
Once a month we meet and review your progress. This is done by your following a lesson plan and filming what we have agreed needs work or modification.
All of my senior students (black belts) should be focusing on earning a teaching certificate from IUKF. You wouldn’t be part of this group if you simply wanted to be able to fight. I know most of you and there is no question in my mind that you can take care of yourself in an emergency situation.
You are here because you want to learn the authentic Uechi-ryu ART . . . that just happens to use self-defense movements. . . and that means going back to Sanchin and perfecting all the techniques and applications that form the “CORE” of our system.
Not only is the understanding and perfection of this core essential for perfect practice of your advanced Uechi-ryu but it is absolutely necessary in order for you to achieve an understanding of your Uechi-ryu that will enable you to continue your practice throughout your life!
Now that I’ve been practicing and teaching for over 50 years, I’ve witnessed thousands of students who have abused their bodies by training in a way that shortened their training life tremendously. With the advent of joint replacement and organ transplants, we can somewhat overcome the mistakes we make during our most physical period of our lifetime and many students are able to continue practicing in what I hope will be a more reasonable and correct manner.
My goal in creating the “Virtual” dojo is to reach the thousands of students who began their training with the idea of becoming the “baddest” Karate-ka anywhere, capable of breaking anything in their way with toes, foot, shin, knee, elbows, forearm, fist, knuckles or hands! I know, because I was guilty of this while initially training on Okinawa and for the first ten years teaching!
My problem then was that I didn’t listen to my teacher, Ryuko Tomoyose! I watched the young bucks on Saturdays and quickly joined their “back of the class” training where they brutalized the makiwara, pounded on things that weren’t designed to be pounded on, and sparred in matches that would qualify as “full body contact” today.
It was that “model” of training that I introduced to the Western World in 1958 when I began teaching and it was that model of Uechi-ryu that became publicized in the press and spread throughout the world. By the time I realized the mistake of how I was promoting Uechi-ryu and reverted to teaching the art that Master Tomoyose and Master Uechi asked me to bring back to America, the art was hidden beneith layers of robotic ritual movements that had no relationship to reality and in many cases, dangerous to the student.
I’ve told this story hundreds of times and generally to deaf ears. When we are young and healthy we work out with the motto: “Work through the Pain” – “No pain no gain” and other sayings that coaches tell their students/players in order to be the best you can be. . . for the time being! Coaches aren’t around when these students/players reach 50 when they can only walk to pick up the mail while telling themselves to “work through the pain”!
I’m finding that many of my “Virtual” dojo students are in their 40s – 50s and are ready to start training “correctly” and without the macho attitude they had when they first started.
So. . . I’m hoping that the important clips I’ll be sending to you every month, that focus on “correct training” will be something that you won’t say: “Oh.. That’s white belt stuff. . . I don’t have to watch or relearn that”!
Let me know your thoughts and please . . . watch and review. . .
Train often. . . Train smart!