Master Sensei Bob Campbell: Keeper of The Dragon’s Beard
What is Traditional Uechi Ryu Karate-Do ?
What is Pure, Uechi Ryu Karate-Do ?
What is True, Uechi Ryu Karate-Do ?
The following opinion, purely my own, reflects my view point that none of the above are totally correct or accurate in varying degrees. Martial Arts, no matter what style or place of origin, requires for its advancement and longevity, the ability to evolve, grow and become more elastic in the manner of a given style/s teaching methods and technique applications. Kanbun Uechi, we are told, only taught 3 Kata, yet Uechi Ryu today has many more Kata, Bonki’s and other drills not taught by Kanbun. This creation of more Kata and techniques has allowed Uechi Ryu, today, to grow and evolve.
Ask your self, does anyone today, play or practice pure baseball or true tennis?
Every successful Coach, for example, teaching American Football, be it at the College level or Pro Leagues, infuses his/her own training methods, tactics or game play maneuvers, in order to give their team that winning edge. The words Pure, Traditional or True never enter modern day sports as part of the games nomenclature. There are traditions in all sports, including Martial Arts. Some are important, some are not so important. What is important as far as Martial Arts traditions is concerned, covering areas such as training techniques, teaching methods or technique applications, should be solely up to the Seniors / Elders of a given Martial Arts style or the Heads of Dojo’s or Associations or a combination, blend, of all said here to; I have always long believed, if a technique works, effectively, consistently, than it is a good technique, regardless if it is from your style or another style.
Consider this, if I learned to play baseball in Tokyo, Japan, famous for its superb baseball players, does that automatically mean I can play better or less, than someone that learned to play in America, Canada or Germany? If someone takes the view that learning Karate on Okinawa or in America, makes them more or less, well trained, then that is their opinion, their view and not necessarily a fact. I have been extremely fortunate to have studied Martial Arts all over the world during the last 45 or more, years. I always considered myself a guest at every Dojo I had to pleasure to visit and train. I have been honored to train under many great teachers and Masters. All these travels have added to a better understanding of the Martial Arts and equally, a more accepting view point and appreciation of the wide differences between styles.
My deepest, strongest memories in Martial Art training come from the days at the Mattson Academy of Karate on Columbus Avenue and Hancock Street in Boston Massachusetts. Never once, in all my travels, all my visits to countless Dojo’s around the world, including on Okinawa, Taiwan, China and mainland Japan, did I ever in the slightest way, feel inadequate in any manner or form in my Karate abilities. This is due to the great training I received in the USA, at the Mattson Academy.
In closing, may I share this with you, people often say, home is where the heart lives / resides.
I say, your Dojo, your Sensei and your fellow students, is in fact, exactly the correct place for you to train as you travel the path of Bushido and in doing so, gain your very own, Tiger’s Heart !
You are the Tradition, you are the Pure, you are the True student that makes what we call today, Uechi Ryu Karate-Do.
Strength and Honor,
Student for Life
Uechi Ryu Karate-Do