I’m flying to Boston Thursday, Jan 25th and will be spending the day with Darin Yee. Friday, I’ll be visiting Bill Bauknecht who continues doing well with his ongoing fight with cancer. Bill is somewhat of a hero to others who are also fighting multiple myeloma (a blood & bone disease) because of his 12+ years’ successful fight against this incurable cancer. I spoke with Bill today and he proudly told me he attended Van’s class last night and demonstrated Seisan for the group. He is writing an article for the martial arts community which I’ll be publishing on Monday.
Saturday morning Bill and I will be attending Darin Yee’s new dojo open house celebration. Everyone is invited to attend and participate in the festivities, which will begin at 10AM.
I’ll be teaching a class and hope all my friends and students will attend. For details and directions, please Click Here
Sunday we will be heading for Ayer, MA where John Page is holding his new dojo’s Grand Opening, also beginning at 10AM and where I’ll be teaching a class. All are invited to attend. Click Here for details.
New e-Books now available.
There are lots of video clips on the web showing the public how tough Uechi guys are. My goal in producing instructional DVDs and e-Books has been to make it possible for new students to learn enough about the basics to inspire them to search for a dojo where they could receive advanced training and. . . to dispel some of the myths and dangerous impressions commonly believed by both Uechi practitioners and the general public. My intentions have always been to show that what we do is possible for the average person and indeed, can contribute to one’s general health instead of actually being a dangerous activity to pursue.
However, this wasn’t always the case.
I remember my early demonstrations, where I was eager to show the audience how tough I was by breaking boards and allowing people from the audience to punch me in the stomach or attempt to hit me. At the Boston Y.M.C.A. in 1958 & ‘59 I succeeded in getting many students to take my course. Of course, karate was so new, most people believed they could learn how to kill after one lesson and most left as fast as they joined once they discovered it was lots of work and no magic.
I created a demo team in the 60s and we performed hundreds of times before different audiences during this era. The theme remained pretty much the same. Lots of exciting strength demonstrations and a few circus type tricks (bending steel rods with the throat kinds of things) and of course, lots of free fighting. But as more and more schools and systems came in existence, our demos became less and less effective as a recruiting method.
After one of the demos, instead of just handing out some fliers and inviting members of the audience to visit our dojo for a free lesson, I walked around the auditorium and talked to as many of the people as possible, asking them two very simple questions: “How did you like the demonstration?” and “Would you like to learn our style of karate?” The result of this informal survey shocked me!
Every person I spoke with said “I loved the demo. It was great fun and extremely entertaining!”
I would then ask “How would you like to learn Karate?” and they all more or less responded: “Are you crazy? I could never learn that!”
OK, we receive an “A+” as “entertainers” but an “F” in accomplishing our goal of recruiting new students. As a result of that information, I completely restructured the material in our demonstration, focusing on “entertaining” the audience while “educating” them as to what Uechi-ryu was all about. Importantly, everything we did was to demonstrated how a new student progressed through the ranks and the benefits associated with every technique and drill we performed. So we didn’t get an “A” in the entertainment value of the demo, but neither did we get an “F” when it came attracting new students who stuck with the training.
This is a rather lengthy explanation and reason why my instructional DVDs and now e-Books are less enjoyable as “entertainment” and very successful as teaching tools. Check out my free e-Book
, showing one sample lesson on stances that will show you how this new e-Book format works, the quality of the new video technology and how easy it is to follow the instruction. The first hour’s instruction book costs only $19.95 and for you new students or people who are interested in learning about the heart of Uechi, this book is the bargain of year!
The first two e-Books, covering two hours of an actual private lesson series are now available. Also an all new Black Belt Test Guide, with video clips covering all test segments for Shodan is only a click away.
Finally – David Smith’s famous companion book to Grand Master Kanei Uechi’s Kyhon is also available as an e-Book. This text-only translation is the one everyone has been waiting for and it only took David 25 years to accomplish :). The reviews so far have been extremely complimentary. You won’t believe all the history and personal stories involving Shushiwa and Kanbun Uechi in China that are in this companion book.