Feb 17 2006

Darin Yee’s Corner

China Trip Review, by Darin Yee:Everyone who journeyed to the “Middle Kingdom” lead by Darin Yee (who is a seasoned visitor there) are now safely home. Our group of constituent adventurers comprised of Uechi-Ryu students from Massachusetts to California. The number of travelers totalled thirteen.

Everyone started from their prospective airports and met at the San Francisco airport. There, everyone was introduced to each other by Darin Yee. From San Francisco, we flew together into Hong Kong airport. The entire trip from each prospective airport to our destination Hong Kong totaled approximately 24 (twenty-four) hours.
It was a grueling flight but we spent much time watching movies, eating and sleeping. The one enjoyable part of this flight was the fact we were a group with similar interests in martial arts. We spent much time talking to each other about our paths and growth leading to where we are now as martial artists. It amazed me to discover the amount of enthusiasm, open mindedness and the willingness to watch, listen and learn. I am not speaking about beginners in a new discipline. I am telling about learned, season martial artist and sensei with dojo and students.
I have trained in Chinese Kung Fu since 1960 in America and have travelled back to our roots in China to train for the past 25 years. There has been much I have expressed to Americans in regards to martial arts from my experiences. I attempted to nip much of our religious like concepts, and misguided information. Martial arts are a visible, physical science. To practice it as a religion, believing without experiencing and witnessing is just plain wrong. We must accept the tried and true rather then the belief of a concept because we are told “it will work“.I now have a chance to demonstrate by teaching openly because of our geographic location and by bringing this group to witness first hand centuries of martial arts as it is taught in the many villages of China. In other words, I had a captive audience.

On October 1, 2006, China’s Independence Day, we arrived in Hong Kong. We were met at the airport by our gracious and generous host, Sensei Robert Campbell. Sensei Campbell has been a resident of Hong Kong for over thirty years with knowledge far surpassing that of any travel guide. We were privileged to see much of the real Hong Kong.

Upon checking into our rooms on day one, we witnessed the spectacular Independence Day fireworks display in Hong Kong harbor from the privacy and comfort of our beautiful hotel room. We were 18 stories up and almost at the same height as the fireworks. I cannot think of a better view than from our picture windows.

After the magnificent fireworks display, we gathered and ventured into the heart of Hong Kong for a late night meal. We found a great Mongolian hot pot restaurant where no one departed hungry. We had numerous variations of vegetables and meats. I took great pains to explain the food and everyone ate at their discretion.

Day 2 was a present from Sensei Campbell. We ate a conventional breakfast and met up with Sensei Campbell at 9AM. Many of the group was already up at 6 AM to participate in the Tai Chi exercises in the nearby park. In Hong Kong and China, you need not ask permission to participate. You just jump right in.

Sensei Campbell surprised everyone with an all expense paid excursion on a beautiful 70-foot boat. This trip took us to the harbor side of Hong Kong, which we would never have seen due to lack of knowledge and resources. This was just the most pleasant way to visit a city.
As part of this cruise, we stopped at the Jumbo Floating Restaurant for lunch where Sensei Campbell reserved a table at the top dining room where we could eat in the comfort of an air-conditioned room at the highest, most advantageous viewing area of the restaurant. The food was also some of the finest in the world.After the cruise, we went back to our hotel rooms to wash and prepare to witness the nightlife of Hong Kong. Difficult to imagine some of us in jackets and ties. All things considered, it was not too much of a shocker. I might even conclude we were pretty sharp looking. Sensei Campbell escorted our group to three of the nicest and most unique places to toast a drink.

After a good night’s sleep, we met Sensei Campbell again at 9 AM. This time, it was an all expense paid bus tour, which was provided again by our gracious and generous host. This tour took us to some of the most exquisite hotels and banking institutions in the world. We also visited the world’s largest sitting Buda where we walked (hiked, climbed) to the top of the mountain where this Buda looks onto the city of Hong Kong.No visit to Hong Kong is complete without a trip to the temple and then forwards to the open street shopping. You go to the temple first to pray you do not spend your life savings when you get to the street shopping. I believe no one got through without a purchase or two. Some more than others.

When we got back to the hotel, everyone gathered his or her belongings to prepare for our 4-hour boat ride into China the next day. Hong Kong was great and we all thank Sensei Bob Campbell for being the great host that only he could be. I presented him with an IUKF trip jacket as a small token of our thanks.

The morning of October 4, we gathered all our belonging, items brought from home and newly purchased and headed to the piers. There we fought through customs and boarded our ship to the mainland. Yes, there were first time jitters and the excitement of going into the unknown. My concern was this four-hour boat ride could create a few stomach discomforts. My worries were needless as we all came through like the troopers that we are. On the other hand, some knucklehead went onto the top deck where we were not allowed and took off his clothes to sunbath. We will not mention any names but if he got thrown off, it would have be a long swim to shore ALONE.Along the way, we saw Macaw and the bridges that connect her to the mainland. We saw many of the boats that work that part of the river and the people who live in them. We saw the construction, which is now a large part of China’s growth to provide the living areas needed for its growing economy.

We arrived at Gong Yet, China late afternoon where we were greeted by Sifu Wong. After we got through customs, we were transported to our hotels by vehicles provided by Sifu Wong. The ride was a little snug but we got through it.

Our hotel was beautiful and spacious, as I had remembered it to be. The Garden Hotel was rated the best hotel in Southern China. Only the best for our guys. I also remembered this hotel to have the greatest food and service as we have learned to accept in our own country.

While in the mainland, our routine was pretty much the same. We had Uechi-Ryu workouts in the morning taught by Darin Yee. These workouts are not as you have known from any other Uechi-Ryu instructor in the States. Darin Yee’s Uechi-Ryu incorporates much of the Chinese influence, which was in Pong Gi Noon not apparent now in most of our Uechi-Ryu.

This system allows our body to help generate much of our power instead of forcing our arms solely to do all the work. This system teaches the benefits of using the soft as well as the hard. Not this macho attitude that strength is everything but the actual art form of Uechi-Ryu from Pong Gi Noon. Darin Yee also taught to our Uechi-Ryu students a beginner’s Choy Li Fut form named Lean Yill Kurn, which teaches us how to use our body to generate speed and power. It is considered the “San Chin” of Choy Li Fut. It is the easiest yet the most important of all Choy Li Fut forms. Just like San Chin kata, if practiced right, everything you need to know about the style is in that form.

Our workouts were scheduled twice a day. Once only, when we had a planned tour to martial arts villages where generations after generation practiced their arts with little to no changes from conception. We were also made aware the differences between actual kung fu and entertainment kung fu (wusu) where there were just routines and not actual forms. This was explained as part of our trip to a Chinese Government sponsored Kung Fu College.
The neatest part of this trip was our visit to the Lung Wen Kung Fu Village. Lung Wen is one of the oldest, most prominent kung fu villages in Southern China. We were their guests of honor and everything they did was in our honor. Their lion dance was directed to our group. Every kung fu form performed was for us because they bowed solely to us prior and after each performance. They served us food from their own wood powered ovens. Beer, wine, tea and soda was offered. Every junior member of the village performed (and there were a lot of them).
When asked if we would show them some of our martial art, I asked for volunteers and we did a little kicking and punching ourselves. They did not expect me to perform but when I did, the masters of the village then felt they had to perform also. This made the night a lot longer then I had anticipated. If I knew they were going to feel obligated, I would have just stood there wearing my smile.
I do not want to leave out the part where we all went to get massages. We were massaged head to toe including facials, foot, back and front for an unbearable four plus hours at a whooping, arm bending cost of 55 US dollars. How do these crooks get away with this? I was so upset at this, I had to go back the next day to and try it again. This time I had the hot rock treatment.
We might be planning a trip for next year. We may just fly from America into Gung Jhou, which we did not see this year because I could not get grown, mature people to leave Tai San until it was time to come home. Do you think they had fun there?

A few weeks ago, I was being interviewed by a national Chinese newspaper regarding martial arts.  3 hours later, the interviewer exclaimed “you must be a great master”!

I blinked a few times and replied “no!  There is still so much for me to learn.  If I were a master, I would have learned all there is for me to know.”

Now I’m thinking about these remarks I’ve made.  When will I except these certifications I’ve reveived from China?  When will I be a master?  When will my thurst for martial art knowledge be satisfied?

When we learn certain moves, I do not fool myself by thinking I’ve mastered them.  I know each time I practice that move, I am just a little more in tune to it.  How many time must I perform that move to perfect and master it?

After 47 years of learning martial arts, there is so much to practice.  As a matter of fact, while on vacation in Mexico, I’ve practice from 6:30AM to 9:30PM that night and did not get to work on every form I’ve learned.  I don’t mean to just go through the moves and call it a day.  I mean to really try to perfect the movements in conjunction to my body.  To feel the moves flow smoothly and naturally.  If anything feels out of place, I would do it again and again until it feel right.  If I were to master these moves.  I want to be able to perform these movements and feel just as smooth and natural each and everytime.

To date I have not been able to do this for every style I’ve learn.  Not to my satisfaction.  Time of course is of no consequence.  I could have practice something the same way for 47 years and if it does not feel natural than I’ve been doing it wrong for 47 years.

In your mind,, what constitude a master?  How do we justify this title?

From: “Darin Yee” <darinyee@hotmail.com>
Subject: Gustavo Gondra
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2006 00:03:40 -0400

On August 19, 2006 I’ve attended an open tournament held and sponsored by Sensei Manny Neves.  This event took place at Lantana’s located in Randolph, Ma.
Upon arrival, I was overjoyed to see many old friends whom I have not seen for longer than I realized.  Friends like Peter McRae whom I’ve known and respected since 1972.  Peter has come on many occasions to the old Mattson Academy on Hancock Street to work out with me.  I’ve also visited Peter at his old dojo in Plymouth, in the 3rd floor above a clothing store named Bernard’s on Main Street.
As the tournament began, I was given the honor to be one of the referees in ring #1.  I was partnered with Jay Salhanick and Bob Irving both exhibiting unquestionable judgment and abilities as referees.  By that virtue along, our ring moved at a rapid pace.
The next day, I was invited to Sensei Manny Neves’ house to receive a plaque because I’ve departed early.  No need to hang around when our ring was finished.  When I arrived at Sensei Manny Neves’ house I was introduced to a gentleman I recognized at the tournament yesterday but never had the opportunity to meet.  This gentleman was Gustavo Gondra.
Sensei Gustavo Gondra and I sat for over 3 hours chit chatting about nothing but martial arts and our outlook regarding the different styles and practice methods.  We covered everything from how and where we felt martial arts was conceived to where we are now and where it is headed.
Actually, when it comes to a discussion on martial arts, there isn’t enough time in a day for me.  The most pleasant aspect of our conversation was not one issue of politics popped it’s ugly head.  I was tempted to ask a few difficult questions but I’ll leave that to Barbara Walters.
I’ve found Sensei Gustavo Gondra to be a gentleman of knowledge and respect.  His English was much better than I have expected.  As I was preparing to leave, Sensei Gondra asked me if I would honor him by doing a seminar in his country.  As many places as I’ve traveled to give seminars, I have never thought of going to Argentina. Maybe I will add Argentina to my plans staring next year.
Darin Yee

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Feb 08 2006

Region One AAU Karate Championship

Region One AAU karate championship
The Region One AAU karate championships will be held on Saturday and Sunday April 22nd and 23rd, 2006 (note the dates – the AAU website listed incorrect dates previously but has been corrected) at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Albany, NY.  The schedule of activities will be:
Friday April 21 – 6:30 – 9:00 pmCoaches and Referee seminar (at the Crown Plaza).  If you want to coach or referee at this event you must attend this clinic.  The clinic will be conducted by Sensei Del Saito, AAU Karate National Executive director. There is no fee for the clinic.  Please wear your referee or coaches attire.  Credentials will be given out for this event.  Coaches fee is $10.
Saturday April 22nd – 8 am – 3 pm Karate competition at the Crowne Plaza hotel – all youth 5 – 18 yrs) dvisiions: beginnerr, novice, intermediate adults (19+ yrs.) and 35 yrs and up advanced divisions.
Saturday April 22nd – 6 – 9 pmTraining seminars for youth and adults with top masters and instructors. Goju ryu with Sensei Chuck Merriman, Shorin Ryu with Sensei Ken Bladyka and Kumite with Sensei David Oddy.  Seminars are 1 hour long and the fee is $20 each.
Sunday April 23rd – 8 am – 12 noon  Karate competition at the Crowne Plaza hotel  – adult 19 – 34 yrs advanced, all teams and youth advanced kumite finals (ages 8 – 18 yrs).
Reserve your room by calling 518-426-6611 and ask for the AAU karate rate.
Application forms are posted shortly at http://www.aaukarate.org/
Competitors must attend their district tournament to qualify for the Region One championship
Tournament flooring is carpet
Team competition will be kata only
Face shield helmets are required
I hope to make this year’s event a special one (and more like a mini-Nationals) by making it a 2 – day event and having clinics for youth and adults.  The 2 – day event will be less tiring for the referees and by having it at the hotel, there will be less driving and more social interaction between all the athletes.  The hotel pool is great and there are plenty of restuarants nearby.
Thanks for your support of AAU karate and feel free to contact me with any questions.
Matt Dorsey
Region One AAU karate chairman
If you wish to be removed from this list, please reply with "Remove" and your AAU district – Adirondack, Metro, Connecticut, New Jersey, Niagara or New England) in the subject line.

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Feb 03 2006

Forum Updates

The forums are really doing well. And have you noticed how interesting the topics are? It is very true, martial artist are a well rounded group. We work out hard and play hard. And of course, don’t forget we eat well.

Mary S. has volunteered to moderate the new "Chow Now" forum and it may be one of our most popular additions. Check it out and bring your favorite receipts and photos of these dishes. Click Here.

Kevin Guse is another highly qualified moderator in the conditioning field. He’s not just a gifted teacher. . . but he is someone who has taken the information he is giving us and used it in one of the toughest sports imaginable. . . Football. Check out his forum and ask him about your training routines. I know he will give you a helping hand. Click Here.

I’m hosting a couple of physical dojo forums. Since becoming involved with building a new dojo, I’ve become very interested in how the big dojo owners designed their dojo and how they conduct business. Although I don’t appreciate some of their "elitism" attitudes, I do respect how they are able to retain students and turn out respectable martial artist. Check out "Building a Successful Dojo" Forum and participate in the discussion. Click Here.

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/forum-updates/

Feb 03 2006

China Trip Update

The following letter is from Darin Yee (7th Dan) who is organizing an exciting trip to China.  If you’ve ever thought about going there, and experiencing the root systems from which ours was extracted, this would be the opportunity!

Contact Darin if you have an interest in going.
Paul Haydu


Greetings to All,

As promised, I now have a firm price for our IUKF trip to China.  This price
will be $3,600 for an all inclusive 2 weeks trip from Boston, to China and
back.  Your individual price may vary slightly depending on your point of
origins.  This price will not include visa, alcoholic beverages, gratuities,
shopping or meals outside of the main group.

Depending on the selected airline, we will all meet in either San Diego, San
Fran or LA from our prospective airports and leave for Hong Kong together. 
Bob Campbell will greet us in Hong Kong and will be our host for the next
two days until we leave by boat to China (not a junk).  This boat will take
us into Gin Yoke (Chinese pronunciation, spelling may not be what is listed
in our maps)where we will be greeted by Sifu Wong and our transport to our
hotel in Toi San.

We will spend 10 days of working out and trips to other cities every other
day to shop and sight see.  Cities like Gwan Jou, Fosan, Hoi Pin, Toi Narm
and others.  We will also be invited to visit some of the most well known
martial arts schools in the area and surrounding towns.  There are some
night life in the area, but we’ll talk about that when the time comes.

What I need from all interested is your money deposit of $1,000 by the end
of March.  I will need your valid passport sent to me with another partial
payment of $1,000 by the end of April.  When I get your visas I will invoice
you for them.  By the end of June, 2006 I should have received your payments in full so I can reserve your rooms in Hong Kong, and various parts of

Other then the money commitment, I will make up a form and post it on our
IUKF site.  Anyone can download and print out this form and send it back to
me.  My address will be listed.

This should be a great educational trip as well as a relaxing exchange of
culture.  We will not be going up north to see the great wall this trip. 
From where we are going to Beijing is an 8 hour plane ride.  We can plan
that for our next trip to China.


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Feb 03 2006

Welcome to the Chairman’s Corner…

On behalf of the IUKF Board of Directors, I would like to wish everyone the best of what I believe is going to be a very good year for Uechi-Ryu. We wish all of you a successful 2006! The IUKF Board has been very busy on your behalf. Many of the seeds sown in 2005 will start to bear fruit in this coming year.
The Board has resolved that the IUKF shall function to support its membership. We have pledged that our organization will be supportive, by bringing Uechika together in group activities, and enhancing communications. We do not intend for it to be a regulatory organization, and it won’t be replacing testing boards, or interfering with individual dojo function. The IUKF recognizes all legitimate groups, teachers, rank and honors, and respects what Uechi sensei called "The dojo Sacred Space". In other words, our goal is to assist individual Uechi practitioners and dojo owners who are geared toward effective martial arts with "traditional roots".
The IUKF honors and respects all rank issued by any legitimate organization. It will oversee rank standards and testing procedures for dojo and individuals who wish to be awarded rank, or honorary teaching certificates.
The IUKF has been set up so that the benefits for its members will provide discounts that will more than pay for the annual membership fees. These discounts will apply to DVDs, martial arts equipment, clothes and shoes, and other items in the Website store. Discounts on tuition for WinterFest and SummerFest will amount to $50 per event. Tournament discounts will also be provided for members. Members will also receive a $50 discount off the cost of Dan certificates, compared with non-members.
Other benefits will include access to special parts of the new Uechi-Ryu website. Instructors who belong can have enhanced listing of their dojo, with hyperlinks for email and website addresses. With the Uechi-ryu.com website getting more than 400,000+ hits per month, the exposure given by enhanced listing alone, would be worth more than the yearly IUKF fee. Discounts from products bought, and the break on SummerFest tuition alone would more than pay the cost of annual membership.
Perhaps more important is the strength and stability that the worldwide and US Uechi community will gain by increased dojo and individual membership in a consolidating organization dedicated to enhancing the art through the sharing of information. Currently many of us enjoy the benefits of viewing videos, reading worldwide mail, participating in forums and staying in touch with the most advanced Uechi thinking worldwide. This takes money and effort to keep it going, and participation by everyone would allow the IUKF to expand and improve its offerings to all of us.

IUKF sanctioned regional and instructor’s workouts are already in progress and will be expanded. They are already very successful.
I am pleased to witness a growing international membership. Recently we have added members from Germany, Canada, Argentina, and Scotland. The story that follows comes to us from Scotland:

Terry Donoghue. (Highland Dojo) IUKF Representative Scotland, reported that:
The first home grown Scottish Uechi-ryu students to achieve Dan grades from Gary Geddes (left), were Alan Henderson and Angus Henderson, pictured here with the IUKF Scotland representative Terry Donoghue.

In an excellent example of the international spirit of the IUKF, the Highland dojo recently welcomed the visit of Gary Geddes from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to our group based in Dingwall, Scotland. Having originally met up with Gary at SummerCamp some 11 years ago, I was pleased to be able to offer him the opportunity to see his ancestral home after visiting and working out with him previously in Nova Scotia.

In search of an external assessor of the quality of my two candidates for Shodan, I approached Gary after discussing the matter with George Mattson at last year’s WinterFest.
The Dan test went well on September 1ST, (with me probably more relived than those being tested) and the two successful candidates were very pleased to have measured up to an international standard.
It was good to be able to share what we have with someone who was willing to travel so far to give us the benefit of his experience and understanding. I think that his readiness to support our group, is an exemplar of how the work of the IUKF might support the activities of all members, and how they in turn, can support the aims of the IUKF.
And speaking about international involvement of the IUKF, Darin Yee has been working hard on our upcoming trip to mainland China. It will be a two week trip beginning and ending in Hong Kong, with Sensei Robert Campbell. The mid-portion will involve visiting and working out in Southern China, including the village where Wong Fei Hung was born.
There will be translators, and daily Uechi-Ryu workouts with respected Chinese kung fu masters who will watch our work-outs and make suggestions on how they view and would use our style, plus there will be Kung Fu demonstrations by accredited martial arts schools.
The IUKF Treasurer and Membership Coordinator is David Berndt. All those who would like a membership packet, or just want to find out more should contact him at DCBerndt@aol.com.
Please feel free to email him or me if we can be of any service, or answer any questions for you. I can be reached at phaydu@adelphia.net.
Thank you for your interest.

Best wishes,

Paul Haydu

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Feb 02 2006

Deadly Arts: The National Geographic Series

Deadly Arts DVD
We have The DVD version of the popular National Geographic series “Deadly Arts”It is a 2 DVD set with the 6 episodes of the series.

The series explores 6 different martial arts, Aikido, Capoeira, Karate, Kalaripayyattu, Savate and Muay Thai, in the country of their origin and examines technique, culture, history and philosophy.

Our host Josette Normandeau trains with the masters in each martial art. The series has proven popular worldwide and we believe the DVD will be as well.

Deadly Arts takes a comprehensive look into the world of the martial arts.

This is the series everyone is talking about. Get yours by clicking here!


Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/deadly-arts-the-national-geographic-series/

Feb 02 2006

Iaido & Judo Seminar

Iaido and Judo seminar in Salt Lake City, Utah.

March 4 & 5, 2006 – Yama Oroshi Dojo

Taught by Nicklaus Suino Sensei

Iaido – 7th Dan Shihan

Judo – 6th dan Shihan

Author of: The Art of Japanese Swordsmanship

Practice Drills for Japanese Swordsmanship

Arts of Strength, Arts of Serenity

Budo Mind and Body

Contact Sensei Max Roach at the Yama Oroshi Dojo:

3474 South 2300 East

Salt Lake City, UT 84105

Dojo: (801) 272-0707

Sponsored by the Shudokan Martial Arts Association (SMAA).

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/iaido-judo-seminar/

Feb 01 2006

The Art of japanese Swordsmanship

Iaido and Judo seminar in Salt Lake City, Utah.

March 4 & 5, 2006 – Yama Oroshi Dojo

Taught by Nicklaus Suino Sensei

Iaido – 7th Dan Shihan

Judo – 6th dan Shihan

Author of: The Art of Japanese Swordsmanship

Practice Drills for Japanese Swordsmanship

Arts of Strength, Arts of Serenity

Budo Mind and Body

Contact Sensei Max Roach at the Yama Oroshi Dojo:

3474 South 2300 East

Salt Lake City, UT 84105

Dojo: (801) 272-0707

Sponsored by the Shudokan Martial Arts Association (SMAA).

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/the-art-of-japanese-swordsmanship/

Jan 08 2006

Instructors’ Class for February in New England

February, 2006 Instructor’s Workout
Hello All:

The next scheduled New England instructor’s workout class will be held on Sunday, February 12th, from 10:00 am to 11:30 am.

The February 2006 scheduled instructor will be Darin Yee (7th dan). The workout will be held at Sensei Fred Channels dojo located in Hingham, Ma.
Location: Hingham Community Center, 70 South Street, Hingham, Ma. 02040

Note: This class is open to all adult Uechi Ryu and Shohei Ryu adult brown & black belts.

Hope to see you at the next workout.

Take care – Jay Sal

Thank you.

Jay Sal.

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Jan 06 2006

Join IUKF Today…

Lots of benefits, like getting a substantial discount for SummerFest!

IUKF has proven through the years that working together, encouraging students to get involved in non-dojo activities and expanding their experiences makes good sense.

IUKF isn’t trying to replace your teacher, your promoting organization or the method of your training. It has limited and fairly specific guidelines involving teacher codes of ethics and conduct along with student rights that are essential in this age of abuse and cultism that are rampant in the martial arts.

People belong to many organizations. The martial arts has been laboring under the misconception that the teacher is some kind of guru, who knows all and deserves unquestionable loyalty and respect. Too often, students discover all too late, that the guru’s shiny coat of armor hides a rotten interior. The martial arts should be viewed as an activity, no better, no worse than any other activity. To attempt selling what we do as something else is both unethical and deceiving. Allowing students to belong to an independent fraternal organization such as IUKF should not be viewed as a threat to what might be considered by some teachers as "private property".

Students and teachers are invited to send IUKF’s secretary David Berndt an email, requesting an information kit. Please include your mailing address.

We’ve had many years of non-cooperation and elitist isolation with stagnation and no growth – Lets try working together to see if we can build our dojo and the system. GEM

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