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:
FROM NOVA SCOTIA TO THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your interest.