2022 Celebration of 60 Years in USA and 35 Years in Israel
The 40th anniversary! It is had to believe that so much time has passed since coming to the US. I wish my husband could have been here to celebrate this occasion with you, but unfortunately it was not meant to be. In my husbands place, I was asked to say a few word and was at a loss for something to say, but certain events over the past month made it clear that three points need to be stated.
First is the concept of being a traditionalist.
I'm sure that for anyone who has and is studying Karate the question of its origin has come across their mind. And, in the process of searching for the answer one would discover that it was the peasant farmers that embraced it first. The traces of this can still be seen in many of the weapons used in the martial arts that resemble simple farm tools. The peasants embraced the art to protect the community from the feudal lords that would take advantage of them. The art gave them a way to develop a sense of community; it gave them the ability to determine
their own destiny.
In modern times, we are not fighting unreasonable feudal lords, but the fundamental purpose still hold true; to develop the self. In studying the art, we develop a discipline that helps us discover ourselves. It brings focus into our lives and this focus helps us find our place in the community. We are in the service of developing this community and as the community prospers we prosper individually.
The second point is the leadership of Shorin ryu Karate USA.
Over five years ago, our son Ando, because he lives in Japan, was asked to search for a karate gi that was sewn with black thread and to purchase three. They were supposed to be present at the next major Shorin ryu Karate USA event to the top three leaders-Bob, Baker and Sieger. This was inspired by the fact that the leadership of the organization did an out-standing job in the eyes of my husband. Developing the organization while maintaining the tradition of Shorin-Ryu Karate. This is no easy feat. In these times, profit seems to take priority over everything else and the fact that Shorin-Ryu Karate USA has been able to keep the tradition as pure as its origin is an accomplishment that we can all be proud of; an accomplishment that all the masters throughout the history of Shorin-Ryu can be proud of.
Finally, Robert Scaglione.
To my husband, New York City is the center of the world, not Kincho Yakuba, Okinawa; a realization on his last trip to Okinawa. To him, New York is his home that is why we moved the family burial site to Locust Valley. His dream was to open the main dojo in New York City in partnership with someone he could eventually call his equal; someone who would teach the master a new lesson. This person is Robert Scaglione. From the time Robert was studying at the Saint James Dojo, whether he knew it or not, he was being groomed to be that person. The most important element in a relationship is trust and anyone who has served in the military, police department, fire department-any job where you are faced with putting your life in someone else's hands could truly understand the importance of this trust. A trust where you truly believe that this other person would make the same decision as you would in a given situation. It is this kind of relationship that Robert and Ansei has developed over the years; actually my husband knew this relationship would develop the first time he shook Bob's hand. My husband had entrusted Bob with the future of Shorin-Ryu in the US way before he passed away; I am grateful for this fact because I am at ease for I know my husband's wishes for the future of Shorin-Ryu in the US will be realized. My job, the Ueshiro family's duty now lies in supporting the leadership of Shorin-Ryu Karate USA.
I am grateful to all of you for keeping alive the tradition that had brought success to my husband in all aspects of his life and I truly and sincerely hope that it bring success in all aspects of your lives.
My city will never be the same, I would walk into a 7/11 on Wilshire Blvd and get a courtesy greeting from a deshi wearing a gi, whom I had never met. Walk into Dee's Coffe shop on Santa Monica Blvd and overhear grown men aggressively talking about kata over greasy eggs. From a local tavern under the city street lamps I would hear the laughter a warrior women spilling out into the salty evening air, belly aching over the guffaw of an earlier class...
My city will never be the same, an American flag waving in the West
Winds as sand flies in the air and loud thumps rock the Pacific Coastline...
A formation of bushi warriors locking in the energy and allowing the
observer to feel the reverberation of body and soul...
The sweat of flesh and bone and muscle and blood pounding one ton of wood sitting on pillars of concrete and banging them lower and lower into the earth.
The Gloss of satin accumulates drips of perspiration and white stone walls chip with each primal kia. Two coats of polish, one for the freshly painted
deck, the other for the human spirit.
My community has been touched by a certain group of people who can have that affect on a city, a rare group, a powerful group, a polite group, a dedicated group, but most importantly a "group".
This group was the group who came to my city and changed the lives of everyone they came into contact with. Why? Because that is what happens when this group get's together. Why? Because this group has a code and that code penetrates people, places and process.
And this group came together to honor the Master and welcome the Hanshi and now we must honor the Hanshi, because the Master has spoken and that was his last order of business...
Sensei Chris Barnes
Ueshiro Bushi Dojo
Santa Monica, California
It is with profound sadness and regret that I must inform you that Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro passed away this morning from a stroke suffered this past Saturday.
The Ueshiro family is in the process of making funeral arrangements and we will post them when they are finalized.
I know I speak for all of us when I offer my sincerest condolences and sympathy to the Ueshiro family and we are forever indebted to Master Ueshiro for the extraordinary gift of Shorin-Ryu karate that he brought to us from his homeland of Okinawa. We will continue to express our love and respect for this gift through the Shorin-Ryu tradition of always moving forward.
Thank you for your help and understanding during this sad occasion.
Kyoshi Robert Scagione
In 2000, Hanshi Robert Scaglione accompanied by Sensei Robert Hodes and Sensei Chris Barnes, visited Israel's Ueshiro SRKUSA Dojo[s] in Herzliya and Eilat, under Shihan[s] Sensei Nir Zamir and Sensei Shlomo Dadon, respectively. The visit included karate training on top of Mount Masada.
In April 1996 Kyoshi Robert Scaglione [at the time] visits for the first time Israel's Ueshiro SRKUSA Tel-Aviv Dojo (Ramat Hasharon) at Shihan/Sensei Nir Zamir's home. Hanshi presided over the Black Belt testing and promotion to Shodan of Sensei Hodes' Sempai Shlomo Dadon and Sensei Zamir's Sempai[s] Shahar and Keren Milis. Now as a Black Belt, Sempai Dadon continued to lead the Eilat Dojo, while Sensei Zamir continued to provide Dadon with support and guidance from Tel-Aviv.
With promotion to Black Belt, the yellow embroidered patch of our karate style on our gi [uniform] is changed to a red embroidered one.
After spending 9 years learning Ueshiro SRKUSA Karate at the New York City Lexington Ave Dojo, under Kyoshi Robert Scaglione [at the time], Sensei Nir Zamir returns to his homeland in Israel and starts a Tel-Aviv based Dojo in 1992. Later Sensei Zamir moved his dojo to its current location in Herzliya. Denshi-Shihan Zamir's Ueshiro Dojo has trained many deshi and produced several Black Belts since its inception.
Sempai Robert Hodes [Ik-Kyu at the time] left New York City, where he trained at the Lexington Ave Dojo under Kyoshi Robert Scaglione [at the time], and relocated to Israel in September 1986. After spending 5 months at an absorption center for immigrants [merkaz klita] in the City of Kfar-Saba, Hodes relocated to Eilat, the southern most City in Israel, situated on the Red Sea. Shortly after arriving in Eilat, he was sponsored by Kyoshi Robert Scaglione to open the first Ueshiro SRKUSA Dojo at the MOR Center, around February 1987. He later relocated the dojo to a community bomb shelter, which he retrofitted to a traditional dojo (as shown in the photo below), including a unique vinyl flooring he installed with a cartesian-graph-paper-like pattern, helping the deshi develop their precision movements. Master Ueshiro was supportive of this first new dojo in Israel, relating to it through his own experience of immigrating to the USA with a foreign culture and language to teach karate. Consequently, Robert Hodes was promoted to Shodan and later to Sandan/Sensei.
Sensei Hodes' senior most student, Sempai Rafi Kaneti, took over as Shihan of the dojo in March-April 1992, when Sensei Hodes returned to the USA to care for his ailing mother, as well as open the Ueshiro East Meets West Karate Dojo in New York City on 5th Avenue. A couple years later, Sempai Kaneti left on a trip to India, and transferred the Ueshiro Eilat Dojo's directorship to Sempai Shlomo Dadon, who was the next senior most Sempai at the dojo (an Ik-Kyu at the time). Dadon continued training and was tested and promoted to Shodan in 1996 by Kyoshi Robert Scaglione, during his first visit to Israel. Sempai Dadon kept rising through the Dan-level ranks, while serving as Shihan of the Ueshiro Eilat Dojo, eventually becoming a Sensei. Many deshi were trained at the Eilat dojo, with several reaching Black Belt rank.
Ansei Ueshiro arrives in the United States from Okinawa as an official emissary bringing Shorin-Ryu Matsubayashi Karate-Do to the United States of America. He first landed in Alaska, making his way eventually to New York City, which he considered to be the center of the universe, where Ueshiro SRKUSA Hombu [Headquarters] Dojo is based.