2023 -- Year of the Rabbit -- 61 Years in USA -- 36 Years in Israel
2023 -- Year of the Rabbit -- 61 Years in USA -- 36 Years in Israel
Onegai-shimasu Ueshiro SRKUSA Worldwide,
This past Friday, we were “connecting” with the February Florida training event from afar, across the seas, through our own special training and testing event in Israel. Sensei Shlomo Dadon (Godan), traveled 4-5 hours from Eilat to join me and help lead our event, which also included visiting Sempai Shlomy Quartler (Shodan) from Sensei Nir Zamir’s Dojo in Hertzelia. Moreover, Sempai Avi David (Ik-Kyu), my right hand assistant instructor at the Ueshiro Neve Dojo, participated strongly to support those testing.
Our multi hour vigorous training and testing resulted in three promotions of deshi from the Ueshiro Neve [Oasis] Dojo:
Promoted to Ni-Kyu (Brown Belt) - Sempai Jacob Rass and Sempai Eyal Elnir
Promoted to Go-Kyu (Two Green Tips) - Sempai Sagi Ben-Ishai.
The candidates endured the training and traditional testing well, and performed as expected to the high standards of Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA, under the direction of Hanshi Robert Scaglione. They worked hard by showing up regularily to training every week and stepping up on the “spot” to be tested. I congratulate them on a job well done and look forward to their continued training and growth and visiting your dojo one day.
Attached, please find a few photos from this event.
Domo Arigato Gozaimasu
Ueshiro Neve [Oasis] Karate Dojo
Neve Yamin, Israel
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA
Under the Direction of Hanshi Scaglione
Onegai shimasu Hanshi, Kyoshi, Sensei and Shorin-Ryu Deshi,
I would like to share a highlight of my recent vacation in Israel: on Tuesday, March 29th, I had the honor of teaching a class at Sensei Tamir’s Ueshiro Neve (Oasis) Dojo. Attached are photos from the workout.
Despite being halfway around the world and more than a little jet-lagged, when I arrived at the dojo I suddenly found myself completely at home among the 50th Anniversary Commemorative Journals, “red books” and routines and kata of a formal USRKUSA class. The two-hour high-energy traditional class was notable for the big spirit of those on the deck. I was especially impressed by the leadership demonstrated by the senior students in the absence of the shihan. From Sensei Zamir’s student transporting me to and from the dojo to various deshi helping translate my instructions into Hebrew when necessary, I truly felt I was among my karate family. Thank you to all for the gracious hospitality I received. Despite being the formal instructor, I learned as much as anyone on the deck.
Sensei Tamir, thank you for inviting me to lead the class and for arranging the logistics of my visit, all while being back in my home state. Sensei, I found your “dojo in the box” to be particularly inspirational. It quickly and easily converts a shared community space into a USRKUSA dojo, a practical idea I will try to incorporate as I work towards establishing a dojo in North Carolina. I look forward to training together again stateside in the upcoming months.
Perhaps the most powerful takeaway for me was once again witnessing the remarkable uniformity of training within our organization. Thank you Hanshi, Kyoshi, and Sensei Tamir for your leadership in furthering Master Ueshiro’s vision and legacy with such consistency.
My visit to the Ueshiro Neve (Oasis) Dojo was invaluable, and I strongly encourage everyone to visit other dojos—both near and far—if and when such opportunities may arise. Safe travels to everyone journeying to Northern Virginia in a few weeks. I look forward to training with many of you there.
Domo arigato gozaimasu,
Wonderful day, beautiful beach, great Karateka. To train with Deshi across the world, languages and backgrounds vary, but we have enduring respect for our Shinden, Hanshi, our Kyoshi, Sensei and fellow Sempai. This language is universal. Domo Arigato to Sensei Tamir and Sensei Zamir who made this happen.
Lisa Rosenberg, Shodan
New York Hombu Dojo
Onegai-shimasu Hanshi, Kyoshi, Sensei and fellow Shorin-Ryu karateka the world over!
Sensei Lisa and I were honored to represent the Ueshiro NoVA and Ueshiro Dulles dojos during a visit to Israel in late November where we had the opportunity to train with Shihan and students from all three Israel dojos--Ueshiro Hertzlia, Ueshiro Neve, and Ueshiro Eilat.
Our karate journey began with a vigorous evening of training in the Ueshiro Hertzlia dojo with Sensei Nir Zamir, together with Sempai Ran Sheinman and Sempai Avi David, one of Sensei David Tamir's students from the Ueshiro Neve dojo. We focused on kata and conveyed as many of the points that we could remember from the October Black Belt workout in Palisades. Our workout was followed by a splendid evening of fellowship on Sensei Zamir's balcony overlooking the beautiful night skyline of Tel Aviv. In traditional Shorin-Ryu fashion, Sensei Zamir, Avi and Ran treated us to delicious food and exceptional hospitality. We also received a signed copy of The Killing Rituals, a novel by Sensei Zamir, and learned about the pioneering work of Budo for Peace. The following day, Sensei Zamir drove us to Jerusalem and showed us all the important sites. Many thanks, Sensei, for that very memorable day.
After a side-trip to Jordan (with visits to Petra, Wadi Rum, and Aqaba), we visited Eilat at the southern tip of Israel for a spirited workout with Sensei Shlomo Dadon on the gorgeous balcony of his home overlooking the Gulf of Aqaba to the East and Sinai Peninsula to the West. Following repetitions of kata from Fukyugata Ichi to Gojushiho, Sensei Dadon demonstrated his culinary skills at the grill (equally as strong as his karate!) while making us welcome as overnight guests in his home. Our visit to Eilat gave us a sunrise over Jordan, a distant view of Saudi Arabia down the east coast of the Gulf, and a sunset over Egypt. But more importantly, it gave us a new friend.
On our way back north, we visited the hilltop fortress of Masada where Hanshi has trained. While there, we marveled at the millennia of warrior spirit demonstrated at that unique and historic site.
Our visit to another country, on a different continent, in a land rich with culture and history reminded us of the close bond that unites all Shorin-Ryu practitioners. Within two minutes of arrival at each dojo, we knew we were among family--our Shorin-Ryu family. For anyone considering a trip to Israel, please follow Hanshi's words and "Just do it!" The Shorin-Ryu torch burns bright in Israel and the hospitality is second to none.
Domo arigato Hanshi and deep bows and arigato gozaimasu to Senseis Nir Zamir, Shlomo Dadon, and David Tamir (for setting it all in motion).
Season's greetings from any icy, cold Northern Virginia!
Sensei Patrick Markowitz, Ueshiro Dulles
Sensei Lisa Markowitz, Ueshiro NoVA
Onegai shimasu, Hanshi, Kyoshi and all Deshi of Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu USA,
Last weekend’s 55th Anniversary Celebration and 2017 Annual Black Belt Workout was a momentous milestone in the history of Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu USA, made possible by the dedication and hard work of countless individuals. From Hanshi’s years of experience as Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro’s right hand man, to the young students’ enthusiasm training barefoot in the sand, we have a breadth of wisdom, talent and energy that is wider than the Floridian coast line. Below is a brief description of the highlights, which cannot do the weekend justice.
Thursday, February 2nd
The entire weekend got a head’s start with the 5:30 PM class held at Ueshiro Viera Dojo, under the direction of Hanshi Robert Scaglione. Kyoshi Matt Kaplan, Kyoshi Sal Scaglione, Sensei Kevin Reymond and approximately 15 high level Black Belts and kyu ranks participated in the high-energy event.
Friday, February 3rd
Formal training kicked off with a pre-dawn workout at the Merritt Is. Dojo conducted by Kyoshi Sal starting at 5:30 AM. Kyoshi was assisted by Kyoshi David Baker and Kyoshi Kaplan. Kyoshi Sal emphasized the concept of not rushing, whether during warmups, kihon or kata. As the sun came up at 7:00 AM the group of over 30 deshi moved outside to christen the concrete deck recently created by Sensei Ron Marchetti. After several repetitions of Fukyugata San, a flock of herons noisily left the creek adjoining the deck. The 2-1/2 hour workout set the stage for inspired training throughout the weekend.
Students checking in at the Cocoa Beach Hilton during the afternoon were greeted with welcome bags, courtesy of Sensei Pat Marchetti and the Florida Black Belts.
The traditional 4:30 PM class, led by Hanshi and held in the Ueshiro Suntree Karate Dojo, was standing room only. Several attendees arrived directly from the airport. Among the many corrections, Hanshi went into meticulous detail regarding the challenging turns in the Pinan kata, and showing zero pause at critical moments in the kata.
No sooner than Hanshi’s class ended, deshi were car-pooling back to the Merritt Is. Dojo for a 7:00 PM class led by Kyoshi David Seeger. Kyoshi worked the concept of not rushing the technique, always stepping first and then move without pause. "Blocks can be strikes, but you have to slow down and not rush to explore this concept." When punching, students were encouraged to step first and then throw the punch, not push it or poke it. Shoulders back and down to prevent injury and keep the focus on the elbow going back into the pocket instead of the punch.
Saturday, February 4th
Students began assembling on the beach in front of the Cocoa Beach Hilton at 8:30 AM, working informally in various groups. Kyoshi Michael Mackay bowed everyone in at approximately 9:30, and worked warm-ups, basics and kata for over an hour. He emphasized exploring strong, low stances in the sand and maintaining awareness of what was going on, even as verbal commands could not be heard. At about 10:30 Hanshi arrived and formed four large groups assigned to various Kyoshi. Each group worked on one kata, which was then videotaped by Kyoshi Seeger using 12 cameras to capture a 360 degree view. Hanshi then recorded performances of Fukyugata Ni and Passai with the Kyoshi in celebration of the 55th Anniversary of Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro’s arrival in the United States. Well over 100 Black Belts and students attended the workout, which was aired live by FLORIDA TODAY via their Facebook page. More than 130,000 people around the world watched the event, with positive comments coming in from North Africa, Brazil and Abu Dhabi. Domo arigato gozaimasu to Sempai Jennifer Sangalang for producing the session and bringing Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu to such a huge audience. The broadcast may be seen here.
After a formal group portrait many deshi continued to train in or near the Atlantic Ocean under perfect blue skies. A Shihan meeting was held inside the Hilton’s Conference Center, followed by optional training at the Merritt Island Dojo which began at 2:00. Students worked both inside and on the new outside concrete deck. Kata techniques were discussed and demonstrated including use of the dojo’s punching dummy to practice elbow smashes.
The banquet honoring Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro and 55 years of USRKUSA was scheduled for 6:00, but participants arrived well ahead of time and were treated to Fukyugata Ni performed in the hallways and reception areas led by Hanshi. At 6:00 PM sharp the doors to the Cocoa Beach Hilton Grand Ballroom opened, and guests were greeted with a commemorative student journal and Okinawan crest patch at their place settings. Hanshi began dinner with a compai to honor Grand Master Ueshiro and the evening was spent socializing and enjoying an excellent buffet. The high point of the occasion was when Hanshi stood beside the large, two-tiered anniversary cake for a moment of silence in honor of those who came before us, then blew out the red, white and blue candles symbolizing body, mind and spirit. Kyoshi Mackay ended the festivities with a compai to the “ripple effect” felt by Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro’s work started 55 years ago and to Hanshi for being the “conductor” that leads the USRKUSA orchestra forward. While departing, the 100 guests in attendance received a beautiful full-color poster by Sensei Ron Ballin honoring these two leaders and the long, rich history of Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu USA (see attached).
In lieu of a bon fire (postponed because of high winds), informal weapons workouts were held on the beach starting at 9:00 PM. The bo (including several ad hoc variations), nunchuka and sai were all represented. The 30 bo students formed an enormous circle on the beach and performed repetitions of Master Ueshiro’s bo kata for two hours, exchanging weapons after each kata.
Sunday, February 5th
The most intense training of the weekend occurred Sunday in the Viera Recreation Center, starting at 8:00 AM with informal training. Hanshi bowed the group in at approximately 9:30 and the gymnasium was divided to permit separate workouts for kyu ranks and dan-level students. Kyoshi Seeger started the 2017 Annual Black Belt Workout with warms-ups and kihon as described in the 50th Anniversary Journal. Sensei Pat Markowitz led the kyu-rank group in a smaller area sectioned off by a large curtain. At 12:00 noon kyu ranks were dismissed and the Annual Black Belt workout continued under Hanshi’s direction. Among the many topics reviewed extensively by Hanshi was Yaku Soku Kumite, with demonstrations from several high ranking Black Belts.
At about 1:30 PM Hanshi began a Dan-level test, utilizing the smaller section of the gym while non-test candidates continued working advanced kata. The results of the test are listed below:
* Promoted to Sho-Dan
Rob Weaver (Viera, FL))
Karuna Rao (Viera, FL))
Miranda Aiken (West Melbourne, FL)
Jermiah Emmenuel (Midtown, NY)
* Promoted to Ni-Dan
Jennifer Sangalang (Viera, FL)
Noah Kaplan (State College, PA)
Bill Breidenbach (Northern VA)
Ibrahima Jalloh (Midtown, NY)
* Promoted to San-Dan
John Seeger (Palisades, NY)
Matt Reed (Suntree, FL)
* Promoted to Yon-Dan
Richard Glassberg (Palisades, NY)
* Promoted to Go-Dan
Lisa Markowitz (Northern VA)
Emiliano Mazlen (Boston, MA)
Daniel Lax (Palisades, NY)
* Promoted to Roku-Dan
Elliot Potter (Palisades, NY)
Kurt Tezel (Merritt Is., FL)
* Promoted to Shichi-Dan
David Tamir (Neve, Israel)
* Promoted to Hachi-Dan
The test concluded at 6:00 PM. Right at sunset Hanshi presented the new ranks to the group assembled among a grove of pine trees outside the Viera Rec Center. In closing remarks, Hanshi emphasized the unique and unalterable relationship between Sensei and student, one that begins the moment a white belt shows up for his/her first class and continues for a lifetime. It was also noted that every Black Belt – not just those who tested – need to earn their rank and title on an ongoing basis, not through past laurels. One cannot be a “Sensei” if they are not conducting regularly-scheduled classes or a “Shihan” if they do not have a permanent physical dojo with a consistent class schedule available to the public. Based on the effort and enthusiasm shown throughout the entire weekend, the future of Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu looks bright, but only if everyone rises to the challenge set forth by our mission statement: “To propagate the art of Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA, its kata and techniques, as handed down by our founder, Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro.”
The final ceremony of the day was Kyoshi Mackay and Sensei David Tamir presenting Hanshi with a framed copy of the 55th Anniversary poster signed by all the Kyoshi and Shihan. And while no two signatures looked anything alike, the unanimous feelings of gratitude towards Hanshi were as unvarying and constant as the silver ink used to pen our names.
After much celebration back at the Hilton Hotel, a large corps of deshi joined Sensei Kurt Tezel at his home to watch the climactic “sudden death” finish of Super Bowl 51. This was just the final (and most eloquently catered) example of Sensei Tezel’s extraordinary hospitality and organizational wizardry that made the 55th Anniversary Weekend such a tremendous success.
Domo arigato gozaimasu, Hanshi, the Florida Shihan, and all your students for bringing USRKUSA to this lofty height. We have much to crow about as we look forward to many more celebrations throughout the Year of the Rooster.
- Kyoshi Mackay, with assistance from Sensei Kurt Tezel and the Florida Shihan
On Sunday February 26, a Kyu promotion was held at the Herzliya Dojo for the Neve Yamin and Herzliya groups. The event was much enhanced by the fact that it was shared by both Kyoshi Seeger and Denshi Tamir, joining in through Skype video-conferencing, each from their respective location in the US. Shodan Ofer Sinai and myself sat on the board of judges, together with Kyoshi Seeger and Denshi Tamir who gave their input remotely. This marked a first such remote-training opportunity, and we intend to make use of this fantastic format in the future.
Promoted to Ik Kyu was Mr. Eyal Elnir, of the Neve Yamin dojo.
Promoted to San Kyu was Mr. Doron Hanochi, of the Herzliya dojo.
Thank you so much, Seeger Kyoshi and Sensei Tamir for your support and guidance!
Sensei Nir Zamir, Godan
Ueshiro Herzliya Dojo
Onegai-shimasu Hanshi, Kyoshi, Sensei, Sempai and all Deshi,
The Neve Yamin and Herzlia Dojo[s] in Israel held our Dan level testing this past Friday 12/15/17, spanning almost 6 hours.
The testing adhered to the high quality Ueshiro SRKUSA traditions and guidelines, taught to us by Hanshi Robert Scaglione.
Presiding over as board of judges were:
Denshi Shihan David Tamir (Shichi-Dan)
Denshi Shihan Nir Zamir (Go-Dan)
Denshi Shihan Shlomo Dadon (Go-Dan)
The following Deshi were tested and promoted to their next rank:
1. Mr. Eyal Elnir, of the Neve Yemin Dojo, promoted to Sho-Dan
2. Mr. Avi David, of the Neve Yemin Dojo, promoted to Sho-Dan
3. Mr. Ofer Sinai, of the Herzelia Dojo, promoted to Ni-Dan
We are grateful to Sensei Dadon for traveling all the way from Eilat and back (Eilat is Israel's most southern city, at the tip of the Red Sea) in order to be part of this event!
* Another happy occasion in proximity with these proceedings was the birth of a daughter to Mr. Ran Sheinman, San Kyu, and his wife Elinor, and we extend our best wishes to them on this joyous event.
Domo Arigato Gozaimasu,
Under the Direction of Hanshi Robert Scaglione
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA