SD Class @ 110 Fitness – Goldfish Swim, Rockland, MA

Denise and I were invited this week by Goldfish Swim Club and 110 Fitness in Rockland, to present SD material for a few hours Monday night.   What a great class and great group of young kids that showed up.  All had fun hitting, kicking  …and expressing themselves loud and clear with verbal assertiveness exercises.

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Kudos to the organizers and many thanks to the hosts, Bill and Marina from Goldfish Swim.  And, Brett from 110 Fitness. The venue was a very cool boxing gym that runs classes for specialized groups, like a science-based, classical boxing program for people managing Parkinson’s Disease.  The young high-school aged swimming instructors for Goldfish were clearly budding community leaders.  They demonstrated lots of strength and confidence in what for most was a first exploration into the adult world of self-protection responsibilities.

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Much appreciation as well for our cool first time facilitators, Elyse and Sienna.    They added to the fun and were needed with such a large group!   Can’t wait to do it again.

 

-Billy G.

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MEMORIAL TO JACKIE DOWD, 8TH DAN

It is with great sadness that we pass along the news of Jack Dowd’s passing in September of 2017.  

Jack spent nearly 40 years donating his time to countless numbers of students.  Jack’s shining moments were in his senior black belt classes.   Anyone who attended regularly knew of his  gruff “Old School’ teaching style.   However if you hung in there, after a while it became apparent Jackie had a huge capacity to offer help.  His goal was always to make you better, to help you grow as a karateka.    Jack knew this was admittedly sometimes difficult to see in him …and he always struggled to articulate.    He had limited patience for poor performance and only knew a few ways to get his message across.    Those that knew him best though could understood his dry sense of humor and caring.

Jackie  was a hermit in his private life, but appreciated all the personalities he interacted with in karate.   He had a memory of an elephant and could recall all kinds of stories and facts from early karate in the United States.    He knew many of the “Old Lions” of Uechi karate around the country and would piece together for new and old students alike the network of karate family trees.    Jack would tell you what you needed to know form each  …and you heard it plainly spoken.   If that rubbed anyone the wrong way, Jackie certainly didn’t care.   Jackie spent his ow life studying and passing along karate knowledge.   Anyone could tell he felt the right to his opinion, and from where I usually sat over through the years there were plenty of times Jack wasn’t all that far off.    You have  to appreciate someone who never really talked with any social pomp and circumstance.   No sugar coating, no BS with Jackie Dowd.

So, this is just cheers to an old karate family member from the dojo.    “Dojo is people” …we’re always a different dojo when someone leaves the floor and passes on.   Jackie was at the very least a huge presence during his many decades at IOK…

KAMPAI!

-Billy G

“Your other left!!!”

“That was your worst one yet”

“I’ve been telling you this for 30 years, but you don’t ever listen”

“That’s exactly the way Master Uechi envisioned it” (Usually after you screwed up several times already).

“Finally …you’re starting to learn it”

“There’s no fun in karate!” (in jest)

 

 

Master Kiyohide Shinjo and Narihiro Shinjo – CONNECTICUT KOSHUKAI 2015

All,

It is IOK’s pleasure to pass along the below Summer Camp invitation from the Uechi Karate Academy in Hartford, CN.

Training sessions with Master Shinjo (Discovery Channel Documentary) would be a fantastic take for any and all who may be able to attend some of this upcoming July event.

It can be difficult to travel for training especially in the Summertime.  However,  we are certainly grateful to be included in the distribution list and are hopeful some karateka from our karate family branch will make it down to this. Nothing is more inspiring than to see students and teachers bring back such a training experiences to share on our own dojo floor.

Please also note …This same Connecticut Dojo is likewise offering a weekend training with Master Jim Thompson  in October.   Sensei Thompson from the Michigan area has been a well known outstanding Uechi instructor for decades.  Its been many years since he has visited IOK, but his presence in New England this Fall would be a great opportunity if you can get to that.    Details and registration can be found on the Uechi Karate Academy’s website events webpage.

Best,

-Billy G.

Sent: Sunday, May 17, 2015 1:51 PM
Subject: 2015 Koshukai at UCONN with Masters Shinjo, Masusaki, Thomson

 Greetings Uechi Ryu Practitioners!

 2015 Koshukai is about 6 weeks away and we hope to see you there!  Sensei Shinjo has asked us to invite all Uechi practitioners . Please see details and registration information at www.uechikarate.com – Thank you for posting the attached information in your dojo.

 Respectfully,

John Spencer, John Griffin and Tom Piacentini

ALL KARATE CLASSES CANCELLED THURSDAY AS WELL!!!

Folks  …Our policy is dojo closes for snow when Quincy Public school does.  This has traditionally made it simple and avoids most miscommunications as we are not staffed during the daytime.

Quincy announced they will close again tomorrow.  So, we will be closed as well.

SEE EVERYBODY SATURDAY …EITHER ON THE FLOOR OR AT THE EVENING PARTY AT ALBA’S RESTAURANT!

TRAINING WITH THE MASTERS …Senior Promotional in N. Attleboro, MA

A BIG thank you goes out to Sensei’s Ed and Jeanie DeCosta, owners of the North Attleboro, MA Dojo for last week’s…

 2014 TRAINING WITH THE MASTERS CAMP!!!

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Okikukai Senior Officers and 10th Dan Masters Sensei Nakahodo and Sensei Higa presided as the consummate gentlemen our organization has come to treasure.   These two octogenarian Masters are truly special teachers.  We cannot thank them enough for exhausting themselves each day trying to better every karateka in attendance.

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The additional presence of Okinawa’s reigning three-time All Okinawa Kata Champion,  Asao Nakasone was a special treat.   Asaosan (5 Dan) offered fantastic contributions to a great week of karate.  Further attesting to Asao’s character, the Kata Champ was very helpful and humble.  And, was even overheard saying his coming in third place in the All Okinawa Kumite Competition also was “Lucky!”

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Capping off the week, the DeCosta’s escorted the official Okikukai contingency to Jack Summers gravesite, where Okinawa presented a ceremonial Certificate of Appreciation to Jack’s wife Claire Summers.  This tribute to the decades Jack worked to promote Uechi- Shohei Ryu Karate and the Okinawa culture in this region of the world was a heartfelt and significant gesture, authentically in the honorable warrior spirit of karate family.

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Of course CONGRATULATIONS to all the senior rank candidates who promoted.  This was the best test I can recall participating in.   High calibre karateka travelled not just from New England, but from far and wide, California, Canada, Pennsylvania and others.  There was “much sweat left on the floor” during the week.  As the week was a relatively abbreviated preparation with our Okinawa Seniors, all will attest to a feeling of extra pressure having to improve and rise to the occasion in front of such gracious teachers among a strong group of candidates.

Mike                                      Russ

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AUGUST 2014  OKIKUKAI CANDIDATES FROM THE U.S.A.  –  SENIOR PROMOTIONS  to 8th / 7th / 6th Dan

Pointing at his colleague the venerable Master Nakahodo Sensei, Higa Sensei said that the training and promotional had been, “Excellent  …he said so.”

Osu!!!

-Billy G.

JACK V. SUMMERS

WITH HEAVY HEARTS OUR DOJO REMEMBERS JOHN “JACK” V. SUMMERS.  JACK PASSED AWAY PEACEFULLY ON WEDNESDAY JUNE 18, 2014  AFTER DEALING WITH VARIOUS AGE RELATED AILEMENTS THIS PAST YEAR.    SENSEI WAS 87 YEARS OLD.  

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JACK SERVED IN THE MARINE CORP DURING WWII WHEN HE WAS YOUNG    …FOUGHT AND WAS WOUNDED ON IWO JIMA     …CAME BACK AND RAISED A FAMILY    …WORKED UNTIL RETIREMENT IN THE LOCAL COURT SYSTEM    …STUDIED AND TAUGHT IN THE LOCAL, REGIONAL AND NATIONAL BOXING/MARTIAL ARTS COMMUNITY FOR NEARLY ALL OF HIS LIFE. 

KARATE AND THE MARTIAL ARTS WAS NOT ALL, BUT CERTAINLY A HUGE PART OF JACK’S LIFE WORK.  HOWEVER, THAT 60 OR MORE YEAR TIME SPAN ACTUALLY PALES IN COMPARISON TO THE NUMBER OF LESSONS IMPARTED TO HIS STUDENTS WHILE HE WAS ON THE FLOOR.    JACK WAS A TEACHER OF MANY TEACHERS …AND RANKED AMONG THE FEW WHO HAVE BEEN AWARDED THE HIGHEST HONOR OF HANSHI – 10TH DAN BY OKINAWA. 

THOSE CLOSE TO HIM KNEW JACK NEVER REALLY TOOK TO BEING CALLED “SENSEI” PUBLICLY   …BUT TO THOSE WHO STUDIED UNDER HIS TUTILAGE JACK WAS THAT TEACHER    …OUR MENTOR AND PATRIARCH FIGURE  …THE MAN  …THE ALPHA DOG, AND ON.       JACK’S QUIET, STERN MANNER OF FORMING A “WAY” INTO KARATEKA OF ALL AGES AND EXPERIENCES WILL BE MISSED BY FUTURE GENERATIONS.   

MR.  JOHN V. SUMMERS / “JACK”

…REMEMBERED FONDLY BY IOK/QUINCY (AND MANY, MANY OTHER DOJO AND KARATEKA AROUND THE WORLD).

 

Jack - Poem