Japanese Characters of Isshinryu

Newsletter – Feb 2012

HOLYOKE KARATE STUDIO

CHESTER HOLUBECKI   9THDAN
264 Westfield Road,  Holyoke, Ma 01040 c.holubecki@verizon.net – 413-534-8025

SENSEI’S CORNER

Wayland’s Isshin-Ryu Karate-Do Family.  The Black Belts that help plan and execute the trip in which these America flags were flown over these historical sites were all in agreement that we present you this flag for all you done and represented in this United States

The plaque mentions that this flag presented to me was flown over Ground Zero in New York City, over Patriots Field in Shanksville, Pa., and over the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. and over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on the 10th anniversary in honor of all those who died during the 9/11/01 attack.  I am very humbled to receive this honor.  Thank you.

Master Holubecki,

On September 11, 2011 the United Sates stood strong after being attacked ten years earlier. I do not have to explain the importance of 9/11/2011, I’m sure you fully understand. 

On 9/11/2011 I was allowed to tag along with several friends that work in intelligence agencies across the US as they setout on a what we’ll call an all-inspiring journey. Eighteen and a half hours covering 875 miles, stops were made at Ground Zero (New York), The Crash site of Flight 93 (Shanksville, PA), The Pentagon (Arlington, VA), and the trip was finalized at our Nation’s Capitol (Washington DC). At each site flags of the United States were flown. As time presents itself they will be used to honor great Americans.

God willing we will track the same journey on the 15th and 20th anniversary. 

On January 14, 2012 the Wayland’s Isshin-Ryu Family presented you with one of the 9/11 Flags to honor you for your professionalism and selfless dedication to the people of this United States Of American. 

I wrote this letter to you because of the emotions of the moment I’m not sure everyone totally realized the importance of the moment. 

Once again thank you for your friendship, guidance, and support over the years it will not soon be forgotten. 

A picture of you with your flag would be appreciated. 

A very honored and  humbled,

Wayne Wayland

MY DEEPEST SYMPATHY GOES OUT TO MY DEAR FRIEND MR. SAM SANTILLI WHO LOST HIS WIFE, CLAUDIA, RECENTLY.  MAY THE GOOD LORD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. 

Balance In The Martial Arts & Life

Balance happens from experience in life and what you have gained from it, positive or negative.  Whatever happened in my life experience, I try to make a positive experience out of any situation; that is how you better yourself in life.  As the saying goes, the older you get, the wiser.    CH

2012 ISSHINRYU NETWORK

The 17th Annual Winter Seminar and 9th Annual Meeting of the Isshinryu Network was held over the long Martin Luther King Holiday weekend  (January 13 through 15) at John Crowther’s Isshinryu Karate-do & Self-Defense dojo in Orange City, Florida.  Guess what?  No snow! The weather was beautiful, with clear blue skies, nighttime lows in the 40’s, and daytime highs in the 60’s, which no doubt also contributed to the great turnout and participation.

Grand Master Holubecki arrived at Orlando International on the morning of the 13th (yes, it was Friday the 13th for all of you who are superstitious), where Master Crowther met him and brought him to the beautiful Quality Inn in the heart of historic Orange City (the town General Sherman never got a chance to burn down).  There he bunked with Master Wayne Wayland, who had made the long, 16+ hour drive down from Fredericksburg, VA (which did get burned down), for the festivities.  For several years, the Quality Inn has been the “off-duty” focal point, where many of out-of-town karateka stay and share the good times when not instructing or training.

The weekend was kicked off with an informal, evening, ”happy time” get-together at Beef O’Brady’s Sports Bar, just up the road in DeLand, FL (home of Florida’s first college, Stetson University).  This has long been a favorite gathering spot for the Orange City black belts and their guests, past and present.  It’s also the memorable site of the infamous “Cadillac switch” which left a certain Grand Master nearly teary-eyed and scratching his head wondering, “What happened to my car?”  But that’s another story for another time. . . .  Among those attending were Grand Master Holubecki, Pete Haddad, Wayne Wayland, H. P. Henry, Gary Thornhill, Mike Best, Kim Best, Bill Hyde, Shaun Mymudes, Jared Mymudes, John Crowther, Margaret Crowther, Thomas Crowther, Dylan Crowther, Todd Leroy, Jenny Leroy, John Requelme, Bernardo Ibarra, Mike Padykula, Brian Wilmoth, Andrew Wishon and Doug Bennett.  I apologize to anyone who attended and whose name(s) is/are not mentioned here.  We also received a telephone call from Eduardo Gonzalez (Puerto Rico), wishing us well and advising that he, Alexis Morales and Alexis’ students would be with us Saturday morning.  Much good old-fashioned comaraderie shared and old tales were remembered and told.

Saturday morning came early for some and the dojo filled up quickly with the sign-in at 8:30 A.M., and bow-in at 9:00 A.M.  The day was filled with a series of seminars for both black belts and color belts, including:  basics, hand kata, weapons kata, bunkai and self-defense techniques, kumite techniques, and the development and use of ki energy.  Those participating as Instructors were Grand Master Holubecki, and Masters Peter Haddad (8th Dan), Wayne Wayland (8th Dan), Eduardo Gonzales (7th Dan), H. P. Henry (7th Dan), Gary Thornhill (6th Dan), Alexis Morales (6th Dan), Steve Buschman (6th Dan), Ersaid Souto (6th Dan) and John Crowther (6th Dan).  Special Guest Instructor, Master Dennis Bootle (8th Dan), provided insights and another self-defense dimension to the black belts with his seminar on tuite techniques and their relationship to linear karate.  Black belts who participated in the seminars were Sensei Ross Hinkle, Sensei Te Robinson, Sensei Eileen Strickland, Sensei Todd Leroy, Sensei David Ortiz, Sensei Dave Riddle, Sensei Charles Morrison, Mr. Raymond Read, Mr. Christian Rivera, Mr. Prude Ibarra, Mr. Robert Greene, Mr. Carlos Ortiz, Mr. Timothy Lahiff and Mr. Brian Wilmoth. Participating color belts included Michael Miller, Bradon To, Michael Padykula, Peter Gepilano, Josh Weisenberger, Andrew Wishon, Duncan McMahon, Doug Bennett, Kha Duong, Christine Gepilano, Phi Duong, Tommy Nguyen, Jacob Crane, Sophia Ngyuen and Billy Luu.

The mid-day break brought announcements and awards, among these were:  Master Morales’ promotion of his student, Sensei David Diaz, to 4th Dan, and his presentation to Sensei Diaz’ of his Instructor’s Certificate; and Master Crowther’s presentation to his student, Duncan McMahon, Yonkyu, of the Student of the Year (2011) award, upon the vote of the Orange City black belts (this was Duncan’s second consecutive Student of the Year Award).

Saturday evening concluded with a traditional Kumpai on the dojo floor. The “Eternal Circle” was formed, sake, plum wine and cola (for those underaged or not wanting alcohol) poured, reminescences told, and toasts made and receieved with a loud “kumpai”.  Good fellowship with old and new friends–an appropriate conclusion to an awesome affair.  Those participating in the “Circle” festivities, along with Grand Master Holubecki, were Pete Haddad, Wayne Wayland, H. P. Henry, Gary Thornhill, Mike Best, John Crowther,  Todd Leroy, Mike Padykula, Brian Wilmoth, Andrew Wishon and Doug Bennett.

We are already looking forward to another great seminar and good time in January 2013.  Mark your calendars now!

For those who are interested in viewing pictures of the event, please go to the Isshinryu Karate-do & Self-Defense website at http://isshinryu-karate-do.com/ and click on the “Events” tab located in the upper left portion of the page; then click on the photo of Grand Master Holubecki and Master Wayland holding the flag presented to Grand Master Holubecki during the event to access the full album.

Students need to concentrate more on the weak side of the body so that it would give them more of a sense of balance.    CH

Success does not come to you, you go to it!  That is what make life special, it offers a place for only a few to make it or stand out, whether it’s in the martial arts or life itself.  How many people out there seek the best out of life by learning more about themselves?  This is something for everyone to think about, especially you young folks out there.  We are always striving for self perfection and the only one who can prevent you from excelling is yourself.             CH 

A strong foundation in the basics should be a student’s highest priority.   CH

MY MEMORIES OF DON NAGLE

During my 16 months on Okinawa, I heard Don Nagle’s name quite often and made up my mine that when I got back to the states, I would look him up. As soon as I got to Camp Lejuene, I went in to Jacksonville only find out he had been discharged and was back in New Jersey, his dojo was now occupied by Sam Pearson a Shorin-ryu stylist.The rest of my time in the Corps took me all over the world and it wasn’t until 1965 when I contacted him by phone requesting to visit his dojo in Jersey. I left Salisbury, Md. about 4:30 a.m. on a Saturday and headed to Bayonne. I arrived about 9:30 and called him from a pay phone, when he answered ,he asked me what time it was and when I told him he said, “what are you crazy” he sent Jim his cousin to unlock the dojo. I knew the minute I met jim i was going to like him. About 10:30 Sensei showed up and called me in to office, the first thing he asked was my rank and when i told him I was a sho-dan, he said bull, no one left the island as a sho-dan. I let him know that my certificate showed go-dan but I wanted to train with him as a 1st. degree black belt, he agreed.

When Sensei came on to the floor, there wasn’t much of a warm up, he would throw a few kicks and do a hand drill he made up himself. One Saturday was a black belt workout and he lined everyone up against the wall, then called each one up for sparring, he was bouncing guys off the wall with his side kicks and back fist. We usually chamber the knee high to deliver our kicks but his knee was down and his kick would come up on an angle and was hard to block, I called it a flip kick. When it came my turn, I could only think about driving 5 hours with cracked ribs, he took it easy on me.

I tried to attend his classes, shiai’s and demonstrations as often as possible, I was very lucky that Jim would come to Salisbury and visit my dojo.

I traveled to Ocean City, N.J. to watch him do a demo with his students and remember him doing sanchin kata. When he removed his gi top, the crowd kind of snickered because he was so skinny but when he tensed up, he looked like a cobra.

While attending one of his shiai’s, Sensei was going to promote one of his young green belts to brown and doing so, this kid had to spar him, I felt very sorry for him because anytime anyone got promoted meant there had to be blood. After a few seconds of sensei playing with him, this guy jumped in with a reverse punch and caught Nagle square in the chest, Sensei stepped back began laughing and shook his hand.

Dennis Lockwood, Al bailey and few other students went to his tournament in New York and afterwards attended his party, during the festivities, I noticed a man sitting against the wall and he had a pistol strapped to his ankle, I went over to Sensei and mentioned this and he laughed and said, ” everybody here is packing where is yours, hillbilly”.

As time went on sensei promoted me to ni-dan then san-dan in 1966 during Master Shimabuku’s visit and that same night, the master promoted him to 8th. dan. After a good workout in front of the master, Nagle invited me over to his house to spend the night, the biggest mistake I ever made was not doing so but I had already played hooky from my job.

The last time I saw Nagle, he showed up in Princess Anne, Md. when Harvey Hastings and myself put on a shiai for Rick Niemira to raise money for his medical expenses. I presented Rick with a special trophy and Nagle promoted him to nana-dan.

In the world of Isshinryu, Nagle was a legend and will never be forgotten.

Tom Lewis.

Isshinryu Network Meeting 

We had a great turnout for the annual Isshinryu Network training session this January.  My duties were to teach Hama Higa kata to all interested parties. We worked on the entire kata for about 2 hours and then i spent the rest of the session working with those interested parties making sure they put the kata together correctly.   We had a great time.

I heartily recommend learning the weapons kata especially tonfa (or tuifa).  Bo and Tonfa are ancient tools used as weapons by Okinawan farmers.  They were made out of wood so they were readily available to the farmers.  Learning a kata with either weapon is like owning an antique.  The tool is ancient and sometimes the kata is too.

The moves in the empty hand kata are similar to the moves in  Tonfa.  The blocks and the punches are the same with or without the tonfa except that in Isshinryu you block with the meaty part of your forearm instead of the boney part which you would do if you had a tonfa in your hand.  And there are no kicks.

Learning a weapons kata is a good way to stimulate lagging interest in Karate. It also shows your Sensei that you are a serious student  It is no accident that the higher ranks require weapons training.  You start karate with empty hand training and then graduate to weapons.

The really great thing about the Isshinryu Network is that you can find someone in attendance who knows the weapons kata you want to learn and ask them to teach you.

We had a great turnout this year, and I hope to see all of you again next year!!  Bring your friends!

Pete Haddad

8th Dan , Isshinryu

Until next time………….