Here’s the story…
This video explains what topics “Tales From the Western Generation” will explore. It also provides a sneak peek at some of the interview guests and the unique images they provided for the project.
Ed Mcgrath is one of the senior-most Isshin Ryu practitioners in the world and inheritor of Don Nagle's methods.
Miner Sensei experienced early Shotokan in Japan and was one of the first Western JKA Instructors.
Keeney Sensei is a senior Goju instructor and one of the most prolific tournament champions in US history.
Kimo Wall Sensei is a senior student of Higa Seiko Sensei and Matayoshi Shinpo Sensei.
Dometrich Sensei was one of the first westerners to study with Chitose Tsuyoshi in Japan.
Bill Hayes Sensei, a senior student of Shimabukuro Eizo, is a crucial link to old style karate methods and history.
Jim Logue Sensei was a senior students of Oyata Seiyu and an important Ryute inheritor.
Jody Paul Sensei is one of the earliest westerners to spend significant time on Okinawa.
Heilman Sensei, a direct student of Odo Seikichi Sensei, is a martial pioneer for women in the USA.
This is just a small sampling of the diverse group of interview guests that provide unique insight into the masters of Okinawa and Japan as well as the development of their respective styles.
"Chitose Tsuyoshi could generate a great amount of power for his size. He had total body control and had developed vibration ability (not to be confused with hip snap) It seems he could move his internal organs to increase his power while his outside body moved hardly at all."
"Peter Urban Sensei was a bull, stocky and really developed. He was fantastically strong and Goju is a very rooted and fundamental style. Don Nagle Sensei was tall and lanky so he had more distance and speed concepts during fighting."
"Someone asked about having women in the black belt divisions and the tournament director said 'well women rarely make Nidan and if they did they would not get Sandan'."
"One evening while we were out at a bar relaxing after class Kise Fusei said to me 'tomorrow we go see my teacher'. At the time I was thinking he meant Maeshiro, but it wasn’t to be Maeshiro at all, it was Grand Master Hohan Soken."
"Master Odo in particular had a warmth and openness about him. I always think of him like a bright light in a dark room. He opened his arms to us and we were very thankful for that."
"I had won my fair share of tournaments and lost some matches too. But I had never received an ass whooping until I went up against Victor Moore."
"The trap some individuals fell into was that they believed they were skilled and knowledgeable karate men. I do not see how anyone, in just a year or two, can gain the knowledge required to come back to the USA and create a karate organization."
"When I was stationed in Iwakuni, Japan, and teaching next to a senior JKA Shotokan instructor - Hakayama, Sensei - he was clearly resentful of the fact that an American was teaching karate in 'his' gym."
"The Japanese weren’t used to black people at that time. They used to turn my hand over and over because it was light on one side and black on the other."