ALONG THE WAY

"The title is "Explosive Uechi-ryu" and the moderator is Arthur Rabesa. Art will be exploring the power contained in Uechi-ryu that is not appreciated by the average practitioner. Make no mistake - this forum is for the serious martial artist and I wholeheartedly recommend it for anyone who really wants to tap his or her explosive power potential.

Moderator: Art Rabesa

Re: ALONG THE WAY--Even Up

Postby Art Rabesa » Fri Jun 10, 2016 5:09 pm

I've written before about questionable calls by officials at tournaments. I've officiated at many tournaments where my calls may not always have been correct as well. All fighters have to endure these bad calls. You learn that rather quickly when you are a competitive fighter. Warwick Rhode Island tournament 1968. This was a good tournament year for me. I managed to win a couple of outings thus far. My third match faced me with a very good fighter that defeated me in the past. I had my work cut out for me with this fighter. He was very tall with long reaching kicks. Getting inside those kicks and not letting him reload was the key. Like most fighting game plans, this was easier said than done. We each had two points with time running out in the match. Next point would probably win the contest. I couldn't let him unload one of his round house kicks and put it in the hands of the judges. The time keeper yelled out "20 seconds"!! Make or break time for me here. I delivered my running punch that I used for taller opponents. Of course, all my opponents were taller. I managed to connect with a left punch to his forearm. Obviously not a scoring area. However, it made a very load bang which caused all the judges to throw up their arms and stop the action. We both couldn't figure out why they stopped the match. I slammed my punch into his forearm making a load bang. So much so, that I was awarded the scoring point and the match. We bowed and moved off the fighting area. He put his hand on my shoulder and pulled up his uniform sleeve. He had a cast on his left fore arm. That's what made such a load sound when I punched it. It was clearly not a scoring technique but all the judges heard was that load noise. He just smiled and said "we're even". It all evens out after a while. ----Happy Trails----Art
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Art Rabesa » Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:07 pm

At the end of my competitive fighting career, promoters were trying a different venue. Regular fighting matches. One referee and a time keeper, plus side judges sitting at ringside. No scoring points here. No stopping the match to award scoring points. Just saddle up and go. Right up my alley. When I'm thinking of retiring this comes along. The rules were very fuzzy, but I went that route before when tournaments were first beginning. This was three rounds of fighting and the winner would be determined by the judges. We were given funny little pads that slipped over the hand. I don't know why, but I guess they thought it would protect us somewhat. REALLY!! The first two rounds were uneventful. Some techniques landed but nothing slowed us down. My opponent was tough and he had a real strong kick to the body. After blocking a few of them, I really didn't want to block any more. My arms were getting real sore about this time in the match. We practice lots of leg kicks in our Uechi Ryu training. I thought this might be a good time to air one out. I let a crescent kick go low and hard. It made contact to his left leg and he went down. I followed him down and was grabbed by the referee. He backed me into my corner and went to my opponent. They got him to his feet but he was unable to continue. Since he was unable to continue, I was declared the winner. Good thing too, because if he hit me again with that kick it might have gone a different way. Now here is where it gets sleazy. My $500 check was no good. None of the pay outs were any good. There were lots of angry fighters all looking for the promoter. Of course, he was no where to be found. As far as I know, he was never caught. He might still be hiding to this day. I was one and done with this. I retired after that and bought a rocking chair. Ya -- right. I got married and began teaching at a public school, and running my dojo in Falmouth. I'd sure like to find that promoter though. Now that would be another story. -------Happy Trails -----Art
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Re: Dojo's Along The Way

Postby Art Rabesa » Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:06 pm

All seniors probably have memories of past training sites. I see some very nice training sites now. Very modern with lots of training aids. Set up with specific areas for specialized activity. Payment plans on a contract for easy book keeping. Person drops out - no problem. They must still pay because of their payment contract. Good business sense and the way most schools are run today. I've seen some real beautiful training sites with everything you could ask for. The training can almost be on automatic pilot. Having said all that----let me take you back to the dark ages. The time when you really wanted to learn, because there was nothing. Most schools were nothing more than four walls and a roof. Let me run you by a few dojo's from my past. My first training site was in a very questionable section of Boston in 1963. From the outside it looked like something that Boston had on it's demo list. When you opened the street level door, you looked at a dark stairway. At the top of that stairway was a large open room. That was the training area. On one wall were radiators that hissed out steam. On the other side were windows that leaked. In the winter the cold and snow would come through. So you really tried to stay in the middle of the dojo. There were mops along the wall so the white belts could mop up what came through the windows. No bags - no striking mitts - no training aids - just each other. No showers either. YET! the classes were full. When you left. you hoped your car was where you left it. That was my introduction to the DOJO. Many others followed with somewhat the same decor. Nothing but a large space and a place to change. It began to get a little better as the years went by. Some schools had a lounge to hang out and even showers. LUXURY. My first school in Falmouth, was about as basic as you will find. Nineteen feet wide on a cement slab. I had a commercial carpet put in. The changing room was crowded with four people. However, I did install a couple of showers. A heavy bag could be hung from the ceiling and I had a few kicking shields. The walls were mason block. Nineteen feet wide with cement walls. You can imagine how my fighting sessions went. You had to fight because there was no where to go. Dojo's of days gone by. I could write about many others but I think you get the idea. The training was all there was with absolutely no frills at all. You train hard and go home and get ready for the next workout. When I use the term "Old School", I really mean old school. Today - safety in the training is of the utmost importance. This I believe is important. What you received in your workout was just the way it was. Remember -- all we had was each other to hit. To keep on training took a special kind of individual back then---Along The Way. ----Happy Trails ----Art
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Re: ALONG THE WAY - Bob & Bob

Postby Art Rabesa » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:25 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kqoUljOce4
Here I am with my two top fighters doing a little fighting. These two were raked very high in the tournament scene of yesteryear. It looks like the late sixties here. Bob Campbell (taller fighter), could really bring that long powerful kick and punch. Bob Bethoney knowing that must not allow that to happen. We worked that leg jam technique until it became second nature. To allow Bob Campbell to get his kicks and punches launched would be suicide. You see the result here. I'm not sure a punch hit Campbell but the leg jam did not allow for anything to get going. This is a very quick clip so watch closely. Using your legs to block and get yourself moving into the attack is the lesson here. When I got these two together, I just opened the barn door and let um loose. -----Happy Trails ----Art
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Van Canna » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:45 pm

Great fighters...with so many full contact championships under their belt...all byproducts of Uechi basic curricula of the old days.
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Re: ALONG THE WAY --

Postby Art Rabesa » Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:02 pm

My students never wanted to see me judging their fights. In competition, they would prefer someone else in the head referee position. The reason? Because I trained them and I was very fussy about their output. They had to work extra hard in getting my call. Here we are at the finals of a tournament. I'm the head referee and Bob Campbell was fighting. He knew he had to work extra hard this night to win. Bob hit his opponent with a nice right hand to the body. The side judges yelled and we separated the fighters. The judges called out their call for Bob's scoring punch. As head referee, I could over rule anything I saw differently. I stepped back and announced that the punch was not strong enough for this division, and it was not a scoring punch. As I was making my call, Bob's opponent collapsed to the floor. He was unable to move for quite a while. Bob went on to be declared the winner of this fight. That was not a very accurate call on my part, and I just kept shaking my head. I just felt that Bob could hit better than what I saw. Thank goodness he did not hit better that night. There were other times also. When Bob Campbell and Bob Bethoney had to fight each other in tournaments it was actually funny. With me as head referee, I just let them go at it. Other judges were calling scoring techniques and I just ignored them. I trained these fighters and I'll let you all know when I see something. So you can see how difficult it was to compete with me as referee. I stepped away from referee duties and tournaments in general. Many fighters were very happy when that happened. It is what it is. -----Happy Trails -----Art
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Re: ALONG THE WAY--Now do you believe me?

Postby Art Rabesa » Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:18 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNIwtVe63LM

Footage from 1968 tournaments. Joe Lewis talking about those days. I have mentioned how tough those outings were back then. Now you get a glimpse of some of it. I spotted Walter Mattson. He was a main player back then, and one of the best. Van Canna wanted to know a little about my bout with Pat Burleson in Oklahoma City at this time period. You see Pat in a match with Skipper Mullins. He was very aggressive and tough. Our fight was something to watch. Since I do not back up much, you can imagine the banging that took place. Pat was declared the winner of our fight, but I really enjoyed it. Joe Lewis speaks of the difference in the fighters from that era to now. Back then the officiating was really a toss up. So the fighting was really a brawl. Lots of contact. Remember--No gloves or protective gear was worn. Bare hands - feet - shins. I witnessed some real heavy strikes that ended with trips to the hospital. In a tournament in Kansas, there were Red Cross vans at the exits. They made a few trips that day. "The Wars Of The Sixties". That's the title of that era. Man I had a good time back then. Hope you enjoy this video. Certainly snaps me right back there. As I watch it my shins and arms begin to hurt. I'm smiling though. -------Happy Trails----Art
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Art Rabesa » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:30 pm

I only had my first dojo in Falmouth operating for about a year. There was a Noreaster one winter night. It was a terrible blizzard. I told my wife to keep dinner warm because I'll be right back. I had to get to the dojo and open. No one would come out in this storm. Highway warnings were out and everyone was to keep off the roads. No email back then -- hell no computers either. I would plow through with my Volkswagen beetle - turn on the lights and heat - check the answering machine and wait a few minutes. I looked through the front windows to an empty plaza lot. Parking for my school was at the rear. I didn't put on my gi because I expected to leave in a few minutes. I went to the light switch and flipped off the lights.
"Sensei! What; no class? I turned the lights back on. Three students were coming in stomping their boots to get the snow off. Then the dam broke. Ten more came in - then three more. I had to wait for them to get out of the changing room so I could put my gi on. Town trucks were plowing out front. They couldn't get out back because of all the cars. My wife called to see what was keeping me. When I told her she said ,"Those people are all crazy. Your training crazy people."
I often heard that about my students. I didn't want them any other way. -------Happy Trails ------Art
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Art Rabesa » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:33 pm

We've all heard the expression, "learn from your mistakes".This was no more true than when I was competing in a tournament back in the 60's. I was concentrating on a few top fighters that I figured I'd be fighting. I won the first two matches and was called out for the third fight. Out came someone shorter and much heavier than I. I figured this short fat guy was just good practice for me. I knew I'd be fighting one of the top fighters next match. Let me get three fast points and end this quickly. This guy didn't move much at all. How much technique could he possibly have? As it turned out, he only had a punch. I fired a side kick and he just lifted his leg and punched. Nothing really explosive; just enough to have the judges give him a scoring point. I had no problem hitting him with an assortment of kicks and punches. The problem was he just stood there lifting those short chubby legs and grabbing me and holding on. Time ran out and the one point held up. I was stunned. I didn't talk to anyone after that mess. I changed and jumped in my car and got out of there. Big time lesson. I never took any fighter for granted again. Never looked beyond anyone again. You can learn from your mistakes. That was a good example. -------Happy Trails ------ Art
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