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-new kata?

Postby Art Rabesa » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:16 pm

It was around 1967 at a tournament in Bridgeport Conn. I always entered the kata competition at all tournaments. I had to do a kata to break a tie for the kata championship. I always paid attention to those judging the kata competition. There were no Uechi Ryu judges on the panel. I never knew if this was a good thing or not. In this case, it happened to work for me. They wanted to see a different kata than the one I did earlier. I decided to do one of the intermediate kata's because it contained some strong movements. Half way through the kata, I found myself drifting into one of the advanced kata's. Everyone has had this happen to them from time to time, but not for first place. My mind just went right into a movement from another kata. My dad used to tell me - "always act like you belong there-". So I did. I never lost the flow as I just kept going with a different kata. Keep in mind that there were no Uechi Ryu judges. I had to make sure I finished facing the judges panel. When this new kata was ending, I made a quick turn and did another basic Uechi Ryu movement facing the judges. I did everything as strong as I could and hoped my blunder was not detected. As it turned out, it was not detected by the judges and I was awarded first place. It was detected by Jim Maloney and Bob Campbell who were sitting a short distance away. I got a pretty good laugh at their expressions. I said, "just gotta act like you know what your doing". I was lucky there were no Uechi Ryu judges, because they would have tossed me out. Whew! Dodged a big one this time. It was a good lesson. -------Happy Trails ------Art
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Art Rabesa » Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:22 am

Seems like we had quite a few tournaments in Conn. At this one, I had to face Walter Mattson for first place. After winning all our fights, we were the only two left. How the hell were we supposed to do this. We trained together and fought many times in our training. We knew each other like a book. I did know one thing though. Don't make a mistake with Walter. He was one of the best fighters in the country. He had that damn left round house that could snap in anywhere from your thigh to your head. Also a right hand that could reach you from downtown. Walter knew my stuff very well. I wasn't going to fool him with anything. We began carefully, not wanting to make a mistake. Now comes the technique that many still talk about. At one point in the match, we both fired a punch at exactly the same time. Our fists slammed into each other as if we practiced it. What's the odds of this happening? All the Uechi Ryu fighters got quite a laugh at this. Actually, everyone was amazed at it. I stepped back and had a good laugh myself. Walter won the match and first place that day. No one hates to lose more than me, but this time was okay. Walter is a close friend and one hell of a fighter. Those punches met in mid air. How's that for knowing each others moves? It gets stranger every time it's told. Hey! Remember that time when we ------- Ya, I remember. -------Happy Trails ----Art
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Art Rabesa » Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:14 pm

President Teddy Roosevelt once said "Walk softly and carry a big stick". A good thing for all fighters to remember. It's a R.I. tournament in the late 60's. A well attended outing with lots of very good fighters in attendance. It was hard to miss a N.Y. fighter who just won a tournament in New York city. He had his flock around him. One was rubbing his neck while another massaged his legs. He had a towel wrapped around his head as he sat in a chair just to the side of the fighting area. I will not give you his name because it will be recognized quickly. A good fighter, and he was doing his best to draw lots of attention to himself. Okay! Here it is. He drew one of the R.I. fighters for his first match. This R.I. fighter was a good fighter, but not what would be considered a top fighter. I was hoping one of us would be called. Our N.Y. competitor slowly got up from his chair and received hugs and applause from his groupies, I just shook my head and watched. Lots of hopping around and throwing kicks into the air. Nothing landed but he got lots of screams from his traveling circus. With just a few seconds remaining in the 3 minute match, the R.I. fighter landed a punch good enough to get the point called. The silence was deafening. Only a couple of seconds left down a point. He knew he had to get a point right away. He looked like a hamster on cocaine running around trying to get the tying point. That's it--- Time. What happened? He just stood there not understanding what just happened. I watched carefully as he walked to the locker room with his groupies just standing in silence. His opponent got a couple of hand shakes and sat with the other competitors waiting to be called. I noticed the three girls walking out to the parking lot followed by this great fighter and his Robin. You know---like Bat Man. The girls piled into the back seat and Robin got behind the wheel. Our fighter sat in the front with that stupid white towel still around his neck. As the car slowly pulled out of the lot I wondered if he'd be going to bed alone tonight. Maybe he could cuddle up to that cold trophy he won in N.Y. Walk softly my friend. ------Happy Trails----Art
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Art Rabesa » Sun Jan 24, 2016 4:44 pm

Reading Van's forum this morning. He's mentioning some guns he likes and how they are used. Van has lots of guns. He mentions his Winchester 70 in. 458 mag. he took to Jim Maloney's hunting cabin back around 75. So let me tell you a little about that trip. Let me try to set the scene a little first. Jim has a hunting cabin deep in the woods of Truro Nova Scotia. He invited Van, Bob Bethoney and myself up for a little hunting. Now I do not hunt, but I thought it sounded like fun. In this little cabin was Van Canna, Bob Bethoney, Jim Maloney, and myself. Jim gave me an old double barrel shotgun to use. He said "All you have to do is point it", no aiming needed. Okay -- when it was not yet sun rise we four set off into the woods looking for deer. Jim said we were heading for the "condo". I've never seen dark like this. I could just about see Jim walking right in front of me. I knew that if I got turned around in here I'd be gone. I reached out and grabbed Jim by his belt. He knew these woods like he was in his living room. Finally Jim pulled up and made sure we were all there. "Okay this is it" he said. "This is what?" I replied. Jim pointed straight up at the tree we were all near. "The condo is 40 feet up", he said. I couldn't see anything except stars. Jim and Bob moved on to another spot to wait. Van and I climbed the tree to the condo. Sure enough, there it was perched atop the tree about 40 feet up. Ply wood floor, walls, and roof. Just enough room for the two of us. A small window was at the wall to the right, and a small opening for the door. Van took the window and I sat at the door opening. Some time went by in silence just waiting for some deer to wander in. I didn't know much about hunting except to be quiet. I was relaxed sitting in the door opening with my legs hanging over the edge. Did I mention that we were 40 feet up? I was almost dozing off when the dark was shattered by what sounded like a cannon. It shook the tiny platform and moved me almost out the door. I reached back and grabbed the door jam and sat myself back down. Van had let go with the Winchester 458. "Something big and black down there", he said. We thought it just might be a bear. I slung the shot gun over my shoulder and started down the tree. Just as I got to the ground, Jim was coming through the woods. "No deer around now", he said. "Van might have shot a bear", I said. Jim moved over to where Van had fired to take a look. He dragged the large black critter over and we both looked at it. It was very wide and very black, and missing it's head. "Hell of a shot Van. You killed a porcupine", said Jim. We had a few other adventures while at the cabin, but that's for another time. That's the story about the bear that wasn't. Hell of a shot though. -------Happy Trails------Art
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby hthom » Sun Jan 24, 2016 4:59 pm

Life is great, even greater with fond memories and wonderful friends-----
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Van Canna » Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:04 pm

:lol: Anything big and black setting up camp under the condo...you shoot first and ask questions later.
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Art Rabesa » Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:42 pm

That's why I always make lots of noise when I go to Van's house. Lots of great memories Henry. Some day I'll tell you a story about one night outside of Bob Lee's Islander. Don't think it's there any more. I'm assuming that you remember this place.
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby hthom » Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:02 pm

Yes, Bob Lee's Islander, where you can get expensive drinks and even more expensive and phony Chinese food. I can say it because it is not there anymore. Mr Lee got filthy rich and disappeared with some sexy young chick many moons ago and never to be seen again. Wish I could afford to do that stuff.

Don't tell me you got into some troubles outside of that restaurant. I heard that once upon a time some white guy emptied someone's bladder there with a side kick.

There used to be fights almost every night a few steps up the street after the bars closed and the drunks (I don't mean you :-) ) ran out of the local restaurants without paying their bills. Hence the fights.

Speaking of fond memories, I was young and full of pi*s and vinegar then, I did my share of stupid stuff there. Actually they weren't "fond" memories at all, real stupid, yes.

It did give me the opportunity of experiencing my share of street fights though. More than a lot of "self defense instructors" can say.

And if it weren't for stupid stuff, life would have been pretty boring, and it is more fun reminiscing about stupid stuff.

Some day over a beer, Art.
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Art Rabesa » Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:34 pm

Back in the mid sixties at a Rhode Island tournament:
Before the Grand Champion match the promoter had a demonstration by a guest star. He asked me if I'd help out. I said "sure, what do I do"? "Just hold up a couple of boards for Master &%#@. Let me be very blunt here folks. I can go through a couple of boards with an angry look. So our quest stood about 35 feet away and did a few stretches. I couldn't understand what he was doing way over there. He seemed about ready and I held the boards up about chest high. Now who would stand there and let someone run across the floor and deliver a leaping kick at them? I guess that would be me. I watched him coming at me and I gripped the 2 boards a little tighter. Up he went and here comes the kick. Right over the boards and slammed into my forehead. I took a step back and watched him fall to the floor. I looked down at him and slowly placed the boards on the floor and walked away. The promoter was flustered because he wanted him to try it again. No one would volunteer to hold the boards for the second try. Another competitor said "Hey Art, I think he hurt his foot". I really hoped he did. The demo didn't continue and we all made ready to continue with the fighting. Just another reason why I prefer to stay on the ground. -----Happy Trails ----Art
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Art Rabesa » Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:42 pm

Don't remember any bladder Henry.
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Re: ALONG THE WAY--Show Biz

Postby Art Rabesa » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:02 pm

This is a story about deception in the business of karate. Back around 1966 at a New England tournament a strange and embarrassing (mostly funny) demonstration took place. Always lots of breaking going on at tournaments back then. This was a demo by a large Hawaiian master. Lots of masters and jungle fighters back then as well. Strange time back then. Out comes a large block of ice rolled in on a cart. Many moved it to the mason blocks and balanced it carefully. Our guest performer placed himself over the block of ice and made ready to smash it. You have to visualize this. He raised his hand a few times as he got himself ready to impress the crowd. As he lifted his hand the entire block of ice collapsed to the floor. Our great master stood and placed his hand over the pieces of crumbled ice. "Vibrating Palm" he shouted. He shook his hand over the ice, turned and walked away. The usual reaction to demos is applause. The reaction here was first shock. Then the gym was filled with laughter. It took some time to get the tournament back to the fighting again. Here is what happened. The block of ice was sawed most of the way through. Then it was rubbed with the hand to cover the saw cut. The heat from the hand will melt the surrounding ice and the saw cut will not be seen. When the block of ice is placed on the mason block stand, gravity will cause the block to break apart. It has to be struck quickly before it comes apart. Our great master took too much time show boating and down came the ice. Vibrating palm was the running joke for many years after that show. Old dogs like me know who this ice master was. He is not with us any longer, but that was quite a demo. Show biz? -------Happy Trails ----Art
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Van Canna » Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:00 pm

Those were funny days indeed...the 'follow the money' days.

You may also remember the concrete slabs on the chest of someone, being crushed by a sledge hammer...and the 'supermen' lying on a bed of nails then sticking needles through their arms...WOW...supposedly that was the 'warrior spirit' being developed...the kind of spirit that would get those guys through the gangbanger assassination of the black belt in the stairwell, I suppose.
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Art Rabesa » Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:06 pm

Warrior spirit? Ya! I'd need lots of liquid spirits before I'd lie on nails. Lots of real wackos back then.
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Art Rabesa » Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:07 pm

Tournaments in the 60's were full of extra curricular events. Sort of like the Roman Colosseum. There were team events - demo events -kata events - breaking events. At this one tournament in western New England, there was a breaking competition taking place. They were flying around and jumping over people on all fours. Attempting to break a board or two. Jumping up to break a board held by two people standing on chairs. These little guys sure could fly around. Reminded me of a gymnastics competition. Seated were five judges watching the show. When one competitor kept failing to break that board held high, a Kempo teacher from Rhode Island came over to me. "Hey Art. You've got a real good side kick. Why not just go out there and bust up some timber"? I said that I couldn't fly around like that. "I'll set it up. All you have to do is smash it". I am a Uechi Ryu fighter and he was a Kempo teacher. However, we all knew each other very well in New England. Even though we fought each other very hard, we had a great deal of respect for each other. There were five people holding up many boards, It took that many to get hold of this many boards. I walked over to the seated judges and bowed. I moved in front of those holding the boards and glanced at them. I nodded and let my side kick go. It went through the boards and sent the person at the rear to the floor. Pretty simple as far as breaking goes I guess. I thought it was kind of boring for the spectators. The judges stood and had us all line up. My main concern was the fighting competition. I still had another fight coming up, and I wanted to get ready for it. The head judge had a tiny cup in his hand. He called out third place - second place - and walked in front of me and gave me the first place cup. A first place in breaking. What's this all about anyway? I still have that little first place cup. In my basement stored with the other trophies. They never meant much to me, but I still have them. Catch 22 I guess. When I looked back at this event, I realized that getting it done was far more important than how it got done. Taught me a lesson. To this day, I still believe in KISS. KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. ------Happy Trails ----Art
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Re: ALONG THE WAY--Dan Tests

Postby Art Rabesa » Fri May 20, 2016 2:39 pm

A subject that has become very controversial. At one time, rank was not so easy to obtain. A quick example. In 1974, Jim Maloney and I went to Okinawa to train. Training was our main priority. However, back then going to Okinawa was what you had to do for 4th dan. Van Canna was san-dan for 13 years, and I for 11 years. All the high ranking teachers were Okinawan's back then. They were the only ones that could promote beyond 3'd dan. I was planning to travel to Okinawa to train anyway. When Jim decided to go, I decided that it was the right time for me also. Off we went. A different dojo almost every night. Someone would knock on our hotel door to take us to a dojo, on a regular basis. The daily morning workout at Sensei Uechi's dojo, was a must. This went on for almost a month. We made it very clear to all that we were only there to train. As our time there was coming to a close, we went to Sensei Uechi's dojo for our last AM class. We stood at the door and saw a long table with many Uechi Ryu teachers seated. Center most was Uechi Sensei. We were motioned to the tiny changing room. We entered the training hall and were brought forward in front of the long table. We knew what was going on but it really was unexpected. We went through the test and were awarded our 4th dan. Tough way to be promoted to your next dan rank, but that's the way it was back then. After our time on Okinawa, the regulations for rank beyond 3 dan were changed. You're welcome. ------FAST FORWARD. I really can not remember the last time I actually witnessed a failure at a promotional. "Along The Way", were tests consisting of 20%, or more, failures. We didn't want to fail any candidate. However, the standards were tougher then. I knew that because I insisted on a set standard for those being tested. I trained my students to meet those standards. Talk to my past students and they'll tell you how they were trained. I attend some tests from time to time. I just sit there and try to look important. I know no one will fail. I do not become upset any longer. They are not my students. It's a business and I realize that. I realize it, but it doesn't make it okay with me. Now, I just let it slide by, and go back to my small group of students. I'm glad no one has to do what Jim and I did in 74. Times--they are a changing. ------Happy Trails ---Art
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