Ted Kresge Deja Vu

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Kresge Konnections

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Thu Dec 24, 2009 10:37 pm

I met Ted in 1978 of so.

Robert Blaisdel had adopted him as his Sensei as i am sure Fred has mentioned.

My best guess as to who signed his certificates would be the same person who signed mine in that time frame---Robert Trias.

Sensei Trias was no stranger to the martial arts, and therefore felt competent enough to issue "Yudansha" certificates of rank in the mid to late seventies.

Coincidentally, Sifu John Loupos Studied Uechi for a time and his Shodan "Yudansha" certificate is the same as mine.

I beleive the Sensei Ted was more or less accepted by the lat Kanei O Sensei as Sensei Ted did 'produce' a Kyuhon of his own, of which I received parts.

What makes the following believable is the manner in which Kanei o Sensei's comments were elicited, and the manner in which they recorded.

My quess is that Sensei Ted would periodically send 8mm movies to Futenma, and would receive replies back.

The only one I can recall right now is the alleged and Kresge Kyuhan reproduced comment that read as follows:

"One should not adorn the Gi with one's own name".

the last I personally heard was that he ahd retired to Florida, given up the martial arts and was awaiting "rapture" and, assumption into heaven.

He had the occasional set of vistiors from Okinawa, who destroyed several trees in Sensei Blaisdel's backyard. I did not see then at the then Weymouth Grange Dojo. I have no explanation.

Sensei Ted was alleged to eat mostly Coca Cola and Twinkies. When he smiled at me at one of his extremely rare visits to the Weymouth Dojo, his teeth's appearance gave some credence to this bit of lore.

I Believe Sensei Ted was a good instructor. many times in the years before I figured out I was better off in GEMS organization, many students came and went from Arizona and the Maritimes, Guy Levesque from new Brunswick being among them.

Regarding Guy, who allegedley recevieved his Nidan from the USKA, as did I, although i received another one through NAUKA or the SHUBUKAN.

what with all the "political jumps" made by the various Dojos, i can say I have certificates signed by Senseis Trias, Kanei O Sensei with Sensei Summers, Toshio Higa, Sensei Nakamatsu and others signing as the Secretary of the Okinawan Karate Association.

Guy Allegedly went on to making very close connections witht he Uechi Family and study of Okinawan Traditional Herbal medicine.

Perhaps this will fill in some gaps, or, perhaps it will just add to the confusion.

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Postby mikemurphy » Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:52 am

Hi John Sensei,

Let me fill in some blanks as we both have the same background. I said this on this thread years ago that I never met Kresge personally, but I do have a copy of his book. I brought it to the summer camp years ago at Bill Sensei's request. It's a good book, self-published with only 200+ copies made. It will never be re-printed. Anyway, in speaking with Gordi Breyette sensei about 10 years ago, we talked about Kresge. I'm paraphrasing, but I remember Gordi-san to say that Kresge was still held in hi esteem in certain circles there because of his book and the fact that he sent over all the sections to Kanei sensei for correction. Anyway, it doesn't make the writing any better, but the pictures are pretty good.

Regarding sensei Guy Levesque, I can't tell you who his first couple of certificates are signed by. They are probably the USKA and maybe even IMAF. However, his story is even more facinating (not so much if you know the man). I had the pleasure of training with him for several years where I would go up to New Brunswick and he would come down here. He is a world of knowledge and dedication. If I may, he received his BB from Blaisdell sensei in the late seventies early eighties by traveling back and forth from New Brunswick (12 hour ride). In the mid-eighties, he and Blaisdell went to Okinawa with the USKA and being the only Uechi representatives were subjected to some tough treatment due to a magazine article from the USKA concerning Uechi fighters (or something to that effect). Therefore, when they arrived there they were assigned Koza Dojo with Yonamine sensei. Needless to say, they did not train the body conditioning like that before and were beaten to an inch of their lives. I remember Blaisdell telling me he couldn't even walk the next day.

After the trip, Blaisdell decided to hold a grudge against the Okinawans for treating him that way and sought out IMAF. Levesque sensei took it as a challenge and trained extra hard. Two years later, he went back and they did it again. This time it wasn't as bad. Two years after that he went back again (1987 I think) and they couldn't hurt him anymore. He was told he could no longer train there. He went to Futenma and told Kanei sensei the story and he said that Levesque could train there for now on.

Sensei Levesque went home and took up Chinese medicine from a school in NY city. He went back and forth and finally graduated from there. He continues to train with a small number of people, runs a clinic for healing, possibly still competes in ballroom dancing with his lovely wife Pauline, is a grandfather a least a couple times over, and is a retired asst. prison warden. I believe sensei Levesque is one of those untapped Uechi treasures that because of geography, technology (or lack thereof), and other unknown reasons, many people have lost out on. I kind of look at him the same way people look at Sensei Dave Mott or David Finklestein if you know what I mean. Although never officially my sensei of record, he will always be a sensei of mine!

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Re: Kresge Konnections

Postby Kresge'slastBB » Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:09 am

JOHN THURSTON wrote:Sensei Ted was alleged to eat mostly Coca Cola and Twinkies. When he smiled at me at one of his extremely rare visits to the Weymouth Dojo, his teeth's appearance gave some credence to this bit of lore.

Kresge's favorite food was/is Meatloaf. I know this because I heard him say it many times over the years. When I invited him to my Wedding, he requested it and we had it. :D
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Re: Ted Kresge Deja Vu

Postby Rogers » Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:48 pm

Interesting discussion of Ted Kresge. Mr Kresge was my first Sensei. He had established a dojo in Sanford, North Carolina in 1965/1966. Sanford is 40 minutes from Fort Bragg, where he worked in a signals (crypto) unit. He called his school in Sanford the’KJA’ school. It turned out that I was his first student there so assisted him as the need arose. He also had a class going on at Fort Bragg and occasionally we would gather for a tournament. Early on he began traveling to Bethesda, Maryland to learn Taiji from Robert Smith. For those of you who are familiar with the Cheng Man-Ch’ing variation of the Yang system, Robert Smith played a large role in the early spread of Taiji in the US. In any case, Mr Kresge began teaching us Taiji in addition to Uechi Ryu. Eventually he was transferred to SHAPE in Europe. I continued the dojo under Mr. Kresge’s direction in a different location until going (briefly) to college. Life became a bit more complicated for me after going into the Army but we occasionally corresponded. The last time that I saw him was at a tournament in 1975 in Florida. His extensive collection of martial arts books was even more awesome than when he had the dojo in Sanford. A year or two after that I received a letter from him that was laden with biblical references. At that point I became aware that he had sold his collection to various folks and gone very deeply into his religion. Since then I have not had contact but have kept up remotely with how he has been doing. There have been references in this forum to a book that Mr. Kresge developed - the copy that I have is titled ‘Karate - The Requirements for the Coveted Blackbelt’. I also have a number of impressions from that period of study that I could share if you are interested.
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Re: Ted Kresge Deja Vu

Postby Kresge'slastBB » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:11 pm

Very nice! His change to religion from Martial Arts was done openly in 1980, although he may have heading in that direction privately for some time before that.

He is still living in St. Petersburg Florida and continues to put up a nearly record breaking Christmas Light display at his home every year.

Despite what his critics may say, he is a good person who cares deeply for his fellow man.

At his peak, he was a force to be reckoned with.
The most important character trait is integrity
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Re: Ted Kresge Deja Vu

Postby Evan Castle » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:11 pm

As a former member of Kresge's University of Karate I would like to add my thoughts to the above. After 5 years of being around Kresge almost daily I would say he was the most focused individual I ever met. We talked almost exclusively martial arts and I never heard him say a bad word against anybody. He spoke very highly of Sensei Mattson, Sensei Van Canna and other Uechi teachers and students. He often invited instructors to our dojo to give us workouts in their style and let us see for ourselves what they were all about.

Not sure about the 11 school number, seems like 16 was the high when I was there (71-76). I taught at 3 of his schools, taught private lessons and organized public demonstrations during those years and would have stayed until the end except for a career ending motorcycle wreck. Hated to hear when he closed down his schools for other pursuits but the thought that he did it because he thought it was "evil" is absurd. He helped thousands of people gain self confidence and the ability to achieve just about anything they put their minds to.

Don't remember discussing how he obtained his rank back in the day but if you knew him it didn't matter. He never boasted, he performed.

I would like to thank Sensei Mattson and all the other Uechi practitioners for keeping the best style of martial art available.
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