Submitted by Sempai Bonnie Langendorff, Sho-Dan, NoVA Ueshiro Karate Club
Under the Direction of Hanshi Robert Scaglione
Onegai-shimasu Hanshi, Kyoshi, Sensei, and all Deshi--
We all have goals. Most require more than an acknowledgement and positive thoughts for attaining these goals. If you set out to land that perfect job, you will need information about prospective employers and a savvy resume to capture the attention of a hiring officer. If you have a goal to save money for a dream vacation, you will need a budget and plan to reach your goal in a desired timeframe. These goals require the right tools. A tool is defined as any physical item that can be used to achieve a goal; a set of tools to achieve a goal is the equipment. What are the right tools for studying Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate? Do you have the right equipment? I heard this question asked recently and was surprised by the responses which gave me the incentive to describe them here in this week's TOTW.
The basic USRKUSA toolkit includes these four key books:
The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do, authored by Master Shoshin Nagamine, June 1976, designed to capture the history of Master Nagamine's karate journey and to provide the first photos and detailed footwork descriptions for all kata;
Shorin-Ryu - Okinawan Karate Question and Answer Book (the "Red Book"), authored by Hanshi Robert Scaglione and William Cummins, June 1991, designed for all Deshi from beginners to advanced to learn the basic history, techniques and language of Shorin-Ryu Karate;
Karate of Okinawa - Building Warrior Spirit - with Gan - Soku - Tanden -Riki (the "Green Book") authored by Hanshi Robert Scaglione and William Cummins, August 1993, designed for advanced belts to develop the samurai attitude;
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA 50th Anniversary Commemorative Journal, 2012, a celebration of 50 years of Grand Master Ueshiro's gift of karate with multiple contributions including a detailed history of Grand Master Ueshiro and the sequential moves of Fukyugata San, composed by Grand Master Ueshiro in 1960;
and two DVDs: Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA - MASTER UESHIRO; and Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA - Kata Guide 2000 - Traditional Okinawan Matsubayashi Shorin-ryu.
This year, the USRKUSA toolkit expanded, leveraging the world of technology at our fingertips. In addition to the above four books and DVDs, the toolkit now includes:
USRK55 App for iPhone/Android, 2017; and KataGuide App for iPhone/Android, 2018.
Recall that karate was handed down generation after generation, following sacred traditions, and kept secret until 1901 when Master Anko Itosu introduced karate to the public school system in Japan. As noted above, Master Nagamine published The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do in June of 1976 which was the first detailed documentation of the choreography of all of the Matsubyashi Shorin-Ryu kata and prearranged fighting sequences. Then, in 1991 our very own Hanshi Robert Scaglione worked with William Cummins to publish Okinawan Karate Question and Answer Book which became our first physical "tool" to facilitate diffusing the Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu art around the world - the art that Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro was tasked by Master Nagamine to spread across America in 1962. These tools give us the ability to experience our art with fellow Deshi around the world knowing that those sacred traditions will remain true to the Masters.
Consider just how very fortunate we are to have "tools" to help us reach our karate goals and ask yourself if your toolkit is complete.
Sempai Bonnie Langendorff,
Sho-Dan Ueshiro NoVA Karate Club firstname.lastname@example.org