Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

February 19th , 2017

This week's thought is from Kyoshi Mackay
Ueshiro Midtown Karate Dojo

Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA

Dealing With Uncertainty

Onegai shimasu, Hanshi, Sensei and Deshi of USRKUSA,

Uncertainty is alarming, and many of us began our journey in Ueshiro
Shorin-Ryu determined to become more certain about our personal safety.
Uncertainty drove the ancient samurai to consider the quality of their
death as much as the quality of their life. They recognized (as we
should) that Death can confront us at any time.

But when it comes to understanding the Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu kata and
techniques, we are light years ahead of most styles. For example, we know
precisely which Matsubyashi-Ryu techniques are blocks and which are
strikes because they are meticulously documented in "The Essence of
Okinawan Karate-Do." We know Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro practiced and
studied these techniques for hours each day, making subtle adjustments
based on his early Sensei (Anko Ueshiro, Entasu Isaenta and Toguchi
Seitoku), and his later training with Santos Kina Sensei (Matsumura
Orthodox) and Sekichi Iha Sensei (Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu) (50th Journal pg.
5-6). And we know that Hanshi Robert Scaglione has devoted a lifetime to
studying under Master Ueshiro, often in one-on-one sessions, and
documenting Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu karate-do via books, journals, videos and
(most importantly) thousands of classes.

So when you encounter uncertainty about a particular technique, do the
wise thing and go back to the sources. Resist the all-too-human urge to:

1. Make up your own explanation
2. Ask a green belt
3. Search YouTube
4. Give up and loose interest

Uncertainty is a good thing. It keeps us humble yet inquisitive. It
fosters diligence, patience and perseverance. And whether understanding
triumphs (temporarily) over uncertainty or ends in a draw, we are wiser
and stronger from our efforts to wage war against ignorance. Even Master
Nagamine observed, "Some [movements in kata] must remain unexplained" (pg.
56), echoing the profound respect for the unknown expressed by the
greatest minds in human history.

Domo arigato gozaimasu, Hanshi,

- Kyoshi Mackay
Ueshiro Midtown Karate Dojo