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BM | 22nd Feb 2008, 4:10 AM | 正剛館演義

YOKI Yukiaki sensei was the first instructor sent to Hong Kong Seigokan from Japan. Yoki sensei was a graduate of the Kyoto Foreign Languages University and had spent a year in USA teaching karate in Geoge Mattson's Uechi-ryu Boston Dojo in 1964. He wrote a eBook in 2001 on his adventures in USA and I will upload it here for all to read:

楊紀幸明先生(YOKI Yukiaki sensei)是日本正剛館派駐香港的第一位教練,前文也有簡單的介紹過楊紀先生的一二,來香港之前他在美國波士頓上地流 George Mattson 的道場教了一年,他把這一年的經歷寫了一本 eBook,我將在這裏分段上載:

Picture

Yoki sensei doing a flying side kick in George Mattson's dojo in 1964 (Black Belt Magazine March 1965 issue)

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Yoki sensei executing a tobi-yoko-geri (flying side kick)

Here is Part 1 of Yoki sensei's book:

“Yoki’s Karate Errantry in America”

I hereby, dedicate this book to;

Master Seigo Tada (1922 - 1997 )

Al Ford, Jim Elliot

Matson Academy of Karate

Mr. George E. Matson and all students

My seniors, Seigo-Kan

A Preface

The martial arts one of the ultimate objects is to abandon oneself of egotism, which leads the philosophy of "Zen", open a way out of a fatal situation by enabling see not with your eyes and brain but more with a feel of physically. Being strong means far better than others, which lead the most kindness to become.

However this might end up to be taken advantages so easily in the different fields of the society.

Is this a Japanese or a Chinese proverb?

Fall down seven times, gets up eight.

Well, I must have fallen hundreds of times in the past so I am on my way for hundreds one recovery which made me possible of my basic experience one year each in America and in Hong Kong at my youth.

I aware of now ; nothing is coincidence but occur inevitability."

I would like to share the experiences I had in this book "Yoki's Karate Errantry in America" and follow to the book of Hong Kong and moreover

I wish to be able to give those martial arts field body to be a help as I understand they are in disadvantages due to the language and cultural difference from now on.

1964,“Showa 39”, April 18 noon, Departure

APL American President Line “ Cleveland “

Written by; Yukiaki Yoki

(Edited by: Betty D. Greenberg)

Copyright @2001 by Yukiaki Yoki

Table of Contents

The Beginning of an Opportunity
On the Boat
To Boston by Greyhound Bus
Mattson Academy of Karate
Free Sparing
With George
Invited to George’s House
One Month in Boston
A Visit to Roxbury
Home Party
Tom
Bull dog Cop
Hitchhike
All American Karate-Do Championship
The Day
Captain Buffalo
5.4’Against 6.9
A Cat vs. a Tiger
Yoki, the Magician
Permanent Residence
Prejudice
Reminiscences, Memories
Profile of the Author

The Beginning of an Opportunity:

My Karate-Do had a close connection to the English language. As a young man growing up in Japan in the 1950’s there were numerous things that held importance for me. As for many young men, of primary importance were acquiring new skills and advanced knowledge. For me, Karate-Do and learning the English language would be forever linked during this time. After I graduated from high school in Kobe-City, I entered Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. Soon after, I joined a Karate-Do club that belonged to the Japan Seigo-Kan Karate-Do Association. During my four years of college, I set as a goal for myself to succeed in both Karate-Do and English conversation. However, it is important to understand that in those days almost all of the English teachers could hardly speak English themselves. (This, by the way, is still the case even now.) Because the study of English starts in middle school primarily as a means to pass the examination required to advance a grade, we could never learn anything practical. Therefore, after having spent as many as ten years studying English from middle school to college, most individuals were unfortunately still unable to speak proper conversational English. For this reason quite a number of the population dislike the English language. Up to the present time nothing has been done to improve this situation.

Despite my own reservations that, although I, too, studied English for four years in college, I may be one of those unable to speak even daily conversational English. I was still thinking of going to the United States anyway. One day, in Sannomiya-Kobe, I happened to find a book, “The Way of Karate”, written by an American author named George Mattson. According to his book, Mr. Mattson studied Uechi-Ryu for two years during his Army service in Okinawa and attained the level of Ni-Dan (second degree black belt). He then opened his own dojo in Boston, Massachusetts.

I decided to write to Mr. Mattson and in my letter I stated, “I am a member of Japan Seigokan Karate-Do Association under Tada-Sensei instruction. I would like to visit your dojo for the purpose of goodwill and to exchange techniques.” I was so delighted to receive a “Welcome” letter from Mr. George Mattson approximately two weeks later. I had a difficult time formalizing the procedures to go abroad. Mr. Mattson was kind enough to mail me additional necessary papers. I had to apply for a Visa application to the American Embassy, a foreign currency application to The Japan Bank, and so on. I had a hard time acquiring all of the necessary permits and making the proper arrangements.

I had already booked the boat, which planned to leave on April 18th Luckily, two weeks before departure, the Japanese government started a new “Free Policy” to go abroad for sightseeing. Procedures were finally completed, as I was part of the first group of this new policy.

I immediately informed Tada-Sensei. I could not talk to anybody about my plan until the last moment, as I was not sure at all if I could go through with all these procedures. Tada-Sensei replied to me, “It would give a great benefit not just for this Karate-Do field but for your own sake. I congratulate you deeply from my heart.” Of course, it wasn’t quite that simple. Although I had requested a “one year absence - fourth year” to my college, there was some opinion against my plan as I was elected Sub-Captain of the Karate-Do club for the fourth year.

In the end, I decided to persevere. It is more than good enough to continue English training in Japan, if only for Karate-Do. However, I knew in my heart that if I truly desired to learn English conversation, it would be best to go abroad--the sooner, the better. Also, I wanted to test my Karate-Do in America to see how effective it was. The worst that could happen is that I would just have to return home if anyone should break my legs!

 

 

On the Boat

Prior to my departure, I only had one week to prepare so, regrettably, I did not have enough time with my friends. The boat was already floating in the ocean. The APL American President Line “Cleveland” was so gorgeous with a library, swimming pool, bar room, table tennis and other games to play. Among them all, I liked the meals with their quality and their quantity. I thought I should get used to the American way and Western dishes by using knives and forks. There were four other Japanese people at my table so there was no need to consider using English during the meals. However, I certainly had the opportunity to practice Karate-Do during the long journey.

The deck of the boat made an excellent dojo. There was a sufficient area of hard wooden floors with ropes at every corner. The boat speed made the velocity of the wind probably over 50 meters/second (55 yards/second). The rolling from the wind could easily have thrown me off the boat unless I grabbed the floor tightly in the middle of the deck. At night, numerous sparkling stars were shining through the pure dark sky. I would glare ahead into the darkness, consumed by the feeling of being all- alone throughout heaven and earth. The sound of the wind would burst by my ears.

Whoa!!! I gave my full strength “Kiai” against the wind but it only disappeared--flew away backwards. I gave another “Kiai” but just felt so weak. I felt a shudder. I started warm-up exercises and punches, kicks with howling “Kiai.” By the time I finished with the continuous basic movements and Kata,” my whole body was sweating and burning hot. I had to hold the boat so tightly when punching and kicking in shadow free sparring. Then I would go to the corner of the deck and, to control my breathing, I would sit and meditate.

The parting line of the dark sea and the sky would move up and down. What strong waves in the dark sea! With a burning wind on the side of my face, I could feel the universe and myself--

" Meditate.”

By the fourth day of the trip, I thought we were already close to Hawaii but found we traveled only the distance between Kobe and Yokohama. It was still a little chilly on the deck in the mornings and evenings. I had been training every day and thinking that it would get warmer as we approached Hawaii.

During the daytime, there was nothing to do except relax or play table tennis or other games. The boat arrived in Hawaii ten days after departure. We had an eight-hour stop over. When I departed, a Hawaiian woman, shaped just like a beer barrel with a bunch of pretty leis, came up to me. I was expecting her to put a lei around my neck, like I had seen in the movies, but she was charging 50 cents each. I had never seen flowers with such vivid colors. Nor had I ever seen such a transparent blue sea or such clear blue skies. Here I discovered such comfortable hot weather with a refreshing coolness in the shadows. I decided to take a trip by bus around Honolulu and then went to Waikiki beach for a few hours of swimming and got sunburned. I knew I was abroad when I was able to enjoy watching girls in their bikinis!

As this was a sightseeing boat, passengers were supposed to have an enjoyable time, especially many of the young people. They would get drunk in the barroom until midnight and then make such a racket in the swimming pool. I was the only exception--an outsider, an alien. I had never been to a barroom to have a drink, so I was not good company. Also, I was traveling without money – this was a vagabond journey. I could afford to pay the boat fare, which at the time was 114,800yen (US $318.00) for a round trip ticket, and I had another US $400.00 to survive, but I dared not spend a penny on the boat.

I kept training on the deck at a time when I thought nobody else would be there. However, somehow I became quite popular on the boat as the Karate-Boy.” One of the Philippine waiter’s in the restaurant would give me very good service and, in turn, he wanted to learn Japanese from me.

One night, as usual, I was fighting using my “Kiai” against the strong wind on the deck. One of the ship’s crew, a large Hawaiian, who had been watching me as he was laying on the long couch with a blanket at the corner, came to me and said, “There is an instructor teaching Aikido on this boat.” Although I only had a little knowledge about Aikido, I was curious about the martial arts with the name “do” in it. We made an appointment for the next evening.

The next evening, the Hawaiian took me down the hatch. I was surprised to find five or six people who were training, each wearing a “Karate-Gi.” I was introduced to one of them who were especially large with short crew-cut hair. Also, I noticed he was not teaching “Aikido,” but rather Shorin-Ryu.” He had a seventh degree black belt. His father was Korean, his mother Hawaiian, and he was born in Hawaii. He said he had been to Japan, and to Shanghai, China a few times. He was teaching while he worked as an officer on the boat.  Also, he had a dojo in San Francisco. One of his brown belt students demonstrated a “Kata” for me. It was a Kata of “Heian.” He seemed to have learned several styles, so he was teaching “Goju” style as well.“Sanchin Kata” was similar, so I immediately changed into my “Do-Gi” and demonstrated a “Kata”.He said that many years ago he had the opportunity to watch a Kata demonstrated by Chojun Miyagi, the founder of Goju-Ryu Karate-Do and he said “ your Kata is very correct,” and he admired Mr. Seigo Tada. Also, according to his information, Mattson’s Uechi-Ryu dojo was one of the big dojos in America and was especially quite popular on the East Coast.

Since we expected to arrive in San Francisco in two more days, we, the youth, had a farewell party that night, as the next day we would all be busy packing things. After we drank some beers, one American girl demonstrated one of the new dances called the “Monkey.” It looked a little bit like the “Twist” but instead of twisting the hips sideways, you stick out the hip in a forward and backward position. What a glamorous sexy move!

Lots of people were on the deck just before sunrise, including the youths who had been drinking throughout the night. With the reddish color of sunrise in the horizon, the ship calmly moved under the Golden Gate Bridge while making a sudden blow of the horn. I thought then of Mr. Kenichi Horie, who went under this same Golden Gate Bridge years earlier with such a tiny yacht. Just as he had persevered against great challenges, I told myself that day that my battle would begin from here.

The Customs procedure was simpler than I had expected. They practically checked nothing at all in those days. The only problem was when they got to one young Japanese from Osaka who did not speak a word of English. Whenever anybody would talk to him in English, he would just repeat a few times, " Oh,yes,” with such a big smile on his face. He did the same thing when the Customs Inspector asked him if he had anything to declare. Thus, his suitcase and luggage were opened and they started to go through all of his belongings. I had to explain the matter to the inspector in order to let him go through Customs.

 

" To Boston by Greyhound Bus "

I decided to take a bus from San Francisco to Boston only because it was the cheapest way, $80 one way. Seats were divided front and rear, and passengers’ luggage was put underneath the rear part of the second floor. I put tags on the luggage that went straight to Boston and boarded the bus with my simple belongings. That way, no matter how many times I got off the bus, my things would be waiting for me in Boston.

It was already May. Salt Lake City, Utah was entirely covered in snow. As I made my cross-country journey, I realized the vast size of this country. From Utah to the state of Nevada, the bus kept going on the endless highway. The view was nothing but fields. All I heard was a horn since we had left San Francisco. Finally, after four or five hours, the bus stopped in a town for a meal. Nebraska was just like a cowboy movie. I had brunch at 11:00 a.m. at the self service station. It was economical, so I had more than usual--a hamburger with potatoes, a glass of milk, and a can of peaches for dessert.

Our next destination was Las Vegas, Nevada. The entire town was burning bright like a big fire with dazzling neon signs. A woman who sat next to me was giving me a lecture. "He came with his Cadillac, but left without his car on his way back--gambling is no good,” she said.During our thirty-minute stop over I tried my luck at one of the slot machines. At first, the man at the exchange did not believe my age, so I had to show him my passport to prove that I was 21. He still didn’t believe me. I was successful - I won about $2.00.

I stayed one night at the YMCA in Chicago. The buildings in Chicago were taller but very similar to the ones in Osaka. I arrived in New York six days after I left San Francisco. My first impression of Manhattan was that the buildings were tall but quite old. I found the buildings in Ginza Tokyo and Umeda Osaka were nicer and cleaner.

I took a bus from the center of the city to the New York World Exhibition. It was one big town; no, one condensed world was there. Such fantastic domes created a strange mood. Each country competed to exhibit its own excellent culture and products. The display of America’s “Imagination of the future Universe” was splendid. I visited the Japanese Pavilion. I found nothing in particular on the first floor, just items such as toys and tea ceremony tools--the kimonos were like pajamas. However, on the second floor, people were quite interested in all of the electronic items, such as the televisions, cameras, and so on manufactured by Sony and Panasonic. Back in those days, the Japanese products had been considered as, “Looks good, but doesn’t last long.” Not many people could predict the future progress and how things would change!

It would take at least one week to look at all of the exhibits. There was one united country within a reduced mapped area. When sunset arrived each pavilion would light up beautifully. Then, all of a sudden, festivals would start in every street with marching bands in very fancy costumes of their own country. Dressed in colorful whites, blacks, and yellows, one large group was singing, “The World is One.” Late at night, over the big fountain, Japanese fireworks started up in the dark sky, one after another. Some ten thousand people were there, united with the same wish for world peace and progress. Everyone was forgetting the time, but enjoying all the sparkling flowers that were being drawn in the dark sky.

New York was fantastic but the next day I would be arriving in Boston. I was excited to meet the American Karate-Do body.

.

.

to be continued...Next chapter: "Mattson Academy of Karate"

 


[1]

看來你很喜歡這運動

Ginny
[引用] | 作者 Ginny | 23rd Feb 2008 12:07 AM | [舉報垃圾留言]

[2] Re: Ginny
Ginny :
看來你很喜歡這運動

轉眼間已有四十多年了。

BM
[引用] | 作者 BM | 23rd Feb 2008 3:53 AM | [舉報垃圾留言]

[3] Re: BM
BM :
Ginny :看來你很喜歡這運動

轉眼間已有四十多年了。

現在你是教練嗎?


[引用] | 作者 Ginny | 25th Feb 2008 1:37 PM | [舉報垃圾留言]

[4]

現在是由徒弟和徒孫們教了。

BM
[引用] | 作者 BM | 28th Feb 2008 8:17 AM | [舉報垃圾留言]