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#399182 - 06/10/08 11:01 PM Yamaguchi and Urban
dandjurdjevic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
Here is an article from http://www.martialforce.com/grand_master_peter_urban_article.htm about Yamaguchi and Urban. I'd heard the story before (perhaps whoever told me read it from this source).

Quote:

It was later, while returning to Japan with his wife to attend a GoJu Kai TaiKai, that after asking his teacher’s permission to form an American GoJu organization, that Urban was to hear the words that would change his life and the face of American KaraTe history forever.


In answer to Urban’s request, Yamaguchi supposedly quoting BuShiDo, said that, “No white man can ever achieve nirvana.” (Authors note: Although the word nirvana is not mentioned in BuShiDo, one must keep in mind that Yamaguchi was also a master of Yoga, and a priest of the Shinto religion, so his methodology, spirituality and belief system, was a mixture of the afore mentioned and a Meiji period education.)


Being that his teacher sited BuShiDo as the source of his answer, Urban rebutted by saying “But Sensei, according to BuShiDo, Japan can never lose a war…”


Needless to say, this resulted in an uncomfortable situation, with an angry Yamaguchi, and a dejected Urban, who later came back to Yamaguchi’s table with a knife, and began to perform the archaic customary ritual of apology in which one cuts off the little finger of the left hand. Yamaguchi’s sons wrestled the knife from Urban to prevent him from doing so, and Urban left the taikai one teacher short instead of one finger short.


Many do not know that the next day, Urban and his wife were visited at their hotel by Yamaguchi and his wife. Yamaguchi explained to Urban that he had no choice but to think the way he did, because of the way he was raised and educated. The two parted ways, not as enemies, but knowing that they could never see each other again.

(Note: The author wishes to express that there is absolutely no disrespect meant to the memory of Gogen Yamaguchi)


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#399183 - 06/10/08 11:09 PM Re: Yamaguchi and Urban [Re: dandjurdjevic]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
I've read that story many times and it still perplexes me.
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#399184 - 06/11/08 12:55 AM Re: Yamaguchi and Urban [Re: BrianS]
chofukainoa Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 146
Loc: tokyo, japan
Yeah, multiple layers of miscommunication--cultural, linguistic, you name it--going on there. I've read it before to, and part of me wonders how faithful the tale is to actual events?
If my sensei or shihan ever said anything like that to me, i would just say so long m---erf---er and not bother with the finger bit.

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#399185 - 06/11/08 01:44 AM Re: Yamaguchi and Urban [Re: dandjurdjevic]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
Whether this happen or not I assume that maybe it did. What I get out of this is the dedication that Martial artist had back then in that Urban knew Japanese culture, in his attempt to show how much he wanted it. Even after being insulted not being able to change what he is.

It also shows Yammaguchi's Mastering of himself in that he was brought up to think this way and yet his love for this man's dedication he came and explained his views. As I mentioned whether this is true or not Yammaguchi and Urban continued to communicate and Urban is on Yammaguchi role of Instructors so they did make peace. Or maybe Yammaguchi could see this is an distance extention of his greatness. If this is true he was wise because Professor Peter Urban was a awesome example of Karate Spirit and Japanese technique. I believe that the MAs opens our heart and mind to CHANGE and a new ideas.

Back in the day Sensei Urban and the Isshin-ryu (Don or Dan bad dude brain fart can't remember) & 6'6 255lb Gary Alexander) use to tear the floor in sparring meets and demos that brought blood during and applauses and hugged each other afterwards.


Edited by Neko456 (06/11/08 01:46 AM)

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#399186 - 06/11/08 02:35 AM Re: Yamaguchi and Urban [Re: BrianS]
dandjurdjevic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
Quote:

I've read that story many times and it still perplexes me.




Then I wonder what you'll make of this story that Steven Berkowitz told us a while ago...

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/goju_ryu/message/7957
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#399187 - 06/11/08 03:19 AM Re: Yamaguchi and Urban [Re: dandjurdjevic]
dandjurdjevic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
P.S.

It's worth reading the bit at the bottom - the vignette might reflect Urban's eccenticity, but it isn't a criticism of him - either as a martial artist or a person!
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#399188 - 06/12/08 12:25 PM Re: Yamaguchi and Urban [Re: dandjurdjevic]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
Most masters or the people that trained and attained Black belt during that time were a bit eccentric. Almost anybody placed under a microscope would be if watched daily. Everybody has those little things that they do that are unusual for most that don't do things that way.

Mastero or Sensei Urban was great Martial artist.
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#399189 - 06/12/08 12:35 PM Re: Yamaguchi and Urban [Re: dandjurdjevic]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Quote:

Quote:

I've read that story many times and it still perplexes me.




Then I wonder what you'll make of this story that Steven Berkowitz told us a while ago...

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/goju_ryu/message/7957




Quite a tale!! What a personality!
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#399190 - 06/12/08 03:57 PM Re: Yamaguchi and Urban [Re: dandjurdjevic]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#399191 - 06/12/08 07:19 PM Re: Yamaguchi and Urban [Re: BrianS]
dandjurdjevic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
Brian Mackie runs a dojo here in the centre of my town. My brother and I went to visit him when we first arrived here in '85. Tough guys.

I took my instructor to visit in 1996.

I think Brian's dojo is the second longest running MA dojo in Perth, and I think his full-time premises are now the longest established premises in this town (they still have "Japanese Instructor" in very faded paint on the walls!).

I see him from time to time at visiting instructor seminars.
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