Founders Forum - Summer 2018
I have been reflecting on the 50+ years of USCK history and how the years have been rewarding. I wrote in my previous memos that the rewards have come with the disappointments of running a karate organization. This writing is not intended to disrespect anyone involved in the practice of Chito-ryu.
As you know, in 1967 pursuant to O-Sensei's request my husband and I founded the USCK. At that time as far as I knew, my husband was the only instructor in the lower 48 United States teaching Chito-ryu who had been a direct student of O-Sensei Chitose. When my husband started teaching Chito-ryu in February 1955 I knew of no other American, with the possible exception of Sensei Morita in Hawaii, teaching Chito-ryu who was a direct student of O-Sensei.
As I reflected on these bygone years, I thought about how many current Chito-ryu practitioners in the United States who are no longer members of the USCK continue to teach Chito-ryu and who have obtained rank mostly because of their roots to the USCK or their teacher's roots to the USCK. For the life of me, I cannot think of one person in the United States still practicing Chito-ryu who does not have a connection to the USCK. Nor can I think of one person practicing Chito-ryu in the United States who trained extensively with O-Sensei. I know of a handful of USCK members who are still active and attended classes or seminars taught by O-Sensei. There are fewer Chito-ryu practitioners who have left the USCK who can claim that they attended classes or seminars that O-Sensei taught. The last USCK seminar that O-Sensei was present at was in 1982.
Most of those former USCK members practicing Chito-ryu were and remain quite adept in the curriculum of the USCK. They likely have altered their teaching or training methods as they continue to explore the realm of interpretations our martial art provides. Their interpretations are just that and should not be perceived as actual representations of O-Sensei's teachings.
As members of the USCK, your training in the curriculum of the USCK was established by Hanshi Dometrich under the direct guidance of the founder of Chito-ryu. As you continue your training, I encourage you to explore your own interpretations of our style. Kata movements provide many applications that you can discover and which may be best for your body size. Hanshi Dometrich always said that there are no secrets to karate training except "sweat".
Please remember that as members you continue to carry out the wishes and dreams of Doctor Tsuyoshi Chitose of having a United States National Chito-ryu organization and the dying wishes of Hanshi Dometrich that you continue to support the USCK and me as the Chairman of the USCK.
Barbara E. Dometrich, Meiyo Hanshi
Co-Founder U.S. Chito-kai