Please let me start by saying how proud I am of being the President of Uechi International, and how our association has grown and developed over the past many years. As the years passed and we grew and developed into the world-class association we are today, under the leadership of our Chairman Robert J. Campbell, it was not without a couple of bumps along the road, but nothing we ever considered serious. Just a couple of minor growing pains that actually helped us on to where we are today — as one of the top tier Uechi Associations in the world.
As President, I bring to the table my 48 years of Uechi Ryu and Martial Art training. My beliefs and philosophies below reflect in running the Association as it stands today:
- Each and every instructor and dojo has its own character and identity. That individualized character and identity are developed and influenced directly by the dojo sensei.
- I have always advised potential members to visit, watch and talk to other associations before making a decision about joining. This way, they can get a firsthand view of other groups that may fit their needs better than us.
- This next statement is very important for the potential member to know and understand:
- The most important question they need to ask themselves is – Do I fit into this type of environment. Is this association and its leadership – Chairman – Master Sensei Bob Campbell and President – Jay Salhanick, the best fit for me? This is a personal decision that the potential member must make for themselves.
- In turn, that is exactly what I think and ask myself when I am contacted and approached by potential Sensei’s seeking to join Uechi International.
- I have learned over time that, not all instructors and dojos are for all students, just as not all associations are for all instructors and dojos to belong to.
- As President, I have learned over time that I myself have made mistakes as I have accepted some instructors and dojos into the association when I should not have.
- My gut told me that this was not going to be a good fit, but I chose to accept them against my better judgment and hoped for the Best. I WAS WRONG. That was my mistake! A mistake I will not repeat again. I learned I should have trusted my gut. I will not repeat my mistakes of the past.
Today, Uechi International, I am proud to report is as strong and cohesive as it has ever been. I am very proud to say, Uechi International is stronger than ever. We are in a great place!
Please let me take a minute to outline our association’s history:
- The Uechi Ryu International Karate Association, also known as “Uechi International” was created under the direct authority of our Chairman, Master Sensei Robert J. Campbell.
- When Sensei Campbell made the decision to open membership in his association outside of Asia, the very first dojo to join Uechi Hong Kong as it was called back then, was Sensei Jay Salhanick’s dojo, the Traditional Uechi Ryu Karate Institute, operated by Sensei Campbell’s longtime student – Sensei Jay Salhanick, who was teaching and operating a dojo in Boston and Medford Massachusetts, along with running the karate program at the University of Massachusetts – Boston (1991 – 2005).
- The association now had its first member dojo, outside of Asia and the association was growing and expanding.
Over the course of time, we have made some incredible advancement along with having the honor of welcoming a variety of new members. Along with implementing new initiatives, seminars, training sessions and a yearly banquet. That banquet draws members and friends in and out of Uechi Ryu and the Shohei Ryu Karate System from all over the United States.
As the President, I am extremely proud and happy to report that this is a very exciting time for Uechi International. We are growing both nationally and internationally. We have initiated many new and exciting events and activities. Such as; Seminars, Training Sessions, General Meetings for all members to meet and get to know each other as people, and not just as a dojo workout partner. This form of social interaction develops real friendships – Not just a casual Dojo friendship.
There is so much more coming to Uechi International.
I am very proud to be the President of this association.
President, Uechi International