Monday, 20th October 2008

MSMAS Dojo in USA to celebrate 110th birthday of late Dr Tsuyoshi Chitose, Hanshi, Ju Dan, Founder of Chito-ryu.

MSMAS Dojo were in the USA to attend the United States Chito Kai Annual Seminar, Black Belt Testing & USCK Annual Awards Banquet.

MSMAS were travelling as Guests of William J. Dometrich, Hanshi Ku Dan (Ninth Degree Black Belt) DNBK Certified, Founder and National Technical Director United States Chito Kai Federation.

Let me say, before I start this report, that in my opinion, and those of the members of MSMAS who have already been lucky enough to meet them, that both Hanshi Dometrich and his wife, Kyoshi Dometrich (a.k.a. Okusan) are, as they say in the States, the 'real deal'.

In 1953, he took his first Karate instruction under the renowned Karate Teacher, Dr Tsuyoshi Chitose and today, over 55 years later, William Dometrich is STILL his Student ! 

That is loyalty and commitment "beyond the call of duty" as some might say...

However, for both Hanshi and Kyoshi Dometrich that type of behaviour comes quite naturally.

Hanshi Dometrich still works today, even though he is now in his seventies, to serve as a Deputy Sheriff of Boone County, Kentucky, where Hanshi Dometrich lives with his wife, in their beautiful 'log cabin', set in the woods overlooked only by a simple Dojo dedicated to Dr Chitose and his Karate.

Hanshi Dometrich joined the Covington Police Department back in 1964 rising through the ranks to become Assistant Chief of Police. Over the years, he graduated from the FBI Academy and re-enlisted into the US Army to become a Counter Intelligence Agent and a Member of the 11th Special Forces Detachment, serving in both Asia and Europe.

For anyone wanting to know more about their remarkable partnership, get a copy of 'The Endless Quest' (ISBN: 978-1-933901-32-9).

However, nothing can prepare you for the real thing of just being with them and experiencing the love that surrounds them.

To achieve this, members of MSMAS set off at 0600hrs to arrived at 2030hrs in Cincinnati after a long flight to Chicago, then another ‘very exciting storm tossed’ internal flight to Cincinnati, which meant, with time the changes, nearly 19 hours of travel in all.....

However, after leaving our stuff at the hotel, we were took to a ‘magical’ restaurant (the location for the film Rain Man) for a typical Italian dinner with Okusan (Hanshi's wife), her daughter Sherry and some other USCK Members.

We were there simply to be ‘Guests of USCK’ in order to celebrate the 110th birthday of their Founder, Dr Tsuyoshi Chitose.

The next day was spent relaxing and looking around our location, Newport, Kentucky, set right alongside the mighty Ohio River, across which we could see Cincinnati, which we visited that morning. That afternoon we were collected and taken to the Honbu Dojo, a building that simply reeks of history and training! It even looks like a traditional Dojo from the outside and once inside, the desire to train takes over. The normal evening session began with Students of all ages taking part, the oldest nearly 70 !

On Friday, we watched the ‘Black Belt’ Karate Testing at Honbu Dojo, after which we went to Yoseikan 2 Dojo for USCK, set just outside Cincinnati.

We were told nothing, apart from the fact it was ‘larger’ than Honbu.

‘Larger’ was no quite the word in my opinion.

This Dojo is the centre for Kyoshi Lawrence Hawkins Junior, Chairman Emeritus of USCK.

Originally, a TV Studio, you can only begin to imagine the size of everything with 2 massive Dojos, a social area, changing rooms (including showers and sauna) exercise room, etc., etc…

However, a continuing theme, despite all the facilities offered, the theme of ‘humility’.

Our final full day was spent at the ‘Annual USCKF Seminar’.

Once again, we gathered with hundreds of USCKF Members to pay respects to Dr Chitose, then to be led by Hanshi Dometrich himself in a Training Session, which belied his years.

We had of course seen this at the Honbu Dojo that Friday with the Testing. Once again, Hanshi Dometrich had inspired his Students to even greater efforts in their training by personal example.

Then MSMAS were honoured to give a short demonstration of Kendo, as our gift to Okusan due to her own past Kendo training.

Following that Kyoshi Payne was asked to lead the entire USCKF group to explain the similarities between Chito-Ryu Karate as he saw it from our own perspective.

The USCK Annual Awards Banquet then followed.

The Master of Ceremonies, Dr Willie Elliott introduced Sherry Kembre, Vice Chair of USCK who greeted everyone including Guests J Patrick Moynahan, Vice Provost of Northern Kentucky University and his wife. A brief presentation of the DNBKID Kyoto trip was then given plus the Presentation of Certificates and Awards to some of those present. It was at this time that Kyoshi Payne was honoured to receive a U.S. Chito-Kai plaque engraved ‘In appreciation for your continued support of Japanese Budo’.

Then our last day, started with a very brief visit to yet another Dojo, then onto Hanshi Dometrich's own home, prior to our departure back to the UK.

Overall, another brilliant trip.

I will leave the last words to my own ‘titular teacher’, Dr Hiroyuki Tesshin Hamada Hanshi who wrote:

“Hanshi Dometrich is one of the most respected and influential Karate-do practitioners in America and the world today.”


* Responsible Travel ....

To offset the MSMAS 'carbon footprint' of this and other events, Kyoshi Payne personally secured an acre of Brazilian Rainforest (Lat: 5.648 / Long: 61.490), thus locking in 260 tonnes of global warming CO2, equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of ten British families ....





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