First sensei (Shotokan) to Earl Pfarr
The following information was taken from an email from Tim Hillary to me on 30 May 2000:
Thanks for the response. Hope I can remember some of Earl's history -- and my own as well. Us old guys begin losing our memory through the years.
I began my martial arts life in 1959 when Johhny Osako offered an introductory judo course at the Protestant Youth Conference (PYC) in Kenosha. This was the only game in town at the time and I stuck with it until I joined the Air Force in January 1962. I volunteered to be stationed in Japan so I could study judo at the Kodokan. While there, I was introduced to Shotokan Karate at the Japan Karate Association in Tokyo. On November 28, 1965 I received my shodan at a three day board of review in front of more than 50 godans and above including Masatoshi Nakayama. At the JKA dojo many high ranking instructors were assigned to teach foreign students so they could get prepared for assignments overseas. I studied under Shirai, Oishi, Ochi, Enoeda, Kanazawa, Asai, and several others. My primary sensei, however, was Masaaki Ueki.
Upon my return to the U.S. in January 1966, I began teaching my brother & another guy (Ray Marescalco) at the KYF. In March of 1966, the KYF approached me to teach some classes for them, which I jumped at. Many students passed through those classes, but only a few stuck with it. I taught classes the Japanese way which was a little too intense for many Americans. The few that stuck with it formed a club called the Tozai Karate Kyokai (East/West Karate Association). I have an old photo of that group taken in July 1966 and Earl was not there. I believe he came on board shortly thereafter. I worked with the group until Fall of 1968 when I left for school at Whitewater, WI. Just before I left Kenosha, Rev. Wm. Foster moved to Kenosha from Peoria, IL. After some negotiating, he agreed to take over the group. We had no promotions, so the entire group were white belts. Sensei Foster shifted their focus from Shotokan to Shorei and worked miracles on the ragtag bunch of white belts I blessed him with. While I was at Whitewater, the Yin Yang Do was formed. I was welcomed into it by Sensei Foster and worked out with them when I was home on semester breaks/holidays/summers when I wasn't working.
John, I think that is about the extent of my recollection. I regard Earl with the utmost respect and admiration. Like a good student, he has far eclipsed his sensei. If we, as guides, do our job well, our students build upon the knowledge we help them discover and become even better than we are. That's the way things are supposed to work and Earl has certainly done his job well.
Thanks for the opportunity to talk about Earl. He is a great guy!
History of Earl Pfarr: