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Isshinryu Today remembers O'Sensei Peter George Urban, Ph.D.

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Isshinryu Today

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Good evening listeners, and welcome to our program Isshinryu Today on the TEAM KIA International radio network, the network that pays homage to our founder Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei. Tonight we will be talking about the legendary O'Sensei Peter George Urban, Ph.D.


The Grand Patriarch of ALL American Goju Systems, is Peter G. Urban, who has made such a tremendous impact on American karate that he has been referred to as the "George Washington of American Karate".  Master Urban initially was a student of Sensei Richard Kim and Sensei Mas Oyama before being introduced to Sensei Gogen Yamaguchi.  He then became a devoted student of Yamaguchi.  In 1969, Master Urban made aspecial visit to Japan to ask Sensei Gogen Yamaguchi permission to establish a separate branch of Goju Ryu in the United States, and to be granted the head of that branch.  Sensei Yamguchi denied the request, stating that the rules of Bushido dictate that no “gaigen” (round eye-white man), could ever achieve Nirvana. (Enlightenment).  Master Urban, dissatisfied with the decision replied  that these same Bushido rules stated that Japan could never lose a war. This statement offended Sensei Yamaguchi.  Realizing this, Master Urban prepared to follow the samurai custom of cutting off his pinky finger in apology.  Yamaguchi’s oldest son, Gosei, stopped him, realizing that although Master Urban was correct in asking this, he had offended his father in his own house.  Gosei then ask Master Urban to leave, and to never return to Japan.