martial arts

Pam Lohr, left, Felix Aldous and Rob Weaver practice Ueshiro Shorin - Ryu Karate.

 A style of martial arts popular around the world known as Ueshiro Shorin – Ryu Karate will be spotlighted in Brevard County as the local group hosts a five-day event Feb. 2 to 6, drawing participants from throughout the United States and other countries to the Space Coast.

The annual Feb-in-Fl will commemorate the 60th anniversary of Grand Master Ansel Ueshiro’s arrival in the United States bringing this martial arts style of Karate with him from the island of Okinawa.

In 2004, Ueshiro and his worldwide organization of Ueshiro Shorin – Ryu Karate was transferred to his chosen successor Hanshi Robert Scaglione, who lives in Brevard County, having moved here from New York in 1987. “We will be honoring this significant 60th anniversary milestone in the Year of the Rabbit with a long weekend of training sessions at various locations throughout Brevard County,” said Scaglione, the Shihan (director) of the Viera Dojo and CEO of USRKUSA. (A dojo is a place where karate aspirants practice and learn martial arts.)

“We expect to have 75 to 100 karate practitioners attend from our mainland U.S. locations (New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Connecticut, California, Tennessee, Pennsylvania) etc. as well as from Israel and Hong Kong,” Scaglione said.

“The events are open for the general public to come and observe. They are welcome to observe all or part of any training session,” Scaglione said.

Local Ueshiro Shorin – Ryu instructor Rob Weaver, who has been teaching for the past 12 years in Cocoa and now at the Viera Dojo, said, “All of the workouts are great to observe and the Black Belt workout which includes senior Black Belts is exciting to watch.”

The schedule of events kicks off at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2 at the Suntree/ Melbourne Dojo at the Wickham Park Community Center at 2815 Leisure Way.

On Friday, Feb. 3, there is a sunrise class at 6 a.m. at the Merritt Island Dojo at 1835 East Merritt Island Causeway. The sunrise class will be immediately followed by seminars in the tradition of Okinawan weapons. That evening at the Viera Dojo, there will be a 5 p.m. women’s class and a class at 6 p.m. in the Viera Regional Park Community Center.

Saturday, Feb. 4, activities include a workout on Cocoa Beach behind the Cocoa Beach Hilton at 9 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. At 6 p.m., the 60th anniversary celebratory dinner and compai (a time of well-wishing) will be held at the Cocoa Beach Hilton. At 9 p.m., weather permitting, there will be a beach bonfire and informal weapons training.

The Sunday, Feb. 5 schedule calls for two simultaneous events at 10 a.m.; the annual Black Belt Class and year-end compai at Suntree/Melbourne Dojo at Wickham Park Community Center and a Ryu Rank informal workout on Cocoa Beach behind the Cocoa Beach Hilton, also at 10 a.m.

At 8 a.m. Monday, Feb. 6, a class and weekend recap at the Merritt Island Dojo will be led by Scaglione.

More information is available at ueshirofloridakarate.com.