My wishes For The Future
Of Isshin-ryu, “The Art”
Of Soke Tatsuo Shimabuku
And Grand Master Don Nagle, “The Legend”
I have given great thought to the future of Isshin-ryu, the creation of Tatsuo Shimabuku, Soke and brought to this country by the man who most exemplified it’s fighting principles, Don Nagle, “The Living Legend,” who was the first American to be honored with the title of Grand Master, by a convocation of many associations, sitting in judgment.
The bad news is that I am not invincible and at 70 years of age, I feel that our lineage of those who love Isshin-ryu should be upheld. Of course my first thought was of my close friend and all time Isshin-ryu Champion fighter, Master Ralph Passero. However, in a conversation with him, he told me his thoughts, clearly and honestly, as he has always spoken to both Sensei Nagle and myself. He stated that his business enterprises were growing rapidly, as well as his maintaining his dojo and carrying on the memory of Sensei Don Nagle, with the annual tournament and dinner. Having mulled over a list of possible candidates, I immediately mentioned the name of Ernie Temple and Master Passero met that idea with great enthusiasm.
What am I looking for, in the next American Grand Master, what qualities must that person have? Well, he must be known to his peers and approved by them. He must have a long period of teaching, on a high level and this should be evident in his body of students. He must have been a fighter of note, as were both Don Nagle and myself, both of whom actually loved fighting and wanted to win, at any cost. His students must look up to him and I have had the pleasure to meet many of his followers at my seminars and tournaments. This person must be teaching in the doctrine and purity of Grand Master Nagle, since it is his memory that we cherish, as no other association does of their Master. He was unique, extraordinary and cannot be duplicated. The best that I can hope for is that all who come after me admire and love his memory, as I do.
I truly believe that Master Ernie Temple has these characteristics, as well as, good old American common sense, a keen intellect, an instinct to excel and an excellent mind and background in business.
In the coming months, I will be striving to draw into our Association, additional top notch dojo's and Sensei's, so that I can rest in peace, knowing I did my best to keep Isshin-ryu true to it’s heritage.
At our Annual Memorial Tournament in September, I will promote Mr. Temple to Ku-Dan, ninth degree black belt, so that he will be set for his elevation upon my demise. I know he will make my Sensei and me proud of him. I want all of the Isshin-ryu dojo's and their Sensei's to pledge to him their best effort and aid.
Edward F. McGrath, Ju-Dan
Grand Master, Isshin-ryu “The Art”
By the will of my Sensei, Don Nagle
On This Date, July 22, 2005