The Crosswinds Dojo:

The primary Dojo that served as the nexus which brought most of the Founders together was the Crosswinds Dojo, located at 21 Pandan Street, Angeles City, the Republic of the Philippines.  The Crosswinds Dojo was operated by Sensei Marcello B. Umipeg (deceased).  Sensei Umipeg, in a somewhat major break with Dojo tradition, preferred to be called “Marcy,” and thus, “Marcy” was what we called him then, and “Marcy” is what we call him to this day.  That is certainly not intended as any indication of disrespect.  Those of us privileged to have met this remarkable man tend to say his name with a bit of reverence.


When asked what style he taught, Marcy would say “Goju Ryu.”  It would be more accurate to say the Goju Ryu was one of several major influences.  Beginning students would be taught Kihon (basic) kata, and the five Pinans.  Wado Ryu and Shotokan were both significant influences in this part of the curriculum.   The “advanced” katas included Saipha and Seyunchin from Goju Ryu, as well as Sanchin. 


Marcy’s Crosswinds was eclectic.  One sense of his genius was in his ability to identify and quickly learn and adopt good ideas, katas, and training concepts.  Unlike many of the people teaching Karate then (and now, for that matter), Marcy was essentially ego-less when it came to welcoming people and ideas from virtually any Dojo, style or system.  He did not suffer from “my way is the only way” thinking.  


Another area of genius for Marcy was his ability to “adopt” young men as their surrogate father, providing excellent guidance, support, counsel and discipline to his young students as each of them was likely to need it. 


Marcy’s most senior student, and assistant teacher was Sensei Luther Wood, or “Woody.”  When it came to actual workouts, Woody was the “Yang” to Marcy’s “Yin.”  When Woody was leading the class, one knew that sweat was going to pour!


Marcy was somewhat quiet as to his martial arts lineage, but we are aware of several significant influences. 


Marcy’s oldest son, Rocky Glenn Umipeg, reports that Marcy was promoted to Rokudan by a Hawaiian Sensei, Lou'vai LotuPeni II.  Marcy’s most senior student, Luther Wood, (Woody) remembers Marcy being promoted by an American Samoan teacher named Raymond J. Brown, who was highly ranked in Karate, Judo, Ju Jitsu and Aikido.  Brown was also a boxing coach for the U.S. Military.


Another significant influence on the Crosswinds Dojo was Sensei Arthur Beverford, known affectionately as “Mr. B.”  Mr. B served in the US Military in Japan during the occupation, and was one of the first Westerners to be trained in the Wado style of Karate.  I recall him saying that he'd placed second in one of the first all-Japan Karate Championships some time in the '50s. 

He told the story of fighting for the Championship... that the fight was on a raised platform without any ropes, and that he'd chased his opponent to the edge.  His opponent lost balance and almost fell off the platform, which would have given Beverford the win, but that coming from a western sense of "fair play," he reached out and caught the other fighter, saving him from the fall, and the loss... the other fighter came back to win the contest, and Sensei Beverford's teachers were completely at a loss to understand why he'd "played fair."


Sensei Beverford had lied about his age and joined the Air Force at age 16.  After initial training, he was sent to the South Pacific. He was in the Raider Battalion. At the end of the war he was assigned as a bodyguard to a high ranking officer who was involved in the
reconstruction of Japan.  


Once in Japan, he soon found a Karate school, and thought he was pretty good. They beat him to a pulp.  He found a Wado Ryu style Karate school.  He signed up, along with another American serviceman.  There he was beat up again but he would not quit. He went on to gain their respect. There's some history here: http://kziwado.tripod.com/history2.html  

Beverford made a career of the Military, and retired in the Philippines, married a Filipino woman named Teresita, and had 10 sons before the arrival of a much desired daughter.


Sensei Beverford had a bout with hepatitis, and the illness had forced him to stop training for a time. 


Neither Marcy nor Sensei Beverford were particularly forthcoming about exactly how much they had trained together, or taught/learned from one another, but it was clear that they had a very high level of mutual respect.  It was also clear from the technique taught at Crosswinds that the Wado style was heavily interlaced into the curriculum.


A much later, but no less significant influence on the Crosswinds Dojo came about due to one of the students.  A young Lieutenant (an Air Force Academy graduate) named Harry Harrison was briefly a regular at the Crosswinds Dojo in 1967.  Lieutenant Harrison had discovered a Choi Li Fut Kung Fu school in Manila called the Hong Sing Sporting Academy.  He introduced Jim Botsford and Ed Sumner to Hong Sing.  Two of the best practitioners there were Fao Ying, and Jose Chua, and Jim and Ed began training with them in Choi Li Fut.  As they shared their new-found skills with Marcy, Choi Li Fut kata quickly found their way into the Crosswinds curriculum. 


The Manila Hong Sing Academy was closely affiliated with the Hong Sing School in Singapore.  Jim Botsford would make four visits to the Singapore Hong Sing school over the next several years.