Mar 02 2015

The End is Near?

Is the End Near?
The Slow Extinction of the United States Traditional Japanese Sensei
By Ray Hughes
March 2015

Ray Hughes

Ray Hughes

The Japanese karate organization I belonged to for the first 25 years of my training career recently ended. After 50 years of existence and a once large organization, the doors closed. It had been in severe decline for decades.
There are currently other great karate organizations collapsing in this same manner; soon to be gone or morphing into something completely different.
The question is why are these Japanese empires collapsing in the United States?
I can only give you my perspective as an American student who has trained, experienced, and observed this phenomenon for nearly four decades. It is with this observation and understanding that maybe future mistakes can hopefully be avoided.

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Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/the-end-is-near/

Feb 23 2015

Uechi-ryu Karate Championship Series

Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Uechi-Ryu,

04Tourney13I am happy to announce the anticipated Uechi-Ryu Karate Championship Series which our students have come to enjoy will resume this year 2015.  The anticipated dates are all Saturdays, April 11, June 13 and October 3.  I use the word anticipated because although the venue has approved these dates, the manager still have to follow protocol and announce these date to their committee.  Sensei Len Testa and I have also decided to start all 3 tournaments at 1pm.  This would allow our competitors to sleep late on a week end and have lunch prior to the start of the events.  I remembered many of the competitors being hungry while waiting for kumite.  No one wants to see their little ninjas hungry and uncomfortable.

The venue for all 3 tournaments will be held at The Natick Senior Center.  The address is 117 E. Central Street, Natick, MA 01760We chose this venue because of its central location to many of the dojos who have supported this tournament series in the past.  And a single, familiar location makes it easier for all our competitors, parents and judges.  It is certainly an easier ride for our central, western and northern dojos.  Tournament fees will be announced when our posters and applications are sent out.  Understanding the condition of our economy, we are trying to keep all fees as low as possible.  Very possibly lower then entry fees of the past.

The awards night will be held on October 17th, at the China Pearl located at 237 Quincy Avenue, Quincy, MA 02169.  The award night tickets will be $30 per person.  This includes the presentation of the championship trophies, kata and weapon performances from our champions and a 6 course meal.  Each table will seat 10 people.  All award tickets must be purchased in advance.  A $20 discount will available for “dojo tables”.  Instead of individuals from your dojo purchasing seats and sending in their checks to me, the dojo can send in $280 per table “which seats 10” and arrange their own seating and guarantee his/her dojo students and parents will sit together.  If there are parents, students or relatives who you cannot fit in your tables ordered, they will have to pay $30 and we will assign them to other tables where we have room.

Thank you again for being so patient with us. Let’s get ready for a great year in Uechi-Ryu.

Darin Yee

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/uechi-ryu-karate-championship-series/

Feb 11 2015

Regional Uechi-ryu Workout

Hello Uechi Brothers and Sisters,

04_May_reg_wkout1I am happy to announce our first regional workout for the year 2015.  As always, I would like to invite all respectable Uechi-Ryu practitioners regardless of rank or organization.  The main objective is to bring our Uechi-Ryu family together for an invigorating workout and to familiarize each other with one another.

The location is Natick Community-Senior Center, located at 117 East Central Street, Natick, MA 01760.  This is a great central location and easy access for our friends from all over New England including New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and let’s not forget the home state of Massachusetts.  It is a longer ride for me from Plymouth, MA but the facility is an ideal location for many of the surrounding dojos.

The gym is reserved from 1:30pm to 4:30pm on Saturday, March 21.  Our workout will begin promptly ay 2pm and ends at 4pm.  This will give us plenty of time to change and prepare for a great workout.  Please be informed we are supposed to be completely changed and off premise by 4:30 which is not a bad thing as we will make reservation at the restaurant next door named the Morse Tavern. Good food and reasonably priced.

Mat fees will be $15 for ages 18 and up; $10 for ages 13 to 18. We will allow juniors to attend but they will have to be able to participate as an adult.

The workout will consist of Choice warmups followed by kata.  When all 8 katas are performed, I will demonstrate and explain usage of certain movements within our katas from a Chinese Kung-Fu point of view.  If time allows, I will be willing to discuss and answer questions regarding any movement in any of our Uechi-Ryu katas.

Please also realize I do not profess the understanding of what I teach to be in anyway contradictory to what you have learned from anyone else.  Your sensei is always your go to source.  It is always interesting to view anything and everything from another perspective.

Extra Location Information:

East Central Street is also MA Route 135.  The center is about 1/3 of a mile out of the center of Natick heading towards Wellesley.

For people using the Mass Turnpike: Take the Natick exit 13, at the bottom of the exit turn east on Rt 30.  Drive about 1 mile to traffic light (intersection of Rt. 30 & 27).  Turn right on Rt 27 heading south.  Drive to the center of Natick.  Turn left (east) on East Central St.

Use a GPS if you have one.

Sensei Darin Yee

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/regional-uechi-ryu-workout/

Feb 09 2015

Uechi-ryu Ring – Order Now!

Please place your order ASAP – If 20 people order a ring by March 20, we will place the order for this custom-made ring. Order information HERE!

I have been exploring the possibilities of adding a reasonably priced martial art ring to our on-line store. Our designer and manufacturer of silver, made to order rings sent a design based on our Shoken pin, which we now sell. We are also considering doing a ring of the Pinwheel design, should there be interest. With a minimum order of twenty rings, we will be able to sell them for under $200. If you are interested in purchasing one, please send me an email (gmattson(at)uechi-ryu.com. Specify which design you are interested in.

shoken ring sample

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/uechi-ryu-ring/

Feb 08 2015

IUKF and SCMAA promotional

The South China Martial Arts Alliance (SCMAA.net) held its first formal dantest since reorganization took place in 2014. President, Thomas Bentley and Chairman George Mattson headed up the test board for the yondan (4th degree black belt) Shitoryu and Okinawa Kobudo test of Kelly Saunders.

At the same test, the International Uechi-ryu Karate Federation (IUKF) awarded Shihan Joe Guidery the master’s rank of Hachidan.

scmaa dantest1-31-15

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/iukf-and-scmaa-promotional/

Feb 03 2015

Sign up today for WinterFest

Warm, Sunny and Snow Free Mount Dora, Florida

 WinterFest is March 6 & 7th!
Sign-up Today

winterfest-logo

 

My one and only reminder about this year’s Martial Arts WinterFest, being held in beautiful, warm and snow-free Mount Dora, Florida the weekend of March 6th and 7th (Friday and Saturday).Once again, we are expecting a stellar cast of senior Uechi-ryu instructor to attend and help conduct seminars during the weekend.

Sign-up NOW!

We always have a great time and enjoy many interesting and informative seminars covering many fascinating topics.

I don’t have any great videos of WinterFest but, Scott Danginger was kind enough to put together one of SummerFest, which will give you an idea of how our Fests are run.

Just click on the photo to view the clip. Then click here to sign up for this really great weekend. Looking forward to working out and partying with you next month.

best, George    

 

 

Upcoming Events March 6th and 7th 2015WinterFest – 2015. New dates for WinterFest, in order to take advantage of lower air fares and lower room prices at local hotels. Plan to vacation in beautiful and warm Mount Dora in March!

June 27 & 28, 2015: Summer Seminar 2015 – Sensei George E Mattson UK Visit

Saturday, June 27 at 9:00am in UTC+01

Shogun Karate Kai in Herne Bay, Kent

August 7 – 9th, 2015 

SummerFest – 2014. Make plans to attend the premier event in the Uechi-ryu world. 

August 6th, 2015 

“The Event” – Your opportunity to spend all day Thursday with the teacher of your choice. 

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/sign-up-today-for-winterfest/

Nov 11 2014

New Belt Pins – Available NOW!

pin-samples

pins-close-up-2 pins-close-up-1

These very special pins, with a screw-back, have been out of stock for many years. I discovered the original art work for these pins during a storage unit visit and decided to have them recreated in a new 1″ diameter size and a 3/8″ screw-post. (To ensure a secure attachment.)

Retail price, only $20 for both pins. Click here to order

Contact me for quantity pricing. (A great special occasion gift)

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/new-belt-pins-available-soon/

Oct 30 2014

Rank, Stripes and Titles

rank-stripes-titles-in-IUKF

For years, Uechi practitioners were satisfied with the gold stripes representing the titles of Renshi, Kyoshi and Hanshi. At one time, a board of Okinawa grandmasters awarded these titles. Kiyohide Shinjo and I were two of the first recipients of the Renshi gold stripe after being interviewed and tested by one of the Titles committee board member.

The practice ended shortly after it begun, for unknown reasons. IUKF renewed the process and formed a board to monitor and award the titles and gold stripes.

For the other Uechi organizations, the stripes didn’t represent anything other than the awarding of a master rank. And since the original purpose of the stripes didn’t have anything to do with rank, there was lots of confusion regarding how to divide three stripes into 5 ranks. Hence the logical conclusion was to simply sew on a stripe for every master rank.

This confusion over the purpose of the stripes was brought up at a recent IUKF board meeting and the consensus was that since the stripes has lost any relationship to the titles of Renshi, Kyoshi and Hanshi, IUKF should no longer associate the stripes with the titles.

I agreed with the decision of the board and beginning November 1, 2014, belt stripes will only represent the master ranking of 6th – 10th degree black belts.

The titles program will continue to exist in its present form. The board is considering issuing a special certificate and award that will replace the gold bar on belts.

Train often and train smart. . .

best, George 

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/rank-stripes-and-titles/

Sep 12 2014

Dojo Ownership

IMG_20140912_074458_546-1

 

Uechi Ryu Black Belts,

 

Have you ever thought about taking the next step in your Uechi Ryu training and possibly opening your own Uechi Ryu school?

 

If you imagine having a large school or a small dojo,  the IUKF can help support and guide you in your dream of being a dojo owner. The IUKF was formed in 1975 for a multitude of reasons including assisting dojos in their business needs and teachings of the art of Uechi Ryu.

 

Grand Master George Mattson started teaching in Boston, MA in 1958. Along with being the first Uechi Ryu teacher in the United States, he quickly grew Mattson Academy into a thriving dojo business. Today, many of his senior students run their own schools all over the world.

 

The IUKF can help you grow your Uechi dojo or even start a new dojo from ground zero including providing structure, experience, ranking and many other tools that will enhance your school.

 

The following is a list of some of the many benefits and reasons why you should consider aligning your dojo with the IUKF.

 

  • The IUKF is headed and lead by Grand Master George E  Mattson, Tenth Dan.

  • The IUKF is a world-wide organization that consists of regional Uechi-Ryu dojos that conduct black belt grading twice a year.

  • IUKF Dojo Committee, a committee of dojo owners.

  • Grading and testing is based on International standards in the Black Belt Test Guide interpreted and clarified by the IUKF Rules Committee.

  • Two international  training camps held every year with master ranking and testing.

  • Regional training.

  • Both internationally recognized Kyu and Dan certificates.

  • Uechi Ryu title certificates.

  • Monthly newsletters.

  • Online monthly trainings.

  • Online Teacher meetings.

 

For more information go to www.IUKF.net or contact Christian Maine of the IUKF Dojo Committee.

 

Christian Maine

IUKF Dojo Committee Chairman

603-726-8000

WhiteMountainKarate@gmail.com

 

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/dojo-ownership/

Aug 10 2014

What a great SummerFest!

I wish to thank all of you who attended and supported this year’s martial arts SummerFest making it one of the most successful events since it was first created in 1983. Also thanks to all of you who sent me email expressing how much you learn and enjoyed the event. Certainly one of the most memorable email was from Lisa Tanner and I hope she won’t mind the reprinting of here. Perhaps some of you who elected not to attend camp this year will change your mind after reading Lisa had to say about she felt about attending


 

Dearest Sensei Mattson

Lisa Tanner on right.

Lisa Tanner on right.

I want to thank you again for creating such a wonderful experience thru Summerfest. We began our journey this year with mixed emotions; excited to once again have the opportunity to learn from such great martial artists, but with heavy hearts because our own leader was not joining us. Victor sensei has guided us to become part of a bigger Uechi Ryu community outside of our home province of Nova Scotia, and we are forever grateful that he has shown us the way…this is not just figuratively speaking…last year he literally showed us the way! he got us to Plymouth without getting lost and I cannot say the same about my cars GPS!

The weekend went by far too quickly and as we drove home Sunday and Monday I had time to reflect, I seriously believe I suffer from P.A.E.D (post awesomeness enlightenment disorder) because with each small task I was doing a phrase, Idea, or lesson will come back to me: “find the void”, in every void there’s an attack waiting”, “create a void”, “effortless effort”, “affirmative action” are only just a few.

Then there is the camaraderie…what can I say, It is displayed everywhere, on the field or in the lounge and even followed us to the sandwich shop, old friendships growing stronger and new ones setting seed.

I enjoyed how the new format played out, It allowed for extra time at a particular station, to me this was very relevant as I had Harry’s attention for kata exploration 30 minutes longer! I have been working on Seiru for over a year now and just wasn’t getting inspired by its movements, Harry peeled that kata like an onion helping me to see each layer and its relevance to the whole “onion”.

My time spent with you on Sunday morning prompted me to re-examine why I feel the need to “force’ breathing or strike too quickly (light bulb moment…is very different than swiftly with purpose to which I confused speed) as a smaller framed lady martial artist, I think I had preconceived the need to prove or show my strength (light bulb moment once again…the only person needing to know my strength is me…feeling it really is better than showing it).

As you can see, Summerfest is a journey of self discovery for me and finding out my roots in this art. The only way I could calm the overwhelming excitement on the drive home (two days and nineteen hours of driving) was to sit in the back seat and write my thoughts; that when read aloud to Patty and Kristin were identified as poetry…another moment of self discovery because when they exclaimed “we didn’t know you wrote poetry!” my response was “me neither”.

I am sending them along for your enjoyment, however I made Patty and Kristen promise me not to laugh when I read them aloud from the backseat of my VW, with dirty jungleplex feet and still wearing last nights make-up (traveling is not glamorous). Sensei Mattson…I give you permission to laugh, because i believe your heart laughs withe people and not at them!

Sincerely yours in budo
Lisa Tanner

P.S living, breathing, and BEING in sanchin, that is the epitome of our being. I may have never been to Okinawa, but I’ve been to Plymouth Ma, where many great masters gather. xo

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