Jan 22 2011

God just inherited a party

My Dearest Vicki,

I remember Summer Camp nights where I would be exhausted. You on the other hand… The Energizer Bunny went out with friends to the famous Bourne “biker bar.” It was your time to be all you with friends who would protect you and look out after you, but let you shine like only you could.

Tonight a biker bar in Bourne is playing a song – in your honor.

Prince 1999

I was dreamin’ when I wrote this
So sue me if I go 2 fast

But life is just a party
And parties weren’t meant 2 last

War is all around us
My mind says prepare 2 fight

So if I gotta die
I’m gonna listen 2 my body tonight

Yeah, they say two thousand zero zero party over
Oops out of time
So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999

It is you, my dear friend. Somewhere in heaven, God just inherited a party.

- Bill

Click Here to read “Tribute to Vicki”

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/god-just-inherited-a-party/

Jan 20 2011

A True Warrior Has Passed

I am announcing to the world that a true warrior has passed. Herman Yee passed away around 9am Wednesday, January 12, 2011. These last few years of battling his illnesses have finally overcome him. The warrior that he is, Herman fought to the very end. Strangely enough, Herman’s fight was not for himself but for all who loved him.

During the early 1970s when Mattson Academy fighters was the ones you need to get passed to hope for a chance at a championship, Herman was one of those feared obstacles. As a fighter, he was a tough, resilient, relentless and possesses more skill and ability then one would imagine.

All of us who really know Herman understand him as a reserved, selfless individual who would rather give then take. There are many who benefited from his generosity and offered back nothing but grieves and didn’t give him the time of day. Herman’s remark was “The truth of a man is reveal by his actions. Enough said”.

Unlike much of the fables going around the internet about “fighting in the street” to booster ones imaginary image, Herman Yee who mentioned nothing was one of the few who actually practiced much of our training in the streets of the South End, downtown Washington Street and Chinatown. Fighting alongside Herman, I knew there was always someone watching my back.

Those of you who never met Herman Yee and do not know of him, Herman was a man of honor, respect, integrity, strength and most of all compassion. He began his training of Uechi-Ryu in 1969 along with many of his friends from the South End. He continued training until a year ago when his health did not permit him to do so. We will miss him.

The brothers from birth are circumstantial. There will always be a connection. Our brothers through friendship are by choice.

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/a-true-warrior-has-passed/

Jan 17 2011

Masters Magazine Announcement

Sent: Monday, January 17, 2011 7:58 AM
To: George
Subject: MAGAZINE and BOOK

Dear Sensei, your article is printed. We have copies next week and also the full interview just been printed in KARATE MASTERS Vol. 4 Please give an address to send you some copies!
Warmest regards!
Jose
========================
Hi Jose:
My students have been “bugging” Books a Million for the past few weeks and were standing in line yesterday when the store assured them that the new issue would be on the shelves. I even got excited and drove over to purchase what I believe was their last copy!

You did a great job with the grizzly-old-man pictures you had to work with. Hopefully some of your readers will appreciate my view of traditional MA and will understand how important steady and healthful training is in what many of us practice and love.

Again, thanks Jose.

Best,
George

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/masters-magazine-announcement/

Jan 17 2011

WinterFest Update . . .

IMPORTANT > > > Discount for early registration ends February 4th!!!>>>

I am very proud and honored to announce that Shihan Tom Bentley, a martial art Icon here in Central Florida, has agreed to conduct a three hour special seminar at this year’s WinterFest. His seminar will be available in three sessions, with a short break between segments. Participants have the option to participate in the complete three hour seminar or one or two sessions.

Here is Sensei Bentley’s seminar breakdown:

CURRICULUM FOR SEMINAR SESSION

 

Center maintenance, target awareness, weapon selection/preparation, and establishing appropriate maai during technique delivery.

 

Concepts utilized during the training will include, but not be limited to, the following:

Sen

Sen no sen (Go no sen)

Sen Sen no sen

Kime

Eight Directional Coverage

Tai-sabaki  (koshi-sabaki, ashi-sabaki, te-sabaki)

 

Movement techniques utilized during the training will include, but not be limited to, the following:

Taiju no Ido

Ayumiashi

Yoriashi

Tsugiashi

Surikomiashi

Kaiten

Kagami

 

Selective partner training will include, but not be limited to, the following to enhance training:

Ipponkumite

Yakusoku ipponme

Yakusoku nihonme

Yakusoku sanbonme

Ohyogumite yonhonme

 

A multitude of tsuki, geri, uchi, and uke techniques will be employed during the training to emphasize concept reinforcement.

 

Seminar instructor Tom Bentley has trained in the martial arts for fifty plus years and holds dan rankings in Shito-ryu, Goju-ryu, Wado-ryu, Ju-jutsu, and Kobudo.  He has been awarded Renshi and Shihan titles.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/winterfest-update-2/

Jan 15 2011

A Sanchin Experiement. . .

A Sanchin Experiment. . .
by Paul Giella (DMH)

Hi, Sensei

Thought I would fill you in on an experiment in progress. I recall you saying, many years ago, that the Old Masters would say “all you need is Sanchin” and that it was possible to keep up a high skill level with regular Sanchin alone. So I have set the month of December (actually, a little before) to do the long, thousand step Sanchin every day for a month. I am up to day twenty and feeling good. It takes about forty minutes. I am heated and sweaty by the middle and really into the groove by the end. It is like a massage from within, and the muscles feel electrified for several hours afterwards. The only danger so far seems to be the risk of a repetitive strain injury (like tendonitis) in the elbows, so I have softened the focus at the end of the strikes to minimize that risk. Except for the full workout in the Saturday class at the Hut, I am trying not to do any other formal exercise, in order to isolate the Sanchin effect as much as possible. So far, very interesting! I’ll keep you posted.

Paul Giella,PhD, CCICMHC


Thanks for the update Paul. How about a photograph of you doing Sanchin and a bit more background on why you created such a difficult challenge. Also a bit more on the different levels/interpretation of Sanchin. I’ll be honored to post an article on the site.

Best,

George 


Hi, George,

So, I finished the month of long sanchins daily. I had wanted to try to isolate the ‘sanchin effect’ so I set aside thirty days, from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and performed the three part, thousand step sanchin each morning. And no other exercise except the unavoidable day to day tasks (snow shoveling one day, wood chopping another, etc) and the Saturday full class at the Hut. I wanted to test out the old legend that “all one needs is sanchin”. Not being a purist, though, my sanchin was not just the classic, classroom form. Three hundred steps/strokes in the classic form; three hundred chambering with the step; three hundred striking with the completion of the step, and allowing for greater freedom in the third phase so there were a few kicks, a few foot sweeps, some punches and elbows and ridge hands, etc…and the wa-uke series at three levels with the classic first, emphasis on the circle block second and the hard push out third… but all following the sanchin principles of eyes, breathing, posture.

Here is what I found:

Overall, it was a worthwhile and enjoyable experiment. I felt energized and the muscles ‘electrified’ for much of the day.

Some excessive strain on the elbows, and I had to modify (soften) the focus so as to avoid something like tendinitis.

By far the hardest part was getting started in the morning (I had to start at 4:45am so that I could get to work on time… facing the cold and dark when I would rather have pulled the covers over my hard was very tough on some days. But I managed to do it, and by about a hundred steps I was cooking. By the last phase I was really into the zone, and the moves just shot out like arrows.

Going back to the regulation ten step sanchin felt strange… like jogging a hundred yards and calling it a workout. (the thousand step sanchin took about forty minutes and the overall exertion effect felt about like a three mile easy run).

I did miss the other moves from the kata, and I don’t think I could live with just sanchin alone forever… that was why I put some of the other moves into the third phase. Getting back to the regular kata workout after the experiment was over felt good and natural.

My timing changed somewhat over the month. Heck, thirty thousand sanchin strikes should lead to some improvement in flow, wouldn’t you think? Felt more natural, with less obsessive attention to classic detail but much more of the ‘natural man’ feel; a good thing that has stayed with me in the couple of weeks since I finished.

If I think of other effects I will send another note. Please feel free to post this on Van or Bill’s site if you would like. I would certainly encourage others to repeat this experiment, or come up with others of their own. It’s not as if our art is so perfect it cannot be tested or improved.

Hope you and Susan are well and Happy New Year!

Paul Giella,


George:

I thought I had a camera for a picture but I don’t! As far as why I created the challenge; always searching for the ‘perfect workout’… also an age related thing to try to find a workout that would leave me energized without the muscle soreness. And with the Winter doldrums coming, I wanted to challenge myself to something that I could feel new and accomplished. Which I did. I’ve been encouraging the boys at the Hut to try this. So far, only Justin said he’ll try a thousand step sanchin. About the different levels: first level is the classical one. Second level is to step into a chambered and bladed position and then shoot out the strike. Third level is to strike with the step, so the strike and the step end together. I guess people would have to see this to grasp it. Whenever I have someone try it for the first time they feel awkward and anxious, like they are violating some sacred taboo. But after awhile, when they get used to the differences in timing and the flow most people really like it. Eyes, breathing and posture coordinate quite well at the third level! The hardest thing of all is to get people to realize that there is some freedom to experiment as they study. Would you believe I have been told that I have no right to do this. Why? Because they don’t do it on Okinawa! Maybe they haven’t thought of it there yet! Again, hard to get people past the superstitious belief that sanchin is so perfected that it cannot ever be tampered with… like some religious ritual. Someone once said the hardest thing about getting new ideas in is to get the old ideas out… and in this case the old idea is the one that says ‘don’t experiment’. Anyway, if this is such a sin, then I plead guilty… better, though would be for people to keep the mind open and give it a try. Or come up with their own experiment. If there is no value to it it will fall by the wayside…


Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/a-sanchin-experiement/

Jan 12 2011

Uechi-ryu Store


George Mattson’s new book is NOW AVAILABLE! Only 500 special edition copies are available and they are selling very fast. Don’t be disappointed – order yours today!

e-mail me if you have any questions about product either listed or missing.  
[Note: We don't accept credit card payment for International orders (Canada is OK) or charges under $20. We will accept Paypal, but you must contact us first to determine s/h, if applicable. Checks must clear before order is sent.] Thanks,
George E. Mattson

P.S. Credit Card payments are processed by G&S Consulting!

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

Jan 11 2011

Forums Update!!!

Note: There was a Forum outage last night. It was repaired around noon on January 10th. Some posts were lost in the process. I’ve received quite a few email from people who are still unable to get on the forums. This is because your web browser’s history is pulling up the saved forum page and not allowing you to view the latest. Just clear your browser’s history and you should be OK. Sorry for the problem, but these things do happen on occasion. Many thanks to Ted Suzman for repairing the Forums.

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

Jan 07 2011

WinterFest FireDragon Challenge

This year the Mount Dora Recreation Department will be hosting the FireDragon Challenge that is being conducted at the Martial Art WinterFest. We are inviting martial art schools to bring teams to compete in categories ranging from 5 year old children to 70+ year olds. The Challenge will be conducted Saturday, February 12th from 9AM – noon. Martial art instructors will be teaching basic sessions during the afternoon that will include introductory lessons in Uechi-ryu, sport karate sparring and traditional Okinawa weapons.

Registration for the Challenge begins at 9AM and will include lunch plus introductory martial art lessons during the afternoon. Registration fee only $15! (Click on image to view and print FireDragon poster)

Of course, George Mattson will once again head up a stellar list of senior martial art masters teaching at WinterFest on Friday and Saturday (February 11th & 12th). Details and registration information

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/winterfest-firedragon-challenge/

Jan 07 2011

Tribute to my cousin

TRIBUTE TO MY COUSIN MANNY NEVES

By: Manny Neves, 8th Dan, Kyoshi, Uechi-ryu Karate-Do

My cousin, Manny Neves, of Pawtucket Rhode Island died on November 22, 2010. He was a boxer, kickboxer, Muay Thai practitioner and Karate expert (8th Degree Black Belt). He was a mixed martial artist. He was the first to bring MMA to the state of Rhode Island. He held many State and Regional Championships along with numerous title belts. He was the reigning World Light Heavyweight Muay Thai Champion and the Rhode Island MMA Light Heavyweight Champion in 1999. In 1995-96 he received the prestigious Instructor of the Year award and was inducted into the Mixed Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2007. All fighting combined he had 108 wins and 12 losses. He ran the Elite Martial Arts academy in RI and was the founder of International Combat Entertainment (ICE Fighter). He’s my cousin, my friend and one of only two of my martial arts heroes. He was, an always will be, the real deal when it comes to fighting.

Mixed Martial Arts is one of the best things that’s happened to the martial arts in a long time. There’s no mistake as to who won a particular match. No 5-points and stop, no referee bias, no b-s. If I were younger, I’d definitely be in the ring with those guys. Keep the Faith, Continue the fighting spirit. Be true to yourself and know that there’s an angel in heaven looking after you warriors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/tribute-to-my-cousin/

Dec 24 2010

Holiday greeting Newsletter from GEM

Uechi-ryu News November 25, 2010
Happy Holidays from George, Sue, Harley & Peanut…
How time flies. Seems like I was writing last year’s holiday newsletter just a few weeks ago. Must have something to do with aging and enjoying life! Today Sue and I are joining friends for a Thanksgiving “Brunch” at a local resourt famous for its two magnificent golf courses and five star restaurant. I always feel that eating there is somewhat wasted on me, since I can only eat a small sampling of what is offered. I’m usually fully satiated after a couple trips to the buffet table while I watch others enjoy endless trips, enjoying all of the dishes.
Goals for 2011. . .
My biggest goal is to breath new life into our aging martial art camps. I’ve been going over the archive photos, newsletters and SummerFest documents. Being the first such camp meant lots of groundbreaking and imaginative thinking. I felt the need to bring Uechi practitioners together where our training methods could be critiqued and where new and innovative methods shared. My original idea was to invite the Okinawan Uechi community to attend and be part of this exchange and where their students could interact with our students. This didn’t work out for some reason, but what has happened to Uechi-ryu politically might have been much different if this could have succeeded.
The first camp was 100% devoted to working on core training, which was essentially doing what we do in class. I continued to invite our Okinawan teachers, but expanded the list to include other martial arts that were compatible with our Uechi-ryu. Delegations from China began to attend starting in 1984, along with grandmaster Kanei Uechi and his family. For the first time we saw and studied root systems from Fuzou China that were very much part of what we were doing. In 1985 I conducted the first Martial Art Tour to Okinawa (Which was also the first WinterFest) that over 100 attended.
As time went on, SummerFest evolved into a high energy event where students and teachers could learn more about their Uechi-ryu through other arts with similar origins yet with different interpretations and applications. There is no question that Uechi-ryu outside of Okinawa became more popular and relevent due to the camps.
I conducted an online “webinar” a few months ago that was very well attended by Uechi seniors. The theme was “How can we make SummerFest better!” Many very interesting and useful ideas were proposed and after I published a newsletter on the subject, I received quite a few e-mail with more excellent ideas.
One of the things that I discovered was that I failed to publicize the camp’s theme sufficiently. I simply asked people to attend, without a clear message as to what the person might expect to achieve. Others hoped that I could come out with a more detailed and planned itinerary, so students could put together their schedule prior to being there.
These and many more improvements will be made in 2011. Of course, one of the biggest changes is moving from the Mass Maritime Academy to an indoor/outdoor facility in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Although many of us will miss working outside in view of the ocean, we decided that Plymouth was much easier to reach by car or bus and the usual gridlock on the weekend could be avoided for the “daytrippers”.
The next SummerFest will be held the 1st weekend in August and many more seniors will be assisting in the planning and implementation of the event and from the calls I’ve made so far, everyone is very happy about the new plans.
WinterFest is looking to be another great event. This year it is being hosted by the Mount Dora Recreation Department and is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, February 11th and 12th. This year, like SummerFest, the event will be focused on Uechi-ryu study and practice, with emphasis on technique involving core principles of our art. Susan and I have been working with the Chamber of Comerce and have many wonderful places to visit that will make the 2nd weekend in February a great place to take your Winter vacation. Next month’s newsletter will be devoted to the Martial Art WinterFest in Mount Dora.
Other Goals:
I would like to see the Uechi community throughout the world delete all the internet video clips of teachers breaking things over the bodies of their students and clips where viewers are entertained watching teachers beating the $#%^ out of their students while the students stands like a statue, submissively taking the beating. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of trying to explain to people that Uechi-ryu is not the famous karate system where people learn how to break things over their bodies and learn how to win fights by allowing their opponents to punch them until the opponent’s fist breaks!
Yes, it would be nice if Uechi practitioners could say they can all fight in a UFC match and win with their skill, but we can’t. It would be nice if Okinawa could brag about how tough their teachers are and how they can beat up any person in a fight, but they can’t!
Accept these facts and focus on what makes Uechi-ryu such a great physical art that has benefits that many people wish to have. Benefits that don’t include being a punching bag for the teacher.
If you have any questions about what our Uechi-ryu is all about, talk to the senior-senior members of our community. . . the ones who studied under Kanbun and remember the correct and healthy way to train their students. . . that does not include breaking things over their bodies or using them as makiwaras.
Gifts that you may enjoy giving or receiving…
I’ve received many e-mail from readers who plan on getting or giving my new “The Way of Uechi-ryu Karate” book for Christmas. Get your copy now!
From the Editor:
Note: As our inventory diminishes, the market price of this book rises. Get your copy now while a few copies remain!

Visit the book’s facebook page for reviews, comments and a look at the book’s contents. Click HERE!In the Fall of 1956, PFC George E. Mattson embarked on a journey to the Far East as a member of the US Army. An average Midwest kid, slight in stature and ignorant of the world, Mattson didn’t realize that he would one day be considered one of the fathers of modern martial arts.

The Way of Uechi-Ryu Karate is the story of one man’s journey of more than 50 years as a practitioner and teacher of classical Okinawan karate.

In his own words, Mattson recounts for the first time, the story of bringing the style of Uechi-ryu back from Okinawa to the United States. Written in novel style, Mattson takes the reader on a cultural tour of Japan and Okinawa before landing them in the city of Boston, MA where he set up his first dojo (hall of training) and began to teach the art of karate.

With Mattson’s honest writing style, the reader will get a visceral feel for the interesting events and characters that helped shape the face of modern karate. Mattson shares several behind the scene stories and tells of both his struggles and successes as he built Okinawan Uechi-ryu into one of the most successful and respected karate styles in the world.

Laced with history and culture in both text and imagery, the book can be enjoyed by anyone who has an interest in the martial arts.

This beautifully bound hard cover book is a library quality keepsake that can be passed on for generations. With nearly 500 pages of text and photos spanning over fifty years, it is a  documented time capsule of the life of George E. Mattson and the development of Uechi-ryu karate in the United States. Complimented by a Gold embossed black hard cover, the book is surrounded by a sanguine-red dust jacket adorned with a beautiful new Chinese dragon.

The Way of Uechi-Ryu Karate includes an enormous appendix of articles and transliterations from a variety of sources and contributing authors, giving each book owner an instant library of excellent martial art reference materials.

Roy Bedard
Editor

International Uechi-ryu Karate Federation   , www.uechi-ryu.com

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