Oct 31 2010

Master Ruan Dong RIP

I’m sorry to report that one of the original 1984 delegation from China that attended my Summer Camp on Thompson Island, passed away. A friend sent me an e-mail saying that he died last month (I’m assuming September) after a lengthy battle with stomach cancer.

I clearly remember the many hours spent with him and the other members of his delegation as he taught us a very lengthy but beautiful White Crane set. He will be remembered fondly by all who met him and were touched by his warm personality and enthusiastic teaching style.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/master-ruan-dong-rip/

Oct 28 2010

Uechi-ryu for a lifetime!

Good day George,

I wanted write this e-mail to thank you for signing a copy of your book that I bought last winter for my son Alex; it was a great surprise for him and it meant a lot that it was signed from you to him.  The timing of the book  was a good motivator for him as Alex has struggled some in recent years as to finding his future direction with his karate.  Alex has been in Uechi-Ryu karate since he was 7 years old and is now 21 nearly ready for his Sandan test.  I know you won’t remember this so I enclosed a photo of when Alex  met you quite a number of years  ago at a karate event in Halifax, Nova Scotia when he was about 10 (he is the small blond purple belt on right).  At the time I asked you what keeps kids in karate for the long haul and you told me that if kids can get to 16 and get their black belt they would have karate for life, and I have to admit that it has worked so far for Alex.

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Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/uechi-ryu-for-a-lifetime/

Oct 17 2010

BUILDING YOUR OWN DOJO ?

BUILDING YOUR OWN DOJO ?

by Renshi Graham Moughton

Three years ago I decided that it was time to build my own private dojo, several reasons why. Firstly the recession was on the horizion and I needed to reduce my overheads. Secondly and most imporntantly I needed my own space to work and teach in after 35 years of training, and researching the Oriental Martial Arts. Thirdly the weather here in the UK is inclement, that an outside decked area only provided me with training for a limited time of each year, and lastly, I was down to my last £2000 in the bank and the way things were going I would have nothing to show for my efforts as a professional martial arts instructor.

Today I will say that it was a good decision, even though the cost of materials for the dojo left me broke at the time. Ok three years later I am still struggling, but I am still here and things are looking up. Slowly but surely the class sizes are growing again and I think maybe in about twelve months time I will be able to say it was the best thing I ever did, I hope.

I called on a builder friend I knew and asked him if it were feasable to build a Dojo in my garden, he said that the planning rules have changed and that permitted planning would allow me to build as long as the building was a wooden structure and fitted into a strict set of rules regarding how far away the building is to be from the house, then I was able to build around 50% of the land. With this in mind I began to measure up and draw myself a few plans and put some ideas down on paper. Once I was happy with my design I measured up how much material I would need and once again asked my builder friend if he could help. He was able to get me all the materials I would need to build the frame work, and thank you Steve for supplying these at a really low cost.

Ok the frame was covered now I needed the 8′ x 4′ sheets for the walls and roof. I began asking around and one of the students said his boss was moving their warehouse and he had some of these boards laying around, he said he would ask if we could have them. Well the van turned up with enough boards to get the project finished, and they were donated, and a very big thank you to Dave for his help.

By the time I had all the material togther it was mid winter. I Began work in January straight after Christmass.

The first thing I needed to do was clear the land where I was planning to build the dojo, and it was a relative forest of plants trees bushes and a very large ornimental rockery with enourmouse stones.  Although back breaking work I managed to clear the land in eight weeks. Sensei Dan lent me a mulshing machine that helped me reduce the trees into bags of wood chips. Dan also helped me reposition my tool shed to the other side of my outdoor dojo, as the new indoor dojo was to be added to my out door area. I re distributed the stones around the garden and used the bigger logs to make a nice border area, which today looks really nice. The weather was cold and it rained most of the time I was clearing the land.

THE OUTDOOR DOJO BEFORE I CLEARED THE LAND

Once the land was cleared, I began to lay the floor area, I was lucky with the foundations as on the right side I had the old foundation concrete for the relocated shed and on the left I had filled in a large pond with concrete so these acted as my footings. Once the floor area was in place I put the four corner uprights in place, ready for the roofing beams.

I was really lucky with weather although cold the sun was out. It was around March and April.

THE FLOOR INPLACE READY FOR THE ROOFING BEAMS

I asked my lady ‘Fran’ to help me raise the beams, once the edge beams were in place I began to put together the roofing beams.

ALL THE FRAMEWORK IN PLACE READY FOR THE WALLS AND ROOF

Once the frame was up it only took a couple of days to get the walls and roof in place, which really made the project come to life. Although I was enjoying the experience at this stage I became excited at the prospect of the finished artical.

THE WALLS AND ROOF IN PLACE

As my intention was to make a traditional Okinawan looking building I set about making the windows. I was a little concerned as to how I was going to replicate the paper look, I did have a few ideas in the back of my mind, and when I looked into how much it may cost It became a slight issue, anyways un perterbed I carried on regardless and knew that a solution would eventually become reality.

Eventually I decided to approach a printer friend Steve at Verndadi, and asked him what he uses’s for his estate agent boards, and did they come in 8′x4′ sheets. He said they come in any size you want. Wicked! I measured up my windows, and door and Steve had the sheets cut and delivered the same day. Without hesitation I had the sheets installed, and was proud of my hard work as I stood and looked at the end result, actually not the end as I still had loads to do.

THE DOJO BUILT READY FOR THE INSIDE TO BE WORKED ON

“Ok now I was really excited”

Now I was becomming impatient and all I wanted to do was get me gi on and do kata in my new dojo. But I knew I needed to start work on the inside. Getting the lights up, and the electrics in place, and making it look like a dojo. As it was Spring I had our first session on the bare wood floor, it felt good and everybody who attended said it was like training in a real Dojo.

Sempai Nick came up with a set of matts that the local Leisure Centre were about to dump, and we now have a fully functional dojo. Its a great place to train and has a really good atmosphere, plenty of fresh air, unlike the Leisure centre that we use which is stuffy and stale. I have slowly added training equipment over the last three years, and we now have weights, impact pads and mitts, Jo’s, Bo’s, Bokken’s, Tonfa, Sai, and swords available to use as and when ever we feel the need to hit each other with large wooden sticks.

The outside looks great with my Buddha, and trees, and in the spring when the flowers bloom its our little bit of Okinawa here in the UK.  Since these photos were taken the fer trees have been removed and spanking new fench has been put up on the border. I did like the fer trees though, but they were a bit of a nightmare and needed a lot of cutting back each year.

Since building the Dojo we have had some great class’s and courses here, it is probably the best thing I did, and the time was right for me to build it.

I am glad that I built the dojo, although a solitary experience and back breaking work at times, I found  that my Budo training gave me the spirit of perseverance to continue through the harsh weather, and somtimes frustrating bits of work that did not go as planned.

We have made it our dojo, and we all love training here. Russell has said that once changed and ready to practise its like being transered back in time & space to an earlier age.

JUST A FEW PICTURES OF

BUDO-RYU INTERNATIONAL NI KAWA KAI HONBU DOJO

STUDENTS TRAINING HERE IN THE UK

START TRAINING TODAY

www.nikawakai.co.uk

FIND US ON FACEBOOK UNDER

NI KAWA KAI GROUP

EVERYBODY WELCOME

email Renshi Graham for details

graham_moughton@hotmail.com

MOBILE TELEPHONE

07598 318902

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/building-your-own-dojo/

Oct 15 2010

2011 SummerFest update

2011 SummerFest update

Great news!

The 2011 SummerFest will be held at the Plymouth JunglePlex, a 60,000 SF facility with all the room we will ever need!

Best news. . . we will be able to get the original SummerFest dates: August 4th,5th,6th and 7tth (1st weekend in August)


Watch the home page for more news! Remember to put those dates down in your calendar.

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/2011-summerfest-update/

Oct 14 2010

Uechi-ryu Championship Series

Hi Everyone,
Sorry I was not as aware as I would have like to be.  It’s a sign of old age.  The event date is October 24 at the China Pearl in Quincy.  I believe it’s Quincy Ave.  And the seating time is 4pm (come early to insure seating).  The ceremony starts at 5pm.  Thank for not being to upset at my poor memory.

Darin

Hello Everyone,

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to help make our Uechi-Ryu Karate Championship Series such a success.  This series was conceived in the attempt to bring all our Uechi family together in the spirit of good friendship and healthy competition.  

We gather to rejoice in the success of all our collective students demonstrating all the efforts of each and every sensei and all the hard work of our proud student.  This series is not about winning or losing but about competing and showing to others who we really are.

This is why we are presenting our recognition night.  On this night, the promoters of the Uechi-Ryu Karate Championship Series are going to recognize and present to each and every competitor a certificate of achievement.  This certificate was professionally designed and will be signed by our promoters.

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

Oct 08 2010

Check out the “Virtual” Dojo!

I wasn’t aware that all links to my “Virtual” dojo home page could not be viewed without a password and username and. . . only available to my existing students. After checking with Google Apps, I discovered that my “virtual” dojo site, which is private, can only be viewed by members. Sorry about that!

I just finished creating a new “public” site that you can access HERE! I hope you will check it out and take advantage of my introductory lesson.

Thanks,
George E. Mattson

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/check-out-the-qvirtualq-dojo/

Oct 07 2010

Master Gushi’s Karate and Kobudo Seminar

Dear Friends,

It is my honor and pleasure to host Okinawan Karate and Kobudo Master Shinyu Gushi for a weekend seminar October 23 & 24, 2010, at my dojo in Milford, MA. Come join us for an informative and enjoyable time.

Master Gushi’s senseis, all direct students of Kanbun Uechi, included Saburo Uehara, Seiyu Shinjo, Seiki Itokazu, and Kanei Uechi. Master Gushi is known world wide and his Sanchin gami physique photo as a teenager is famous. He is truly a Uechi treasure.

I am also happy to announce that my friend and fellow student of Master Gushi’s, Kirk “Makoto” Fukumoto, 6-Dan, RyuKoKaku Karate and Kobudo Association, will be on hand to assist Gushi sensei including any translating as may be necessary.

Come join us for an interesting and fun seminar and wonderful camaraderie.

Best Regards,
Joe Graziano

 

PS. For more information, send Joe an E-mail

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/master-gushis-karate-and-kobudo-seminar/

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/an-empty-force/

Sep 28 2010

From Nidan to Sandan, Virtually!

From Nidan to Sandan, Virtually.

by Dan Maestas

We, as a society, have become extremely reliant on a virtual world. Many products and services are offered and delivered from a nonexistent entity, the internet. Sports fans play fantasy sports, businesses conduct virtual meetings and students can even get a college degree online. But what about learning karate via a virtual dojo, is it possible to learn an art by some remote method and become proficient. That is what George Mattson set out to find out when he started the Mattson Academy Virtual Dojo and I was one of his first students to give it a try.

I started studying Uechi Ryu in 1990 under the instruction of Steve Vosa (please excuse the informality, no disrespect is intended by referring to him by his name). Steve Vosa was an excellent teacher and under his instruction I earned up to the rank of Nidan. After earning the rank of Nidan, my martial arts training seemed to plateau. There were a lot of factors which contributed to my plateau. Some of it was time constraints and other factors were mental or physical. Needless to say I grew frustrated and decided to take a hiatus from martial arts.

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Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/from-nidan-to-sandan-virtually/

Sep 23 2010

Review: Meditations on Violence

Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence
Author: Sgt. Rory Miller
There are many interesting Martial Arts (MA) books on the market. I thought about first reviewing a Uechi-ryu book such as The Way of Karate by George Mattson or Karate: A Master’s Secrets of Uechi-Ryu by Ihor Rymaruk. As I went through my collection, I began to think “Why do most people train in MA?”. Why do you train? That’s when I knew which book to start with.
Whatever your specific reasons are for training, they will invariably be related to violence. Whether it’s you or someone you know having been bullied, mugged or worse; or simply wanting to learn “self-defense” because of all the local news stories, it all relates to violence.
Sgt. Miller is a corrections officer with years of fighting experience in multiple situations. He does a great job of explaining the different kinds of violence, people’s perceptions of it and how we deal with it afterwards. I appreciate the fact that he states upfront that he is only telling you about his experiences and observations. Take them for what they are and remember that nothing is more important than your own experiences. That said, he does provide useful insights and training for your body and most importantly, your mind.
Many martial artists will take issue with Sgt. Miller’s assertions that MA will really not help you in an “out of the dojo” attack. That your training and mindset are perfect for the controlled environment but not when you are attacked while in a calm, normal state of mind. According to Sgt. Miller’s experience, the “perfect” fighting distance taught in some MA styles rarely happens in real life – in a parking lot, a bar, bus station or in your own home; nor are the situations that some train for very realistic.
Sgt. Rory does not offer any one MA style or ‘way’ of fighting as a solution since none covers everything one needs to know. But he does give great training advice and outlines what kind of training will help prepare you for the types of attacks you may face and the physiological and brain reactions to being attacked unexpectantly. The book categorizes violence into different types with general defenses to combat them. These include training for surprise attacks (though it isn’t really a surprise if you’re expecting it), using confidence and boredom, and knowing when to flee and use counter attacks.
I realized before starting training in Uechi-ryu Karate that it wasn’t going to make me a “kick-ass” fighter like on TV, though I expected to and have learned some great offensive and defensive tools. According to the book, part of the issue with MA is that you usually only work on certain moves and many people going into dojos get their concepts of violence from Jackie Chan and Jason Statham movies. Training with this mindset can be dangerous to yourself and your fellow students. Time and distance are crucial in a fight and the simplest counter attacks are often the most effective.
I do like Sgt. Rory’s insights on the psychological aspects of violence for both the attacker and victim, and of the “Monkey Dance”. I have no real experience in this to the degree he presents but he provoked me into learning more about it. Challenging assumptions is a large part of this book and many of the author’s assertions can be very useful. I saw myself in some of the examples and am trying to improve on the ones I feel I need to work on the most.
So how does Sanchin and Uechi fit into all of this? Opinions differ greatly but this is what I can say.
Honestly I don’t know. I haven’t reached the black belt level. Black Belt training is where you really start getting into the “hardcore” Uechi training. As a 2 Kyu in my school, we do get trained in the basics of striking hard, fast and at your opponent’s weakest area available to you. This training is similar to some of what’s advocated in this book.
Sanchin training conditions your body to at least absorb some blows and protects your core. This may give you the opportunity to quickly counter-strike, get out of the way or run. As for the rest, I will find out more as I progress.
Meditations on Violence is a fresh offering in a sea of self-defense and Martial Arts books. It consists of one person sharing his experiences and observations on the causes of, types of and combating violence. The book has generated discussion on multiple forums and blogs and deservedly so. I agree with much of what is in the book, not all, and believe it should be required reading for all self-defense /martial arts teachers and students. It provides great information, advice and examples. Most of all, it makes you question your assumptions and way of thinking.

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/review-meditations-on-violence/

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