Dec 18 2008

Tia

Tia: May 10, 1994 – Dec 17, 2008

Tia1Yesterday, Sue and I maintained our regular daily routine with Tia. We both knew our beloved Tia was failing, yet neither one of us wanted to talk about what we needed to do. Tia was suffering from Cushing disease, which she had for more than five years, but wasn’t officially diagnosed until 7 months ago. Medication slowed down the disease and other than a steady weakening of her rear legs and loss of some hair, you couldn’t really tell she was sick. Bullies are a hearty breed and Tia was no exception. Yesterday was the first time her tail wasn’t wagging when a guest came to our house. We took her to her Vet who confirmed what both Sue and I knew. . . It was time to say goodbye.

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

Dec 18 2008

Happiness is Contagious

Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Happiness Is Contagious
Do you ever wonder whether happy people have something that keeps them cheerful, chipper and able to see the good in everything? It turns out they do, they have happy friends.

New research from Harvard Medical School and the University of California suggests that happiness is influenced not only by the people you know, but by the people they know. The study shows that happiness spreads through social networks, sort of like a virus, meaning that your happiness could influence the happiness of someone you’ve never even met.

“We have known for a long time that there is a direct relationship between one person’s happiness and another’s,” says study co-author James H. Fowler, PhD, University of California. “But this study shows that indirect relationships also affect happiness. We found a statistical relationship not just between your happiness and your friends’ happiness, but between your happiness and your friends’ friends’ happiness.”

They concluded that the happiness of an immediate social contact increases an individual’s chances of becoming happy by 15 percent. The happiness of a second-degree contact, such as the spouse of a friend, increases the likeliness of becoming happy by 10 percent, and the happiness of a third-degree contact, or the friend of a friend of a friend, increases the likelihood of becoming happy by 6 percent.

Surround yourself with happy people, because happy friends can make you happy.
Source: webmd.com 

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/happiness-is-contagious/

Dec 17 2008

Workout With G.E.Mattson

Workouts with George E. Mattson
You are invited to workout with George Mattson any time you are in the Central Florida area. Regular classes are on Mondays & Wednesdays from 5:30pm – 7PM. (Children’s classes are held 5-6PM)
However, George teaches private lessons and special seminars with some advance notice. The Central Florida Martial Arts Academy is located in the Mount Dora “Pagoda” in the middle of the park in downtown Mount Dora.(Donnelley & 5th Ave)  Be sure to call before coming: 321-273-0409.

CLICK-Mattson Academy “Virtual” Dojo Program-CLICK


So…. You want to study Uechi-ryu! But you don’t live near a teacher – or you simply want to enhance your dojo training by taking private lessons with me and taking advantage of my 50+ years experience. . . . using the latest communication and internet technology. . .

 

George MattsonAbout 8 years ago I made a video tape that is still running on our Video Website. On this tape I predicted that web technology would soon enable teaching the martial arts on-line within five years!

 

Well, although the technology was available even before the five years prediction, few of the individuals who requested my help, had the computer equipment needed to accomplish this.

 

By 2005, most people who wish to either supplement their dojo studies or lacking a local dojo, actually progress through the ranks, enabling them to qualify for testing by a certified test board.

 

What equipment do you need to participate in this program:
  1. A video camera.
  2. Video editing program and the skills to transfer a video clip from your camera to a video file on your computer.
  3. Web access, enabling you to either send video clips to me or to upload the clips to Google Video.
  4. Ability to access the Eastern Arts’ On-Line Learning Center.
    1. Must have computer, a video camera and the ability to follow simple instructions.
    2. Willing to meet on-line once a month for conferencing and video critiquing of lessons
    3. Willing to practice as required to progress and achieve goals of program.
How program works:
  1. Sign-up for an “evaluation” session with me. (Cost is $19.95, payable through Paypal or G&S secure store)
    1. This evaluation session includes a meeting with you on the “ Learning Center ”
    2. Review of the features of the “ Learning Center”
      • Telephone quality features of the site.
      • Ability to share documents and review the documents together.
      • Ability to view film clips together and review techniques, corrections and suggestions.
      • Capability to have students of same rank meet together for on-line classes.
    3. Option to sign-up to the On-line Mattson Academy! $39.95 a month.
    4. Receive DVD courses for all ranks up through Brown Belt (Ikkyu)
    5. Receive Black Belt Test Guide 3 rd edition.
    6. Receive monthly lessons on-line and in e-Book format.
    7. Personal review session where goals are established and technical material is covered that is needed to achieve these goals.
    8. Special discounts for G&S products and Eastern Arts’ activities.
Sign-up today for your special “evaluation” session. Send me an e-mail and I will schedule our on-line meeting with you at a convenient time for us both.

Looking forward to hearing from you and working with you.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/workout-with-george-e-mattson/

Dec 14 2008

Art of fighting vs Reality

One of the  most misunderstood concepts students have while training,
is the relationship of our Uechi-ryu art to actual fighting.

Kanei Uechi 1958I often tell the story of my early training on Okinawa in the ’50s and a new student who, after his first lesson, wanted to “test” his fighting skills in a bar, just using his newly learned Sanchin!

I tried to explain that Sanchin wasn’t something you could simply “turn on” and win fights, but he couldn’t be talked out of trying it out. Naturally the test ended badly for my buddy. It was embarrassing and laughable to the Marine he insulted . . . as he took his Sanchin stance and arm position, while readied to wreak havoc on his opponent. As I helped him up he told me “This Uechi crap isn’t for me!” Of course, he never returned to class, which was probably a blessing for Tomoyose sensei and for Uechi-ryu in general.

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Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/art-of-fighting-vs-reality/

Dec 13 2008

MailBag Archives

Letters to the Editor:

November 25, 2006:

I’ve received hundreds of email from people who looked forward every month to my “MailBag” feature. Unfortunately, because of an ever increasing work load associated with my importing business, I can spend less and less time on the Uechi website. I do answer all email in a timely manner, but attempting to build a webpage at the end of every month was a task that kept getting more time consuming. I’ve been feeling a little guilty since April, when my work load prevented me from getting out the MailBag. During the months since April, I’ve tried to figure out a way to revive the MailBag, while eliminating the work and time usually associated with this feature.

I try to keep on the “cutting edge” of web technology and from a personal necessity, am always looking for ways to provide the most interesting material with minimum programming and editing. My biggest problem is getting the rest of the martial art world (who frequent my sites) to take advantage of all this fancy technology. I still get at least a dozen phone calls a week from my close friends who ask if they can send something to me, that I in turn can publish to one of the self-publising areas of the site! :)

There is also that nagging feeling (I presume) among contributors, that if they first send something to me, I will edit out anything that might be grammatically incorrect or misspelled. (This has never bothered me, as you English majors may have already figured out) . People are funny. They enjoy seeing their articles and letters published, but at the same time, they are concerned that they may be laughed at or embarrassed by publishing something without the intervention of an editor.

So, my new Blog “MailBag” will remain a bit of a mystery for awhile. I’m going to make it as easy as possible to use. . . with a few safeguards in place to minimize the “troll” factor. . . and hope that all you hundreds of MailBag fans will make this feature as popular as the old MailBag.

I’m archiving all the old MailBag letters, as an incredible amount of very interesting material exists for those who wish to forage into the past.

Watch the “MailBag” link on the home page for the all new BlogMailBag. I’ll be reading it every day and will be contributing often.

Best,

George Mattson

 

 


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When possible, please address your correspondence directly in the
Uechi-ryu Open Forum section ,
You can begin new topics or contribute to existing forums.
Bye the way. . . thanks for your support and contributions.

GEM

 

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

Dec 13 2008

articles to be added

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/articles-to-be-added/

Dec 13 2008

Jennie Croft/Ju Jitsu

JENNIE CROFT/ JU JITSU

“Ooh, better not get on the wrong side of you, you’ll knock my block off!” I have lost count of the amount of times people have said that to me since I started practicing Ju Jitsu over three years ago.

Well the time has come for me to dispel the myths I have encountered about the Japanese ‘art of gentle control’.

One of the most common misconceptions within society is that Ju Jitsu is a sport – It is not. It is an actuality of self-defence, designed to enhance mind and body co-ordination, to enable individuals taking part, to respond to situations immediately. This particular martial art is, or can be, very severe. Over time students learn techniques for virtually any kind of attack known to man.

In today’s society I think it is important to be able to react and stand up to an attacker with confidence and necessary aggression. If muggers and sadists continue to attack defenseless people in the street, deviants in our society will continue getting worse because none of their fore-fathers are learning the valuable lessons needed, which basically are, if you don’t want to suffer – don’t threaten the lives of others.

Ju Jitsu has become an important part of my life in the time I have been a member of my local guild in Grimsby. Being a woman, I find it very empowering. It has improved my self-confidence no-end and I would definitely recommend it to other women who have even the remotest interest in taking it up.

I have noticed that the ratio of men to women is very high where I train. Plenty of women join, but not many persevere. I don’t know whether it has anything to do with their pain threshold or the embarrassment of such close contact with men they don’t know. A lot of people leave the club because they seem to think they can get a black belt in a matter of weeks. OK, but let’s be real, if you could learn the skills needed in a few weeks we’d all be doing it and no specific clubs would exist would they?

The fact is, it takes time to learn and appreciate all that is involves in any martial art, but I guess you don’t need the likes of Bruce lee to tell you that. The best way I’ve found to progress and really get to grips with Ju Jitsu is when I pass on my wisdom to others. Although it’s when you try to teach that you can realize how little wisdom you’ve actually got. I mean it takes me long enough to begin to execute a technique, but trying to explain and demonstrate it can be mind boggling, but I get by.

It is a great feeling to foster the art and see beginners improving more and more as they attain higher grades of achievement.

Now just because a Do-Jo is turning mummy’s little angels into ultimate fighting machines, it does not mean that everyone practicing martial arts believes that they can’t be defeated. Although that is another fallacy that has been thrust upon me by members of the dear public, who are ignorant to the art.

The fact is that students of martial arts would probably be the last to start a fight or encourage any kind of trouble upon themselves. Self-defence is exactly what it claims to be. Someone is hardly defending him or herself when they march up to a gang of violent individuals and provoke them for the sake of it. That, my friends is just madness.

Although, there are odd occasions where someone takes up the challenge of gaining knowledge in martial arts and enter the Do-Jo with the wrong attitude. They walk onto the mat believing that once they leave or at least become a yellow belt no-one can touch them, but somehow, throughout training their attitudes change and they become much more aware of the basic principles of self-defence, and can experience greater self respect.

I know that when some people hear a martial art mentioned, their brain jumps straight into a Jackie Chan frenzy of tackling and beating three men against one, but what people don’t take into consideration is the philosophy and spiritual awareness surrounding martial arts.

Greater physical awareness techniques are an absolute necessity the majority of times one may be faced with an attacker. If that individual cannot tune into the spiritual awareness of the art however, and learn to channel their energies to centre themselves and handle the situation with as much ease as possible under the circumstances – to say they may be wasting their time could be an understatement.

When I mention spiritual awareness I don’t mean that people find god all of a sudden. The spiritualism is inside the individual; it can just awaken to such a degree that the effect can be life changing. 

For example I remember a shy young girl walking into a Do-Jo for the first time, scared stiff. She was not scared of being injured or getting hurt particularly, she was scared of fitting in. She lacked self-esteem and confidence in her own abilities, but she has progressed to become a 3rd kyu (green belt) so far, and sees the other club members as an extension of her own family. Her life and personality have improved to such an extent that people who’ve known her a long time can’t believe she is the same shy, introvert little girl of the past.

Yes I remember walking into that Do-Jo for my first training session like it was yesterday – phew, thank god I managed to overcome the nerves is all I can say. It has been the most life-enhancing experience of my life so far…and that is not a myth. 

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/jennie-croft-jujitsu/

Dec 13 2008

Rebuttal to Response (empty force)

Response to the Empty Force Test and Rebuttal John David Morenski, M.D.

A previous issue of Swft published an article I co-authored concerning the test of an individual who claimed on a popular martial arts web-page, www.uechi-ryu.com, that he could perform extraordinary feats through his mastery of chi 1. These included healing people of illnesses that evidence-based medicine “had failed,” halting physical attacks without touching the aggressor, and even moving individuals without touching them. Also spelled “Qi” or “Ki,” chi represents a rather broad paradigm intended to explain many different and often conflicting events. 

According to proponents, chi is an energy that flows through the body through pathways designated “meridians,” which explains many complex physiologic events such as disease, balance, and strength. This broad definition renders the concept resistant to investigation. It is the fault of science, which can measure the attractive and repulsive forces of atoms, that it cannot measure this energy. 

One cannot examine an “eastern” paradigm through “western” means, unless, of course, misuse of the “western” and “scientific” terminology lends respectability. Reality becomes a subject of interpretation; it becomes relative. Einstein wrote a few things concerning relativity. Quantum mechanics discusses complicated issues in the terms of “probabilities,” and there exists this principle of uncertainty. Thus, personal conceptions of reality must be scientific since they are relative and seem to have a lot of uncertainty.

The relativistic approach where opinion and belief can govern interpretation may succeed in art criticism; it fails miserably as a method to describe reality. I am aware of no evidence that the laws of physics prove geographically relative. Sadly perhaps, how an investigator “feels” or “wants” influences his results not a wit. Science attempts to remove opinion and bias from observations. Science makes observations and tries to explain them. Sometimes further observations overturn previous explanations. 

Proponents of paradigms such as chi tend to work in the opposite direction. They form an explanation and then attempt to find evidence for it. This is not necessarily a faulty method; researchers can think up an explanation and search for evidence to support it. The difference is that proponents of chi accept only evidence that supports their conclusions and ignore anything else. Scientists have to explain unexpected and unwanted results. 

Researchers may “believe” and “want” cold fusion to happen. Fusion of deuterium should produce neutrons. The scientists have to explain why the experiment produced no neutrons.2,3 Protesting that “western science” cannot “understand” or “apply” does not excuse the lack of results. When proponents specify an aspect of their paradigm, they provide something a researcher may test. The individual offered such a specification. He stated he had the ability to move another person without touching them. Indeed, he claimed he could move another even when separated from him physically and visually by a barrier such as a wall. 

Whether or not the resources of science can detect the apparent force exerted by the individual no longer mattered; we could test the effect. As the study explained, many explanations for why a person may move exist without resorting to mechanisms that overturn the laws of physics. To remove such influences, the authors created a double-blind study. The individual agreed to the conditions and timing of the test and what would constitute a success prior to the test. That fact requires emphasis given his subsequent explanations for his failure to produce an effect.

The publishers of Swift granted permission to reprint the article on the web-site that hosted the individual and discussions concerning his claims. Publication generated a rebuttal of sorts from the individual (Mattson). By way of fairness, I feel his opinion deserves responsible consideration.

He opens: 

In the past twelve years of cultivating Qi, I have been able to realize a certain amount of success and have made public my results. I have been greeted with skepticism by a great many people, and have since shown that my abilities are valid in the realms of Healing (sic) and Martial (sic) use of Qi derived from the practice of Qigong. 4

Certainly, a demonstration of the “abilities” would end the matter. Yet, he offers no demonstration, no data, and nothing beyond a written claim. I can claim that I have convinced “a great many people” of my ability to fly. Unfortunately, I imagine the majority would want me to demonstrate it.

The test offered such a demonstration. It isolated a claimed effect of the existence of chi. The individual could not demonstrate his effect under conditions that he agreed he could. Thus, when he continues, “It is sad that modern technology, while advanced, is not yet up to the task of being able to detect or measure Qi. It is hoped that one day such advanced technical know how (sic) will exist, and verify that which has been known for millennia: Qi exists,” 4 he avoids the issue. He places the blame on science. Science simply is not good enough to detect the existence of his power. He conveniently forgets that he failed to demonstrate his power. I can just as well claim that my power to fly “has been known for millennia.” My audience still wishes me to jump out of the window.

A rebuttal to an argument tends to focus on the elements of the argument. One might expect the individual to attend to the details of the test in order to demonstrate how it failed to reveal an effect which occurred. Of course, he could simply demonstrate the effect under proper conditions. Prior to the test he claimed he could meet the requirements of the JREF for such a demonstration, “any time, any where.” Thus far, he has refused to provide this definitive evidence. Instead, much of his “rebuttal” wanders into claims similar to those forementioned. Despite the “sound and fury,” without any supporting evidence, it “signifies nothing.”

Martial artists did not miss the one very critical problem. Martial arts involve martial matters and despite appearances they proves rather scientific. We are, ultimately, interested in preventing another individual from harming us. In the pursuit of this interest, we often create many wondrous techniques to defeat imagined foes. In the process, we “means test” our precious beliefs. I may believe that no one can avoid or block my kicks. Unfortunately, recent objective tests of this belief in the training halls have failed to demonstrate the invincibility of my techniques. It is hoped that one day such advanced technical know-how will exist and verify my invincibility.

Since the individual could not demonstrate his powers under rather benign conditions that he agreed upon, martial artists did wonder how effective such powers would prove in real self-defense situations. Perhaps opponents will surpass the abilities of modern technology and respond appropriately to the individual’s powers. Nevertheless, some of the marital artists who read the article and rebuttal have preferred to stake their faith in other methods.

The patient reader will eventually stumble upon an address, of sorts, of the results reported in the article. The individual protests:

On any given day a champion weight lifter cannot match his best lift, a World-Class sprinter cannot duplicate their best run, and the best fighter’s punch could fail against any amount of competitors. Does that mean that those people’s accomplishments are invalid or faked? NO. Some will even go to certain lengths to come up with various tests in an effort to validate or invalidate a specific method. Results of such tests, be they favorable or unfavorable, are insignificant when compared the results gained as a whole, and over a broader period of time than one test may allow. 4

Thus, should my preliminary flight-test for the JREF prize result in a completely unexpected personal introduction to the cement below my window, this result and any inconvenient reconstructive surgery and lengthy rehabilitation are insignificant when compared to my results gained as a whole. I suppose readers may wish I provide these results which they should consider “as a whole;” however, they are skeptics and, therefore, obliging them would waste my time.

That remains the issue. The individual offers neither results nor “accomplishments.” Anyone can claim anything. The individual tries to hide behind a truth that does not apply to his failure. The champion weight lifter may not match his best lift; one would expect him to lift two ounces. The sprinter may not break his personal best; he should make it out of the starting block. Not unfamiliar to fallacy, the individual ducks under false analogies. He apparently hopes no one will remember that he agreed to the timing of the test and the test conditions. After the fact, he offers the old excuses familiar to investigators of such matters.

I reiterate that he claimed effects with martial applications. He felt the personal and situational conditions proper to demonstrate his claimed powers. He could not demonstrate an influence, let alone a dramatic effect. If he finds his powers so capricious to a controlled and ideal situation, martial artists may wonder how reliable he will find them in an actual attack. He continues: “One such event happened with me a few summers ago in Massachusetts, at a long weekend camp given by a group of Uechi Rya [the style of karate practiced by most of the participants] people. In the venue that was picked, I did not succeed, and I view that as a “Oh Well!” kind of happening.” 4 “In the venue that was picked,” demonstrates an interesting misuse of the passive voice. He agreed to all aspects of the venue before his demonstration. Self-defense situations generally involve surprise venues, without the opportunity to agree upon the conditions. Generally, “Oh Well!” tends to falter as a response.

Yet, he continues: “Not long there after I went to England and put on a series of very successful seminars, and I was very successful in demonstrating both my Medical (sic) and Martial Qigong abilities to the satisfaction of thousands of people across the United Kingdom. “4 How capricious fortune proves! Had we only followed him across the Atlantic we would have seen all of the results he promised and more. Do not let the damage to the cement underneath my window or my altered visage dissuade you; in another country in the future rest assured I will fly. Regrettably, some will take such statements as “proof.” Properly designed and executed objective tests remove biases. Unless the individual performed under proper conditions, his claims of miracles unseen and undocumented remain as substantive to my claims of flight-just so much air.

References:

2Dewdney, AK: Yes, We Have No Neutrons: An Eye-Opening Tour through the Twists and Turns of Bad Science. New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1997.

4Mooney, RM: The Use of Energy (Qi) in Martial Arts Applications. [http://www.uechi-ryu.com/use_of_energy%20by%20Richard%20M.%20Mooney.htm], 2000.

1Morenski, JD, Glasheen, WP: “Empty Force” Comes Up Empty. Swift 3: 4; 13-15, 2000.

3Park, R: Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud.New York, Oxford University Press, 2000.

Author: The JREF has been assured that Dr. Morenski will succeed in preliminary tests of his ability to fly for the million dollar prize as soon as he is back on solid food.

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/rebuttal-to-response-of-emty-force-test/

Dec 13 2008

An Empty Force

An Empty Force

John David Morenski, M.D. and William P. Glasheen, Ph.D.

The Claim: On one of the forums of a very popular marital arts web page, www.uechi-ryu.com, an individual claimed he could perform rather extraordinary feats which include the ability to move others without touching them. Chi, also spelled “Qi” or “Ki,” has become a popular concept in martial arts circles in recent years. 

Stated simply, proponents believe an energy, designated “chi,” flows through the body along non-anatomical pathways call “meridians.” Proponents employ this basic paradigm to explain very complicated physiologic events, such as the mechanics of movement and balance and even diseases. Despite this simple model’s utility, this energy eludes scientific detection. One supreme difficulty investigators encounter when they attempt to examine chi is its lack of a clear definition. 
For proponents, chi can become anything they wish, and they build into the concept considerable room to maneuver. Thus, if one wishes to attribute health to chi, one may explain an illness as a relative decrease in the person’s chi. Should the person improve, his improvement results from increased levels of chi. Chi can then explain placebo effects, the variations in the course of an illness, the body’s ability to recover, and even the results of medical therapy. Proponents may justify their faith in the reality of chi by citing copious anecdotal reports. Chi proves a self-justifying paradigm. Investigators often find themselves trapped with the task of disproving the existence of chi, rather than discovering objective evidence for its existence.

The Test: The individual, however, presented a testable phenomenon. He claimed he could move others without touching them through an “empty force.” His results in demonstrations appeared impressive. Some participants dramatically fell backwards. Offered uncontrolled demonstra-tions and unsubstantiated claims, the author and others remained skeptical. 

The administrator of the web page, George E. Mattson, a martial artist with over 40 years experience, persuaded the individual to submit to a controlled test as part of his demonstration during the recent martial arts summer camp. The design of the test developed over a roughly six month period through the combined efforts of Mr. Mattson, Bill Glasheen, a Ph.D. with solid background in biomedical engineering, and the author. James Randi privately provided many suggestions that tightened the controls of the test. Dr. Morenski insisted on a double-blind test of a specific ability. 
The individual claimed he could move others without touching them, even through a barrier that prevented the subjects and the individual from seeing or hearing one another. The investigation employed two rooms separated by a wall. Both the individual and volunteer subjects stood at defined positions on opposite sides of the wall. The individual received for each subject one of three random tasks: “push,” “pull,” or “do nothing.” The individual would then attempt to either pull the subject forward, push him backward, or do nothing. 
For randomization, Dr. Glasheen used a shuffled deck of cards with one suit removed. Each suit represented an action. After drawing a card, Dr. Glasheen informed the individual of the intended action. Prior to the test, he agreed that one minute would be sufficient to move a subject. 
Bill Jackson, who videotaped the subjects, called out the number and the time of start and finish for each volunteer. Blinding the judges proves critical in such investigations. Even sincere and skeptical observers may be influenced if they know what they are suppose to observe. The author cited Mr. Randi’s examination of a Russian psychic in his NOVA special, Secrets of the Psychics, as a demonstration of the need for a double-blind study.1 
The Russian psychic claimed, with the support of Russian scientists, the ability to alter a person’s blood pressure and brain waves. Knowing what the psychic intended, the investigators consistently found evidence for the alterations. When properly blinded to the intent of the psychic, the scientists observed alterations that matched the psychic’s intentions only by random chance. Thus, an observer who knew the individual intended to “push” the subject may very well consider any backward movement in the random swaying of a subject as a “positive” result. 
Dr. Glasheen provided a panel of blind judges. He submitted a videotape of the test to the judges, who were not present at the test Dr. Glasheen instructed the each judge to decide whether a volunteer moved forward, backward, or did not move at all. They were allowed to view a video of a demonstration performed by the individual in which he stops an attacker’s kick and pushes him back without touching him in order to know what to expect. 
For the purposes of testing this individual’s claim, Dr. Morenski further insisted that volunteers not know that the individual intended to move them in some way. If the subject knows the individual intends to move him, he may move and introduce a bias in the data. A very skeptical volunteer may try very hard not to move. 
Mr. Mattson and Dr. Glasheen contended it would prove interesting to know what the volunteers felt happened to them. At the conclusion of the test, but without knowing what the individual attempted to do to him, each subject was allowed to state what he felt. The subjects consisted of twenty summer camp participants. Some had participated in the individual’s previous open demonstrations. Some considered themselves believers in the existence of chi and this “empty force.” Some considered themselves skeptical if not complete unbelievers. None of the principle investigators served as volunteers or judges. 
The results did not require analysis. Only two subjects, one whom the individual personally knew and who assists him during demonstrations, moved to any appreciable degree and another who strongly supports the existence of chi and participated in demonstrations. The first moved in the wrong direction, while the second, first moved in the wrong direction then the correct direction. What the subjects reported they felt had happened to them during the test did not correlate in any manner to what the individual intended. 
After the test, Dr Glasheen asked the first sixteen volunteers what direction they thought they should have moved. Only one out of the total sixteen asked felt he had moved in the direction intended. Under controlled conditions, the individual could not demonstrate the “empty force.”

Discussion: It is not the responsibility of investigators to disprove an extraordinary phenomenon. Proponents must provide evidence. This experiment underscores the need for a scientific process. In removing confounding influences, the double-blind study suggests how these effects occur without proper controls. 

Proponents must define specifically what they wish to test. Believers readily attach attributes to phenomena which can claim any effect as evidence. A proponent may intend to move a specific subject and fail, but then claim that movement of an audience member resulted from his powers. As the wise men become buried under the fool’s questions, investigators feel forced to disprove any aspect thrown at them. 
This experiment isolated one aspect of the individual’s claims, specifically his claimed ability to move another person without touching him. A positive result would occur only if the subject moved in the intended direction determined by chance. A greater number of positive results than expected by chance would indicate that the individual could influence a subject. 
The individual approved of all aspects of the test and what would indicate positive and negative results prior to the test. Since observers of a claim who know what they expect or hope to find may find evidence of it whether or not the evidence truly exists, the judges did not know the intended results for each subject. That none of the volunteers moved in the manner intended simplifies the analysis. 
Witnesses of both the dramatic open demonstrations and the test may wonder what happened. Simply stated, strict controls removed other influences. Analysis of the controls suggests reasons for the results seen in the uncontrolled demonstrations. Participants in these seminars stood straight, often with their arms and hands fully extended. The individual then made motions in the direction he wished the participants to fall. Anyone familiar with the ideomotor effect seen in dosing or Charcot’s pendulum will recognize an analogy. In all cases, an object exists in an unstable position. Dowsers hold rods in such a manner that the slightest movement of the hands or body will result in movement of the rods. 
With Charcot’s pendulum, the subject suspends a watch or pendent on a string or chain held between his index finger and thumb. Very small movements of the hand muscles that the subject and witnesses do not notice will cause the pendulum to move. Individuals can influence these minute muscle movements. A person moving his hand around the pendulum can appear to make the pendulum swing and even rotate in the direction he wishes. The human body is essentially and unstable structure. The axial muscles of the back along with the muscles of the limbs actively maintain a stable position. Vision, vestibular, proprioception, and cerebellar pathways work in conjunction to correct small deviations. Any impairment of these systems or the muscles they influence will affect a person’s ability to maintain a stable posture. 
Just as a person holding a pendulum or a dowsing rod can influence their movements, a person standing can sway in the direction intended. Indeed, it is impossible to maintain station without even the slightest sway. The individual attempting to move the subject and any observers may attribute any sway in the intended direction as evidence of the apparent empty force. However, swaying does not account for subjects falling. The holder of the pendulum received constant reinforcement from the individual trying to move the pendulum. 
The individual moves his hand in the direction he wishes and gives verbal encouragement: “See? It is moving!” Audience members may join in the reinforcement. The empty force demonstrations often involve a number of volunteers, some who have attended if not assisted in previous demonstrations. Their movements serve as a visual reinforcement of what the subjects are expected to do. Part of the purpose of Chariot’s Pendulum is to select subjects who are more suggestible than others. The individual demonstrating the empty force may then select subjects who respond better than others and use them for progressively more involved demonstrations. Each “positive” result reinforces further cooperation in the subject and may strongly influence new subjects. The double-blind study removes all of these confounding influences. Without them, subjects behaved as one would expect if no force exists. 
That the empty force cannot demonstrate specific results without confounding influences may lead on to conclude that these influences in and of themselves explain the dramatic results observed in uncontrolled demonstrations.

References: 1 NOVA: Secrets of the Psychics, copyright: WGBH Educational Television, 1993

Acknowledgments: The author wishes to thank George E. Mattson for proposing and sponsoring this test. It would not have been possible without his constant encouragement and occasional diplomacy. He has practiced and taught martial arts for over forty years, and he runs the annual summer camp in Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts. For more information about the marital arts or the annual Martial Arts Camp, visit the Eastern Arts website: www.uechi-ryu.com or call Mr. Mattson at (508) 586-3969 or e-mail at: gmattson@uechi-ryu.com
James “the Amazing” Randi  (www.randi.org) patiently answered questions and critiqued the test during throughout its design. His suggestions proved invaluable for designing a proper study. Joe Nickell, CSICOP Senior Investigator, provided suggestions for conducting the test and, especially, for reporting and analyzing the data. Bill Jackson provided volunteered his time and expertise videotaping the test.

Authors: John David Morenski, M.D. has practiced martial arts for twenty years and serves as a Clinical Fellow with the Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington. He often acts as the resident skeptic for the forums on www.uechi-ryu.com.

William P. Glasheen, Ph.D., has practiced martial arts for nearly thirty years. He received his doctorate in Biomedical Engineering and is currently the Director of Health Care Assessment for Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield in Richmond, Virginia and a Visiting Assistant Professor for the Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Virginia. He administers one of the general forums on www.uechi-ryu.com

Copyright 2000 by John David Morenski, M.D. and William P. Glasheen, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/an-empty-force-2/

Dec 13 2008

Future of Uechi-ryu Karate

Looking towards the future!

by George E. Mattson

As 2000 winds down, thoughts turn towards the new year and new hopes and aspirations. Among other things I’ve been accused of by my detractors, is being a dreamer! In the early 60s I saw Uechi-ryu prominently involved with the emerging freefighting era. In the early 70s I envisioned Uechi-ryu remaining a unified and dynamic organization, with successful dojo throughout the world working together. My goal and emphasis was always to work within the Uechi framework of tradition and style. In the early 80s, I introduced the Uechi world to its Southern China ancestors, believing that exploring Uechi-ryu’s past would enhance and vitalize its future. Again, I hoped that Okinawa, China and the rest of the world could work together in some kind of accord that would strengthen Uechi-ryu. Although no accord happened, through the annual Summer Camp, hosting multiple styles of the martial arts, Uechi-ryu has become and remains a state-of-the-art system that has evolved and has been able to survive in an era of intense competition. 

Today, Uechi-ryu (and nearly all traditional systems) has moved away from traditionalism and its Far Eastern heritage. A new emphasis has focused on a more individual dojo approach, based on an eclectic blend of broadly interpreted set of old movements. The unified goal of Kanei Uechi has been shattered by seniors who took the organizational shell too seriously and who focused their attention on the shell and not enough attention to the heart. I was probably one of the last “Traditionalists” to recognize that in order to survive in this new millennium, organizations must rethink their original attitudes regarding the ‘old’ ways and the people we trusted to pass and preserve these methods. 

I had long ago given up on the idea of a one-world martial art’s organization. . . Or even a unified Uechi-ryu world. The concept of a “Ryu” is too firmly imbedded in this generation’s consciousness to accept anything but the old way of running a dojo and by extension, an organization. As an art, we have not accepted the concept of the individual within the art. Too many of us look for the standard by which all should be judged and once discovered, are intolerant of others who see the standard from another perspective. Obviously, the future of the martial arts lie with the new teachers and open minded elders.

Lots of things have happened since I taught my first class at the Boston YMCA in 1958. We tend to look at all the bad things people do and ignore all the wonderful things accomplished. In spite of all the setbacks we have had in Uechi-ryu and the martial arts in general, think of all the advances! Many of you new students are blessed with teachers who are truly talented and gifted. As students, you will make new mistakes I’m sure, but as a group, you are so much better off today than 40, 20 or even 10 years ago. You are spoiled as well, because there are so many fantastic martial arts being taught all around you. In 1958, I was the only game in town! Today, your biggest problem is selecting which dojo to attend.

Teachers today must be the very best in order to survive. Mediocrity may attract a couple of students, but will not sustain a dojo. Old timers continue to reside in their cocoons, live in the past and revel in their past accomplishments while the new teachers search for the best methods and are eager to share their techniques and interpretations with the world. The keepers of the time capsules continue to guard their secrets and segregate their students from the outside world while the new generation downplay styles and focus on individual skills. We no longer debate over which style is better, for most know it is the individual, not the style that makes a difference.

As a dreamer, I continue to push and pull martial artists into looking for areas of similarity instead of differences. I still consider myself to be a traditionalist, but prefer to define this term as it relates to the twenty first century, rather than what it meant to me in 1958. I’m more focused today on working with like minded martial artist than I am on trying to save the Uechi-ryu world. 

Marty Dow once said of me, “I like working with you. You are controversial and make lots of mistakes, but you mean well and you do make things happen!” As we go into 2001, I am looking forward to working with you all, making lots of things happen! Join me in celebrating a new and better relationship with our fellow martial artist. Let’s tear down the barriers, forget the past and let’s concentrate on working out together and building a stronger, better vision of traditional martial arts. 

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/future-of-uechi-ryu-karate/

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