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Nov 06 2008

News from the “Hut”!

News Release:

The Northcentral Technical College and IUKF
Announces its first Ground Survival CourseLocation:
Rising Star East Martial Arts
9 Depot Square,
Ayer, MA 01432
Cost: $199.00 if registered BEFORE June 1, 2009
$250.00 if registered AFTER June 1, 2009
Dates: July 11-12, 2009  Times: 8AM – 5PM Daily

This is a physically demanding class!
Learn to survive today – when you need it!

Sponsored by Northcentral Technical College RedMan Training Division

To register NOW!
1000 W. Campus Drive
Wausau, WI 54401 USA
(888) 682-7144, ext. 1632

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Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/news-from-the-hut-2/

Sep 28 2008

Updates

Congratulation to David Mott – Cold Mountain Dojo 25th Anniversary!
David

Hi David:
Just a note to congratulate you on your Cold mountain Dojo’s 25th anniversary.

You have been a trusted and valued friend over the years and a wonderful role-model to your students. I just wanted you to know how much I admire you and how much I value your friendship.

My only regret is that the distance prevents our working out together more often and perhaps even sharing a dram of whiskey now and then. I plan to go out with the guys tonight after class and will raise a glass in your honor, hoping my good wishes will bring even more happiness to you and Bobbie.

By the way. . . The next 25 years are a lot easier! :)

Love from Sue, Tia and me. . .
===========================

I received this very kind response from David last week:
Hi George and Susan (and Tia)

Thank you so much for this wonderful message!

I want to reiterate how tremendously significant you, my Uechi-ryu teacher, are to me. I would imagine that many students over the years have told you this, but I can say with absolute certainty that my life would not be what it is without what you have taught me in Uechi-ryu. I was quoting something you said to me back at the Hancock St. dojo in Monday’s class, “Make everything that you do a kata. If you are brushing your teeth, it’s a brushing your teeth kata. If you are walking upstairs, it’s a walking upstairs kata”. That was a great and valuable teaching to a young karate and music student. It has always stayed with me. Something else you said at the very beginning of my training was also a great encouragement. It was the first time I had ever sparred, it was in front of the whole class and it was with Al Ford. Al took me down with a foot sweep and while on the floor I yanked his leg out from under him so he ended up on the floor too where I was punching him. I overheard you say, “that kid’s got spirit!” That confirmation solidified something in me which has been at the core of my life long practice. I value our friendship too!

The dojo is taking Bobbi, Ken Brown and I out to dinner at a neighborhood restaurant to celebrate our 25 years of Cold Mountain Dojo. It’s nice because the students have organized everything –we just have to show up! The dojo is doing very well these days with waiting lists for the 6-8 yrs old, the 8 to 12 yrs and the teen classes. The adult intermediate/advanced classes are filled with mature karateka and the qigong and meditation classes are at capacity. I couldn’t ask for more.

Thank you so much for your well wishes and toast. I too wish that the distance wasn’t so great. I have a half sabbatical next year –which may be my last year at the University as I’ll be 65 and can take a full pension (in these wild financial days I’ll have to watch what happens to our pension plan!) and will take it in the winter (2010). I’m hoping that it works out to come down for your winter camp. I enjoyed meeting two of your students this last summer. Very fine people. I look forward to seeing them again.

So on Oct. 25 (the day we’ll celebrate), your ears may burn a little as I’ll have whole dojo raise a glass to you too!

love,

David


Updates:
10/24/2008 – Early Registration Discount!

Make plans to attend WinterFest in February. Register NOW to earn a big discount! Planning ahead is the best way to ensure best prices on airfare and lodging. . . Remember,  February is a very hot vacation month and Florida is where everyone wants to go!
If you stuck your head out of the door early this morning in the Northeast, you probably got a taste of the cold weather that is coming. Sure you can take it for a couple months, but by February I’m sure you will welcome a martial art vacation in picturesque (and warm) Mount Dora, Florida!
Click Here to reserve your spot at the 2009 WinterFest and to reward your foresight, Susan will discount your payment by a whopping $50.00! Discount ends January 15, 2009.

Don’t forget –  Christmas and Hannuka are approaching…What a great gift!

G.E.Mattson
P.S. Make sure you bring your golf clubs and swim suit!

Register Today for the 2009 WinterFest in Mount Dora, Florida:
WinterFest

WinterFest is coming along nicely. Getting lots of inquiries regarding the schedule and questions about when the application will be posted.

Well, if you click the photograph, you will be taken to the WinterFest website. If you click here, you can sign-up for the event. (be sure to let me know if you will be playing in the Thursday’s “Warrior’s” golf tournament. This year we will be having multiple seminars being conducted each hour of the day. . . like SummerFest. I’ll be conducting a whole series focusing on various Uechi “components” and how they work to make your Uechi such a realistic fighting system.

Quite a few “presenters” will be helping make this year’s event a most interesting and valuable supplement to your ongoing training. Please contact me if you would like to be a “presenter” and be sure to include a summary of the seminar you would like to teach.

                                                          = = =

GEMI was honored to be invited (for the second year) to be a guest at Buzz Durkin’s organizational yearly promotion celebration. I’ve been trying to figure out how to post a photograph of the graduating class, but the picture was way to large to fit on my home page. There were way over 200 students in the class and when I reduced the photograph to fit this screen, everyone appeared as dots! :) So. . . Click Here to view the pdf newsletter, which can be navigated in your Adobe Reader.

I also wish to thank one of the photographers who took the nice picture of me during my kata demonstration.

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

Aug 29 2008

Official Tia Portrait

GEM vs Killer Squirrel

I’ve received quite a few requests for an old video I made about Seymour, the “killer” squirrel. (who kept raiding my bird feeder) Check it out!

Results of the 2008 SummerFest FireDragon Challenge posted:

Thanks to Bill Glasheen for heading up the testing and tabulation of the scores for this year’s Challenge. I just received the spreadsheet with the scores and posted them to the FireDragon’s site.
(link can be found in the left table of contents)  The next challenge will be conducted at WinterFest. I hope you will be able to join us. G.E.M.

Official Tia Portrait

With all the fanfare associated with my 50th Anniversary, Tia, who is dealing with Cushings Disease, and who is accustomed to constant attention and adoration from her many world-wide fans and friends, has been extremely depressed lately. Judy Durkin, a famous artist from New Hampshire, heard about Tia’s depression and volunteered to paint Tia’s official portrait, celebrating her nearly 15 years of service to the Uechi community and for providing so much love and devotion to Susan and me, as a sure fire way to perk her up.

The portrait done in pastels arrived today and everyone agrees is it absolutely beautiful. Tia checked it out carefully and also approves.
Tia's official portrait
 tia1
 Tia2
Don’t I look “regal?”
 Tia3
 tia3
Thank you, Judy!

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

Aug 18 2008

Sanchin on the Beach

8/26/2008: New Gary Geddes photos from SummerFest!


8/24/2008:Someone just emailed me – The Uechi-ryu.com site made it to the 2nd page of the “karate” category on Google!


WinterFest 2009

Where: Mount Dora, FL
Schedule:
Thu, Feb 26 – “Warrior Golf Tournament” (sponsored by the Warrior Golf Company)
Fri, Feb 27 – WinterFest Seminars
Sat, Feb 28 - WinterFest Seminars
Sun, Mar 1 – Community FireDragon Challenge (Open to community and martial artists).

Sanchin on the Beach. . .Sanchin on the Beach

Everyone seemed to enjoy the morning workout I conducted. Each session provided me with an opportunity to provide students and teachers with a new and at least for me, an interesting look at Sanchin and how this fascinating kata provides insight and a training mechanism for everything in our Uechi-ryu system. This year we had nearly a hundred students attending each 6:30AM session.
Click on the photograph to view Gary Geddes SummerFest gallery of pictures.
I’m working on WinterFest now. If you have any suggestions for a theme or program session, please contact me. Also. . . what are the best dates for you?
Once again, I wish to thank everyone who attended SummerFest and made my 50th anniversary teaching Uechi-ryu so special.
Best,

George E. Mattson


Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/sanchin-on-the-beach/

Aug 14 2008

Report from Max and Mia

Thanks. . . to


Jeremiah Johnson, 916.420.2264 of  www.relictheseries.com who designed the artwork for this year’s beautiful t-shirt. . .  and to "Rich" from The T-Shirt Master, in Quincy, MA who really is a master at silkscreening. Our t-shirts, printed by Rich, are of the very best quality and workmanship. You may reach him at 617.472.8658.





A day at the Summerfest:

Max and MiaSaturday 9, 2008

The POV of a young Uechi-Ryu Practitioner

    The weather couldn’t get much better. In the morning, fog drifted in from Buzzard Bay and swirled around the massive TS Enterprise. Through the cafeteria windows we watched the sun slowly breaking through the mist. From then on it was all glorious, a light breeze rippling the canvas of the gigantic tent, the grass deep green in the shadows. 

    We arrived at the Mass Maritime Academy for Sensei George Mattson’s 25th Summerfest camp late Friday afternoon, just in time to watch the last black belt being tested. Afterwards, Sensei Mattson took time off to give Max and I a lesson out on the grass. We have been his virtual students for a few months now, and it felt like a historic moment to be critiqued by him in person, during his famous Summerfest!  However, my nerves got the best of me, and I forgot to correct my kanchu opening as he had explained in detail during the last online lesson… He then showed us the importance of keeping the wrists straight and strong for ‘closed gate’ at the end of Sanchin. 

   

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Aug 12 2008

Finding a good Dojo/ teacher

 

The teacher is more important than the dojo!

[From G.E.Mattson’s new book, “The Way of Uechi-ryu Karate”]

When looking for a school, try to find one that teaches a style that is suited to your natural abilities. Make sure that you meet the person who will be teaching you. Watch him teach at least two classes. If possible, watch a new student class. Imagine you being in that class. Will you feel comfortable and confident with your teacher’s knowledge, ability and personality?

Although the style is important, the teacher is the key to your success. A good teacher will be able to adapt a marginal system to your individual needs and goals. A poor teacher, one who is egotistical or one dimensional, will take a great system and transmit it badly. Do not blindly accept rank or trophies as a judge of teaching ability. Often those who can do, cannot teach! Many teachers own schools for all the wrong reasons! Try to stay clear of these schools and teachers.

When searching for a teacher, find one who follows the philosophy of “not injuring a student while trying to help him”.

Often, people will ask me how to select a school, style or teacher. If you are contemplating studying karate, and have not yet selected a school, my discussion on this subject might help you understand a little more about the art and the people who teach it. You might also be a little better prepared to select your school.

There are quite a few teachers who consider themselves “tougher” and better fighters than the “professional” instructors who are so successful today. For obvious reasons, their schools seldom have very many students. The teacher might be an excellent athlete and a wonderful person, but his training methods may be better suited for Navy Seals than what you are capable of achieving.

Even though you might like to study at this dojo, your odds of staying with the pro gram won’t be any better than the school’s hundreds of other drop-outs. Regardless of how much you want to take the “hard” road, spend the first year in a traditional school that has a proven track record for holding their students. There are no bragging rights for having dropped out of the toughest martial art school in America.

Young teachers often will run schools where the training is geared to the very young and strong. People not able to keep up with the younger program quickly drop out, or do not join in the first place. Conversely, older teachers often gear their classes for a more mature audience and might turn off younger students and potential students.

Teachers do not consciously specialize in the caliber of instruction offered at their dojo. Often, the program is subtly focused on a specific category and without the instructor realizing it, his school takes on a one dimensional characteristic.

You are responsible for your own progress and destiny. Your teacher is a guide. He should be responsible and sensitive to your short and long term goals. If he is not, then you should check out another teacher.

There are many reputable organizations, schools and teachers. Many have direct ties with their teacher and respected organizations. These associations tend to be more “traditional”, in that the members value the link with the styles’ heritage and attempt, through the group’s standards, to maintain the system’s key/core elements. Member schools agree on standards for rank, which relates to the trademark forms, sets and drills that make up the heart of the system.

Students joining schools belonging to a reputable association, have the best chance of receiving excellent instruction while having confidence that the diploma received for rank has some value.

First check to see if a school and teacher has a direct tie to a national organization that in turn has a link with a well known International organization. If a tie exists, then you at least know the school you are interested in, is being supervised in some capacity by individuals who are knowledgeable about the art. Even with this basic assurance, you should still talk with new students in the school and watch a few classes, taught by the person who will be teaching you during your first course.

If the school does not have ties with a national or international organization, deter mine if the school specializes in a single system or style. Even if the dojo does not have ties with a well recognized group, it may have strong positive leadership, thoroughly versed in a traditional style of karate. In this situation, be especially careful in checking out the school’s credentials and those of the parent organization, if applicable.

Find out who will be teaching your classes. What are their credentials? How long have they been teaching and/or in business? Finally, watch a few classes and talk with people who have been attending classes.

Since you will, by extension, be part of the association, learn as much as you can about any parent organization. Be skeptical of those groups whose sole function is issuing rank certificates. Find out as much as possible about the people who are in charge of the organization. . . Their background and years in the art. Find out if the par ent group offer seminars and other methods for keeping member schools up to standards.

Even though an individual might be an excellent teacher and technician, he should have some way to keep up his own training and teaching methods. Good teachers learn from one another and need others to make sure subtle day by day changes don’t vary too much from the standards of the system or organization.

I often talk about a dojo having a life of its own, made up of students and teachers. By watching a few classes and talking to members, you should get a sense of whether you will fit in with the dojo and its members. The more schools you check out, the better sense of value and compatibility you will have.

Be aware and make sure you feel comfortable with the dojo you select. Few people would buy the first car they look at. Most of us will do research prior to ever visiting a showroom. Not surprisingly, karate schools have far more options/variables to offer than cars and interestingly enough, today the financial commitment involved, equal or surpass that of an automobile purchase!

Finally, there are hybrid groups, dedicated to specialized areas, such as Mixed Martial Arts, Point Tournament or Kick Boxing training. These organizations recognize the limitations of their sports and address issues that relate specifically to their interests. Schools that train students to participate in these activities should be up-front about what they offer.

Your comments and suggestions should be of value to your instructor during the course of your training. You are the best person to know your limits and capacity for learning. If you need more help, or if you need to progress more slowly, do not be afraid to discuss your concerns with your teacher. He may have his own reasons for pushing you beyond what you consider correct. But he may not be familiar with your concerns that are valid. If there are 250 students in your school, it is difficult for the teacher to know everything about you that relates to how you can best learn safely and effectively

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/finding-a-good-dojo-teacher/

Aug 12 2008

SummerFest 2008

SummerFest photo galleryJoe Lewis and Rob Buckland. . .

Two of the more than 50 spectacular instructors who made this years SummerFest the best one in its 25 year history.

Hundreds of photographs and video clips were taken during the long weekend and will be posted, as received and edited, in the Uechi Photo Gallery.

Click on the photo to visit the Gallery and enjoy the weekend seminars, parties and celebration as they were recorded by Flora Kung. (famous clothing designer whose two children, Max and Mia participated in the activities.)

Letter from Joe Lewis. . .

Mr. Mattson,
 
I want to again thank you for the experience of working with you at the 2008 Uechi-ryu Summer fest.  I congratulate you on the successful effort you have made in building your Uechi-ryu organization. Even more importantly, I admired the respect and confident humility exchanged between those members participating.  You should feel proud of what you have accomplished with your associates going way back to 1958.
 
During the nearly forty-five years I have been a black belt, I have known, sparred, fought, taught, and trained with hundreds of black belts from Okinawa. You and I know that during the late fifties and early sixties, Okinawa was the Mecca for learning real Karate. Unfortunately, the majority of those Okinawan (trained) black belts vanished and left nothing of importance behind. 

This vacuum they left does not dignify all the months of training they went through, nor does it revere the sacred virtues for which Okinawan martial arts stood. I never understood why anyone, especially a black belt, would work so hard to get something and then simply give it up and quit. If a fight is worth fighting, then it should be worth winning.  If training hard for months to attain something is worth achieving, then it should be worth actively maintaining to dignify what it stands for. 
 
It is an honor and a pleasure to know and work with a fellow Okinawan black belt, like yourself, who understands and exercises those training virtues and teaching disciplines which dignify that of a true Grandmaster.
 
From one Champion to another,
 
Joe Lewis

Joe Lewis Web site: JoeLewisFightingSystems.com Email: JoeLewisKarate@msn.com



Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/summerfest-2008/

Aug 12 2008

WinterFest

Updates:
10/24/2008 – Early Registration Discount!

 

Make plans to attend WinterFest in February. Register NOW to earn a big discount! Planning ahead is the best way to ensure best prices on airfare and lodging. . . Remember,  February is a very hot vacation month and Florida is where everyone wants to go!
If you stuck your head out of the door early this morning in the Northeast, you probably got a taste of the cold weather that is coming. Sure you can take it for a couple months, but by February I’m sure you will welcome a martial art vacation in picturesque (and warm) Mount Dora, Florida!
I will be teaching one seminar each day. The theme will once again be “Building a Strong Uechi-ryu Core” andthe emphasis will be on the method of teaching Uechi-ryu I have used successfully for many years – based on what I originally learned on Okinawa.
In this era of mixed martial arts, many Uechi teachers are losing confidence in their “core” Uechi strengths and skills. Instead of focusing on what students are really searching for, teachers are attempting to shore-up their programs with eclectic methods of training that have no relavency to the Uechi system. We will once again be reviewing the Uechi core system and working on how practitioners of all ranks can achieve their personal goals, regardless of what they may be. We will explore how the system, like the hub of a wheel, can relate to advanced and unique specialities within the martial arts, but always with a strong link to the core system. . . The “hub”.
Click Here to reserve your spot at the 2009 WinterFest and to reward your foresight, Susan will discount your payment by a whopping $50.00! Discount ends January 15, 2009. 

G.E.Mattson
P.S. Make sure you bring your golf clubs and swim suit!

 

 


Register Today for the 2009 WinterFest in Mount Dora, Florida:
WinterFest

WinterFest is coming along nicely. Getting lots of inquiries regarding the schedule and questions about when the application will be posted.Well, if you click the photograph, you will be taken to the WinterFest website. If you click here, you can sign-up for the event. (be sure to let me know if you will be playing in the Thursday’s “Warrior’s” golf tournament. This year we will be having multiple seminars being conducted each hour of the day. . . like SummerFest. I’ll be conducting a whole series focusing on various Uechi “components” and how they work to make your Uechi such a realistic fighting system.

Quite a few “presenters” will be helping make this year’s event a most interesting and valuable supplement to your ongoing training. Please contact me if you would like to be a “presenter” and be sure to include a summary of the seminar you would like to teach.

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

Aug 11 2008

What’s New in 2009

With the closing of 2008, I’m looking forward to the beginning of a new era in the development of the Uechi-ryu karate system practiced by IUKF members. I’m ‘kicking’ off the new year with a brand new website format that is easier for me to edit and possible for contributors to help build.

I’ll be  looking for editors who will be contributing articles on subjects of interest to the martial art community. And of course there will be opportunities to discuss these subjects in greater depth on our very popular forums. Since the Uechi-ryu.com site gets thousands of visitors every day and most of these people don’t visit the forums, I’m hoping this feature will motivate people to drop in and contribute to the forum community.

My “virtual” dojo will be entering a new era come 2009. After nearly three years of experimenting with different programs and teaching methods, I’ve developed a “long distance” dojo that works. Now that the program is working smoothly, I’m in the process of adding new subjects to the curriculum. Dave Young has volunteered to be the first guest instructor and will be offering a fantastic on-line civilian course in “realistic” self defense. Included will be all the techniques, drills and training necessary to take your “traditional” martial arts to another “realist” level.

Lots of training in “force continuum” will also be covered. . . understanding how the law, judges and juries look at “preemptive” strikes, fight communication and all those things many macho martial art teachers gloss over in class and on the internet. 

Dave will be conducting a series of on-line seminars in 2009 as part of the “virtual dojo” program. I hope you will be joining us at Dave’s seminars, both on-line and the ones he is conducting at dojo around the country.

Many people have already signed up to purchase advanced copies of my new book, “The Way of Uechi-ryu Karate”, due out early in 2009. I had hoped to have it published for SummerFest in 2008, but with all the other projects demanding time and attention, our team has had to delay the date of release. 

The new website is a work in progress. There are literally thousands of articles, features and photos that have to be edited and moved. I don’t know if I’ll be able to move all the registered members of the old site to the new one, but we are trying. If not, please re-register so you will be able to view all the restricted features open only to registered users.

Have a peaceful, happy and prosperous holiday season and new year.

Regards,

George E. Mattson

 

 

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