Jan 24 2007

Busy Weekend for G.E. Mattson

I’m flying to Boston Thursday, Jan 25th and will be spending the day with Darin Yee. Friday, I’ll be visiting Bill Bauknecht who continues doing well with his ongoing fight with cancer. Bill is somewhat of a hero to others who are also fighting multiple myeloma (a blood & bone disease) because of his 12+ years’ successful fight against this incurable cancer.  I spoke with Bill today and he proudly told me he attended Van’s class last night and demonstrated Seisan for the group. He is writing an article for the martial arts community which I’ll be publishing on Monday.
Saturday morning Bill and I will be attending Darin Yee’s new dojo open house celebration. Everyone is invited to attend and participate in the festivities, which will begin at 10AM.
I’ll be teaching a class and hope all my friends and students will attend. For details and directions, please Click Here.

Sunday we will be heading for Ayer, MA where John Page is holding his new dojo’s Grand Opening, also beginning at 10AM and where I’ll be teaching a class. All are invited to attend. Click Here for details.

New e-Books now available.


There are lots of  video clips on the web showing the public how tough Uechi guys are. My goal in producing instructional DVDs and e-Books has been to make it possible for new students to learn enough about the basics to inspire them to search for a dojo where they could receive advanced training and. . . to dispel some of the myths and dangerous impressions commonly believed by both Uechi practitioners and the general public. My intentions have always been to show that what we do is possible for the average person and indeed, can contribute to one’s general health instead of actually being a dangerous activity to pursue.

However, this wasn’t always the case.

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Jan 22 2007

IUKF Progress Report for January 2007

Chairman’s Report on Recent IUKF Developments
For January 2007

Sensei George Mattson reported that Uechi-Ryu.com is the most popular martial arts website on the Internet.  The number of hits at any moment can be noted on the website’s homepage.

Membership Coordinator and Treasurer David Berndt reported that membership was up in 2006, and importantly, included three Lifetime Memberships. 

Important changes in policy shall go into effect ONE YEAR following announcement of the policy changes.

Recent examples of such changes are:

a)  All members of the IUKF shall be dues-paying members

b)   All candidates testing for a Black Belt rank shall have studied for at least one year, with a teacher who is a member of the IUKF.

These changes will go into effect in January 2008.

Paul Haydu

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/iukf-progress-report-for-january-2007/

Jan 21 2007

The Chinese Negotiator

MetroRider scooters
“The Chinese Negotiator”
I’m currently reading a very interesting book, written by Robert M. March (Author of the Japanese Negotiator) and Su-Hua Wu. Wish this book had been written in the late 80s while I was working for an international trading company in the Boston area. Susan and I hosted a number of Chinese delegations during the mid 80s. Most of those invitations were associated with the very popular SummerFests I sponsored at the time.There was always someone in the delegation representing the government who wanted to discuss a joint venture or other business

opportunities.Our trading company explored many of these business plans and elected for a number of reasons to pass on them.

After reading a few chapters of this book I can now appreciate why neither the Chinese negotiators or ours were on the same page as we attempted to hammer out a deal, even though we had expert translators who were doing a great job making sure both sides were hearing what was communicated.
Although we understood one anothers’ words, we had tremendous difficulty understanding one anothers’ business terms and ways of negotiating. Our company wasn’t the only one having trouble trying to work with the Chinese at the time. As it turned out, many of the large companies who managed to work around the confusing and at times conflicting intentions of the Chinese negotiators, ended up wasting millions of dollars on joint ventures that had no chance to succeed. The delegations at the time appeared to be trying to learn USA business methods but were in fact, still being governed by their strict Communist superiors at home.
How the Chinese and their international business evolved from the early 80s to the present time is a fascinating and essential lesson for anyone wanting to do business with China. If you are planning on doing any business with China or are simply interested in the subject, be sure to buy “The Chinese Negotiator”. Published by Kodansha, it can be found in your local bookstore and on Amazon.

I never gave up on the idea of doing business with China, but I quickly University series MetroRiderlearned that it was not a plan I could implement on my own.Fortunately, around ten years ago I became a partner with an old Chinese friend who lived in the USA but had an extended family in China that was very prominent and were respected business leaders in the new China. We conducted a number of simple and profitable trading deals before we decided to get involved in something big and exciting.

We decided that America was going to be rediscovering the motorscooter and we thought it would be a good idea if the scooter they discovered was ours.

Many trips to China and with lots of help from my partner’s family, we obtained marketing rights in North America from a respected factory that wanted to work with us. The whole process wasn’t easy. . . there were many models that were flown over for testing that didn’t pass muster. . . and finally, after nearly three years, we gave final approval to our present model line of scooters. All our scooters are certified by the very strict DOT and EPA tests that govern all USA motor products. In addition, our MetroRider line has also passed the stringent California environmental tests.

During the time we were working with the factory, I was busy locating and finalizing an exclusive distributorship agreement with a really great person who runs an extremely successful business and like me, believes in the future of motorscooters in America.

I am continuing to work with our China factory, importing products and developing new models. . . wait ’til you see our “Zoomer” line. . . and in my spare time will be selling a specialty line of MetroRiders to the martial artists that visit Uechi-ryu.com.

Check out the video clip showing the first two models I’m offering for sale. If you live in Florida, you can schedule a test drive and workout at the same time. 🙂

Scooter Video Clip


Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/the-chinese-negotiator/

Jan 15 2007

Traditional Martial Arts

Just received an email from old friend and student, David Finkelstein:
"Memories of Rolf Cahn, one of your first students, and my flamenco guitar teacher, who first told me about you and your prowess

Since I’ve been practicing a lot of guitar these past years, my thoughts turn occasionally to Rolf Cahn, who several years ago I learned had died in the 90s. But just today I googled him, and found a couple of articles about him, written in or around 1994, the year he died. I think you’d find them interesting if you hadn’t checked them out before."
Wow… Rolf Cahn… the person who discovered me teaching at the Boston YMCA in 1958 as a volunteer and offered me $5 to teach him privately at his home in Cambridge. After lessons, Rolf and I would head to one of the local coffee houses where the likes of Joan Baez, Muddy Waters and dozens of now famous entertainers would be performing. Rolf often took center stage where he played Flamenco guitar and told stories of his fascinating life.

He said I was wasting my life going to school and set up a meeting with a visiting officer of the Israeli army who tried to recruit me to train their troops in karate! I was tempted by the money offered, but decided to finish college before making any career moves. I found this clip on the net:

Rolf Cahn

"Rolf was an outlaw, or rather, he was a lawmaker. It was six months before I was able to understand his lingo and another year before I could follow his craft of coffee making. He was a master of both creation and destruction.

Rolf’s thumbnails, his only manicured part, were kept long for two reasons – boogie bass lines and blinding opponents. Within Rolf’s words, guitar lines, left hooks, and coffee-making rig lived a mastery of the essential."

Michael Sheppard

The Forum topic on the value of repetition of TMA movements has evolved into a mostly friendly exchange of viewpoints and finally even I jumped into the Frey.

Before sharing this with the thousands of you who for some reason or other don’t venture onto the forums, I wanted to highlight one example of a universally respected senior martial artist who has spent nearly all of his life performing his Uechi-ryu in a highly structured and obviously effective manner. Striving for perfection in being able to reproduce the same quality, power and energy in every movement has become the trademark of Toyama sensei.

I’ve seen his Sanseiryu both in person and in film at least a hundred times and I would venture to say unless you had the equipment to analyse his movements with a microscope, there hasn’t been any deviation in the way he performs it from the mid 50s, when he performed it as a young man to the one he did on film last year.

I don’t remember any of the people on the forums questioning his ability to fight or how he would fare against Mike Tyson. Everyone simply acknowledges him as being the finest example of Uechi-ryu and Okinawan Karate living today. He is a really great example of what most Uechi-ryu students today regard as a "role model" and as someone who represents the best of what can be achieved through the dedicated practice of Uechi-ryu. For me, he represents all the fine reasons for studying Uechi-ryu as a Traditional Martial Art (TMA).
When people asked me 50 years ago why I thought karate was a credible method of teaching self defense to people who couldn’t fight I explained:
"Karate, through its unique training program, could take average people who are not "natural" athletes and build within them, traits associated with athletes who excel at sports. In karate, those traits’ are focused on self-defense techniques instead of hitting a ball or kicking a football."
I also claimed (and later proved) that karate training could take average people who could not make any athletic team and turn them into athletes who could excel at other sports.
This philosophy has guided my martial art career and my classes still turn out athletes who enjoy many types of sports and who are better at self defense techniques than they were when they enrolled. (With Dave Young’s help, we can add a component to our TMA that will help with the "mindset" and ability to "use" those self defense tools.)
It is important to note that a coach who is looking to field a baseball team will not use the same recruiting or coaching methods as a teacher in a TMA dojo. The coach is only looking for the "natural" or trained athlete; people who have the qualities to do the job right now! The dojo instructor is looking for people who, regardless of their ability, is willing to spend the time and energy to show up for class and make an effort to meet reasonable and timely goals. A good TMA instructor will, if given the opportunity, turn those who have the desire to achieve their objectives and stick to the program, into credible martial artist.
How many gifted or talented "natural" athletes are there in a random group of 1000 people? 25? 50?
Quite a few prospective students for those of us who teach TMA!
Who are we speaking for????
Who is your dojo audience?

If I believed that anything I was teaching was harmful to my students, I would not be including it in my class.

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Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/traditional-martial-arts/

Jan 13 2007

Seeking Perfection in TMA!!!

Interesting discussion going on in Bill’s Forum. Gets to the heart of TMA training and the discipline associated with trying to perform technique in an accurate manner. I see some very interesting subjects that are near and dear to all of us who spend a lifetime practicing a martial art. Is there something about the repetition and striving for perfection that is relevant to self defense or should we simply accept the fact that all the work and time put into this discipline mostly falls into the “healthy exercise” category and if we really want to learn self defense, go pick fights in your local Biker bar! 🙂
Here is the basic questions that started the discussion, followed by Bill Glasheen’s very technical explanation that supports the TMA training philosophy. Drop in to see what others have to say. . . GEMattson.

 “The nervous system was not designed to do the same thing over and over again.“The nervous system was designed to be flexible. You typically find yourself doing things you’ve never done before.”

“So if this study is right, do certain kinds of traditional karate training and ideals make us slower and less effective by trying to get us to be consistent? What do all those “sloppy” but effective karate masters know that the picture perfect ones don’t?”
Bill’s Response: I’m not sure you get this one, Mike.

I think people can over interpret the results. This is just a consequence of the nonlinearity of our makeup. When you have a system capable of displaying mathematical chaos behavior, then you never, ever, ever retrace your steps exactly the same way.

This reminds me of my dissertation. In it, I was trying to take a publication from Science (Cohen et al from Harvard) and bring it to the next step. They hypothesized that heart-rate rhythms as measured by Power Spectral analysis could be an indication of autonomic nervous system health. Hearts beat faster and slower due to our breathing activity and various control systems in our body (blood pressure and blood flow). It gets “cross talked” to the heart-rate via the autonomic nervous system. This is how this rhythmic activity looks in the frequency domain.

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Jan 12 2007

Early Threat RecogniTion Skills

Reading Behavioral Intent Threat Pattern Recognition and Early Threat Recognition Skills “Reading Behavioral Intent”
by Darren Laur

No matter the mode of attack (psychological, emotional, verbal, physical), or if the threat is armed or not, what can give us the tactical advantage, especially in the pre-contact phase of a confrontation, is the ability to recognize a threat “pattern”. Because we know that the skilled predator(s) will use the element of surprise to their advantage, there are threat patterns that we should all be aware of that can “alert” us to a potential attack, thus minimizing the threat’s primary advantage, that being the element of surprise.

Before I share some of the Patterns and Threat Recognitions to be aware of, I believe it is important that the reader review my article on the Anatomy of Fear:

In this article I shared the following:

1. The brain has been “hard-wired” to deal with the emotion of fear/violence

2. One pathway is known as the “high road” in which action can be based on conscious will and thought. This pathway appears to take effect during “progressive” types of fear stimuli. Here a combatives student will be able to apply stimulus/response type training using the OODA model having regards to gross motor skills and Hick’s Law

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Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/early-threat-recognition-skills/

Jan 04 2007

2006 China Tour photo gallery

Pictures from 2006 China Tour…

Susan came back from the Post Office this afternoon with a package from Darin Yee.

Turned out to be a CD with over 2000 pictures taken by the group members during their recent trip to China.

When the tour participants travelled, they had to break up into smaller groups in order to get into cabs. With everyone carrying cameras and taking photos, on more than a few occasions you will see pictures of the same place from 3 or more perspectives.

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/2006-china-tour-photo-gallery/

Jan 04 2007

What do Sport Fighters and Reality Fighters have in Common?

What do Sport Fighters and Reality Fighters have in Common?

There are a few things that are common things between a sport fighter who is training to face someone that is in a scheduled event, who is of equal weight, size, and experience with a referee and judges, and people in your corner, and the ability to QUIT at ANYTIME you or your corner feels you are losing or unable to continue, and someone training for a real fight for survival who is to face an UNKOWN attacker, of unknown height and weight,  with unknown experience or skill level, or unknown weapons present, and unknown number of attackers, in an unknown location and no designated time to have this fight for their life.

However even though these topics are the same the definitions and meanings will greatly vary.  Take a look at the sports part in normal text and the reality in bold.

1.  Timing – Executing techniques heavily relies on timing and is important because of needing to hit your target when open or being able to make the target available when/if needed.   In the gym the weather is ALWAYS good, and you have time to stretch out and get limber. If your timing is off in the gym you are having a bad day and stop and try again another time.  Your life is not threatened or at risk!


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Jan 04 2007

Ernest Lieb Dies in Train Accident

Ernei Lieb
Ernest Lieb Dies in Train Accident
Dear Mr. Mattson,
I do not know whether You have heard this sad news, but unfortunately I have heard about it only today. I have to admit that I was literally shocked by what I heard!
Martial Arts Pioneer Ernest-Ernie H. Lieb – founder of the American Karate Association (AKA) and American Karate Sistem (AKS) Passes in Germany!!! Ernest Lieb, founder and original president of the AKA and the first to run the prestigious AKA Grand Nationals Tournament, passed away on Friday, September 22, 2006 in his native Germany, in a deadly train crash that killed a total of 23 people.
Enie Lieb helped me a lot with various data for my book “Warriors of Chinese Hand”, in subtitle Tode-jutsu Genesis and Expansion, and apart from that he sent to me a lot of material connected to the development of Uechi-ryu Karate in the USA! In that material which consisted of 7 video cassettes (each lasting up to three hours of his private film scenes) which I put in digital form two months ago, i.e. transferred them onto the DVD format, there is a footage of, besides various Karate tournaments 60’s in the USA, fights from Your Uechi-ryu Karate tournament in Boston. The tournament took place, if I am not mistaken, in 1963 and Ernest Lieb was the winner.
I have to mention that in our correspondence he showed extremely great respect towards Your work in Uechi-ryu Karate development and considered you as one of his friends in the martial arts and sports world. Since You have known him for more than 40 years I think that this news is as shocking for You, as well. Unfortunately, the world has lost one of the greatest Karate masters or, to put it differently, a wonderful man who committed his whole life to community work.
Petar Bogunovic – Pedja
 Republic of Serbia

Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/ernest-lieb-dies-in-train-accident/

Jan 03 2007



The fact that one has received a certification from a governing body stating that this person who has completed a series of tasks or performance skills, some never even say that now the person is authorized to teach a certain system, and only usually helps if they stay within that specific system if that…when things go wrong, or injuries are sustained, or possibly death it takes much more then that and the people I speak to who disagree or become offended only do so because they let themselves fall behind the curve ball so to speak…things changing every few years, technology, legal guidelines, society acceptance all play a vital role, but in the long run of things the training one receives to start their own training must be supported by the continuous training they receive after their initial certification.

In most service provider careers when one receives a certification to start their career that is just the beginning..re-certification, testing, practical examinations happen yearly or every few years to just maintain their certification……you have heard the ole saying….
"What do you call a person who graduates last in his medical class…….DOCTOR….."

Just think how many other people you know fit into this category?

And from what I have seen in most cases in the world of self defense continuous learning has stopped….you do not get retested after you receive your black belt certification..just think that if this was the case how many people would lose or be stripped of their certification
I am amused how many put so much emphases on the color of the belt they are wearing rather then the knowledge they have to provide.

There are far to many self proclaimed experts, gurus or text book heroes and power point commandos out there, etc…..

Legal beagles use words like…showing due care…..continuous education…. vicarious liability just having a black belt certification on the wall as you say does not embrace all of what a law suit encompasses or criminal charges that be filed…


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

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