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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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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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

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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…


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Jan 03 2007

Traditional Martial Arts

Traditional Martial Arts

Hummm, definitions mean so many things to so many different people. So I can only tell you how it means to me and what we are doing…you will have to ask Van and George about theirs…
The term TMA is not used in a bad or unprofessional way….When we say traditional martial arts I guess we are talking about the business…..the commercialization of how people are teaching and what they teach. To say that one TMA style is better than another would be based only on a personal opinion and if two people fought in a ring the best style would not win but the best warrior….
At this time there isn’t a committee that authorizes what people teach (except from that style) in the martial arts world, not a nation wide committee to be the voice or reason, or justification for anything they teach….
Each empty hand style or system has been born from others…we see everyone trying to get the credit for how someone else took the time, energy and puts forth the effort to make what they were doing better…this is how I viewed what Bruce Lee tried to do and say within the Marital Arts Community..hey do not get pissed off at them…praise them and take it as a compliment…if you are in this for a ego stroke then stand in front a mirror..but when you stand in front a group of people who are giving you their personal time, their hard earn money and placing their life in your hands, you need to …hell you owe it to them to be the best professional you can be and that is where the additional training for the professional is obligation to his students.
People who are just taking martial arts as a sport, or for recreation purposes, or just because they do not want to workout in the gym then it doesn’t really matter where they go and whom provides that instruction…so this means nothing to them…
However for the person who is being trained for the purpose of saving their life, or the life of others, that is who we are talking to, and I hope they hear us. The survival is 3 fold, in the street, in the courtroom and in the home of your mind when everything is done….as I mentioned before in my other posts..a complete package, not just the a cool bag…
Now in every category there are and will always be the exception to the rule…
…how one interprets this fighting style is often how one teaches it, and the teaching ability of one instructor in most cases are greatly different then others…which in turns affect the fighting style itself!
A true master of ANY style has a lot to offer…culture, religious beliefs, family traditions passed down through the generations all play a vital role of any art…even the art of survival which has taken on many different faces within all of our circles.
With each style offering their own important contributions throughout the years. I think the bast way to define the term TMA would be the way we are doing business. We have more data on how physical encounter happen, each state, nationally has groups on various committees on acts of violence. 50 years ago when martial arts first started to become popular it was taught from a self defense stand point, learning the ways of skills passed down from generations. Then as time pasted techniques became more watered down, taught differently, and in time some lost their original meaning and in some cases their effect.
To say that a punch is a punch, is a punch would be a lie. Physical encounters in today’s society have no rules in which to prepare a person for survival, 50 years ago you could do a ‘Whatever technique,’ in today’s society the types of students we get are vastly different from 50, 30 even 10 years ago.
After reading what I wrote, I am not sure if it answered your question, but it did say what I was thinking and how I felt on the subject. It is hard to write on a forum where their are so many people with their own opinion, thoughts and views.

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Jan 03 2007

March, 2007 “Realist” Program Costs

Expenses will vary depending on the location the person is traveling from.

Hotels range from $40-80 dollars per day, always helps if you have memberships to clubs like AAA, government etc…

Cost of each phase is $395.00 For the first program we said we would give a two for one to help with personal expenses…

This will include your manual, handouts, and the disc of what we did in the class. In addition you will be able to purchase the e-book on the program and the RedMan Training gear….YOU will not be able to purchase this manual, handouts, disc, or e-book without attending the class.

This is a re-post from what I wrote in the letter on the program;

It is 5 complete phases of 3 10 hour days. We can do it all in 2 complete weeks, but I have listened to others about how hard it is to get off from work in a week, and it does come down to what you truly want to achieve.

2. Purpose: To explain how the integration of reality based training will enhance the traditional programs found in martial art schools and will increase the retention of students within these schools. Once the student has completed this first phase of training in the “Reality Training Series,” (RTS-1) they will be certified to and train their own students in the school they operate in these techniques and tactics.

3. Training Options;

    a. The student has the option to either participate exclusively with the traditional training and certifications without the reality stripes for performance;


    b. The student has the option to either participate exclusively with the Reality Stripes training and certifications without the traditional training;


    c. The student has the option to either to sign up for both the traditional training and”reality” training at the beginning of his/her training.


4. Reality Ranks: Preparing them for the real world. Instructor has the option to sign student up for the entire “reality” program, as an added incentive and “real world” benefit that included an ongoing advanced degree certificate diploma.


5. Reality Stripe: – This is a stripe worn after the student has successfully completed each traditional task, preparing them for the real word. And now has a choice to either sign a contract for traditional Uechi-Ryu or Reality Training for their Reality Stripe.


Continuous Education and Certifications; Before the “Reality Training”, begins each student will be signed up for an official college course by the DOJO Owner from Northcentral Technical College, and once completing each training phase will receive a certification of completion from NTC-RedMan Training moving them closer to the Advanced Degree Certificate Diploma for “Personal Self Defense.” Issued by Northcentral Technical College.


The student must satisfactorily complete all tasks in accordance with the training and standards division of NTC-RedMan Training.


This is the only college accredited personal defense course of it’s kind offered in the United States today!

Belt Task Break Down:


(RTS-1) /White Belt or Equivalent Real World Stripe; – Once the traditional training has been completed the student will be trained in;


1. Stance/Balance/Movement (Standing)

2. Falling by self

3. Positioning (Defense Positions)

4. Blocking & Striking (Standing)

5. Tactical Combinations

6. Ground Stabilization

7. Importance of verbalization

8. Environmental Training


This initial portion will focus on the preparation for a physical encounter to preare the sudent as well as the liability issues to the trainer and dojo itself, enhanced indivudal instructor development, and the proper use of the RedMan Training Gear and equipment, and continue to build on each phase in level of intensity and dynamics…..

(RTS-2) /Green Belt or Equivalent Real World Stripe: – Once the traditional training has been completed the student will be trained in;


9. Stance/Balance/Movement (Ground)

10. Falling with Subject

11. Power Development for Striking (Standing – Ground)

12. Relative Levels of Positioning of a Subject

13. Blocking & Striking (Ground)

14. Ground Escapes and Rest Positions

15. Throws and Flips

16. Importance of Testifying in Court


(RTS-3) /Brown Belt or Equivalent Real World Stripe: – Once the traditional training has been completed the student will be trained in;


17. Conducting Low Level Simulations with RedMan bags

18. Conducting High Level Simulations with RedMan Gear

19. Importance of Safety Coaches in Training

20. Falling with Weapons (Sticks, Knives , Guns)

21. Positioning with Weapons (Defense Positions)

22. Blocking & Striking with Weapons (Standing- Ground)

23. Tactical Combinations with Weapons

24. Knife Fighting and Defending

25. Preparing written statements for Police


(RTS-4) /Black Belt or Equivalent Real World Stripe;-Once the traditional training has been completed the student will be trained in;


26. Supervising Low Level Simulations with bags

27. Supervising High Level Simulations with RedMan Gear

28. Training Safety Coaches for liability Training

29. Using Functional Training Weapons and other props

30. Use of Protective Gear in Training

31. Establishing goals and objectives for conducting simulations

32. 8-levels of Simulations Training

33. Role Playing and Safety Supervision

34. Writing lesson plans and directives


(RTS-5) /2nd Degree Black Belt or Equivalent Real World Stripe;- Once the traditional training has been completed the student will be trained in;


35. Certifying your instructors in Low Level Simulations with bags

36. Certifying your instructors High Level Simulations with RedMan Gear

37. Certifying your instructors as Safety Coaches for liability Training

38. Certifying your instructors your instructors to use Functional Training Weapons and other props

39. Certifying your instructors in the use of RedMan Protective Gear in Training

40. Completing the Real World Instructor Certification


Above is just an example of how to bring in and introduce this new training which I feel will help motivate new students, retain currents students, and continue to refresh instructors in help maintain a successfully business. After each phase of training the student may purchase the e-books and other training material for their own training.


E-Books will be available ONLY for certified RTS Instructor. Each training series will have e-books and videos to help each instructor present the most accurate and up to date training available.


After all 5 phases of training have been complete the certified Instructor will have the opportunity to present and certify other instructors in this system and will have the opportunity to teach other NTC-RedMan Training Programs;


1. Woman Awareness Survival Program (WASP™)

2. Self Defense Weapon Systems

3. Personal Self Defense (PSD™)

4. Young Warriors Program (13-17 ages)

5. SABRE Civilian Instructor Certification


Above is just a basic outline of how this “Reality Training Series), will be integrated into existing styles and systems.


This is just the beginning of courses they will be able to teach because we also have a civilian firearms program, and edged weapons programs but again if you do not go through this training in the order we have out line then the person will not be able to particpate, or have access to hte material and liability protection we are offering.


I hope this helped some.


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Jan 02 2007

Martial Arts “Redman” Training

What to Expect in March 2007 for the New RedMan Program!

Even though we will be inside the dojo training we will be taking the training to various locations to enhance the environments we are being placed in….and show you how you can safely simulate these in your training areas!1. Stance/Balance/Movement (Standing) – Without these 3 factors defending oneself is nearly impossible. We will address foot work needed, various types of footwear and drills you can easily practice at home. Patterns of movement help is many ways –
• Helps build power
• Opens targets
• Helps with blocking and striking
• Assist in counters
• Enhances your tactical combinations
• Drills to build confidence for your students

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