April, 2005 Mailbag
Note: In the course of a month I get literally thousands of e-mail. I don't normally place correspondence in the "Mailbag" that are either labeled "personal" or contain information of a personal nature. As I read and answer mail, if I find a letter that I find interesting, amusing, topical or educational, it gets filed in my "mailbag" for future use in this feature. I try to edit out any personal information like addresses or telephone numbers, unless the writer specifically requests that I publish it.
I welcome all e-mail and will answer everyone in as timely a manner as possible. Don't be surprised if you find (or don't find) your message in this section. However, if you are concerned about your letter finding its way into the "Mailbag", simply include in the header or at the beginning of message "personal" and I will honor your request. GEM
A Little Help from Our Friends!
I'll mention to the children students as well as nestor folta to see what the responce is on compitition ill be glad to bring as many as i can with me but i personally like the idea i only have about 15 children students but will try to bring out thier competetive spirits and let you know the outcome
Thanks shelly. I hope many more dojo will help out by encouraging their students and seniors to compete and help officiate at the Uechi-ryu New England Junior Championships on April 30th. (Yes, I know... Shampless Plug) :) GEM
Dear mr. Mattson,
We are a small uechi ryu karate club from Zagreb, Croatia (about 15 members). Recently we started to develop our own internet site about uechi ryu. So we searched the internet for pictures to incorporate on our web site. We came across your internet site (www.uechi-ryu.com) and in your picture gallery we found maybe the most beautiful representation of the uechi martial art. I';m talking about the picture with the tiger, dragon and crane that are pictured around a uechi ryu symbol on a black background. I';m aware that the picture is copyrighted so I was wondering if there is a possibility that we could use this picture on our web pages (on a smaller scale), with your permission of course.
I have to say that we don';t intend to use our site to gain any kind of profit as our club is a completely non profit organization. Our only purpose is to promote uechi ryu as a martialart in Croatia as this art is not well known here as other sorts of karate. I';m certain that your picture will add to the page visual appeal. Of course we intend to incorporate a link to your web pages which are full of interesting material about uechi ryu.
I am very pleased to hear from you. Certainly you may use anything on my site to help build your site. In order to maintain my copyrights, please put on the page "picture used with permission of George E. Mattson".
If you send me more information on your dojo, I'll have it posted on our Dojo/instructor listing site.
Good luck and stay in touch.
Dear mr. Mattson
We are very happy that you let us use your material. Soon we will send you more information on our dojo with the web link to our new web pages so you can see the final result. Unfortunately the page is in Croatian but I think that this won';t make a problem for a quick look to see the visual aspects of the page.
Thank you very much again mr. Mattson
April Instructors' Workout
This is to let everyone know that the next New England Instructor’s workout class is schedule for Sunday April 10th at 10 am.
The workout will be held at Sensei Darin Yee’s dojo, located in Quincy Ma.
Sensei Darin Yee (6th dan), will be the scheduled instructor for the April workout.
Hope to see you at the workout.
Note EVERY ONE IS WELCOME (Uechi / Shohei Ryu Black belts).
You DO NOT need to be a member of the IUKF to attend, and there is no fee for the class.
Take care – Jay Sal.
Directions to Darin Yee's Dojo – Quincy.
Directions supplied by Darin Yee.
The directions are as follows.
Address - 30-33 Newport Avenue, Quincy, MA – Phone 617.773.8699
From all points: Get on the south/east expressway heading either to Boston or out of Boston. Drive to the Neponset Circle and Wallaston Beach exit. Get off at this exit and get onto the Neponset Street Bridge, over the water heading to Quincy. Once you are on the bridge, stay to the right side of the road. Take your first right you come to. This exit on the Bridge heads towards Hancock Street Quincy. When you drive off ramp, drive straight and you will see a Chinese restaurant on your right side. Take the first right just before the Chinese restaurant. This is Neponset Avenue. Follow Neponset Ave for about 1 mile. Look at the right side of the road for a bright blue building. The dojo is located on the second floor of this bright blue building. It’s the only blue building you will see. (Only blue building).
Note - Park in the parking lot of the 99 restaurant if need be. It should be okay.
Dear Mr. Mattson,
Thanks for the newsletter. Can you tell me how I sign up my son and myself for SummerFest?
I just uploaded this year's application. Please click on
and then the "application link" on the left/top frame. Although much of the other information is from last year's camp, most of the schedules and programs will be the same this year.
Looking forward to meeting you and your son in August.
Well......guess I won't be seeing you at the Hut. I'd love to come for a visit and work out in Eustis sometime if you don't mind. My son gets out of school in May. I think it would be a good experience before I take him to summerfest. Have fun at the Hut.
Nice Things Said by Nice People!
Just a quick update -
I received this on Monday, March 7, 2005.
I started watching the DVD and it is FANTASTIC. I really enjoyed and appreciated your analysis and explanation of breathing in San Chin. Also the Chinese weapons demonstration that Darren Yee and Sifu Wong presented was a very good class that contained alot of good information.
Thank you very much.
Thanks Jeffrey. Lots of controversy over breathing methods. I prefer the old way and so do most of my students. GEM
Is it true that you no longer teach at the hut on Saturdays? If so, I regret my missed opportunities. As always, I wish you well and thank you for the role you have, thus far, played in my life and training.
Well Frank. . . You can always visit my Florida dojo! :) GEM
Hope you and Susan are well. I was saddened to hear about Al Moulton's passing. His presence at the Hut dojo was inspiring and his scholarly books on Uechi were as well. I also remember seeing his son progress at the hut.
My thoughts go out to his family...
I wanted to post a note about the recent achievements of a young man
who got his introduction in the martial arts through me at Newton's Space
Summer program. He then went on to train martial arts with others and
eventually got his Uechi-Ryu black belt from Mike Aceto. Harry Kaspar
is a Senior at Newton South High School now and has been involved in many
sports but focused on wrestling in high school. This year he became Dual
County League Champion at his weight class and Outstanding Wrestler of
Best of luck, Harry Kaspar.
Thanks for the update Ethan. Harry is an exceptional student and hopefully will make us all proud of him as he evolves as a teacher.
Hope to see you at the April tournament.
Looking for a Dojo!
Hello Mr. Mattson,
Acceptance by a Master!
I just wanted to let everyone know that I’m back at the office; the flight from Munich was long, but without incident. Now I have to look through 137 emails! Not so bad for two days out of office.
Thanks again for the hospitality! I would like to thank Andreas, Paul and Helmut and for the work you (and your students) put in to make this historic combined Kenyukai-IUKF Dan-test the success it turned out to be. The after test party was also a lot of fun; I enjoyed getting to know the students on a more informal basis.
I look forward to doing this again in autumn in Regensburg (if there are sufficient candidates)!
Pleased to see everything is working out so well in Germany. GEM
Subject: Toyama Sensei in Paris
Hello from Nagahama, Okinawa. We hope you are all well.
Toyama Sensei was chosen by joint decision of the governments of Japan, England, and France to lead the Okinawan KarateDo Delegation at the Martial Arts Festival in Bercy, Paris France once again. He will choreograph and direct the Okinawan KarateDo demonstration as he did in 1997. Once again, Toyama Sensei and Shinjo Kiyohide Sensei will represent UechiRyu KarateDo.
The performance will be on Saturday 19 March, 1400 (2PM). The entire demonstration (all members of the Okinawan KarateDo Delegation) will last about 28 minutes (there will be several other demonstrations of various systems and styles from around the world). As the seniormost Okinawan Karate Master, Toyama Sensei will perform last.
He and the Okinawan delegation will depart Paris the next day for 2 days of touring and sightseeing in London, then back to Okinawa on 22 or 23 March.
There will be only one performance in Paris.
Sorry for the late news. We just received the itinerary this evening.
Hope you can make it!
Regards and good health to all.
Seizan and Sumako
We had the pleasure of working out with Dana Sheets last night. She was in San Diego on business and brought her gi. Paul Haydu called for a special work-out, as we usually do when there's a guest in town, and we enjoyed a nice work-out outside on the upper terrace of Paul's backyard. Yes, we were even thinking of our Uechi brothers and sisters in those cold places back east and up north.
Some of us Uechi seniors wonder about the future of Uechi in the next 10 - 20 years. Well not to worry. I think Dana, and others like her, are the future leaders of Uechi.
Dear Sensei Mattson,
New Uechi-ka, class of 2010!
Letters From Old Friends
Dear George and Susan:
Just back from two months in Mexico, living with Mexican friends and breaking up the grim NY winter. Evelyn has been studying Spanish, and wanted to apply what she's learned, and I wrote a magazine article while down there, and played guitar to my heart's content.
My book on Australia, "Greater Nowheres--Wanderings Across the Outback," which has been out of print for about 15 years, has just been republished by Nick Lyons Press, as you knew it would be. I know you have the original edition but I thought I'd ask the publisher to send you a copy in the hopes that you might be able to publicize it in your online newsletter. But I don't want to trouble you or intrude on your precious time if you've got better things to do, which I imagine you have, so I'll await word from you before contacting the publisher.
I'll be sure to write a review this time. I really enjoyed your book as a hardcopy, first time around and very happy Lyons Press elected to republish it. GEM
Glad to hear you are enjoying the warmth of Florida. My parents are currently
in Miami, and they enjoy visiting the state every year, especially during
winter. I would like to thank you again for your support of my nomination
for Maloney Sensei to the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame.
All the best,
Dear Sensei Mattson,
I hope you and Susan are enjoying Florida. With the prospect of up to
Recently, I had a chance meeting with Manuel (Manny) Agrilla. We met by chance in a Starbucks nearby to me over nothing to do with martial arts. We got to talking about something else unrelated and eventually we got to that subject. Anyway he sends his regards to you.
Otherwise, things are going very well here in Maryland. Keep well and stay in touch.
Old Friends Gone, But Not Forgotten!
For those of us who had the privilege of knowing Rad Smith, his widow Reena send me attached invitation to see his poems being exhibited for the first time in Newton, on March 31st.
Very few people know that Rad was a poet in addition to an excellent Uechi practitioner.
Good Deeds by Uechi friends!
Subject: Chrsitopher's Haven May 8th
We are going full speed here at Christopher's Haven! On May 8th(evening of Mother's Day) we have a great fundraising treat.
Country Super Star Tracy Byrd and Zona Jones will be performing at Andover Country Club for Christopher's Haven
Kevin Millar,of the World Champion Boston Red Sox, will be signing autographs and doing picture ops. and a great dinner will be served.
The reason I'm writing to you is that we do have a few VIP spots. All tickets will be $200.00. Please let me know if you would like to attend! The press and radio ads for this start next Monday and I wanted you folks to have the first dibs. Also watch for me in the Up-coming "Fever PItch" wth Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore
4:00-5:30 cash bar/cocktails
7:00-8:00pm Live music with Tracy and Zona
8:00-9:00pm Meet and Greet with photo's and Autograph's with Kevin Millar, Tracy Byrd,Zona Jones
There will be a formal announcement next week however wanted you guys to have first option.
Any questions please don't hesitate to call or email. Dan.Olsen@gmail.com
or : (888)901-KIDS Christophershaven.org
How are things in Florida. I was just in Disney with my neice and father and the weather was very nice. we are still looking for appropriate housing for our 'Christopher's Haven families' and hope to be making a bid on some soon. Also planning on another trip to Hong Kong in the near future and I'll spend some time with Bob Campell too.
Hope you are well and greetings from Boston.
I just finshed reading the article "The Test!" in the Forum.
Take care of yourself.
Thanks Charles. The "Test" post turned out to be quite interesting. Actually, I wasn't planning of ruining 30 people's SummerFest, playing a game that would drive the participants crazy. I got my point across, which is all I had intended all along. GEM
Interesting discussion going on about rotation exercises. I sent the
link to my friend who is a uechi yondan and orthopedic surgeon in Florida,
(operated on my knees finding that I needed the replacements) asking his
take on the exercises. Without getting too technical he said 'they are
useful because they key in proprioreceptive responses before the start
of other types of exercise' . Everything should be done in moderation
and not take to extremes. Jeff asked how he can respond to the posts.
It would be nice to get his prospective as a ortho surgeon. As I read,
I experienced in Okinawa a much slower warming up session giving the body
adequate time to slowly stretch and react to the exercises being done.
What I see here in many dojo is a marathon warm up session with the class
leader hurrying through the exercises to get them done. I have taught
Sr. classes where I took the exercises to a snails pace and with great
Everyone at my dojo is getting itchy for spring and preparing for the tournament. I am being asked by parents when the applications will be sent out. I have posted the web info etc so everyone is informed about the new location.. . .
See you in April. Steve
Thanks for the information. Its nice to get “approval” for what we do once in awhile! J
I’ve been doing these exercises forever and feel they have helped me remain in good shape. However, many of my students have had knee/hip/ankle problems and I now am not sure how much my training was responsible in some way for their condition.
Hope you don’t mind if I post this, giving you credit for sending it to me.
PS I’m making up dojo kits now for the tournament and will get one to you asap.
Subject: more on balance from Steve Banchick
Great exercises to improve balance for "the older crowd"
Sadly, we only refine our proprioceptive responses and balancing skills in the physiotherapy room following an injury. But, incorporating these exercises into your daily routine will prevent weaknesses and injury by teaching and enforcing correct body positioning and neuromuscular control.
It is not necessary to hop fast. Rather concentrate on hopping lightly while maintaining your balance and an upright posture. Look ahead and not down. As your ability improves, increase the distance between your landing points, really get those ankles and muscles working. To be done without shoes.
Balance is a much needed skill on foot - for when you're scrambling over tricky terrain - and on a mountainbike. Especially when you're jumping, you need to feel confident in your ability to leap from one point to the next, maintaining your balance as you land.
Please have your doctor friend read Bill Glasheen’s very quick response to his suggestions. Very interesting subject focusing on old ways vs what we know today. Should we hang on to the old ways, simply because they are part of an overall “art” or should we modify as we learn more about our bodies and health issues.
With Apologies to all Blondes
Tom, a handsome dude, walked into a sports bar around 9:58 PM. He sat down next to this blonde at the bar and stared up at the TV.
The 10:00 news was on. The news crew was covering a story of a man on a ledge of a large building preparing to jump. The blonde looked at Tom and said, "Do you think he'll jump?"
Tom says, "You know, I bet he'll jump."
The blond replied, "Well, I bet he won't."
Tom placed a $20 bill on the bar and said, "You're on!"
Just as the blonde placed her money on the bar, the guy on the ledge did a swan dive off the building, falling to his death. The blond was very upset and handed her $20 to Tom, saying, "Fair's fair. Here's your money."
Tom replied, "I can't take your money, I saw this earlier on the 5 o'clock news and so I knew he would jump."
The blond replies, "I did too; but I didn't think he'd do it again."
Tom took the money ...
Not Sure if this is funny!