August, 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
Anyone looking for a project?
Dear George Sensei, thank you for the message. I do think that the very best thing to be done is to stop by one day and ask for a short distance class. Florida...where Orlando and Disney World is. Once day I will take the kids there and stop by your dojo.
Speaking about other thing, as I probaly told you I do write for the leading martial art in Italy (I can send you by fax some new articles if needed). I would like to write something about how you could "modify" something Chinese. Basically it is something related to the very roots of Okinawan karate. I might need to start by mentioning the DVD dated 1964, actually there is another stuff done in the '60s...can you put all in one DVD and send it to me? I will assure that we can make an article on yourself and your life-time work on this pretty decent mag. Presently Uechi Ryu hasn't been ever considered in the first 50 issues.
What do you think,
I am in the process of starting a Karate program here in WPB and I definitely want to make sure that we are members of the IUKF. If you could please send me the necessary information in order to get things moving I would appreciate it.
My E-mail: Manny Ayala (email@example.com])
I also wanted to invite you and any one that would be interested to our tournament on July 23rd in West Palm Beach. The information can be located at www.palmbeachsports.com you can click on Tropical games and it will provide all the information. As I mentioned to George, the rules will be WKF rules which may be beneficial to get introduced to it if you are interested.
Thanks and I will look forward to receiving the information from you as well as possibly seeing you in WPB.
I had studies Goju Ryu for about a year when i was a child and studied some Uechi Ryu about 10 years ago (with Rich Potrekus) before a bad case of excema sidelined me. I'd like to start back with Uechi Ruy again, even if it was just someone who could make sure my sanchin is good. Is there anyone in Palm Beach county yoiu know that is teaching Uechi Ryu?
You might check the dojo/instructor listing Chris. See the above email as well. GEM
I studied Uechi-Ryu under Bill Glasheen at UVa in the mid to late 80's. I now live in the Eastern part of the state (near Virginia Beach) and haven't been able to find a dojo. Do you know if anyone is teaching in this area?
Thanks for writing. Bill Glasheen is still very active teaching in VA and may be able to give you the name of a teacher in your area. (I've cc'd him)
Don't forget to attend SummerFest this August.
If you get the chance, could you point me to any materials describing what's been going on with Uechi the last few years? I have studied on my own on and off since I left school, largely using your book (I have a 25th Anniversary edition, in case you're curious), but it seems much has happened in the last 15 years or so. I understand, for example, that there may have been some internal fracturing of practitioners after Kanei Uechi died, leading to the formation of Shohei-ryu, but for the most part all I can find on the web is that Uechi is the same thing as Shohei, perhaps with different organizational bodies.
I am also curious as to whether the schools follow different styles for their kicks. Bill and the instructors at UVa taught me fairly low snap kicks (around knee to thigh level), but I have seen videos of practitioners kicking much higher than that, and I briefly attended a school in New Jersey where the snap kicks had become thrust kicks about head high (probably not a surprise that the sensei also taught tae kwon do).
Anyhow, the information on Uechi on the web it pretty bewildering right now, and if you have any links to authoritative information I'd appreciate it greatly.
Lots of information on the Uechi split throughout the Uechi-ryu.com site. You might check the "article" section. I believe there is a couple of articles dealing with the subject. GEM
Do you know of any good Uechi-Ryu schools in the Boston area. My son is there and would like to keep up with his training.
Yours in Uechi-Ryu Karate,
Homer Ordaz, DGA
Depends on what part of Boston you are interested in. Ed Huff has a dojo in the North Station at a health club. He is listed in the dojo listing, as is other teachers.
Good luck. Is your son coming to Summer Camp at the Mass Maritime Academy Aug 12-14th?
I was checking your Dojo info page and wanted to update you on my latest information.
I have moved to Wyalusing, Pennsylvania, about an hour west of Scranton. I'm not currently teaching as I am recovering from a serious accident which has left me with limited use of my left leg. I'm trying to recover, but my kata's are not very good due to limited mobility. If anyone is interested in contacting me, I can be reached at (570) 746-0212.
George Miller 3rd Dan
Dojo information updated George. GEM
Just a note to thank you for taking the time to attend the Dan test at Khoury's. What an honor for myself and for the other candidates to have you sit on our test board. Your presence made a special day that much more so.
Sincerely, William Schneider
Thanks for the pictures Bill. What a great test and what a great experience for all the candidates.
PS. Hope to see you and a big gang from Khoury’s at camp this year!
Dear Sensei Mattson,
I am just dropping a line because you will be real busy person soon! I would wish more than anything to succeed up coming Summerfest again! One of these days, I will participate your summer camp as soon as our family is ready to return to U.S.
Well, in this case, I will meet you in Florida. My second home is Tampa, FL. anyway. I am really looking forward to seeing you next summer in FL.
I am under tutelage of Sensei Nakamatsu, and going back to basic training. Have a fantastic summer. Tsukasa (Scott) Higa PE
PS. If you need anything or any information form Okinawa, do not hesitate to
hi sensei, my name is Russ Chase, I'm a blind student at the buka school in Brockton mass, i wrote you last year when i started talking class's. i just wanted to tell you that i got my green belt promotion on 06/14. i was pretty nervous but had a lot of fun... thanks for you're support and have a great summer...
Congratulations Russell. Keep up the good work. GEM
George and Van- In whatever free time is available, I'd like to be exposed to as much Uechi as possible this weekend. I plan to make the Sanchin-by-the-sea sessions and try to rope someone into drilling me on Sanchin kata hard enough that I can work on it on my own. Kami actually has a much better memory for scripted movement than I do, so I'll rely heavily on her when we get home.
I also want to be exposed to the bunkai and the kumites, but mostly for my own education. From watching Mott and McDonald sensei's kata last year, I know the bridges and relevance are there, but I'd be blind and foolish trying to show the connections when I know so little of Uechi.
There are two things I'd really like to hammer this year. The first is "perception based training". The idea is that the student must accurately see and respond to what is happening, not their fears or hopes and not limited by training. You can usually get a leg lock on a judoka very easily because most haven't seen one before. You can't defend an attack you either don't see coming or don't recognize. The refinement is in seeing more and more efficient responses to the stimulus.
The second, which complements it, is "Initiative based training". This is all about doing what needs to be done. Decisive action is critical. The students need to know what decisive action looks and feels like.
It all fits with what I was doing last year, it's just a different way to look at skills and situations so that students can teach themselves.
Ideal schedule would be three building block classes- "Joint locks", "Takedowns" and "Entries". You guys already know how to hit. Entries I did last year. A long session, maybe two hours, for the Rhino lecture. I have some good videos for certain parts of it if we have AV capability. A final class, maybe a long one, on drills and concepts that I use- harmony sparring, continuous one-step, contact-response, infighting randori, JJ randori, Manson drill, Reception line drill and scenarios. I realize that that's a lot of time to ask for, maybe seven hours.
Of course I'm willing to help teach or teach anything you want, George if it's within my abilities. Jujutsu kata, anyone?
Thanks Rory. Looking forward to seeing you and Kami again. Looks like you have a busy schedule planned for the camp attendees! GEM
New Uechi Products:
-New Poster size learning aid-
Dear Sensei Mattson
It is important that you take a close look at them, your feed back would be greatly appreciated. I am trying to do the best I can to help Uechi students have a good learning experience without going broke. I have a few other ideas, but I am having resistance getting off the ground floor with what I have. So, any good words of encouragement from you to the Uechi community may melt some of the freeze for which I would be grateful.
Did the posters get to you in good shape?
Best Regards, Ihor
The best group of students to test out these posters are new students. I've allowed members of my new class to take your posters home for practice purposes and they really like them. Looks like you have a winner here Ihor. GEM
P.S. Contact Ihor directly for more information about his posters. Ihor
New SummerFest Feature:
For decades, and now three attempts, I have had a vision of a photographic service I wish to provide. That is one of almost instant portraits of people, places and events.
Through kind graces from above, this dream had dropped into my lap, allowing it to become reality.
At Uechi Fest, I will be able to provide almost instant portraits, of various sizes, snap shots, 5 X 7, 8 X 10, 11 X 14, 13 X 19, and even larger. Cool huh?
I am putting together the equipment this week to make that capability possible.
I would like to use Uechi Fest, as a test bed for the whole mess, to see how I can best apply the technology and serve a customer base, and what the cost/profit base is.
I would like you permission to set up my “mobile office/print shop (the attached picture) and see what kind of response I get.
I would be working the sales aspect at a cost basis, because, one, it’s Uechi Fest, and two, this is a trial run.
Things I would like your input on are, if this was strictly a business function, and I was working at standard rates (yet to be determined), would this be something that you think would work in the Uechi Fest environment? And two, what kind of fee structure (again, strictly business) would you like to see that would work for you or other event organizers.
There are many possibilities as to what services can be offered, rent a photographer, commissioned portraits, candid portraits, group portraits and more.
My focus is still the Black Belt test, and a free CD to all candidates of their pictures, and is this regard, can you tell me how many candidates will be testing and if before the test I can get a list of the candidates so I can have a separate file on each one?
Thank you for your time, and training. I am looking forward to seeing on Saturday at The Hut.
Go for it Mike! GEM
Forum Activities. . .
Good idea about trying a new kids forum. . . . I saw the new forum and read the new posts and have to agree that many parents have either blocked or just dont allow the karate kids to read the forums. I have been told that some parents find some of the posts offensive and not suitable for kids to see. I took a poll at the dojo this week in the kids class and only a few knew about the forum, Everyone knows about the site because it has a link from my dojo website. I was told by a few kids that they are not allowed to visit the site. I suggested that the parents go with them.
One other thing, I notice on Bills dojo round table and in other areas of the forums that there is often talk regarding politics. I skip these debates because they are not karate/dojo related. How difficult would it be to add another forum for politics only, keeping political discussions out of the dojo. I know Panther does a great job with these topics.
Anyways, I have not received the URL that can link directly to the kids forum, If you let me know how this is done I will send it out to all my kids in my next email and newsletter.
. . .
Tell Susan hello, I hope you are finally drying out after all the rain and not baking too bad in the hot sun. Did you buy your generator yet?
. . .
quote, Because of the adult nature of the forums, I've been told parents don't allow their kids to read them. This is probably why none have visited or posted yet.
I'm sending out the URL for your forum to everyone I know, requesting they publicize and encourage their junior students to visit and participate in the discussions. (It is possible to create a link directly to your forum, bypassing the general forum table of contents.)
Every new forum begins slowly and only the dedicated and patient moderator survives. You must continue to post new and interesting new topics, so when a visitor drops in, he/she will find your site full of great information and exciting discussions
I asked Scott to send me some of his work so we could add to the 'video'
section of our 'learn+explore' of our front page.
Scott has been a steady contributor to our site, creating lots of traffic.
Hope all is well.
New Dojo Activity in Las Vegas!
I recently took a job in Las Vegas managing a golf course/country club community of 1254 homes with three golf courses. No more of those yachts in Coronado.
I commute to work here in Vegas. I'm here Monday through Friday and home in San Diego on the weekends. Although I workout with Paul Haydu and the rest of the San Diego group, I'm available for workouts here in Vegas during the week.
Could you please add me to your dojo listing for Las Vegas, NV using the same telephone number and email address as my San Diego listing.
Listing updated Jerry. And I'll be visiting soon to check out those golf courses! GEM
Dear George I am traveling to Tokyo Japan on the 14 of July and will be staying
in Shinjuku. Do you know of any Uechi-Ryu dojos in the Shinjuku area that I
might be able to visit? Sincerely Roger Sultzman Shaolinji Karate Kung fu Chicago.
Hi Roger: Hiroaki Uechi is a fine Uechi black belt who belongs to a club outside of Tokyo. He should be able to assist you.
Dear Sensei Mattson, Thank you for sending me the name of Hiroaki Uechi. As
you know I will be leaving Chicago for Tokyo on July 14, 2005. I have not been
able to find a way to contact Hiroaki Uechi, can you help me with a location
or possible phone # or E-mail? I would appreciate it very much.
Roger Sultzman Sensei/Sifu Golden Eagle
Dear George Thanks for listing my Dojo. How do I become a member of IUKF?
Please let me know. Thanks! uuuuuussssssss1111111111
Just click on the IUKF website and contact the Board of Directors. GEM
I hope you are well. I just went to say hello to a chap called Simon Lailey who has followed a similar path to me over the last 12 years. I think he took a thing a Summer Camp one year with you. Anyway - he has your big yellow book on the shelf as well in his study - so I thought of you.
I continue to re-work my basics ( hand positions are my new thing! ) and cross hands with anyone who will have me as I am away from my students back in Bournemouth to have baby, and when I get time, swing my stick around.
Hope you and your family are well.
Martin WattsWe get a couple of inquiries every month relating to the whereabouts of Simon. Next time you see him, say hello for me and ask him to contact me. GEM
Warriors on the mend!
Thank you for the call the other day. It meant a lot to me. My surgery has been pushed back to the 12th. I developed a cold and they won't take me until I'm over it. The best to you and Susan and now it will be only 4 weeks after my operation when you have your camp. I'll be there ( can't remamber when I missed one ) but I'm sure I can't teach. I'll be honered to sit on the promotional board and to mix and mingle with all my old friends.
Note: Bruce had his surgery and is doing very well. He WILL be at camp! GEM
Dear Sensei - please find attached an extended press release which details
the above event (10th anniversary) scheduled for November 2006. Possibly some
of your contributors might be interested in it?
e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE UK MARTIAL ARTS FESTIVAL FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES (NOW UNDER THE NEW NAME OF 'BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS')
The above Festival Programme has now got even bigger! Previously we were a regional event for The South of England. However we continue to receive enquiries from all over the UK. The time is therefore now right for this Programme - ten years old next year! - to expand to a national programme thus reflecting both the considerable interest and wide areas of participation that it has increasingly attracted and no doubt will continue to do so.
For some history of the Programme please have a look at the website indicated below.
The next dates for your calendar are:
Thursday 16th November 2006: Festival and Competition Day. This has always proved to be a truly enjoyable day for all concerned. If you have never tried out martial arts before but are interested in doing so please get in touch via the website for an Application Form. The Competition (based on kata/forms/patterns) is open to all practising martial artists with disabilities;
Saturday 18th November 2006: Conference Day. It is intended from this that we will grow a formal Development Plan so that, as instructors from all martial arts styles, you will be able to take back valuable experience to your clubs right across the UK and actively recruit people with disabilities. Delegates and instructors will be able to gain quality experience from the sessions that have already been planned as well as learn from others who are already involved with such work. We have a number of guest speakers already booked from both overseas as well as here in the UK who will be making undoubtedly valuable (or is it invaluable?) contributions from their own experiences in disability martial arts.
Both days will be held at White Oak Leisure Centre, Swanley, Kent. The Festival Programme is kindly supported by Sencio Community Leisure, Kent Sports Development Unit, London Sports Forum for People with Disabilities and Shikon (amongst others).
I am pleased to report we already have a number of people informally 'booked' for Festival Day. Whilst we have more spaces as yet to fill, past experience has shown that demand to attend the Festival has always been extremely high (300+ came in 1998). Early booking is therefore very strongly advised (including informally).
Balazs Tips. . .
Boxing Drill #20: The Perfect Left Hook
Heavy Bag Drills: Perfecting the Left Hook
This month we show you how to develop a left hook. To review the basics of this punch, please see the Left Hook section on our website.
The left hook can be an awesome weapon if it's executed properly. Just ask Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya or Joe Frazier. One of the most important aspects of throwing the left hook is the set up. It is best executed at close range, outside your opponent's vision. The element of surprise makes this punch effective as it is often not blocked or countered successfully. The punch can be effective following a straight right thrown at your opponent, or used as a deadly counter punch after slipping your opponents straight right. Since you are at close range already, executing the punch can be devastating.
The Left Hook: To throw a hook, transfer your weight to the ball of your front foot as you begin to pivot and throw the punch. Rotate your hips and shoulders from square to sideways toward the bag. The pivot and rotation generates significant power. Once extended, the arm should be parallel to the ground, with the elbow bent at ninety-degrees. Hit the bag with your palm turned down; thumb in towards your core. Once the punch is completed, quickly return to the classic boxing stance. Your hips, torso and arm should move as a single unit. Remember not to wind up for a left hook.
Moving into proper range to launch the left hook is crucial. Use the heavy
bag to get used to the feeling of staying close to your opponent and keeping
your arm at a 90 degree angle. The Hook can be directed to the head or body.
To change the desired landing location, bend your knees. Practice setting up
your hooks. Move into a close range position by throwing a quick one-two combination
(left jab and a straight right). You should now be in position to launch a short
left hook. Move around the bag and repeat.
Andy and Jamie's Health and Fitness Tip: Rest During the Workout
The rest you take between sets is a very important part of your strength training workout; both the quality and the quantity of the seconds or minutes that elapse during this period of inactivity can vastly affect the results you achieve. Although many people use this as "social time," there are certainly more productive ways to spend the moments between sets.
Take the time between sets and reflect on your fitness goals, the body you want to acquire, the work that has to be done, and the intensity you will be investing into the next set.
Another great way to spend these precious moments is to stretch the working muscles. In addition to improving flexibility, this is a great way to accelerate the blood flow and trigger an increase in muscle strength.
Also, be sure and drink water between sets as well. Maintaining fluids during
your workout is great for keeping your system replenished and your strength
intact. If the exercise session is less than 90 minutes, then water is the best
choice for fluid replacement.
Ask the Trainer:
"I'm 18 years old, and have a lot of excess fat on my legs and hips. I have a hard time getting rid of this extra fat. How many calories should take in? I walk and sometimes jog, and I do leg exercises and sometimes aerobic classes. I'm about 5'9 and weigh about 160 pounds. I want to weigh 140-145."
It sounds like you don't have a regular exercise regimen. Regular exercise is an important component of any weight loss program. The more often you exercise, the quicker you will see results. If you want to lose 15 pounds, we suggest you establish a workout pattern of four to five times a week with a minimum of 40- 50 minutes of aerobic activity. Although strength training is important for weight loss, aerobics is the way to go. Boxing workouts (see past newsletters) are heavy calorie burners as are jogging, power walking, and cycling.
A proper diet is also crucial for healthy weight loss. We cannot tell you how many calories you should take in on a daily basis, as we do not know your body type or activity pattern. However, if you reduce fatty foods (fried and processed foods) and increase fruit, vegetables, grain and protein, this will help cut down on "empty" calories, provide a nutritional balance. A healthy diet and exercise are not the quick fix for weight loss but they are the components to a healthy lifestyle and effective long-term weight loss.
(These comments should not be construed as a specific treatment plan for weight loss. See your doctor or specialist for a diagnosis and treatment if required.)
- Andy Dumas
Send your questions for Andy to info@BalazsBoxing.com
New Product Alert: i-Box Speed Bag Platform
Balazs Inc. announces the release of its latest product, the i-Box Speed Bag Platform for home gyms.
Read all about the exciting new product on-line.
Humorous Endings. . . By Sue