March, 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
Letters from Old Friends!
Greetings from California. Just thought I’d drop a note to say hi.
I see that you have relocated to Florida. I must tell you that I’m deeply disappointed because I can no longer give you a hard time about uninhabitable New England weather!!
As you may be aware I occasionally enjoy glancing at the forums to see what kind of misbehavior is occurring. I looked in on the Verbal Self Defense forum (my first time there) and noticed a controversy regarding an individual’s (apparent) outspoken opinions regarding pre-arranged kumite. I do really enjoy these things because, as I read the posts and the responses, it occurred to me that if a particular individual doesn’t care for these drills he can do one of two things: evaluate how he can make the drill fit into his preconceived notions about his practice (make them work for him, which is something we should all do), or simply don’t do them! I tend to think that if said individual (or anyone, for that matter) doesn’t see the value of these drills he’s not really understanding them, but, this is my opinion.
I’ll tell you, the reason I only rarely make comments on the forums is that, in the end, my opinions are only valuable to me. There were times through the years that I questioned the validity of certain aspects of our system only to find out, as time went on (and hopefully, experience and understanding), I found that perhaps maybe I, amazingly, just didn’t understand the lessons lying within those aspects! Imagine that.....
Our Central Coast group is planning to compete in Fumio Demura’s Shito-ryu Invitational on Feb 27 so we’ve been busy practicing drills that conform to WKF expectations and rules. (How about that!) I’ve told my folks that, while winning is fun, our real goal is to let the other systems know we are effective, safe competitors. Should be fun.
Anyway, hope all is going well with you and Susan. Please give her my
I just spoke with Rose on the Phone today (3-4-05) and discovered that she is doing very well following her very difficult neck surgury. She will be with us at SummerFest, helping out with the kids. GEM
I was on your site today and read about how you were sitting in the
back yard enjoying the weather. I'm jealous. We have a foot of snow coming
in this week.
Another Warrior Gone!
"Old vs New" Exercises
Interesting discussion going on about rotation exercises. (On Bill
Glasheen's Forum) 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 results.
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.
Thanks for another interesting point of view, especially since Jeff offers a positive reason for continuing the Uechi warm-ups. Regarding the April 30th tournament: I'm working on dojo kits, which will be mailed to teachers later this month. GEM
A P.S. from Steve:
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.
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.
Thanks to Steve Banchick for sending me these
two exercise articles. Following is Steve's reply to my email to him:GEM
Don't blame yourself. We have been doing the same exercises and I am the only one in my dojo with knee problems. I feel it's the luck of the draw. I don't think these exercises have anything to do with the problems you mentioned. It has more to do with physical make up, life style, diet and genetics more than these movements we have been doing. Who do we blame for elbow and shoulder problems?
It is good however that you are thinking through all the discussion. As we get older we can't continue at a 20 year olds pace. Have to be kinder and gentler on the joints.
George Mattson's Monthly Newsletter Comments!
I have tried to subscribe to your newsletter but keep getting an error.
I will keep an eye on the site for more information.
Sorry for the problem. I'll look into it. If anyone else who reads this has NOT received the March Newsletter, please contact me and I'll manually subscribe you. GEM
If there is going to be a Friday night award ceremony. Would we be passing
out the IUKF Referee certificates and awards that same Friday night? In
place of doing it on Saturday night.
Yes Jay, that is a great idea and one we will run with. I'm working with our Board of Directors to select some real nice awards for our hard working officials. By keeping the application fees for the kids real low, this event is one that should be supported by all Uechi dojo. Having a wonderful group of officials, who are objective in their calls and attentive throughout the tournaments is also a big plus. IUKF will make sure they get the recognition, appreciation and thanks they deserve at this year's SummerFest. GEM
I'm having a bit of difficulty sorting out which information is for summerfest 2004 and which for 2005 including application and cost? I'm assuming it is dorm type housing for which we can pay and meals for those days? Perhaps I am just a bit early in wanting to sign up and get sorted out.
I am finding an interesting irony in that I was one of two white belts in 1990, and will be still a green belt (having only returned to this in the past several months after family illness and such) again this summer. I had a super time then and expect this will be just as great.
So, I just need to know what to pay and what to fill out............if I can email even better.
Where is your dojo in Florida? I get down to Palm Beach Gardens from time to time as my parents live there most of the year. Would *love* to be able to come and work out if I get back down this year (and happy to pay any fee for so doing!)
Hi Suze: I finally got the correct Acrobat summerfest application up on the web. You shouldn't have any problem now. Yes, you can sign up for the complete camp, including food, lodging and seminars (oh yes, the parties, domonstrations and lectures too) Please fill out and send in the application or you can bring it with you if you just want to send in payment through our secure store site, where you can pay by credit card. My new dojo is the Eustis Senior Center. I have just a couple of students at this time, so you are more than welcome to join us. I'm hoping to see a few New Englanders visit me soon. GEM
Your Summer Fest looks very interesting - do you have dates for the 2005 Summerfest?
Do many teens attend it? It looks like it might be mainly geared towards adults. My son is a 15 y-o orange belt (will definitely have advanced past that by summer). Will he find many other people his age and his level?
We do get quite a few teens Neil, many who are accompanied with their parents, who can either work out in our beginners programs (should they not be m.a. students) or they can go on many Cape Cod sight seeing opportunities that are available. gEM
(Note: Neil and his son both signed up for
We hope the move to Florida has been successful and that you and Susan
are enjoying retirement. [Hey, I didn't retire!:))Forrest
hopes to make it back to Junior SummerFest this year. I thought I would
update you on what Forrest is doing these days. Any day now, he will receive
the stripe on his green belt, and he is diligently studying for the written
test to earn his brown belt. Even though he is no longer in 4-H due to
his busy schedule with karate, junior high school, and nordic ski racing,
he decided to take on a community service project. His project is to raise
money to purchase a ballistic vest for our local sheriff's department
canine officer, Edge, a Laborador Retriever trained to search for narcotics.
With regard to the Junior SummerFest, would it be possible to have some workshops geared to more advanced junior karate students? After watching the program from the sidelines last summer, I noticed that many of the participants were not yet karate students but were testing the waters to see if they would like to study karate. I think if you offer some advanced junior workshops, you would more participants at the event.
Take care and be well,
Yes, Forrest is a great kid! He did a fantastic
job a camp last year and we are looking forward to his return this year.
I've been working with our JrFest committee and gave them your suggestion
about having the classes broken down by rank. Although most of the kids
in this program are not karate students and are attending to see if they
like it, this year we are anticipating quite a few kids who are studying.
We are encouraging the new kids to continue training with dojo in their
area after camp. Last year most of them continued their training at local
I am interested in attending and participating in the Summerfest. And I would like the opportunity to show, demo, and sell my Punch/Block Power Charger while I am there. Can we work out an arrangement for that?
We have a number of booth spaces available for the weekend, for which we charge $100. The program, (food and lodging) is additional.
I hope your company is doing well and I hope you will be able to join us this year.
PS. If any other company would like booth space, please contact me ASAP. GEM
Best place to buy them is at the "Store":
George E. Mattson
This year's 8th Dan Candidate
Hope all is going well with you and family.
Sue and I are finally settled in and pretty much got everything unpacked. I’m teaching at a local community center and keeping busy with other projects.
Now… to the reason for my writing:
I recommended you for this year’s 8th dan promotion celebration and all seniors I asked about this recommendation, completely agreed. So. . . If you can assure me that you can attend this year, I would like you to attend our Saturday masters’ event to receive you 8th dan certificate.
This is an important ceremony, since it is attended by your peers and approved by them as well as your instructor.
Please confirm that you have received this message as soon as possible so I might include this announcement with the SummerFest mailing and promotion.
Congratulations and best wishes,
Book Corrections and other things!
Hi Ovi: Thanks for pointing out this misake. I've received many similar letters from people with the mistake you mentioned a few others. I will correct them in my 50th anniversary publication. Sanseiryu will be in the new book as well, since it has been included in other publications after my book was released. That 30 minute video/dvd is in the store. Check out the 10, 11 and 12 Vidmag series. The "Search for Shushiwa is priceless. Tons of very interesting and historical information and lots of wonderful footage of a fast disappearing China. GEM
Looking for a Dojo!
How are you? I am very interested in learning uechi-ryu. I work in Boston, and would like to know where you would recommend. Do you still teach in Newton?
Although I am only a "visiting" instructor
now, the program in Newton is going full blast with our capable and highly
talented senior instructors. Drop in any Saturday for both the 9am and
10am class. GEM
New Uechi Dojo!
I spoke with you months ago I believe I purchased one of your videos and you were asking for some tips on selling on Ebay. Anyway it has been a while but we have finally opened up our own dojo. We are located in Brentwood, CA and our Sensei, Justin LaVasse is a 15 year student of Sensei Alan Dollar. He has been teaching for over 6 years and has finally fulfilled his dream of opening up his own dojo. It is very traditional, in looks and instruction.
Our Grand Opening is this Saturday, February 5th and we are all very
excited. I would like to find out how to be included in your dojo directory
and joining the IUKF. If you would like, I can send you pictures of our
Beautiful Dojo Bianca. I've updated our dojo listing to include your dojo. Good luck and stay in touch. GEM
I Can Appreciate John Graden's Feelings Regarding this Subject!
To which I replied:
In spite of what is said, the facts remain the same. You are “the man”!
Move on. . . don’t look back. . . Let others follow.
and I received this reply from John:
Thanks George. MATA just broke 700 members, so we’re off to good start.
Love to teach, but hate to market?
From: IUKF Discussion Groups
When: March 15, 2005, 8:00pm-9:00pm EST
Where: IUKF Learning Center
Audience: IUKF Members
So, you want to open a martial arts school… Come join the discussion on opening a martial arts school. We will discuss the ins and outs of starting a school. From picking the right location to scheduling classes will be just some of the topics covered. In this open forum members will share experiences as well as suggestions for getting started.
All are welcome. The session is free. Limited to first 25 people who contact Board Member, Harry Skeffington to receive their username/password needed to attend.
Thanks Harry. This sounds like a great idea. I'll be there and hoping to see many of our M.A. friends there as well. GEM
News From Okinawa
Guam is a US protectorate or territory (not sure).
This can be found on the Net at
Yes - this can happen in the USA, even in your state...
The Office of the Attorney General of Guam Guam Code Annotated
Previous: Title 9: Crimes and Corrections
Title 10: Health and Safety Division 3: Public Safety
10 GCA - HEALTH AND SAFETY Div. 3 - Public Safety Ch. 62 - Karate and Judo Experts - 2000 - p. _ PAGE _1_
Karate and Judo Experts
§62100. Registration Required. §62101. Applicability. §62102. Registration. §62103. Fees. §62104. Definition: Karate or Judo Expert. §62105. Penalty. §62106. Effect of Registration.
§62100. Registration Required. Any person who is an expert in the art of karate or judo, or any similar physical are in which the hands and feet are used as deadly weapons, is required to register with the Department of Revenue and Taxation. SOURCE: GC §8960, as renumbered by P.L. 10-101.
§62101. Applicability. This Chapter shall not apply to duly authorized and appointed peace and law enforcement officers, nor to members of the Armed Forces of the United States. SOURCE: GC §8961, as renumbered by P.L. 10-101.
§62102. Registration. The Department of Revenue and Taxation shall register each karate or judo expert who applies therefor and shall keep a roster of such experts. On issuance of the registration certificate by the Department of Revenue and Taxation, the applicant shall bring such certificate to the License Division of the Department of Revenue and Taxation, which shall bill the applicant for the required fee. On payment of the required fee to the Treasurer of Guam, the Treasurer shall receipt therefor on the face of the registration certificate and return such certificate to the applicant. The registration certificate with the receipt of the Treasurer marked on the face therefor shall constitute evidence of registration. SOURCE: GC §8962, as renumbered by P.L. 10-101.
§62103. Fees. The fee for the registration of a karate or judo expert shall be Five Dollars ($5.00). Such registration shall be perpetual and need not be renewed. SOURCE: GC §8963, as renumbered by P.L. 10-101.
10 GCA - HEALTH AND SAFETY Div. 3 - Public Safety Ch. 62 - Karate and Judo Experts - 2000 - p. _ PAGE _1_
§62104. Definition: Karate or Judo Expert. A karate or judo expert required to register by the provisions of this Chapter shall be a person trained in the arts of karate, judo or other hand-to-hand fighting technique, whereby the hands, feet or other parts of the body are used as weapons, who shall have completed at least one level of training therein and shall have been issued a belt or other symbol showing proficiency in such art. SOURCE: GC §8964, as renumbered by P.L. 10-101.
§62105. Penalty. Any person required by this Chapter to register who fails to do so, or who registers but fails to pay the fee, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. SOURCE: GC §8965, as renumbered by P.L. 10-101; amended by P.L. 13-187.
§62106. Effect of Registration. Any registered karate or judo expert who thereafter is charged with having used his art in a physical assault on some other person, shall upon conviction thereof, be deemed guilty of aggravated assault.
SOURCE: GC §8966, as renumbered by P.L. 10-101; amended by P.L. 13-187. __________
Trip to China!
We've Been Waiting For This!
Starting on March 19th, 2005. The New England branch of the IUKF will be hosting a monthly Black belt instructor’s workout. We are bringing back this old New England Uechi Ryu tradition. Except this time around it will have some new and innovative changers to it.
The guidelines for attendance are very simple. All adult black belts, Shodan level or higher. Are invited and welcome to attend. Regardless of your organizational or group affiliation. All you need to be is a Uechi / Shohei Ryu Adult Black Belt.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE IUKF TO ATTEND – EVERY ONE IS WELCOME.
Please read the outline of the class below.
Class Schedule: The First Class will be.
Saturday, March 19th – 2:00 to 3:30 pm – Location – Mike Murphy’s dojo Randolph, Ma.
Mike Murphy will be the first scheduled instructor.
FAQ – Why are we doing this?
It gives us all a chance to share and exchange knowledge and viewpoint’s on Uechi Ryu and teaching skills. In a none political environment. Just a group of instructors and friends, who are working out together in one class. Exchanging ideas, and training techniques together to improve our own teaching ability and classes for our students. To learn from each other.
It is not a political venue or soapbox. No one will try to get anyone to leave his or her present affiliated organization, or teacher.
Who ever is leading the class that particular month will not be making any corrections on anyone. No one will be going around saying, do it this way, or do it that way, or what you are doing is wrong. No one will be criticizing or insulting anyone else. We will all work out together as friends.
It could give many a chance to learn some material that they have never seen before. IE: Sanseiryu Bunkai, Yakusaku Kumite, Grappling techniques. Whatever the material the scheduled instructor would like to include in the class. Here's a way to learn some new material that you could share with your students.
Last but not least - Who knows you may even make some new friends.
Please give some thought about attending. It will cost you nothing, other then time.
If I can answer any questions concerning this new instructors workout. Please contact me.
Thank you – Jay Salhanick
I had the pleasure of spending an evening with Hunter Thompson.
He was an intense individual and although his lifestyle was perhaps not one to emulate, he took everything to the limit. Good, bad or whatever, it is a perspective that is now lost. God Speed.
"The edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." Hunter S. Thompson
Anyone else remember Hunter? GEM
With advanced apologies to the British!
Advanced wedding pictures!