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A True Warrior Has Passed

by George Mattson

I am announcing to the world that a true warrior has passed. Herman Yee passed away around 9am Wednesday, January 12, 2011. These last few years of battling his illnesses have finally overcome him. The warrior that he is, Herman fought to the very end. Strangely enough, Herman’s fight was not for himself but for all who loved him.

During the early 1970s when Mattson Academy fighters was the ones you need to get passed to hope for a chance at a championship, Herman was one of those feared obstacles. As a fighter, he was a tough, resilient, relentless and possesses more skill and ability then one would imagine.

All of us who really know Herman understand him as a reserved, selfless individual who would rather give then take. There are many who benefited from his generosity and offered back nothing but grieves and didn’t give him the time of day. Herman’s remark was “The truth of a man is reveal by his actions. Enough said”.

Unlike much of the fables going around the internet about “fighting in the street” to booster ones imaginary image, Herman Yee who mentioned nothing was one of the few who actually practiced much of our training in the streets of the South End, downtown Washington Street and Chinatown. Fighting alongside Herman, I knew there was always someone watching my back.

Those of you who never met Herman Yee and do not know of him, Herman was a man of honor, respect, integrity, strength and most of all compassion. He began his training of Uechi-Ryu in 1969 along with many of his friends from the South End. He continued training until a year ago when his health did not permit him to do so. We will miss him.

The brothers from birth are circumstantial. There will always be a connection. Our brothers through friendship are by choice.

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