Going back to 1996, I was introduced to Hanshi George Mattson through a new friend I had met at a Jujitsu America convention, Steve DiOrio.
From that introduction, Steve and I asked permission (yes folks we did honorable things like that), from Hanshi to work a Kyusho Series of Videos within the main three Uechi Ryu Katas (Sanchin, Seisan and Sanseiru).
That began and involvement in the Art that I still practice today and that actually launched my international career, for which my gratitude to Hanshi Mattson can not be fully expressed.
The videos were developed in 1997 and with several instructional engagements with Hanshi and the International Uechi Ryu Karate Federation, was awarded the Shihan Title awarded (George Mattson I.U.R.K.F – 1999) for contributions to Uechi.
But the story does not end there as my passion for the art keeps evolving and growing, in 2001 I was again given the great honor to have a forward from Hanshi Mattson included in my first of 8 published books, “Kyusho Jitsu Vital Points”.
Forward by Hanshi George Mattson:
First off, let me say that I’m not a person who has always been a fan of Kyusho.
Much of what is being passed off as Kyusho type skills in the past, has struck me as being less than honest and often misleading. In my nearly 50 years teaching the martial arts, I’ve seen many “tricks” and “illusions” passed off as fighting skills. Most were simply circus tricks designed to capture an audience’s attention. In old China, this type of demonstration was performed on street corners, accompanied by an impressive sales speech designed to sell the audience a “snake oil” type of medicine, purported to heal everything from ingrown toenails to cancer.
When Mr. Pantazi asked me to read his Kyusho Jitsu manuscript and write my impressions of the book, he knew that my review might not be favorable. As it turned out, reading his book was an unexpected pleasure, as the information contained in the pages turned out to be highly important and new martial art knowledge, presented in a concise and easily understood manner. Certainly, there are many variables involved in real life combat situations and the subject is not one to be mastered in a book or video. Mr. Pantazi acknowledges this and points out that the book is designed to inform the reader that such a skill is possible and potentially available to the average person and he strongly recommends extended study with a qualified instructor to master this art.
Unlike other books on the subject of self defense, Mr. Pantazi doesn’t overwhelm the reader with hundreds of complex techniques and exercises. His recommendation to focus on a few practical, reliable and easily learned actions will provide the student who is willing to devote some time to practicing these movements, with a dependable and workable self protection weapon. I was also impressed with the way Mr. Pantazi was able to describe how people like myself… martial artist… could incorporate Kyusho Jitsu with their specific brand of karate, jujitsu, judo etc. He gave a number of excellent examples of Kyusho Jitsu applications found in all styles. As a Uechi-ryu teacher, I immediately saw many useful and specific Kyusho Jitsu in the Uechi-ryu sets I’ve been practicing most of my life.
In a sense, these practical uses for formerly abstract movements have given an expanded and improved life to my fighting art style.
George E. Mattson, Hanshi, 9th degree black belt
International Uechi-ryu Karate Federation