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Eastern Arts Newsletter
Support the Uechi-ryu Kids! April 2005

New England Uechi-ryu Needs Your Dojo Support!

First. . . My Great Idea!

Time to think about SummerFest!

OK. . . Nothing is Perfect!

Last Minute Update

We Need You!


First. . . My Great Idea!
Team Officials

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"Team Officials"

Jay Salhanick and his hard working officials have done a great job since the kids' series began. However, as a promoter, whose job it is to make sure the tournament has sufficient numbers of officials to man six rings, is a nightmare. Then, on tournament day, much time is wasted attempting to get everyone together, assign rings while. . . attempting to do a million other things. . .

No one is happy with the extra work or time taken up with this task. Instead of getting the kids into their respective rings and beginning the event on time, historically parents and competitors wait patiently while the rings are set up with officials, time keepers and scorekeepers.

After going over and over the problem of getting sufficient officials to handle our six rings, I finally reasoned that we were approaching the problem wrong. Why not find six captains who will identify and train five dependable and talented dojo mates and three people to fulfill the time-keeper/scorekeeper responsibilities. Although we could probably make due with fewer people on a team, having a couple extra members will allow the captain to rotate officials for different reasons during the competition.

I've discussed this idea with a number of people who liked the concept and felt that it would really solve many problems that plague all tournaments.

Now. . . The implementation!

I've been on the phone working on identifying the captains. So far, I've received confirmation that two teams are in place and two more are confident they will have teams by the event. That leaves my "Great Idea" two, possibly three teams short.

The benefits to your dojo?

We all get those motivational e-mail letters from martial art organizations that help build those million dollar dojos into multimillion dollar dojos. These newsletters are filled with suggestions for building a "team" mentality among students. Get them involved, along with their parents (no reason a parent can't be a score/time keeper) in activities where team-spirit is involved. Individual martial art practice requires lots of discipline, patience and tons of practice. Getting students to work in teams is a great way to take advantage of this group spirit. Motivated students stay with the program. The old Mattson Academy had one of the largest and most successful competition team in the USA. This team provided motivation for the dojo and for themselves. Why not implement an "Officials' Team" that train together, motivate one another and provide a needed and very necessary service to the New England Uechi-ryu Series? A win-win situation for all.

Just think of the positive benefits for all!

  • Tournaments that begin on time!
  • Tournaments that are "all action", no waiting!
  • Tournaments that end on time!
  • Consistent and fair judging in EVERY ring!
  • Officials that are happy, because they are enjoying the experience and can go to the bathroom when necessary! :)
  • Relieving the hard working tournament administrators, enabling them to more efficiently do what they are supposed to do.

How about a team trophy for the officials' team that did the best job during the event? I can see some of the "old timers" who attend these tournaments, walking around and making notes on which teams are doing the best job, based on

  • Attentiveness and awareness.

  • Attitude and dress. Hey, how about if each team adopts its own official's uniforms???

  • Accuracy in calling points

  • Accuracy in judging kata

  • Best center judge control of matches.

  • Clarity of calling points and awarding point/fouls/matches. (Does the audience know who won the points and match?)

  • Best control of competitors.

  • Best manner of awarding medals and trophies.

As individuals, officials tend to vary in all these important. . . no . . . Essential areas of running a ring.

As a team, members tend to improve their skills and help one another overcome problems that will arise.

Will You Help Get Your Dojo Involved? Call me or e-mail me today!


Dear George,

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Yes, another plea for help and yet another great idea from George Mattson!

You have to admit, I've had some really great ideas over the years. Some say I was just thirty years too early in getting my black belt. (And maybe 30 years too old as well?):)

The martial arts has come a long way in professionalism and cooperative attitude in the past 45 years.  I get e-mail from teachers who tell me they gross over a million dollars a year in their dojo business! Whew. . . How many Uechi dojo are able to say that?

Well, I'm not writing to you, promising a million dollar conversion secret for your dojo. In fact, I'm once again looking for unpaid volunteers to work very hard for one day this month (Saturday, April 30th)

But don't delete this message just yet. I promised you a really good idea and in addition, a very nice award for all who decide to help out.

  • Time to think about SummerFest!
  • SummerFest Picture

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    This year's "Fest" promises to be another great one. Saturday we will be hosting 100 kids from New England on full scholarships, thanks to the hard work of the IUKF Scholarship committee, headed up by Brian Finnerty and supervised by Board Chairman, Dr. Paul Haydu.

    I am very happy to announce that Kenny Schiff will be in charge of the JrFest activities for the day. Ken will be scheduling and coordinating JrFest all day Saturday, including the selection of teachers and organization of classes. This year we expect kids with some experience in the martial arts, so Ken will make sure they will be receiving instruction, based on their skill level.

    We know, from last years experiences, that the kids will want to continue instruction at their local dojo and IUKF wants to make sure this will happen. Brian and Ken will work with local dojos, helping with scholarship funds when necessary, to ensure that these motivated youngsters will have a place to continue their training and the funds needed to pay their tuition.

    If your dojo has any deserving youngsters who would like to participate in JrFest, please contact us today!

  • OK. . . Nothing is Perfect!
  • officials picture

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    Although my "Team Officials" idea is wonderful for the promoter and everyone who wants to see the tournament run smoothly and efficiently, I foresee a couple of areas where people might object to the concept:

    • Remember, the teams are made up primarily with members of a single dojo.
    • Once a team gets a ring assignment, it is quite probable that a parent or child from that dojo will be competing in that ring.
    • Although a team member can be replaced when his/her child is competing, it will be impossible to replace the team when a child from that dojo is competing.

    It is my hope that parents and sensei will understand that this compromise is necessary to allow an officials' team program to work. Although we have never been able to conduct a tournament where dojo mates are replaced when kids from their dojo are competing and I don't ever see this happening, since all our officials come from the same dojo our competitors come from.

    On the plus side, the teams will be judged as a team instead of individuals, which will put great pressure on the team members to be extremely attentive, fair and objective in their work. Team captains will be able to work with their group in the dojo, providing the training and experience that was available, but ignored in the past.


  • Last Minute Update
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    Woops. . . "My Bad"!

    After contacting the other promoters, legal advisor, rules arbitrator and Susan. . . :) I discovered that our rules forbid making any major changes to any part of the tournament series, until after the final event of the year. (The NE Grand Championships)

    However, the good news is that all the promoters really like the Team Official concept and we will hopefully be implementing it for the new season. Everyone recommended that I continue to build the teams and ask that all teams attend my tournament on April 30th. Len Testa, who puts together the ring assignments has promised to use as many of the team members as possible and may even be able to allow teams with a certified head official to take charge of rings.

    This is very good news to me, since I really, really, like the idea.

    Officially, Len sent me the following statement, which summarizes the group's position:

    "The last tournament we had every ring staffed with a certified head official. There were 5 rings with 3 officials in each making 15. 12 of the 15 were certified officials. Please see the attached spreadsheet to see what I am trying to do with the moving of officials to make sure that each competitor gets as many different officials to score them as we can. Only this way will a TRUE champion emerge with no perception of bias being derived form any Sensei, competitor or parent.
    If we have teams already in place (at 8:45 PM) , and I can justify using them appropriately, I will."

    This means, I need the names of all team members and any IUKF certified officials that are on your team, by next week, since Len works up the ring assignments prior to the tournament.

    It really would be nice if we had four or five full teams and maybe a couple of teams with less than a full compliment of members, on hand for Len to work with. And even if you are not on a team, but are willing to help out, either as a side judge or score/time keeper, please send me an email.

    Remember. . . We Need You!

  • We Need You!
  • We need you

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    Please e-mail me today with your team members names. And don't forget to encourage the kids in your dojo to register today for the tournament. Over 100 awards plus the New England Grand Championship trophies to the winners in each division.

    Click on the image to bring up the application form. Print it and send it in (You will need Acrobat, a free program, to view) ASAP.

    See you on the 30th

    George E. Mattson

    :: 321-273-0409

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