Aug 18 2009

Rest in peace, Shifty!

A member of the “ Band of Brothers
died June 17, 2009.

This article was written by Mark Pfiefer

We’re hearing a lot today about big splashy memorial services.

I want a nationwide memorial service for Darrell “Shifty” Powers.

Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Infantry. If you’ve seen Band of Brothers on HBO or the History Channel, you know Shifty. His character appears in all 10 episodes, and Shifty himself is interviewed in several of them.

I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn’t know who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman having trouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was at the right gate, and noticed the “Screaming Eagle”, the symbol of the 101st Airborne, on his hat.

Making conversation, I asked him if he’d been in the 101st Airborne or if his son was serving. He said quietly that he had been in the 101st. I thanked him for his service, and then asked him when he served, and how many jumps he made.

Quietly and humbly, he said “Well, I guess I signed up in 1941 or so, and was in until sometime in 1945 . . . ” at which point my heart skipped.

At that point, again, very humbly, he said “I made the 5 training jumps at Toccoa, and then jumped into Normandy . . . . do you know where Normandy is?” At this point my heart stopped.

I told him yes, I know exactly where Normandy was, and I know what D-Day was. At that point he said “I also made a second jump into Holland , into Arnhem .” I was standing with a genuine war hero . . .. . And then I realized that it was June, just after the anniversary of D-Day.

I asked Shifty if he was on his way back from France , and he said “Yes. And it’s real sad because these days so few of the guys are left, and those that are, lots of them can’t make the trip.” My heart was in my throat and I didn’t know what to say.

I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was back in Coach, while I was in First Class. I sent the flight attendant back to get him and said that I wanted to switch seats. When Shifty came forward, I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to have it, that I’d take his in coach.

He said “No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that there are still some who remember what we did and still care is enough to make an old man very happy.” His eyes were filling up as he said it. And mine are brimming up now as I write this.

Shifty died on June 17 after fighting cancer.

There was no parade.

No big event in Staples Center ..

No wall to wall back to back 24×7 news coverage.

No weeping fans on television.

And that’s not right.

Let’s give Shifty his own Memorial Service, online, in our own quiet way. Please forward this email to everyone you know. Especially to the veterans.

Rest in peace, Shifty.

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Aug 16 2009

Newsletter Archives


George E. Mattson’s
Eastern Arts’ Newsletter Archives

Before going any further, please sign-up for future newsletter. The process is painless and fast. Oh yes, if you change your e-mail address, be sure to re-subscribe. You don’t want to miss a single issue.

Subscribe to G.E.Mattson’s Newsletters



Issue # Issue # Issue #
Issue #001 July, 2004 Issue #002 July 22, 2004 Issue #003 Aug 25, 2004
Issue #004 Sept 29, 2004 Issue #005 Oct 18, 2004 Issue #006 Oct 28, 2004
Issue #007 Jan, 2005 Issue #008 March, 2005 Issue #009 April, 2005
Issue #010 May, 2005 Issue #011 June, 2005

Summer 2007 Special Newsletter

Some websites you might be interested in viewing:

One of my favorite students here in Mount Dora, created this website commemorating my 50 years teaching Uechi-ryu. She asked me to post the URL last year when she surprised me with this wonderful gift.

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Jul 28 2009

The Importance of Correct Conditioning!

What a fantastic SummerFest! [View photos HERE]

gem performing opening move from seisan

I’m getting quite a few e-mail from students and teachers who attended and all the reviews were extremely favorable. As one of Uechi-ryu’s “senior” citizens, (72 next month) I try to get involved in as many of the seminars as possible and whenever appropriate, will demonstrate one of the three original kata to make a point that Uechi-ryu is a lifetime activity and that age is not the best way to determine one’s health or ability to enjoy life.

Roy Bedard and Adam Fauro, who created the “Protectors” program agree with my philosophy and spent quite a bit of time explaining, demonstrating and finally taking our people through some of the Protectors’ physical fitness and self defense components.

I decided to participate in Adam’s very physical Plyometrics type drills and discovered some new areas of my body that tend to get ignored (at least in my fitness program) in kata, drills or supplementary exercises. I survived the session and felt great AND a bit proud for keeping up with the youngsters, but a few hours later at the Masters’ Celebration during my Seisan kata . . . well. . . I discovered that the quadriceps are very necessary for a decent jump-back sequence at the end of the kata. I didn’t feel a thing until I dropped into the deep stance and attempted to push-off into the one-legged crane position! At that point my quads felt like someone had injected novacaine into them! Oh well. . . one of the benefits of getting old is that most people are forgiving and perhaps other than me, didn’t give it a thought.

I’m off to the gym this afternoon and will be working those leg muscles I usually ignore. Next year I’ll be ready for the FireDragon Challenge! Watch out Bridget, Adam and of course Fedele! 🙂

Hope you enjoy (click here) the Seisan clip (Flash Format)

Click Here for the Windows Media Player version

It was sent to me by Flora Kung and her karate wonderkids, Max and Mia.


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Jul 27 2009

Testing at SummerFest

Testing Kids at SummerFest:

I want to thank you Sensei George Mattson for allowing me to run my junior black belt test at this years’ summer camp. I must say this has been the high light of all my students’ martial art achievements. This is something my students will remember and cherish for the rest of their lives.

These students have achieved much in their training and studies. They have worked diligently and relentlessly to be where they are today. The added bonus was to receive their reward in the presence of many local seniors and seniors from other parts of the world. The presence and approval of grandmaster George Mattson sitting on their board is already becoming legion among the student in my dojo.

Many of my students’ parents are calling me to ask if this could be their case when their child is ready for black belt testing. There were 15 messages on my dojo phone and 5 more on my cell. They pledged the dedication of their child in anticipation of such a glorious event involving their little warrior.

If junior testing is something you are willing to do at your camp every year, I will plan for this. I’m sure all my students will work hard for the opportunity to duplicate and experience the joy my new junior black belts felt.

I also believe this will be a goal for all my young students. This may encourage many other students to stay focus and continue studying. A few of my calls at the dojo was from parent who had took their children out because of other interest.


Darin Yee

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Jul 18 2009

SummerFest Incentive!!!


Update from the Cape!

Susan and I are enjoying a few days on Cape Cod prior to SummerFest. We arrived in Providence yesterday and was greeted with a nasty rain storm that covered most of New England. Not what we wanted to see with camp only a few days away.

This morning (Wed) Bill Bauknecht, Art Rabesa and I played golf. weather was cool and thankfully dry. . . a good sign and omen. By the 8th hole the sun was shining brightly and the golf match was all even between Bill and me.

We have made arrangements with the Maritime Academy to use the huge gymnasium should the weather turn nasty again, but the forcasts for the weekend are very good. But. . . if it is raining Friday morning at 9AM, registration and classes will be held in the gym. As soon as you enter the Maritime Academy entrance, the gym is the first building on the right.

Our big golf tournament is tomorrow (Thursday) and classes will begin Friday morning at 9AM. (Registration will either be next to the dining room if weather is good or in the gym if it is raining)

See you “on the beach” at 6:30AM Friday! Oh yes, Arthur Rabesa will be with us Friday!

George Mattson



More Good News!!! Raffi Derdarian will be teaching a two hour seminar on Sunday morning at SummerFest!


JKD is the martial art that was created by Bruce Lee. It is a blended system of boxing, kickboxing, Wing Chun, Ju-Jitsu, and several other arts. It’s concepts and principles draw from many different systems and styles.

My intention is to teach that which will enhance the students and practitioners of Uechi-ryu. Much of what we do in JKD blends well with our Uechi style. I will cover some rudimentary flow drills (from Wing Chun Gung Fu) and Trapping Techniques which will include countering your opponent’s block.

Looking forward to seeing everyone again.

Raffi Derderian



NEW!! IUKF NewsLetter: Click Here to View!

Summerfest Incentive

What will it take to motivate

your dojo to support Summerfest?

How about this?

1. Organize a Summerfest-Dojo-Outing for either Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
2. Receive a private seminar with George Mattson, for all members of your dojo who attend.
3. The dojo must have at least 20 participants to qualify.
4. Reserve your Summerfest seminar day and time by calling George’s cell phone 352-434-9906.

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Jul 16 2009

Robb Buckland Presents “FEARS” Seminars at SummerFest

SummerFest Special Newsletter
You deserve to be with us at this year’s SummerFest!
24 – 25 – 26, 2009
July 16, 2009 – Vol. 3 Issue 24

Dear George,
More really great seminars for this year’s SummerFest. .

Robb Buckland Robb Buckland, the founder of FEARS Ltd., is a veteran of over 30 years in the martial arts. A nationally certified nutritional consultant and personal trainer (IFPA and ACSM), he currently holds a 5th degree black belt (Shihan) in Uechi Ryu Karate where he trained under the systems American pioneer George Mattson , and is an “elder” in Tri Harmony Gung Fu.
Mr. Buckland attained a 6th degree black belt (Renshi) under Joe Lewis in his American Kickboxing/Fighting System while dominating on a national level in professional fights. Robb is recognized as a 6th degree black belt in AIKIA Karate/kickboxing as well as a 6th degree under the International Federation of Ju-Jutsu (IFOJJ). Mr. Buckland is a recipient of the prestigious Samurai Lifetime Achievement Award(2007) and the Samurai-Bushi Award (2008) from the IFOJJ.
Mr. Buckland has served in a security/executive protection capacity for such notable performers as Jo Dee Messina, Kevin Bacon, Joan Jett, Seigi Ozawa, Winton Marselles, Diamond Rio, Tony Hawk. Buckland acted as” Intercept team leader ” for the Seminole Hard Rock Casino/Resort in Hollywood Florida. Mr Buckland is a sought after seminar performer for the martial arts and action film industry.
Buckland has appeared in numerous television documentaries including The Discovery channel’s “Hollywood’s Greatest Stunts”, The Learning Channels “Martial Arts: The Real Story”, and A&Es “Mystical Origins Of The Martial Arts”. Buckland is also featured in the action films “Miami Vice”,”Pirate Soul”,”Red On The Blue”, and “Bloodmoon”. “Requiem for a Pit Fighter” and “Quan Yin” include Robb in action sequences choreographed by Joe Lewis and directed by Art Camacho. Email Mr. Buckland at

Don’t miss this year’s SummerFest. . .

If you wish more info, check this link

Click here to get “in the mood!”

George E. Mattson

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Jul 06 2009

July 2009 Newsletter


Here is the latest Newsletter regarding this year’s SummerFest:

Susan informs me that the deadline for all applications sent by mail must be postmarked by July 15th. Faxed and email applications will be accepted until July 15th.
We will not have access to mail, emails and faxes after that.

All discounts end today!   (July 9th)

You may bring an application to SummerFest to save time registering. You must pay in cash and will be able to purchase meals at the dining room entrance.

If you are not a SummerFest participant, entrance to the Masters’ Celebration on Saturday will cost $20. No exceptions!

Click here to get “in the mood!”

2009 SummerFest Highlights

July 24 – 26, 2009

in this issue

:: IUKF sponsoring “Protectors” Seminar at SummerFest

:: “All is in Uechi-ryu”

:: Masters’ Celebration

:: Shinkendo Sword Seminar

You don’t want to miss this year’s SummerFest!!!

George Mattson at 1983 campGreetings,
Tough times call for tough counter actions. During this economic recession people aren’t sleeping enough, eating junk food and reacting to stress in all the wrong ways. We’ve been there before and the best way to deal with adversity is to focus first and foremost on making your body healthy and mind calm.

We are in a battle and we must learn to act and live like warriors. Now is the time to focus on all the good things in your life, especially your Uechi-ryu training. There is nothing that can defeat you but your own fears and lack of confidence.

This year the theme at SummerFest is “Fitness & Health = Self defense and Confidence!” A winning Uechi-ryu combination!
My Uechi-ryu colleagues and I will working very hard at SummerFest this year, teaching many new and interesting ways of studying our style. . . ways that are different from anything you may have envisioned. It is preservation of the old ways along with exploration of those “old” ways using modern and innovative methods. In addition, we will have many Uechi-compatible martial art seminars that will provide fresh and new insights into the Uechi-ryu core methods.

I am most pleased to learn that Roy Bedard and Adam Faurot were able to clear their hectic and full schedule and will be teaching a fascinating physical/mental program called the “Protectors” on Friday and Saturday. I’ve participated in physical elements of the program and special monitoring that is part of the program and I can honestly say. . . This is the very finest overall fitness program ever created. You will be blown away by the completeness of the program. . . and most interesting, a program that can be implemented by a dojo. This, in my estimation, is a program that can help a dojo fulfill the promises of offering “A complete self-defense solution!”

Protector’s Seminars. . . .
Friday and Saturday session.s
For Dojo owners and Students!

We will be returning to camp this year to share with the attendees a portion of our PROTECTORS program which was developed over the past several years and is now being distributed throughout the USA in a TRAIN-THE-TRAINER model.The PROTECTORS fitness program was originally designed to condition members of select occupations for job readiness. 

Our PROTECTORS are represented by police, military, fire services, EMS, Corrections and Private Security. Recently there has been a groundswell of support to change the culture of public safety by preparing and maintaining employee fitness standards.

Our unique training program is built upon job task analysis and is structured to developing parts of the body compromised by the rigors of occupational duty.

We teach techniques that conquer hypertension, develop strong hearts, reduce obesity, and strengthen joint, ligament, tendon and connective tissue. There is a nutritional and mental health component also built in to create the complete PROTECTORS program.

By focusing on the “five qualities” of speed. strength, agility, mobility and endurance we can not only help PROTECTORS stay healthy over the course of a 25+ year career, but can also create more efficient and more effective personnel and contribute to the mission of their life saving endeavors.

We are happy to present this course to the martial arts community who will be interested in learning about the program for personal development as well as sharing with PROTECTORS members within their own communities. Our techniques can be quickly integrated into an existing martial arts curriculum, or taught independently as a larger full fitness training program.

We will also show and demonstrate the ACTIGRAPH, our technology component which allows us to monitor and validate all of our exercise routines to gauge the desired effect. This component, along with the training program was recently introduced to the NAVY SEALS and is currently being explored by BUDS training coaches and mentors.

The program will be presented at SUMMERCAMP by Adam Faurot, President of TITUS fitness and Roy Bedard, V.P of the PROTECTORS program. You can go to to see more.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!


All is in Uechi-ryu
Learning how to “read” your kata!

gemattson-early 60s photoGeorge Mattson and his senior students will be presenting many seminars focusing on the “art of Uechi-ryu”. . . and art that happens to use self-defense.

Seminars will work on the “tools” of Uechi that form the core system taught by Kanbun and Kanei Uechi and so brilliantly conveyed through the teachings of Ryuko Tomoyose.

Learn the real purpose of the kata and how the “old ways” are still the best for instilling confidence and purpose into those simple kata moves.

Discover the “old” way of progressing through the learning cycle of Uechi-ryu. . . a meaningful and workable method of taking your Uechi “exercises” and converting them into progressive steps in a dynamic and modern program.

There will be a class every hour on this important subject!!!

Saturday Evening Masters Celebration. . .
A chance to honor our senior students

Two of Uechi-ryu pioneer women, Rose Dyer and Toni West will be honored Saturday evening by being awarded the rank of Rokudan and the title of Renshi. You will be mesmorized by their kata performance, in spite of their physical disabilities. They both are supreme examples of Karate Spirit, faced with adversity and how, with extraordinary warrior spirit and heart, were able to continue teaching and practicing their Uechi-ryu.

Ken Read and Bruce Hirabiashi will also be honored with their master ratings and titles.

Jack Summers

Jack Summers, kyudan, will also be attending and accepting his Lifetime Achievement award. In 1943, John Summers, at the age of 17 ½ , enlisted in the US Marine Corps.  A decorated World War II warrior; he fought i
n the Pacific and was wounded at the battle of Iwo Jima.  John Summers, better known as “Jack,” has been training in the martial arts since the early 1950’s.

Shinkendo Sword Seminar
Friday Event you don’t want to miss!!

ObataPlease convey to Sensei Mattson that I am deeply honored to present Shinkendo at the upcoming camp. The best day for me would be (friday) 7/24, in the early afternoon. I have attached a brief outline of the seminar.

Obata Toshishiro is the founder and headmaster of Shinkendo Japanese Swordsmanship. “Shin (True) – Ken (Sword) – Do (Way)” is a system of Japanese swordsmanship which incorporates all aspects of sword study. 
True, deep study of Japanese Swordsmanship must involve many interlocking concepts. In Shinkendo, these five aspects of swordsmanship, Suburi, Battoho, Tanrengata, Tachiuchi, and Tameshigiri are like five interlocking rings. All five aspects have some relation to the other rings. This is the foundation of a comprehensive study of swordsmanship. It allows for one to view the techniques from a larger perspective and pursue them deeply.

Suburi – Swinging and Basics
Suburi means sword swinging practice. In Shinkendo this term is used to define basic sword movements, correct footwork, and body movement practices.

Battoho – Combative Drawing and Re-sheathing
Shinkendo teaches how to draw the sword combatively, and re-sheath it safely. This training is called Battoho.

Tanrengata – Main Solo Forms
The main solo forms practiced in Shinkendo are called Tanrengata. Shinkendo kata emphasize fluid movement, graceful balance shifting, and effective body/sword mechanics.

Tachiuchi – Partnered Training
In Shinkendo kumite (sparring) is practiced as Tachiuchi, or two-person prearranged exercises.

Tameshigiri – Target Cutting Practice
Tameshigiri is the practice of using real swords and target material to test the swordsman’s accuracy and form.

The Introduction to Japanese Swordsmanship, Shinkendo Seminar is presented by the chief instructor of Shinkendo Shoshinkan Dojo, Shaffee Bacchus-sensei. The goal of this seminar is to foster a deeper understanding of Budo through exposure to other martial arts such as Japanese Swordsmanship. Shaffee-Sensei studied at Shinkendo New York Dojo and directly with Obata Toshishiro-Kaiso the headmaster and founder of Shinkendo. He is currently a licensed instructor in Shinkendo, Toyama Ryu and Bojutsu.  
The seminar will outline the five aspects of Shinkendo focusing on practical and philosophical application of swordsmanship to everyday life and self defense.

SummerFest Special

“Newsletter Special” when signing up for Summerfest and Susan will deduct $25 from the program’s price.


Let’s try and make this camp a success, people, if only for the fact it brings so many of us together in merriment…High-spirited fun and enjoyment, in addition to some quality seminars on technique and self protection.

We should know by now that learning is an ongoing life process, and learning takes many manifestations clad in what we usually take for granted.

And, who knows_ someday these camps may become a thing of the past_and there will be bitter tears to shed whether you know it or not.

Tears at having let our ‘diminishing’ selves get in the way of the celebration of some of the best moments in the short years of our lives that have become the grist of time.

Get to camp, will you, and lets have a drink together.
Van Canna

Click here for the print application.
Click here for on-line store application.

Don’t forget the Friday evening soccer match! Two semi-pro teams will be demonstrating the sport and welcome any Uechi soccer players to participate. Be sure to bring you soccer shoes and shin guards. The object is to have fun and perhaps learn a little about this great sport. Friday evening – 7PM – 8:30PM

Entertainment in the Lounge Friday and Saturday 8PM-11PM. A Uechi tradition and really great time to meet new friends and catch up on what’s happening with old friends!

And. . . of course. . . Don’t forget the Saturday FireDragon Challenge!


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Jul 02 2009

SummerFest Update July 5th

joe_pomfretSummerFest Updates. . .

7/15/2009: Good news! Joe Pomfret just called and he will be coming to SummerFest and will be teaching seminars in ground fighting. No question – Joe is the absolute best MMA teacher . . . anywhere! Be sure to bring an old Gi or shorts and a tshirt. You will love the way Joe teaches and you will learn a great deal about the finer points of this science!

7/12/2009: In case you need directions to the Maritime Academy, CLICK HERE!

7/10/2009: Posting of Teams for this year’s event. If I left your name off, it was an accident. Please send me an email. Click Here to view!

7/10/2009: SummerFest Schedule Summary Posted Here.

7/8/2009: Don’t forget the JuniorFest which will be held all day Saturday. Fred Channel and his team will be heading up this program, aided by a number of senior instructors. JuniorFest will begin at 9AM with a break for lunch at 11AM. The afternoon session will begin at 1PM and end at 3PM. Some of the sessions will be indoors.






7/6/2009: Had a meeting with the IUKF membership director and treasurer this afternoon. He said there was no link on the home page for the SummerFest application!!! MY BAD! So one will be going up in a few minutes. . . check the very top frame of this page please.

Also. . . Received a disappointing e-mail this morning, stating that due to health issues, Jack Summers will not be able to attend the Masters’ Celebration this year. Sorry to hear this. We all wish Jack the very best and hope he is back to 100% very soon.

I just published my July Newsletter. Lots of information regarding this year’s SummerFest, including the IUKF sponsored “Protectors'” seminars, which will be conducted Friday and Saturday. Of course, most of our regular presenters will be there, helping me conduct four – five seminars every hour of the day, throughout the weekend. If you aren’t on my mailing list, send me an email and I’ll send you a copy:

Just heard from one of Uechi-ryu’s more “quiet” warriors, John Thurston! John considers Uechi-ryu to be his primary martial art, but he enjoys a number of other martial arts and is considered to be quite expert at them. This year, John will be introducing “Iron Shirt” training to our group:

I would attempt to present the “Iron Shirt” articulation of how one stands. It is what I call the “droopy scarecrow” posture.

One has to have faith in what one has been taught and not slip back and rely on muscle power.

No one in Uechi has ever bought in. However, it is an “optimizing practice” re: “rooting” to the earth.

I will forward one or two pics from “The Way of QiQong” and you have the bulk of the other points already in a reply I made to you.

People might say I am rooted enough, i hit hard enough, but the trick is to draw power from the earth to increase one’s Power without ‘additional” overstressing of the muscles .

Some pics to follow (Which I will be adding as I receive them)
Common Sense Demands You Learn to Defend Yourself

Whats happening at camp this year and why you should be there!

First off, a few people are saying this will be the first SummerFest where the weather will not be cooperating. . . Some are saying they are holding off registering because they are waiting to see if New England will finally get out of the Winter doldrums it has been in for the past three months. Some are predicting that New England won’t have a Summer this year! 🙂


Well. . . worse case scenario. . . SummerFest will carry on in the huge Maritime gymnasium, which will actually make a few participants happy. . . You see, not everyone likes to work outside while enduring ten hours of sun and wind! Personally, I enjoy the outdoor workouts and believe the Mattson luck will once again prevail and this year will be the 26th SummerFest where we will be blessed with fantastic weather, exciting and interesting seminars and workouts.

Check in daily. I’ll be posting information on activities and presenters.


George Mattson

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Jun 26 2009

Five Weapons of Uechi-ryu’s Hiraken Strike

Update from Darin Yee. . .


Hi George,

Can you please list on your site I will be canceling my July 11th event for children due to the time I need to spend on a couple of my kids look to get promoted at summer camp.  If they want this to happen, I can’t afford to let any Saturdays go.  I will still hold the August 7 adult get together.  I’ve already hired a band to play.

If you have any questions, please give me a call.  Thank you.



Five Weapons of Uechi-Ryu’s Hiraken Strike

1984 SummerFestBy Ethan Miller, nidan

While testing for my shodan test in 1994 one of the questions I was asked by the test board was to name a strike that was being shown. It was the hiraken, and I was then asked to explain how it was used. After I did this, I of course wondered. What was I missing? The hiraken strike often shows up as a single or double strike to the temple area. This is convenient, because the trusted “iron arm” position also acts to deflect a strike or lift the arms of an opponent. My experience with the hand position is that it is much more versatile. In fact it seems to me to be the most composite of the strikes seen in Uechi-Ryu. I have seen the hiraken demonstrated two different ways by very senior practitioners. I call the first “flat” and the second “closed”. The flat position has a gap between the top thumb knuckle and the fingertips. The closed position has the fingertips tucked behind the thumb knuckle tightly. These two positions alter the fist shape and stress one weapon over another. In fact other styles may name the two positions differently.

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Jun 23 2009

IUKF Annoucement



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