Aug 12 2015

SummerFest 2015

summerfest 2015  I want to thank Sensei George Mattson and all the participants for another successful Summer Fest.  It has always been a pleasure for me to see so many of the seniors whose spent a greater portion of their lives training, developing and sharing their individual skills and knowledge in this fascinating and adaptable art of Uechi-Ryu.

There is only one path for strong and hard which is straight forward, non-yielding and the development of more macho strength. In soft, the applications depends on the technician and his/her skill level.  One must listen and learn from masters who have been around for numerous decades and determine if their accumulated knowledge can benefit you.  As we age, the “hard” turns to “aches” and we must now rely on “soft”.  There are no better ways to learn about the soft than from the masters who has trained in the soft method for years.  When we find out we’re too mature (old) to continue training, it could be too late.

This camp provided all of that.  There were masters who have been incredibly strong and powerful their entire careers teaching their hard, power techniques.  There were masters who have trained both the hard and the soft teaching us how to overcome bigger and physically stronger opponents.

The Junior Fest was also well attended.  There were all kinds of workouts and competitions where everyone had a chance to win and bring home individual and team prizes.  Due to the size of the indoor air-conditioned facility, there were individual running races and team relay races.  There were kicking, punching contest and sparring matches (for those who wanted to spar).   A great time was had by all.  Next year, I am expecting to triple our participation for Junior Fest.

I fully understand there are a few who believe they have a great sensei and they practice what they are taught.  That loyalty is very commendable but no single individual knows everything.  I’ve studied martial arts since 1960 and I’m still amazed at some of the incredible and talented people who come to the Summer Fest and share their knowledge and accomplishments.

Remember to keep the first week end of the first full week of August in your calendar reserved for the Summer Fest of 2016.  It gets better every year.  Meanwhile, I’m setting my sights on Winter Fest in Mt. Dora, Florida.  We get to meet some of the big names from down south.  It’s a great way to get away from the cold of the Northern States and spend a few days golfing and finish off the week with 2 days of karate and a group of good friends.

Darin Yee

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Jul 20 2015

SummerFest 2015


Yukiyaki Yoki & GEM – 1965

I’ve been working on the SummerFest schedule – Remember, many of the guest instructors will not be shown on the schedule. There will be a bulletin board on site with their photograph and day/time of their seminars. The 1st draft of the schedule can be downloaded HERE

I am hoping that this year’s SummerFest will be both an enjoyable and exciting experience for all participants. From Kyu belts, Black Belts, and Masters, juniors working out with Sensei Yee on Saturday, to those of us who are in our 60s, 70s and, yes, 80s. SummerFest is for us all!

The message I try to instill in all classes I teach, newsletters I create, and conferences I attend is, “Train Smart – Train Often.” What we practice is what we will do under stress, and HOW we train will affect how long we will be able to work out (and IF we will be able to work out!)

This year, once again, I will try to drive home the message that Uechi-ryu should be practiced for a lifetime and should contribute to a life-time of good health. I am encouraging all Presenters to conduct their seminars with this theme in mind.

Also, this year, I am asking all participants who wish to be on the dojo floor to be in a traditional white Gi. The primary reason for the Gi this year is to help celebrate the traditional and fraternal uniqueness of our beloved art, and to be proud of our history and commonality of what we will be doing this weekend.

I have been working with many of the regular presenters on how to select seminar subjects and the topics we believe will be most appreciated by the attendees. We came up with a number of subjects to be taught, along with the breakdown of attendees by rank and also subjects that are appropriate for all ranks. Because we have a large number of master instructors attending, each subject section (areas in the dojo) will have a seminar leader and other instructors who will assist in the session.

We will also will be honored with a number of very senior instructors who have agreed to spend time signing autographs, having pictures taken (with permission of course), critiquing kata and other components of Uechi-ryu, as well as answering questions about our art.

Additionally, we will have a number of guest instructors from other martial art systems who will be running basic, introductory sessions on elements of their art that relate to Uechi-ryu. This will include traditional Okinawa weaponry.

Sunday morning, following a formal bow-in, I will be conducting a traditional Uechi class for the Alumni of the Mattson Academy and students of the alumni. This class is free to all Summerfest participants. Fee for non-participants is $25. This class will also be a “white Gi” class.

I sincerely hope that you will attend the full weekend. I promise that you will enjoy yourself, plus have many stimulating and healthful workouts.

As always, if you have any questions, please call or send me an e-mail.


George Mattson

PS. Click here to Register for SummerFest 2015

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Jul 14 2015

Kata Performance Emphasis



SummerFest Presenter

Personal defense is a prime reason that people study the martial arts.  Preparing to defend yourself requires more than the study of techniques and the physical training of one’s body.  It requires studying and understanding the principles of combat and preparing mentally to implement them.  Among these principles are decisive action, aggressive action, and speed.  The Uechi-ryu practitioner can achieve this goal within his usual course of study by incorporating changes in emphasis in the performance of kata, kumite, and exercises.  My session will explore these changes, primarily through the use of kata.

Sign-up today for this year’s SummerFest!!!

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Jul 11 2015

My Week in England!


lee-and-gem-GBThis is the first opportunity I’ve had to discuss my trip to Great Britain and to formally tell all my old and new friends there what a wonderful time I had. Two all day seminars wore me out, but the Guinness after-workout-therapy sessions revitalized me completely! 🙂

The trip was made even more special because old friends and students, Al Wharton, Terry Daley, Steve McNally (Senior and Junior), Kuda Adams, Mick Pappas, Richard Dean Gibbons, John Neal and Steve Clifford were able to attend and worked out with me at the seminars.

Lee Adams and his “Life-mate”, Susan were especially gracious during the week and most helpful in organizing the event and making sure everything ran smoothly.

Al Wharton, who is now living in England, recommended Lee to be tested for Rokudan along with two of his Burmuda students who attended the seminars. Richard Gibbons for Godan and John Neal for Yondan. I assembled a test board consisting of myself, Al and Mick Pappas and conducted the test following Sunday’s workout. All three passed and were praised for their strong and accurate kata performance.

For those of you outside of England who don’t  know Lee, let me share some of his martial art history: He started Judo Training in 1968 at a Dojo in Farnham in Surrey, then moved on to Wado-Ryu Karate with Sensei Barry Wilkinson, and trained with Sensei Tatsuo Suzuki, and even had the honour to train with Grand Master Hinori Ohtsuka founder of Wado Ryu.

After gaining his 1st Kyu, changed styles and started studying Uechi – Ryu Karate in the late in the early 1980’s under Sensei Nigel Coole who had been training in Hong Kong, and then Sensei Terry Daly in London., after gaining my Uechi Ryu Yon Dan in 1995 I started to supplement my martial arts knowledge by studying Tomiki Aikido I currently hold the rank of San Dan ( testing for Yon Dan next year) I am also a director and current vice chairman of the British Aikido Association.

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Jul 06 2015

2015 Juniorfest Saturday, Aug 8th

Juniorfest is a special program held at the Summerfest weekend
y Darin Yee

canada sfest pic2An announcement to all Jr. Campers for this year’s George Mattson’s summer fest event.  Students of all ranks are welcome.  The date is Saturday August 8. The day starts at 10am with warm up exercises and our workout continues to 11:30 when we stop for lunch.  Camp will resume at 1pm with games and friendly team and individual competition until 4pm.  Medal will be awarded to first place in both team and individual competition.

We’ve all had a blast last year with a day filled with activities and fun. Please come back and join us August 8th and bring a friend if you like (they should be karate students) all ranks are welcome.  Ages are 13 and younger.

The cost of this all day camp is $50.  Each participant will have a group picture with sensei George Mattson and one with the entire camp sent to them via email.  Sensei George Mattson will also set aside time to photograph and sign autographs for the children.

If you plan to attend this years summer fest, please announce our summer activities to your jr. members. They’ll have a ton of fun and team up with students from other dojos at our jr. fest.

For more information, please contact me Darin Yee at darinyee@hotmail,com.  Bring their gis, and sparring equipment.  If someone forgets, I will have extra equipment they can borrow.

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Jul 06 2015

Masters Celebration Update

!masters0276Building the 2015 list of Awardees for Master Ranks and Titles:

10 dan: Arthur Rabesa

9th dan: Henry Thom, 

8th dan: Gary W. Geddes, Enrico Paone, Sheldon Dunn, Victor Swinimer

7th dan: Harry Skeffington, , Justin Testa,

6th dan: Andrew Summerley,


Hanshi-sei: Arthur Rabesa

Kyoshi: Harry Skeffington

Renshi: Andrew Summerley

2015 Achievement Award: Buzz Durkin

Please let me know if anyone has been overlooked. I also need all applications for 1-5th dan sent in to our International Test Administrator, Harry Skeffington ASAP. (hskeffington (at)

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Jul 05 2015

Rank-Titles Registry from 1958


Last year I decided to expand on the Uechi-ryu Rank and Titles Registry to include all the promotions issued to North American practitioners since 1958. IUKF hired an associate, Diane Foggin, to take the massive collection of promotion application saved since since that date. Diane announced yesterday that she completed processing all the documents since February, 1974 and was beginning to work on the Okinawa Soke registrations dated June, 1958 through 1974.

Diane has agreed to continue listing any new or unrecorded promotions. Information can be found on the registry, which can be accessed by clicking on the photograph. And. . . a picture of you holding your certificate can be added to your listing, at no additional fee.


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Jun 07 2015

New Summerfest Presenters!!!

rick bortolotti seminar

Sensei Rick Bortolotti”

“I’d like to share the Seisan Bo Kata. Developed by Sensei David Mott, it utilizes Uechi-Ryu body mechanics and stances, including the Seisan jump with Bo. As the Taji Classics state, “where my body stops, my intent continues, where my intent stops spirit continues”, working with the bo is a great way to explore projection of energy- and it’s a fantastic workout!”






john felipe picSensei John Felipe:

I would like to Show Case ” Drills and Skills to improve your Martial Arts.

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Jun 01 2015

Summerfest 2015

SummerFest 1984Wow. . . June already! Time to begin working on Summerfest for this year. I’ve been receiving lots of calls and e-mail from teachers and students who are attending and asking for more information regarding scheduling, Master Celebration and other activities.

Summerfest has been running successfully since 1983 and during this time, has evolved through a number of minor changes and locations. Our home in Plymouth, MA at the “JunglePlex” has turned out to be a perfect location and facility.

Although I receive many suggestions and requests regarding the best way to feature upwards of fifty seminars and many “presenters” within a weekend, I’ve found that our current method, which we have been doing for over twenty years, is the most interesting and workable way to give both our presenters and participants the most opportunities to explore the wonderful world of Uechi-ryu karate as practiced by the most innovative and traditionally minded martial artist in the world.

Over the years we have had the opportunity to be taught by respected Okinawan Uechi-ryu masters, including Grandmasters Kanei Uechi,  Kansei Uechi and Ryuko Tomoyose.

Summerfest 1984 opened up an important relationship with Mainland China and for many years presenters from China honored us by attending and teaching seminars.

Additionally, we have been honored by respected specialist in both traditional martial arts that are closely related to Uechi-ryu in techniques, mindset and self-defense methods. Many of martial art superstars like Roy Bedard, Rory Miller, Darin Yee, Van Canna, Art Rabesa, Buzz Durkin, Jim Maloney, John Spencer, Bob Bethoney, Robb Buckland, Raffi Derdarian, Henry Thom, Bill Glasheen, Bruce Witherell, John Hassell, Peter Blackman, Victor Swinimer and new/er presenters like John Hwee, Tracy Rose and many others, have attended and taught at many Summerfests.

This year we are expecting many participants and a couple of new presenters from Canada.As we get photos and seminar information I will be posting them here and in the Summerfest website.

Please register early and talk up Summerfest at your dojo. We would like 2015 to be the biggest and best Summerfest ever. .



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May 14 2015

Historic Superempi Interview & Demo

Simon Lailey performing Superempi.

Simon Lailey performing Superempi.

Simon Lailey discovered Superempi during his journey and studies in China. He introduced the kata to the rest of the world in the mid 90s during his visit to Boston and his interview with me, followed by his Summerfest seminars that year.

The interview and demonstrations were published in the new video magazine, issue # 6 in 1996 and the rest is history. Whether the kata is indeed the lost 4th form in Uechi-ryu will probably never be fully resolved, but for thousands of practitioners, the kata will continue to be practiced, studied and appreciated.

The videos were converted to digital a number of years ago and then forgotten. Bill Glasheen’s Superempi dvd was created a few years later and Bill did a great job “Uechi-sizing” some of the goju flavors from the lengthy set. During my recent housekeeping of memorabilia, the original dvd was discovered and selected to be the second offering for this series.

Besides the lengthy interview with Simon and his full speed and slow motion study of the kata, the dvd also contains an interesting commentary by me on the subject of kyu promotions. The material is presented in a two dvd package and has been upgraded with a table of contents and chapters.links. Click here to purchase.

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