Aug 09 2008

uechi-ryu and self-defense

Self-defense role in the Traditional Dojo

[From G.E.Mattson’s new book, “The Way of Uechi-ryu Karate” – to be published soon]

9/11 is one of the most powerful and emotional terms in the English language. The day was burned into the memory of every American. I can only recall one other day having such impact. The day President John Kennedy was shot – a day that will forever be a bookmark in my memory. The tragedy of 9/11 affected the martial arts and spawned a whole new breed of innovators in the self defense field. The term “real­ism” crept into the staid and musty dojo, providing a benchmark by which everyone began to measure the effectiveness of their training.

Traditional martial arts have always survived by emphasizing the spiritual and mental benefits. Early proponents bragged that what they taught was the “ultimate” in self defense, but few were tested and few were aware of either their strengths or weaknesses.

9/11 changed all that. For some reason or other, “reality” was very much evident in our daily lives. We didn’t just read about terrorism that happened to other nations, we were now in the middle of it. Where formally we trained in lofty ideals where actual fighting didn’t exist, we now questioned our methods, our instructors and our mindset. The dojo became a place where theoretical and reality crossed paths.

One of my greatest fears during this transition was that people would abandon the traditional martial arts in favor of programs based on pure self-defense skills (Jutsu), absent of any values inherent in the traditional martial arts (Do). I believed that the old ways contained all the elements of fighting that was needed to make a person combat ready, but was hidden in the rituals of kata (one person sets) and bunkai (multiple person drills). All I had to do to retain the traditional while intro­ducing the realistic, was to redefine the methods of interpreting the old methods.

After all, boxing went through much of the same type of evolution. It began as rig­idly defined sport with rules that perpetuated the rituals while discouraging any experimentation and modifications. People will argue about whether the old-time fighters are better than the modern ones, but aside from making interesting conver­sation, few will really believe a Jack Dempsey would last long against many mod­ern professional fighters. Techniques, training methods, coaching and diet all give the modern fighter an edge that cannot be overcome with ritual and tradition.

Faced with these decisions, martial art schools had to decide on an action plan. A majority of dojo, when threatened by this transition, withdrew into redefining Karate from a self-defense based training program where physical and mental were equally emphasized, into a kind of babysitting service where children were taught good manners, respect and discipline, using traditional martial art basic training. Nothing really wrong with this, except they still call what they do “Karate”! In the early years of karate, people viewed what we did as the “ultimate in self defense”, today people are being brainwashed into believing that karate is a form of baby sitting, where their kids are given “good manner” instructions unavailable and unattainable from their conventional schools.

Other dojo buried their collective heads in the sand, pretending that what they do is still the “ultimate” in self defense and that the “old” ways remain not only the best, but vastly superior to what is being offered by the eclectic “flavor of the month” self defense programs being offered by everyone who has ever been in a street fight or bounced at a local nightclub.

The schools that I believe took the most reasonable approach, simply redefined the fifty percent physical training being offered and measured its effectiveness by today’s standards of fitness and practical/realistic fighting methods.

Where in the past we practiced defensive and counter moves against primitive weapons seldom if ever used on the streets, today we acknowledge the presence of guns, knives, baseball bats and tire chains as being weapons a person might poten­tially encounter on the street.

Within the fifty percent “mind” part of our program, we factor in “mindset” and verbal self-defense as part of what makes up our self defense arsenal. Knowing the law concerning weapons and self-defense is also a very important part of what a traditional dojo must offer its students.

In other words, today’s traditional dojo is no longer just about punching and kick­ing. In other sections of this book I will touch on these subjects. Here I will describe some of the training methods that can bridge the theoretical and traditional with the realism. . . In a relatively safe manner..

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Aug 09 2008

G.E.Mattson’s dojo in Florida

George E. Mattson Classes:


Mount Dora Community Center: Mondays and Wednesdays, 5-7PM


Mattson Academy “Virtual” Dojo program.


Private Lessons: Call 321-273-0409













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Jul 30 2008

SummerFest “Grab Bag”

SummerFest “Grab Bag”!
Many Thanks to David Berndt, , this year’s SummerFest “Grab Bag” Sponsor.
Grab Bag
David came up with the idea of creating a gift bag for all participants of SummerFest and filling it with neat gifts from various martial art merchants and sponsors.
We won’t have time to implement the program this year, but it certainly sounds like a great idea and one that will be appreciated by our participants.
If anyone reading this wants to participate in this program, please contact me ASAP. We will be limiting the “grab bags” to the first 250 who register.
Susan asked me to notify all participants to pick up their “Grab Bag” along with their T-shirts (A ticket will be in your registration packet and should be picked up at the Welcome Center located next to the dining room)
Note: The Masters’ Ceremony will be held Saturday evening in the auditorium. The room will only hold 200 people. Guests (senior instructors) and ticket holders will be admitted first. If you currently don’t have tickets or haven’t yet registered, you may not be able to get into the auditorium.
We have lots of room still on the field for people who wish to participate in seminars, discussion sessions “under the tent” and eveing parties at the Spinniker Lounge. You may register when you arrive at the Welcome Center. Admission per day is $150, cash only.
The next time you visit Florida, be sure to work out with George and David in our Mount Dora dojo. Also, be sure to spend a day sight seeing in downtown Mount Dora and drop in to say hello to David at the Mount Dora Estate Jewelry Company:

At Mount Dora Estate Jewelry Company we are proud to carry beautiful lines of fine jewelry in our store and, in addition, find it a pleasure to offer the following services: Private Consultations, Confidential Liquidation, Consignment Services, Watch & Jewelry Repairs, Insurance and Estate Appraisals.
Owned and operated by David Berndt, G.G., C.G., Mount Dora Estate Jewelry Company boasts a complete Gemological Identification Lab on-site. David is a GIA Graduate Gemologist, American Gem Society Certified Gemologist and Lake County’s ONLY Certified Gemologist with over 30 years experience in his field.
International Clientele
Mount Dora Estate Jewelry, Lake County’s full service jeweler, is also popular with an international shopper. Now part of the Internet Global Marketplace, our Clients shop with us from far away as Russia, Japan, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Australia, France and Austria, to name a few.
Appraisal services are available for insurance coverage or estate appraisal. David’s appraisals accurately represent each item with reference to age, condition, and gemological details.

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Jul 27 2008

SummerFest Uniforms

LATE BREAKING SUMMERFEST NEWS!Joe Lauzon found out he has a PR commitment this weekend and can’t make SummerFest. Joe Pomfret will be with us on Saturday morning. Sunday’s schedule will remain the same as posted on the SummerFest site. GEM

Joe Lauzon (16-4) will return to action against Kyle Bradley (13-5) in a lightweight tilt at UFC Fight Night 15 at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska, on September 17.

Joe Pomfret just called me and suggested the he and Joe Lauzon run a big “Ground Fighting” seminar on Sunday morning from 9:30AM – Noon! Because Saturday has so many seminars, Joe though that having his seminar on Sunday might attract a few more participants to stay over and perhaps might create an incentive to get a few people who weren’t able to attend on Friday and Saturday to join our gang for a little bit of “realism” and warrior “mindset”! Instead of talking about it, why not come on down and actually “do it”!

Sunday has traditionally been a slow day and this is a shame – This year we are going to complete the perfect SummerFest with a seminar by two of countries great fighters. . . one a UFC star! It doesn’t get any better than that. . .

Daytrippers welcome. Beside the ground fighting seminars Sunday, there will be a number of other classes available. So get off your computer, talking about how you will deal with stress and violence. . . come on down and actually do it!!!! Who knows, you might like it!

Click here for their website.


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Jul 24 2008

2008 Firedragon Test

The FireDragon Honor Role
Will your name be on this year’s honor role?

Stephen Perry flying during his long-jump last year!

SummerFest 2006 Test 2

SummerFest 2007 Test 3

SummerFest 2008 Test 4

The Test:

Stage 1: Maximum push-ups that can be done in a minute. These will be flat-handed pushups, with elbows rubbing against the body (sort of like karate fist pushups). I’m still debating on whether or not to ask for fist pushups. Right now I think not, but opinions welcome here.

Quickly go to stage 2.

Stage 2: Maximum pull-ups that can be done in a minute. (This is the one I want to do a little more research on). You get one shot here. Once your feet touch the ground, you are done.

Quickly go to stage 3:

Stage 3: Maximum sit-ups that can be done in a minute. These will be bent-knee situps with a partner holding your feet.

Quickly go to stage 4:

Stage 4: You get one minute to do 2 tries at a standing broad jump. Your best effort is your score.

Quickly go to stage 5:

Stage 5 : Maximum number of “squats” that can be done in a minute. A squat is to be done down to thigh-parallel, and then stand completely up. Any squat that doesn’t go down that far, or goes all the way down does not count. Judge will stop you if form gets unacceptable.

Quickly go to stage 6:

Stage 6: A one-mile run.

Congratulations to all who participated in this extreme test of physical fitness and endurance.

George E. Mattson
Bill Glasheen

ps. a Firedragon lapel pin and jacket crest are awarded all who pass the test.

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Jul 14 2008

SummerFest Presenters


Also – Only a few more days to have food included with your registration. After the 23rd, Susan must submit a final food tally – so don’t delay – get your registration in today!!! After the 23rd, all late registered participants will have to purchase their food at the door.

New Presenters at this year’s SummerFest. . .

Robb Buckland and Dr. Ian Marshall
FEARS Ltd. "Art Meets Reality"

Ian and Robb

Fear has the power to control you.
         Distort your senses…
              immobilize you
              when you most need to act.

What do you fear?

Are you terrified of assault… abused… a violent, drug crazed attacker?

Criminals thrive on fear… they choose their victims by watching for weakness and vulnerability… they know you will hesitate. Criminals prey on hesitation and compliance… criminals don’t wait for you to be ready and they don’t fight fair… you deserve to be prepared. Confront reality… Master your fears… build the confidence to do what is necessary, before you become a victim.


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Jul 04 2008

Lee Iacocca

Remember Lee Iacocca, the man who rescued Chrysler Corporation from its death throes? 
Lee IacoccaHe is now 82 years old and has a new book; Where Have All The Leaders Gone,some excerpts Lee Iacocca Says:

“Am I the only guy in this country who’s fed up with what’s happening?
Where the hell is our outrage?  We should be screaming bloody murder.

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Jun 28 2008

Rare book sale

rare book saleBooks for your collection!

Get them while the publisher still has them.

Each of these books are selling on Amazon and E-bay for big bucks. . . and that is for used copies!

This package contains brand new, uncirculated books still in their original shrink wrap. George Mattson has signed The Black Belt Test Guide", which makes it even more valuable and collectible.

These books will not be re-printed and the publisher has very few left, so get your set today. Click here to order you valuable books today!

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Jun 22 2008

Rory Miller’s Meditations on Violence

Meditations in Violence

Rory’s new book is receiving lots of positive reviews from the Uechi-ryu community and the accolades are well deserved.

You can order it now by clicking on the photo of the book. G.E.M.

Meditations on Violence
A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real-World Violence.

Experienced martial artist and veteran correction officer Sgt. Rory Miller distills what he has learned from jailhouse brawls, tactical operations and ambushes to explore the differences between martial arts and the subject martial arts were designed to deal with: Violence.

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May 28 2008

Darin Yee Interview

Check out google – Type “karate”  Would you believe our site is on the 2nd page!!!!

Workout at the “Hut”:
Hi, Sensei,
Carlos Ciriza has arrived in Boston and will be teaching the class at the Hut this Saturday, 6/21, from 9:30 to 11:30. Would you mind posting a notice? Thanks.

SummerFest 2008 – You don’t want to miss this one!!!!
SummerFest VideoWow. . . . Click on the photo!


6-11-2008: SummerFest Update – Dorm rooms for Thursday night are filling-up. (Other programs end Fri morning and we can only occupy one building Thursday) No problem with Friday & Saturday night lodging in the Maritime Academy dorms. If you are planning to stay “off campus,”  make your reservations early. August is the “high” season on the Cape and lodging will be very scarce.

Presenters: Please contact me ASAP regarding what your seminar(s) will consist of and please include a photograph for our program guide.
Everyone: Please remember that Susan will not have extra meal tickets to give out. The caterers have a new meal policy and we have a July 23rd deadline to give them our numbers.. If you register after this time, you must purchase your meals at the dining room entrance.

I was reminded by friends this afternoon, when I checked my email – This is June, Not July! SummerFest discount is good until JULY 3rd! Sorry about that.

Get those applications in early anyways please. . . Thanks George & Susan.


I still receive nearly 50 email a day from martial artists, past and present. I used to post some of them to the “MailBag”, but lack of time prevents me from keeping up this activity. I’m in the process of posting a few of my favorite email in the new “MailBag” (top table of contents), so check it out from time to time. I promise to post some of the best e-mail there every week.

Susan reminds me that the deadline for receiving the SummerFest “early registration” discount is July 3rd. Because of the new food service at the Maritime Academy, we will not be able to issue any food tickets after the July 23rd deadline. After that date, participants will have to pay for their meals at the dining room entrance. Please don’t ask me for tickets, because Susan and I won’t have them.

We will have, it seems, a record number of participants. A huge group from Bermuda and Canada have already signed up. It appears that the Master’s Celebration ceremony, held in the auditorium, will be filled with camp participants. If there is room, visitors will be welcomed. ($20 admission fee)

Get your application in ASAP. Thanks…. George

Memorial Day Spent with our extended Family at Fort Benning!
Khoury Family visit

Susan and I finally had an opportunity to visit Gary and Cindy Khoury over the weekend. Gary and I played golf on Sunday the rest of the time was spent sightseeing around Ft Benning and neighboring Columbus, Georgia.

Gary loves what he is doing and naturally, has a dozen projects he is working on. Cindy is busy being a very supportive wife and mom. Chaz is doing well at school and is growing like a weed! Rachel is an absolutely beautiful three year old, who wanted to come home with us. The baby, Jaclyn is adorable and one of the happiest babies I’ve ever seen. Naturally, “Indy” the dog took a liking to me! 🙂

Gary is trying to get time off for SummerFest so he can show us all some of the neat drills he has learned during training.

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