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Paul Haydu: Uechi-ryu Warrior Passes!

by George Mattson
Uechi-ryu Warrior
Uechi-ryu Warrior

Paul Haydu

I am truly very sorry to report the passing of our very good friend and Uechi-ryu brother, Kyoshi Paul Haydu.

Paul suffered from an incurable form of cancer for many years, but he never allowed his illness to limit his activities or curtail his enjoyment of life, whether it be vacationing with his family, taking a martial art tour of China, working out regularly with his friends, keep up with a full work schedule or attending the annual Uechi-ryu SummerFest in Massachusetts.

Paul was appointed the first chairman of the international Uechi Ryu karate Federation (IUKF) and in that role, helped define the direction of growth and future of the organization.

His passing leaves a void in the lives of all who knew him, but the memories of his life will remain with us forever.

Our deepest sympathy to his wife, Lee and his daughters, Michelle and Sarah.

Information regarding the memorial services will be posted when available.

This from Sensei Darin Yee:

It is with great sadness that I write this letter to our Uechi-Ryu Community.  I am reporting the passing of a beloved Uechi-Ryu Senior Doctor, Paul Haydu.  I was informed this morning by Sensei George Mattson that Sensei Haydu has not been well for a while.  This was a surprise to me as I’ve recently received telephone calls from Paul asking about my well-being and general health.

Doctor Paul Haydu was a kind, gentle man with much love for his fellow man.  That is the reason he became a doctor.  On many occasions, Paul had put the well-being of others ahead of his own.  He was genuinely concerned.

When I discovered I had cancer a few years ago, Doctor Paul Haydu would call me every other day to keep me informed of the type of cancer I had and how to deal with any possible outcome.  He knew exactly what I was going through and taught me how to handle my uncertainty.  I could not ask for a better and more caring friend.

As a warrior, I’ve warned people not to mistake Paul’s kindness for weakness.  Paul was intense in his training and open to all styles and ideas.  Paul stood firm on his Uechi-Ryu background but injected many different understandings to benefit who he was.

Doctor Paul Haydu and I became better friends when he came with me on a mini 15 days China tour along with another dozen Americans.  We trained every morning and sometimes in the evening.  During the evening, a group of us usually sat in the calm Chinese setting at our 4 star hotel with a glass of cognac and a great Colombian or Cuban Cigar (Paul with a glass of water and no cigar) and discussed martial arts all night.  That was about as good as it gets.

Doctor Paul Haydu was the president of our IUKF senior board and was a constant at every meeting.  Paul contributed many great suggestions to help advance the IUKF.  Whenever needed, he was the referee, the mediator or the judge and jury.  Paul always had something positive to say about anyone and everyone.

We will all miss Paul very much.  I especially regret not finding the time to visit him to work out as we had planned these last 2 years.  The way my life is working out there is always one fire or another to put out.  Now I can only say good-by and God be with you.

Darin Yee


Remembering Paul Haydu
On Tuesday, February 26th, Paul finished his battle with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia after having a massive stroke. He was fond of saying, that except for the fact that it killed you, cancer was a favor. It helped him to become spiritually sensitive, enjoy each day, and to appreciate people in a way he hadn’t been prior to learning that his life was going to be limited. He felt it was a lesson we all could learn from.

Paul is survived by his wife Lee, his daughters Michelle and Sarah, his mother Jean Harris and brother Richard. A memorial service will be held at the Powerhouse on March 17th, for all those who wish to attend. In lieu of flowers, please send best wishes to his family and contributions to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.


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