WinterFest 2009

by George Mattson

WinterFest 2009

Everyone had a great time this year. The seminars were energetic, educational and fun. The feedback so far has been helpful and will assist me in planning next year’s event.

A lot of this year’s emphasis was focused on Okinawan Bo techniques and how working with the Bo can help the student understand body motion during unarmed movement and techniques. George Schriefer and Joe Guidry did a fine job demonstrating the body dynamics of Bo applications and how they relate to Uechi-ryu movement.

Fedele Cacia taught the new Okinawan RYUKO KATA to the group in only two sessions. According to Fedele, this was a new record for learning this fairly long kata, which attests to the attentiveness of the WinterFest participants. (By the way – everyone liked the kata)

I taught three sessions demonstrating and teaching the benefits of kyu and dan kumite and the many variations of speed for development of balance, timing and distancing. I also taught my version of “fast-hands” kotikiti, which everyone enjoyed.

Gerry Hendwich showed us all how tight we were as he took us through a painful and eye opening set of stretches Friday and Saturday. Those of us who recall Gerry during his competition days remember him as a first class Champion, defeating all comers with his devistatingly effective head kicks and pyle driving punches. And more importantly, Gerry never violated competition rules regarding excessive contact while winning his many tournaments. No question but his remarkable flexibility and strength training enabled him to perform in tournaments so well.

Darin Yee conducted two very interesting seminars relating to the Uechi “wauke” and it’s multi purpose applications. He also discussed Uechi-ryu’s history in China and our system’s relationship to other Chinese martial art systems.

Roy Bedard taught three exciting seminars focusing on health, olympic style tournament competition and realistic submission techniques for the street. A great weekend for everyone.

Many thanks to all who attended and who made WinterFest so successful and enjoyable.

G.E. Mattson


This from Dana:



Hi George!

Thanks for all the work you do for the uechi community. It’s a lot of work to get those things together and I appreciate it.

I have a couple of comments to make. Of course! I’m a woman!!

I really enjoyed Roy Bedard’s sessions. I always enjoy them. He has so much experience and knowledge. On top of that he is a great public speaker, holding our attention and making us laugh with his witty remarks.

His classes focus on the real life situations and isn’t that what matters most? Fidel is also a very good teacher and a very gracious man. Darin Yee always makes me feel like part of the group which is very important to me at this point in my uechi life. Darin has passion and an excitement about martial arts that is infectious. I have the utmost respect for him.

Next year I’d like to see you have some more night time activities planned. Dinner reservations in advance to accomodate everyone would be nice. And perhaps a list of some places for night life for some. Also, I think ending at 5 and meeting at 6:30 is a bit difficult. I’d like to see ending at 4 so there is more time to wind down afterwards and get ready for dinner. Lord knows it takes me time to beautify myself!!

I took some photos and will be sending them shortly. Good luck with Harley, the escape artist!! I came home to find my dog had grown more in just three days!!




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