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October, 2005 Mailbag
Note: In the course of a month I get literally thousands of e-mail. I don't normally place correspondence in the "Mailbag" that are either labeled "personal" or contain information of a personal nature. As I read and answer mail, if I find a letter that I find interesting, amusing, topical or educational, it gets filed in my "mailbag" for future use in this feature. I try to edit out any personal information like addresses or telephone numbers, unless the writer specifically requests that I publish it.
I welcome all e-mail and will answer everyone in as timely a manner as possible. Don't be surprised if you find (or don't find) your message in this section. However, if you are concerned about your letter finding its way into the "Mailbag", simply include in the header or at the beginning of message "personal" and I will honor your request. GEM
My name is Tony Williams. I had written you approximately two weeks ago requesting to be added to your "Dojo Directory." My fear is that my message may have been lost in your many e-mail responses from summer camp. Once again I would like to request to be added to your "Dojo Directory." Any assistance you could lend in this matter would greatly be appreciated. My information is as follows:
NAME: Tony Williams
By the way, as I was looking at the "September 2005 Mail Bag" and I read the post "Good Things Happen To Good People." The original message came from Mr. Joel Thompson. He had asked if there was a Uechi-Ryu dojo in the South Bend, Indiana area. I'm not certain if Sensei Snodgrass is still teaching there, however I do know that Sensei Mohsen Hamadanchi is teaching in Elkhart (16 miles east of South Bend, IN). His contact information is as follows. I hope that you will be able to pass this information on to Mr. Thompson.
Thanks again Sensei Mattson!
Dear Sensei Mattson,
I moved within the same country, but I'm no loger based in Temecula, CA, so could you please update my information in Teacher Directory on the web? My new info is: Name: Manabu Kimura City: Yorba Linda (still in California) Phone: 951-704-3445 Email: email@example.com Thank you! Manabu
Dear Mr. Mattson,
I would like to inform you the
Mike Rozumek's Karate Center has been renamed to Luth's Family Karate. If
you could please update your master list we would appreciate it. I was
also wondering if you had any Black Belt books available? If you do,
we would like to find out the cost. We have some students that would
be interested in purchasing some. We would like to possibly purchase
some to resell to our students. Thank you for your attention to this
matter. Thank you, Jennifer Luth
Dear Sensei George Mattson,
I am a Sifu of Norhtern Shaolin Eagle Claw Trained
under the direct disciple of Grand Master Lily Lau. I am also a Sensei of
Uechi-Ryu trained originally under Jon Mills of Boston as well as Roger Audette
of Wisconsin and Ohio- his teacher is Eddie Decosta. I now have a school where
I teach specifically Uechi 3 days a week and Eagle Claw 3 Days a week. I would
like to be included in your Uechi-ryu Teachers diectory page. My school name
is Shaolin-ji Karate-Kung Fu Roger Sultzman Sifu/Sensei 4357 N. Lincoln ave.
Again thanks I appreciate your help.
Thanks for writing. Bill Glasheen is still very active teaching in VA and may be able to give you the name of a teacher in your area. (I've cc'd him)
Don't forget to attend SummerFest this August.
Dear Sensei Mattson,
I hope all is well at your "new digs" in Fl.
My family needed a bigger house (I now have three foster teens - Yikes!!, this is a test of my patience) so we moved about a year ago.
Please be kind enough to update my contact information in the dojo directory as follows:
Hello, I visited your website and was very impressed with the Uechi-ryu style
you teach. I would very much like to begin taking classes with you, unfortunately,
I live in Los Angeles. I found an instructor by the name of Sensei William
Peterson in the Los Angeles area. Can you tell me anything about this
instructor? I am looking for professional, quality, serious instruction
like what you all seem to offer. I have included the website where I
found Sensei William Peterson's information. http://shoheiryulosangeles.tripod.com/ I
would really appreciate it if you would respond quickly with any information
you may have regarding this instructor, as I am looking forward to begin training
I hope you have enjoyed your Summer on Okinawa . Here in Florida , we have been enjoying " Okinawa " weather. . . Hurricanes instead of Typhoons! J
We are working on WinterFest 2006, which will be held on President's Day weekend, (Feb 17 - 20) . Not sure if you will be home at that time, but if you are, please accept my invitation to join us.
I was thinking about asking Gushi, Sensei to spend the weekend with us as well, but I only met him a couple times and really don't know him very well. Our mutual friend, David Berndt, said that you were a close friend of his and that perhaps you might intercede on my behalf in asking him to be our guest for WinterFest.
Please let me know what you recommend, as I value your judgment very much.
Hope to see you soon,
Dear Mr. Mattson,
I sense it a great honor that you are requesting my recommendation to invite Sensei Gushi. I did interpreter role for him for three times (6, 4, and 2 years ago in Tampa Florida ). Every time I interpret for him, I felt his faithfulness to his master---Saburo Uehara teaching. Thankful to his art because of his art brought to U.S. and the best of all he has all family together in U.S. It would never happen in Japan ; therefore he is very grateful to the U.S. In order to become a U.S. residence, Mr. Mario Higashionna, Go-Jo master in San-Francisco sponsored him. Sensei Higashionna is not the same style of martial art!
His teaching is back to basic and more so ---" SURVIVAL ART! " None of the masters in Okinawa taught this different phase of martial art. You will see his eyes glare once we are talking about Ueci-Ryu. Yes, he is one of the purest Uechi-Ryu master I considered. Let him explain to everyone," What SANCHIN really means!
"As I said enough, he is congenial and pure Uechi-Ryu master. You will be glad you invited him for your Witerfest. I would join him if I lived even in New Jersey now. Because of a little language barrier he may loose some flavors of what he has to say. I resound with him most of his belief of his art and principles, therefore, it was very rewarding moment for me, and on the same token, he is very sincere about American martial Artists. He told me once, he asked one Okinawan guy with a full of potential to study martial art, and he enticed him that he doesn't have to pay, but only practice with him. However, the student refuses his offer simply its takes too much time and requires hard work! Americans and foreigners have more compassion than Okinawan about this art!
You will witness the energy and power form small frame and wonder where he generates! His pastime is sipping coffee and puffing cigarettes during a break. One more pastime he has is he would like to talk to the Martial artists in America . It seems nothing is giving a great pleasure talking to US students!
He once told me our Sensei Joe Guidry' pool side in Brandon saying," ask anything about Uechi-Ryu since 1966 (?)" Every one of the deshis felt we were in Utopia with the Great Master. At least I felt it!
He is a very humble man; he may want to stay with a student house rather than exclusive hotel in Tallahassee (?) , FL.
As a matter of fact, He stayed at Jonathan Jackson house nearly two years ago with me.
Finally, I would like to introduce to you nearly two years ago when I was as an interpreter. The end of every session, we usually go to one of students residence and have snack lunch. We chat and eat socializing, and he naturally whispers saying. "May be this is a heaven; everyone is enjoying each others as a company. And he continue " This is what I seek for long, long time"
One more episode if I may. One of our students asks question such like." Sensei, it must be nice to be invited all over the U.S. and Canada (?). He quietly answered," It is not what I have been or where I have been -is not important, but talk to your guys to understand true meaning of Martial art is the most important, and it is my mission"
Well, I don't have to say anymore about him. We will never find another master like him.
If I did not give a good recommendation, the below person to cc Michael and Jonathan (He has just returned from training in Okinawa few days ago!) both from Brandon Florida will strongly recommend. They may want to join WinterFest with any luck.
If you decide to invite the WinterFest, please let me do the honor to talk to him that he was invited to your WiterFest. He loves to carry conversation with Okinawan hogen ( U-Chi-Na~Gu-Chi); he will be delighted J . I will he honored to forward the message to him. Tsukasa (Scott) Higa
PS: Wishing we will see again! Michael and JJ prepare to talk to Master Mattson!
Thank you for the very detailed description of Gushi sensei. I am familiar with his great skill in both Uechi-ryu and traditional Okinawan weapons, but was unfamiliar with his background in America and his relationship with USA dojo/teachers.
I would very much appreciate your contacting him and acting in my behalf, regarding the invitation to our WinterFest in February. I will do my best (should he accept my invitation), to get a Japanese speaking Uechi practitioner to help him while he is in Florida .
Once again, thanks for your very helpful advice and counsel. We very much enjoyed having you at SummerFest and am looking forward to having you with us again in the future.
want me to honor to inform that he was invited to WinterFest and also inform
the exact date of invitation, I will immediately call him in San-Francisco. And
additional information and procedure will follow.
=============================== All Set to Go. Please join us at WinterFest=============
News From our Dojo Friends!
Hi George, Did you get anything from the Bone Marrow Transplant people about the calendar? They are out and I have mine, you should have received something from them. Anyway, if you don't mind, can you post something? If someone wants one they can order on line at www.bmtinfonet.org they can also print out a copy to mail if they don't want to order on line. It's a good cause as this organization does a lot of good for people dealing with all the different types of BMT'S.
I am registered with them and they call when they have someone who needs help getting through the stress related to getting ready for the treatment. I generally just answer questions and tell them my story. It's non profit and tax deductible. They cost $12, shipping included. Thanks for your help. How have you been? Especially since you have caught up with me age wise? Hell, it's only a number anyway. I am playing golf tomorrow. I'm not playing too bad but my distance is gone. I just can't get into the ball at all anymore. I don't think I am even hitting 200 off the tee. I played last week and believe it or not, my putting was big. I was sinking everything. Good thing cause they weren't for birds or pars. I'm scoring hi 80's at Otis. I don't think I will be improving on that either.
My short game has really kept me at that. I still love it though. Dr. reprots were pretty good today and I am up in Boston Thursday. Both oncology and kidney. Just getting over a cold but my lungs have been clear. I'm just getting weaker, I ain't 35 anymore. (-: I'll give you a call probably this week end. Take care. Best to Susan.
The Bill (Bill Bauknecht)
Wow... 200 yards off the tee. I'm impressed and you still have to give me strokes! For those reading this, please click on the link and order your calendar. Bill is Ms October I believe! :) GEM
I hope you don't mind me sending you this email, I was looking on a karate chat forum and the address for your site was attached to a post, so I decided to take a look, I've been studying Martial Arts for over 18 years now, it was just the other day I was talking to a friend of mine about what first attracted me to the martial arts, having come from a dysfunctional home I was often playing truant from School and during this time I'd often be in the local library reading books, I came across a book titled “The way of karate” by George E Mattson. This book intrigued me so much that I'm ashamed to say I actually stole it from the library, although this was a very dishonest act for which I'm not proud of I'm also a great believer in fate and I believe I was destined to have that book! I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank you personally for the inspiration that book gave me, I couldn't possibly imagine my life without Martial Arts now and you are partly responsible for that, Thank you very much George!!!!!!!! Kind regards,
"A percussion art played on people!"
Hi Susan & George Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. It was good hearing from you and keep the humor coming it is appreciated by all in the office with me. It's finally cooler now only get to about 98 during the day almost jacket time. Here's my mailing address: LCDR Scott Dyer MNC-I USACE-GRC-VAO APO-AE 09342-1400
We are pretty well taken care of over here, much better than I was anticipating. The food is quite good and living quarters are good at least for the group I'm with. The only we can't get here is some good coffee, my only addiction. Rose is sending me a care package with some. Most of the projects I am working on are at or around the airport area. I'd have to say we are relatively safe here just have to watch out for the occassional mortar and rocket shots. I'm glad you are enjoying Florida and did not have any problems with hurricanes in your part. I've enclosed a few pics of some of the areas here. These pics you probably won't see in the news but it kind of shows how lucky we are in the USA. Looks like I'll only be here thru March or April then back home. I'll take it as it comes.
Take Care will write more later.
Scott sent the following pictures of his neighborhood. Lets not forget our service men and women. Drop Scott a line and let him know you appreciate his being away from family (Rose Dyer and kids) for over 7 months! GEM
New England Childrens' Tournament News!
CC: Board of Directors
Just an FYI to let you all know that the kid's tournament today was a great success. Lenny did a fine job as the promoter of the event.
There were around 100 kids competing and about 200 + spectators. We had enough officials to run 5 rings simultaneously. They all ran very well. We had the typical issues that pop up at every tournament, however no major issues to report.
Over all it was a very good day and excellent tournament. The next one is scheduled for November 20 th (Fred Channell), is the promoter.
Take care – Jay
PS: I will be scheduling an IUKF referees meeting before Fred's event.
Take care – Jay Sal.
Good job everyone. GEM
Rare Book Update!
Good to hear from you. Hope you and the family are doing well. Also trust your karate is continuing to be enjoyable.
I don't have any of Al's first book. I sold one in an auction, for the benefit of his family. I believe it went for about $200. I'll post a notice to see if I can locate one for you.
I'm interested in buying Allen Moulten's books if they are in stock. I already have Traditional Okinawan Karate – Intermediate Uechi-Ryu. It is funny how you overlook the books until the author is no longer with us, then you make a mad dash to acquire the books but it is always too late.
Yes, I wish Al had printed more, but the fact that they won't be reprinted and few were printed, will make Al's first book (and the others) very collectible. I'll keep my eyes open for one, but my guess is that this book, when available, will be going for over $300. (A thousand in five years)! GEM
Hello Mr. Mattson, I am interested in purchasing one of the remaining copies of Uechiryu Karate Do. Are there still copies left? I know the price in the store is listed as $125 USD. Thank you for your assistance. Regards, Tim Greer
They are going fast, but we still have a few "mint" conditioned signed/numbered and shrink wrapped copies left! GEM
Where Are They???
Subject: Jerry serino
Recently I was reading something on-line and Jay Sal mentioned Jerry Serino. I was a student of Jerry's back in the 80's and am now a student of Nancy Gavenda's. I got my black belt under Jerry at one of the infamous Thompson's Island tests. Anyway I was wondering if either you or Jay knows how to get in touch with Jerry (E-mail, snail mail Etc.)? If you do can you kindly pass it along to me?
Yours in Karate,
Rumor has it he moved to Hawaii , but you know the reliability factor for rumors to be.
Happy to hear you are working out with Nancy . She is a fine teacher who wasted much of her time attempting to teach me the Oar Kata! Please give her my best regards.
China Trip in 2006
Hi Mr Mattson:
I'm writing to inquire about the trip to China? Is it still going to happen?
If you have any info about it would you let me know where and who I need to
contact I am interested in going myself. Hope everything is going well with
Trip is on. (Read letter from Darin Yee on the home page) Quite a few people have already expressed interest in going. GEM
Looking for Dojo or Instructor
Just browsing the web and came across this site. Do you remember me? Seems so long ago. So much has happened I don't know where to begin. Some nasty arthritis took me out of the martial arts ten years ago, at the level of Godan. Of all the things I miss from my past, teaching and studying karate tops the list. Sigh. I've been an ER nurse for about 14 years, and also wrote a fairly decent book (see web page.) I just moved to Florida from the DC area.
I notice that Dave Finkelstein, one of my former teachers, is still in the art. I wonder if you have an email or snail mail address for him.
Hope everything is well with you. Say hello for me to anyone who might remember me. Attached is a picture of me at work two years ago and a more recent one of me and my sweetheart.
~Z (Mike Zwerdling R.N.)
Hello Sensei, This is a favor that I am asking for:
Good to hear from you. Always nice to get an email from another "old timer"?
I can't remember the instructor you are referring to. But if you post your letter in our forums, (Looking for a dojo/instructor forum)there is a good chance someone will be able to help you.
Stay in touch.
Subject: Uechi Ryu Schools
George, I trained for a short period with you in the early seventies along
with Jim Orphan who was primarily schooled out of the Norwood dojo but loved
to attend your school. We were both going to Massasoit at the time. In the
90's Jim and I opened a school in Walpole and later gave it to one of our students
because our professional lives had moved into high gear. Jim, if you didn't
know, has numerous black/red belts in about 5-6 styles and spent quite a bit
of time in China. I have studied three different styles but never got beyong
brown belt in Uechi ryu. Do you know of a school in the Walpole area that teaches
Uechi? I cannot find one close to town and my prfessional life doesn't allow
much time for travel. I still workout with videos and have stayed up on Uechi
mainly because of your newsletter. Thanks for sharing this with us lurkers.
Anything you can suggest would be a help.
Good to hear from you. I do remember Jim, but not you. Pleased to hear you wish to return to Uechi-ryu.
I highly recommend making the short trip to Newton Center every Saturday. We have a class for new/er students from 9-10am and a brown-black belt class from 10-11:30am. You should be able to handle a double class as do many other "old timers".
Directions are on the shubukan page:
I've cc'd Ovi Raffa, the person in charge of the first class. Please email him if you have any questions. Good luck,
Team IUKF Update
Dear Sensei Mattson,
I am Nathan Harker from Neil Stone's Academy. We have been in touch before about your Junior Tournaments and a few other things. I was wondering if I could have some assistance finding some tournament series that are similar to Uechi-Ryu. I have fought in the Krane divisions where our style is less then excepted, because we use techniques that weaken the legs or maybe one would say just more practical techniques. I was wondering if you knew of any other tournaments or tournaments for Olympics that I would be able to attended. I attend your yearly tournament (except for last year due to cancellation), but I was looking to fight more then once a year. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much Sensei Mattson. Have a great night!!
You are in luck. Darin Yee (IUKF Board member) has created “Team IUKF” that will be training on a regular basis and fighting in many tournaments during the year.
I'm ccing him so the two of you may communicate.
My father, Charles Kopp, is not listed in the registry. I believe that you were his teacher. Can the listing be corrected?
So sorry to hear that your father died. I spoke with him last month after learning about his illness.
If you would send me a more recent photograph and anything else you would like me to include, I'll publish it in our “Memorial” site.
If you have access to his certificates, please send me dates and numbers so I can update the registry.
Your dad and I were very close for many years. At some point he decided to move in a different direction regarding his karate studies and we drifted apart. I always considered him a friend though and always tried to get him to return to my dojo whenever our paths crossed. Sadly, this never happened.
My best to you Adam.
New Products from our Uechi friends!
Iron Arm International
(1). The Uechi basics (hojoundo), a two poster set.
(2). Kyu Kumite, a two poster set, and
(3). Yakusoku and Uechi's Kumite, a three-poster set. The suggested retail price is $14.95 each, for the two-poster sets and the wholesale price for the set (call for info). For the three-poster set the suggested retail price is $21.95.
2. The wholesale price applies to orders of five sets of posters or more in any combination. Also, for collectors, posters of the book cover (Karate: A Master's Secrets of Uechi Ryu), are $10.
. I will also cover the shipping
during this introductory offer.
My new students are using your posters as part of my review of the product. So far, the feedback has been very positive. An excellent tool for students who are learning these techniques. GEM