Sep 29

Message from the Chairman



By Henry Thom, 9-Dan, Hanshi


As a brief introduction, IUKF is a federation of Uechi-Ryu practitioners who share a common lineage to Grandmaster Kanei Uechi.  A member of the South China Martial Arts Alliance [SCMAA] and the Okinawa Family of Uechi Organizations, the IUKF was founded in mid-1980 by George Mattson, Hanshi 10th Dan.  Sensei Mattson studied directly under Grandmaster Kanei Uechi and Master Ryuko Tomoyose and is acknowledged as one of the senior world leaders of Uechi-Ryu by various Okinawa Karate Systems and teachers.   In addition to George Mattson, IUKF senior leadership includes Van Canna and Arthur Rabesa, both 10th Dan, Darin Yee, 8th Dan / Vice President of IUKF, and Henry Thom, 9th Dan / Chairman of IUKF.

Individual Uechi-ryu practitioners and dojos, regardless of current affiliations, are welcome to join IUKF as Individual or Dojo Members.

IUKF believes that when a large group of Uechi-Ryu dojos work together in a synergistic fashion, it makes individual dojos stronger.

IUKF dojos are run by the dojo owners, not by IUKF.  The IUKF, by design, is there to support and help members grow their dojos and maximize their potential, rather than to restrict them with arbitrary rules and regulations.   As such, IUKF membership is not exclusive.  Rather, we encourage member Dojos to maintain existing links with other associations and teachers, with IUKF providing another source of knowledge, activities, friendship and extended senior access. IUKF dojo owners are charged with maintaining IUKF standards within their dojos, and have a single mission:  to nurture and grow within their own students the knowledge and confidence given to them by their teachers.  IUKF will help individual dojos become builders of strong and successful individuals.

IUKF is an internationally recognized source of promotion and certification for Uechi-Ryu Dan (black belt) rank.  IUKF is a strong believer in maintaining what Grandmaster UECHI Kanei termed the “Sacred Space” between students and their sensei. IUKF has determined that ultimately, the teacher should remain the final authority regarding when students are promoted. However, IUKF also recommends that the member Senseis take advantage of IUKF’s senior teachers and recommended procedures relating to promotions, as detailed in the (for members only) Black Belt Test Guide (BBTG). The BBTG provides valuable information on the study and practice of Uechi-Ryu and the testing and ranking requirements. The IUKF leadership will always be available to assist dojo owners and students upon request.  IUKF also conducts semi-annual events including regional black belt tests for those who would prefer to have their students test in front of a large board of very senior Uechi-ryu teachers rather than handle the details of testing on their own.  Automatic recording of ranks and title in the International Rank and Titles Registry website is a benefit of membership in the IUKF.

There are several additional benefits of IUKF membership.

SEMINARS: Many higher ranking IUKF black belts perform seminars in various locations around the world. For dojos which would like to invite Senior IUKF Teachers to lead formal seminars, daily rates for IUKF Seniors are standardized, so dojo owners can budget and plan easily. The website keeps our members in touch with each other and with developments in Uechi-Ryu.

FORUMS:  The IUKF Forums allow for a lively exchange of ideas.

FORUMS:  The IUKF Forums allow for a lively exchange of ideas.

VIDEO:  The IUKF video section is rich in content.  IUKF provides administrative and training webinars on dealing with social media and advertising tutorials, and provides programs relating to “Bullying” and other problems affecting both children and adults.  IUKF also provides helpful tutorials and live webinars on all areas of running a successful dojo.

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER:   Sensei Mattson also distributes his monthly Newsletter with special training tips to members.

If you have questions regarding IUKF, concerning membership, etc, please contact Henry Thom at henrythom(at)   Sensei George Mattson is available at gmattson(at)

You may also contact country-specific IUKF leadership as noted below.  Important:  All member countries are independent entities.

IUKF-USA: Please contact Brett Maine: bmainelmt(at)

IUKF-Canada: Please contact David Mott: david(at)

IUKF-UK: Please contact Lee Adams:  lee.adams(at) and Al Wharton: alwharton8(at)

IUKF-Germany: Please contact Bruce Hirabayashi: bruce.hirabayashi(at) and/or Paul Kronschnabl: paul.kronschanbl(at)

IUKF-Cuba: Please contact Noslem Torres M.: mtmiranda(at)




2015 Greetings,

IUKF-USA is entering another very successful year of operation. For the new visitors to this site, please allow me first present a very brief history of Uechi Ryu in the U.S. before proceeding further. In 1958 Grand Master Kanei Uechi (RIP) asked Sensei George Mattson, a soldier in Okinawa, to bring the art to the U.S. and prompted him to open the first Uechi Ryu dojo in the U.S. and expand the art in the country. A lot has occurred since then. Master George Mattson started his teaching in a humble little corner of a Boston YMCA some 58 years ago to subsequently opening up his huge and very successful Mattson Academy in Boston. He has trained literally more than a thousand students and hundreds of black belts. Many of his black belt students have since scattered worldwide and some have branched off and built their own Uechi Ryu organizations. Two of Master Mattson’s original students, Sensei Van Canna and Sensei Art Rabesa, are now 10-Dan in IUKF. I am also one of Master Mattson’s original student from 50 years ago.

For IUKF-USA to continue to grow, we must have members who pay dues in order to support the various IUKF activities. There are a lot of activities.

“What is the IUKF doing for me”, may be the question in your mind.

Well, the more we do for the IUKF, the more it will be able to offer its members. Currently, the IUKF is a promoting and certifying source for Uechi-Ryu black belt rankings. The members only Black Belt Test Guide provides valuable information on the study and practice of Uechi Ryu and the testing and ranking requirements. Many higher ranking black belts perform seminars in various locations.

The website operates on behalf of Uechi Ryu and the IUKF. This site alone keeps our members in touch with each other and with developments in Uechi Ryu. Its Forums allow for lively exchange of ideas. The video section is rich in content, and will be available exclusively for members. Master Mattson also distribute his monthly Newsletter with special training tips to members. The Eastern Arts store in has DVDs, books, Uechi insignia clothes, gym bags and jewelry, all discounted to IUKF members.

If you are a new or relatively new student, please join up and support IUKF. To those who have been around for a while and benefiting from IUKF one way or another but are not paying members, please start considering how to give back to IUKF in a meaningful manner, which means pay your membership due.

The members of the IUKF Advisory Board and its various committees are individuals who volunteer considerable amounts of their time with no cost to IUKF. Every bit of membership dues received by the IUKF goes to communications and projects on behalf of the members.

If you are a dojo owner and prefer joining as a dojo, please contact IUKF Chairman of the Board of Advisors, Henry Thom at
The general membership fee is $50 for adults ($30 for juniors), about a tank of gas. For general membership please contact IUKF’s Membership Administrator, Brett Maine, at Brett Maine (

Hope to see all of you at the next Summer and Winter Fest. Please check the website for details.        

The following was written by Dr. Paul Haydu in 2006:

What is an IUKF member?

The IUKF is a young organization and the Board of Directors was discussing the question of what makes an IUKF member.  Other Martial Arts organizations require membership dues in order to join.  If you’re an engineer, lawyer or doctor, you pay annual dues to belong to professional organizations.  The year you omit your dues, is the year you cease to be a member.

It was mentioned that some people think that because they’ve been affiliated with IUKF activities, that they’re a member.  Some feel that because they are seniors, they ought to be considered a member.  Others who volunteer time and effort on behalf of the organization believe that this equates to being a member.  What they all miss is that in order for an organization such as the IUKF to grow and prosper, it needs funding.  For it to create projects and items of value to its members, it needs funding, and that comes from all of our dues!

Every bit of those dues received by the IUKF goes to communications and projects on behalf of the members.

To give you an example, the members of the Board of Directors are individuals who volunteer considerable amounts of their time.  Still, each one of them is a paying member.  Darin Yee, who is an advanced teacher, has forty years of Martial Arts experience and gives classes and seminars on behalf of the IUKF, has paid extra, to become a lifetime member.  The members of the Board understand that the more senior one is the more one should understand that our organization needs the support of each one of us, to survive and prosper.  So a dues-paying person, is a member of the IUKF.

“What is the IUKF doing for me”, may be the reply to a request for dues.  Well, the more we do for the IUKF, the more it will be able to offer its members.  Currently, the IUKF is a promoting and certifying source for Uechi-Ryu Dan rankings.  The Eastern Arts website operates on behalf of Uechi Ryu and the IUKF.  This site alone keeps our style’s members in touch with each other and with developments in our style.  Its Forums allow for lively exchange of ideas.  The video section is rich in content, and will be available exclusively for members.

The Eastern Arts store has DVDs, Uechi insignia clothes, gym bags and jewelry, all discounted to IUKF members.   And the Summer Fest tuition cost is discounted each year sufficiently for IUKF members to off-set for the cost of dues each year!

As the IUKF grows, it will become the kind of organization that will have the power to offer the wide array of products and services that you would like. 

As a young outfit, it needs your help.

Oct 31

IUKF President Visits Bennett’s Karate

Bennett's Karate IUKF 2019 Seminar 3

On October 20th, Richard Bennett and Bennett’s Karate in Erie, CO, hosted Darin Yee to share his Uechi Ryu concepts with various Kung Fu interpretations with students.

Bennett's Karate IUKF 2019 Seminar 2

Bennett’s Karate is a member of Master Jim Thompson’s Uechi Ryu Kokusai organization. Master Jim Thompson has shared his knowledge and skill at George Mattson’s Summer Fest.

At Bennett’s Karate, seminar attendees participated in drills and discussions from Sensei Darin Yee. Darin Yee would like to thank Richard Bennett and Bennett’s Karate students for their gracious hospitality and the opportunity to share these concepts.

Bennett's Karate IUKF 2019 Seminar 1

Oct 15

2020 European Regional Seminar

Uechi-Ryu Karate Do

Set in the grounds of the Discovery Science Park Building 509, situated close to the historic towns of Sandwich, Canterbury and Dover, the European regional Uechi-Ryu workout 2020 promises to be a must attend Seminar for the serious Uechi practitioner.

Uechi Brethren from all associations have been invited so we can share and engage with the wider community and enjoy 2 days of training from September 19th – September 20th, 2020.

We have confirmed presenters from USA/UK/Germany including:

  • George Mattson – 10th Dan Father of Uechi Ryu in America
  • Darin Yee – 9th Dan IUKF President
  • Al Wharton – 9th Dan IUKF Bermuda
  • Jim Hulse – 8th Dan IUKF GB
  • Lee Adams – 7th Dan IUKF GB
  • Paul Kronschabl – 6th Dan IUKF Germany
  • David Harris – 6th Dan Uechi Ryu GB
  • Scott Hulse – 6th Dan IUKF GB
  • Thomas Podzelny – 5th Dan Okinawa Uechi Ryu Karate do Assc.

On Saturday evening, there will be a 3-course meal (separate charge), bar, and music so we can relax and have time to chat.

Junior Seminar (under 14) is on Sunday, September 20th from 9am – 12 Noon FOC
*Please pre-register via email –


Early Bird Special:

Seminar cost £80/$100/€89 for the weekend
PayPal link – – please put ‘Seminar’ in comments

3 Course Celebration Meal

Cost: £20/$25/23EUR
PayPal link – – please put ‘Celebration’ in comments

Other Information:

Trains from London:

  • Ramsgate – 1 hour 18minutes then taxi for 10 minutes
  • Canterbury West – 58 minutes then taxi for 20 minutes
  • Sandwich – 1 hour 28 minutes then taxi for 8 mins
  • Dover Priory – 1 hour 5 minutes then taxi for 25 minutes


Building has started on a travel lodge in the Discovery park site; the hope is that this will be available for the event, however other options are available. Shogun has a minibus which should be available to shuttle attendees from local hotels to the event.


  • Sandwich Taxis – 01304 617 424
  • Thanet Cars – 01843 666 666
  • Longley’s Private Hire – 01227 710 777

**Please note that you don’t have taxi’s at Sandwich train station, please book in advance.** maybe for registration.


There are many things to see and do in the UK during your visit some suggestions are listed below, if you get a chance why not visit the historic City of Canterbury with the world-famous Cathedral which will celebrate its 800th birthday in 2020, explore the historic streets the home of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

Oct 03

2020 Honolulu Regional Workout

Sharing the Love of Karate in the Spirit of Aloha – Honolulu Uechi-Ryu Gasshuku: Traditional Intensive Training

An open invitation to all friends of The Honolulu Uechi-Ryu Karate-do Club! Join us January 11th & 12th, 2020 for a two-day informal training session at Magic Island in Honolulu, Hawaii! 

This weekend event is specialized training in the Japanese Budo tradition of the Gasshuku. Unlike traditional workshops where new material is taught, Gasshuku (translating to “lodging together”) immerses keen students in a lifestyle of coming together for a few hours a day.

Much of Gasshuku is conducted outdoors, providing a wide range of diversity in training methods and activities. Nature plays a large part in this training and using the environment to create unique and fascinating challenges. 

What distinguishes the tradition of Budo practice is the practice of cohabitating with fellow students, socializing during meals, and bonding together from the experience. Gasshuku is not merely another day of training, but a change in lifestyle that will be an essential aspect for their lifelong commitment to the way of Budo.

Please consider joining us on January 11th and 12th, 2020 at magic Island in Honolulu Hawaii for the first annual Honolulu Uechi-Ryu Gasshuku.

For more information on who will be presenting, please check out our website for up-to-date information!

To access the special rates, guests should book by either of the following:

  1. Online at, using Promo Code: HNL20 or
  2. By phone, call the reservations department.  If calling reservations, guests are advised to mention Promo Code (HNL20)

Ala Moana Hotel reservations can be reached at:

1-800-367-6025 from the U.S. Mainland; 1-800-446-8990 from the neighbor islands; and 955-4811 from Oahu

(The promo code will expire the day before the latest checkout date.)

Oct 03


Clarification Regarding Promotion & Master Rank Testing

The IUKF is undergoing a revision of its procedures to serve its members better.  I’m sure there must be many questions going forward.  I hope the following information will address some of your concerns.  If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to communicate with us.

Our organization is global, and our membership is extensive.  We understand the difficulties of trying to accommodate everyone 100% of the time.  Please understand the best that we can do is to make decisions that will serve the majority of our membership.  In order to maintain stability and consistency, we cannot offer conflicting agreements from one dojo to another.


Promotion For Shodan To Godan

The IUKF determined many years ago to implement “dojo testing” for Sho-dan to Go-dans.  That is to say, that each member dojo shall test students for Shodan up to Godan and may promote at their discretion.  The IUKF holds the Sensei/Direct Teacher responsible for upholding general standards and competency of the Applicant and will not scrutinize promotions at that level. Our current Senior Advisory Board upholds this current practice.

Each member dojo will conduct their own testing and apply their own standards specific to their dojo.  Each member dojo is advised to assemble their own testing board.  All member dojos may request the presence of a master rank from the IUKF, and we will make all efforts to make that possible.

The IUKF recommends your dojo follow the minimum requirements listed in the Black Belt Test Guide (which you can purchase online in Sensei Mattson’s store, or as a member dojo, you can view our suggested guidelines on our website in the members’ section).

Promotion For Rokudan & Up

Master ranks (Roku-dan 6th degree and up) are asked to uphold a more exceptional standard.  The candidate must record all 8 katas; and a bunkai of at least 8 techniques/combinations of his/her choosing.

Your katas will demonstrate you are still actively training and retain all the knowledge which paved the path to where you are.  Your katas will be judged by 3 anonymous master rank members from around the globe (preferably with no personal ties or conflicts) who can judge you without prejudice or partiality.  

The master rank must also demonstrate their knowledge of the arts which he/she believes they have mastered.  We are not asking you to create a long, formal bunkai like Seisan Bunkai.  Bunkai simply explains the application of movements or our technique.

Candidates will be required to demonstrate the 8 Uechi-Ryu bunkai movements from our 8 katas and how he/she would use them in an actual application.  This way, we can all witness your mastery and understanding of your master rank request, as well as to share your ideas with the rest of the Uechi World.

We thank you for your loyalty and contributions to the IUKF. Together, we will grow and improve.

Darin Yee
IUKF President 

Sep 25

2019 New England Regional Workout

Hello All Uechi Brothers and Sisters,

I am inviting you all to attend the Uechi-Ryu Regional workout. All Uechi-Ryu practitioners are welcome to participate. This is a nonpolitical, no nuance, and perspiration encouraged get-together. Regardless of organizations we welcome you to practice your katas with use and go through drills and combinations. Hopefully, we will all walk out feeling great and wearing a good sweat.

This Uechi-Ryu Regional Workout will be held on Sunday, November 3rd at the Sons of Italy hall in Natick, MA. The address is 37 Washington Ave, Natick, MA.

The workout will begin at 11 am sharp. We will bow out at 2 pm.  There are several good restaurants nearby. I hope we can all meet at the same restaurant and spend a little more time getting to know one another. I will be there from 9:30 am to 10 am to present promotion certificates to a couple of well-deserving practitioners. All are welcome to witness. The promotions are all predetermined. Each will perform one kata of their choice, and I will be presenting the honored students with their certificates. Plenty of time to start our workout at 11 am. 

The mat fee is $25 per person and will be collected at the door. This mat fee will cover the rental of the hall and insurance needed. If there is money left over, I will buy the first round of drinks at lunch.

Please respond to my email as we usually have a decent size group and I want to layout the floor to provide appropriate workout space.

Thank you for your consideration, and I hope to see you at the workout.

Darin Yee    

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