Dec 07

A Visit with John Felipe

I’ve just come home from visiting Uechi-Ryu dojos in Arizona and California.

I find people in our Uechi-Ryu family both friendly and receptive.
These visitations were dedicated to the introduction of the new directions of the IUKF and of course the exchange of individual Uechi-Ryu ideas and techniques.

The most noticeable dojo in the San Francisco area was East Bay Karate-Do whose Sensei is John Felipe. He is a dynamic young teacher with plenty of energy and progressive ideas.
The setup of the spacious dojo is methodically designed with maximum usage in mind.

Upon entering the dojo, I witnessed the students diligently training. I can see the joy they resonate as they skillfully demonstrate their katas, weapons and prearranged sets. This is training as it should be. The more we indulge, the higher our spirit and our skills progress.

Sensei John Felipe has certainly demonstrated to me his ability to build, grow, and teach in a Uechi-Ryu Dojo.
The IUKF is very proud to claim Sensei John Felipe as one of our up and coming young leaders in the Uechi world.

Darin Yee

Nov 04

What it means to be International


One of the benefits of being an IUKF member is the ability to travel to other areas of the world and find other friendly IUKF family members to greet you and to open their dojo to you.  Senior student John Joseph is certainly taking advantage of this perk as he’s a frequent traveler and has visited several national and international dojos.

Sensei Paul Kronschnabl of Germany was the gracious host who entertain John while visiting their country.  I’m sure John Joseph will have a lot to talk about when he gets back.  It’s great to find a friendly face while you are away from home in the states or abroad.

Thank you Paul for your friendship and your part in the IUKF family.

Darin Yee



Hi Darin,

today I picked up John and we drove to the dojo for a workout.

John take part of the training and I think he enjoyed it.

He can tell you about it, when he is back in US.

Everything was ok. At the end of the training I asked him to give some ideas about his way for training kata.

It is always interesting for me to see what other Uechika are doing.


Best wishes,


Oct 04

Lee Adams Promoted to 7th degree Black Belt

  1. Congratulation to Lee Adams on his August 5, 2018 promotion to 7th degree Black Belt.
    IUKF President Darin Yee attended the promotional.

Aug 28

Darin Yee – New IUKF President

I want to thank Sensei George Mattson for his trust in me to carry on the IUKF as president. Along with this position comes a huge responsibility involving fairness, compassion and understanding while keeping in mind our enormous affiliations throughout the world.  We must also maintain our insistence to all rules and guidelines with no exceptions.

Every effort will be utilized to grow and to advance the IUKF.  As expected small changes will be announced.  Please follow our posting on our website.

I appreciate all the well wishes I’ve received and look forwards to working with all our dedicated members.

I would also like to announce the IUKF is an official 501-C3 organization which means we are a non-profit organization and all funds forwarded to the IUKF could be tax deductible.

As President, I have been a businessman owning and operating businesses for over 30 years.  Our Secretary Mario Rizzo is an attorney at Law who will address all our legal issues.  Andrew Fink is a CPA with an abundance of experience dealing with the IRS and well versed with “non-profits”.

The IUKF thanks you for your support through the past years.  We hope to maintain our relationship as the torch is passed and continue to help grow and improve the legacy of Sensei George Mattson our Grandmaster.

Darin Yee

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.

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