While I was president of IUKF, (International Uechi-ryu Karate Federation) I did most of the work involved with running the organization. . . And believe me, there was a great deal of work required on a daily basis. . . And when I felt that it was time to turn over the reins to someone, both qualified in business areas, but more importantly qualified in the more important areas consisting of:
- 100 % deserving of his/her master ranking.
- Still very much active in teaching.
- Responsible for teaching thousands of capable students and many who were motivated by this individual to carry on as Uechi-ryu teachers.
- Respected by all, as a human being and as a martial artist.
- Open-minded in all matters, relating to Uechi-ryu specifically and martial arts generally.
- In excellent physical/mental condition, able to confront the political conflicts and the mental/emotional confrontations this position encounters on a daily basis.
- Imaginative, creative and a “doer”. . . someone capable of accomplishing those tasks and projects needed to be upgraded.
- Someone, capable in all these challenging accomplishments, able and willing to devote a great deal of his daily life to the job.
And anyone reading this list will by now understand why I selected Grand Master Darin Yee for the position and after several years in this position, know how pleased I remain over that momentous decision.
There were many individuals who filled some of the above slots, but very few who filled them all. GM Darin Yee, who not only was qualified in my requirements, but also shared a love for a mutual hobby. . . Golf!
And it is on the golf course, where we talk about IUKF and discuss the purposes and goals of a martial art organization and structural changes needed for the future.
My sincere thanks to GM Yee for all his work and time spent building an organization for dojo owners and their students that will live on forever.
George E. Mattson