ALONG THE WAY

"The title is "Explosive Uechi-ryu" and the moderator is Arthur Rabesa. Art will be exploring the power contained in Uechi-ryu that is not appreciated by the average practitioner. Make no mistake - this forum is for the serious martial artist and I wholeheartedly recommend it for anyone who really wants to tap his or her explosive power potential.

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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Van Canna » Sat May 02, 2015 2:00 pm

Nice read, Art...the good old days...we surely had fun.

And Walter was, as you know, one of the top ten tournament fighters in the country, as a matter of fact there was a 'top ten' round robin tournament in Madison Square Garden where I took movies of Walter fighting.

He was also featured in black belt magazine under the name of 'The Fighting Leatherneck' from his USMC background.
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Art Rabesa » Sat May 02, 2015 3:27 pm

Correct Van. At that round robin at MSG, you had the U.S. top ten competing. Walter was in the top ten in the country at that time. That's when Chuck Norris hit Moto with a spinning back kick and ended the match. Many good fights that day. I learned a lot watching those fights. Good times.
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Van Canna » Sat May 02, 2015 4:27 pm

Yeah, Art, great times...you might recall I also won a top ten 'regional' round robin...George Pesare arranged...that was held, I think, at the Hancock Tower.
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Art Rabesa » Sat May 02, 2015 6:01 pm

I do remember. That's why we wanted you to fight in more tournaments. We liked watching you kick the s--- out of people. It was at John Hancock Hall. Man! we had some good fighters coming out of our dojo back then. Fighters I haven't even mentioned. Like Nevelle Kanbrell. We could put together a top fighting team to take on anyone in the country. Don't forget Bob Campbell, Jim Maloney and Bob Bethoney. To get through our guys you better eat lots of Wheaties. I always say that , "The older we get, the better we were". It was a lot of fun. Met lots of great people, and some that were not so nice. Hey!without the memories, what do you have? Just dust.
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Van Canna » Sat May 02, 2015 6:17 pm

Yup, dust in the wind, my friend.
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Re: ALONG THE WAY-GREEN WOOD

Postby Art Rabesa » Sun May 31, 2015 11:44 pm

On page 119 of my book "Kumite" , you'll see a photo of me receiving a wooden pole over my arm. It was 1968 at a very large demo at the John Hancock Hall in Boston. It came down on my arm three times before breaking. Many thought two times was enough but I was slightly crazy way back then. My father was in the audience as well. If you knew my pop, you'd know why I took that third hit. I checked the pole when it was over and discovered the reason it didn't break right away. The pitch was still oozing from where it broke. It was purchased just a short time before the demo. Anyone who has ever done any breaking knows that wood must be dried before using it in a demo. OK - SO that was number one.--------Number two came at Jim Maloney's tournament in Nova Scotia. I set up a circle of people holding many boards with four patio blocks at the finish. I've done this demo many times and never had any problems. I hit the first group of boards with a punch and went to the next set for a front kick. I looked back to see the boards still there. Usually I can go through boards just with a nasty look. I was stunned at the outcome, and pissed off. I slipped back to the first station and hit the boards again with better results. These boards really felt different this night in Canada. I put extra power in all the rest of the breaks around the demo circle. I hit the patio blocks like a mad man after what I felt from all that Canadian wood. I bowed and walked carefully behind the stands and jammed my hand and foot into a Pepsi Cola container filled with ice. Yup, busted hand and foot. I asked someone to get me some of the broken wood from my demo. Same story. Very green new wood, bought just hours before the tournament. Some of the wood was actually still damp from being stored outside. I got on Jim's case pretty good for having his wood knock the hell out of me that night. I made it to the plane and got to my car at Logan in Boston. The foot and hand mended after awhile. It was some time before I did any breaking demo's again. When I did, I certainly checked the wood carefully. -------Happy Trails-----Art
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby f.Channell » Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:08 am

I really enjoyed reading this book about ten years ago. Good thing about getting old and forgetful is I can read it again now that I have forgotten so much. :lol: I remembered the Van comment as being "white on rice" I like "ugly on ape" that is great. You did a great job capturing Van sensei in the book, he hasn't changed much, a great teacher and man. I should have written more about his "torture chamber" class that I felt changed me as a martial artist more than any other. I think there are some old writings on the forum from Al Moulton (RIP) from the time.
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Art Rabesa » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:32 pm

Thanks Fred. Most of what went on "Along The Way", can not be printed. I'll be glad to fill you in however, if we ever meet. ------Happy Trails -----Art
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Art Rabesa » Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:48 pm

This "Along The Way" tale is not from my "Kumite" book, but I'd like to let you know a little about the early years. Around 1965 and throughout the sixties, George Mattson's dojo was a factory. Many classes that began in the AM, and ran well into the PM. Enrollment was large. Probably the biggest enrollment dojo in the country. The training hall was jammed with students. It was located in the busy business section of Boston. People from all walks of life drifted in to begin training. I saw individuals that could be in any form of movie you could think of. The advanced class, around 7PM, was also jammed. Many visitors ,from around the country would, drop in from time to time. All wanting to pay us a visit, and get a look at the goings on. If I am not mistaken, Bruce Lee dropped by at one time. Before he became famous on TV and the movies. I would come up from the Brockton dojo to teach Wednesday night. The advanced class was loaded. Directly under the school was a small grocery store. In our Seisan kata there is a jump back move that slams the right foot to the floor. I would hold the entire class in the pre-jump stance and release them all at once. This would cause quite a bang to the entire building. The owner of the grocery store would complain often when things would fly off his shelves. I always got a laugh at that. I stopped doing my assault on the grocery store. After all, we had to play nice with our neighbors. The advanced classes were filled with our top fighters, resulting in one hell of a workout. If you listed all the top Uechi-Ryu fighters of that era, they would have been in that class. Just to name a few -----Van Canna, Jim Maloney, Bob Campbell, Nevelle Kimbrell, Bob Bethoney, Ed Huff, Clarence Von Wilder, Al Wharton(now in Burmuda), and myself. I'm sure I have forgotten some, but you can see the thunder that took place here. Missing Walter Mattson, who was running his dojo in Natick Massachusetts. He was the top Uechi-Ryu fighter at that time. You can see how tough it was to get by all these fighters. After these sessions, you felt like you just went through a hundred tournaments. I still feel some of those hits. We were a tight group. When we all walked into a tournament, it really got everyone's attention. Fighting in tournaments was easy compared to those 7PM classes. Gigantic school back then -- Mattson Academy Of Karate----known country wide. -------Happy Trails------Art
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby hthom » Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:57 pm

Totally enjoyed reading this thread. Brings back real good memories. Thanks Art.

Time flies. It is really the good memories and the believe (yes, illusion) that I can still do it that keep me going at it still.

I have always been sort of a loner so regretfully didn't associate much with Art and Van and Jim Maloney at the time. Glad that we are all still healthy and continuing with our Uechi Ryu practice, and just as "mean" and of course, as handsome as ever.

Speaking of memories, for a while I was teaching the Sunday morning 10am sparring class back in the Columbus Ave dojo (or was it the one after Columbus?). Must have been more than 45 years ago (I received my Shodan in early 1967).

I remember the Madison Square Garden tournament too. I forgot what rank I was at the time. I almost had my head taken off by this flying side kick from a black guy and got eliminated early in the tournament. Will always remember the crazy party we had that night though. Nev Kimbell was there too so need I say more? I can't go into more specifics because the wife might read this.

I told a story on Face Book of Windsong and I went there (or was it another tournament?) with several Mattson Academy guys in one car. He went home with a trophy--- and the car pool forgot to give him a ride back to Boston. We thought it was funny but he didn't. Still mad at me. Get over it Windsong, you got a trophy :twisted:

I remember once again I almost had my head taken off in a tournament. In Rhode Island, I believe. The one which Walter Mattson slam his side kick into his opponent's chest so loud that I was surprised that the guy didn't collapse. Yes, I almost had my head taken off by a full power high round house kick. He accidentally missed by an inch. Thank god. He outpointed me anyway.

I wished I had "hang around" with you guys more in those days since we had the same interest. I went to quite a few tournaments because back in those days, I sort of like fighting and got into many street altercations due mostly to a lack of common sense. Every time I went to a tournament I learned something so it didn't matter if I didn't win.

We need to get together over a few beers and reminisce the old days--- the fish that got away (yea and the women too), and whatever----

Got to go rub some of that Dit-Da-Jiu on my knees now. It seems that I hurt something every time I work out nowadays.
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Art Rabesa » Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:36 pm

Yup. There was a time. That's a good title for my next book --"THERE WAS A TIME". No edit needed. -----Happy Trails----Art
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Re: ALONG THE WAY -- whoops

Postby Art Rabesa » Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:12 pm

When we were training at the Mattson Academy, back in the sixties, we did a lot of demo's. Karate was young then, and we did demo's with Sensei George Mattson, to promote interest. Most of the time these demo's went off very well. This one time, things didn't go as planned. It was in Boston at a big sports show, attended by a large number of people. A very good time to gather interest in karate and the school. Things were moving along smoothly with the demonstrations of kata and prearranged kumites. Now it was time to show some self defense techniques to the gathering crowd. It seemed that they were becoming quite interested in what we were demonstrating. Okay now it gets interesting. Van Canna was going to show some strikes to the crowd. He brought over one of the students from the school to help him. Big mistake. Never volunteer to assist Van in a demo. NEVER!!! Van explained what he was about to show them. The student threw a punch which Van easily blocked. So far so good. Now Van snapped a shuto to the side of the willing students head. I'm certain that Van meant to control that strike. It was controlled , somewhat. It still had enough on it to send our willing volunteer to the floor. He didn't move for awhile. I really don't know if we got any new students from this demonstration, but it was interesting. After that, Van had a difficult time getting anyone to pair up with him. I was always there though, so he always had someone to fire his kicks at. Demo's can be tricky. The Mattson Academy eventually had hundreds of students enrolled. I quess we didn't do so bad after all. To this day-------we all know not to volunteer to assist Van Canna in demonstrating any strike. There was a time. -------Happy Trails-----Art
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Van Canna » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:05 pm

:lol:

Art Rabesa in those days just loved to be hit, so I obliged...here he is: Rabesa...the human makiwaraImage
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Art Rabesa » Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:02 pm

Good looking guy.
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Re: ALONG THE WAY

Postby Art Rabesa » Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:42 pm

I had a few dojo's along the way. I moved my school from location to location because of greedy landlords. I never had a real profit laden operation, so keeping the overhead down was really important. I had some real tough and loyal students back then. You could always find my school. Just look for all the construction trucks and pick ups parked in front. Not a white collar dojo. I was in my new location looking at what had to be done to get in there. Some of my students were there also. I went over what construction had to be done to open the door for business. I was teaching school so I couldn't do much work during the week. I left and went home thinking about all the work I had to do. The next day I went over to the location after school, around 3 o'clock. I opened the door and flipped the light switch. I stood in shock as I looked at the area. Everything was completed. The training area had a commercial rug over the cement floor. The dressing rooms were up - both men and women. The heavy bags were hung. Even the photos and signs were on the wall. A coat of paint in the entrance really made it look nice. I just stood there in amazement. After awhile a few trucks pulled up. They wandered in and stood at the door watching me checking out the carpet with bare feet. I told them to join me on the floor. They took their shoes (boots) off and stepped on the floor. They went through a kata and liked the feel of the carpet. I opened for classes in a few days. Those responsible for the work never said anything. I knew who did all the work and they knew I knew. I thanked each one individually over the next week. That's what it's all about. Man I had some good students and even better people. I hope all dojo's have people like this. It certainly makes all the teaching worth while. ---------------Happy Trails ------Art
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