10th Degree Black Belt Presenters

George Mattson

  • Headmaster of the IUKF Father of Uechiryu in America
  • First American to achieve a Uechiryu Black Belt (1958)
  • Pioneer & Best Selling Author
George Mattson 10th Dan Judan

Van Canna

  • Most senior student of George Mattson
  • Specialist in the field of personal safety
  • Moderator of most popular defense reality discussion forum
Van Canna 10th Dan Judan

Art Rabesa

  • Legendary tournament champion and trainer of champions
  • Author of Explosive Karate, Kumite the Complete Fighting Text, and Child of War
  • Began Uechiryu training in 1961
Art Rabesa

James Thompson

  • Headmaster of the Uechi Kokusai Kyokai
  • Expert in Okinawan Kobudo and Aikido
  • Over 50 years experience in the Martial Arts
James Thompson

Jim Maloney

  • Father of Uechiryu in Canada
  • All around tournament champion in kata, kumite, and breaking
  • World renowned competitor & instructor
  • Began Uechiryu training in 1963
Jim Maloney

Buzz Durkin (Testing for 10th Degree)

  • Headmaster of the Uechiryu Butokukai
  • Internationally renowned school owner and author
  • Began training in 1966
Buzz Durkin

Bob Bethoney

  • 9th Degree Black Belt
  • Premier Uechi Tournament Champion
  • Over 25 years hands-on experience as Captain with the Plymouth County Sheriff's Department
  • Uechiryu Hall of Fame
  • Sensei of Hanson, MA dojo

Leyn Burrows

  • 8th Degree Black Belt
  • Began Uechi training in 1971
  • Former NAUKA Sparring Champion
  • Broad knowledge of Uechi hard/soft methods
  • Sensei of Westwood, NJ dojo

Saturday Main Event Master Presenters

Tracy Rose

  • 8th Degree Black Belt
  • Began Uechi training in 1972
  • Renowned for technical excellence & real world application
  • Sensei of Northborough, MA dojo

Dan Dovidio

  • 8th Degree Black Belt
  • Began Uechi training in 1975
  • Expert of practical usage of pressure points
  • Sensei Londonderry, NH dojo

David Kelley

  • 8th Degree Black Belt
  • Began Uechi training in 1974
  • Retired Major - NH State Police
  • Years of practical experience applying Uechi technique in the real world

Roy Bedard

7th Degree Black Belt

This seminar will focus upon the cognitive-emotional link that is responsible for subconsciously modulating performance levels during physically competitive activities. We will more specifically explore methods of emotional control during combat events and learn mental skills to direct the energy of emotion to positive peak performance. As a vehicle for learning, we will work with basic karate sparring techniques with an eye towards the feelings associated with advance and retreat. For a full bio, please click here.


Bonus Presenters


Al Wharton

Joining us this year from the United Kingdom, Sensei Wharton began Uechiryu training in 1969 under George Mattson. He was the first to bring Uechiryu to the Island of Bermuda. Sensei Wharton is also an expert in Bak Si Lum Kung Fu which he has been studying since 1970. At this year's SummerFest Sensei Wharton will also be testing for his 9th Degree Black Belt.

Al Wharton

Judy Durkin

Judy Durkin began her study of Uechiryu in 1971 at the Mattson Academy of Karate in Boston, MA. She has maintained her practice through the years and is considered a true pioneer among women in the martial arts. She now holds the rank of Hachidan (8th Degree Black Belt).

Her list of firsts includes:

  • First American woman to travel to Okinawa to study with Kanei Uechi
  • First woman to lead a demonstration at the all Okinawan Karate Championships in Okinawa
  • First Woman to ever to be promoted to master ranking (6th Dan) in Uechi Karate history

Mrs. Durkin loves hard hitting Uechi Karate and will focus on conditioning, Bunkai, and self-defense techniques during her seminar.


Judy Durkin sm

Bruce Witherell

I will be teaching stand-up ju-jitsu, and street to ground techniques. What is your response when someone has made actual physical contact with you. We have all been trained to block and strike but now your opponent is right on top of you, you have very little room to maneuver, do you have a plan?

bruce witherell thumb

John Hwee

A martial art practitioner with over 40 years of training in Shaolin Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do and Shotokan Karate will present a seminar interpreting techniques found in Uechi-ryu kata. In this very active, hands on seminar; participants will have the opportunity to test and expand their own Uechi-ryu skills. Sensei Hwee will also demonstrate infighting drills with an emphasis on body and ​head shifting, Chin Na joint locks/pressure points, and structure manipulation to counter an opponent's continuous attack.

John Hwee thumb

Darin Yee

Eighth degree black belt of Uechi-Ryu, master of numerous Kung-Fu styles, specializing in the Hung Gar system and numerous Chinese weapons. Student of Kung-Fu since 1959 and Uechi-Ryu since 1969 with training experiences from Mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, Okinawa and the United States. Has taught extensive seminars throughout the United States and abroad.

I will work on our basic kicks and discuss the dynamics of generating power to deliver the most potent kick our bodies can impose. I do realize that Uechi-Ryu is from Southern China whose emphasis is on the hands. I acknowledge the hands are faster but the legs are stronger. We have four limbs and eight attack points. Using only two limits our full fighting potential.


Neil Stone

Kata is one of the key pieces that make up our Uechi-Ryu foundation. That being said, sometimes we don't take the time to self-reflect and look at how our kata can be used in a real world confrontation. Now chances are you won't be thinking, "turn, block, kick", just like in a kata if you have to defend yourself, but this doesn't mean that our kata isn't jam packed with ways it can be applied. We will dissect some basic elements of the kata and show how they can be practically and easily applied into a real world situation.

Neil Stone

Gary Geddes

From the Ground Up: My seminar will focus on the elements for generating and circulating power and stealing your opponent’s energy.



Vinnie Christiano

This seminar is an Advanced Traditional Principles and Performance Based Approach to a More Natural Understanding of Sanchin Kata. We will explore the integration of Chinese principals and influences in our Sanchin training. This seminar shall reveal practical body mechanical insights resulting in a more dynamic, full-body, and physically rewarding Sanchin Kata.

Robb Buckland

Sixth Degree Uechi Black Belt and owner of Fearless Family Martial Arts & Fitness in Wells Maine. He is a certified nutritional consultant and personal trainer (IFPA and ACSM). He is the FEARS Ltds founder and is a veteran of over 40 years in the martial arts. He holds master level black belts in multiple martial arts and instructor certifications in combative and defensive tactics from the world’s most prominent grand masters and trainers. He is a Sixth Degree Black Belt in the Joe Lewis American Karate System. For a full bio, please click here.

Robb Buckland 550x550

Matthew Darling

Matt Darling began his study of Uechi Ryu Karate in 1997. He is a student and teacher at Allan Azoff’s Martial Arts Academy in Lexington. Over the years, he has explored many martial arts to supplement his practice of Uechi Ryu including judo, aikido, and konigun ninjutsu. Mr. Darling is currently a technology teacher for grades K-6 at a small parochial school in Newton, MA. He received his masters degree in special education from Lesley University. He and his wife are expecting their first child in January.

2017 Summerfest Handout - Presenter Darling300

Junior Seminar Presenters

Steve Dionne

  • 6th Degree Black Belt
  • Sensei of Dionne's Karate in Methuen, MA
Steve Dionne300x300

Matt Saindon

  • 6th Degree Black Belt
  • First person promoted to Junior Level Three Black Belt

Nathan Harker

Nathan Harker, 6th degree black belt, has been studying Uechi-Ryu for over 25 years. He started at the age of 5 and has grown up in the martial arts. During his martial arts career studying under Neil Stone, he has been an Instructor, Head Instructor and Program Director. In his workshops you will learn some fun and challenging ways to increase your physical fitness through the use of Uechi-Ryu.


James Cameron

  • 7th Degree Black Belt
  • Sensei of Cameron's Karate in Wolfeboro, NH

Brandon Stickney

  • 6th Degree Black Belt
  • Instructor at Buzz Durkin's Karate School