George Mattson’s passion and dedication to the art of karate has impacted the lives of many people across our country and Canada. The 72 year old Sensei or “teacher” who lives in Eustis, Florida actually brought the centuries old Okinawan Style of karate to the United States back in 1958.
“From 1956-58 — I was in the army in Okinawa — while there I learned art of reichi wu – Chinese Okinawan system of marital arts. It turned out I was the first American to learn “real” system. A lot of Americans learned how to punch and kick bag but they did not learn art of karate and I was the first person outside of Okinawa to earn a black belt in 1958.”
George has never forgotten that honor. Today-the Okinawa Karate Federation ranks him as a 9th degree black belt. Here in the United States-he’s ranked 10th degree black belt. George is committed to passing on the discipline and ancient art form that allowed him to achieve balance in his life.
“I came from a broken home-a lot of the problems I had growing up I see in kids today. I started teaching in Boston while I was developing students who could also teach. I set up programs for children who had learning disabilities-I had Perkins school for the blind, and we did all kinds of interesting programs for disabled and disadvantage kids. So I saw how this worked…and it worked for me so I felt it was a given it would work for other kids and it has.”
Something else that has worked for George over the years has been the ancient form of Chinese medicine known as Acupuncture. Acupuncture originated in China thousands of years ago but its popularity has grown significantly over the past three decades here in the United States. Basically- tiny stainless steel needles are tapped into the skin superficially at strategic points-they are manipulated to get the flow of energy known as chi re-balanced. Many Western doctors view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue-this stimulation seems to boost the activity of the body’s natural painkillers and increase blood flow.
Scientists don’t fully understand how or why acupuncture works. There are several studies that show it can help ease the aches and pains of osteoarthritis of the knee, fibromyalgia and even helps folks deal with the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.
Oriental medicine has played an important role in George Mattson’s life-he hasn’t given up on conventional medicine-he simply appreciates the balance of east meeting west.
“It is essential – if you’re body is not tuned — it’s like a car running on four cylinders 10:46:37 eventually that engine will burn up or you’ll have other problems…it’s just smart to do everything that you can do to help your body.”
For more information, please visit the Mattson Academy “Virtual” Dojo online.