Mr. Griffin is studying Uechi-Ryu since 1967 when George Mattson opened the Hartford, CT dojo as the “Mattson Karate Academy”. Charlie Earle and Walter Mattson (no relation to George) commuted from out of state to teach Uechi-Ryu in Hartford.
Subsequently, Mr. Griffin was taught by a succession of familiar Uechi practitioners including Frank Gorman, John Conroy, and John Spencer. Mr. Spencer assumed total ownership of the Hartford dojo in the early 70′s. Mr. Griffin eventually earned his Shodan in 1979. In 1986 he and three other senior black belts (Tom Piacentini, Jim Koch, and Alan Rosetto) assumed full teaching responsibilities of Uechi-Ryu in Hartford and established their current dojo at 1841 Broad Street. John traveled to Okinawa in 1985 and 1988 to study under Kiyohide Shinjo and Kanie Uechi and has regularly attended Uechi-Ryu camps hosted by Alan Dollar and George Mattson.
Currently, Mr. Griffin is co-owner of the dojo with Ernie Harriman. John and Ernie have run a spring children’s tournament the past 13 years showcasing Uechi as well as other styles young practitioners. Mr. Griffin holds a Bachelor of Science and a Masters in Education. Mr. Griffin is Godan (5th degree black belt) and Shihan (Master Instructor).