What is Uechi-ryu Karate-do?

Uechi-ryu, Karate-do, Kagoshima, Naze, Amami, Uechi Kanbun, Uechi Kanei, Minowa Katsuhiko

Approximately 100 years ago, Uechi Kanbun founded a system of Karate based on the Chinese boxing system he had learned in Fuzhou, China. His system of Karate is considered one of the three major styles of Okinawa Karate-do and is a source of great pride. Modern Uechi-ryu Karate-do continues to pass down the original techniques Chinese boxing taught by Uechi Kanbun.

Characteristics of Uechi-ryu

The fundamental kata of Uechi-ryu, Sanchin, may appear simple but is extremely important as it teaches the major characteristics of the system such as stances, postures, and stepping. Sanchin represents Karate as budo (martial arts) and provides the means to learning the features of Uechi-ryu and learning the art. It is therefore an important element to Uechi-ryu Karate-do.

Through repetition of Sanchin kata, the mind, technique, and body are all trained at the same time while the breath is cultivated to train the spirit. Mental strength is gained by repeating Sanchin so as to withstand repeated blows to the body while developing the skills of attack, defense and agility.

A characteristic of practice is conditioning the forearms by violently striking them against a partners to improve offensive and defensive strength.

Uechi-ryu techniques incorporate the three animals of dragon, tiger and crane into its principles of offense and defense. Uechi-ryu also has unique methods of attack which includes finger-tip and toe-tip strikes and kicks. Instead of the regular fist, Uechi-ryu uses nukite, boshiken and sokusen-geri.