I've taken the liberty to give an overview of Uechi-Ryu Karate in two brief parts; History & Practice
1. The History
Much has been written and there have been some in-depth studies and investigations into the origins of Uechi-Ryu Karate and because of Master Kanbun Uechi, this can be divided into two periods; before and after 1897 (the start of Kanbun's training). Before 1897 Towards the end of the last century, China was in political turmoil with the Manchurian government challenged by the citizens, often lead by people with martial arts training. The government replied and many temples (thought to be the centres for the martial arts) were destroyed. An Okinawan Koho Kojo taught at the Kugusku School in China where Kanbun Uechi is thought to have trained initially before studying a Chuan fa style. It seems that there were two names used to describe the martial arts at that time, Kung fu and Chuan fa. Kanbun Uechi later trained with the master Chou-tzu-ho in the Fukien province of China from 1897 to 1910. The style was described as Pwangainoon (meaning half hard-half soft) After 1897 Kanbun Uechi opened a dojo in Nansoue (China) where he taught for three years before returning to Okinawa. Kanbun did not initially teach karate but had it 'teased' out of him by friends who came to know of his expertise. He was eventually coaxed into teaching in the late twenties and did so until 1947.
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2. The Practice
We have eight kata : Sanchin, Kanshiwa, Konshu, Seichin, Seisan, Seirui, Konchin and Sanseirui.
Karate is a serious pastime and it is therefore extremely important to understand how to behave before you start training and to observe some basic rules whilst training. Remember the following :
Training in a class
In the UK, classes start with a ceremonial bow, hands and head to the floor followed by two claps and a further similar bow. We have a set of warm-up exercises which are performed formally at the start every class, they start at the feet and work up the body to the head.
First Kata is SANCHIN
3 concepts which are not clearly defined, but may be thought of as spirit, strength, and fluidity (until you know better ?). It is an exercise to develop stance (footwork), posture (body positioning), turns, blocks, strikes, speed and ease of movement. This simplest of the kata in terms of number and variety of moves, is the essence of the style and is performed at least three times during a class, softly and slowly for perfection, then medium pace as a step towards the last one which is as strong and as fast as the instructor asks for. The photgraph on this page shows Master Kanei Uechi in a stance delivering double boshiken (one of three) strikes at the end of the Sanchin kata.