Uechi Ryu Karate
Uechi Ryu Karate is a hard style of martial art which was originated in the lands of China and was brought to Okinawa by Kanbun Uechi. This karate form has become popular throughout the world. Besides, in Okinawa and Japan, it is also famous in countries like The United States. Kanbun Uechi learnt the art of Pangai Noon Kung Fu in a province in China under Shusiwa. In the beginning of the early 1900 century, Uechi traveled back to Okinawa. There with the help of one of his co-worker Ryuyu Tomoyose he opened his own institute named Pangainun-Ryu. Later on he introduced several such institutes. The students who used to learn under Kanbun Uechi renamed this martial art form as Uechi Ryu. Uechi Ryu Karate basically combines the linear and circular style of attacks. It is based on the characteristics of three animals – the tiger, the dragon and the crane.
Uechi Ryu karate generally is a weaponless form of karate. However it sometimes implements the Okinawan Kobudo system of weapons which mostly includes weapons like rokushakubo, sai, tonfa, Kama and many others. This karate form utilizes various techniques which are inherited from the old Chinese Kempo. It also incorporates several styles from the art form called Goju Ryu kata. Basic moves include kicking, grappling and various strikes with the empty hands. The ranking system consists of belts with different colors. There are ten dan levels. They are Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, Yondan, Godan, Rokudan, Shichidan, hachidan, Kyudan and the last is the Judan. Before these black belts as in most of other martial art systems there are ten more belt colors for the beginners. The colors of these belts may be different in different training institutions. The change in color symbolizes the progress of a learner.
Kata is a predefined pattern consisting of several moves and are practiced repetitively by the practitioners to enhance their skills. These are generally practiced empty handedly. There are eight different katas in Uechi Ryu Karate. Among the eight katas three came from the ancient art form Pangai Noon. They are Sanchin, Seisan and Sanseirui. Sanchin is a southern Chinese form of kata which put the three basic elements-the body, mind and the spirit together. The meaning of Seisan is ‘13’, thus as the name suggests it includes thirteen basic attack forms. The third one is Sanseirui which means ‘36’ and thus consists of 36 different positions for attacking the opponent. The rest five kata forms were included additionally by Kanei Uechi. They are Kanshiwa, Kanshu, Kanchin, Seirui and Seichin. Each of the katas represents a specific moral and technique. The basic training procedure comprises the teaching of these different katas.
Many senior experts opened several institutes for Uechi Ryu Karate. Also many organizations are now internationally recognized throughout the world. Some of the popular organizations include Uechi Ryu Karate Do Association, Ji Teki Jeku and the World association. Several professionals have incorporated new techniques with the various primitive moves. These newly discovered methods are included in the syllabus of various art institutions. Thus Uechi Ryu is scattered in many areas and is one of the well known martial techniques in today’s world.