Uechi-Ryu Information

Uechi-ryu is a traditional style of Okinawan karate. The founder of Uechi Ryū was Kanbun Uechi , an Okinawan who went to Fuzhou in Fukien Province, China to study martial arts when he was 20 years old. Uechi-ryū means "Style of Uechi" or "School of Uechi."

Kanbun Uechi studied Pangai-noon Kung Fu under Shushiwa in the Fujian province of mainland China in the late 1800s and early 1900s. After studying 10 years under Shushiwa, Kanbun Uechi opened his own school in the province of Nanjing. Two years later, Kanbun Uechi returned to Okinawa, determined never to teach again because one of his Chinese students had killed a neighbour with an open-hand technique in a dispute over land irrigation. While he was working as a janitor he was persuaded by a co-worker, Ryuyu Tomoyose, to teach again after having been first convinced to show Tomoyose ways of defending himself against different attacks. When his confidence as a teacher was restored, Uechi, with the help of Ryuyu Tomoyose, moved to Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture, where, in 1925, he established the Institute of Pangainun-ryū Todi-jutsu, and opened a dojo to the public. Eventually, in 1940, his Okinawan students renamed the system as "Uechi Ryū."

Kanbun Uechi's son, Kanei Uechi, taught the style at the Futenma City Dojo, Okinawa, and was considered the first Okinawan to sanction teaching foreigners. One of Kanei's senior students, Ryuko Tomoyose, taught a young American serviceman named George Mattson --originally from Boston and now residing in Florida -- who authored several books on the subject and is largely responsible for popularizing the style in America. Uechi Ryū emphasizes toughness of body with quick blows and kicks. Some of the more distinctive weapons of Uechi practitioners are the one-knuckle punch , spearhand , and the toe kick . On account of this emphasis on simplicity, stability, and a combination of linear and circular movements, proponents claim the style is more practical for self-defense than most other martial arts.

Wikipedia, Uechi-Ryu, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uechi-ryu (as of Apr 7, 2010)

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