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UechiKarate.Net provides information about Uechi-Ryu Karate and the martial arts. We hope you enjoy our website, designed to give you information about our style of martial arts.

What is Karate?

"True karate is this: that in daily life one's mind and body be trained and developed in a spirit of humility, and that in critical times, one be devoted utterly to the cause of justice."
-- Gichin Funakoshi

KarateKarate translated either means "Chinese hand" or "Empty hand" depending on which Japanese or Chinese characters you use to write it.

Okinawan Karate styles tend to be hard and external. In defense they tend to be circular, and in offense linear. Karate Okinawan Karate styles tend to place more emphasis on rigorous physical conditioning than the Japanese styles. Japanese styles tend to have longer, more stylistic movements and to be higher commitment. They also tend to be linear in movement, offense, and defense.

Both tend to be high commitment, and tend to emphasize kicks and punches, blocks, strikes, evasions, throws, joint manipulations and a strong offense as a good defense. Karate techniques consist basically of hand and foot techniques. Hand techniques are divided into defensive or offensive moves. Foot techniques are divided into kicking techniques; snap and thrust kicks. Other important elements of Karate include stances, posture, body shifting, hip rotation, and breathing.

Karate

Training differs widely but most of the Karate styles emphasize a fairly equal measure of basic technique training (kihon), sparring (kumite), and forms (kata). Forms are stylized patterns of attacks and defenses done in sequence for training purposes.

An art of self-defense as well as a sport, Karate has in recent decades proliferated worldwide. It is one of the most widely practiced of the Asian martial arts, with a large following in the U.S., Japan and Europe.

What is Uechi-Ryu Karate?

Uechi-Ryu is traditional Chinese-Okinawan self-defense, as interpreted by Master Kanbun Uechi, his son Kanei Uechi, and students of their art. Uechi-Ryu has its origin in the ancient Chinese tradition of martial arts; Kanbun learned the system Pangainoon ("half-hard, half soft") in China after fleeing Japanese military conscription in his homeland of Okinawa. The system, which has gone by the name Glare in the Eyes with Fast Hands is based on the movements of the dragon, tiger and crane. Uechi's students, grateful for his many years of instruction, renamed the system "The way of Uechi". Uechi-Ryu today is taught undiluted in many dojos from Okinawa to France to the United States. It is not an Americanized, smoke-and-mirrors creation of a commercial karate instructor, it is efficient and disciplined self-defense through karate, the art of weaponless fighting.

Uechi-Ryu provides a unique approach to the martial arts. Uechi-Ryu uses deadly and reliable strikes to vulnerable targets to defeat foes, but lacks the flash and endless variety of some styles. Uechi-Ryu is application oriented and avoids high kicks, spinning techniques, flashy exaggerated blocks, or many jumping techniques, since these leave a fighter vulnerable to attacks and throws. Uechi-Ryu uses soft blocks to redirect the force of an enemy's attack, instead of using karate's more traditional hard blocks, which require you to counter your opponent's strength. These soft blocks also set up opportunities for counterattacks and throws.

All of Uechi-Ryu builds upon the principles found in Sanchin kata, its first form. Advanced Uechi-Ryu consists of expansions of these principles rather than an assembly of unconnected techniques, so Uechi-Ryu builds a solid foundation for its students' progress. Sanchin stance is fundamental to all Uechi kata, and is designed to protect karate students and allow them to use their bodies to their fullest. Its back posture, tight stomach, locked-down shoulders and turned in elbows allow practitioners to channel the power of their legs into the strikes and blocks their arms make. A short stance, Sanchin provides the stability of a longer stance, but reduces the vulnerability of the front leg to kicks and sweeps and allows greater mobility.

Uechi-Ryu is a grappling style and permits the grabbing of legs and arms, (something many styles forbid). Many of these grabs lend themselves to takedowns, others provide chances for counter attacks.

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