Uechi Ryu Terms and History

General Information | Uechi Ryu History | Uechi Kata | Teachers & Lineage | Strikes | Blocks | Kicks

General Information

What is karate?
Karate is an unarmed or empty-handed method of self-defense, stressing evasion, blocking, striking, and kicking.

What does the word karate mean?
Chinese hand (original) or empty hand (current).

What is karate-do?
"The way of karate", or karate as a way of life. It means the ability to use the skills acquired in karate in your everyday life.

What are some karate skills that can be applied to your everyday life?
Awareness, calmness, passiveness, confidence, mental stamina, physical strength.

What is Uechi-ryu karate?
A classical Chinese-Okinawan system of self-defense.

What does ryu mean?
Style. So Uechi-ryu karate means Uechi-style karate.

What is the original Chinese name for the system of karate we study?
Pangainoon, meaning "half-hard, half-soft" — the idea of a hard outer shell of muscle, while breathing to remain soft on the inside.

What are the three animals that represent our style?
Tiger, Crane, and Dragon.

What does the tiger symbolize?
Determination, speed, strength, stamina.

What does the crane symbolize?
Balance, and blocking with it wings.

What does the dragon symbolize?
Strength and breathing.

What country is considered to be the birth place of martial arts?

How was karate first introduced outside of China, and by whom?
Okinawan karate was first introduced to Japan in the late-1800's by Okinawan Gichin Funakoshi, who studied a form of Chinese boxing.

When was the name Uechi-ryu first used?
In 1948 Kanbun Uechi died, and out of respect his students renamed the style of karate from Pangainoon to Uechi-ryu.

Who is Kanbun Uechi?
The founder of our style. An Okinawan, Kanbun Uechi studied Pangainoon in China for 10 years and taught for 3 years more, before returning to Okinawa.

What is a karate uniform called?

What is a karate belt called?

What does the word dojo mean?
Way-place or Training hall

What does the word Kyu mean?
Junior or beginner

Name the Kyu ranks.
jukyu, kyukyu, hachikyu sichikyu, rokyu, gokyu, yonkyu, sankyu, nikyu, ikkyu

Name the Dan ranks.
shodan, nidan, sandan, yondan, godan, rokudan, sichidan, hachidan, kyudanJudan

Name the Master titles.
Renshi, Kyoshi, Hanshi, Hanshi, Hanshi-sei

What does kotekitae mean?
Arm pounding and arm rubbing exercise

What does kumxte mean?
To cross hands

What is free sparring called?    
Jiyu kumite

What is prearranged sparring called?
Yakusoku Kumite

What does the word mushin mean?
No mindedness — to clear your mind of all distractions.

Why is it important to develop mushin?
So that you can remain calm, fluid, aware, and act without conscious thought.

What does the term min-chm-chu-ryu mean?
It is a phrase used by KanbunUechi to describe Pangainoon, meaning "speed with a glare".

What is Pangainoon?
The style of Chinese boxing taught to Kanbun Uechi by ZhouZi He, now called Uechi-ryu karate.

What does Pangainoon mean?
Half-hard, half-soft style.

What is the capital city of Okinawa?

Where was Kanbun's dojo located?
Futenma, Okinawa

What does the word soke mean?
Head of family, founding father - Mr. Uechi

What does the word butokukai mean?
The gathering of schools that practice the virtues of Martial arts

What does the word shubukan mean?

What is the purpose of belts and the ranking system
It motivates some students, and is a form of recognition of a students's progress. It also gives students a general idea of each other's knowledge and skills.

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Teachers & Lineage

What is Mr. Kessler's rank and tiltle?
Yondan (4th Degree)

Who is Mr. Kessler's Teacher?
Mr. Mike Rozumek and Mr. Buzz Durkin.

What is Mr. Rozumek's Rank and Title?
Sichidan (7th Degree)

What is Mr. Durkin's Rank and Title?
Hachidan (8th Degree)

Who was Mr. Durkins Teacher?
Mr. Goerge Mattson.

What is Mr. Mattson's Rank and Title?
Kyudan (9degree)

Who was Mr. Mattson's Teacher?
Mr Ryuko Tomoyose of Okinawa.

Who was Mr. Tomoyose Teacher?
Mr. Kanei Uechi and Mr. Ryuyu Tomoyose

Who was Mr. Kanei Uechi's Teacher?
Mr. Kanbun Uechi

What was Mr. Kanei Uechi's Rank?
Judan (10th Degree)

What was Mr. Kanbun Uechi rank?
Judan (10th Degree)

Who was Mr. Kanbun Uechi Teacher?
Mr. Zhou Zi He, (commonly know as Shushiwa), of Fuchow city in Fukien providence of China

Who first brought Uechi-Ryu katrate to the United States?
Mr. George Mattson, in 1958

Who first introduced Okinawan karate to Japan?
Mr. Gichin Funaloshi, founder of the Shotokan style.

When was Kanbun Uechi born and when did he die?
May 5, 1877 to November 25,1948.

When was Kanei Uechi horn and when did he die?
June 26, 1911 to Feb 24, 1991.

When was Kamei Uechi born?
May 10, 1941

When was George Mattson born?

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What is the Japanese word for block?

What is a snapping block called?
Hajiki uke

What is a down block called?
Gedanbarai uke

What is a circle block called?
Hiratemawashi uke

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Uechi Ryu History

Where was Kaubun Uechi born, and who were his parents?
Kanbun was born is Izumi village on the island of Okinawa. His parents were Kantoku and Tsuru, descendants of a samurai family.

How and when did Kanbun Uechi begin his study of Pangainoon?
In March 1897, Kanbun Uechi traveled to the city of Fuzhou in southern Fujian province, China. There he met Zhou Zi He, and began his study of Pangainoon.

What styles of kempo did Zhou Zi He study?
Shaolin Fist, Iron Palm, and Tiger Fist.

How long did Kanbun study in China?
For 13 years, 10 as a student of Zhou Zi He, 3 as a teacher.

When did Kanbun begin teaching?
In 1907, in Nansoe China.

Why did Kanbun leave China?
During a drought, one of his students became involved in a fight over land, and killed his attacker. Due to public scorn and shame over the attack, Kanbun left China.

When did Kanbun return to Okinawa?
February 1910, at the age of 33.

When did Kanbun marry?
May 1910, to Toyama Gozei.

When and how did Kanbun begin teaching again?
In 1924, Kanbun went to Wakayama, Japan to work as a janitor in a cotton mill. There he met Ryuyu Tomoyose and was convinced to begin teaching again.

When and where did Kanbun open his first school?
In 1926 he opened me Shataku Dojo, a small school in the Wayama cotton mill.

When did Kanei Uechi begin his study?
In 1927, at the Shataku Dojo.

When did Kanbun open his first official school and begin teaching Pangainoon-ryu?
April 1932, Kanbun opened an official school at a migrant camp for Okinawan workers.

When did Kanei marry?
October 1939, to Nakahara Shige

When did Kanei return to Okinawa?
April 1942, when his students were called into military service. Kanei returned to Nago, Okinawa and begins teaching Uechi-ryu in Okinawa.

When did Kanbun return to Okinawa?
October 1946, at age 69, Kanbun left his school to Ryuyu Tomoyose and returned to Okinawa with students ShinjoSeiryo and Seiyu.

When did George Mattson begin his study of Uechi-ryu?
Winter 1956, at the age of 19. He studied for about one and a half years under Ryuko Tomoyose.

When did George Mattson begin teaching Uechi-ryu in America?
Summer 1958, in Boston. This is the first time that Uechi-ryu is taught in America.

When was Kanei promoted to judan?
February 1967 (Japan) and April 1967 (Okinawa)

When was Uechi-ryu first taught outside of China?
1924, by Kanbun Uechi, in Wayama, Japan

When was Uechi-ryu first taught in Okinawa?
1942, by KaneiUechi, in Nago, Okinawa

When was Uechi-ryu first taught in America?
1958, by George Mattson, in Boston, Mass.

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Uechi Kata

What does the word kata mean?
Mold or form—a choreographed routine of steps, turns, blocks, strikes, and kicks.

How many kata are in Uecht-ryu karate?

What are the three main kata?
Sanchin, Seisan, Sanseiryu.

Name the Uechi-Ryu kata.
Sanchin, kanshiwa, Kanchu, Seichin, Seisan, Seiryu, Kanchin, Sanseiryu

What does Sanchin mean?
Three modes or three conflicts: mind, body, and spirit.

What does kanshiwa mean?
Combination of two names: Kanbun and Shushiwa.

What does Kanshu mean?
Combination of two names:Kanbun and Shushiwa.

What does seichin mean?
Combination of two kaias: Seisan and Sanchin.

What does seisan mean?
13 positions of attack and defense.

What does seiryu mean?
16 positions of attack and defense.

What does kanchin mean?
Combination of the name KBnbunandaekatasaQcfam.

What does Sanseiryu mean?
36 postitions of attack and defense

What kata and technique did Kanbun Uechi bring back from China?
Sanch, Seisan, Sanseiryu, Kotekitae (arm pounding), and Jiyu-kunite (freestyle sparring)

What kata did Kanei Uechi add to our style?
Kanshiwa, Kanchu, Seichin, Seiiyu,Kanchin.

What does bunkai mean?
Analysis or application of kata.

Which Uechi-ryu katas have formal bunkai?
Kanshiwa, Seisan, Sanseiryu.

What is the original name of kanshiwa?

What is the original name of kanchu?
Daini (second or little) Seisan.

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Strikes, Blocks and Kicks


What is a straight punch called?
Seiken tsuki

What is a chopping strike called?
Shuto uchi

What is a hammer fist called?
Tettsui uchi

What is a thumb knuckle (palm heel) strike called?

What is an open hand finger strike called?

What is a one-knuckle strike called?

What is a fore-knuckle strike called?
Hiraken tsuki

What is an elbow strike called?
Hiji tsuki

What is a back-fist strike called?
Uraken tsuki

What is a cupped hand strike called?
Koken tsuki

What is a crane beak strike called?

What is a ridge-hand strike called?

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Name the eight Uechi kicks.
shomen geri, sokutogeri, mawashi geri, tobigeri, ushirogeri, hizageri, suksengeri, yokogeri

What is a shomen geri?
Front kick

What is a sokuto geri?
Side snapping kick

What is a mawashi geri?
Roundhouse kick

What is a tobi geri?
Jumping kick

What is a ushiro geri?
Back kick

What is a hiza geri?
Knee strike (kick)

What is a suksen geri?
Toe kick

What is a yoko geri?
Side thrust kick

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