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Description  of  Uechi-ryu
Shushiwa, heavyweight of Nanpa Shorin-ken
Kanbun Uechi
Founder of Uechi-ryu: Kanbun Uechi
The founder of Uechi-ryu was Kanbun Uechi (1877-1948),who went to Fuzhou in Fujian Province, China when he was 20 years old in 1897. He became a pupil of Shushiwa (1874-1926), the leading figure of Chinese Nanpa Shorin-ken, and performed ascetic practices for 13 years. After being full mastership had been conferred, Kanbun Uechi returned home, and then moved to Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture, where in 1925 he established the Institute of Pangainun-ryu (half-hard and soft) Todi-jutsu, the predecessor of Uechi-ryu karate-do, and began the process of launching his own dojo. In 1940, it was renamed Uechi-ryu after him.

Kanbun Uechi was a holder of kenpo techniques so sharp they were fearful. It has been said that his teaching was based on the principle of hardiness and for handpicked students only. Pupils were allowed to attend only if they had a guarantor. It has been reported that only fellow pupils were allowed to watch the training in those days. Also it was strictly prohibited to do enbu demonstrations in front of other people.

The technical style of Uechi-ryu is based on the axis of the three kata directly taught by Shushiwa: Sanchin, Seisan and Sanseiryu. To complete the repertoire of the style, five new kata-Kanshiwa,Kanshu, Seichin, Seiryu, Kanchin, and Kanshu-in addition to Kumite, were added after the war. Its unique point is the systemization of the offensive and defensive principles of three creatures- the Dragon, the Tiger and the Crane.
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