Genkyu Nashi…

You know what really grinds my gears??? Just kidding, this won’t be that kind of post. At least not yet; I have a tendency of getting myself worked up on occasion but at the moment, I’m mostly looking to bring up a strange tendency I’ve noticed online. Since I write a blog that often focuses on karate and have subscribed through social media to a number of martial arts pages and websites, the good ol’ online AI’s have made it so that all the “suggested pages” and such usually have something to do with karate. This isn’t a bad thing, especially since it often allows me to learn about other styles, other techniques and methods and interesting subject matter. There is, however, one thing I’ve noticed that seems to nag at me; there is rarely any mention of Uechi Ryu…

I started to notice this trend some time ago when I read an article about top ten karate styles. The usual contenders were mentioned, Shotokan, Shito-Ryu and Wado-Ryu… And no list would be complete without the inclusion of Kyokushinkai, which everyone seems to think is bee’s knees of karate. Oh, I have no doubt that Kyokushinkai has its effectiveness, but I don’t believe that it is truly the “ultimate” way, considering that the proper fit of any given martial arts style is subjective to the practitioner. But when you hear about karate, the majority of the time, it will be one of the styles listed above. Which once again raises the question as to why Uechi-Ryu is rarely if ever, brought up.

For those who are less familiar with Uechi-Ryu, the style was created after its founder, Kanbun Uechi, studied under a Chinese martial artist named Shu Shiwa. Uechi studied with him for over a decade and even opened a school of his own in China. Uechi called the style “pangai-noon,” or “half-hard, half-soft.” Uechi returned to Okinawa and refused to teach ever agin, after one of his Chinese students allegedly killed one of his neighbours. It wouldn’t be until the 1920’s that Uechi would begin teaching students in Okinawa and the style was renamed in 1940 to Uechi-Ryu Karate-jutsu by his students and son. When Uechi passed in 1948, his son, Kanei Uechi, took over leadership of the style and renamed it simply “Uechi-Ryu.”

My style is unique in its focus on hardening the muscle and a combination of contained, focused circular and linear movements. We don’t focus on crossing long distances as many other style do, nor do we dip and lean quite as much as other styles do. Many other styles and martial artists have claimed that Uechi-Ryu is more effective at self-defence than its more offensive counterparts. But yet, when you look up top ten most renowned karate styles or something of the like, there’s almost never any mention of Uechi-Ryu. And I find that odd…

At one point, I posed the question to Sensei and his response was that our style was subtle and traditional and because we cared nothing about competition or how many students we created, people knew less of us than they knew of other styles. Maybe that’s the case. Who knows? there’s a really good video on Jesse Enkamp’s YouTube channel that talks about the ins and outs of Uechi-Ryu karate. I’ll link the video below. ☯️


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I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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