Karate originated in India over 5000 years ago when an Indian Prince developed it as a method of fighting based on the instinctive movements of animals. This crude system extended to China where it was taught to religious devotees in monasteries.
Here the art was strengthened ten-fold by incorporating mental exercises in concentration. Bohdi-Dharma, a Zen monk, developed the basic physical and mental exercise “SANCHIN”, which is the foundation of karate. Sanchin’s techniques are veiled in seemingly simplistic movements that are very powerful building blocks for body and mind development.
Kanbum Uechi traveled to China in 1900 to learn the best of Chinese karate.
He studied Pang-Gai-Noon, where SANCHIN, SEISAN, and SAN-SEI-Ryu kata were integral
exercises. There he studied for ten years and brought it back to Okinawa. The style he brought back was based on the one originally taught by Bohdi-Dharma.
Kanbum Uechi died in 1947 and his son Kanei Uechi took over the teaching. Out of respect, the name of Pang-Gai-Noon was changed to Uechi Ryu Karate.
The Hartford Uechi Academy receives frequent instruction from Master Kiyohide Shinjo, nine-time all Okinawan champion, either through Master Shinjo’s visits to the dojo or through our visits to Okinawa. Boxing and wrestling are very much a young person’s sport. Uechi-Ryu karate is not a sport, but an art that can be practiced at any age.