Uechi-Ryu developed from the Okinawan style of Master Kanbun Uechi (1877-1948) and his son Kanei (1911-1991.)
Uechi Ryu can best be characterized as a close-in type of fighting and is a very effective hand-to-hand combat style of self-defense. The backbone of Uechi-Ryu is the exercise Sanchin. Sanchin develops proper breathing technique, spiritual concentration, dynamic strength, and powerful movement.
Uechi-Ryu has unique hand and foot techniques. Blocks are often done with open hands for faster deflection and controlling grabs. Strikes using the hands are delivered with a closed fist, spear hand, or a one knuckle strike known as the "shoken". Kicks are primarily delivered at or below the mid-section using the toes for penetration of the target. The legs are also used for blocking.
Training in Uechi-Ryu does not require exceptional strength or athletic ability. People from all walks of life enjoy the benefits from the martial arts, regardless of their level of proficiency or physical capabilities.
In the practice of Martial Arts, one must distinguish between training and practice. In Japanese the word "renshu" is used for training, which means to prepare or train the body; and "keiko", is the word used to define practice, which means to train or prepare the spirit.
The word keiko is important not only in the study of martial arts, but also in many other cultural activities where the spiritual aspects are of fundamental importance, for example, in the tea ceremony and in flower arrangement. Keiko literally means "to reflect on, review the past"; it imbues training with a reflective character, consisting of respect toward the maintenance of the best of past traditions while preparing the spirit to learn.