OKINAWAN SHOHEI-RYU KARATE - 24 North Washington Street - North Attleboro, MA - (508) 695-1223
What is Shohei Ryu/Uechi Ryu Karate?
Shohei Ryu (Show-He Roo), formerly known as Uechi Ryu (Way-Chee Roo), has its origins in Chinese Temple Fighting and was refined by Kanbun Uechi in his native Okinawa, Japan. The style uses a combination of soft blocks to redirect the force of an attack and powerful strikes to an opponent's vulnerable target areas. Shohei Ryu replicates movements of the tiger, crane, and dragon from which a student develops speed, balance, and proper breathing techniques as he/she matures through a progressive series of katas. The goal for all students is to develop physically, mentally, and emotionally while acquiring skills in a traditional martial art.
In the United States it is referred to as Kung Fu or Karate, and in Japan and Okinawa as Karate. In China, its formal name is Fwange-Nun (Pong-Gi Non).
Fwange-Nun, from Northern China, is the interwoven movements of the tiger, crane, and dragon. It is a specialized method of self defense that concentrates on the use of the Single-Knuckle Punch, Spear Hand Strike, Pointed Kick and Circular Block.
History of Grand Master Kanbun Uechi
Grandmaster Kanbun Uechi Grand Master Kanbun Uechi, the founder of Uechi-Ryu Karate is responsible for lifting the Chinese veil of secrecy, bringing this martial art our of China and into Japan and Okinawa. At the age of 20, to avoid serving in the Japanese military (which at the time occupied Okinawa), Uechi fled to China. There, in Fukien Province, he studied the art of Fwange-Nun. His teacher was Shushiwa, a priest who had received his training from a temple monk. Uechi studied in Fukien for ten years and became a master of Fwange-Nun. At the end of his training, Master Uechi opened a school in Nanchon, a city in Fukien Province. He taught there for three years. During this time one of his students became involved in a dispute and called upon his training to kill another person. Disheartened by this event, Master Uechi vowed never to teach again, closed his school and returned to his homeland. The year was 1910. Master Uechi has the distinction of being the only Okinawan ever to have been accepted in China as a teacher.
Returning to Okinawa, he married, and on June 26, 1911 his son Kanei was born. He still refused to teach his art and only once during the ensuing years reluctantly demonstrated his Kata (formal set of movements).
In 1924, the Uechi family moved to Wakayam Prefecture near Osaka, Japan. In 1927, Master Uechi began teaching his young son the art of Fwange-Nun. Around this time, friends persuaded him to resume teaching publicly. The term Uechi-Ryu (Uechi's style) was first used in the fall of 1940.
In April 1942, Master Uechi's son, Kanei, now a master in his own right, returned to Okinawa from Japan. Master Uechi continued to teach in Wakayam Prefecture until 1947. He then returned to Okinawa in April of 1947 and died November 25, 1948, in Lejima, an island off the coast of Okinawa. His body returned to Nago, Okinawa for burial. He was 71 years of age.
His son Master Kanei Uechi opened his dojo (training hall) in Futenma, Okinawa in April of 1949. He continued to train until his death in February of 1991.