Site Navigation    





 Dojo Etiquette


 Uechi-Ryu Ranking System

 Rank Requirements

 YURKF News/Cancellations

 Events Calendar

 KNS News


 Contact Information


 Photo Gallery











                                   Kanbun Uechi                           Kanei Uechi



Uechi-Ryu is a style of Karate which finds it's origins in Chinese Boxing.  Originally called "Pangainoon", meaning half hard, half soft, Uechi-Ryu's movements are a combination of the tiger, crane, and dragon styles of Kung Fu. Unique to Uechi-Ryu is the regular use of the pointed toe kick, circular block, the single knuckle punch, and body conditioning.

The founder of Uechi-Ryu is Kanbun Uechi, who brought the style from China to Okinawa, Japan.  Kanbun Uechi trained for ten years before teaching Uechi-Ryu himself.  In 1956 George E. Mattson, a young American G.I., began studying the style under Ryuko Tomoyose and Kanei Uechi (Kanbun's eldest son), while stationed it Okinawa.  Mattson trained for a year and a half then returned home to Boston, Massachusetts where he introduced Uechi Ryu to North America.  In 1972, after studying Uechi under Mattson, Jim Maloney of Nova Scotia introduced the style to Canada in Halifax where he opened his first dojo.  Most Uechi-Ryu masters in Nova Scotia trained under Sensei Maloney, including H.A.(Bub) Pelham who began training in 1975 and today is a 7th degree black belt. Sensei Pelham was the owner and Chief instructor of the Kentville Karate Academy from 1993 until he passed it on to his student Patty Young in 2003.  In October 2010 the  Kentville Karate Academy moved to New Minas, and in June 2011 the club name changed to "Young's Uechi-Ryu Karate and Fitness".

When Kanbun Uechi began teaching, his style of Karate consisted of three katas (Sanchin, Seisan, and Sansierui), body conditioning, and Chinese medicine.  Today the style also has five other katas, two bunkais and several pre-arranged kumites and drills, all of which were created by Kanei Uechi, George Mattson, and other students of Uechi-Ryu.  Today Kanmei Uechi (Kanei's eldest son) is the head of the Uechi-Ryu Family and Uechi-Ryu is practiced in many countries all over the world.




May 5,1877: Kanbun Uechi is born in Izumi in Northern Okinawa, the eldest son of samurai descendants Kantoku and Tsuru.

March 1897: Kanbun flees to China to escape  Japanese military conscription.  In early summer he joins the Kugusku dojo run by an Okinawan named Makabei.  He soon leaves and studies Kenpo and Chinese medicine under Shushiwa (Shushabu).

1904: Kanbun receives certification in kenpo.

1907: Kanbun opens a school in Nansoe.

1909: A man is killed by Kanbun or one of his students in a dispute over irrigation. Kanbun closes his school.

February 1910: Kanbun returns to Izumi, Okinawa to farm.

May 10, 1910: Kanbun marries Toyama Gozei.

June 26, 1911: Kanbun's eldest son Kanei is born.

1912: Gokenki opens a tea shop in Naha and begins to spread the word that Kanbun is a truly great Karate Master.

1924: Kanbun leaves his family to work on Kansai on mainland Japan. He settles in Wakayama where his Okinawan neighbour, Tomoyose Ryuyu convinces Kanbun to teach him Kenpo.

1926: Kanbun opens the Shataku Dojo. It is the first time that Pangainoon is taught outside China.

1927: Kanei joins his father and enters the Shataku Dojo.

April 1932: Kanbun opens a new school , Pangainoon-ryu Karate-jutsu Kenkyu-jo (Paingainoon Karate Study Hall).

April 1937: Kanei receives certification and opens a dojo in Kansai region.

October 18, 1939: Kanei marries Shige Nahahara from Izumi.

Autumn 1940: The students at Kanbun's school change it's name to Uechi-Ryu Karate-jutsu Institute and award Kanbun title of Grandmaster of Uechi-Ryu.

May 10, 1941: Kanei's eldest son Kanmei is born.

April 1942: Kanei returns to his family in Nago and opens a dojo.  It is the first time Uechi-Ryu is taught in Okinawa.

1944: Kanei and his students are drafted into World War II.

October 1946: Kanbun returns to Okinawa leaving his dojo to Ryuyu Tomoyose.   He reopens Kanei's dojo at Nago.

November 25, 1948: Kanbun dies of nephritis at the age of 71.

April 1949: Kanei opens the Uechi-Ryu Karate-jutsu Kenkyu-jo (Uechi Karate Study Hall) in Ginowan with the help of Ryuyu's son Ryuko.

Winter 1956: George E. Mattson, under the tutelage of Ryuko, begins 1 1/2 years of Uechi-Ryu in Kitanakagusuku, Okniawa.

July 1957: Kanei moves his dojo to Futenma and names it "Uechi-Ryu Karate Dojo".

Summer 1958: Mattson introduces Uechi-Ryu to North America.  He teaches it at the YMCA in Boston.

1962: Jim Maloney begins studying Uechi-Ryu in Boston.

1972: Maloney opens a Uechi-Ryu school in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

February 23, 1991: Kanei Uechi dies in Okinawa.  Kanmei becomes the head of the Uechi-Ryu Family. 



Karate: "Empty hands", Karate is a weaponless form of self defence which mainly utilizes punches and kicks.

Karate-Do: "The way of Karate"

Karate-ka: Karate student

Dojo: "Way place", the training hall where one learns Karate.

Sensei: Instructor or teacher

Kata: Practice form

Sanchin: "Three conflicts", this first kata taught forms the foundation of Uechi-Ryu Karate.  The three conflicts to be mastered during sanchin are the mind, body, and spirit.

Gi: Uniform worn while practicing Karate.

Obi: Belt

Migi: Right

Migi ashi mae: Right leg forward

Hidari: Left

Hidari ashi mae: Left leg forward

Bunkai: "Analysis", the application of individual techniques from kata.

Kumite: "Putting together of hands", also called sparring or fighting, it can be done either free style or prearranged.

Hajime: Begin

Yame: Stop

Kamae: Ready postion

Rei: Bow

Mawate: Turn 180 degrees

Geri: Kick

Uke: Block

Wauke: Circular block

Tsuki: Punch/strike

Dachi: Stance

Nite: Double thrusts

Kotekitae: Arm conditioning

Ashikitae: Leg conditioning



Ich: one

Ni: Two

San: Three

Shi: Four

Go: Five

Roku: Six

Shichi: Seven

Hachi: Eight

Kyu: Nine

Ju: Ten