At the Downtown Dojo we teach and practice Uechi-Ryu Karate - an Okinawan style of Karate founded by Kanbun Uechi upon his return from mainland China in the early 20th century. The style is closely related to a number of Southern Chinese martial arts and other Okinawan styles of karate. We are affiliated with the US organization of the Jiteki Jyuku organization in Okinawa, but welcome practitioners from all Uechi-Ryu families and practices. On our site you will find a historyof the style and our organization within the style, photos and videos of different forms and practices, and information on how to contact us and join the Dojo.

Any martial art is a discipline, and the successful pursuit of a martial art requires commitment, attention and focus on a long term goal. At the Downtown Dojo we teach the karate as we were taught it - with rigor and attention to the many details that make Uechi-Ryu unique and special. Be sure to get in touch to offer comments and join our mailing list. We hope to see you at the Dojo!

Download a copy of the Downtown Dojo Student Manual


DOJO CONDUCT

  • Everything in the martial arts begins and ends with courtesy.
  • Be sure to bow when entering and leaving the dojo.
  • Remove shoes when entering the dojo.
  • Ceremonial bow is used at the beginning and end of each formal class.
  • Jewelry should not be worn during the workout.
  • During practice always follow the directions of your instructor and seniors.
  • Whistling, singing, and the like are improper behavior in the dojo.
  • Drinking and smoking are prohibited in the dojo.
  • Make the best while in the dojo. When tired, rest in a place away from the activity of others.
  • Show respect for seniors and elders. Treat lower ranks and juniors with courtesy and compassion.
  • Always have a clean uniform.
  • Always act with propriety whether in or outside the dojo.
  • The term "Sensei" refers only to the chief instructor. While some black belt students help instructing, there is only one "sensei" of the dojo. 
  • In our dojo we prefer everyone be called by their first name, including our instructors. However, students who wish to use the term sensei are welcome to do so when referring to our chief instructor.

PRINCIPLES OF PRACTICE

  • The purpose of karate training is to discipline the mind and body and to master the art of self-defense.
  • A karate practitioner must never, even after drinking, call upon his strength in a quarrel, speak harshly, act roughly, or become troublesome to others.
  • A karate practitioner must never bring shame upon himself or his school in either speech or action.
  • A karate practitioner must never speak arrogantly, fall into laziness, or act conceitedly. He should endeavor to work diligently at training and improving himself.
  • A karate practitioner should respect decorum and the martial arts, maintain the fine traditions of karate, and contribute to society


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Uechi- Ryu is pronounced "WAY-Chee RYU".
  • The Chinese name for the style Kanbun Uechi studied in China is Pwang gai noon.
  • Animal movements used in Uechi-Ryu are from the tiger, crane, and dragon.
  • Belt ranks used in adult promotion are white, yellow, green, brown, and black.
  • Sanchin is the first and most important of the eight katas.

WARM UP EXERCISES - HOJO UNDO

  • 1. Snap Side Kick - SOKUTO GERI
  • Yoi-Right foot forward - right circle block, right side kick, left circle block, left side kick. Five repetitions.
  • Yoi-left foot forward - left circle block, left side kick, right circle block, right side kick. Five repetitions.

    2. Front Kick - SHOMEN GERI

  • Yoi-Right foot forward - right circle block, right front kick, left circle block, left front kick. Five repetitions.
  • Yoi-Left foot forward - left circle block, left front kick, right circle block, right front kick. Five repetitions.

    3. Hook punch - MAWASHI ZUKI

  • Yoi-Right foot forward - left circle block, right hook punch, right circle block, left hook punch. Five repetitions.
  • Yoi-left foot forward - right circle block, left hook punch, left circle block, right hook punch. Five repetitions.

    4. High Block, Punch Straight, Outside Block, Punch Straight - HAJIKE UKE HIRAKEN ZUKI

  • Yoi-Right foot forward - left hand post position, high block with closed fist, then punch straight, outside block while snapping wrist out - punch straight all with right hand flat fist. Five repetitions.
  • Yoi-Left foot forward - right hand post position, high block with closed fist, then punch straight, outside block while snapping wrist out - punch straight all with left hand flat fist. Five repetitions.

    5. Straight Punch, Block, Punch - SHOMEN ZUKI

  • Yoi-Left foot forward - left circle block, right punch, left guide block, right punch. Five repetitions.
  • Yoi-Right foot forward - right circle block, left punch, right guide block, left punch. Five repetitions.

    6. Chop, Back Fist, one Knuckle Punch - SHUTO UCHI URA UCHI SHOKEN ZUKI

  • Yoi-Right foot forward - left circle block, chop, back fist, one knuckle punch with right hand. Five repetitions.
  • Yoi-Left foot forward - right circle block, chop, back fist, one knuckle punch with left hand. Five repetitions.

    7. Elbow, Side, back - HIJI ZUKI

  • Yoi-Right foot forward - left circle block, forward strike, side strike and back strike with right elbow. Five repetitions.
  • Yoi-Left foot forward - right circle bloc, forward strike, side strike and back strike with left elbow. Five repetitions.

    8. Block Off Back Leg, Kick Off Front Leg - TENSHIN ZEN SOKU GERI

  • Yoi-Left foot forward - from front center step 45 degrees to left, block off back (left) leg, kick off fwd. (right) leg, step then turn 45 degrees from front center in opposite direction, circle block off rear (right) leg, kick off front (left) leg. Ten repetitions.

    9. Block Off Back Leg, Kick off Back Leg - TENSHIN KOSOKU GERI

  • Yoi-Left foot forward - from front center step 45 degrees to right, circle block off back(right) leg, Kickoff back leg, step then turn 45 degrees from front center in opposite direction, circle block off back (left) leg, kick off back leg. Ten repetitions.

    10. Block Off Back Leg, One Knuckle Punch, Block Off Fwd. Leg, One Knuckle punch - TENSHIN SHOKEN ZUKI

  • Yoi-Right foot forward - from front center step 45 degrees to left, circle block off back (left) leg, one knuckle punch off fwd. (right) leg, circle block off fwd. leg, one knuckle punch off back (left) leg, step then turn 45 degrees from front center in opposite direction, circle block off back (right) leg one knuckle punch off forward (left) leg, circle block foot forward. (left) leg, one knuckle punch off back leg. Ten repetitions.

    11. Eye Strike - SHOMEN HAJIKE

  • Yoi-Right foot forward - shuffle forward, two hand eye strike, shuffle back, two hand eye strike. Ten repetitions.

    12. Wrist Block - KOY NO SHI PO UCHI TA TE UCHI

  • Yoi-Left foot forward - hands parallel in front, block with wrists upward, block with wrists downward, block outward parallel to the floor in opposite direction with wrists, together with palm block.

    13. Block To Sides With Wrists - KOY NO SHI PO UCHI YOKO UCHI

  • Yoi-Right foot forward - hand parallel in front block with wrists from side to side. Ten repetition.

JAPANESE TERMINOLOGY

  • Dojo-training room
  • Karateka-karate student
  • Rei-bow
  • Gi-uniform
  • Kotekitae-arm conditioning
  • Zuki-punch
  • Sensei-instructor
  • Sanchin Dachi - sanchin stance
  • Geri-kick
  • Kata-form
  • Kiba Dachi-horse stance
  • Uke-block
  • Kumite-sparring
  • Obi-karate belt

JAPANESE COUNTING

  • 1. chi
  • 2. ni
  • 3. san
  • 4. chi
  • 5. go
  • 6. roku
  • 7. sichi
  • 8. hachi
  • 9. ku
  • 10. jiu

OKINAWAN KARATE-DO

by Yauo Tamaki and Kitanaka Shubukan

THE SPIRIT OF KARATE-DO

"There is no first attack in Karate." This phrase embodies the essential spirit of Okinawan karate. Although karate is a martial art, it must be a defensive art from beginning to end. The essence of karate-do (the way of karate) lies in the defensive function of karate. Students of any martial art, including karate-do must not forget the cultivation of mind as well as body. In karate-do, an individual's goal might be improvement of health or training of the body to function efficiently. A karate-ka might wish to develop the strength of his or her arms or legs or body, or to attain poise and fortitude. Some might wish to learn karate to cultivate humility. All such goals have to do with self-development.

The dreadful offensive and defensive power of karate is well known. Karate is an art with which one can defeat opponents with a single fist attack or kick, without weapons. The value of the art depends on the one applying it. If its application is for a good purpose, the art is of great value. But if it is misused, there is no more evil or harmful art than karate. The unarmed combat, improperly used, is certainly dangerous and vicious. But, if properly applied, it can produce results of great value. The correct understanding of karate and its proper use is "karate-do."

On the contrary, if one misuses the techniques of karate, he nullifies its benefits and merits. Such misuse, arising from a superficial understanding is in fact self-defeating.

Those who follow the way of karate must consider courtesy of prime importance. Without courtesy, the essence of karate-do is lost. No one is qualified to be a karate-ka without courtesy even if he excels others in his technique. This is the very reason why karate practice begins and ends with a bow. The bow represents one's recognition of the meaning of courtesy. Courtesy must be practice, not only during training periods but at all times in one's daily life.

A karate-ka should keep a gentle mind and humble manner. It is the narrow-minded who like to boast about some trifling skill acquired. Karate-do ultimately aims at building a well balanced person of sound body and mind through continuous training.

The mastery of karate-do requires dedication and strenuous effort. The way of karate may be referred to as the conflict within oneself, or as a life-long marathon which can be won only through self-discipline, hard training, and one's creative efforts.

The pursuit of karate-do is the quest for self-mastery. The true study of karate must transcend the mere physical. It must involve one's total being. Through the student, the techniques become art. In true karate mind and technique become one.

Through karate training we can attain the highest ideals of beauty and strength. The fusing of mind and body in karate is indescribably beautiful and spiritual. The flow of mind, when totally absorbed during kata practice, brings a person into complete contact with the essence and core of his being. It is here that the spirit of karate-do lies.