“What is Uechi-ryu karate?
Uechi-ryu (pronounced uu-way-chee roo) is the style of karate that you are learning. It is a dynamic martial art that can improve one’s health and vigor, and is an extremely effective system of unarmed self-defense. Uechi-ryu is named after Master Kanbun Uechi, who was born on the island of Okinawa, Japan. He trained in southern China and later returned to Okinawa to live and teach.
Why is Uechi Ryu so different from other types of martial arts? Our style, Uechi Ryu, formed the basis for karate and was introduced to the world from the island of Okinawa, Japan. It is a fighting system that gives a practitioner of the style an advantage during in-close encounters. All strikes, kicks, and blocks have the soft/round and hard/direct elements of movement that are very effective regardless of size and strength.
“Is it hard to learn karate?”
No and yes. Within a matter of a few weeks you will notice changes in your ability and body responses. Positive changes in terms of skill, health, and awareness will continue to manifest as your training proceeds. As with any other worthwhile endeavor however, it takes time to develop understanding, application and mastery. If there is a hard part, it is persevering over the months and years to gain the necessary understanding to become truly adept at this art.
“How fit must I be to study karate?”
Fitness and health are relative terms. In general, one should be in reasonably good health to take this on; and of course, the fitter you are the better. There are minimum performance standards for each rank, but these are achievable to most normal individuals with the drive to do so. Your most important progress is gauged against yourself (the toughest opponent you will ever face) and not against the progress of others.
“Besides self-defense, what else can I expect to get from studying karate?”
Karate is a “way”, proven though centuries of practice and refinement, to build character, health, self-confidence, agility, personal insight, self-awareness, and a more sensitive awareness of others and the world around you. These attributes are useful in every aspect of daily life.
“What is meant by the term “traditional dojo?”
In karate, “traditional” means adherence to methods and practices which can be traced back through hundreds of years of Okinawan and Chinese development. In ancient Asia, hand-to-hand fighting was taken very seriously and it was refined over many centuries. The techniques remain extremely effective and current to this day! In a traditional dojo, the emphasis is on empowerment of the individual.