Uechi Ryu Sanseiru Kata
Filmed and released in 1998, this seminar had constituents from Okinawa as well as a cameo appearance of Hanshi George Mattson, also in attendance.
In 1999 George Mattson and the I.U.R.K.F.(inetrnational Uechi Ryu Karate Federation), awarded me the title of Shihan for this contribution... and I was additionally honored to be asked to teach at several summer camps at Mass Maritime Academy and privately with several senior instructors. But the research did not end and after daily practice and field testing in over 20 countries and on several hundred volunteers at seminars, the information has been refined and made more efficient, powerful and street worthy using the actual Bunkai in conjunction with the Vital Points.
Uechi-Ryu embodies the spirit of the Dragon, strength of the Tiger, and the grace of the Crane.
Uechi's teacher, Zhou Zhi He (1874-1926) (more commonly referred to in Japanese as Shu Shi Wa), was a bit of an enigmatic figure and there is little factual evidence about him. It is known that Zhou originated from Minhou, Fujian and was a civil boxing teacher (McCarthy, 1999). He reportedly studied martial arts under Li Zhao Bei and Ke Xi Di and was proficient in a variety of quan'fa. Still other sources state that Zhou learned from Chou Pei and Ko Hsi Ti (Cook, 1999).
Zhou reportedly practiced Crane and Tiger boxing, in addition to hard and soft qi gong (also spelled chi kung -- the study and practice of internal energy) and was noted for his iron palm technique. Besides Uechi Kanbun, his students included Jin Shi Tian, Wang Di Di and Zhou Zheng Qun (McCarthy, 1999). It has also been speculated that Wu Hien Kui (Jap. Gokenki) was also a student of Zhou. In contrast to this Zhou has also been described as a Taoist priest and a master of Chinese boxing, who taught among other styles his family system of quan'fa (Breyette, 1999).
Be that as it may, Kanbun reportedly studied every day for ten years, but it is unclear exactly what style he was taught. We do know that Uechi brought back the xing/kata: Sanchin, Seisan and Sanseiryu as well as 'kotekitae' (commonly referred to as arm pounding or conditioning). It should be noted that besides its obvious benefit as a conditioning drill, 'kotekitae' is a sophisticated push-hands and trapping flow drill. Also of note is that Kanbun reportedly did not learn the final xing/kata 'Suparempei.'
Please note that views, methods and instructional paradigms have changed considerably. Although the information may be dated as well as the instructional approach, they were landmark productions in their time.
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