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Uechi-Ryu

Uechi-Ryu Karate





I studied Uechi-Ryu in college from around 1973 to 1977 at a studio in Phoenix, Arizona, eventually achieving the rank of 1st kyu (brown belt). The school still exists.

On the left, Al Saddler, head instructor of Arizona Uechi Ryu Karate-Do, circa 1974 or so.


After a 20 year hiatus, I resumed Uechi-Ryu training in 1999 under tutelage of David Elkins in Roseburg Oregon, starting again from white belt and fighting my way back to brown belt. In 2003 Sensei Elkins retired, leaving Oregon free of Uechi-Ryu instruction. I seem destined to remain stuck at brown belt in this style.

Although I've spent much time and have achieved respectable rank in other styles, I still consider myself primarily a Uechi-Ryu stylist. Even as a TKD black-belt I would spar open-hand from a modified Sanchin.

I find the Uechi techniques to be more subtle, and require less energy and impact than other styles I've studied, and if anything this has become more important as I grow older. I've had to abandon many TKD techniques as I enter my fifties, but there's still no Uechi-Ryu technique my age prevents me from performing. I expect this trend to continue.