In order to be fit for karate it is necessary to do some general warm
ups and some more specific exercises designed to prepare the body for
combat. These consist of gym style circuit work like star jumps, sit
ups, push-ups and jogging on the spot, to exercises that particularly
work the muscle groups needed for karate. We then progress to general
stretching and karate stretching called Jumbiundo that
is targeted at the joints and muscles particularly used for karate.
After warm ups and stretching it is time to begin Hunjundo.
This is the practice of the individual movements that will later go
to make up the actions of Katas, rather like learning individual words
that you then learn to string together into sentences.
This is normally followed by the first of our katas called Sanchin
a very ancient form that probably goes back hundreds of years. We then
progress onto Kotikitai or arm rubbing and pounding.
This is designed to gradually harden the body against attack and toughen
the arms and legs to withstand kicks and punches. It should be noted
that all the above exercises including Kotikitai are to each persons
own limits and no student would ever be expected to suffer needlessly
for the ‘cause’.
Meditation in motion
We then move on to the practice of the other forms in the system which
only number nine in total, a far cry from some systems with their dozens
of different forms to be learnt. Our kata however do contain all the
information you would ever need in day to day life for self-protection.
They also develop body co-ordination and accuracy of movement. Kata
has often been called meditation in motion and once you get into the
depth of concentration needed to perform these beautiful forms you will
At some point in the lesson we practice our every day responses to
attack. We call this “interest training” and it is meant
to show you how the system works under real day to day scenarios. Most
nights we have a warm down and then bow out the class for the night.
Although the above is indicative of a normal nights training it is always
our intention to build a class that holds the interest of our students
and is flexible according to the numbers and grades of the people that
arrive for class.
The cerebral art
One of the things that has kept my attention over the years is the
desire to continually better ones self. Our system has often been called
“the cerebral art” and this is justified in the brain being
made to work as well as the body. There are three main elements to good
karate: 1) Power 2) Accuracy and 3) Beauty. Without any one of these
items you would not be learning to see the whole picture and it is our
desire to try to open your eyes to karate as a whole rather than just
the punching and kicking skills.
In the fullness of time each student will be helped to achieve whatever
his or her own personal agenda is. Be it spiritual or physical. Uechi
Ryu is suitable for male or female students and I would like to point
out that any female considering joining us will learn to defend herself
with no loss of her female attributes!