Transcendental Uechi-ryu

Contributors offers insight into the non-physical side of the Martial Arts, often ignored when discussing self-defense.

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Transcendental Uechi-ryu

Postby DZ1050 » Tue Jan 13, 2004 2:15 am

I'd like to share some of my experience with the practice of Uechi kata. I've been impressed with the active mediation aspect of the art that is often referred to as "no mind". My first real experience with this was when I went up to Rhode Island from Boston for my black belt test. It was time for me to demonstrate my kata for the board, all I remembered was the beginning bow and then the closing one. No, I did not lose consciousness, I was aware of everything as an energy flow! It wasn't personal, I was in the moment, nothing more. Since that time I practiced Zen, Yoga, Tai chi, and of course Sanchin. I'm not making the case that Uechi ryu is a religion (it doesn't save anyone) but it changed my perspective of life completely. Anyone else care to share?
David Z.
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Postby paul giella » Tue Jan 13, 2004 1:25 pm

There are an limitless number of "mindfulness" practices, Sanchin being one that is, of course, near and dear to us Uechi people. In my Renshi thesis I talked about how Sanchin is a particularly useful stress reduction/mindfulness drill because of the close association of stress with physical threat. Like you, I am impressed that there is nothing mystical or religious about mindfulness training or meditation. In fact, nothing could be further from mysticism. The zen masters say when you look at a rock, see a rock. Period. Nothing other-worldly about that. Even Bruce Lee (that famous zen master) put it into martial arts terms; "Before I studied martial arts I thought a punch was just a punch and a kick was just a kick. Then I studied and learned that a punch is not just a punch and a kick not just a kick. But now that I have mastered it I realize that a punch is a punch and a kick is a kick". Or, as another zen master once put it: "What does a man do before enlightenment? Chop wood, carry water. And what does a man do after enlightenment? Chop wood, carry water". It is the degree of mindfulness that changes over time and study.
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Postby Phil Stefanini » Thu Apr 22, 2004 1:56 am

Paul: I couldn't agree more. It's often confused or misunderstood because the principle applies not only to martial arts but many things, including sitting quietly. The mind generates practiced consciousness through a form of concentration to bring about relaxed altertness. I believe the physical form we use is a kind of feedback mechanism to the mind that is monitoring the action. The fact that this type of training applies to other action, including how we conduct our lives, is the greatest, and often most overlooked, benefit. Phil
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Postby KerryM » Wed Apr 28, 2004 8:29 pm

My goodness how interesting-

so it IS a real thing!

I've reached that point as well- durring class- as well as other times- when the "no mind" takes over- I personaly call it "re-focusing" because to me- in my life- it is like that third conflict (the spirit) comes up and takes over for a bit. Durring that time of "re-focus" for me- I can see energy flowing about in differing colors-

now- at first I thought it was "just me" some-how- until I began utilizing the flows of certain colors durring sparring matches- "openings" so to speak.

I was a bit curious though- Mr. (Sensei?) Geilla- you kept faying "mindful"-

were those mistakes or did you mean to say "mind full" as opposed to "mindlessness-"?

It didn't start with color either- that came with more practice - but at first it was like I could settle down into the mind "less" ness and either whip out a kata- or spar with a single intent- or without "intent" it all depends on what is happening.

With "less" in your mind- your true "intent" (to survive :) ) can come out easier-


any thoughts? :)

Thank you!
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