Uechi Ryu – It’s what I do – and it is effective
This thread is for Uechika, no disrespect for folk who study other systems but its Uechika I want to address here.
A recent thread has raised in my mind a topic, or insinuation, that keeps seeping in on conversations and it is one that I think is perhaps at certain times and in perhaps certain places true but should not be. The comment is that Uechi is not as effective as it could be in real assaults.
This thread is NOT about what Uechika might feel contribute to this thought that keeps popping up. I am not interesting in bashing anyone’s training.
I am interested in contributing to the efficiency and effectiveness of Uechi Ryu.
So let’s get something out of the way so it doesn’t get brought up. We must acknowledge that there are and will be compulsory components of any testing process. To move forward and achieve recognition of rank these are and will be part of the process.
But we need to remember that testing is just a part of training. I once saw a clip of a Dan test in Okinawa a number of years ago and I was a little surprised at the Kumite and Bunkai, The practitioners, who looked very capable, didn’t seem to know them all that well. I was told (don’t know if this is right) that many dojos in Okinawa have their own training they focus on and only work on the test material a little time before the actual test.
So regardless of any material questioned on other threads there is a lot to Uechi Ryu training and the testing material is just one aspect and one measurement.
I do Uechi Ryu based on the body mechanics I have found to be effective and efficient. I do my Kata based on those mechanics, what I have leached out of old interviews and tapes and, very frankly, the way they fit the principles for efficiency and effectiveness I believe work.
I have looked at and continue to look at other systems to learn new things and new things about my Uechi.
While on the street I never want to go to the ground I have worked hard on ground grappling so that I will not be taken by surprise and I have taken it into how I do ground fighting.
I also do not find anything inconsistent between Uechi and grappling because so much of it is right there once you begin to see it and simply being on the ground just becomes on the ground.
I have posted before that I believe the most efficient and effective self defence preparation is creating a base to work from. It can be any style that fits you best or one you have formulated for yourself.
Then open you eyes and mind to anything and everything else to bring what you find efficient and effective back into and to be morphed by your base.
And for me this is where the title of the thread come from, I do Uechi Ryu.
I have found Uechi Ryu with its half soft half hard mix of grappling and striking to be the most effective art to use as a close quarters self protection system to bring anything back to.
NOT here to argue if you have found another base to be better or a better one you created for yourself – feel free to start your own thread for that valid discussion.
One of things I have noticed and I think it may be based in the Uechi body conditioning, is that no matter what the approach to training Uechika tend to be tough.
One of the seminars I taught in Halifax that Van referred to was all about striking from and on the ground to regain your feet.
When I was teaching the seminars and watching all those people with lots of different skill levels and in some cases a different approach to self defence the one common thing I noticed is that if you tangled with any of them you would sure as heck know you were in a fight. Tough, determined and scrappers all.
I also got to meet one of the very effective Uechika, Clayton Hickey on my trip. Now I had heard about Clayton for years and how strong and powerful his Uechi was. How doing Dan Kumite with him was an experience in dealing with the adrenaline rush, so I had this image of a seven foot tall giant of a man. Clayton is a mature fellow like me who isn’t near as big as I expected in fact he is your average guy (or so you would think). He is a quiet and humble man. In my head I was trying to reconcile my preconceive image with this gentleman I had just met.
I was teaching a kick from when you are on your knees and moving back to standing. It is built for people either standing around to kick you or rushing in and it is intend to blow their knees out or at least cause some pain.
Clayton called me over and was so excited he said watch this. Now remember Clayton’s not the giant I thought he was. He was on his knees and a very big guy rushed at him (with a kicking pad) Clayton popped his hips up and drilled the guy with the kick and the guy not only had his forward momentum stopped dead but he FLEW back about ten feet wobbling all over the place.
And at that moment I saw the seven foot tall giant Clayton Hickey I had heard about – WHAT POWER!
Clayton said he had never thought of delivering what was basically a Uechi front kick from that position and in that manner – he was thrilled.
I threw this in here because there is effective Uechi out there but it takes work and an open mind. Clayton Hickey is a Uechi SENIOR and still open to learning new things and expanding his Uechi even from some one junior to him in rank.
That is the example we should follow if we want to be effective Uechika.
When I teach striking from the ground I am teaching Uechi. Maybe Uechi like you hadn’t thought of it before but it is Uechi. Maybe Uechi like you have never seen it before but it is Uechi. Once he saw it, he saw the Uechi and Clayton had no problems doing his Uechi from the positions I put him in.
There is training you can do regardless of your base curriculum that will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of any Uechika.
Uechi is NOT ineffective.
Uechi IS an extremely effective system of self defence.
While some my not think what I do looks a lot like the majority of Uechi I can assure you it comes from my deep study of body mechanics and what works with Uechi as the base and my from my deep love of Uechi.
So I say train whatever you want however you want for the reasons you need to but be like Clayton and keep your mind open, constantly look at where Uechi appears in other systems and in real life situations. Other threads have posted numerous clips that dripped of Uechi – but weren’t.
If you feel there is more needed in your Uechi to make it as efficient and effective as you would like – then simply add more to your training.
It is that simple.
Add to -- not subtract from -- your Uechi training.
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