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上地完文
 Sensei Kanbun Uechi (1877-1948)
Grandmaster of Uechi Ryu Karate
和歌山道場三大先輩:友寄隆優、上原三郎、上地完英 (上地完文免許狀授權)
  Kanbun Uechi, the Grandmaster of Uechi Ryu Karate, was born on the 5th May 1877 in Ryukyu Kingdom.

[The Legendary Stories]
  To avoid the Japanese conscription, Kanbun Uechi travelled to Fuzhou in 1897.  Kanbun Uechi first joined the Kojo dojo to learn the basic Chinese Kenpo, and later met "Shushiwa" (transliteration), the teacher of Southern Chinese Martial Arts, for learning the (Pangainoon) Kenpo, which includes the three elements of "Dragon", "Tiger", "Crane", and focuses on the style of "Tiger".  In 1909/1910, Kanbun Uechi returned to Okinawa.

[The Reliable History]
  In 1924, Kanbun Uechi moved to Wakayama of Japan.  In April 1926, an Okinawa man called Ryuyu Tomoyose/Tomoyori (born in February 1897, aged 29) tried to convince Kanbun Uechi to teach him Martial Arts in their working place, and later Kanbun Uechi held a simple dojo called "Pangainoon Ryu Tode-Jutsu Research Institute" (流唐手術研究所).  Since then, Ryuyu Tomoyose becomes the most senior disciple of Kanbun Uechi (aged 48).  At the same year, Saburo Uehara (born in 1900, aged 26) started to learn Pangainoon Ryu Tode-Jutsu (流唐手術) under Kanbun Sensei.

  In 1927, Kanei Uechi (born in June 1911 in Okinawa, aged 16), the eldest son of Kanbun Uechi, moved to Wakayama of Japan, and started to learn Pangainoon Ryu Tode-Jutsu (流唐手術) under his father.  At the same year, Seiryo Shinjo (born in June 1908, aged 18) started to learn Pangainoon Ryu Tode-Jutsu (流唐手術) under Kanbun Sensei.

  In 1932, Kanbun Sensei found an official dojo which opened to the public, and named it "Pangainoon Ryu Karate-Jutsu Research Institute" (流空手術研究所).  At the same year, Kanbun Sensei issued a charter to his outstanding disciple Saburo Uehara (aged 32).  (Saburo Uehara then moved to Taisho, and started to teach Martial Arts in his working place.
Kanbun Uechi's dojo

  In 1934, Kanbun Sensei explained to Kenwa Mabuni (the Grandmaster of Shito Ryu) that 流 referred to the rapid speed in its style.

  In 1937, Kanbun Sensei issued a charter to Kanei Uechi (aged 25).  (Kanei Uechi later opened one dojo in Osaka in 1939, and one dojo in Amagasaki in 1940.)

  In 1938, Seiko Toyama (born in October 1928, aged 9) started to learn Pangainoon Ryu Karate-Jutsu (流空手術) under Kanbun Sensei.  (After the death of Kanbun Sensei, Seiko Toyama followed Kanei Uechi to learn Uechi Ryu Karate-Jutsu.)

  In 1939, Seiyu Shinjo (born in July 1929, aged 10), the son of Seiryo Shinjo, started to learn Pangainoon Ryu Karate-Jutsu (流空手術) under Kanbun Sensei.  (After the death of Kanbun Sensei, Seiyu Shinjo followed Kanei Uechi to learn Uechi Ryu Karate-Jutsu.)

  In 1940, Seiki Itokazu (born in November 1915, aged 24) started to learn Pangainoon Ryu Karate-Jutsu (流空手術) under Kanei Uechi.  At the same year, the "Pangainoon Ryu Karate-Jutsu Research Institute" (流空手術研究所) was again renamed to "Uechi Ryu Karate-Jutsu Research Institute" (上地流空手術研究所), and confirmed to use the family name of Kanbun Uechi for the name of their Martial Arts style as "Uechi Ryu" (上地流), in order to give the honor to Kanbun Sensei.

  In 1942, Kanei Uechi returned to Okinawa.

  In 1945, Kanbun Sensei issued a charter to Ryuyu Tomoyose (aged 48).

  In 1946, Kanbun Sensei handed over his Wakayama dojo (later called "Uechi Ryu Tode Tomoyori Dojo / 上地流唐手友寄道場") to Ryuyu Tomoyose before returning to Okinawa again.  Ryuko Tomoyose (born in December 1928, aged 17), the son of Ryuyu Tomoyose, started to learn Uechi Ryu Karate-Jutsu under Kanbun Uechi in Okinawa.

  In 1947, Kanbun Sensei opened a dojo in Iejima.

  On the 25th November 1948, Kanbun Sensei passed away.

上原三郎、友寄隆優、上地完英
From left:  Saburo Uehara, Ryuyu Tomoyose/Tomoyori, Kanei Uechi
(Three Top students of Wakayama dojo under Kanbun Uechi)

  The Uechi Ryu Karate-Jutsu which passed down by Grandmaster Kanbun Uechi, includes three Katas:  Sanchin (三戰), Seisan (十三), and Sanseiryu (三十六), as well as the Kote-Kitae (小手鍛/arms conditioning).  Besides, Kanbun Sensei in his lifetime, issued the charters to total three top students of Wakayama dojo, includes:  Kanei Uechi (his eldest son), Ryuyu Tomoyose (his most senior disciple), and Saburo Uehara (his outstanding disciple).
  Since the "Uechi Ryu Tode Tomoyori Dojo" (上地流唐手友寄道場) in Wakayama of Japan is not influenced by the system of Okinawa Uechi Ryu, the two Katas of Sanchin (三戰), and Seisan (十三), as well as the Kote-Kitae (小手鍛/arms conditioning) in the Tomoyori Dojo, is closer to the original version of Kanbun Sensei.  In addition, according to the investigation of Pangai-noon Kenpo Academy (拳法研究会) under the Okinawa Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do Association (沖縄上地流唐手道協会), Kanbun Sensei treated Sanseiryu (三十六) as a family treasure, which was only inherited by his eldest son Kanei Uechi.
  Giving the fact that there is no pure Kanbun Uechi's version in Okinawa Uechi Ryu, the Uechi Ryu has developed into various lineages with similarities and differences.  Although every lineages or disciples have different interpretations of Uechi Ryu due to personal understanding and experience, the source of schools in Uechi Ryu are all inherited from Kanbun Sensei.

上地完英
Sensei Kanei Uechi (1911-1991)
Second Soke of Uechi Ryu

Kanei Uechi Sensei, Second Soke of Uechi-Ryu Karate
(Click to Enlarge)
  Master Kanei Uechi, the Second Soke of Uechi Ryu, was born on the 26th June 1911 in Okinawa.  His father is Kanbun Uechi, the Grandmaster of Uechi Ryu Karate.

  In 1927, Kanei Uechi moved to Wakayama of Japan, and started to learn Pangainoon Ryu Tode-Jutsu (流唐手術) from Kanbun Uechi.  After more than nine years practice, Kanei Uechi was issued a charter from Kanbun Sensei, then he later opened one dojo in Osaka in 1939, and one dojo in Amagasaki in 1940.
Kanei Uechi 1940s
(Sensei Kanei Uechi in Amagasaki dojo)

  In 1942, Kanei Uechi returned to Okinawa.

  On the 25th November 1948, Kanbun Sensei passed away.

  In 1949, Kanei Uechi opened one dojo in Nodake of Ginowan and one dojo in Kanzatobaru of Naha.
Kanei Uechi 1950s Nodake dojo of Ginowan

  The Nodake dojo in 1955 and later the Kanzatobaru dojo in 1957 were moved and combined as one dojo in Futenma.  The dojo name of "Uechi Ryu Karate-Jutsu Research Institute" was officially changed to "Uechi Ryu Karate Dojo" afterwards.

[The System of Okinawa Uechi Ryu]
  In around 1955-1960, Kanei Uechi and nine Uechi Ryu disciples (Saburo Uehara, Seiko Toyama, Seiki Itokazu, Ryuko Tomoyose, Kunio Miyagi, Masao Ishihara, Kawata, Shintoku Takara, Shigeru Takamiyagi) joined together and started to further develop the system of Uechi Ryu.  They created and added the five Katas:  Kanshiwa (完子和), Kanshu (完周), Seichin (十戰), Seiryu (十六), and Kanchin (完戰), as well as the Junbi Undo (準備運動), Hojo Undo (補助運動), and Yakusoku Kumite (約束組手) into the style, which formed the basic structure of the "Okinawa Uechi Ryu".

  On the 23rd February 1991, Kanei Sensei passed away.

友寄隆宏
Sensei Ryuko Tomoyose (1928-2019)
Hanshi & Judan of Uechi Ryu Karate-Do

Skill Holder of
Intangible Cultural Asset in Okinawa
(Okinawa Karate‧Kobujutsu)
  Master Ryuko Tomoyose, Hanshi & Judan of Uechi Ryu Karate-Do, an Okinawan who was born on the 10th December 1928 in Japan, and later he was sent back to Okinawa when he was 3 years old to be raised by his grandparents.  His father, Ryuyu Tomoyose, was the most senior disciple of Kanbun Uechi.

  During the period of World War II (1 Sep 1939 to 2 Sep 1945), Ryuko Tomoyose studied under Chojun Miyagi, the Grandmaster of Okinawa Goju Ryu, in the backyard of his home dojo, for around 18 months (Kata:  Gekisai, Saifa, Seiyunchin, Kururunfa).

  In 1946, Ryuko Tomoyose started to learn Uechi Ryu Karate-Jutsu under Kanbun Uechi.

  On the 25th November 1948, Kanbun Sensei passed away.

  In 1949, Ryuko Tomoyose followed Kanei Uechi to learn Uechi Ryu Karate-Jutsu.
Ryuko Tomoyose in 1950
(Nodake dojo of Ginowan under Kanei Uechi, in 1950)

[The Root of the Tree]
  In 1956, Ryuko Tomoyose started to become an interpreter of Kanei Uechi for assisting the operation of the dojo in Ginowan, and soon then, he was told by Kanei Uechi to teach the American servicemen who came from the Military Base (Torii Station) of Yomitan in Okinawa.  Thus, George E. Mattson and his fellows started to learn Uechi Ryu Karate under Tomoyose Sensei in his home dojo, everyday 5PM to 8PM.

  In 1958, George E. Mattson (Recommender:  Ryuko Tomoyose) passed the examination of qualification of Black Belt Shodan with receiving the highest score in the Futenma dojo.  Then, Tomoyose Sensei told George E. Mattson to spread Uechi Ryu Karate-Do after his return to USA;

  More later, George E. Mattson becomes the Father of Uechi Ryu in America.  George E. Mattson Sensei and his students would have many chances to learn from Tomoyose Sensei, Kanei Uechi Sensei, and other Okinawa masters in both America and Okinawa.

  In 2000, Tomoyose Sensei was appointed as the Skill Holder of Intangible Cultural Asset (Okinawa Karate‧Kobujutsu) in Okinawa.

  On the 10th April 2019, Tomoyose Sensei passed away.
[Further Reading...]

上地流国際唐手道協会(香港支部),簡稱: 上地流国際(香港支部)
Uechi Ryu International Karate-Do Association (Hong Kong Branch), also known as: Uechi International (HK Branch)