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 see why.

Attack response

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.

Personal goals

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!