Kata-Kumite-Bunkai

Kata (Forms)
There are eight empty-hand kata or forms in Uechi Ryu; the longest called Sanseiryu, has 36 steps. Only Sanchin, Seisan, and Sanseiryu come from Pongainoon; the others were added to the style by Kanei Uechi. Many of the names of the newer kata were formed from the names of prominent figures in the art (e.g. Kanshiwa is derived from Kanbun and Sushiwa).


  1. Sanchin: The foundation of all kata and Uechi Ryu, it is usually interpreted as three Modes/Conflicts: Mind, Body and Spirit.
  2. Kanshiwa:  A combination of Kanbun and Shushiwa's names, this kata teaches the new student the concept of harnessing natural strength through the use of primarily tiger-style techniques.
  3. Kanshu: A combination of the first kanji in Kanbun's name, and the kanji for Shu Shiwa's family name. This kata teaches the concept of precision in timing through the use of crane techniques.
  4. Seichin: "10 fights/conflicts" or a combination of two other katas- Seisan and Sanchin. This form uses whip-like dragon-style techniques.
  5. Seisan: One of the original three kata from pongainoon, it is usually interpreted as "Thirteen modes of attack and defense" or "13 positions to attack/defend from".  Students can recognize and further develop elements from previous forms.
  6. Seiryu: Usually interpreted as “16 conflicts”.  This kata teaches the concept of stability, as the four consecutive Dragon techniques used in rotation call for a strong sense of balance.
  7. Kanchin: A combination of Kanbun's first kanji and "fight". This form was created by Kanei Uechi from fighting techniques he favored from his father's training. This form teaches the practitioner the concept of making defensive movements at one stroke (called "ikkyoodo", or all at one stroke)
  8. Sanseiryu: The last of the original three pongainoon kata, it means simply "36", it is usually interpreted as "thirty-six modes of attack and defense" or "36 positions to attack/defend from". This final kata combines all the previous concepts developed in the kata of Uechi Ryu.

Kumite (Pre-arranged fighting techniques)

  • Kyu Kumite:  First Kumite taught to kyu students
  • Kumite 1:  Second Kumite taught to kyu students
  • Dan Kumite:  Advanced Kumite taught to brown belts preparing for their black belt or dan test.

Bunkai (Application of Kata to fighting or defense scenarios).

  • Kanshiwa Bunkai: Application of Kanshiwa kata.  Three or more attackers against one defender.
  • Seisan Bunkai:  Application of Seisan kata.  Breakdown of each movement, and their application in a  self defense scenario.

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