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Uechi Sensei welcomes you 

"It is Tsuyoshi Uechi Kyoshi’s sincere desire that we associate as brothers in Karate-Do. He understands that no organization will survive without guidance and leadership. He also recognizes that an organization must have good order and discipline to enjoy the benefits and heritage of the Isshin-Ryu Okinawa Traditional Karate-Do.  As stated in the general headquarters by-laws the purpose of the association is to promote “friendship” among all members. Ensure the preservation and unity of traditional Isshin-Ryu Karate-Do for future generations, and to teach and encourage all members to be an honest person with a strong spirit and body through the teachings of those who have gone before.

Tsuyoshi Uechi Sensei

 Master Tsuyoshi Uechi, President



It is my goal to have Isshin-Ryu recognized by the Okinawan Prefecture Karate Rengokai (association) as being a traditional Ryu (style) and the IOTKA recognized as the official Kaiha (association).  At present, there are three recognized styles, Shorin-Ryu, Goju Ryu and Uechi-Ryu.

The Okinawan Prefecture Karate Rengokai is the governing body of traditional Okinawa Karate and Kobudo.  The various masters of Okinawan Karate govern this association and once Isshin-Ryu is recognized, the IOTKA will be eligible to receive support from the Okinawan government.

To be recognized by the Okinawan Prefecture Karate Rengokai as being a traditional karate system or style, certain criteria must be met.  The system must have existed at least 50 years.  In addition, it must have maintained it’s original forms as taught by the founder of the style, with no variations.

According to the Okinawan Prefecture Karate Rengokai, Master Shimabuku’s Isshin-Ryu is documented as being in existence for 54 years.  We have now met most of the requirements and have submitted Master Tsuyoshi Uechi’s name to the Okinawan Prefecture Karate Rengokai to be recognized and designated as the current headmaster of Isshin-Ryu.

The last requirement identified by the Okinawan Prefecture Karate Rengokai is that the Isshin-Ryu bow (salutation) at the beginning and end of the kata, conforms to the Okinawan traditional manner that Master Tatsuo Shimabuku originally taught.  I have already begun this on Okinawa, but I need all Isshin-Ryu practitioners in the IOTKA to comply as well.  This is the only criteria yet to be met.

In the future, I will attempt to visit more dojo to insure that everyone is in compliance with our standards and to keep the organization strong.  It is a great honor to be recognized by the Okinawan Prefecture Karate Rengokai.  Please support this effort to have Master Shimabuku’s Isshin-Ryu recognized as a traditional Okinawa Ryu as well as the IOTKA being recognized as the official Kaiha.

Tsuyoshi Uechi

President, IOTKA

Master Tsuyoshi Uechi Bio

Master Tsuyoshi Uechi was born on Okinawa in May, 1951.  Uechi Sensei runs the Camp Foster dojo training US Marines, US Army, US Navy and US Air Force personnel.  For a period he taught at the Kadena Air base. 

Uechi Sensei is a ranking member of the Okinawa Rengokai and is the leading Isshin-Ryu representative for this organization.  Uechi Sensei traveled to the United States in 1999 and 2001 with the Rengokai for seminars and the World Championship, respectively.  Because of Uechi Sensei's efforts, Isshin-Ryu is now recognized by top Okinawa masters as a “Traditional” Okinawan form of Te.

In 1972 Uechi Sensei studied the arts of Shotokan and Boxing.  

In 1976 he began the study of Isshin-Ryu Karate with Grandmaster Tatsuo Shimabuku's #1 son Kichiro Shimabuku, and was a member of Isshin-Ryu World Karate Association.  

In 1987 he joined with Grandmaster Angi Uezu, who is married to Chief Grandmaster Tatsuo Shimabuku's daughter, Kukoi.  Grandmaster Uezu and Uechi Sensei established the Okinawa Isshin-Ryu Karate-Do and Kobudo Association (OIKKA).  Grandmaster Angi Uezu was Soke Shimabuku's representative in the USA for many years, and dedicated his life to preserving his Isshin-Ryu system.  Grandmaster Uezu suffered a stroke in 1995 and in 1996 he appointed Master Uechi as president of the OIKKA, and designated him as his successor in the organization.

During 2002, Master Uechi resigned from the OIKKA.  In 2003, he joined the Isshin-Ryu International Karate-Do Federation.

In 2007, Uechi Sensei formed the "Isshin-Ryu  Okinawa Traditional Karate-Do Association" (IOTKA).  Uechi Sensei appointed Kyoshi Karl Kazuo Hovey as IOTKA North American Representative.

Please view the Documentation page for more information about the association. As more information becomes available, we will post on this site.  We look forward to learning the traditional teachings of Master Tsuyoshi Uechi as taught to him.

This page was last updated on 08/05/09.





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