Black Belt Test Study Guide

1. What is Karate?

Karate is an unarmed or empty handed method of self defense stressing punching, kicking and blocking.

2. What does the word Karate mean?

The word Karate is made up of two Japanese words: “KARA” meaning empty and “TE” meaning hand. So simply the word karate means empty hand.

3. What is Karate Do?

The word “DO” means “THE WAY”. Karate Do means: The Way of Karate, or Karate as a way of life. It refers to the ability to use one’s mental, physical and spiritual skills acquired through Karate in one’s everyday life.

4. What is Uechi-Ryu Karate?

Uechi-Ryu Karate is a form of empty handed techniques based on a Chinese-Okinawan system of self-defense.

5. What does the word “RYU” mean?

“RYU” is a Japanese word meaning style. Uechi-Ryu Karate means Uechi Style Karate.

6. Where was Okinawan karate first introduced, and by whom was it introduced?

Okinawan Karate was first introduced to Japan by Gichin Funakoshi, who studied a form of Chinese Boxing during the late 1800’s. Funakoshi’s style of Karate was later named Shotokan.

7. What country is considered to be the birthplace of the Martial Arts?

China is considered to be the birthplace of the martial arts.

8. What is the Chinese name for Uechi-Ryu, and what does it mean?

Pangai-noon (Pwong-Gay-Noon) is the Chinese name for the style we now study. It means half hard – half soft.

9. When was the word Uechi-Ryu first used?

The name Uechi-Ryu was first used in 1948, when Kanbun Uechi died, Kanbun’s students renamed the style out of respect for their teacher. The style’s name was changed from Pangai-noon to Uechi-Ryu.

10. Who was Kanbun Uechi?

Kanbun Uechi was an Okinawan in whose honor this style of Karate is named. In 1897, Kanbun Uechi left Okinawa For China to study Chinese Boxing. He studied in Fukien province in Southern China for ten years. He was the first non-Chinese to teach in China, and taught there for a total of 3 years. he was in China for a total of 13 years.

11. Who was Kanbun Uechi’s teacher?

Kanbun’s teacher was Chou-Tzo-Ho (Jo-Zu-Ho), also know as Shushiwa; also known as Shushabu.

12. What three animals is Uechi-Ryu Karate based on?

This style of karate is based on the TIGER, the CRANE and the DRAGON.

13. Why did Kanbun leave China?

Kanbun left China and vowed never to teach Karate again after one of his students became involved in a fight over a land dispute and was forced to defend himself. The student killed the attacker in the process. Due to public scorn and shame over this matter, Kanbun left China and returned to Okinawa.

14. When did Kanbun Uechi begin teaching again?

Kanbun began to teach again while living in Japan. He began teaching an Okinawan named Ryuyu Tomoyose and a select group of Okinawans.

15. What are the three original katas of the system, and what do their names mean?

Sanchin – 3 Conflicts

Seisan – 13 Positions of Attack and Defense

Sanseirui – 36 Positions of Attack and Defense

16. What else did Kanbun bring back from China in addition to the 3 original katas?

Kotikitai, sparring and Chinese medicine

17. Who is Kanei Uechi?

Kanei Uechi is the son of Kanbun Uechi. He was born June 26, 1911 and he died in February of 1991. Kanei Uechi was the first Okinawan Master to teach Uechi-Ryu Karate to westerners.

18. When was Kanbun Uechi born, and when did he die?

Kanbun Uechi was born on May 5, 1877; he died on November 25, 1948.

19. Who was Kanei Uechi’s teacher?

Kanei’s teacher was Kanbun Uechi – his father.

20. When did Kanei Uechi begin to study Karate?

Kanei Uechi began to study Karate in 1927.

21. Where was Kanei Uechi’s Dojo located?

Kanei’s dojo is located in Futenma, Okinawa; and is now operated by his son, Kanmei Uechi.

22. Who is Kanmei Uechi?

Kanmei Uechi is the son of Kanei Uechi. He holds the rank Kyudan 9th Degree Black Belt and is the President of the Uechi Karate Association.

23. Who is George Mattson?

George Mattson was the first American to teach Uechi-Ryu Karate in the United States and has written several authoritative texts pertaining to our style of Karate.

24. Who is George Mattson’s teacher?

George Mattson’s teacher was Ryuko Tomoyose, son of Ryuyu Tomoyose who was Kanbun Uechi’s first Okinawan student.

25. What rank did Kanei Uechi hold?

Judan, a 10th degree black belt (Hanshi-sei)

26. What are the Dan ranks?

1. Shodan

2. Nidan

3. Sandan

4. Yondan

5. Godan

6. Rokudan (Renshi)

7. Nanidan (Kyoshi)

8. Hachidan (Hanshi)

9. Kyudan (Hanshi)

10. Judan (Hanshi-sei)

27. What are the Kyu ranks?

10. Jyukyu

9. KyuKyu

8. HachiKyu

7. Sichikyu

6. Rokyu

5. Gokyu

4. Yonkyu

3. Sankyu

2. Nikyu

1. Ikkyu

28. What are the eight katas of the Uechi System?









29. What is the capital city of Okinawa?

Naha is the capital of Okinawa.

30. What is the formal name for arm rubbing/arm pounding?


31. What is “MUSHIN”?

“MUSHIN” is a Chinese term meaning no mindedness; clearing one’s mind of distractions.

32. What is “Min-Chin-Chi-Ryu”?

MIN-CHIN-CHI-RYU is a term used by Kanbun Uechi to describe Pangai-Noon. It means “Speed with Glare”.

33. How is a Dojo different from a Gym?

Inside a Dojo there are a number of rules concerning respect within the Dojo: Respect for one’s teacher and fellow students and etiquette which are not necessarily present in a gym. The Dojo is a place where one learns the Way of Karate as the Way of Life.

34. Why do students bow before and after each Kata and before and after working with another student?

The Bow is a sign of respect. We bow before each Kata, first as a sign of respect for the person before whom we are performing the Kata – be it our Sensei or a senior student. Secondly, by bowing one asks the senior student to watch and to promise to try one’s best.

35. What are the Principles of Practice?

Remembering that the martial arts begin and end with respect, I intend to: 1. Develop myself in a positive manner and avoid anything that would reduce my mental growth or physical health. 2. Develop self-discipline in order to bring out the best in myself and others. 3. Use what I learn in class constructively  anddefensively to help myself and my fellow man and woman. Never to be abusive or offensive.

36. What are the Eight Virtues of a Black Belt?








Indomitable Spirit

37. What is the Uechi-Ryu Butokukai?

The Uechi Ryu Butokukai is an organization of schools whose Senseis have Buzz Durkin as their teacher and who test their Dan students together under the auspices of Mr. Durkin.

38. What does the word “Butokukai” mean?

Butoku – Virtue of the martial arts

Kai – Organization

Butokukai – Organization which promotes the virtues of the martial arts.