What is KU?

Hanshi Patrick McCarthy

Koryu Uchinadi (KU) was founded by Hanshi Patrick McCarthy. Although KU was established in its current form by Hanshi McCarthy, its lineage can be traced back to the 19th century.  It is a martial art which seeks to rediscover and study “old school” practices that existing in Okinawa before the development of modern karate. Its primary goal is to provide a systematized program of learning to teach self-defence skills. It provides methods to deal with “habitual acts of physical violence” (HAPV) which are commonly encountered ways in which civilians are physically assaulted by other civilians. As well as improving their self-defence skills, learners improve their physical fitness, become empowered to achieve goals which they may not have otherwise attempted, appreciate the role of ethics in martial arts and achieve a sense of tranquillity.

KU is differentiated from many other martial arts by its dynamic body movement (particularly hip rotation and stepping and sliding), the two person renzuku geiko (“flow drills”) which deal with aggression based on the HAPV classification system.  It incorporates aspects of several Okinawan martial practices including Tegumi (grappling), Ti’gwa (striking), Torite (restraint) as well as Buki-gwa (incorporating several weapons) and Kata. This diversity allows KU to employ a “tool box” theory as its approach to dealing with different HAPV: we need different “tools” to deal with different HAPV under different circumstances. A “reverse punch” is pretty useless for dealing with a rear bear hug where both the victims arms are pinned by an assailant! It also provides a range of different responses which can be called upon in the midst of the chaos of a fight, where “what can go wrong, will go wrong”. As a consequence KU incorporates receiving and giving percussive impact (i.e. striking techniques), tegumi (limb manipulation and grappling), kansetsu waza (joint locks and seizing), shime waza (strangulation and choking), nage waza (throwing techniques), ne waza (fighting from the ground), gyaku waza (escaping and negotiating the former techniques) and finally Kata as the solo re-enactment of these studies.

For more details, please visit the Koryu Uchinadi website

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