The style was brought to Okinawa from Southern China by Kanbun Uechi (his son Kanei is pictured to the left.) Master Uechi returned to Okinawa in 1910, and ever since then his system of "tiger, crane, and dragon" has been passed down through hand-picked and dedicated students. The key characteristics of Uechi-ryu (literally, Uechi's way of karate) are the qualities that each of these three animals symbolize: Tiger for strength and vigor, crane for softness and graciousness, and dragon for swiftness and unpredictability.
The trademark of Uechi-ryu karate is "San chin", a form of isometric contractions synchronized with a specific way to breath. San chin is the core of the entire system, and present in everything we do.