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.
Mehran Shahkar is an eighth-degree black belt (hachidan) and certified master instructor (kyoshi) of Uechi-ryu Karate-do with the Okinawa Karate Association, the preeminent standards board on Okinawa, Japan. He has been practicing Uechi-ryu for more than 45 years, with more than 30 years experience in teaching various martial arts and qi gong.
Mehran has been a member of the Okinawa Karate Association (Okikukai) since 1989. His instructor, Master Ahti Kaend, died in 2001. Mehran has continued his training under Master Tsutomu Nakahodo of Okikukai. Mehran was president of the regional organization Okikukai West from 2008 to 2012.
He is certified fitness trainer, specialist in Senior Fitness, Exercise Therapy, and Certified Youth Fitness trainer with the International Sports Science Association (ISSA,)
Mehran was born in 1950 in Tehran, has a Bachelor's degree in American Studies from Castleton University in Vermont.
Mehran began his Uechi-ryu training in 1971. He earned his shodan (first-degree black belt) in 1976. In additon to Uechi-ryu, he trained in Shotokan karate from 1976 to 1987, and was a member of the International Shotokan Karate Federation under Kanazawa Sensei. He has studied Shaolin under Dr. Y. C. Chiang and completed Da Yen Qi gong training under Master Hui Liu of the Wen Wu School of Martial Arts.