Shai Hai Dojo, Israel
uechi ryu is a Chinese/Okinawan fighting style with emphasis on real life self-defense.
the movements in the style are very sharp and very short, which makes it easy to penetrate
the defense of even the strongest of opponents. generally speaking the philosophy of the style
states that you can achieve anything you set your mind to and that nothing is impossible.
the movements of the style in a changes from one opposite to another in very fluent way,
for example soft movement – hard movement, slow movement – fast movement, the style emphasis
striking to small vital points using small radius strikes such as one knuckle punch in
contrary to other styles who are hitting hard and big areas of the body
uechi ryu combines 3 styles of kung fu, the crane, the tiger, and the dragon.
the breaking demonstration you see here are not a part of the styles curriculum, it is
only a test of endurance, we do it in demonstrations and sometimes in tests to check or show the
practitioner’s level of body conditioning, balance, power of the stance, muscle and tendons
tightness and mental state. it takes many years of hard work and conditioning,
of course in the first years we don’t break nothing on anyone or hit them.
like most young kids in Israel, in the beginning I started learning judo and taekwondo, then
when I got a little but older I arrived to shai hai dojo, and after my first class there
I knew immediately it was the place for me. I heard about shai hai’s dojo from a rumor,
someone told me about this place I have to see, I arrived there one Friday after noon
and watched the training, then and there I realized that this is where I want to learn
my story begins when I was 6 and had been attacked and abused by a few local bandits,
the town council sent me to learn martial arts on their expense.
I started studying an Israeli fighting style and self-defense for a few years until I reached
the age of 18, then I flew to my teacher’s teacher in the US, Richard retzkoff. in exchange
for his teachings I helped around his house, shoveled snow and chopped wood for the fire
place. after 7 years of hard training at the Israeli
self-defense art I flew to Okinawa to find the greatest karate master of the uechi ryu
style. I searched for him and told him I have seen him on TV and heard about him and that
it is my dream to be his student. he immediately said no. “we do not accept new student” he
told me. but I didn’t give up, for three days I came to his house with small gifts and fruits
as offers and bagged him to teach me ,every time he looked out the window he saw me there
. “ok, I’ll give you one chance, come to the
dojo tonight with your karate uniform and I’ll see what are you worth.” he eventually
said. I would finish my training session at 12 pm
go home take a shower have a small meal and go to sleep, 5:30 am I wake up to a new day
of hard training. my dream and my ambition, the thing that motivated
me and make me tick, this is what I go to sleep for and wake for. I want this style
to grow and spread in Israel and around the world.
karate is much more than a sport; it’s a way of life.
it completely changes the way you act, react to difficult situations, all these thoughts
that you have in your mind that tell you can’t do something, in this dojo, in this style
you learn day by day to destroy them. it’s far beyond punching and kicking, it’s
an away to observe the world throe compassion. you must walk the way to understand this.
we are violent creatures by nature and if we take the aggressions out in the dojo in
a controlled manner, in our everyday life we become much more easy going!