Kanbun Uechi was born on May 5th, 1877 in Izumi on Okinawa. From childhood on Kanbun Uechi studied Bojutsu by Motobu masters. 1897 he escaped to China, on the one hand because he wanted to avoid military recruitment and on the other hand to study martial arts by Chinese masters. First he practised Chinese boxing in the Kugusku school by the Okinawian master Koho Kojo. Afterwards he went to Fuzhou, the capital of the province Fukien, where he studied herbalism from 1897 to 1910 and learned by master Shuu Shiwa a Quanfa style.
This style was then named Pangai Noon, what as much means as half-hard, half-soft, whose techniques are based on movements of the tiger, the dragon and the crane. Thereby practised were mainly techniques with open hands or one-knuckle-fists (Ippon Ken and Nakadaka Ken). 1910 Kanbun Uechi opened a Dojo in Nansoue (China) where he taught for three years.
As a man died because of an unhappily applied technique by a student of him, Kanbun Uechi vowed to never again teach martial arts and went back to Okinawa. Only many years later, 1928 in Wakayama, Japan, he began to teach again. 1942 the Okinawian Ryuko Tomoyose built in Ginowan, Okinawa, a Dojo for Kanei Uechi, the son of Kanbun Uechi. This Dojo became later the Honbu Dojo of Uechi Ryu. Kanbun Uechi named his style for the time being Pangai Noon Karate Jutsu before he renamed it to Uechi Ryu in 1945. Kanbun Uechi died on November 25th, 1948 in Wakayama, Japan.