Ryukyu Udundi is an Okinawan Gotente (Palace Hand) style from the time of the Ryukyu Kingdom. It was once referred to as ushu-ganashi-mē no bugei, or “his majesty’s martial art.” The current name comes from the fact that it was passed down through the Ryukyuan noble family of the udun rank, with the di coming from ti, meaning bujutsu–martial art–in Ryukyuan. Ryukyu udundi is considered a “general” martial art in that it makes use of punching and kicking striking techniques, joint locking and throwing techniques known as tuiti, and a variety of weapons.
The basic Ryukyu udundi stance is upright with knees straight–a stance called tachū-gwaa.The heels are slightly raised with weight resting on the balls of the feet. In attacking and defending, the chest is lifted and movement occurs from the belly, with the feet moving smoothly in any direction.
In addition to the “hard” techniques of strikes and kicks, Ryukyu udundi has a system of joint locks and throws called tuiti. The aim of tuiti is to subdue an opponent without causing harm, in the spirit of royal benevolence.
Ryukyu udundi also makes use of weapons, and following motode, the study of bare-hand techniques and weapon techniques occurs concurrently. Weapons used include bō (staff), jō, uēku (modified oar), and paired tanbō (short bō), nūchiku (nunchaku), tonfa, sai, and kama (sickle).
In addition, Ryukyu udundi uses bladed weapons that lower-ranking members of the military class did not possess, such as the sword (katana), spear, and naginata.