Master Ihor Rymaruk


Ihor Rymaruk, Director and Chief Instructor of the Okinawan Uechi Ryu Karate School, began his study of Karate in 1963. He is a Vietnam combat veteran (1966-67) and received an honorable discharge from the United States Marine Corps in 1968. Mr. Rymaruk has studied various styles of martial arts in Okinawa and in the United States. He started his journey in Uechi Ryu in 1971 and has strongly concentrated on the Uechi Ryu technical aspects since 1976, believing it to be one of the most useful martial arts forms in terms of practical self-defense and the promotion of mental and physical fitness.

Mr. Rymaruk studied Uechi-Ryu Karate under Master Frank Gorman, Kyoshi, Sichidan (seventh degree black belt) from 1976 to 1996. In May of 1996, Rymaruk became a student of Master James Thompson, Hanshi, Kyu-dan (9th degree Black Belt). Over the years, Mr. Rymaruk has made several extended trips to study Karate on Okinawa. During his visit to Okinawa in 1982, he studied under the direct tutelage of Grand Master Kanei Uechi at his Dojo in Futenma.

Khe Sanh, Vietnam, 1967


At the conclusion of Rymaruk's intensive study, Grand Master Uechi awarded him a certificate of Advanced Study and the Certificate of Instructor, thereby bestowing upon him Grand Master Uechi's personal endorsement and formal approval to teach and promote the art of Uechi-Ryu Karate Do.

Grand Master Kanei Uechi and Master Kiyohide Shinjo had such a profound effect on Rymaruk's training, that upon returning from Okinawa in 1982 he concentrated exclusively on Uechi Ryu. The Grand Master had a saintly, calm, peaceful and healing presence. His voice was soft and his touch was light, and yet he was the FATHER of so many ''IRON MEN''. Master Kiyohide Shinjo, with an indisputable ability to project his spirit, attitude and raw ability was most inspirational. He exemplifies the seriousness and deadliness of the calm, confident warrior we all strive to be.

Mr. Rymaruk was promoted to fifth degree black belt in 1987 and was awarded the title of Shihan, Master Instructor. In 1993 Rymaruk successfully tested and met all the requirements for the rank of Renshi (MASTER) , 6th degree black belt. Rymaruk was tested by Master James Thompson on May 23, 1999 for the rank of seventh degree black belt which carries the title of Kyoshi, second level master. 

On October 18, 2008 Rymaruk was awarded the rank of  Hachidan (8th degree Black Belt), by Master James Thompson.

Master Rymaruk has been teaching Okinawan Uechi-Ryu Karate in Amsterdam, NY, since 1974. His school (dojo) in Amsterdam has been honored with visits by various world recognized Okinawan Uechi-Ryu Masters.

Master Kanei Uechi presents Rymaruk his Rank and Teaching
credentials while Mr. Higa, the association secretary, looks on.

He has received many high praises for the quality of his students and for "having one of the best dojos in the USA" from the Okinawan Masters. In addition to his school, Rymaruk has taught programs at local public and private schools, local community colleges and at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y.. He also enjoys teaching seminars for law enforcement agencies. Mr. Rymaruk has been published in the major Karate magazines, the local press, and has made numerous appearances on radio and television to promote Uechi-Ryu. He had his own television program on cable Channel 8 called "Uechi's Karate, Art, Health and Self-Defense." He also holds the patent for the Martial Arts Conditioning Hammer, "IRON ARM". In 1995 Master Rymaruk founded the UNITED STATES UECHI RYU KARATE ASSOCIATION.
Master Rymaruk's personal objective is to maintain a level of instruction for his students comparable to that of the headquarters on Okinawa and to help each student to achieve their personal goals.