Tsuyoshi Uechi was born on Okinawa in May, 1951. In 1972, Uechi Sensei studied the arts of Shotokan and Boxing. In 1976, he began the study of Isshin-Ryu Karate with Grandmaster Tatsuo Shimabuku's number one son, Kichiro Shimabuku, and was a member of the Isshin-Ryu World Karate Association.
In 1987, he joined with Grandmaster Angi Uezu, who is married to Chief Grandmaster Tatsuo Shimabuku's daughter, Kukoi. Grandmaster Uezu and Uechi Sensei established the Okinawa Isshin-Ryu Karate-Do and Kobudo Association (OIKKA). Grandmaster Angi Uezu was Soke Shimabuku's representative in the USA for many years and dedicated his life to preserving his Isshin-Ryu system. Grandmaster Uezu suffered a stroke in 1995 and; in 1996, he appointed Master Uechi as president of the OIKKA and designated him as his successor in the organization.
Uechi Sensei currently runs the Camp Foster dojo training United States Marines, United States Army, United States Navy and United States Air Force personnel. For a period, he taught at the Kadena Air Base.
Uechi Sensei is a ranking member of the Okinawa Rengokai and is the leading Isshin-Ryu representative for this organization. Uechi Sensei traveled to the United States in 1999 and 2001 with the Rengokai for seminars and the World Championship, respectively. Because of Uechi Sensei's efforts, Isshin-Ryu is now recognized by top Okinawa masters as a “Traditional” Okinawan form of Te.
During 2002, Master Uechi resigned from the OIKKA; and, in 2003, he joined the Isshin-Ryu International Karate-Do Federation. In 2007, Uechi Sensei formed the "Isshin-Ryu Okinawa Traditional Karate-Do Association" (IOTKA).
In 2010, he was recognized as Hanshi Ku-Dan by the Okinawa Rengokai and traveled to the U.S. to present several seminars through the Eastern U.S.