The Uechi Curriculum

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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 10:38 pm

Of the three original SHUU Family System kata, Sandairyu is the most complex
and difficult, yet one can still find the basis for every move in Sanchin.
At first, it seems to be a very complex kata. Yet, when the movements are
finally performed correctly, one finds that one has returned to Sanchin --

the simplest and yet most complex form in the system!

Upon realizing this,
the practitioner has come through the circle of development and back to the
beginning -- as should be, for to truly understand any system, one must
always return to the roots for strength, power, and answers
.

Sandairyu (also Sanseiryu, or Sandui) is represented phonetically by the
Japanese numbers “three/ten/six” and is sometimes thought to mean simply
“thirty-six”. SHUU Shiwa’s assigned duty in the Fuchanshin Shaolin Temple
was to teach the kata Sandairyu.

He was known in the temple as “The 36th
Room Priest” and his routine instructional duty was to teach the kata
Sandairyu-bo (36th Room Form) -- training was conducted in the Fuchanshin
Shaolin Temple through thirty-six training rooms in progression.


This is
noted in the old UechiRyu Kyohon (1977), pages 307-308. Interestingly,
Shorinji Kempo (Shaolin-Style Fist-Way) also has a form called “Kata no San
Ju Rokku Bo” -- Kata of the 36th Room.
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 10:39 pm

There once was another kata taught in the Fuchanshin Temple, known as
Suparimpe. This kata allegedly had 108 movements. It is speculated that
since there were 36 rooms of training in the temple, one would have to make
the circuit of 36 rooms three times to learn the necessary techniques,
eventually culminating in the Suparimpe Kata.

It is unknown whether it was
actually a kata of the SHUU Family System.

UECHI Kanbun Sensei often
expressed regret that he had not remained in China long enough to study this
kata -- he said it took 39 years to master Suparimpe.

Several versions of
Suparimpe are found in other Okinawan karate systems, but it is unlikely
they can be proved to derive from the Fuchanshin Temple.
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 10:40 pm

Kanbun Sensei did know a fourth kata, however. What it was and where he
learned it is not known --- he did state that he knew a fourth form but felt
it was unnecessary that his students learn it. It’s possible Kanbun Sensei
learned it in the Okinawan Dojo in Fuchow before meeting SHUU Sensei, or
possibly at the Fuchanshin Temple.

Since Kanbun Sensei was a GojuRyu
practitioner before his trip to
-China, it may even have been a
previously-learned GojuRyu kata. At any rate, he did not elaborate on it,
and apparently did not teach it. However, this fourth kata was not the
Suparimpe of which he spoke.
Seizan
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 10:42 pm

Kanbun Sensei was proficient with the bo, though he did not teach kobudo in
the Wakayama Dojo. It is possible the form he studied as a youth in Izumi
is still preserved as a specialty of that locale, and a research visit is
planned to that area. Kanbun Sensei was also familiar with the use of
nunchaku, since he used them along with bo quite effectively during his
travels in China.

However, he did not pass any nuchaku forms on to his
students, though he apparently practiced certain techniques he found useful.
At one point, he showed some of his bo technique to TOYAMA Sensei, but didn’
t teach it, only demonstrating the techniques to illustrate a story he was
telling at the time of his travels in China.
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Thu May 19, 2016 10:44 pm

Uechi Kanbun deeply remembered the appreciation that Shuu Shiwa gave him.
He believed that strictly passing [the training that Shuu Sensei gave him]
on to the next generation was the highest [honor] he could show. So he
never created kata, he didn't change or add, he preserved and cherished Shuu
Shiwa's direct technique. This was the only Way (DO) that he believed in --
to preserve exactly the direct training [technique]. [He did not copy or
modify, he did not imitate -- he lived the DO of Shuu Shiwa.]
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Richard Gibbons » Sat May 21, 2016 4:48 pm

Hi Canna sensei :)

It's been a while. Hope you are well. Although I'm sure I don't perform the same way as Kanbun or Toyama sensei I have been guided by those and similar writings by Seizan Breyette, particularly those centred around the differences between the old style and modern style, as an adjunct to my formal instruction and an aid in my research efforts. Thanks for posting them here.
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Sat May 21, 2016 7:42 pm

Hi Richard,

Good to hear from you, you do a great job in your research, most excellent information you post for all to enjoy and learn from.

And Seizan has done a fantastic job as well with his work that never stops.

We learn something new from the old, no matter how we define 'the old' _
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Richard Gibbons » Sat May 21, 2016 7:55 pm

Thank you Canna sensei :)
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Art Rabesa » Sat May 21, 2016 8:48 pm

"We learn something new from the old". I really like that.one. Thanks Van. A special thank you to Richard as well for his work. ------Art
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Sun May 22, 2016 3:06 am

Yup, Art, always a student, forever and ever...

Here's something of interest on Kumites
Toyama Sensei created the kumite set (it was actually one very long kumite
set) to preserve the fighting techniques of jiyu kobo as best he could.

He
was the only one capable of doing this and so was placed in charge of the
Yakusoku Kumite Development Committee by Kanei Sensei.

His final creation
could be performed only after much hard study; it was not an easy set and
could not be learned in a short time.

The intention was not to teach
competition sparring but to methodize a fighting system based on jiyu kobo.

It was practiced in the Futenma Dojo for a while, then it was broken down
into several shorter sequences, and when the students showed more
exasperation than enthusiasm, it was finally simplified as kyu kumite and
Dan kumite.

What was left to us in the form of the present kyu and Dan
kumite are part of the original complete set (we are studying it now in
Zakimi; it includes our Renzoku Kumite which now looks simple).

The final
sets teach action/reaction in fighting drills that were more fluid than the
increasingly popular but rather rigid one-step and two-step sparring drills
of Shotokan, etc., and to help prepare the student for fighting competition.
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Sun May 22, 2016 3:09 am

Since jiyu kobo was no longer being taught, students who went in for
fighting competition (which was becoming increasingly popular at the time
and which attracted new students to the winning dojo or style quite nicely)
were showing lack of control and technique in fighting.

There were too many
injuries due to lack of training in distancing, focus, balance, etc. -- not
by powerful techniques but by plain sloppy fighting.

A method had to be
developed outside of strict Bunkai to teach more control in attack/defense
techniques. The finalized set of kumites fulfilled this function.
Seizan
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby JG Bellone » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:29 pm

Van Sensei,

I hope you are well.
I can tell you in full confidence that the Uechi Curriculum is alive and well in Seizan Sensei's dojo in Yomitan, Nagahama, Okinawa.
Just got back recently where I had the great opportunity to practice with Seizan Sensei and his wife Sumako. The curriculum is extremely rich.
I look forward to seeing Seizan Sensei in the future!

Someday you should tell the story of the "knife!" :D

Best regards,
Joe
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Re: The Uechi Curriculum

Postby Van Canna » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:06 pm

Hi Joe,

Glad to hear from you and happy you enjoyed the training trip to Okinawa with
Seizan. I remember his performance when he came to visit me at the Shinkookai Dojo...most excellent. He is also an excellent teacher with different depths of understanding.

The 'knife' ...yes Toyama sensei really liked that blade. The handle fit the hand so natural.
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