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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2002 5:54 am 
I recently took the book Ancient Okinawan Martial Arts Koryu Uchinadi Part 2 compiled and translated by Patrick and Yuriko McCarthy from the library.

It has a few parts to it but the first part is "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: The Mabuni Kenwa Story. Mabuni Kenwa Sensei is the founder of S-h-i-t-oRyu Karate Do (will the forum let me spell it out?). He was one of the main influences in the establishment of Karate Do in modern practice.

It is a short but interesting read and surprisingly so for Uechika as I will get to in a moment.

I love to read the history of marital arts and its practitioners. This short article was no exception.

Mabuni Kenwa Sensei was a true practitioner in my mind. Regardless of how well known he was for his extraordinary breadth of knowledge, he never stopped being a student. He never stopped learning.

It was this aspect that brings Uechi Ryu into the story. I will provides some quotes from the book:

Page 6: "Although there is extensive speculation concerning Master Aragaki, the amount of factual information is actually quite small. Funakoshi Gichin (1827 - 1906) wrote that Aragaki had studied quanfa under Wai Xin Xian, while Fujiwara Ryozo stated that in 1870 Aragaki Seisho had traveled to Beijing together with Zhoa Xin (the last Chinese Sapposhi to visit the Ryukyu Kingdom). Meanwhile, Nakaya Takao states that Aragaki also accompanied Uechi Kanbum (1877 - 1948) and Matsuda Tokusaburo (the founder of Chitoryu karate-do) upon their 1897 trip to china."

Page 11: "However, not very well-to-do financially, Mabuni was never able to pursue his lifelong ambition: to travel and study the fighting traditions in mainland China, as his teacher (Higashionna Kanryo) and his friends had done. Nonetheless, in recognizing the importance of such a need, he did cultivate close friendships with the Chinese quanfa experts Wu Xiangui (Go Kenki), Tang Daiji (To Daiki), and Uechi Kanbun."

Page 12: "Little is written about Mabuni's relationship with Wu Xiangui and Tang Daiji. Kinjo Hiroshi (a man described by Richard Kim as "a walking encyclopedia of karate-do history, philosophy, and application") believes that the principle reasons why Mabuni sought out their instruction, and that of Uechi Kanbum, may very well have been to gain a deeper understanding of qinna (literally, to seize and hold) …

- Twisting bones and locking joints
- Separating tendons from the bone (fengin or zhuaging)
- Seizing, manipulation, and/or striking of nerve plexus (dianxue)
- Attacking the arteries (duanmie) and/or other anatomically vulnerable locations
- Respiratory (bi chi), blood, and air strangulations
- Organ-piercing blows (designed to shock organs not protected by the rib cage)
- How to rupture veins and arteries (blood-gate attacks)
- Grappling, takedowns, throws, groundwork, counters, and escapes
- And combinations thereof"

Page 19: "On one occasion during the early Showa, Konishi accompanied Mabuni south to Wakayama Prefecture where he met with Uechi Kanbum, after whom the Uechi system of karate-do was later named. Uechi Kanbun had moved there, from Okinawa, together with his family in 1924. Mabuni was intensely curious about what had kept his fellow islander in Fuzhou for so many years. Speaking about their trip, Konishi wrote in 1933 that Uechi Sensei could not speak Japanese very well, and lived like a recluse. The kata Shimpa (mind wave) represents the defensive principles Mabuni learned from his meeting with Master Uechi. A simple and rare exercise, Shimpa features the basic grabbing and striking principles of both Fujian tiger boxing and Fujian dog boxing."

Page 36: Under "S-h-i-t-oryu Karate-do Kata" Uechiha (Fuijian Tiger Gongfu) Shimpa.


This is not to imply that Mabuni Sensei was a student of Uechi Sensei's. It is interesting for any of us to read something about the man who brought the system out of China.

I found it very interesting that clearly Uechi Sensei was recognized as being a master of a Chinese system. This is a factor that has been blurred over the very few years since it left China.

I also appreciated the breath of applications (qinna). I always thought so.

It did raise a few questions:

Does anyone know anything about Fujian Dog boxing? Bob Campbell Sensei are you out there?

Do any of our S-h-i-t-oryu readers know anything about Shimpa Kata?


Rick


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2002 3:51 pm 
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I asked about this story and Shimpa kata on the CyberDojo a few months back. I don't have access to those posts at the moment, but as I remember information was provided that indicated that Mabuni only met Uechi briefly one time and that Shimpa was not actually directly influenced by Uechi. They seemed to indicate that the story of Mabuni and Uechi meeting was embellished over the years. I'll try to find those posts this weekend and provide more info here about what was discussed.

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Glenn Humphress
Lincoln, NE


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2002 7:30 pm 
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Gichin Funakoshi the Founder of Shotokan was born in 1869 and died in 1957


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2002 6:08 am 
Rauf7: Mr. McCarthy reports the dates 1868-1957 when he refers to the Shotokan founder later on page 8.

I don't know if this was an error on page 6 or a different Gichin Funakoshi. Other times in the book he tends to always add a little something else when speaking of the Shotokan founder i.e. principle student of Azato Anko or the father of modern karate-do, so I am not sure which it is because that quote didn't have that little extra that always appears else where.

Similar names is not uncommon there is a master of another karate style (not Uechi Ryu) named Kanei Uechi.


Rick


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2002 8:23 pm 
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I was just going by Funakoshi's autobiography "Karate-Do - My Way Of Life"


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2002 4:37 pm 
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The birth year of Funakoshi is not known for certain. It is commonly given as 1868, but some official records apparently have it as 1870...and Funakoshi reputedly used both dates interchangably. If I remember correctly (from "Tales of Okinawa's Great Masters") this discrepancy is commonly attributed to a fudging of his birthdate at a time when he needed to be two years older to apply to med school.

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Glenn Humphress
Lincoln, NE


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2002 4:53 pm 
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This post and the next few from me are the CyberDojo discussion about Shimpa from July of last year. There was also a side discussion about the kata being refered to as both Shimpa and Shinpa, but I'm not including those discussions of the Japanese language.

This first post was my intial post to the Karate CyberDojo list:
-------------------------------------------
Recently I've come across a couple of websites and one book (Pat
McCarthy's 1999 "Ancient Okinawan Martial Arts: Vol 2") that mention
sh*to-ryu founder Kenwa Mabuni created a kata called Shimpa that he
based on the training he received from Uechi-ryu founder Kanbun
Uechi. An example can be found at the link http://ahealthybodymassage.bizland.com/MassageTherapy/id10.html

"Mabuni spent many of his early traveling years with Yasuhiro
Konishi, a friend and sometimes student who later founded shindo-
jinen-ryu karate. In 1925 Mabuni and Konishi visited Japan's Wakayama
prefecture where Kanbum Uechi, the founder of Uechi-ryu, was
teaching. It was after training with Uechi that Mabuni devised a kata
called Shimpa (mind wave). Mabuni sought out Kanbun Uechi and others
to gain a deeper understanding of Qinna (Chin Na) that represents the
principles of seizing and controlling an adversary without injurying
him seriously. This practice is referred to as bunkai: a common term
describing the applications of the kata techniques."

McCarthy states that Shimpa incorporates a lot of tiger-style
techniques, which would fit in with what Kanbun Uechi learned in
China.

Being a Uechi Ryu practioner, I am very interesting in finding out
more about this kata. Is Shimpa still practiced by anyone? Is there
a description or video clip of it on the web? Thanks!

Glenn Humphress
Uechi Ryu
Lincoln, NE
--------------------------------------------

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Glenn Humphress
Lincoln, NE

[This message has been edited by Glenn (edited February 18, 2002).]

[This message has been edited by Glenn (edited February 18, 2002).]


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2002 4:55 pm 
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From th Karate CyberDojo list:
--------------------------------------------
Hi,
The kata Shimpa is practiced for sure in the Mabuni Kenei's group, as it has been published in the 'All Kata of sh*to-Ryu Karate' video series.
You can get a copy of it through:
http://www.karatedo.co.jp/champ

or
http://www.dragon-tsunami.org

And I think there's a description of it in the Cyberdojo site:
http://www.cyberdojo.org
http://www.ryu.com/cyberdojo/katalist.html

Hope this helps,

Daniel Vallone.
--------------------------------------------

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Glenn Humphress
Lincoln, NE

[This message has been edited by Glenn (edited February 18, 2002).]

[This message has been edited by Glenn (edited February 18, 2002).]


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2002 5:01 am 
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From the Karate CyberDojo list:
--------------------------------------------
This story was passed on by Konishi but it is only an "urban legend". Many legends and myths permeates karate sheding shadows and dust in the actual facts. Mabuni and Konish visited Kanbun Uechi once time only and by very few time. Apparently Kanbun didn't like be visited by those two men. Shinpa is not a Uechi kata but a Fukien kungfu kata (according Kenei Mabuni) probably passed on to Mabuni by Tang Daiji, a master of Five Ancestor and supposedly Tiger style that lived in Okinawa in the Taisho era. Old version of Shinpa resemble the Five Ancestor style although this kata is not found in this style (or its current schools). Definitively, it is not a Fujian Tiger form. An excellent and very important form because it develops the Tode-jutsu
theory of defend/attack the centerline, like Sochin.
Regards,
Fernando
--------------------------------------------

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Glenn Humphress
Lincoln, NE

[This message has been edited by Glenn (edited February 18, 2002).]

[This message has been edited by Glenn (edited February 18, 2002).]


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2002 5:07 am 
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From the Karate CyberDojo list. This was my reply to Fernando's post above:
--------------------------------------------
I'm not trying to defend the notion that Shinpa was influenced by
Uechi, but I would like to get a better handle on the two sides of
the debate...so I'm going to play devil's advocate here.

If Konishi was a friend of Mabuni and was with Mabuni when Mabuni
visited Uechi, wouldn't you expect him to have a reasonable
perspective for claiming what prompted Mabuni to create the kata?
And what is believed to have been Konishi's incentive to start and
perpetuate this "urban myth"?

Shinpa may not be a Uechi kata, but based on the description of it
found in the cyberdojo kata list it uses some of the same or similar
techniques. The opening reads very similar to the opening of the
Uechi kata Kanshiwa, which Kanei Uechi created reportely by
incorporating his father's favorite techniques.

As for Shinpa closely resembling Five Ancestor Fist (romanized as Ngo
Cho Kun, Wu Zu Quan, and Ngh Jou Kyun), there seems to be some
agreement among Uechi and Five Ancestor Fist stylists who have
compared the two styles that the quanfa Kanbun Uechi learned and Five
Ancestor Fist were closely related, and both originated in the Fujian
province of China (one prominant Five Ancestor Fist stylist has went
so far as to claim that Kanbun Uechi and Kanryo Higashionna actually
trained in Five Ancestor Fist while in China, but few others seem to
see the relationship between the three current styles as being that
close, and the timeline doesn't work out for at least the Higashionna
quanfa lineage when you consider that Higashionna was already
training in Fujian at around the same time as Five Ancestor Fist was
being created by Choy Yuk Ming (also romanized as Chua Giok Beng).

The popular story of Mabuni creating Shinpa as a result of his
meeting with Uechi may indeed be a myth, but I think it will take
more concrete evidence, if any such evidence exists, to disprove the
myth. I'm not trying to be argumentative here, just trying to flesh
out the facts. Thanks.

Glenn Humphress
Uechi Ryu
Lincoln, NE
--------------------------------------------

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Glenn Humphress
Lincoln, NE


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2002 5:10 am 
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Final post copied from the Karate CyberDojo list:
--------------------------------------------
Hi Glenn,

I can convey a little information regarding Shinpa Kata, as practiced by the sh*to-ryu.

A private discussion group of world-wide Naha-te researchers
discussed this earlier this year. While Mabuni Kenwa attributes
Shimpa to tiger fist sources, apparently there does not appear to be
a connection to Kanbun Ueichi, who Mabuni only met for one day.
There is some speculation that another Tiger instructor was the
source but no supporting documentation exists at this time.

I have not seen the form myself, and their research must remain
confidential due to the nature of the group, in that they may be
using this material for future publication.

Their study feels this is supported by the inclusion of non Ueichi
standard techniques in Shinpa kata.

Unfortunately I have nothing more concrete to view or discuss at this time.

If you feel a need for more concrete information, I could forward your request to the appropriate researcher if you wish.

Hope this is helpful,

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu http://www.funkydragon.com/bushi
--------------------------------------------

I opted to not take Victor up on his offer to request more info from the researcher. I didn't want to cause a lot of trouble at the time, particularly over something that isn't really even a part of Uechi Ryu even if it may have been influenced by Kanbun Uechi.

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Glenn Humphress
Lincoln, NE

[This message has been edited by Glenn (edited February 18, 2002).]


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2002 5:30 am 
Thanks Glenn!

Rick


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2002 1:47 pm 
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Hi
Some contributions. Excelent post
Kanbun was cautious with great respect by the great teachers while residio in Wakayama. Itozu sensei movio until here to see one demostration of Kanbun Sensei in the Perfectural Wakayama, and I am astonished of the execution of the kata seisan that Kanbun I make.
In fact kanei uechi I do not create the kata Kanshiwa, but who I include it to the style, but that I create it was Uehara Sensei, to order of Kanei Sensei. Carlos Ciriza Sensei


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