Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

Differences Between Naihanchi Now and in the Past

While not our version of Nihanchi (Naifanchi) kata, it still is useful to understand how kata has moved, changed through time

From:
Interviews with Respected Elder Bushi, Choki Motobu Regarding Real Self-Defense - (Jissen) Episodes

Ryukyu Shimpo, 9, 10, 11 November 1936

Collections of Wakukawa Seiei, Okinawa Prefectural Archives

Translation by Kiko Asai Ferreira

Edited by Naoki Motobu and Peter M. Kobos

Differences Between Naihanchi Now and in the Past




The way to make the fist is different now than the way we were taught in the old days when we were 12 or 13 years old. It was flat or open hand (hirate) in the old days. Today, they use thrust fist (tsuki ken) strikes that go forward and in  a downward direction (called running water), but in the old days there was no such hand technique. In the old days, it was a straight strike that went slightly upward. I believe that this was Matsumura's style from Shuri. Sakuma Sensei's kata and Matsumura Sensei's kata were same. These were old style kata.

 

We learned to pull back our fist on the side, directly under the arm after a strike. However, today when you pull back after a strike, you bring your fist back to your hip (the lower side of your abdomen). This never works during an actual fight. I believe that the proper technique is to put power and strength into pulling back your fist. Today this looks to me very strange, to put so much power into striking with your fist. I would use only 80% of power when I extend a strike with my fist, but 100% of power when I pull it back.

 

The Irony of History

At times modern martial discussion derides the changes to Karate sponsored by Itosu Anko as school boy karate. I believe the truth is quite different. He created a simplified and standardized training which was used in the schools and later many karate programs.

 Okinawa was a loyal part of the Japanese Empire. When Itosu Anko drafted his famous 10 precepts in 1908, He was trying to show officials of the Ministry of Education, positive values offered by training youth for eventual military service.

 While there were Okinawan’s who avoided the draft and visited China, most Okinawan’ s didn’t  do so. I imagine the goal was to teach youth to be used to follow orders and become stronger physically. Military training at that time was far beyond hand to hand combat.

 
Where Itosu wrote:

 “The purpose of karate is to make the muscles and bones hard as rock and to use the hands and legs as spears. If children were to begin training in Tang Te[1] while in elementary school, then they will be well suited for military service. Remember the words attributed to the Duke of Wellington after he defeated Napoleon: "The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton."”

“When you train, do so as if on the battlefield. Your eyes should glare, shoulders drop, and body harden. You should always train with intensity and spirit, and in this way you will naturally be ready.”

 
“..then we will produce many men each capable of defeating ten assailants.”

 

It certainly helped make his case.

 
There were many instructors who taught school students.
 
 
 






Then Funakoshi made the case when he took karate instruction to Japan. There he worked with the Universities and the Naval War College making the same points.

 
 

 

Of course the Japanese military at that time was occupying Korea and Manchuria.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The hunt for Sinanju


The morning Sun peeks over the distant mountains in the East.
The morning Sun peeks over the distant mountains in the East.
The morning Sun peeks over the distant mountains in the East.

 

The Horns of Welcome embrace the sunlight.
The Horns of Welcome embrace the sunlight.
The Horns of Welcome embrace the sunlight.

The bee wakes is new sunlight.

The flower shimmers in the morning calm.

 

The morning Sun peeks over the distant mountains in the East.
The morning Sun peeks over the distant mountains in the East.
 The morning Sun peeks over the distant mountains in the East.

 

The Horns of Welcome embrace the sunlight.
The Horns of Welcome embrace the sunlight.
The Horns of Welcome embrace the sunlight.

The bee wakes is new sunlight.

The flower shimmers in the morning calm.


The hunt for Sinanju

 
Allow me to use my blog for a flight of fancy. As I have written about the Masters of Sinanju and their arts for years. I thought this would be fun.

 
This morning I am going to undertake a dangerous journey, to find the home of the Masters of Sinanju. It has been hidden from modern reference http://www.sinanju.com/cast2/sinanju.htm
, although it is on the West Korean Bay behind the Horns of Welcome



The exact location is unknown. There is a town called Sinanju somewhere nearby but that town is not Sinanju, rather a decoy for tourists. Nor is Sinuju the correct town.

 



For sure in the false Sinanju there is a train station.




The home of Sinanju would never let such a smelly thing into the village pure.

What we do know is that “The Horns of Welcome rose above the bay. Two great curving arcs of stone that had for countless centuries acted both as welcome and warning to those who dared visit the Pearl of the Orient. Framed between the horns; far out in the black waters of the West Korean Bay, the oblong blot of a submarine sat like a steel island amid the rolling waves”  Destroyer 128 The End of the Beginning.

 
I believe more is unlikely to be known.  It has been rumored that various surveillance satellites have been lost making the attempt, rumored by children playing games.

At this I stop, my search, fearful I make a mistake and by accident reveal the exact location. There is a CURE for that and I would not like it.

 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The above web site discloses some of the secret techniques of the 37 steps of Sinanju training.

  The Secret Is Still A Secret

Chiun teaches these steps to Remo early on in his Sinanju training, and Remo uses them often. On friends. On enemies. To shut up annoying females. Even the movie mentioned the technique. Note that it alternates left than right, each alternate step being closer to the heart (left side.) Here is what has been revealed so far of the Thirty-Seven steps...

Step one: Tapping the inside of the left wrist, in time to the heartbeat. Increase the speed of the tapping. The tapping will increase the heartbeat to 150 beats per minute.

Step four: Massage of the small of the back

Step five: Massage of the inside of the left knee, followed by the right knee

Step six: The perimeter of the Right armpit

Step seven: The perimeter of the left armpit

Step eight: Massage the inside of the upper right thigh

Step nine: Massage of the inside of the upper left thigh

Step ten: "Mountain climbing" the fingers over the right breast

Step eleven: Trailing the fingers over the left breast to a peak that was hard and vibrant

- At this point she usually is jelly, and Remo jumps to step thirty seven

Step thirty seven: Penetration

Do not attempt them. They are most likely not the techniques used in Sinanju training. In any case the world does not need more mindless individuals.

 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the sunlight

        The bee begins his labors

In the sunlight

        The bee begins his labors

In the sunlight

        The bee begins his labors

 

 

The flower waits patiently.......


Friday, August 28, 2015

A personal memory when I was a beginner in Salisbury Md. in the mid 1970s





East of Salisbury Maryland was the Dojo. It was built to resemble a barn in appearance but inside it was all dojo.


This was my original instructor Tom Lewis.




Mr. Lewis in his office off the dojo floor.

 

             Some of the many instructors and friends who would assist Sensei in our instruction.



Dennis Lockwood who was Sensei's right hand man in the dojo.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Marvin Jones and Bruce Venables


When I was a beginner in Salisbury, one of the Brown Belts who trained there was Bruce Venables. He trained under Marvin Jones who had the Laural Club of the IKC.