Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Kobudo of Shimabuku Tatsuo – Tonfa of Taira

We are so fortunate to have footage preserved by the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai showing Taira Shinken performing the kata Hama Higa No Tonfa.

There is no doubt some version of this was the form originally taught.

But the footage we have of Shimabuku Tatsuo from 1966 shows an abbreviated version of this form.

This makes for debate, doesn’t it?

Did he forget the form?

Was he simply tired from travel to the States in 1966?

Was this a form that he was modifying?

I don't have simple answers to these questions. You are free to believe what you wish.

Today practitioners use versions of the original and /or the film version in practice. It keeps most of the original elements. In Bushi No Te Isshinryu we use the film version. Mr. Lewis didn’t study it on Okinawa in his time there and later it wasn’t part of Mr. Murray’s studies in Agena. We use the name for the form Chia Fa as the film indicates to not confuse it with the other versions.

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