Sunday, February 9, 2014

Bubishi A Close Look Redoux Part 4

My interest being how to determine whether this text(s?) had an influence on the development of Okinawan Karate.
The text of the Bubushi covers some general areas.

Articles on History and Philosophy
Articles on Chinese Medicine and Herbal Pharmacology
Articles on Vital Points
Articles on Fighting Techniques

We've had some evidence where Funakoshi included 4 chapters of the Bubushi in his 'Karate-Do Koyhan' as well as Motobu including similar medical knowledge in his own writings. We must also include Myiagi choosing the name 'Goju' from the influence of the Bubushi, too. Without question it has some influence on Okinawan instructors.

However, viewing Okinawan Te, to look for the influence of the Bubushi, I believe we must search for usage of the Vital Points and/or the Fighting Techniques.

I chose to begin by considering evidence of the use of the Bubushi in striking vital points for Okinawan karate.

I do not believe this will be an easy case to make. Considering its past, a copy of the Bubushi was likely considered a treasure to the karateka. I'm sure they weren't handed out as training guides. It seems to me they may have been copied if the instructor truly trusted the student.

The following scenarios might come into play.

1) The Bubushi was considered a 'curiosity' and not relevant to active training.
2) The Bubushi 'Vital Point' theories were only used occastionally by instructors.
3. The Bubushi 'Vital Point' theories became the focus of training.

This may well be difficult to authenticate. 
Considered the art of application of kata technique, or Bunkai.

I'm aware of Okinawan systems where the instructors state you have to develop your own bunkai. Hiagonna Morio, says the same thing on one of his earlier video tapes on Supreimpe. Yet from his own text, his instructor Hiagonna An'ichi reportedly received a great deal of instruction from Myagi Chojun.

Possible Conclusions on the transmission of Bunkai:

1) Hiagonna didn't receive that instruction from An'ichi.
2) He may have chosen to teach only basic training. [Perhaps at some much later date the student is clued in.'
3) This training is restricted to 'worthy' students/practioners.
Is this a parallel of the Sichi (bi-hourly) vital point training from Bubushi sources?

This does not leave us helpless, however. We can postulate what a system using the Vital Points, the Restricted Locations and the Sichi (bi-hourly) vital points would be structured like.

I fall again on my assumptions, the most basic being, our ancient instructor believed in the concepts in the Bubushi. 

Likewise I'm assuming the instructor's understood the locations of the vital points, and concentrated on the development of the striking mechanism.

I'm also assuming that this is being developed in a defensive manner, and not as an overt attacking art. Likewise the decision has been made that only these intense strikes are the appropriate response for an attack. [I do not know if they would balance these defensive strikes against other responses, takedowns, locks and controlling techniques, as well as other less vital strikes.]
The first goal would be to develop the striking techniques for the 36 vital points. I'm assuming this would be in conjunction with their systems training programs, mainly taking the strikes from kata.

My initial impression a hard strike to each of them should be able to down an opponent.
(A separate issue, is it safe to practice strikes on these points outside of their active Sichen?)

The next step would be to develop the timing of the delivery system. This is the most important key to utilize the Sichen Vital Points. 

Some manner of training the body to identify which Sichen was dominate at any hour of the day. Probably by total training of some sort, to sensitize the practioners system to the time.

As you can see this becomes complex to discuss, and I expect complex to study.

But perhaps this was how things were originally done in China. One can imagine guards at a Shaolin temple changing their reactive strikes every two hours when the gong sounds. [Probably a movie in that, no? <grin>[

But would our Okinawan instructor, who believes the Bubushi is correct go to that level? Difficult to say. Or would he rely on memory and judgement to try and hit an appropriate vital point in defense?

Some things to consider:
1) Who would you train in such an art? Most certainly not your open students. The Okinawan must have felt the need to maintain the secrecy of this knowledge, both to avoid betrayal and to stop someone misusing this knowledge.
2) Its possible you would keep this to yourself, and perhaps share it with your successor, and perhaps not.
3) If the successor did not receive their instructors training, but did end up with the Bubushi, the cycle of study begins anew.

One thing I feel, such training would leave unique training patterns, especially the manner in which the student was sensitized to know the hour of the day. To my small knowledge, I haven't seen evidence of such work in Okainawan Te. [Not that it might be practiced, just I haven't seen any signs of this.]

To no small intent I'm starting to move into the Babble complex. I sit surrounded by 2 copies of the Bubushi, Dr. Yang's 36 points from his first Chin Na text, the 12 hour striking points in Leung Shum's Eagle Claw Kung-fu Classical Northern Chinese Fist, as well as Montague's Encyclopedia of Dim Mak, and assorted other texts on Dim Mak, PaGua and Funakoshi's Karate Do Koyan to name a few.

I'm sure if you attack me in several hours I can figure out where to strike. <grin> But of course the Okinawan I've been describing didn't have such problems, with only one text.

To close, let me throw out some Material from Pat McCarthy's Bubushi text.

McCarthy lists the Sichen in his edition of the Bubushi as: [I'm also adding his Meridian Points]

11pm to 1 am
Death in One Day
GB 3

1 am to 3 am
Death within 14 Days
3 am to 5 am
Death within 20 Days

5 am to 7 am
Death in One Day

7 am to 9 am
Death in 7 steps


9 am to 11 am 
Death in 3 Years 

11 am to 1 pm
Indefinite Paralysis 

1 pm to 3 pm 
Death in 1 Year 

3 pm to 5 pm
Death within 2 weeks 

5 pm to 7 pm
Death within 2 days 


7 pm to 9 pm
Death within 3 days 


9-pm to 11 pm
Death within 1 week 

[Article 9 refers to 12 vital points (one per Sichen)]

[Article 12 shows 31 vital points (but GV22 is on the 7 restricted locations leaving 30 (1 of which must
not be on the vital points listing- but I'm not doing the research at this time..)

Also to consider that 7 of the 36 points are considered the 7 Restricted Locations. As they would be used in only tbe most extreme circumstances, that leaves only 29 to concentrate on.

And to leave this on a positive note, If you're struck during the Dragon Hours (isn't this important for Isshinryu?) with death in 7 steps, there is an antidote. 

McCarthy Article 19: Effective "Twelve-Hour Herbal" Perscriptions to Improve Blood Circulation for Shichen Related Injuries. (page 92)

Dragon Time(7-9 a.m.) Medicine

1. Malted nonglutinous rice, 1 scoop
2. Malted rice, 1 scoop
3. Young Prunus persica (L.) Batsch. (Rosaceae) 15.60 grams
4. Eriobotrya japonica Lindl. (Rosaceae) 6.24 grams
5. Carthamus tinctorius L. (Compositae) 6.24 grams
Decoct in rice wine, strian, and drink.

I suppose I should add, drink this very, very quickly.

PS. If you think I'm sounding confused, I've spent the last 4 days trying to make this sound comprehensible.

No comments: