Sunday, July 19, 2015

Shishee and Haabeeruu

Several other terms in the “Uchinaanchu nu Tuudi tu Tegua” the “Okinawan Karate and Kobudo Handbook” prepared by the University of the Ryukyus  got me thinking.


First when I look at Shishee   which is defined as the “posture, attitude culmination of energy


When blocking or striking, use your entire body’


Shishee is putting in power from the hips, waist and breath at the same time.


 This resembles the concept of Energy Point alignment from my tai chi training. By placing all the appropriate energy points in the correct alignment the power of a technique is enhanced.



This is the same for tai chi or karate, By example holding a shoulder back makes a punch weaker.



This has offensive meaning, as well as defensive meaning. If you learn to recognize where the opponent is out of alignment with their posture, you can recognize where they are weaker to attack. Likewise offensively this is a force enhancer.



Yet another term caught my eye. That of Haabeeruu orButterfly.

Do not maintain power all the time, but be soft and change easily like the butterfly.



Okinawa saysDo not maintain power all the time, but be soft and change easily like the butterfly. In this way, you can adapt quickly to your opponent.


I am reminded from the lines in  Hokuma Sensei’s ‘Eight Important Precepts of Quanfa’.  From the Bubishi. (1) Where he writes:

Habbeeru  means Butterfly

‘ The Way of Inhaling and Exhaling is Hardness and Softness.”


 In Quanfa (Kempo). Inhaling represents a soft pliable strength whereas Exhaling represents a hard strength. The harmonization of the hard with the pliable is the essence of Karate, indeed all martial arts. Karate contains both Yin and Yang. Proper breathing methods help to achieve the desirable balance between hard and soft, promote a strong and healthy body, amd a fierce and martial spirit.


Technique will occur in absence of conscious thought /the feet must advance and retreat, meet and separate. “


“ In the act of advancing (attacking) and retreating (defending) with the hands and feet must search for openings in the opponent’s defense in order to exploit them. This includes using deception to lure the opponent in, create openings and defeat him. These precepts also explain the importance or breaking te opponent’s balance as well as controlling the combative engagement distance.”


(1)            From Joe Swift’s book “The Essence of Naha-te” page 50.

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