Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Karate Taiso (Gymnastics)

I have just translated this and it places the introduction of karate into the Okinawan Schools in a different light than I have seen before. Of course the translation is far from the best, but enough meaning comes through to consider what might have been the past.



As I read this getting karate into  the Okinawan schools involved more than a bit of chicanery to get of past the Japanese School Council  rules. And the original intention may not have been what was to be intended in the long run. Things take on a life of their own, and what happens becomes what happened, history. But just perhaps all the ‘school boy karate’ rants are not the whole story of a ploy that worked.



I am not a professional Japanese translator; this is a translation I have obtained with the use of the Bing Translator. Such tools are often flawed regarding martial terminology, but personally I would rather use them gaining whatever understanding presents it.


We uploaded an article of "Karate Taiso (Gymnastics)".


Karhand  (karate?) Gymnastics                     NEW! 2019-04-29 21:28:20


Theme: History of Karate In 1905, Karhand (karate?) was adopted by the old system of Okinawa Prefecture Junior High School and the Okinawa normal schools. It is not because "Karashina" was able to be said the department of Medicine.


It is a meaning of having taught it in the gymnastics department at that time although the class of the physical education was said gymnastics. Well, the word "Tang Hand gymnastics" appears just from that time.


For instance, the following sentences are in the memoirs of Tokuda Yasusadada.


A sense of Tang My memories are various, but I want to describe the movement mainly. At the beginning of his studies, he had been practicing judo and sumo. The practice of the base Naihan chi, etc. was started in Okinawa Bank site of the Shuri Kururanmanabu ruins at the designers of the Okinawan kunatake, and other students volunteer 20 at the beginning of Karatashiro


The so-called Karohand (karate?) gymnastics that was imposed on the time of gymnastics was born (Hiroshi Kinjo [from Karhand to Karate] 367 pages).


Tokuda is a student of old system Junior high school at that time, and the above is talking about circumstances before it is adopted to the school just by Karhand (karate?). The author imagined whether it might be the kind of the flexible gymnastics based on the Tang hand when the character of Karhand (karate?) Gymnastics was first seen. However, it seems not to be very so. However, it seems to call the Tang hand gymnastics. Why did you call it the Tang-hand gymnastics?


I have not understood this meaning much, but I can finally understand it recently. Now, as I mentioned last time, the martial arts were deemed inappropriate to teach in the school's Department of Education over twice, "the Gymnastics Report" (1884), "The School Hygiene Advisory Council Report" (1896). At that time, the Ministry of Education regarded the martial arts inferior from the physiological viewpoint compared with the gymnastics by irrational.


The person who caters to the policy of the Ministry of education like "halberd gymnastics" of Ozawa Unosuke Shoten and the person who does the political movement, and the martial arts, etc.  Now, the big question arises here. At that time, the Ministry of Education had not yet admitted the Department of Martial Arts adoption in the Department of Chinese Medicine (Meiji 38, 1905). A part of the "Ordinance for enforcement of the Junior high School Decree" was granted by the Ministry of Education Ordinance No. 26 of Meiji 44 (1911), "gymnastics ha bashing and gymnastics. In addition, it was revised as "to get the sword and Jiu-Jitsu", and it became possible to adopt the Shoken (later kendo) and Jiu-Jitsu (later judo). However, there is no wording of "karhand" (karate?) there.


In a word, it becomes impossible to adopt the Shotoaceae of the hand legally after that


At that time, it was impossible for the local government to decide the content of public education independently. The subjects, classes, and textbooks of junior high school and normal schools were established by the country (Minister of Education). Therefore, it is impossible for Okinawa Prefecture to adopt martial arts in the Department of Medicine in opposition to the national policy.


Then, why was the Karhand (karate?) adopted? This is the author's guess. Perhaps Dr. Yasuhisa Itoshima, etc., would have contacted the Okinawa Prefectural Academic Affairs Section about the possibility of adopting the shoshu of the Tang hand. At that time, the Academic affairs section, "because there is a national policy, Tang is impossible to employ as a martial art, but it is possible as a gymnastics," I think there was an answer.


This does not violate the policy of the Ministry of Education. There is a form to practice by one person named "type" Fortunately, and it is a kind of Deconstructo law act. If it is "gymnastics", it is possible to make excuses even if it is found in the country if it is strong. However, there is an excuse that it is not truly a martial art when there are a lot of attack techniques such as thrust kick. It is also difficult for students to be used to fight outside the school by promoting their struggle. If it becomes a newspaper, the head of the Student Affairs Section staff might fly.


So, in accordance with the request of the Academic Affairs section, I think that Mr. Iteshima did the creation modification of Pinann and existing type so as to dilute the aggression as much as possible.


If such a change was temporary, and the Chinese hand was formally adopted as a martial art, Mr. Iteshima might have intended to return it to the original type. The reason is that "it is not necessary to save as it is and to add the moist color" to "Itasu ten lesson" because there is a wording.


However, before the policy of the Ministry of Education changed, Mr. Iteshima lay on the sickbed, and died before long. On the other hand, it did not teach these types in the normal school after Mr. Iteshima was deceased because it was not interested in Pinann and the alteration type from the beginning. It might have been thought that it was likely to disappear naturally before long even if it left it. However, students who were taught the modified type from Mr. Iteshima, without knowing the circumstances that have been modified, and then spread the modified type, largely replaced by the existing type, the circumstances that have been altered before long I have forgotten.


And, it was not left in the record the circumstances that it had been adopted by the Department as a gymnastics (Karhand (karate?) gymnastics) not as a martial art hand. The author had not read the document which made a convincing explanation up to now about the Karhand (karate?) gymnastics.


The above is a guess to the end, and the record at that time of the communication of the Academic affairs section with teachers of Itasu is not understood, and I understand that it might have been so. 


Note: Takuto Ikeda "an attempt to make judo teaching materials by Jigoro Kano: focusing on" gymnastics form "," Bulletin of the Graduate School of Education, Hokkaido University "No. 101, page 80.



Sunday, April 28, 2019

How It Is


Before Karate

With Karate

After Karate


How it is.


If anyone is truly literate,

you will understand that I ripped off Samuel Beckett

from his play of the same name.



From Wikipedia - The title is Beckett's literal translation of the French phrase, comment c'est (how it is), a pun on the French verb commencer or 'to begin'.


The text is divided into three parts:


"before Pim" - the solitary narrator journeys in the mud-dark until he encounters another creature like himself thereby forming a "couple". His journey is abundant with recollections from his life above, including reminiscences of a woman and of his parents.

"with Pim" - the narrator is motionless in the mud-dark until he is abandoned by Pim.

"after Pim" - the narrator returns to his earlier solitude but without motion in the mud-dark. He postulates that there must be several others like him and Pim. As the attempted explanation however requires a constant accumulation of ad hoc hypotheses, he acknowledges the wish for a simpler explanation. Only the mud and the obscurity remain certainties.


In a letter (April 6, 1960) to Donald McWhinnie of the BBC Radio Drama Company, Beckett explained his strange text as the product of a " 'man' lying panting in the mud and dark murmuring his 'life' as he hears it obscurely uttered by a voice inside him... The noise of his panting fills his ears and it is only when this abates that he can catch and murmur forth a fragment of what is being stated within... It is in the third part that occurs the so-called voice 'quaqua', its interiorisation and murmuring forth when the panting stops. That is to say the 'I' is from the outset in the third part and the first and second, though stated as heard in the present, already over." [3]

And art does imitate reality



Before Karate


I grew up in a small town, attended high school and then went to university.

Learned many things such as linguistic philosophy and studies in rhetoric.

The term karate entered my awareness from comic book ads,

From a Bruce Tegner paperback, from Black Belt Magazine

And from my university room mate Richard Durich who studied

Shotokan at Temple under Okazaksi Sensei.


Then chose not to graduate as I did not want to be a rhetoric teacher,

Held various jobs even digging ditches and managing shoe stores

And moved around the states.


Somewhere along the way I began an appreciation of Kung Fu movies.


With Karate


With Karate correctly being when  I became the least talented of Tom Lewis’ students.

But I did not know enough that it probably be better for me if I quit.

So I didn’t and in time I learned a few things.

Then I had to leave Salisbury for a new job.

But Charles Murray eventually entered the picture and forced the rest of Isshinryu

As he expressed in in to me.

I becme a Sho dan and almost immediately after was on my own.


So I practiced, eventually started a youth program at the Boys Club,

Began to visit anywhere I could find to train with adults

And I also used competition to keep pushing myself.


Once when being judged by Ron Martin, who clearly did not care much for my form,

Answered truthfully when later questioned, “It was because your stances sucked.”

I then watched his students and their stances most definitely did not suck.

Then on a visit to Salisbury watched Tom Lewis working on his kata.

His stances did most definitely not suck.


So I began to concentrte on my stances more and more.

Over time stanced became a key focus for my students.


I also learned something else, tbat I could continue to learn from my instructors,

Even when not being trained by them.

Just by simply watching them, observing and remembering.


I trained with many people in many styles.

More time with Ernest Rothrock in a whole variety of Chinese Art studies.

More time with Tris Sutrisno in his family Shotokan, Aikdo, tjimande and Kobudo.

Not so much I became an expert, but learn I did.



Less time with other people in other arts;

Carl Long Shorin Ryu, Ed Savage Goj Ryu, Dave Brojack Kempo Goju,

Tang Soo So, Washin Ryu, Goshin Ryu and many more.

Beside learning as much as I could, it gave me more scale of what other did.


I kept notes continually, practiced continually.


When moving to New Hampshire I began my youth program again through the Boys and Girls Club there.

I even began my own small adult program there.

I no longer traveled to other schools to traing, but maintained many friendships I had made.


One significant change, I no longer went to tournaments for my students,

I took my program another way.


I began my own studies into Isshinryu kata application potential.

Then, later, met Sherman Harrill and for a decade learned as much as possible from him at varioun clinics.

Never was I his student, but I gained an incredible depth from his sharings.


Encountered death along the way.

Good students, friends even an incredible instructor, Sherman Harrill.


Each left their mark.

When Sherman departed I was so disraught I spent 3 months burried in my notes and video tapes and cataloged what I saw, over 800 possible kata applicatiohns.

And those were only the piece he felt comfortable sharing in publc when those people were not his students.


Almost at the same time one of my students left us suddenly.

My entire group felt that in many ways. Among them most of my adult students made personal

Life decisions where it was time for them to leave training.

And for them that was the right decision.

And it was different for each of them.


“But you pick yourself off, dust yourself off and begin all over again”

Though for a year is was just my senior students and myself.

It neve affected the youth program.


My own studies progresses. I made changes of supplemental kata to the training as time passed. I

t would be impossible to share everything I had seen,

but some things added flavor and strength to my students studies.


In time I was able to meet and train with John Kerker, the senior student of Sherman.

That filled in so many things Sherman had hinted at when I first saw John in action.

Then over the years I observed how John matured at how he would present what he had learned

Over the years with Sherman, very intelligent ways to continue to present the material.


Then slowly I felt what I thought was encroaching age.
I started to make adjustments, but other changes kept occurring.

Still I continues to study, research and teach.


Everything seemed to occur at once.

First Diabeties 2

Second Colon Cancer.


I made lifestyle changes to eating, began walking and training with greater intensity.

For the cancer surgery, chemo and radiation therapy.

It worked in that I was a cancer survivor and my diabetes 2 went into remission.


Third Disability


After years of testing they do not know what I have or a way to treat it.

Loss of much strength, even affecting my face and speech. I am very difficult to understand.

Loss of central balance and core stability.


At times I fell breaking ribs,

At times I fell indicating old blood was on my brain necessting brain surgery.

Each time I came back to continue walking, now using a walker.

My karate remained not vastly slower and weaker.

I now supervised the youth instruction, but still had much to share with the adults.


Then in time we moved to Arizona.

I had to leave karate class behind, but I could still walk and practice.




After Karate


I continue to walk 4 or 5 times a week, one to two hours a walk.

Adjusting when I walk to consider the brutal Arizona temperatures.


I work on some Chi Kung drills, a bit of my Tai Chi and most of my Karate kata.

Many changes of course.

Much slower and with even less power.

I retain what I retain.


But my time with my karate is even greater than before.


I continue my research, maintaining my blog for my students,

Writing even more in private missives for their choice to use on not.


I still have much to learn from my videos of Sherman and John.

And from everyone who taught me.

My own study into kata application potential continues

Along with my thoughts how to move those potentials into realization.


My life has not greatly changed.

Of course I have no students any longer, but as before no one visits either.

I get about 5 phone calls a year. It has been that way for the past 7 years or so.

Understandable because I am almost impossible to understand on the phone.


There are so many things to consider,

And never enough time to get to all of them.


You recognize the temporary goals, like tournaments of acquiring rank

Are far less important as the years pass.


Trophies gather dust and are discarded, because only you cared about them and that time has gone.

Rank is so very less important. Too many old certificates to hand anymore

And only I to see them.


In fact my wife just hung my last on the wall of my new bed room.

It was an amazing effort on her part.

Of course all the friends behind it mean everything.

But in the end it is just a piece of paper (a very nice piece of paper).


Now onto the next challenge



How it is.


Before Karate

With Karate

After Karate


How it is.

At least I got the "quaqau" down.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

A study in Chinte

Original Shorin Ryu Chinte Version

 CHINTE , the 3 hops in the JKA Shotokan version.


 There seems to be many different points of view on the purpose of the 3 hop backs at the end of Chinte kata. For me the hops are simply to get you back to the starting position. Others see possible self defense applications to the hop backs.


Victor Donald Smith I was taught the form from the Shotokan of Tristan Sutrisno. His father trained in the Naval War College in the 1930s before the war, Funakoshi was the one in charge, but others did most of the instruction. His version did not use the hops, just ended without them. His father kept to the way he was shown. Their version was their family version of Shotokan back in Indonesia. His father was a doctor drafted into the Japanese Navy at the time Japan owned Indonesia. As he was a doctor, hence the naval war college as he was to be an Officer in the Navy and a doctor. Just before the war Japan freed Indonesia to show they were not warlike, and his father was released. Then he served in the Indonesian Underground working against the Japanese.


Bruno Ballardini The hops were introduced by Yoshitaka Funakoshi after he lowered and stretched the postures of the original kata and nobody could return to the starting point anymore. After only one generation of students everybody forgot this point and someone introduced the legend of an “ancient unfinished kata” with a certain halo of mistery and sacred, and then other people started to imagine absurd and ridiculous bunkais for the three hops introduced by Yoshitaka. The historical truth is under your eyes: the original kata, Chinti or Chintei, is still transmitted in its pristine form and it ends perfectly on the starting point without any hop. You can still see the original form in the Shorin Ryu Kyudokan and even in the Shito Ryu school (even if a little bit “japonized”). It’s time to recognize and to distinguish the original Okinawan forms from their modern distortions introduced by the Shotokan school. And above all it’s time to wipe out all the bullshit created by disinformation in karate.



An Aikido/Chin Na story

Back in 1985 my wife and I moved to NH because of a new job for me.
A friend from another karate system invited us to a clinic where Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming was one of the presenters. My friend specifically wanted to see his Chin-Na in action.
My wife was a new black belt then, and she also trained with my friend who included aikido training alongside his karate.
As the clinic progressed, my friend was working with my wife on a technique similar to an outer wrist wrap control. But he was having a difficult time trying to understand how to do it.
Dr. Yang was working the floor helping people, when he noted my friends difficulty. He stopped to help and asked my wife to do the movement on him so my friend could see what occurred.
My wife did the wrist rap, quite effectively. Now Dr. Yang was very experienced and I note how enlarged and red his wrists were from constantly doing Chin Na.
So when Maureen wrapped his wrist and applied sudden sharp pressure, Dr. Yang went promptly to his knees, the threat of impending pain drove him sharply down to avoid the pain.
Of course it was humorous to see my wife put him down.
But that is not the end of  the story.
My friend a little later contracted with Dr. Yang to treach several long term clinics on Tai Chi and Chin Na. Work did not make it possible for me to attend, but my wife signed up for both.
The first one was the Chin Na clinic.
And the second she walked through the door Dr. Yang recognized her and proclaimed. “Not her she broke me last time.” Which was him being funny.
My wife lasted both classes. After her Chin Na training she would come home, I would by then be there, and she proceeded to practice on me. Oh how painful that was. I learned a great deal about Chin Na that way.