Friday, May 31, 2019

Bushi No Te Isshinryu Kyu Supplemental kata studies

I incorporated several supplementary kata from other systems in my students studies at kyu level to better have them understand what others do, ostensibly to make them not be concerned with what they are unfamiliar with. They then had a basic grasp of what other systems did. But this was for all of my students.

Specifically I wanted to slow down the pace youth students learned their kata, but keeping the slower Isshinryu pace interesting. But the adults also studied this curricula, for them the main purpose was to have a visceral understanding of what other did because they did that too in part.

While these kata are supplemental  to the Isshinryu kata, they are still mandatory.

This is the order they were taught:

Kata Sho – the Matsubayshi Ryu Fyugata Sho renamed so youth could not play with the name, I did teach kids for a long time. I did change the techniques to Isshinryu execution, as I used this as the first kata study.  But it was not just for beginners, everyone would work on it together, allowing even beginners to gain from working with brown belts and black belts too. It also was used for many dan studies as a basic platform everyone understood the embusen so well, other things could be focused on.

Kata Ananku – this was from the Shimabuku Ezio Shorin lineage. I chose it as a precursor to the study of Seisan as many of the techniques were there. The original version incorporated both vertical strikes and twisting strikes in the same form. Of course as Ezio was the younger brother of Tatsuo I could see the origin of that. This was later modified by me to use use vertical striking. I learned this version from Carl Long.

Kata Kyozai -  When I saw this form and understood it was created by teachers on Okinawa as a kata study for gym class, not karate class I became intreagued. Then I noticed it was constructed to pay tribute to many Okinawan systems, so I saw the value to sharing it too.

At that point students studied Isshinryu Seisan kata.

Next they were taught:

Kata Saifa -  I wanted my students to have a break with a  shorter form instead of immediately moving to the Isshinryu Seiunchin kata. I originally learned this form from Goju instructor Ed Savage in Ithica, but later learned many other goju versions at many goju dojo, I even attended a clinic with Chinen Sensei and observed his version. As I was not a goju student and had no goju instructor, the version I came up with seems to have been an amaligation of many of the versions I had been shown. This was at a time before youtube. But the Saifa I taught worked for my purposes.

Then the Isshinryu Seuinchin kata.

Then the Isshinryu Naihanchi kata.

Then the Isshinryu Wansu kata.

Then the Isshinryu Chinto kata.


Kuen Lung le Kuen (Supple Dragon) – This form came from the Pai Lum system, there it was a green sash form. I acquired this from Ernest Rothrock who at that time was teaching Pai Lum. I learnt it observing him teach it to one of my students. Years later he also taught it to my students in New Hampshire. Of course I had previously taught it, but he adjusted what they knew to his standards.  I realize other Canadian karate groups in Canada also performed their own version of this form.

Kata Nijushiho -  I also wanted my students to have a form from another of my friends, Tristan Sutrisno and his Sutrisno Family Shotokan. When my students were about ready for another challenge I was thinking Bassai Dai. But that weekend Tristan was visiting to give a clinic to them. He thought they should learn Nijushiho. A form I believed too advanced in Shotokan for my purposes. But the next day he taught the clinic on Nijushiho and that became that. He also gave his ‘bunkai’ explanations for many of the movements.   Unfortunately I was working on helping people learn the form, as he had taught me the form 10 years before, and I did not pay close attention. The next week I observed my students doing the from with several changes, so I made corrections because what I originally was shown was my guide. I did film the clinic, And because I knew the form I once viewed those video tapes but really did not watch them Roll forward 20 years, when I transferred those video to dvd. What I saw was what he taught my students was not what he taught me. The changes were not gigantic, but I understood then what happened. What he taught was the normal kyu version of nijushiho, But what he taught me long ago was the first level bunkai version for nijushiho. Bunkai was a dan study with Tristan, and when you got the 1st level bunkai for the form, you also were shown a private bunkai version of the actual kata. That was what I had been shown, but was not explained. Of course it gets involved as to what that means. Then I had to go and explain to the instructors I had trained why perhaps they should go back to what they were shown 20 years before. I realize it only make a difference to me.


Then Isshinryu Kusanku kata


Then Isshinryu SunNuSu kata


Then Isshinryu Sanchin kata.


Those are the kyu kata curricula I adopted then taught over my career. That there were other kata taught at dan level is another story.











Lung Lek Kuen 





Thursday, May 30, 2019

A lesson, or rather a single technique, from Tristan Sutrisno back in 1987

One technique taught by Triatan Sutrison in 1987 at a clinic he was giving for my students in New Hampshire.


1.It begins with a left back hand parry against a punch, then the right hand reaches over and grabs the attacker’s hand and rotates their arm clockwise to begin to drop their arm.




2. You then drop to your right knee pulling their arm down parallel to the floor. 



3. You then rise and deliver a front instep kick into their face.



4. You then pull the kicking foot back slightly.




5. Then swing the kicking foot over their head.



7. To drop that foot down toward the head.



7. You condlude by dropping your heel into their head.



In practice you can slice the foot down infront of their place instead of striking their head.







Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Some speculation of Toudi


Let’s have some fun and engage in a bit of logical speculation, back before there was karate. The term might have been Toudi or something else. That is not so important so I will keep to Toudi. There is not a great deal written about that time, I am going to refer to the book “The Secret Royal Martial Arts of Ryukyu” bu Matsuo as my source for most of this speculation.


What we do know is that it was not called karate. The practitioners did not wear specific uniforms. There was not rank and for certain none of us was qualified to study those arts.


The arts being referred to were only for qualified members of specific Okinawan bushi families. They were not learning karate to make a living teaching it. Their sole reason for the study was their family function required use of that training, part of the time in their family function. Not the art for the art, rather the art to allow them to do their role.The instructor was old having successfully survived in that role himself and then undertook the family obligation to prepare other generations of the family.


Each family knew the instructor, having worked with him for decades, and that meant they trusted his ability to prepare the new generations of the family.


As Okinawa was a very small place, those who became instructors likely knew and even shared with each other on occasion, but their primary focus was to prepare each new generation for their role.


We man never know exactly what those lessons were but I believe we can make some shrews assumptions.


For one thing everyone knew exactly what they were training for. They learned that from their fathers, what their role would entail. Already understanding what they needed to become, they had added incentive to  learn.  Then their father would not be training them, it is pretty clear that the families understood that their toudi lessons were better taught by someone else, and that someone was a trusted family member who had done the job for decades already.  A proven expert, who was also bound by the same family ties.


Of course they began lessons having to prove their worth, by performing menial tasks for a long time. But they also understood that their father had done the same and  worked to prove they were just as focused. And that was the idea, getting the students attention.


We may never understand the exact training they received. Kata certainly, but I suspect kata to train the body never kata as a quiz to unlock. I see their training after their body was developed with kata practice as being specific training for their actual roles. It was not theoretical training after all, it was reality that they were thrust in the middle of.  When sufficiently trained, they would assume their role alongside others in their family who would shepard/guide them forward.


And what where those roles, I got a glimpse of them in the book “The Secret Martial Arts of Ryukyu”. This is what I found.


“ The martial artists (bushi) of the Ryukyu can be divided into five distinct groups.
First of all, the Shuri bushi, who were in charge of protecting Shuri Castle.
Next, the Tomari bushi, who were in charge of domestic law enforcement.
Third ,the Naha bushi, who were in chages of protecting the Chineese envoys (Suppushi) as well as the tribute ships sent from Ryukyu to China.
Next were the Udun bushi, who were involved in the politics of the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Finally, the bushi of Naha’s Kume Village, who were in the service of Chinese imigrants.”


While all would require some of the same skills, each family would also have to address differnt issues in their use of Toudi too. It would be logical to assume each version of their toudi would be tuned toward their different responsibilities. And they were locked in their roles, they could not expect to change their roll either.


So logically their arts would be focused on different responsibilities.


“For example, the Shuri bushi, who worked under the scribes, and treasurers, and justice officers, also worked as castle guards, tax collectors, finance officers, or agricultural and forestry officers and studied a martial art which was characterized by the horse riding stance, and light, fast techniques. This area was called Shuri-di.


The Tomari bushi, who worked in domestic law enforcement. Public welfare, construction as well as guarding the Chinese Sappushi, Satusuma envoys and Satusuma Admistrative office in Ryukyu, studied an art that stressed the ability to stand on the boats that traveled the two rivers (Asato River and Kumochi River) that spanned between Shuri Castle, Naha Port and Tomari Port. This art was called Tomari-di.”

… The guards on the ships traveling to China….”These guards were the Naha bushi and in order to deliver an effective technique on a rocking boat, their training stressed such methods as Sanchin stance and heavy movements. Their art was known as Naha-di.”


…….“Expecially Naha-di was influenced by the Chinese Arts, and more specifically Fuijan boxing styles, and was just called Toudi (Chinese Hand).”


No uniforms for training, no rank just their role responsibility. And perhaps a few of them would become instructors for their families.


I can imagine those seniors would also form friendships with other seniors from other families. At times sharing some aspect of their own arts. And after a lifetime most likely continuing their own study into what their karate would be. At the same time most unlikely that such uses would be passed along to their students who were preparing for their own family roles.


Then in 1870 Japan upset the applecart, taking over in Okinawa. Removing the king, then ending the stipend for those bushi families.


New uses to be found for toudi, not to teach it to outsiders, but to preserve a sense of family fellowship.


Then one day Itosu had a different idea and something new was born.

Some of my other blog posts which are relevant: 

The secret of “Bu No Mai” the Okinawan dance, is the secret of his art.
The dance can be done with empty or hands,
Or the same movements can be done with weapons.

Bu No Mai” contains punches, kicks, throws, grappling and weaponry.
The point of origin of this secret technique is Tuidijutsu.
Tuidijutsu techniques compound on one another,
Making the possibilities virtually endless.
The structure of his art is as follows:

If the art of not injuring somebody is tuidijutsu,
Then there is that of tuidi-gaeshi (tuidi reversals)
And even higher is ura-gaeshi (reversal techniques).
Still higher ist the pinnacle, is Ajikata Nu Mekata,
Or the dance of the feudal lords.

“In other words, fully developed martial arts
Do not have corners or rough edges,
And look even smooth or weak to the eye.
But for those who have experience with Udondi,
There are frighteningly effective techniques,
that one’s hair stands on end.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

The Rule of 10

One does learn things, the longer one stays at it.

In my case the longer I taught, both kids and adults I began to see things I had never thought about previously.

And then you give those things you see names to allow you to focus on them later.

One really valuable lesson I came to call the Rule of 10.

A note about how at 10 years effort, training in anything such as a kata, the body begins to relax in the technique series. The muscles of the body begin to work together more effectively,  that allows the body center of balance to drops as a result, and then as the center droping causes the power increases.


It does not mean 10 years into training, rather 10 years effort on anything. For example a form learned as a black belt will not reach that fluidity for another 10 years, or how kicking practice changes. 

Note the number 10 is just a mnemonic device not a practical time limit.

This means it becomes a new layer of training then begins to harness that newly discovered power.

That does not mean solid exact performance cannot occur before that. But no matter how solid that performance is there will be further development later.

 This partially explains what can often be observed in brown belts. Where their years of correct study allows part of this to occur and as a result the brown belts power increases because they are beginning to be more relaxed in their technique. And too many times, not understanding what has begun to occur, the brown belt may not realize what that change means when they are working with newer students. This can lead to unintentional injury.

 At all levels of training the individual requires sensitivity training so they can understand better how to work with others appropriately.

Of course the Rule of 10 does not mean this is the end, rather the start of more interesting training as the coming decades will show.

Just a brief addendum, the Rule of 10 is not the same as the time in your art. For example when you learn a new form as a black belt, it does not mean good performance, the rule of 10 means you will really start to get that form in roughly  10 years. There are no shortcuts. learning really never ceases.



Friday, May 24, 2019

One perspective on tournaments

I have never been a tournament school for the kids I taught.


But I did see value in some exposure to what others were doing.


When in Scraton after observing how young competitors were lost at being able to be seen admist the larger adults I sponsored 3 youth only tournaments, and had solid attendance from competitors across the state. As I really did not take the youth I was training to tournaments I would spend 3 months to prepare them for competition. To know how they should act, to hone their skills and to allow them to be prepared. They all had fun, everyone who attended. Some won. Some lost. There were even divisions where my students didn’t compete because those areas were not taught in my program.


After the first tournament a group of parents approached me why their kids were not entered in the weapons kata division. I explained to them for a 2 night a week program, there were things I did not feel appropriate for young people to study. I never believed in child weight weapons and maintained that young people simply were not old enough, strong enough for kobudo study. Of course they were always free to join another program that offered such training. Perhaps that I was teaching for free and offering a tournament for $5.00 a competitor made them consider I might know what I was talking about.


When I moved to New Hampshire I was less interested in tournaments for my students, still we attended several one a year. Then one year a student, a yellow belt, won his kata division at such a tournament. Then beause he won he wanted to be promoted to blue belt. I had always explained that tournaments were not part of the class program. And truthfully he was not ready for promotion as he still had more to learn to qualify as a blue belt. My standards did not change in any case, they remained consistent.


Long story short, he discontinued training.


Now students come and go at their own desire. When it is time for them to move on that is what they do, and never has anyone discussed with me why they made that choice. I never expected otherwise. But I am sure his not gaining a promotion after that win had something to do with his decision.


Several years later I came to the decision to discontinue tournament attendance for my students. I moved the program into other possibilities. There are infinite ways to study karate after-all. And I certainly had more than enough to keep them busy. If fact no longer going to tournaments made no difference in my student population.


I never forbade them or their parents choosing to go to tournaments. That of course was their business. It just never came up in class.


 So many students start, most aboue 2 or 3 years into their training, then other things in their lives become more important to them. Of course that is what is right for them. We always want to encourage youth to learn how to make choices. Most of them choose not to spend the 7 to 9 years to shodan. And of course those that do so, still will leave as adults they don’t choose often to spend their futures in their home towns.


One time I had 3 brothers that all received brown belts (which happened a few times). One pushed forward eventually reaching black belt. The others choose to move on to other things (and that has happened more than a few times too. Then the brother who reached shodan left to go to college and later into the Navy.


But years later one of the brothers who left as a brown belt came to visit me. He was the only one of all my students who chose to move on, who ever did that.


And he took the time to thank me for spending my time for him.


That was the only thanks I have ever gotten. That was more than enough.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

At the beginning of School Karate Gymnastics


The year is 1904, and whatever Japan proper thought of Okinawans, Japan was an ordered society.

Okinawan schools, as a part of the Japanese school system, were controlled by the Japanese Misistry of Education. Local autonomy by the local school boards was not an option. , 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.  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 (the military practice) and gymnastics.


To get the new idea of public karate instruction into the Okinawan schools some slight of hand was employed.
There already was a full time instructor who taught the soldier type Gymnastics (later bashing) and the physical education.


A kind of military training was done by the flexible gymnastics of the military type gymnastics, and it was a type of the army in the normal school though it was a core. At that time, there seemed to be a problem of the re-employment of the sergeants after it discharged, and sending them who discharged it to each school and having done military training was a stone in respect of the re-employment of the rich country soldier and soldiers. (2) There was no place in the current proscribed curriculum for any thing like karate. The order of Tatrei, REI, preparatory gymnastics, basic operation (foot, reversal, thrust, kick), form exercise, assembly manual exercise, adjustment gymnastics, seat REI, dissolution, in the method learned in the former army Ministry teacher (2)


By 1905 Iteshima Yasuyasu was the advisor at the Okinawa Prefecture Normal School, apparently instrumental in developing the curriculum of what appears to have been karate gymnastics. The concerns of the local group that sponsored the idea were that many of the more martial practices would be removed, to make sure what was being offered would not be seen as other than promoting health and well being.


“Then, why was the (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.


So the original thoughts were what survived and other instructors carried forward, and likely made changes as well. New experiences would suggest changes to something that was so new an idea.


It time what was brought into the Okinawan Schools influenced other instructors. Karate came to be offered to the population of Okinawa. Some instructors adopted the Pinan kata to teach their new students.


But it was the fact the Okinawan’s pulled some wool over the Japanese Ministry of Educations eyes that made so much that followed possible.


In 1908, Itosu wrote the influential “Ten Precepts (Tode Jukun) of Karate,” to draw the attention of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of War in Japan, reaching beyond Okinawa to Japan.”(1)

I am indebted to these sites which I have used to draw information from for this article.

I take full responsibility for any incorrect assumptions
on my part.


Monday, May 20, 2019

The time when Karate was introduced into the Okinawan schools.

I have never seriously considered others opinions about my own research. And this means much to me as I taught youth karate from 1979 to 2016, close enough to 40 years. First off I am not an expert on this topic I am discussing. Several years ago I found a Japanese site posting on Motobu Ryu from Japan. And of course not speaking or reading Japanese, I worked out to use mechanical translate programs to gain some understanding of what was being discussed. Those translation program are not perfect but sufficient to gain me some understanding of what was being discussed. The translations are often filled with problems probably with wordage not common in everyday Japanese.

Several months ago they began to share articles about the time karate was introduced into the Okinawan Schools. Very specific articles about just that time. It was really new to me. Prior what we had was basically Itosu’s students introduced Karate instruction in the Okinawan schools and that the Pinan kata Itosu developed was a primary tool of that instruction. And perhaps there was a bit more. But everyone who talked, wrote or pontificated about those acts simply repeated the same material, ad infinitum.

This was something new to consider,  a very different look at what occurred, and I with to propose a précis I have put together summing up what those articles showed. Of  course I may be incorrect to, this is just as I see it.

First a brief comment about earlier Toide (my choice of a word to discuss those earlier pre-karate practices.

Toide was not meant to be a career teaching kids or folks.  Toide specifically was a series of practices taught to members of Okinawan society who needed that training in their life jobs. Then Japan took over control of Okinawa in the 1870’s and there was no longer a need for that training, except as a way to hold their societal class together. And apparently Toide still was taught within the members of that class, but it no longer was a function of their lives.

Itosu had an idea that a form of that training could be used to strengthen the youth of Okinawa. First as a form of gymnastics for use in the schools. And another reason to share it with the young was to promote health and strengthen them for possible military service. A added benefit was they would learn how to follow orders useful if they were drafted, so they would better prepared for military service.

It seems to me that the karate being taught in the schools was not taught for martial skills.  Let’s look at what Itosu wrote in his 10 precepts :”


“Practice each of the techniques of karate repeatedly, the use of which is passed by word of mouth. Learn the explanations well, and decide when and in what manner to apply them when needed. Enter, counter, release is the rule of releasing hand (torite). “



It does make sense. But clearly it makes the point that karate techniques and by extension the kata were just to first be trained. Later the instructor would choose to pass applications for the techniques ‘by word of muth”. The instructor’s judgment would come into play as to which applications were taught. Nothing implied everyone was taught the same, for many reasons I imagine.



It also defines torite as the rulos of releasing the hand.  “Enter, counter and release”.


 Having taught youth it would be reasonable to assume that the use of karate technique was not the purpose of the teachings in the schools. That would be the instructor’s decision when and if to teach that to any student. I would think that would not be a concern within the schools.


Assumptions on my part, of course, but I can defend my opinions.



Were their martial uses for the Pinan kata? Certainly and in the future those were or were no pursued by other people. Not necessarily what was originally taught in the schools.



Now I will get to my précis of the articles.


1.       I assume a quickie was pulled over the Japanese Ministry of Education to permit karate training, by using the name of karate gymnastics. At that time the Ministry of Education was not open to martial training in the schools. There was already military training of sorts taught by former soldiers from the Japanese Army.



2.       The instructor who developed the original curriculum and obtained the permission to teach karate gymnastics unfortunately died before much of his program was under way.What the evertnal karate in schools may have been is open to question.



“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 (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 Karate gymnastics.



3.       The reason Naha Te was included at first was because there were concerns that it was too dangerous for young people to practice Sanchin.


“The opinion was expressed from the Academic affairs section each time, and the correction was requested. To give an example, there is a type of Chinese Kenpo called "Sanchin". It becomes the type of the rigid flow through "Naha hand" now. The first type of this "Sanchin" seemed to be in the list of the type of "Karate".


“However, there was a criticism of the one in the growth of the boyhood by the movement which squeezed the chest, and it was removed from the list.


“The above story was heard directly from author Cousin Tamaki Tomoyoshi (Tama Yu, 1890-1925, from Meiji 36 to 6 years in the Prefectural Junior High school).


“What is the point of the exercise that squeezes the breast of Sanchin? Sanchin at that time seems to be different from the current sanchin, but I feel a little doubt whether the academic Affairs Section staff made a professional judgment.


“Moreover, there is a theory that this was seen danger though Sanchin at that time was a hand. Although Mr. Higashionna seems to have resigned voluntarily to the members of the research group, he does not describe the reason.


By the way, the Naha hand also came to be taught at the school because it became a karate master of the Naha Commercial high School by Mr. Jun Miyagi. He also teaches karate at elementary School and Okinawa prefectural Daini Junior High School.

4.       We can know this about the karate gymnastics taught in the schools.



The local autonomy of the educational administration was hardly admitted before the war.   


It is said that "Sanchin" became a rejection according to the instruction of the Academic Affairs section.

Therefore, Mr. Higashionna resigned the member of the research group, and as a result, Naha hand was originally to deviate from the school karate.


Of course, the rule of attacking the eye and the gold is shown, too and "Thirteen" will leak from the selection. The type of the system of the Shuri hand, to crush technique to fist hammer.

The technique of the gold attack was changed to a high kick technique, and it was adjusted for the educational purpose.

Commands was also changed from "High, high......" To "1-2, 3......" "Hi, Hi......

The reason is to inform that the other party came. I think you'll know if you do, just follow the order and the attack came! The appearance might be the same in the one practiced in the commands ", but I think that the contents become a completely different movement" (Kinjo)

Seisan's rejection.

Modification of the type of Shuri hand.

To the fist Hammer, the gold attack technique to the high kick to the eye crushing technique

Below, it is a modified portion of the type of Shuri hand cited by Mr. Kinjo. The fist of the back fist of Naifanchi first stage was two hands for the eye crushing in old times.

Two stages and three steps are original idea of Itasu (Itosu).

The type of peace is the one that Iteshima original idea by referring to the type of patai and the public phase.

The technique of the handle has been altered to the hand sword receiving.

Passai (large and small) is modified for educational purposes, and the degree of "large" is greater.

Chinto  has not altered the type of the original tradition so much.

                54 step, the hand to the face is modified to the middle.


In addition, the upper part of the top of the four hands against the face to beat the upper hand sword, the lower kick is modified to the upper kick with a lot of momentum.



5.       We do have a press report on that original karate program. There was some criticism of the program too.


“School Karate and Criticism from Ryukyu Shinpo News Paper".

In January 1905, karate (Tang) was adopted as a an extracurricular to old system Junior high School in Okinawa prefecture.


Junior high School staff's Tang At the end of last year, the staff of the school had to start immediately to think about what should be taken to the Tang hand, and now the result is to be spared


An orderly explanation is necessary for us to the teacher, and it is satisfactory, too, and the reason for which it is sufficient after the skill is gained is to be invented by the staff, and I hope ("Ryukyu Shimpo" on February 5, 1905).


The article above is hard to read because it is an old Japanese, but the meaning is roughly following. At the end of last year (1904), the junior high school staff decided to adopt the Karate in class and started immediately. The only regrettable point is that there is a point which cannot be consented enough because an orderly explanation is scarce in the teacher now the result is good.


Perhaps, one month after the karate was adopted in the junior high school, there might have been some announcement meeting. A journalist was invited to the presentation meeting, and the class which taught the Tang Hand (karate) was visited. However, the only regrettable thing is that the teacher's teaching was not reasonable enough.


Or, the teacher was not able to explain a reasonable explanation to the journalist why the Chinese Hand (karate) was adopted at the school. The staff or the teacher might be a teacher of the Chomo Hanashiro of Hanashiro who was a gymnastics teacher at that time (karate), and Iteshima Yasushige (Anko Itosu) was a commission. At that time, the class of the physical education was called the gymnastics, and the Tang Hand (karate) was taught at the gymnastics hour. Naturally, the time to teach the gymnastics that the Ministry of Education has set is sharpened and the Tang Hand (karate) is taught. Is it really a merit? The explanation which was able to be consented about it was not enough.


At that time, the Ministry of Education had not admitted teaching the martial arts in the an extracurricular of the school as having seen up to now. Kendo and judo had not been taught in the mainland yet either. Okinawa was a dogmatic researched and taught the Tang (karate). It is a kind of de-constructabe act. What made this possible is the view of the Okinawa Prefectural Academic Affairs Section, "Karate is not a martial art but a physical exercise."


At that time, it might be for such a reason that the designation "Tang Hand (Karate) gymnastics" was born.


In order to adopt the karate in the school, Iteshima (Itosu) teacher set up a research group and promoted the gymnastics of the Chinese Hand (karate) while following the instruction of the Okinawa Prefecture Academic Affairs Division each time.


What he saw was the early pin-Ann that Itosu Sensei taught to Chomo Motobu. The question came out from the reporter, "is it too long and too complex for junior high school students?" and the Itosu teacher was able to have made the present pin-ann first stage by shaving the latter part from the early Pinang? Or, "It is dangerous for the junior high school student to see the Promise Assembly Hand (Yakusoku Kumite) that the Flower Castle (Hanshiro) teacher created.


Was it thought that gymnastics was safer? "




Personal note:


 This was Pinan Shoday the first kata taught in the Okinawan schools mentioned in the article.

This is the pinan shodan discussed.


6.       We might consider one technique the Age Uke from the Pinan kata and look how it changed from the original technique. More simply stated the original was probably done on one best (defense and attack simultaneous), and the new version was done on two beats (first defense followed by an attack.) This  was most likely in accordance with the safer design of the karate for gymnastic health purposes and not so much for martial effectiveness.

The author believes that this lateral response (Yoko Uke) is not a pure lateral response (Yoko Uke) but a "thrust (Tsuki Uke)" that serves as a jaw-butting. ….. Does that mean that the speed of the thrust is simply fast? It is likely to do the receiving and the thrust at the same time. Instead of dividing it in two beats, the defense and the attack are done in one time.

Iteshima (Itosu) teacher changed this passage to "raised (Age Uke)". And, Iteshima (Itosu) teacher increased the operation of the type of Pinang, and was closer to the gymnastics.


This is likely not a clear as it could be, for I included parts of my translation effort in the précis.

However I think it also gives us a lot to think about.

No doubt the program and then other programs changed over time. That they worked gave more incentive for the school boards to offer them too.

Then karate was introduced to Japan and the idea of a public karate took even more hold there with Funakishi and Mabuni establishing programs in the Universites there. I doubt they were credit programs, more extra curciular programs. But they established karate in Japan. Then there were other programs also established too.

On Okinawa karate became more open, instructors often choose to incorporate the kata being taught in the schools into their own programs. Perhaps some of their students studied in those schools. Perhaps their experience led them to believe they would be a good place for beginner to begin. Of course every instructor did not follow suit.

Still this gives much to think about when karate first entered the Okinawan schools.

My analysis on this issue came from my translations of the following articles:


Anko Itosu  

"Yabu Kentsu and Modernization of Karate".

The Educational Section of Okinawa Prefecture and Birth of Modern Karate".

"School Karate and Criticism from Ryukyu Shinpo News Paper".

"Age Uke of Pinan and Yoko Uke of Shirokuma".


I wish to thank the Motobu Ryu web site for sharing these articles. Of course any errors are my own fault.