Lately, as a hobby project, I've been trying to convert my plethora of video onto CD, In the process, I've ran across footage of you performing Superempi at the 2001 Summer Camp (the same year as your 7th Dan Test and the year Mr. Tomoyose attended). If I end up figuring out how to convert the video reliably, I'll send you a video clip. Anyway....
As I watch that 2 minute kata performance of yours, I notice a few things that, in my mind, make me believe that this may not be The Lost Kata of Uechi-RyuTM. For example:
- This is the only kata where there are overt and definitive steps backwards.
- This is the only kata where there are attacks to the side (eg. the three elbow strikes while sliding to the right)
- There isn't a Sanchin strike in the entire kata. I know that there are Sanchin arm positions in certain spots, but there isn't an arm strike.
- The kicks: There are more kicks, and of varied types, than in the other kata. Sanseiryu has one front kick in it, but Superempi has lots of kicks, and not just front kicks. There are sokuto-geri, stomps, high front kick and front kicks with the rear foot.
Now, there are some elements that do seem to support it's possible position in the Uechi Pantheon
- Kakushken strikes. I haven't seen these in any other martial arts I've seen (but then again, I haven't seen too many...)
- The use of other weapons, practiced only in hojo-undo that appear no where else in The Big Three, but in the 5 "made-up" kata, like the wrist strikes, roundhouse punches (albeit with shokens), shuto and the aforementioned sokuto-geri.
Now, there is no doubt to me that this kata shares many of the same fighting concepts in certain Uechi kata, like the use of shokens and other pointy-ended weapons, the wa-uke circle thingy and the low, penetrating kicks. However, to me it seems such a radical departure from the other Uechi kata that I have real tough time thinking a brother-brother relationship exists. Maybe a cousin-cousin relationship.
Now, don't get me wrong, I really do want to believe that this kata is it. It looks like a fun one to do, and has some cool stuff in it (like grabbing some dude's head and cracking it on your knee and not to mention the chi-chi puppies) and maybe one of these years I'll get to learning it. But its differences appear to outweight it's similarities.
Now I don't really want to start a debate as to whether it is or it isn't, but unless there is something deeper I'm missing, I'd really like more evidence.