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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:14 am 
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I have been practicing this style since 1974.

I am also in the minority in having had formal Japanese language training in college. While I don't speak the language conversationally, I know enough to know what I need to know, and how to get it. I also have done language lab training, and had a native work with me in class on my accent. Unlike my French, I actually can speak the language correctly.

Here's my beef. If you've been in this style long enough, you'd know that some of the pioneers of this style in the US (bless their hearts) stink at Japanese. They have had no (zero) formal Japanese language training, and have done the best they could to transfer their knowledge. When it comes to technique, well we all are on level ground. But when it comes to the Japanese language, there are only a handful of sources that I trust.

If you want a good source for the correct spelling of any Japanese word as it relates to Uechi Ryu, see Alan Dollar's book. It took me 2 years to find the first mistake in that book. Alan knows the language, and his editorial process was superb.

Meanwhile... Here are some of the words that raise my hackles.

  • Kotickitae Nope... The word is kotekitae. Kote means forearm; kitae means conditioning. There is also ashikitae (leg conditioning) and karadakitae (body conditioning).
  • Seirui and sanseirui Someone please, please tell me why these spellings keep cropping up. The correct spellings (you can look it up) are seiryu and sanseiryu. This isn't rocket science.

    sei ryu translates as 10 6 or 16

    san sei ryu translates as 3 10 6 or 36

    The characters are simple enough. The pronunciations are the "on" (of Chinese origin) rather the "kun" (of Japanese origin) style.
  • Shichidan or sichidan This is not done. You say the following...

    ichi, ni, san, shi, go...

    But when it comes to higher numbers, this is the convention

    ju ichi, ju ni, ju san, ju YON, ju go...

    And the correct names of ranks are...

    godan, rokudan, NANAdan, hachidan...

    Why do they do this? As my Japanese language teacher told me, the "shi" word is a homonym for the word "death." You would no more say shichidan than you would put a 13th floor in a building. That's their superstition.


So here's the thing... Who controls these Wikipedia sites, and how can you win out on the war of "my version is correct"? I have no desire to get into a pissing match with someone whose instructor said this is the way it is.

Don't believe me? Check with Gary Khoury. Check with Nestor Folta. (FWIW, Nestor's wife is Okinawan. Nestor understands Hogen variations as well.) Any objections from the peanut gallery on these sources?

Thanks.

Bill

P.S. If I am on your test board.... ;)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:28 am 
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Bill,
I've often found that the people who write these entries will stick around, monitor, and flame the crap out of anyone who says anything needs to be changed.

OTOH, a little persistence and a solid case might get it changed... for a few months. Go back in a year and you might just end up smacking your forehead.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:37 am 
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My suggestion would be to provide the correct spellings and a source under a new topic on that page's discussion. Then change it yourself, and copy the text of the entire page, and keep that text in a text file. Then you can paste it back if it gets changed. Eventually someone will take it to mediation, and you can deal with a reasonable 3rd party that Wikipedia trusts to deal with these kinds of disagreements.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 5:18 pm 
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I wonder if we can put more conent on as well? Such as variations in how the style in interpretted, more of the history as it evolves?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:08 am 
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Then again, we can just do what the Japanese do and use their own words for things. Using English may take the exotic out of it but it'd sure make it easier to understand.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:08 pm 
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MikeK wrote:

Then again, we can just do what the Japanese do and use their own words for things. Using English may take the exotic out of it but it'd sure make it easier to understand.

The Japanese language within the system is already entrenched, Mike. The good news is that there isn't that much of it. The bad news is nobody takes Japanese in school, and we have boneheads perpetuating mistakes because that's what their teacher taught them.

Trust me when I say I know the sources of the bad Japanese. And they (mostly he) is the first to recruit a Gary Khoury to get it right. But nobody bothers to make the effort to tap in to said sources.

I'm having a wonderful time dissecting Rory's book again. I have to do it as he's given me a copy of his second to peruse, and it's only fair to be familiar with all his work.

That said... Rory's whole theme in his first book is separating the wheat from the chafe in TMA when it comes to what actually works in real world violence. Rory's done both old-style TMA (sosuishitsu ryu jujutsu) and real-world violence (sergeant among prison guards in Oregon penal system) so he's got the credentials.

It's interesting reading what Rory says is "the good stuff" vs. what keeps him up at night because it's nonsense perpetuated by MA instructors who have no experience base to go from.

I guess after having delved deeply in his work, it bugs me all the more when I see even little things that are wrong preserved through history as some kind of sacred words from the secret text that can't be blasphemed. I mean... How hard is it to speak a language? How hard is it for folks to pick up a damned Japanese dictionary - OR EVEN MASTER UECHI'S KYOHON - and look up the spelling? Sure you need to go from hiragana or katakana to the romanji, but it's not that difficult.

Now I can appreciate why most posts in Wikipedia have folks asking for references in articles when statements are made as if they are obvious facts.

- Bill


Last edited by Bill Glasheen on Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:13 pm 
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AAAhmed46 wrote:

I wonder if we can put more conent on as well? Such as variations in how the style in interpretted, more of the history as it evolves?

Good point, Adam.

Once upon a time I remember that article being much, much better. But it seems a lot of content got stripped. If I am not mistaken, much of the content had to do with exactly what you speak of, Adam. Oy! Somebody's panties must have gotten tied in a knot because they didn't like the exposure that their enemies got.

What-ever...

I think I'm going to get on that book. Or two... Then folks can reference MY work. I mean after all... if it's in print and it can be referenced then it must be the truth, right? :roll: ;)

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:16 pm 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
AAAhmed46 wrote:

I wonder if we can put more conent on as well? Such as variations in how the style in interpretted, more of the history as it evolves?

Good point, Adam.

Once upon a time I remember that article being much, much better. But it seems a lot of content got stripped. If I am not mistaken, much of the content had to do with exactly what you speak of, Adam. Oy! Somebody's panties must have gotten tied in a knot because they didn't like the exposure that their enemies got.

What-ever...

I think I'm going to get on that book. Or two... Then folks can reference MY work. I mean after all... if it's in print and it can be referenced then it must be the truth, right? :roll: ;)

- Bill



I think it can be done without being partisan. SImply mentioning the philosophical differences without inserting opinion would give a fair picture.

As well as historical differences. Simply mentioning the different opinions and leaving them to just that would probably work well either.


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 Post subject: Japanese terms...
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:18 pm 
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I admit to being "tone-deaf" to Japanese karate terms and rely on others, expert in the subject, to help out. For the record, Tomoyose sensei recommended that I not use Japanese terms when teaching. He felt that when practiced in the USA, to Americans, they should practice it using American terms.

I guess it is a little like baseball in Japan. Or professional wrestling? Ever hear the terms for baseball jargon we all take for granted and. . . laugh heartily listening to Japanese ball players attempting to use these same terms.

I just read something on the subject this morning on Van's forum relating to professional wrestling and how funny it appeared to see how the Japanese fracture English.

And I remember talking to Tommy during one of his last trips to the USA on the subject and how he laughed at all the attempts to preserve the original karate names for things. His comment was that most Americans just can't pronounced Japanese words correctly and would be better off (as he recommended many years ago) to use English. Listening to a Japanese sports announcer attempting to impress an audience with his ability to use English terms for American expressions are hugely amusing and should tell us something about how our attempts to be Japanese humor the Japanese.

While pulling material out of storage for my new book, I came across the first test sheet used for dan testing on Okinawa in 1957. Tommy translated the Japanese terms by writing over the names, but were still readable.

Sanchien, Saishon, Sanloui

:)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 3:27 am 
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I encouraged my UVa crowd to learn the Japanese, and learn it correctly. Most had no problem with the spelling of simple things like kata names and ranks. The rest was just a matter of multiple choice.

I also encouraged the UVa crowd to delve into Asian studies. Heck... we had all the resources for them to plunge into right within the borders of the University community. Many went on to participate in the JET (Japan Exchange Teaching) program. Lise Kupke actually got to stay at Uechi Kanmei's house, and was treated like a princess. Chris Long studied in Gordi and Takamiyagi's dojo. Bruce Swenson, Maria Olivas, Joan Robinson and others either taught English to Japanese kids or worked in Japanese companies.

Meanwhile... New Englanders returned the favor. Kanji Uechi got to spend time over here and learn how to be an American. So too did karateka from other cultures such as Maria Sofotasiou (formerly on the Greek Olympic basketball team). Maria now works for a well-known international consulting company in London. I guess those English lessons paid off after all.

If we shoot for the stars and hit the moon, that ain't all bad.

We've had some real language geniuses among us. Some who come to mind are Marty Dow (fluent in many Asian languages and speaks Chinese without an accent), Gary Khoury, Jon Mills, Nestor Folta and others.

I've never met Alan Dollar, but the Japanese in his book is fabulous.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:36 pm 
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Bill,

I just submitted edits to the Uechi-ryu Wikipedia article to correct the kata names.

I also deleted the Sichidan reference and changed it to Nanadan.

I reloaded the article in my browser and the corrections were accepted.

I hope there are no re-edits to the corrections that were recommended by you.


Regards,

Mike DeDonato
Uechi-ryu of Los Angeles
http://www.uechi-la.org
http://www.okikkai.org
uechi-la@ca.rr.com


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:14 am 
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With none of those words being English I hesitate to correct the spelling.
The usefulness to me in using the phrases is so a student could travel to Okinawa and follow a teachers instruction. When Carlos taught at my school one time we communicated with the Japanese words as they served as a common thread with the language barrier we had. If I were to write a paper on Uechi I would put the words in italics and hope the spelling allowed for them to be phonetically followed and spoken. As far as wiki goes, academic suicide to use it. Far better to recreate a better source of info on this site to be used.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:00 pm 
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Kind of like the Latin Mass. I could follow along in Brooklyn or in Rotterdam, but I still couldn't get the sermon.

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