Kanbun Uechi master?

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Re: Kanbun Uechi master?

Postby Glenn » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:17 am

Makes me wonder what else has been lost over the years.

The story of Kanbun being coerced into demonstrating Seisan at a demonstration on Okinawa and impressing everyone with his speed is a popular one.
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Re: Kanbun Uechi master?

Postby Alan Holmes » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:32 am

Glen
Feel free to digress as much as you want this article however brief is fascinating. I find any insights into what was going through Master Uechi's head at this time priceless. If he was considering changing the styles name at this time to his own then it would imply that he felt he had moved on considerably from what he had been taught.
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Re: Kanbun Uechi master?

Postby Glenn » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:02 pm

Alan Holmes wrote:If he was considering changing the styles name at this time to his own then it would imply that he felt he had moved on considerably from what he had been taught.

Which is probably as good an indication of "master" as anything.
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Re: Kanbun Uechi master?

Postby Alan Holmes » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:53 pm

Glen
It will certainly do till a better one comes along.

Thanks to all who have taken the time to reply. I got much more than I could have hoped for out of this discussion. I knew that my question had many answers but somethings are now a little clearer if only in my own head.
If anyone finds a copy of Kanbun Uechi's autobiography please let me know.
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Re: Kanbun Uechi master?

Postby Bill Glasheen » Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:23 pm

Alan Holmes wrote:If anyone finds a copy of Kanbun Uechi's autobiography please let me know.

Therein lies an important point.

Most of what we know about Uechi Ryu comes from oral history. But now and then - as with this Dragon Times article - we gain access to a primary source. In history as in science, primary source is to oral history as gold is to costume jewelry.

This article maybe isn't quite like filming Kanbun doing training with his teacher. But it gives enough information to dispel many popular myths about the origin of the style's name and the content thereof. And frankly the emotional response to preserving some quaint status quo about what "it" is borders on completely missing the point. One thing I've learned from years of being a scientist is that the truth is often far more fascinating and meaningful than the opinions we carry out of ignorance or a false sense of propriety.

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Re: Kanbun Uechi master?

Postby Bill Glasheen » Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:18 pm

Glenn wrote:Not "half hard soft" as it is usually translated today, but "extremely quick". Yet I would not characterize the standard performance of Uechi Ryu kata today as extremely quick. Anyone have any thoughts or insights on this?

I've had more time to think about this, Glenn. I think I have a better answer for you. That happens sometimes when I sleep on a problem. Innovation doesn't always come out of a cup of coffee. ;)

As I stated before...
Bill Glasheen wrote:the Kanji leave no doubt as to what it means. I interpret it as metaphor.

And I still do.

This book cover from Shinyu Gushi shows the characters for pangainoon.

Image

Here is a visual which IMO is a perfect metaphor for the style description.

Image

Volumes have been written about this symbol. The gist is that life exists with polar opposites. There are males and there are females. There is hot and there is cold. There is good and there is bad. There is beauty and there is ugly.

Ecclesiastes tells us more about this.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:


a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

In other words...

  • Both sides of the coin are important
    ...
  • One cannot exist without the other
    ...
  • At any one point in time, you may be all one or all the other. To be something in-between may be inappropriate.

In the yin-yang symbol, white and black coexist. White swirls into black, and vice versa. But there is no grey!

So what does this have to do with speed? Well... ask the engineer. ;)

Image

What makes the perfect sports car? Well, it's a mixture of things.

Yes, you need a powerful engine. The above example delivers 1001 horsepower. Not bad... But it's more than that.

It's not good enough just to have an abundance of available raw energy. You need a delivery system for that energy to get speed. And that means a mixture of a taught frame and near-friction-free mechanics. Hard must be hard, and soft must be soft. And both must exist in unison to take 1001 horsepower and move fast. A loose frame loses energy, as does internal resistance within the moving parts. Both sap energy, and slow the car down.

Yes, sometimes pangainoon implies a duality to me. It implies that a circle can be receiving or giving. It implies that a shoken can be poke or grab.

It implies that an elbow can be block, strike, joust, throw, or rear naked choke.

Image

But to optimize our sanchin, we need some parts (e.g. the frame) to be firm while other parts (e.g limbs) move freely. We can't just be 100 percent tense like the guy who proudly takes a beating from his ignorant instructor. Again... that misses the point. We need a firm frame to deliver the core power to an arm that moves friction-free within that frame. THAT is what gives speed to movement.

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Re: Kanbun Uechi master?

Postby Alan Holmes » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:59 pm

Bill
I am no scientist but are we not missing half the equation?
Have you seen what happens to that sports car when it hits a tree? I have, the tree loses a little bark and the car that has provided all the speed and power is destroyed.
With soft blocks we are able to re-direct an opponents attack without wasting any of his momentum which can then added to the effective speed and power of our strike. At this point a good sanchin frame will minimise the waste of energy through recoil.
A good opponent will provide a good proportion of the speed and power they are hit with.

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Re: Kanbun Uechi master?

Postby Bill Glasheen » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:31 am

Alan Holmes wrote:Have you seen what happens to that sports car when it hits a tree? I have, the tree loses a little bark and the car that has provided all the speed and power is destroyed.

Have you seen what would happen to your body if you ran into the tree with the same velocity? Knowing the forces involved, I'm not so sure I want to go there with this metaphor.

My oldest son recently fell asleep at the wheel, and wrapped his car around a tree. Thankfully the car did indeed collapse like an accordion. It's designed to do that. It mean my son walked away from the accident. The part of the car which folded up by the way was not the part of the car with the firm frame that delivered forces from piston to wheel.

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Re: Kanbun Uechi master?

Postby Glenn » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:36 am

Bill Glasheen wrote:My oldest son recently fell asleep at the wheel, and wrapped his car around a tree. Thankfully the car did indeed collapse like an accordion. It's designed to do that. It mean my son walked away from the accident. The part of the car which folded up by the way was not the part of the car with the firm frame that delivered forces from piston to wheel.

I saw an episode of Mythbusters the other week that showed this very well. They were testing the relative forces/damage in a 50 mph head-on into a wall crash versus doing it at 100 mph, and then compared those results to two cars hitting head-on at 50 mph (testing the popular idea that two cars each going 50 mph hitting head on is the same as one car doing 100 mph hitting a wall...it is not, in the two-car 50 mph head-on each car has a 50 mph crash so the damage to each is closer to the 50 mph head-on into the wall). The video and data they got of the crashes are telling. Here are the two into the wall, the 50 mph first and then the 100 mph
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFkn37BDvTw
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Re: Kanbun Uechi master?

Postby CANDANeh » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:56 am

Being fast involves taking away all that is not required so therefore concentrating effort on what is required for the task. AND observing in your opponent what they needlessly add to movement(s) in order to employ your movements when they are in the process of that needless action. A world class sprinter may briefly out run a train "faster" than I but if I step off the track who was faster?
:lol:
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Re: Kanbun Uechi master?

Postby Glenn » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:04 pm

CANDANeh wrote:Being fast involves taking away all that is not required so therefore concentrating effort on what is required for the task. AND observing in your opponent what they needlessly add to movement(s) in order to employ your movements when they are in the process of that needless action.

Good point, efficiency does influence quickness, as Bruce Lee argued. Uechi Ryu is an efficient, direct style without the so-called 'flowery', indirect movements that characterize some Chinese styles.
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Re: Kanbun Uechi master?

Postby Alan Holmes » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:17 pm

Bill
Sorry to bring back bad memories and I hope your son is okay. Thank god and science for crumple zones.

The point I was trying to make is that our speed and power is relative to our opponent. If we hit as our opponent retreats along our line of force the impact and relative speed will be decreased. If we can hit as our opponent travels towards us then the impact and relative speed will increase.
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