So yes, Uechi's group adopted many of the traditions of Japanese martial arts with the gis and the belt systems. It was all part of introducing this art into the schools and spreading the faith. Like the Koreans with their TKD, there was a packaging and selling of "karate do" from the pieces and parts of Kanbun's style. But there were limits to the degree of that assimilation. Even though Uechi's style isn't quite what Kanbun brought over, it isn't quite like either Japanese or Okinawan karate either. In a way it's neither fish nor foul.
We agree Bill , no dispute , and a very good point , there not on the official list I suspect
While not officially in the Butokukai though they adopted the changes for whatever reason , like i said wether its by direct influence or cultural pressure the change happened and its somewhat a moot point .
I think it more telling to look at the changes adopted and who started that . And to accept the change happened .
Now im not saying wether its positive or negative , none of us would probably be doing karate except for said changes ...... however it does give one scope to go beyond the changes and investigate the potnetial of the system in different directions , the degree is up for debate , what the researcher needs to establish more importantly IMHO is the intent of the change , if one has any hope of understanding.
I personally think Uechi is the perfect base style(for me) , it is clearly chinese when stripped of the changes and enough time is spent dabbling with similar chinese styles , Ive been advocating the strategys positioning covers and flows of CMA in Uechi since the day I started in fact that is what led me here , Tegumi to kotikitae to Uechi to CMA and combatives.... just like the bubishi
But yes perspective always , Fred ive heard the Bubishi story and it one of those storys that would leave me in complete martial nerd extasy if it was ever proven , but I suspect its unlikely and like all things karate definitive is a unlikely story , to many experts quoting each other and not enough rigourous historical research/proof.
My first style was Shotokan and via the JKA , how Funikoshis art changed in such a short time is an amazing study , and theres the same attitude to discussing it in shotokan as in many styles, while Uechis story is different , it is also very similar in places. But there we have a lot more documentation , Uechi seems more sparse , expescially for the non japanese speaker
it isn't quite like either Japanese or Okinawan karate either. In a way it's neither fish nor foul.
Id say it isnt quite Chinese either , or western
...... its clearly an evolving animal , and after all isnt that the real tradition?
Its very difficult to discuss this stuff , becuase many will find questioning the past disrespectfull , I think it exactly the opposite , its a homage to the greatness that one would seek to understand with a critical mind , it's like suggesting that some of us training for a long time could possibly get parts of it ...... when the masters were surely before us .....
I feel if one pursues the lessons , and follows the forms , and makes it work , than there doing (insert style x)
I do like to think Kanbun did preserve his style directly as much as possible and it is a far closer bridge to china than other karate I have seen , which may be in itself evidence of this .
But I have no doubt both he and others have made changes to better what they wanted to achieve with the art .
Now the goals are even more debatable , and we proabably cant even reach concensus on the changes , but I did say im a martial arts nerd didnt I ?