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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:24 am 
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of course it had an effect and I feel its well documented not directly , but in the stories and over all comparisons

I think like anything it evolves to match the times and the desired outcomes, A lot of the changes arent publicised as the romance of an unchanged tradition is strong, any changes are to strengthen so there not changes right ?, just clarifications ....

Most wear white gis , have a dan system , march up and down in lines , perfrom in groups , do a martial sport which is basically kendo without swords ....

Kanbun wouldnt of done any of this , yet we still ask of the change

it wasnt even called karate

the conformers were called the Dai Nippon Buokukai and they got everyone across the board to conform to promote japneseness and preserve and promote it, and hold out the outside world , and even though Uechi likes to consider itself apart in some sense from the rest of karate , influence wether organically or by the political/cultural influence of the times clearly happened.

wether for the better or worse is up to the individual.

But studying the context and change reveals a lot of the intention thats often missed , I agree that the culture is a key part of understanding the style .

the unique position and interaction of Okinawa , led to this manner of conduct and manner in being prepared and civil , not showing strength or offence , but using strategy and manner IMHO , great lesson for modern life IMHO


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:47 am 
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I was aware of the devastation on Okinawa. I've also heard the story of Kanbun's buried bubishi.Who knows? Maybe someone will dig a garden and find it someday. Stranger things have happened. Kanbun of course was born a little over twenty years after Commodore Perry opened Japan to the world. After that was a period of rapid change from a feudal society to a modern nation. I don't think we can really comprehend the change that took place during Kanbun's life and while he was away in China. He could have definately held onto his style as a tradition and resisted change in defiance of a rapidly changing world.
The really amazing thing is that it survived all that and the style is still with us. From one man to tens of thousands in under a 100 years.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:49 am 
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Marcus:

I agree with much of your sentiments on this thread. I did however want to interject a bit here.

Stryke wrote:
the conformers were called the Dai Nippon Buokukai and they got everyone across the board to conform to promote japneseness and preserve and promote it, and hold out the outside world , and even though Uechi likes to consider itself apart in some sense from the rest of karate , influence wether organically or by the political/cultural influence of the times clearly happened.

To some extent this is true, and to some extent it's not. I'd like if I could to share an anecdote.

My first martial style was with a Japanese by the name of Hiroshi Hamada. He was sandan in a style that - back in 1972 - he called Nippon Shorin Ken. (Translates loosely as Japanese Shaolin Fist.) I spent two years learning from him at William & Mary, and then transferred to University of Virginia. I could not continue my Japanese style there, but subsequently met Rad Smith - a former student of George Mattson. I became "lost" to my former teacher until about half a dozen years later I showed up with the remnants of that club (as my students) at one of Mr. Hamada's tournaments. There I placed second in the masters division, doing Seisan kata. (The guy who got first is my long-time friend Bill Stockey, a student of Hamada.) Well about a month later I get a call from Mr. Hamada - now a highly ranked member of the Dai Nippon Budoku Kai. Sensei Hamada told me how impressed he was with my club, and invited me to joint the organization. By then Rad was back up in Boston post-Harvard-MBA, and I was adopted by George Mattson as a student. Well first, I thanked him for the offer. Then the next question... I asked him if there was any Uechi Ryu in the Dai Nippon Budoku Kai. "No, there is no Uechi in our organization" he said with a slight sound of disgust in his voice. Well... I then thanked my former teacher and told him I would think about the invitation. That of course was the equivalent of saying no, only more polite.

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.

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- Bill


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:04 am 
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This is an interesting page on that organization.
http://www.dnbk.org/history.cfm
Marcus definately brings out a key player and influence here.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:23 am 
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Quote:
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 :lol:

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

Quote:
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 ?


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