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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:00 pm 
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Bill,

I see McKenna Sensei has mentioned The Birthplace of Uechi Kanbun on his blog. While the article links to Japanese sites the photos should be checked out. The McKenna Sensei blog Kowakan can be found at.

http://www.kowakan.com/archives/3710

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:02 am 
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Thanks for this, Victor. I'm not a big history buff. But this is an important finding. "Kanbun's style" in my opinion is something not quite fully understood and appreciated when looked at strictly with Okinawan glasses. Remembering that he is the style's founder gives us all reason to go in myriad directions in history to uncover all that "it" can be. And this includes both grappling concepts (not taught) and southern China gung fu infighting concepts (lost to many of the distance sport fighters).

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:34 pm 
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There is a historical inaccuracy here from what I have read.
Kanbun Uechi did not name the style after himself.
It was given that name by his students after his death.

For those interested in Uechi history I would recommend the following:
http://www.womenskaratetour.org/History.htm

It is complete wih citations to endnotes. It was written by Peggy Hess. Who is an outstanding Uechi practitioner and has been to Okinawa several times.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:41 am 
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f.Channell wrote:
There is a historical inaccuracy here from what I have read.
Kanbun Uechi did not name the style after himself.
It was given that name by his students after his death.

This has been open to some debate.

Supporting the idea that the name was changed after Kanbun's death (which occurred on November 28, 1948) is found in Alan Dollar's detailed Secrets of Uechi Ryu Karate and the Mysteries of Okinawa book (p. 91):
Quote:
Ryuko Tomoyose, twenty years old, learned from his father, Ryuyu, that Kanei was back in Okinawa. In April, 1949, he helped Kanei Uechi establish the Uechi ryu Karate jutsu Kenkyu-jo in Ginowan-son, Aza Nodake, known as the Nodake dojo. The style name was then changed from Pangainoon karate jutsu to Ueci ryu karate jutsu in honor of Kanbun Uechi.


Evidence supporting the idea that Kanbun may have changed the name himself is found in an interview Kenwa Mabuni had with Kanbun Uechi that Mabuni published in 1934. A translation of the full transcript of the interview and some discussion about it can be found on an older thread (Kanbun Uechi master?) but the relevant portion for this thread is:
Quote:
Mabuni: Sensei, your style is called Pangainuun in Chinese, what does this mean?

Uechi: It means that the chu’an-fa kata are extremely quick. Lately instead of calling the style Pangainuun, I have been thinking a little that it might be better writing it Uechi-ryu.

What may have happened is that for whatever reason Kanbun never changed it himself but his consideration of it helped Kanei make the decision to do so.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:13 am 
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Has anyone seen this original article?
Or just the translation.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:35 am 
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I have only seen the translation, which I believe comes from Mario McKenna. The original reportly comes from Karate Kenkyu ("Karate Research" or "The Study of Karate"), a 1934 magazine by Genwa Nakasone that included articles by Kenwa Mabuni, Gichin Funakoshi, Choki Motobu, and many others. According to Nakasone it was meant to be the first issue of a monthly publication but that he decided the timing was not right, and apparently no other issues were ever published.

Quite a bit of info on the magazine is included at http://seinenkai.com/articles/tankosich/tankosich3.html along with a translation of another article from it by Mabuni, "Practice Kata Correctly". This website does not mention the “The Story of Chinese Chu’an-fa” article, but it also does not list all 36 articles that were in the magazine.

A translation of the Motobu article, "A Night of Talking about Karate" is at http://seinenkai.com/articles/swift/swift-motobu1.html

The magazine was reprinted in Japanese in 2003. The "Hawaii Karate Museum Book Collection" mentions the original 1934 edition and shows images of the 2003 reprint at http://museum.hikari.us/books/index30.html (26th and 27th books down on the list)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:44 am 
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A 2007 reprint is also listed at http://www.budovideos.com/shop/customer/product.php?productid=25070&cat=285&page=1 but it is out of stock.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:04 am 
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Patrick McCarthy also mentions the meeting between Mabuni and Uechi in the chapter in his 1999 book Ancient Okinawan Martial Arts: Koryu Uchinadi Volume 2 on Kenwa Mabuni, citing Yasuhiro Konishi's 1933 Karatedo Johatsuho as a his source. Konishi was accompanying Mabuni when he visited Kanbun Uechi in Wakayama. Konishi wrote (McCarthy, p. 19):
Quote:
that Uechi sensei could not speak Japanese very well, and lived like a recluse.

While this supports that the meeting took place (which I do not think has actually ever been questioned), it does not address the aspect of Uechi mentioning about his consideration of changing the style name.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:16 am 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
Thanks for this, Victor. I'm not a big history buff. But this is an important finding. "Kanbun's style" in my opinion is something not quite fully understood and appreciated when looked at strictly with Okinawan glasses. Remembering that he is the style's founder gives us all reason to go in myriad directions in history to uncover all that "it" can be. And this includes both grappling concepts (not taught) and southern China gung fu infighting concepts (lost to many of the distance sport fighters).

- Bill



I wouldn't be doing uechi if it wasn't for the grappling and cqb and infighting inherent in the Kata, and in Kotikitae(hubud/palasut) which also leads to weapons.


I had the same discussions in Shotokan as too the throws, and about the reverse engineering others couldn't see,
Imagine my surprise when I finally saw an original copy of funakoshis kyohan, and the throws were left in and not removed for whatever reason.........


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:47 pm 
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Looking at the timeline on the link I attached, it seems the name was changed by this record in 1940.
The kyu/dan system seems to have been added then as well.
There was a whole host of pro Japanese/bushido sentiment going on at this time obviously.

Stryke,
Always best in any kind of history to go as far back as possible and peel off all the layers of everyone else's intepretation.
That's why I'd rather see the original article than a reprint or interpretation of it.
We're so lucky to have the kata preserve the movements so we can make sense of them ourselves.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:53 pm 
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I think that it is kinda hard to say what is in an art unless you know it's origins, and from a good source. With throws/grappling you are covering a lot of ground......you also have to consider takedowns etc...as an example of what I mean you can say that Aikido and Judo both do throws, however they bare very little similarity to one another......also if you look at Chinese as opposed to Japanese systmes again there are differences.
As to weapons and Hubud........I know from Wing Chun that the weapons practice is fundamentally different in content to the unarmed practice, I was told that the empty hand stuff was reversed engineered knife fighting....so sometimes things are not as they appear.
hubud is great, one of my Chunner buddies dropped sticking hands in favour of Hubud, although he is a nmma man as well as into his weapons.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:14 pm 
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f.Channell wrote:
Looking at the timeline on the link I attached, it seems the name was changed by this record in 1940.

Good catch! I had scanned through that Peggy Hess article that you had linked yesterday but did not have time to read it closely at that time and had missed this. From that article:
Quote:
In the Autumn of 1940, almost 15 years after the establishment of the Pan-gai-nun-ryu Karate-jutsu Institute, Kanbun Uechi made the long awaited change in his school's name upon the recommendation of his students and acquaintances. It was changed to Uechiryu Karate-do Institute. This, being named for the founder, Kanbun Uechi's surname, marked the birth of Uechiryu. This was to become a turning point in making Uechiryu KarateDo's remarkable development a reality both in name and in fact, this honor was a great pleasure for the founder Kanbun Uechi and the other people concerned (Kanei Uechi, senior and junior students and acquaintances) because it was a historical product 31 years in the making since Kanbun's return from China in 1910. Kanbun was 63 years old and given the name grandmaster. Thereafter, the number of Uechiryu students in both Wakayama and Hyogo prefectures continued increasing.[93]

The reference for this information is listed as "Mahar (pg. 437)", which according to the Bibliography refers to
"Historical Notes based on: A Detailed Report Okinawan Karatedo: Its History and Technique, by Kanei Uechi and the UechiRyu KarateDo Association translated by Lawrence Mahar. Translation checked by Mr. Shigeru Takamiyagi."
I am not familiar with this work, it is not the Kyohan Book translation found in George's store. Does anyone have any info on it?

Quote:
There was a whole host of pro Japanese/bushido sentiment going on at this time obviously.

The Second Sino-Japanese War between China and Japan had begun in 1937, so changing the style name to a Japanese name may have become a practical necessity. I can imagine a situation similar to anti-German sentiment in the U.S. during WWI, when many German-language newspapers/magazines closed or switched to English, laws were passed forcing German-American community schools to teach in English instead of German, and communities with German names changed those names (for example the small village of Berlin Nebraska became Otoe Nebraska in 1918).

Quote:
Always best in any kind of history to go as far back as possible and peel off all the layers of everyone else's intepretation.
That's why I'd rather see the original article than a reprint or interpretation of it.

I agree, however since I cannot read Japanese seeing the original article would not help me, I have to rely on the translation abilities of others!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:58 am 
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I'm always worried anytime anyone says they have some old document and I don't see it. (In this case the people making the claim seem authentic) Ever since years ago when someone said Kanbun Uechi was in the Hong Kong police files and never produced a thing.
I am always skeptical.
The martial arts have a tradition of larger than life legends and I guess we'll always have to look close for the evidence of their reality.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:05 am 
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You bring up a great point Glenn about the changes going on in Asia as Japan vied to become the dominant power.
The kanji changed from Chinese hand to empty hand at this time. What other changes ocurred? Did the movements in our system become more Japanese and less foreign (Chinese) to be accepted? I'm sure it absorbed other indigenous methods somewhat,tegumi, naha-te, etc... Did the system change again to become open to the western world?
I for one would love to see a 1930 or earlier film of Kanbun performing kata.

F.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:57 am 
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It seems to me that the influence of the modernization/militarization of Japan and of WWII are an under-explored aspect of the history of Okinawan martial arts. Reportedly Kanei Uechi was drafted into the Japanese military during the war, as were other Uechi Ryu practitioners, could that have influenced any of the changes made to Uechi Ryu after the war?

Then there was the Battle of Okinawa which virtually leveled everything on the island, with an estimated one-tenth to maybe as high as one-third of the Okinawan civilian population perishing, in addition to the military losses on both sides.

Here are some photos of Shuri in 1945. The first two are from April 28, 1945, before the battle reached the city:

Image

Image

The third picture was taken on May 23 from almost the same aerial vantage point as the second photo. This was still seven days before Shuri Castle was captured by American forces and almost a month before the battle officially ended:

Image

From the U.S. army's history Battle of Okinawa site (the source for the photos as well):
Quote:
Shuri, the second town of Okinawa, lay in utter ruin. There was no other city, town, or village in the Ryukyus that had been destroyed so completely. Naha too had been laid waste. Certain villages which had been strong points in the enemy's defense, such as Kakazu, Dakeshi, Kochi, Arakachi, and Kunishi, had been fought over and leveled to the ground. But none of these compared with the ancient capital of the Ryukyus. It was estimated that about 200,000 rounds of artillery and naval gunfire had struck Shuri. Numerous air strikes had dropped 1,000-pound bombs on it. Mortar shells by the thousands had arched their way into the town area. Only two structures, both of concrete-the big normal school at the southwestern corner and the little Methodist church, built in 1937, in the center of Shuri-had enough of their walls standing to form silhouettes on the skyline. The rest was flattened rubble. The narrow paved and dirt streets, churned by high explosives and pitted with shell craters, were impassable to any vehicle. The stone walls of the numerous little terraces were battered down. The rubble and broken red tile of the houses lay in heaps. The frame portion of buildings had been reduced to kindling wood.


It is difficult to imagine all of this not having some effect on the Okinawan martial arts. Yet rarely is any of this mentioned in the histories of the Okinawan (or Japanese) martial arts. We certainly do not get a sense of the magnitude of these events from most Uechi Ryu histories. This is pure speculation on my part, but I suspect a major reason for such oversite is that the Uechi seniors who lived through it likely did not want to re-live it and thus rarely talked about it in any detail.

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