Can somehelp help identify this footage?

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Can somehelp help identify this footage?

Postby Dana Sheets » Fri May 22, 2009 7:23 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtv8mS8GjZ8&feature=fvsr

It seems to be from an anniversary celebration. I'm particularly interested in identifying the individual who performs seisan at the end of the video.
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Postby Seizan » Sat May 23, 2009 1:19 pm

Hi from Nagahama.
This is a really poor copy of the 25th Anniversary Demo commemorating the death of Kanbun Sensei.
The gent performing the unusual-looking Seisan near the end of the clip is Soryu Furugen Sensei, who was one of Kanei Sensei's first students in the Osaka Dojo.
Kanei Sensei remarked to Mattson Sensei (who was sitting next to him during this demo) that he never taught Furugen Sensei that way, nor did his father Kanbun Sensei ever teach that way...
I think this represents Furugen Sensei's personal interpretation of UechiRyu.
Furugen Sensei passed away about 3 years ago in his early 90's. He lived the past few decades here on Okinawa. He still managed his dojo in Osaka from here, though (UechiRyu Tomoe Kai). I have coverage of the class and kata as performed there today - same style as Furugen Sensei (minus the opening gyrations), applied to all but Sanseiryu (I think it isn't in their repertoire).
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As usual. . .

Postby gmattson » Sun May 24, 2009 12:40 am

Seizan Sensei is 100% correct. I took a still shot of Furugen Sensei during his demo because his performance was so "interesting". However, Uechi Sensei was not very happy about his modifying the kata so much.

You might note that the overall performance of kata performed at that celebration was a bit different than that which is being performed on Okinawa today. It looked very much like what we were doing in the USA during the 70- 90s.

I'm wondering if anyone else sees how the performance of our style has changed over the years? If so, in what way? If so, do you feel modern day performance of kata is better or worse than what you see in that clip?
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Postby maxwell ainley » Mon May 25, 2009 7:58 am

In the old clip ,you new what style it was ,allthough the individual performances reflected individual body language,and individual understanding ,obviously the odd one out was Furugen sensei .
Just how long was he Kanei sensei's student in osaka ,and did he stay with Kanei ,or did he come under other influences ? you do see elements of the Wakayama type performances from that much disscussed old tape .

It seems to me after Kanbun had gone, performances went awol ,but I base this on " Kanbun never taught in that performance style ".

To the uechi student this part of uechi -ryu is a minefield of different schools of thought .

Personally, I don't think lots grasped Kanbuns style or his teaching methods at all .
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Postby Dana Sheets » Tue May 26, 2009 9:31 am

Thank you.

I notice in this footage that there is a very broad range in performance styles of the kata. I guess that is something I could meditate about this evening...kata should never change but kata is about change.

The performers look very strong, especially in the core and the legs. One thing that stands out to me that they look strong without looking stiff.
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Postby maxwell ainley » Tue May 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Dana Sheets wrote:Thank you.

I notice in this footage that there is a very broad range in performance styles of the kata. I guess that is something I could meditate about this evening...kata should never change but kata is about change.

The performers look very strong, especially in the core and the legs. One thing that stands out to me that they look strong without looking stiff.


Dana ,quite a few things have swept through uechi performance ,stiff is one of them ,some still cling to this ,I have a student who as really struggled to over come the tendancy to go over stiff,but we are getting there bit by bit .
Tensing up in contrast to fluid interrelation ship of hard and soft is something the uechi student can have a hard time coming to terms with .
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Postby JaySal » Wed May 27, 2009 12:49 pm

Hi George Sensei.

You wrote the following: Seizan Sensei is 100% correct. I took a still shot of Furugen Sensei during his demo because his performance was so "interesting". However, Uechi Sensei was not very happy about his modifying the kata so much.

Over the last many years I have seen many changers take place in the way we are all taught to practice and preform all Uechi kata. I have seen dynamic change to the point that one would not even know it was a Uechi kata any longer, to no change at all.

My questions are:
1- Did Master Uechi Senior ever relate how he felt about personal interpretation and change to the Uechi system and in the kata's?

2- Did Master Uechi Senior ever say enough is enough with the personal interpreation and change? Meaning some have just gone too far?

Thank you,

Jay Sal.
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Jay.. .

Postby gmattson » Wed May 27, 2009 7:55 pm

As long as I can remember there were many variations in the way Uechi-ryu was performed. Kanei Uechi was very precise about the way he taught but he accepted other Uechi dojo's performance as OK. The only time I heard him say "that is not Uechi as my father taught it" was during that demonstration.
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