Zen in Your Karate?

This is Dave Young's Forum.
Can you really bridge the gap between reality and training? Between traditional karate and real world encounters? Absolutely, we will address in this forum why this transition is necessary and critical for survival, and provide suggestions on how to do this correctly. So come in and feel welcomed, but leave your egos at the door!

Moderator: Dave Young

Postby f.Channell » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:56 pm

Hello,

I have studied ancient India in College and have multiple resource books on it.
India is often forgotten as the origin of Buddhism due to the loss of all the ancient writings. However scholars came to the great Universities in India from China to learn http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nalanda. A chinese monk came to India and copied down all the text and translated them and so they were preserved. He wrote books and a diary of his journey exists, a temple was built to him in China. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_Wild_Goose_Pagoda.
Boddhidharma did not write a journal or diary. He had a slight confrontation with an Emperor in China. He is credited with bringing tea to China from India. To learn more you could research theravada and mahayana buddhism. I believe also Jainism was influential. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism Read through the Jainism info and some martial arts truisms should jump out at you. The very fact that we block first in kata is an influence of these religions and philosophies. With Zen Buddhism one can read Takuan Soho the Unfettered Mind, The book of five rings, the sword and the mind etc...
As far as creating Sanchin goes, he was probably a warrior from Southern India who trained in Kalaripayit (which is spelled multiple ways) He likely came to China through the southern route. It is possible, but we will never know if he created Sanchin or not. He could have been just one part of it's creation.
I was actually thinking about writing my Renshi thesis on this topic. I am studying Japan in the fall, so I should know more then.
Sans Peur Ne Obliviscaris
www.hinghamkarate.com
User avatar
f.Channell
 
Posts: 3542
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 1999 6:01 am
Location: Valhalla

Postby f.Channell » Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:26 pm

Another good Zen/Martial Arts book is Kodo by Kensho Furuya who is a Zen priest and martial artist in California.

If one looks at the images of Boddhidharma he looks like he could have been Indian or even Persian. A wall mural of the Shaolin temple shows darker skinned warriors training within. Thought by historians to possibly be Indian buddhist monks.

With Christianity, some argue that "turning the other cheek" is a philosophy which Jesus took from Buddhism. Again impossible to prove, some historians can stretch it pretty far. Not impossible to travel from the holy lands to India at that time.
Also the possible influence on India from the Greek culture and their warrior traditions could be important. Alexander the Great conquered sections of India and left behind small settlements with warriors.

Did Alexander the Great create Sanchin? As good an argument as any.

With looking at the influence of Zen on martial arts, I think it may be more prevalent in Japan with Kyudo, Iaido, Kendo etc... than with Okinawan Karate. Nagamine was of course from Japan if I remember right.
Sans Peur Ne Obliviscaris
www.hinghamkarate.com
User avatar
f.Channell
 
Posts: 3542
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 1999 6:01 am
Location: Valhalla

More On Zen, and Karate.

Postby Thomas Ferguson » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:31 pm

deletion by author
Last edited by Thomas Ferguson on Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Thomas Ferguson
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:09 am

Postby f.Channell » Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:45 am

Do we have any evidence of Shushiwa's existence?
We have no death record
We have no criminal records
We have no birth records
We have no probate records
We have nothing but a picture which could or could not be him as far as I can tell.

We have nothing that would prove to a historian that he ever existed.
Basically without any of this he remains in some ways a myth.

I could find any of these things for anyone alive in his lifetime here in the western world.
Sans Peur Ne Obliviscaris
www.hinghamkarate.com
User avatar
f.Channell
 
Posts: 3542
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 1999 6:01 am
Location: Valhalla

Zen in Karate

Postby Thomas Ferguson » Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:13 am

Re: f.Channell

I don't see that the lack of documentation on the existence of a Shushiwa, has any bearing on the fact of his existence.

From your statement, I would say that you are trying to superimpose recording apparatus of present day America, upon China, circa 1900.

I believe there is a fallacy of method inherent in the idea. It presupposes that the Chinese records were as sophisticated as contemporary American documentation.

There are many imaginative reasons that a Shushiwa, if in fact he existed, may not have a recorded history. I would refrain from listing them all.

But on the lack of documentation alone, I think that you have possibly assumed your conclusion.

The reason that I say this, is because I live at present in the Asian South Pacific. It is 2010 here, just as it is elsewhere; yet here, many births, and deaths, transpire with no official record!

If such occurrences are commonplace now, I can only speculate that the possibility of there being more so, would be greater, circa 1900.
Thomas Ferguson
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:09 am

Postby f.Channell » Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:27 pm

China is an ancient and at times has had a highly advanced culture. Their religion is based in some cases on ancestor worship, There are significant clan records and ancestries recorded from what little I know of it.

What I dislike is when Shushiwa (if he existed or not, one can assume he did) is labeled as a Taoist Priest, Buddhist Priest, Leader of the Boxer Rebellion has bamboo fingers, and other statements which have no basis in fact other than stories made up by others to tell their students. When called out on it authors of this stuff in martial arts books usually crumble with the facts. We've seen it on this site over the years.

I'm trained to be a unbiased historian, and we don't pass on tall tales without some concrete evidence.

The proper thing to do would be for karate organizations to hire an independent skilled, trained researcher to research the man and discover what evidence is available on him.

F.
Sans Peur Ne Obliviscaris
www.hinghamkarate.com
User avatar
f.Channell
 
Posts: 3542
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 1999 6:01 am
Location: Valhalla

Postby eric235u » Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:19 pm

The proper thing to do would be for karate organizations to hire an independent skilled, trained researcher to research the man and discover what evidence is available on him.


i would buy that book. btw, this has turned into a pretty interesting discussion.
User avatar
eric235u
 
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 3:27 pm
Location: Quincy MA, USA

Zen in Karate

Postby Thomas Ferguson » Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:39 pm

RE: f.Channell

I believe that in the case of researching the history of Uechi Ryu, that sooner or later (probably sooner) one will have to confront oral tradition.

The gist of coming to some sort of viable theoretic conclusion would probably, in the end, rest upon one's ability to analyze the traditions, follow up on leads, and pursue them until they reached a very probable conclusion, or a dead end.

I think a true interest in the subject would be a prime motivator. In such an investigation, one must not consider an inconvenience as a "dead end". Nor could one give way to expedience.
Thomas Ferguson
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:09 am

Postby f.Channell » Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:12 pm

Hi Eric,

I was hoping we didn't go off topic. How Zen has influenced Karate, if not all martial arts, is also an interesting discussion.

Although 100 years ago seems like a long time ago to some, it is really not. The world was industrialized in many areas, telegraph and other communications existed, records were taken to fill out armies and to tax. From what I can gather there was a cultural revolution in the 1960's that destroyed many of these records. However many were put in safe keeping and can still be found. What makes this difficult is we may not have an accurate version of his name, maybe we do. We also may or may not know his village, which is vital to discovery. If we had absolutes on his village and look at what was going on historically there, it would be interesting. But definately the work of a professional would be needed.

I for one would love to workout in the temple Kanbun learned in, or even the grounds where it was.

None of this makes us fight better or our katas more skillful, but to some it is a fascinating subject.

F.
Sans Peur Ne Obliviscaris
www.hinghamkarate.com
User avatar
f.Channell
 
Posts: 3542
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 1999 6:01 am
Location: Valhalla

Interesting topic. . .

Postby gmattson » Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:46 pm

The subject of Shushiwa and other liniage topics have been discussed many times in our forums. I did a little searching and came up with this very interesting thread:

old shushiwa thread
_________________
GEM
"Do or do not. there is no try!"
GEM
"Do or do not. there is no try!"
User avatar
gmattson
Site Admin
 
Posts: 6036
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 1998 6:01 am
Location: Mount Dora, Florida

Postby f.Channell » Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:01 pm

Wow,
I am consistent. I felt the exact way then as now.

In that thread we had a teacher of Shushiwa's name written in a book with no evidence or support of where it came from. I should write a book saying Shushiwa's teacher was from another galaxy. Since it is in a book or wiki it is true. :lol:

F.
Sans Peur Ne Obliviscaris
www.hinghamkarate.com
User avatar
f.Channell
 
Posts: 3542
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 1999 6:01 am
Location: Valhalla

Shu Shiwa and Uechi

Postby Thomas Ferguson » Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:12 pm

I suppose one could study any style of Martial Art, and proceed on, without any regard for it's history; and remain happy and content.

Others may have their interest "perked", and review some brief history. They may, perhaps, discover conflicting accounts. They may also assume, and presume into error, as far as the historical facts that can be gotten are concerned.

Often times an Art's history becomes shaded by biased. It's almost natural for this to happen. In many cases, one's emphasis may be dependent upon perspective. Conversely, ones perspective may be greatly influenced by emphasis.

I happened upon this statement, from a reliable Chinese source. It comes from a purely Chinese perspective. It's emphasis is upon the history of Chinese Tiger Boxing.

Quote-

"Li Zhao Bei however traveled to Fuzhou and opened a school there where he accepted disciples such as Yang San Shan (est.1810-1873) and others. Zheng Bu Su (also known as Zheng Xianji (郑仙纪, 1854-1929)) was one of the most famous masters who opened a school in Fuzhou and had taught many disciples, the most well known was Zhou Zi He (周子和, one of the most famous fighters in all of Fuzhou’s history). Zhou Zi He mastered many systems of Fujianese martial arts but his most favored was that of Tiger Style. In fact, Zhou accepted a Japanese student who studied some basics and went on to be the founder of Uechi Ryu style Karate".

The source in it's full context can be referenced here - http://www.satirio.com/ma/huzun/history.html

Perhaps some have "overemphasized" Shu Shiwa's influence in Uechi Ryu History. There are at least two other sources that should be taken into consideration, when speculating upon the influences that spawned Uechi Ryu. The first would be the Ryukuko where Kanbun first trained in China. Though he ended his schooling at that location, there is no reason to think that he completely discarded what he learned while training there.

Fuchow, in Fujian provence, was somewhat of a Chinese boxing "Mecca" at the time. No doubt exposure to many influences would have been a consistent experience to those dwelling there.

Verbal tradition also says, that Kanbun Uechi was instructed in some form of Chuan Fa, within the precincts of a Temple. I looked into the probability of such an account: and, even a cursory investigation will reveal that at least FIVE Temples; were, opened and functioning, within the confines of Fuchow City, at the time of Kanbun's soujourn there.

There were many more in close proximity to the location, in the environs of Fujian Provence. Uechi Kanbun was very proud of the fact that some Temple Chuan Fa had been incorporated into his style! And, never rescinded the account.

An early history of Uechi Ryu, claims that Kanbun Uechi Sensei studied the three most prominent styles extant in Fuchow at the time; and from these elements, devised what would become Uechi Ryu.

It's the History that I believe. I think that when displaying the "Lineage" of Uechi Ryu, the first, and only first name, should be Kanbun Uechi Sensei. All else, is "Speculation"!

I believe Uechi Kanbun devised Uechi Ryu. I also think he deserves the credit for it, and should, to some degree, be considered a "Genius"!

In digression, for those who are interested in the history of Chinese Martial Arts, I found this source reputable and captivating. http://www.bgtent.com/naturalcma/index.htm

In closing, when viewing the history of Okinawan karate, one will find that virtually every "Style" was the inspiration of one Okinawan's genius, applied to what he had been taught, and exposed to. Why should Uechi Ryu be any different? After all, the process itself, is nearly an Okinawan Tradition!

All The Best!
Thomas Ferguson
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:09 am

Postby f.Channell » Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:22 am

Interesting page but it has no documentation as to where the info came from and largely I would have to say it is an ad for classes.

When people tell me history with regards to Karate I tend to take it with a grain of salt. Just because someone is good at martial arts does not mean they are reliable in transmitting historical information. The only reliable history, has come from Kanei's Book, and the info from Allan Dollars book as told to him. I don't know if Tomoyose sensei has written anything either, but this would be reliable with his having studied with Kanbun. It would ordinarily not be a first choice to absolutely accept histories told so far after the fact. But in the case of Okinawan's I would tend to think they might have a better tradition for oral history than elsewhere.

F.
Sans Peur Ne Obliviscaris
www.hinghamkarate.com
User avatar
f.Channell
 
Posts: 3542
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 1999 6:01 am
Location: Valhalla

Entertaining Study on Religious Knowledge

Postby IJ » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:58 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/us/28religion.html

Americans are by all measures a deeply religious people, but they are
also deeply ignorant about religion. (...)

That finding might surprise some, but not Dave Silverman, president of
American Atheists, an advocacy group for nonbelievers that was founded
by Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

“I have heard many times that atheists know more about religion than
religious people,” Mr. Silverman said. “Atheism is an effect of that
knowledge, not a lack of knowledge. I gave a Bible to my daughter.
That’s how you make atheists.”


I was fairly shocked at the questions Americans were missing. But then, there was that recent study indicating that a fair number of us didn't know what we celebrated on July 4th, or if we knew it was independence day, from whom. Some said Mexico, Russia, China, or France. You know, France, the nation that helped us.

See:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/3742/new-pol ... evels.aspx

which I saw in the related:

http://www.slate.com/id/2264539/
--Ian
IJ
 
Posts: 2758
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2002 1:16 am
Location: Boston

Postby f.Channell » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:18 am

What part of the Bible to read? The parts chosen by men centuries ago or the Nag Hammadi, dead sea scrolls, the Gospel of Judas or other texts not included in the Bible? I was talking with a fellow who is studying to be a priest or minister of some sort and I was surprised to find out he read many of these texts.

But sad to put such belief in something you know so little about.
Sans Peur Ne Obliviscaris
www.hinghamkarate.com
User avatar
f.Channell
 
Posts: 3542
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 1999 6:01 am
Location: Valhalla

PreviousNext

Return to Realist Training

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests