Moderator: Van Canna
Dear Canna Sensei,
However, this writing was on the front of the photo, not the back. Not sure
now what Freed saw, or even if it was the same photo. Or maybe Fred thought
the writing was on the back.
Van Canna wrote:Maybe Seizan can translate this for us, Carlos...
Uechi Kanbun & das chinesische Boxen um 1900
Translated to English by one of our newest students at the OKC who happens to be from Germany working in the US as a nanny.
Uechi Kanbun & Chinese Boxing around the year 1900
Published on Monday, September 15th, 2008
Unquestioned, Chinese Boxing (Ch’üan-Fa) had a great influence on the development of Karate. Uechi Kanbun (1877-1948), born in Okinawa, moved to China in 1897, where he got to know Chinese Boxing. A student named Mabuni interviewed Uechi and published the conversation 1934 in a version of the journal "Forschungen zur Leeren Hand". In this conversation, Uechi talks about his experiences with Chinese Boxing around 1900 as a witness.
This is my translation of the interview:
A conversation about Boxing
By Student Mabuni
One day I visited a certain student of the city Wakayama, Higashikashi-Cho.
The first thing that caught my attention on this journey was the following sign:
Kyoshi Uechi Kanbun
That's right, Mr. Uechi moved to China when he was in his twenties! In this country he studied a pure Chinese type of Boxing [Ch’üan-Fa] for 13 years and he came back as a master in it. I admired the fact that even his sign had a chinese style.
That's why I delayed the duty I actually had come for. I thought I would love to hear something about my beloved Boxing. So I visited Mr. Uechi's dojo. Since he fortunately was home, our interview covered also the art of Chinese Boxing after some other topics . In the following I will recite the conversation.
"Master, does boxing in China still prosper?"
"At the time I've been there, it was extraordinarily popular and therefore it will most certainly still be popular."
"Is a Chinese willing to teach you Boxing when you ask him to right away?"
"They do! But if there is no final vow from both of them after two or three days, they stop teaching."
"People who want to train Boxing go to a house of a Boxing master and ask for training. If the master agrees, the people who are being trained will get together and open a dojo. From that moment on the master will guide them. Hosting a festival for gods in the dojo, they prepare several meals.
Afterwards they take final vows between master and students. At first the master trains the minds of their students, later he teaches them the Kata.
For that time, the students sign a contract with the master, for like one, two, three or five years, while they're training. If you have an outstanding master, you will train for 15 years, if you have a weaker master, you will train for one year or just 6 months!
By opening a dojo, you take a risk of attracting dojo-destroyer (Dojo-Yaburi)!
Criminals called dojo-destroyer approach the dojo in groups of two or three people and challenge the master to fight.
If the master loses, the dojo-destroyer will get all of his monthly income! That's why he wouldn't open a dojo if he hadn't a lot of self-confidence in his abilities, would he?"
"Oh, those people seem to be barbarian!"
"No doubt about that! On the other hand, it's a nice thing to practice and to go into business for yourself. Also on the street or in other public places, the boxers practice and let other people watch them doing their Kata. And if there's a master within the people walking by, it is said that he will correct the mistakes in your Kata."
"There is differences between the Japanese style of boxing and the Chinese style, isn't there?"
"Yes, there is."
"What's stronger in chinese style: The fist or the fingertips?"
"Japanese are strong with their fists, Chinese are strong with their fingertips."
"How to they strengthen their fingertips?"
"At the beginning you fill a box with sand. In this box you practice striking with your fingertips. If they've become stronger, you change to a box filled with big beans. If you're able to do that, your fingertips are considered strong. In china they call the fighting technique with fists Tai-Tsu and the technique with fingertips Lohan."
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