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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:08 pm 
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I'm doing a little research for some writing, and realize I don't have a great source for something I heard from Carlos. This can be dangerous. I recently read from Snopes that "Ring Around the Rosie" was not about The Great Plague as was commonly reported. Busted that myth... So one needs to be careful.

The rumor - one I heard I believe from Carlos - stems from the debate over whether a student of Kanbun killed someone in China or if Kanbun himself did the deed. We all know many good reasons why a fabrication would be spread to protect a family's name. Stuff happens, and a family doesn't need to have its legacy soiled by bad memories. That said... the report is that Kanbun used a hiraken on this fellow the way I once did to a yoga mat and demonstrated here on this site. In that demo, I punched a hole in the yoga mat with relative ease. Carlos chimed in that this was "the technique" Kanbun used.

Anyhow... can anyone validate this story, or will it just remain a good story?

Thanks.

Bill

P.S. - If I can find the original thread in the archives, I'll link to it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:02 pm 
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I may be mistaken... I found the thread and my video clip. It shows me doing the technique I talked about. Turns out it is Carlos who likes to do the technique. But somehow I remember him saying (somewhere) that it is a technique Kanbun used.

Anyhow... here is the original thread. You will note vestiges of old idea wars in the thread. (Chi, breathing, who has the longer belt, etc...). All good stuff in hindsight - eight years in my past. ;-)

- Bill

Bill Glasheen's Cobra Fist Video


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:22 am 
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Nice blast from the past Bill , good luck with the research

as to all the myths and storys I really enjoyed Robert Hunts article from the home page

http://uechi-ryu.com/and-he-vowed-never-to-teach-again/

not that I haven't heard any of the stories before , just he did a pretty good job of tying them all into one place.

Max was discussing the origins of Pangainoon naming with some southern mantis folks and came up with this interesting aside of a hakka pronounciation with ties to half hard/soft

Quote:
Hakka pronunciation (ban ngan ngoon).


now after languages and pronunciation , phonetic spelling in said multiple dialects , is it no wonder the origins muddy. Coincidences become commonality , mistakes become mirrors and misdirections.

Robert Hunts article is good IMHO cause it hits on the context , the southern styles , the boxers , the ming , the Hakka (outsiders) of which in his own sense Kanbun would definitely of been.

Uechi DNA fits the mould of these , so much in common , Bak Mei , Yong chun , Nam Pai Tong Long

Your strike and the specialised fists , all good stuff , I really think the roots lie in the commonalities of these styles, and the key is understanding the cultural/historical context.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:08 pm 
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Thanks, Marcus!

As they say, great minds think alike. In researching this topic, I found this article. Go figure... It's great, isn't it? The article reflects much of what I'm beginning to pick up about our style - cute stories and family name preservation aside. This understanding of the origins of our style seems real and passes my scientific "sniff test."

By the way... back when I worked for Symmetry Health (now part of Optum Health), I went to Phoenix a lot. The founders (Mitch Portnoy and Dennis Dang) are long gone with their acquisition checks in their back pockets, but the company started in that relaxed desert town. On one of my trips, I got to visit Al Saddler's dojo. Nice guy. I hope Al is doing well.

Also... I tried finding my thread. I used the Forums Search function, and could only get my recent query from here. I finally got on Google and found my original thread in less than 60 seconds. So it seems the world can find us faster than we can find ourselves. Food for thought.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:44 am 
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Agreed Bill :-)

i dont think theres much missing once you put in context

ive been playing with the two man drills and bridging of the southern styles from a uechi perspective ever since i came looking for them after getting introduced from Mcarthys tegumi. THIS IS UECHI

The more i get out of it the more common and accesable both the history and the art become

Simple direct styles with sophistication and economy of structure and angles

Short power family variation mix and match gung fu


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:19 am 
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"Kanbun's alleged kill technique"
I just have to ask, why does it matter? :?

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:08 pm 
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MikeK wrote:
"Kanbun's alleged kill technique"
I just have to ask, why does it matter? :?

The educator in me loves questions. It reminds me of being in a class with Master Jim Thompson. He studied in Kanei Uechi's dojo for over a decade while also in the military, a senior to many of the Okinawan "leaders" in Uechi Ryu today. Jim would constantly be doing unusual things while leading a class. If you asked him what he just did, he would show you the "vanilla" version. If you said "That's not what you did!", he would laugh. Then and only then would you get "the good stuff." 8)

That said...

  • The expression "kill technique" has history. I'm not talking about some super-secret technique (of doom). I'm talking about a specific technique (or two) that Kanbun Uechi allegedly used to kill at least one time. Understand that we're not talking about the relatively safe environment we live in today - whether inner city or the suburbs. We're talking about a relatively lawless period of time in the latter 1800s in the Fuzhou region of China where an Okinawan teaching gung fu was considered suspect. We're also talking about Boxer Rebellion era China, where many of the martial artists practicing their craft were THE boxers who were resisting the British. And we're talking about a man who - for reasons not entirely clear - chose to lie low back in Okinawa and Japan after fleeing China. What's that all about? This is, after all, a revered individual in Uechi Ryu history.
    ...
  • The technique in question is in the context of traditional martial arts kata. It's not sport karate; it's martial techniques designed to resist habitual acts of physical violence. The gloves quite literally are off. The seiken fist is completely absent in Kanbun's art. This is very, very different from what you learn in a Main Street dojo.
    ...
  • The physics involved are unique. This isn't blunt and/or brute force. It's whipping power. And I demonstrate it - quite to my own surprise - with hands that are better suited to playing piano. Look again at the video I supplied. Do you see thick fingers? Do you see hands capable of bone-crushing power? And yet my middle knuckle penetrates with ease.
    ...
  • Anatomy and physiology come into play. How is the technique used? What is the target? Why does it work?
    ...
  • When teaching martial arts, I'm all about evidence-based methods. In the safe confines of the gymnasium, everything works - including the silly gymnastic things that make folks sign up and pay monthly dues. What actually works when under hyper-neuro-hormonal stimulation is another thing altogether. If we are to believe history, there are periods of time from the past (including for instance Nanking) where real humans were used as lab animals to establish what works and what doesn't work. Lacking that platform of experimentation, there's the collection of experience that *surviving* warriors bring back from the battlefield. So a history of Kanbun *effectively* using a particular kata technique in a manner not routinely seen in karate dojos is significant. Is this real? Was there a record of it being lethal? Why is it not taught? (Is Kanbun's China Hand art misunderstood by those on Okinawa teaching it? Are Asians hiding the good stuff - in plain sight - from the gaijin?)

Hope that helps, Mike.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:53 am 
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Quote:
The physics involved are unique. This isn't blunt and/or brute force. It's whipping power. And I demonstrate it - quite to my own surprise - with hands that are better suited to playing piano. Look again at the video I supplied. Do you see thick fingers? Do you see hands capable of bone-crushing power? And yet my middle knuckle penetrates with ease.


Question, what makes you think it was a shoken, or corbra strike? Off the top of my head I can see an obvious technique in Uechi that to me would be the more likely culprit for a "kill" shot.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:09 pm 
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MikeK wrote:
what makes you think it was a shoken, or corbra strike?

Oral history - which has its issues.

I'm trying to be a good academic, Mike, and work my way back to the source. This thread was bait and I was hoping to capture some information fish. If I keep digging and end up with very little, well that in and of itself is useful information. Thus if I'm writing about it, my source will need to be characterized as sketchy at best.

Kanei Uechi's Kyohon is a great resource for such things, and the reasons for Kanbun having left China (two competing stories) are discussed there. We'll never know the full truth, but we can take the two stories down their respective rabbit holes to the logical endpoints. The biggest problem with that well-researched data source - other than the fact that my copy of that book is almost too valuable and too fragile to use on a daily basis - is that it's all in Japanese. And my Nihon Go needs a little work. There are several unpublished translations floating around, but nobody (yet) has been authorized to publish. That's its own tricky subject.

MikeK wrote:
Off the top of my head I can see an obvious technique in Uechi that to me would be the more likely culprit for a "kill" shot.

Here's another very interesting subject all its own.

First... When we talk about evidence-based self-defense, LEO, and combat methods, "kill shot" isn't a word often use. The politically and/or academically correct phrases are "stopping the threat" and "lethal force." The former speaks to the mindset you should have if you want to survive the jury trial, and the latter speaks more to the potential rather than the certainty of the outcome.

All that said...

I can think of several "favorite" Uechi techniques I now have up my sleeve that I would consider in the lethal force category. This "cobra strike" - for lack of a better label - is probably not the first that I would think of. But it's one that just jumps out at you in an application if you and your opponent are in the right orientation. The setup is a charging elbow; your opponent would be compromised and at a certain angle. (The kata source is Seisan. The kata practitioner is in a longer, frontal, forward-leaning stance.) You, your opponent, and the potential target are in a situation where the planets are all aligned for you to execute.

So, Mike... Inquiring minds want to know. What is your favorite "kill shot" Uechi technique?

- Bill


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:02 am 
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Quote:
Oral history - which has its issues.


I hear you. Even recent oral history is spotty at best. Does the story tell who was the aggressor, who threw the first punch, did it go to the courts? Anything besides it being an open handed technique against a farmer.

Quote:
So, Mike... Inquiring minds want to know. What is your favorite "kill shot" Uechi technique?

I'll have to look at the Uechi kata for it. I made a promise to someone not to ever get specific about such things on the internet.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:18 am 
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MikeK wrote:
Does the story tell who was the aggressor, who threw the first punch, did it go to the courts?

It happened in 1910 in rural Fuzhou China. And it allegedly was about a boundary dispute. No farmers were involved. As the story goes, he was a wanted man and he fled China.

The only question is whether it was Kanbun's student or Kanbun himself.

Another rumor has him connected to the China boxer rebellion, which was a reason he needed to become anonymous for quite a few years in Okinawa and Japan. It took the late Ryuyu Tomoyose* practically bribing him to bring him out of seclusion and teach.

FYI...

- Bill

* His son Ryuko Tomoyose is still alive, and has been designated by Japan as a living national treasure. There have been programs on the Discovery Channel about him, related to his lifestyle and longevity.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:43 pm 
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I have studied Wing chun under 5 different teachers, they each did it differently. they did the same forms but with variations and the same techniques. this is just a thought concerning the Uechi killshot.maybe it is something not often seen these days in Uechi, a variation that fell from favour.
check this at 7:54
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e48uO6f1CoI

This is the Bak mei way of doing a shoken, were you use the thumb and the knuckle as a weapon, apparantly this used to be the way Wing chun punched as well......so maybe it was something like this, because there are many places around the head and neck where this punch could prove fatal.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:48 pm 
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See here for the video showing Ryuko Tomoyose. He is the son of Ryuyu Tomoyose, who brought Kanbun Uechi out of his self-imposed seculusion. Look at 3:30 to 5:40.

Okinawan Longevity and Health

"Tommy" is George Mattson's teacher, and George is my current Uechi Ryu teacher. Much oral history comes from him, or some of his contemporaries. I have met him. He is an extraordinarily nice man. My first Uechi teacher met him when he was much younger (1960s, in Boston at the Cambridge and Hancock Street dojo). Rad said in his youth he was obscenely fast and could do remarkable things with his non-seiken hands. He was "old school" in that he wasn't so much influenced by Okinawa te and the obsession with the fist. His interest was always the core 3 forms that Kanbun taught, and the training used to unleash their potential. Thanks to his kind guidance - obtained directly from him or indirectly through my student Bruce Hirabayashi whom Tommy became quite fond of - I was able to absorb the essence of the hand training spoken of.

By the way... Seeing Tommy here speaking of the virtues of a healthy existence and the value of longevity is a bit amusing. He was a smoker until very recently. Apparently all the other things he did in life (good exercise, good eating, good attitude) made up for a few vices.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:01 pm 
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For what it is worth, Tomoyose sensei related to me that the shoken was the favorite weapon of Kanbun and was taught as a deadly self-defense technique in China and later to his original students.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:07 pm 
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jorvik wrote:
check this at 7:54
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e48uO6f1CoI

This is the Bak mei way of doing a shoken, were you use the thumb and the knuckle as a weapon, apparantly this used to be the way Wing chun punched as well......so maybe it was something like this, because there are many places around the head and neck where this punch could prove fatal.

Both his Phoenix Eye Fist and his "Ginger Fist" are techniques shared by Uechi Ryu, but... They are different. The way he is doing his shoken (the Uechi equivalent of Phoenix Eye Fist) and hiraken (Ginger Fist) are one dimensional. As such, they can *only* be used as striking weapons.

Finis origine pendet. (The end depends upon the beginning.) You will never "get" Kanbun's style if you do not do the jar training. There is a reason why Kanbun described his style as "pangainoon" which translates literally as half hard soft but metaphorically means yin yang or (in Japanese) go ju. This is where most of the Okinawans and most Americans fail to understand Kanbun's original style. Both shoken and hiraken are *equally* striking/poking and grabbing/tearing techniques. Sticking with the founding principle of the style, most techniques have dual use. The circle is just a circle. It can be a receiving technique or an attacking technique. The shoken and hiraken are equally striking and grappling techniques.

In essence, Kanbun's style was an MMA style before people came up with the label. Most of the folks I hang out with fill in the missing Okinawan half by cross-training in either aikido or some branch of jujutsu. Throw in the jar training and suddenly you come back to the original style Kanbun intended before the marketers tried to create a product that worked well in tournaments.

So while that system comes from the same area Kanbun studied, it doesn't "get" what Kanbun was doing and teaching. I do both the shoken and hiraken differently than this guy. How I do it comes naturally from the jar training. Being able to use it as both strike/poke and grab/tear comes naturally from the muscle memory you pick up from the jar training.

I will say one thing, Ray. The technique you found in this system - a cousin of Kanbun's style - is the same general technique. But he'd never be able to do what I do (with the hiraken or his Ginger Fist), because he's doing the hand slightly different. It's as if Kanbun's teacher picked up what this style was doing and broadened the applications. He combined a striking and a grappling style and came up with a set of movements in the three forms that spoke to both.

For the Uechi Ryu practitioner, my "cobra fist" is only suggested by a posture in Seisan in the front elbow with leaning front stance. The cobra coils but never strikes in the kata. It is in essence coitus interruptus. ;-)

It is what it is.

- Bill


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