Hey, Sal! Long time no see. We do need to touch base.
This is a *great* question, Sal, and I don't have a hard answer. But I did run across something in my martial studies that makes me think I know where this came from.CONTROVERSY ALERT
Some people you know - who will remain unnamed - get their panties in a bunch when I discuss this subject. But that's not our problem. I'll present the information; you can process it as you see fit.
In the decade or so that I've been studying and teaching this "Fuzhou Suparinpei" (yi bai lin ba bu) which Simon Lailey learned in China and taught me, I've begun to see some really interesting things. First and foremost is the existence of techniques in this form which: 1) are not in The Big Three forms, and 2) suddenly appeared in the bridge kata. Park that thought.
Oral history - confirmed by Toyama Sensei through Seizan (formerly Gordi Breyette) - suggests that Kanbun saw and probably worked on a 4th form while in China. For whatever reason, he chose not to teach this. It was either too much material (and he dumbed the system down) or he didn't get enough time to feel comfortable with it, or maybe he just didn't like the form. We will never know. But multiple sources reference this form which Kanbun saw and never taught. That being the case... It's perfectly reasonable that Kanbun felt The Big Three forms had almost everything he wanted to convey in a system, and he then cherry-picked cool techniques in the 4th form that weren't in the original three. He then taught these to his son, who over time preserved them through the Uechi hojoundo and/or the bridge kata.
There's a really good chance that *some* techniques of what we now know of as Uechi Ryu (e.g. the sokuto geri
and the koi no shippo uchi
) have their origins in this 4th form, and were preserved via the hojoundo and the simpler bridge kata. The overall choreography in this 4th form then was tossed.
If you spent time working on this Fuzhou Suparenpei form I teach, Sal, you'd see why Kanbun may have passed on the form he saw way back when. (We're assuming here that Simon's form and the form Kanbun saw either have a common origin or come from the same body of knowledge.) It takes a good martial mind to learn it, absorb it, digest it, and make it yours. Not everyone studies long enough to do that. Most anyone can do this form I teach which allegedly is *the* 4th form or some distant replica of it. But without the onus of it being a *requirement*, most people pass. A few though see the diamond in the rough, and put the considerable time in it that it demands to make it theirs.
I'd be happy to show you where the sokuto geri is in that form. It's in one spot in one sequence. That's it. But it's there.
There are many, many examples of Fuzhou Suparinpei wrist movements which are completely absent in The Big Three but can be found in the hojoundo, in Seichin, and in Kanchin. That (to me) is stronger evidence that Kanbun cherry-picked what he liked from a long form, and taught these techniques to his son.
Also note Kiyohide Shinjo breaking bats (on the History Channel program Human Weapon) with kote uchi
. What's up with that? It's nowhere to be found in The Big Three. It's not even in the bridge kata or the hojoundo. But - surprise surprise - it's all through the Fuzhou Suparinpei. Where did the younger Shinjo learn this technique? Just maybe dad taught it to him. And where did Shinjo Seiyu learn it from? One could guess... The younger Shinjo (Kiyohide) also came up with his own yakusoku kumite which uses your sokuto geri as a takedown technique from behind. You insert the blade into the back fold of the knee, drop the person, and finish them off.
See this video clip. The wrist technique can be found at 3:12. The kote uchi at 5:37 and beyond. The use of the sokuto geri can be seen in the kenyukai kumite elsewhere.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVpisCh-RYQ
My hypothesis, Sal.
Give my best to Bobby (he will always be Bobby to me), to Mike, and to others in "the clan." Tell them I miss them all.