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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:28 pm 
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A bit of background...

Many times after class, in the early 80's, I would ask Kuna sensei (who spoke perfect English, as he worked on base) to ask questions about Uechi history to Kanei sensei for me. Kanei seemed to enjoy this as he would slide to the edge of his seat, and appear very amused and enthused, that I would ask such questions! This went on for several years and over time many exciting items were covered, often laughed about!

The latest issue of Classical Fighting Arts, has a story about Kanbun Uechi in it. However, based on what Kanei himself told me I say that parts of the article are not correct, here are the items that I found to be to be incorrect.

1. Kanbun was born May 5th, not May 1st.

2. Kanbun never wrote any book as the story states. Ryuko Tomoyose’s “notebook” is what they must be referring to. Remember, Ryuko wrote down what was told to him by his father and Kanbun, neither his Dad nor Kanbun could even write! (Kanei explained to me that his dad was not a literate man.) This note book was Ryuko’s and he kept this “diary” of sorts. Kanmei asked once to see this book, years ago, but sadly after the “split” never gave it back to Ryuko. Ryuko, the time we spoke about this, was still very upset that he never got his book back.

3. Kanbun’s favorite technique was not a hiraken as the story says, it was the shoken, and Kanei told me this himself several times. Why do you think the 3 main kata use’s shokens, and not hiraken.

A bit of a side note….

I saw in Bill’s area a discussion on the sokuto geri and the use of the “blade of the foot”. Remember, as told and shown to me by Kanei, the true Uechi side kick is not with the blade. It is a shomen geri to the side. It is done by using a sokusen (toe kick) with the body slightly pivoted at the waist to the side, or pointing the body/kick at your target. Uechi has no blade of the foot strikes at all. Kanei went on to explain that the blade was used just to have a safety factor for kyu ranks and not damage their toes, as this kata is the starting kata and the toe is not yet even developed yet. It also conformed with the other Okinawa styles just to be able to say we used the blade also. Remember, back when the kata was created, new all Okinawan associations were also being formed. The adaptation into Uechi was sort of an olive branch and helped to keep things friendly among the new formed groups. The entire “side kick/blade of the foot was adapted for use from Shorin and Goju ryu. The idea that it came from the mystical forth kata, is, shall I say... a bit of an inaccurate stretch... :oops:

Again, this info was given to me by Kanei himself, kind of hard to argue, considering the source...

Mark

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:36 am 
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Always of interest to me Mark to read the historical varieties of Uechi-Ryu.

Wonder if any of the readers may have any questions, or comments.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:04 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:17 am 
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Hi Mark sensei. I find the kyu rank safety factor reason for the sokuto geri over the shomen geri fascinating as the sokuto geri done incorrectly by anyone from novice to seasoned practitioner will hurt the kicker far more than the person being kicked. I find it one of the hardest kicks (blade/heel) for many practitioners to learn and do well. Many attempt to modify it in some way. Much of my time spent with new students with previous uechi ryu experience involves deconstructing performance errors and providing correction and remediation. Some tend to adopt a simple front kick done at an angle as you suggest Kanei described the kick should be performed, while others attempt more of a yoko geri side thrust kick lifting the hip of the kicking leg. I generally use it below the waist and specifically at targets on the legs that will bring a larger assailant closer to the ground where I am :D Done well it fractures ribs. I've had that experience first hand. That reminds me, a big shout out to Chris LaVigne wherever he is.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:25 am 
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Mark Brelsford wrote:
(...)
The latest issue of Classical Fighting Arts, has a story about Kanbun Uechi in it. However, based on what Kanei himself told me I say that parts of the article are not correct, here are the items that I found to be to be incorrect.
(...)


I have read the article and was fascinated about all the new details, which were published. But i also found mistakes in it and Takamiyagi Shigeru gives no citations, from which source he has all the new details. So, i decided not to believe this article.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:48 am 
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I seem to recall reading somewhere that karate is practiced in bare feet in the dojo as a safety precaution to avoid injury to others. I've also read of early encounters between American servicemen and Okinawan karateka that seem to indicate that that was not always the case. 8O Chinese kung fu is not practiced in bare feet. Having been in several outside of the dojo real time combat situations during all of which I was in shoes, I was wondering what the historical context and rationale might have been for developing a bare foot big toe kick when I doubt that either Shu Shiwa or Kanbun training in China were without footwear. The historical record does not paint them as shoeless, pennyless vagabonds. Quite the contrary. And if they were training at a Southern Shaolin Temple then they would most certainly have had shoes on. Those monks are most fastidious about their dress code.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:17 pm 
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Very good question, Richard, and one we have discussed before on the forums, I believe Bill Glasheen also commented on this subject.

Here is an article that is helpful.

http://www.fightingarts.com/reading/article.php?id=407

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:22 pm 
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From the article
Quote:
(2) I started practicing toe kicks in earnest when I was allowed into a small Chinese family martial arts system in Toronto. Of course in most Chinese systems shoes were worn, although they were flexible. In China this tradition of using toe kicks is widespread. One Chinese system specializes in them, Tam Tuie (Tam Toy, Tom Toy, et al). This system consists of one form (versions from 10 to 12 to more rows of techniques). A row is a series of techniques done in an east-west axis, and then the row reverses in the opposite direction for the next series (often found in Northern systems of Shaolin, Tai Chi, N. Mantis, N. Eagle Claw, etc). One form is a complete system in its own right.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:24 pm 
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Quote:
The kicks are delivered with great force and at toe, ankle and lower shin heights as well as into the mid leg range. The kicks are practiced with a lock out focus, and there are layers of delivery. One advanced variation has the toes dragged across the floor to slingshot off the floor at the end for a very different angle of delivery, where the first variations are thrust kicks out parallel to the floor.

The famous Jing Mo (Ching mo, et al) association used it as one of the dozen basic forms all members first studied (all of which are very complex in their own rights). Jing Mo members would then study their instructor’s primary arts, such as Northern Eagle Claw, after those forms for basics.

The art of Faan Tai Ying Jow Pai, utilizes the entire range of Chinese kicking technique (including aerial and ground technique) and in the most advanced forms, Tam Tuie kicking is most definitely a part of the study. (I want to thank Victor Smith for supplying some of the above information.)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:25 pm 
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Quote:
(4) While training in Miyazato Ei’ichi’s Jundokan (Goju-Ryu) in Naha, Okinawa in 1994, for example, I never saw the toe kick used (Miyazato is one of several Okinawan teachers who were senior students of Chojun Miyagi, founder of Goju-Ryu karate. Miyazato is considered one of the inheritors of Miyagi’s system) . According to Glenn Cunningham (Jundokan for NYC), he asked Masaji Taira (a leading teacher in the Naha Jundokan headquarters, who is known for his innovative kata applications) about toe kicks and was told that toe kicks were still used occasionally, but were taught primarily to kick up under the groin when you had captured an opponent’s kicking leg.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:28 pm 
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Quote:
(12) Research done by the PPCT Management Systems, Inc. in the early 1980’s, a company specializing in teaching defensive tactics to law enforcement personnel, included the use of specific pressure points to assist in gaining compliance when necessary. Their research found that different types of strikes seem to elicit different muscular reactions.

The most reliable motor (muscular) dysfunction (which inhibits secretion of the neural transmitter acetylcholine which acts to fire resistive muscle action) for targets identified to be struck was when the target received maximum kinetic energy transfer.

This was achieved with what they called, “the fluid shock wave” strike which “sticks” to the target for one third of a second.

This allows weight and forward momentum to dissipate into the target (thick muscle mass), which maximizes kinetic energy transfer. The results included motor dysfunction and mental stunning.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:16 am 
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Thanks. Just read them. I'm familiar with the 12 line Tam Toi system. That's one of the first things I learned as a student of Bak Sil Lum kung fu back in the mid 70s and still practice. Springing legs. When I come to think of it, I have never been taught to kick with the ball of the foot. The kung fu did stress focusing the foot and kicking with the shoe clad toes rather than the ball of the foot.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:50 pm 
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Quote:
That's one of the first things I learned as a student of Bak Sil Lum kung fu back in the mid 70s and still practice. Springing legs.


I love this style for its acrobatics and spinning moves, Richard, among other techniques. I take it you learned from our Al Wharton? A great guy and one of the greatest fighters I have ever seen...as he proved himself in Okinawa with honors.

I like the front kick with the retracted toes [bunched up] so that it is not only the great toe that impacts the target...and by retracting the toes in a shoe...it makes the sole of the shoe stiffen up so that the point of the shoe penetrates the target more efficiently.

BTW, kicking with a shoe on, brings a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon here in the states. How's Bermuda on this, Richard?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:07 pm 
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I will look into that and post what I find. I did indeed learn this from Al sensei, with 2 additional reviews in 2005 at the Jade Forest in Cohasset, MA with his 1970s kung fu brother John Loupos, both students of Kenny Chin sifu who passed away a few years ago.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:35 am 
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Hi Canna sensei.

I had a good look through the Bermuda criminal code and there does not appear to be any specific references relating to kicking, or shoes.


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