Category: History (page 1 of 2)

The Story of Chinese Boxing

I translated this article about Uechi-ryu founder Uechi Kanbun several years ago, but am reposting it here as readers may find it interesting. It was originally written by Mabuni Sho and published in the magazine Karate Kenkyu, 1934 pg. 92-93. Enjoy. Read more →

The Importance of Knowing other Styles

I am still chipping away at translating Mabuni and Nakasone’s Karate-do Nyumon and wanted to share the following few paragraphs on Karate “styles”. I find what they said on this topic, over 80 years ago, still relevant today and hope Karateka will take their words to heart.

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How many Sesan do you need to make a style?

Sesan, Vancouver, Karate, Kobudo, Kitsilano, Higaonna Kanyu Kanzaki sensei performing Kanyu no Sesan kata

From time to time Kanzaki sensei would recollect to me about his time learning Tou’on-ryu from Kyoda Juhatsu in the 1950s and 1960s. He shared some great stories, but often he would tell me how much of an influence Higaonna Kanryo had on Kyoda. I don’t doubt this as there are many anecdotes and much circumstantial evidence to support this. One only has to look at the name of Kyoda’s style Tou’on-ryu [東恩流] which uses the first two kanji of Kanryo’s last name, Higaonna [東恩納]. However, I think there is more going on in that name than meets the eye. Read more →

Joe Swift Interview

Things are slowly returning to normal in some places and I’m happy to see that, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for Karateka and Kobudoka. It will probably be some time before we are able to practice together and even then, we won’t be sure what that will consist of. In the meantime we can continue to practice and study by ourselves.

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Tou’on-ryu – Olde Style Kume Village Boxing

kumemura

Kumemura (久米村)

I sometimes get emails asking me how Tou’on-ryu differs from Goju-ryu. These questions can range from the technical and mechanical, and into the philosophical. Read more →

Ura Uke

Kanzaki Shigekazu sensei demonstrating Bechurin
Kanzaki sensei performing ura-uke from Bechurin kata.

Today I would like to talk about a common technique found in both Goju-ryu and Tou’on-ryu known as ura uke. In Goju-ryu it is found in the kata kururunfa after performing three sukui uke, while in Tou’on-ryu it is found in bechurin after performing the tomoe uke, kake uke, shuto-uchi combinations.

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The Other Karate-do Nyumon

I hope everyone is keeping safe and well during these difficult times. It must not be easy on everyone and my thoughts are with you. Having more time that I normally do since teaching has completely stopped and most normal activities are out of the question, I have turned my attention to this blog and other projects that have been put on hold. One of those is the other ‘Karate-do Nyumon’.

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Nepai

Touon-ryu
Kanzaki sensei demonstrating a posture from Neipai kata.

Nepai was once an obscure kata in the Karate world but over the decades it has become common-place. I find the increase in the number of Nepai Karate kata that you can view on the internet baffling but the main reason I think this was is because Nepai was retained by very few Okinawa Karate styles. The only two that I am aware of were Mabuni Kenwa’s Shito-ryu and Kyoda Juhatsu’s Tou’on-ryu. As the story goes both men learned it from Go Kenki during their involvement in the Karate Study Group. Go Kenki, as we all know, was the Chinese tea merchant and supposed crane boxer who immigrated to Okinawa at the turn of the 20th century. Perhaps other students involved with the Karate Study Group may have been familiar with it, but as far as I know they never passed it down.

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