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#104626 - 02/05/02 04:03 PM Original Okinowan Kata?
joesixpack Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/04/02
Posts: 2282
Loc: Australia
So we are told that the Quan Fa came from Shaolin and Fujian province, and many of the forms from Dog Boxing, Monk Fist, Black Tiger and Crane formed the basis for many kata in the three mainline toudi traditions.

But what of kata that the okinowans invented themselves? That came from native te, or possibly from Qin Na, before Kempo was routinely taught by Chinese sailors, settlers and diplomatic missions?

Can anyone classify kta that were invented on Okinowa before the introduction of Kempo, and are the bunkai known for these? Did the bunkai come from te gumi drills?

I know that Rinkan was Nakasone's (Tomari) personal kata, I assume that Kokan was invented by Kokan Oyadomari, I know Su unsu was invented by Shimbakuro Tatsuo.

I assume that Annanko was invented by Annan. Chinpe Chinsu, Juma and Uenibu were said to be lost katas, but all five were revived after Choto Kyan did some research in Taiwan.

Although I am only searching on the net, I have found only one source that points to a Chinese origin of Unsu, and it claims it to be a dragon system form.

Does anyone know?

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#104627 - 02/05/02 09:47 PM Re: Original Okinowan Kata?
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Joe,

Good questions, unfortunately it is very difficult to get solid answers as the past simply wasn't documented. The first texts on Karate were published in Japan (Funakoshi in Japan 1922,1925, Mutsu 1933, Mabuni 1934/1934 and so on). They described the training of their day, but only oral history has any real links (that I've seen).

To give you an idea how difficult this is, let's look at your question on Unsu.

The Pai Lum system (Daniel Pai's White Dragon) system has a form which is a very close clone of Unsu. Pai was from Hawaii, and his system seems to be a bridge of various Chinese systems. [I don't study Pai Lum, and am going on Oral history from trusted sources.] Their Unsu similar form (I belive called Prance of the Panther) could be used for speculation as a Chinese source of Okinawan kata.

But Karate was demonsrated in the past on Hawaii (including the Okinawan population there) from visits of various Okinawan Karatela. It is not impossible to imagine someone watched the form during several demonstrations, and simply memorized the movements and then incorporated the form into the Pai Lum system.

Now I'm not saying that is the case, but it is a possibility.

With 28 years young into my own training, I find it far more important to know what you can do with what you have, as opposed to finding older versions. I guarantee you can do everything you need without doing that.

The rest is work.

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

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#104628 - 09/24/02 01:48 PM Re: Original Okinowan Kata?
SenseiTank Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 24
Loc: Bronx, NY
Hi Joe... I`m new here... I saw in a book written by a historian named Takao Nakaya many years ago, Karate-Do History and Philosophy, where he points to the fact that "di" itself is a true Okinawan native art. There is no non-Okinawan influence within it(at least what I gathered from what I read). I hope I`m not misinterpreting but the earliest "di" is said to be from Tomari. There were no forms, just mainly grappling.

I`m sure this is information you already know.

Maybe you can find more info in the book I mentioned.

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#104629 - 10/27/02 01:23 AM Re: Original Okinowan Kata?
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
All I can tell you is this, I practiced more versions of the same kata than I care to remember. According to my research, the problem occurs in the personal nature of the kata. I have read that sometimes a Chineese practioner would make slight modification when they would show an Okinawan a Kata. Not knowing it's origin, the Okinawan taught the kata that way. He may have made modifications as well. By the time the students learned this and moved on to their modifications you can see how things changed a bit, kinda like tracing your hand. If you look at the Motobu, Mabuni Kyan era, many of that era made subtle changes so that people would recognize it as their particular interpretation of their art. Shito ryu for example had many Ryu-HA within Shito Ryu, Kuniba-HA, Hayashi HA, Motobu-HA and each has it's own flavor. My guess this happened as well from China to Okinawa. Look at the White crane Kata, Hakutsuru and you will find umpteen versions.... Trying to find this out will be tough. the one thing I do know is that Bunkai DID NOT come out of Tegumi. I have been fortunate to see an old book written in Japanesse from the 20's and Tegumi looked like Sumo. It is my understanding that Choki Motobu was the first to really apply Bunkai to fighting, and he did this with the Nihanshi kata. I am sure other styles will have a background in Bunkai as well, but from my research, Motobu was the first to publicly say that this technique came from kata.

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#104630 - 11/20/02 04:09 AM Re: Original Okinowan Kata?
Omega-Point Offline
Member

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 54
Loc: san antonio, tx., usa
[QUOTE]Originally posted by senseilou:

It is my understanding that Choki Motobu was the first to really apply Bunkai to fighting, and he did this with the Nihanshi kata. I am sure other styles will have a background in Bunkai as well, but from my research, Motobu was the first to publicly say that this technique came from kata.
[/QUOTE]

You may be correct. Mabuni Kenwa was also one of the first Okinawan trained Masters to teach bunkai (kumite, oyo, and kihon) in kata. I have always been told that all Okinawan masters taught through kata. This would entail explanation of applications, called bunkai. Remember that each movement of kata is a specific self-defense tech.. Free-sparring came later, from the Japanese Budo traditions.

You may be right about Motobu being the first to teach outsiders in this way.

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#104631 - 05/02/03 06:14 AM Re: Original Okinowan Kata?
Toudiyama Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 229
Loc: Zaandam, Netherlands
To my knowledge Bunkai was already a part of karate as was Kyusho but when karate was introduced into the schoolsystem (highschools) these were taken out because the karate introduced there was meant as a fysical excercise rather than a tool to learn fighting
Choki, hen he started teaching, wasn't even a karateka but a brawler, he learned karate from watching it through the fence
Before the intro on the highschools Karate was still a civil defence art, after introduction it was made into the same kind of art as Iaido and Kyudo a mental and fysical excersise

It was Choki who showed Konishi and Ohtsuka the bunkai ( because of this they started experimenting with Kumite forms)

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#104632 - 03/03/05 02:33 PM Re: Original Okinowan Kata?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Pai Lum Kung Fu was created by Dr. Daniel Kane Pai. The Pai Lum curriculum has never been static and has been redefined by successive students. The original curriculum of Pai Lum was Goju Ryu Karate.

The first Chinese martial arts forms that were taught within Pai Lum Kung Fu were Praying Mantis forms from Manuel Agrella’s Jook Lum Tong Leong Pai. These were taught to Thomas D. St. Charles, Peter Genero, and Charlie Hatchett who then taught them to the rest of the students. Lee Chun Pai, a friend and student of Dr. Pai, introduced the Hung Gar forms into Pai Lum. (pakmei.net)

A subsystem of Pai Lum Kung Fu is Bok Leen Pai (White Lotus System). It is also called White Lotus Kenpo which gives hints of its true origin. Contrary to popular belief, Bok Leen Pai was not developed or taught in the “White Lotus Monastery” in Okinawa. The history and personages of Karate in Okinawa are well documented. Curiously enough one is hard pressed to find an actual White Lotus Monastery or Okinawan Karate teacher who would have been able to teach the American/Tracy Kenpo techniques before they were invented.

I hope this helps!

[This message has been edited by AnDruidh (edited 03-03-2005).]

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#104633 - 03/03/05 07:04 PM Re: Original Okinowan Kata?
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Toudiyama:
To my knowledge Bunkai was already a part of karate as was Kyusho but when karate was introduced into the schoolsystem (highschools) these were taken out because the karate introduced there was meant as a fysical excercise rather than a tool to learn fighting
Choki, hen he started teaching, wasn't even a karateka but a brawler, he learned karate from watching it through the fence
Before the intro on the highschools Karate was still a civil defence art, after introduction it was made into the same kind of art as Iaido and Kyudo a mental and fysical excersise

It was Choki who showed Konishi and Ohtsuka the bunkai ( because of this they started experimenting with Kumite forms)
[/QUOTE]


You need to do better research because most of what you just said is not accurate.

Take a look at this thread:
http://martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21847

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#104634 - 03/03/05 09:31 PM Re: Original Okinowan Kata?
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
I'm afraid AnDruidh the history I've heard about the Pai Lum teachings varies quite a bit from yours.

Pai Lum Kung Fu was either a Pai family system or created by Daniel Pai. I know of no way to verify either point of view independently.

As to its course content varying, likely the truth. I've seen several different flavors of Pai Lum, some very closely linked to Chinese systems, and some that appear to be karateka doing kung fu, IMO. I'm quite curious where the statement the original source of Pai Lum was Goju Karate arises. Of course they do have a tension form that is very similar to Goju Tensho, yet also quite different, different breathing patterns, etc.

As to Manuel Agrella's being a source of Pai Lum material I highly doubt that. I know at one time he did live in Conn. and there may have been some interaction between the parties you mention. But I find no similarity.

For years I competed on the circuit against Mr. Agrella's people. Their material was absolutely nothing like the Pai Lum material. Agrella Sifu claimed to be a student at one time of Mas Oyama, in my presence. Then again I found nothing similar to the Chinese Mantis systems present in his student's forms either.

But China is large and I'm sure I haven't seen all there is by any means.

But Agrella Sifu's people were hard, fast and very skilled at what they did. It's just I personally can't reconcile their art with any of the various Chinese systems I've seen.

Also as I heard it, it was Pai who taught the Tracy brothers their self defense techniques.

The entire impact of Pai's teaching is difficult to asess. In the 60's and 70's he was a presence on the East Coast.

But thank you for mentioning Agrella Sifu. I had not thought of him and his art in several decades.

Victor Smith
bushi no te isshinryu

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#104635 - 03/11/05 10:17 AM Re: Original Okinowan Kata?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Dear Mr. Smith,

I had written you a reply a couple of days ago but it seems to not have gone through for some reason. I will attempt to post something again.

I interviewed GM Kalaii Griffin, Master Robert Schoolnick, and GM Manuel Agrella. Please do contact them if you have any questions as to the validity of the information they supplied. Each of them were independently interviewed and without foreknowledge of verifying or contradicting the other’s version. The information that was supplied to me was through phone call or in person.

GM Pai appointed GM Agrella as the Vice President and 7th Duan of his system at Pai Lum’s inception. The first person to receive the Bai Shi from GM Pai was Kalaii Griffin. This took place in GM Agrella’s home over oysters and pasta. This information was supplied to me by GM Agrella and verified by GM Griffin who added that he presented GM Pai with a white envelope (not the usual red) and while reminiscing about the event, added that the stove had been broken some how that night. Mr. Griffin was given the name Kalaii by GM Pai and given the name of Iron Dragon by GM Agrella. This was confirmed by each of them. This was while both GM’s Pai and Agrella were in Hartford Connecticut.

Both also stated that the curriculum taught during those days was Goju Ryu Karate. Another individual present during those times was Pai Lum, Master Robert Schoolick. He too independently corroborated the fact that they learned Goju Ryu Karate in the early days. He stated that GM Pai had gotten “Praying Mantis” forms somehow but he didn’t know where they came from. GM Agrella had already told me that he taught Bamboo Forest Praying Mantis forms to Thomas D. St. Charles, Peter Genero, and Charlie Hatchet who in turn taught them to the rest of the students. Master Schoolick also stated that GM Pai sought out other Chinese forms to add to the curriculum. This too was verified by Lee Chun Pai on his website http://www.pakmei.net.
Master Schoolnick stated that the Pai Lum Kung Fu folks no longer do these original Goju or Mantis katas/forms.

GM Agrella never studied what is now known as Pai Lum Kung Fu. (The oddly placed kenjutsu found in the Chinese Kung Fu system known as Pai Lum does come from him however.) Also GM Agrella does not teach the popular 7 Star Praying Mantis system. GM Cheng Peng Weing who had been a student of several Praying Mantis systems immigrated to the United States in 1962. GM Weing then taught GM Agrella and left him as sole heir. GM Agrella teaches GM Weing's system of Praying Mantis which as you have stated looks nothing like the usual 7 Star Praying Mantis. GM Weing converted him from Kyukushin to Praying Mantis after GM Weing had thrown him to the floor with ease.

There are essentially two different systems. The first system is commonly known Pai Lum Kung Fu replete with its Hung Gar influence and forms/sets from multiple sources. There is a more elusive “Pai Family System” but many today do not know much of the latter and call the former inadvertently by the same moniker.

Dr. Pai learned the Pai Family System (for a lack of a better term) from his grandfather Pai Po Feng. Pai Po Feng was a practitioner of a Dragon style. No one really knows which one but at this time it is irrelevant. No one in the Pai Lum Kung Fu system is claiming to practice this exact style anyway and for good reason. Dr. Pai never learned this exact Dragon style and didn’t need to. The “Secret Pai Family System” as Master Schoolnick called it, displays none of the characteristics of the Pai Lum Kung Fu system.

This system is completely based upon the I Ching. This system enables one to understand and catalog all internal/external motion. Therefore, this understanding is not constrained or taught through sets/forms but can be used as the DNA to develop any system. This is how it could be passed from teacher to student and manifested as a completely new and different Martial Arts system. Master Schoolnick, who is no fan of GM Denis Decker, stated emphatically that GM Pai taught this to GM Decker before he left the Pai Lum family . He stated that a “great wealth of knowledge left Pai Lum and went with him that day.” GM Denis Decker went onto to develop the Chi Lin System(s). GM Agrella stated that he too learned this system from GM Pai although he never gave it a name. Both GM Agrella and Master Schoolnick offered this information independently, inadvertently corroborating each other’s story of a Secret Pai Family System.

I have visited GM Agrella's home and have seen his various certificates from GM Pai, Oyama, GM Hung, GM Weing and others.

I hope this clears any confusion and opens this up to more research.

Sincerely,
AnDruidh

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