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#104636 - 03/11/05 12:42 PM Re: Original Okinowan Kata?
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
Hi AnDruidh,

Thank you for your very detailed reply, it is very interesting.

Though I am a friend and student of Ernest Rothrock who is a Master Instructor of Faan Tzi Ying Jow Pai (Northern Eagle Claw), and have a slight familiarity of the Pai Lum he used to teach, I am not involved with any of the Pai Lum groups.

My own studies are confined to Yang Tai Chi Chaun and various studies in a variety of Mr. Rothrockís systems of study, originally to become a fairer judge of Chinese stylists. Iíd like to think I succeeded in that a little. But little did I know they would change my understanding of karate in the process.

Decades ago I observed great differences between the Pai Lum of Mr. Rothrock and that of another group from Eastern Pennsylvania (I believe the group used the name Weiniger or something like that).

At that time Mr. Rothrock was teaching Pai Lum (and Yang tai chi chaun) and intensely studying Eagle Claw and Wu tai chi chaun, but it would be decades before his studies led him to begin teaching that art. His choice was based on wanting to know as much about the system as possible before becoming an instructor. His designation Master Instructor is the result of a very complex test on his performance of the system by his instructor, Shum Leung Sifu. He also has a very vast study of other Chinese systems such as Sil Lum (Northern Shaolin)and Tai Tong Long (Northern Mantis), that he undertook over the years.

The differences between Mr. Rothrockís Pai Lum and the Weinger group Pai Lum were so great it was difficult to reconcile they were the same system. But Pai Lum was no longer prevalent in the Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey tournaments in the late 70ís through mid 80ís that I attended, and I never happened to see much of it for other comparison.

As the early years of Mr. Paiís teaching were before my time I accept your points, but had never heard that Goju was associated with Pai from Mr. Rothrockís stories from his origins. Iím unsure where his timeline began on the Mr. Paiís teaching in the States. I started training with him in 1978 and his time with Mr. Pai was before my time with him. I am aware of the other names youíve mentioned.

Mr. Agrellaís people were incredibly strong open tournament competitors. I remember one of his Ďsonsí tying 5 times with Cindy Rothrock, each time them using different weapons trying to break that tie, as well as extremely strong fighters.

But as I had come to see Northern Mantis, I never saw any of the mantis hand techniques present. I am aware that Southern Mantis tradition is very different, and donít doubt there is much more than I have ever observed. Itís just I have never seen any Chinese groups traditions to date that were similar to Mr. Agrellaís. At the time I was competing I had less knowledge about the Chinese systems and my observations are based on what Iíve seen.

I was aware Mr. Agrella used to live in Connecticut and that Mr. Pai had lived there too, so your explanation that they were linked is reasonable to me.

Mr. Rothrock moved on from his Pai Lum teachings into a vastly different system over the years and rarely discussed the old days. Most of our time together has been training and in technique and overall system study and analysis. There is not a great deal of outside information so what youíve offered is greatly appreciated. It helps me understand how some of the arts Iíve seen interacted.

Of course my interest is purely selfish. I only want to know what others do to help prepare my students to face them. Iíve been in New Hampshire these past 20 years and except for regular visits with Mr. Rothrock havenít seen the rest in a very long time.


Victor Smith

#104637 - 03/11/05 07:08 PM Re: Original Okinowan Kata?

Dear Mr. Smith,

I too see a clear difference between what GM S.L. Martin does and what GM Agrella does. I was priviledged to study under both at one point. In fact at my instructor level test I was named Shen Pao Sheng by them.

As far as my research goes his art is a combination of 7 Star, Chu Ga (a Jook Lum system) and Shining Board Praying Mantis systems. He has told me that his style is unique and wanted to (re)name it "Black Mantis" years ago. This is not its public name, however several other Pai members and I do call his art Black Mantis. The esoteric foundation of his system is the I Ching material as I have discussed in the previous posts. To date none of his students have learned this level because of a number of factors.

I had a video of Ernie and Cynthia Rothrock but haven't seen it in a while. I probably lent it out to one of my students. Life is like that. I would love to see their version of Pai Lum because what I did see of it on tape was stunning. Mr. Wenninger's Pai Lum is very different than what I saw on this video.

I would say that many of the various groups would argue that theirs is the better or a more authentic system of Pai Lum. In fact I have heard such arguments. What they don't know is that none of that matters because the understanding of motion of body and mind is what counts. How many or what forms practiced, or how soft/hard they seem to be is not what is paramount. So I see them as all being vital, beautifully unique, yet snap shots of teachings Pai Lum. A pictures is just still frame of movement that has occurred in a specific time and place. Pai Lum and the teachings which are at its base are not bound by time or space and are not the snap shots.

What I posted is not what has been offered for general consumption but it is factual. Not everyone likes the facts but I think what I offered is more interesting and intriguing than the stories I have heard regurgitated a thousand times. What irks me is that they do this without verification or corroboration by independent sources.

I would love to exchange information off list as to better educate both of our students.

Thank you for taking the time to read my posts as well as replying in kind.

Shen Pao Sheng

#104638 - 03/11/05 07:40 PM Re: Original Okinowan Kata?
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
Hi AnDruidh,

You know its a small world, I had a brother who studied with Mr. Martin long ago for about a year while statined at the base.

I am primarily an Isshinryu stylist, who also practices Tai Chi and a number of other things. My web site explains a little about what I do.

My first tournament as a brown belt I had to compete in the Advanced Weapons Division, Cynthia was one of the competitors (interesting way to start out) and Ernest was one of the judges. But he rarely went to karate tournments unless there were Chinese only style divisions.

I really liked his Pai Lum, it was good material. I was training down with him the day a white sword arrived in the mail from Mr. Pai, thought Ernest was no longer associated with him.

But as the years progressed, after Cynthia moved on in life, he moved deeper into the Faan Tzi Ying Jow Pai where he is today.

Though it's been many years if you see SL say hi to him for me. He used to come up to the childrens only tournaments I threw in Scranton years ago.

I admire your arts, though humble as I may be I'll still continue to try to train my students to overcome them. One has to keep ones sense of priority after all <GRIN>

Victor Smith
bushi no te isshinryu

#104639 - 03/11/05 08:47 PM Re: Original Okinowan Kata?

Smith Sensei

I tried emailing you through your website but it didn't work.


#104640 - 03/30/05 11:25 AM Re: Original Okinowan Kata?

Dear Mr. Smith & AnDruidh,

I am a student of GM Agrella's and have studied under one of his disciples for awhile. As indicated by both of you I believe. GM Agrella's Mantis style is unique unto itself. I am curious though, you mentioned Black Mantis as a named "tossed" around. To Which GM were you referring to with that reference. I am anxious to discuss it with my Sifu.

Thanks so much - Gonz

#104641 - 04/01/05 02:56 AM Re: Original Okinowan Kata?

[QUOTE]Originally posted by joesixpack:
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?Does anyone know?

If you're still watching this post maybe this can help?

Kata derived from Chinese boxing in italics, those of Okinawan development in bold and the secons set in bold are Okinawa-Te forms.

Anan---------------------Fukyu kata
Chi no kata--------------Kanshiwa
(Ku no kata)-------------Kanshu
(Ten no kata)------------Kihon
Chintei------------------Matsu Sanchin
Chinto/Chintou-----------Naihanchi III
Useishi------------------Nidanbu I
Hako---------------------Nidanbu II
Hakutsuru----------------Pinan kata
Heiku--------------------Sanpabu I
Jichin-------------------Sanpapu II
Jitte/Jute---------------Soshin I&II
Kanshiwa-----------------Soshin Dai
Kuma-te Sanchin
Kosokun Dai
Kusanku Sho
Naihanchi(sho/ni)-----------Okinawa Te
Ohan-------------------Moto-te I-V
Pachu------------------Moto-te sanchin
Paiku------------------Inoha Bushi
Saifua-----------------Chikuten Bushi
Sochin Arakaki

As Victor already mentioned many Shaolin Quannfa contains hundreds of forms but the are generally shorter (in early stages) and excluded from practice once one has progressed to more advanced practices. This trend was never really mirrored in Okinawan karate and those forms credited to island origin are fairly basic in i their physical approach.

Okinawa te (di) can be readily likened to the meditative Chinese art of taijiquan, however it developed completely independently. There are many similarities; no double weighting, soft flowing movements even the flow of energy through the body. but there are also differences in technique to make it sufficiently distinguishable to the trained eye.

There have been many Okinawa-te forms but mostly they were concealed within theatrical court dances in order to survive the enforced restrictions on martial training. The dances like traditional Japanese theatre were performed by men dressed as women so as to bring out the feminine flowing nature of the art.

I have listed above the main dances still practiced today. They represent a largely unarmed repertoire of skills where Te was once a mainly weapon based system.

Below is a link to a post I made some time agoÖ It got little response in this forum (I think because it coincided with a good one from Victor around the same time. Or maybe it was too long?) Anyway you may find it of interest. Good luck with all your research.

[i/]Wishing good health
Joel R

[This message has been edited by Joel^R^ (edited 04-01-2005).]

[This message has been edited by Joel^R^ (edited 04-01-2005).]

[This message has been edited by Joel^R^ (edited 04-01-2005).]

#104642 - 04/01/05 03:31 AM Re: Original Okinowan Kata?

On checking the list, I noticed Niseishi as Okinawan kata. According to McCarthy in his Bubishi translation it is of Chinese origin found in the crane style. Aragaki seisho is said to be the 'importer' of the quan.
I also noticed that Tensho is catagorized as of Chinese origin. According to my knowledge it is created by Chojun Miyagi sensei around 1920 on Okinawa. According to oral history, it is based on Rokkish quan from crane style.
Missing also is Nepai (Nipaipo) kata from crane style, imported into Okinawa by Gokenki.

#104643 - 04/23/05 03:54 PM Re: Original Okinowan Kata?

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Victor Smith:

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.
Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

My name is Marcia L. Pickands. I trained with Pai Lum's late Grandmaster, Daniel K. Pai, starting in 1972. Since I spent a great deal of time acting as DKP's secretary/administrative assistant as well as training and becoming a senior teacher of what Daniel K. Pai taught, I can tell you exactly where "Prance of the Panther" came from. It was part of the curriculum in Chinese Okinawan Kempo taught by Christopher Casey. The kata/forms from that system were incorporated in the Pai Lum curriculum during the 1970's.

I haven't yet read the rest of this discussion, so hopefully I haven't simply explained what someone down the line has already said.


#104644 - 04/23/05 04:44 PM Re: Original Okinowan Kata?

Okinawan name: Useshi
Japanese name: Gojushiho

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