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#106651 - 12/07/04 01:42 PM Re: Heian/Pinan

funakoshi didn't create the heains, itosu anko, one of his teachers did. i think he recognized their value tho. maybe b/c he was a school teacher? anyway, they originated from an older, longer form called channan. but the heains are useful for teaching beginners. and for advanced belts who want to re-hone their skills, or "get back to bascis." good applications, but probably better to learn channan for an in depth study of that.

#106652 - 12/07/04 03:06 PM Re: Heian/Pinan

I thought Itosu created III, IV and V, whereas I and II were from Matsumura?

#106653 - 12/07/04 05:04 PM Re: Heian/Pinan

As far as I've found all the Heian/Pinan kata were created by Itosu. I think Funakoshi was the first teacher outside of Okinawan school system to promote them. I'm dubious about this Channan Kata. The only person i've heard expound this theory is Elmar Schmieser, I have his book on the subject though Ive not read it cover to cover yet, but glancing at it it seems to be something of a stretch that he's making to see Channan as the origin. If these kata were lost so long ago that no one even remembers them anymore then why did Itosu know them but no-one else on Okinawa. If the kata is performed as he says then its almost certain it has a common route to Okinawan Karate, but that just means it likely came out f china.

#106654 - 12/07/04 07:14 PM Re: Heian/Pinan
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

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

I can't confirm or refute Schmieser Sensei, for except for vague reference I haven't seen anyone perform the form.

A friend of mine in Japan, has postulated that the form may be an earlier version of what became Pinan 1 and 2 done together.

In such cases, first if the practice is useful to you, that should be sufficient.

As to the historical veractiy, that's pretty simple, if the source of the form can be provided, be it source instructor, text, or whatever, then the claims can be fairly evaluated.

In any case, somebody always created someting once upon a time. Isn't it what we do with it that's most important?

From my selfish Isshinryu standard, I haven't found much need to spend time on Pinan 1 or 2 much less their source.


Victor Smith
bushi no te isshinryu

#106655 - 12/08/04 12:06 PM Re: Heian/Pinan

heres some background on channan from this site:

#106656 - 12/08/04 05:00 PM Re: Heian/Pinan

Thanks for the link Sweep.

I think the thing I was most unsure of about Schmieser Sensei's work (aside from some dubious applications) was that in his book he presents the kata in an altered form to how he learned them. He basically says that he has japanified the movements to make them more familiar to karateka instead of presenting the form as he learned it. If you are going to use Karate equivalents to chinese movements then any form you look at will look like a karate kata.

#106657 - 12/09/04 09:55 AM Re: Heian/Pinan

i agree some of his appllications, esp. the inclose stand up parts when the arms are tangled, seem less then practical. at the same time, i think alot of his other interpretations are very useful and creatively different from much of what else is out there. an example would be his applications for the whole second halves of heain godan & sandan and their related sequences in channan. but like he himself acknowledges, applications are infinite and open to personal interpretation. no one way is necessarily "right."

i think the channan kata itself does seem very "chinese" in the techniques. at the same time he probably modified the STYLISTIC LOOK of techniques, i.e. stances, open hand tech's etc... so that the okinawan/japanese karate practitioners (his intended audience) could more easily relate. or maybe b/c this was his background. i don't think these differences are all that significant tho. the basic ideas still carry over.

i don't mean to sound like schmeissers promoter. i have just found his kata philosophy and search for bunkai valuable. his scholarship is solid (i think he's a PhD) and he readily acknowledges his works shortcomings. Some of his bunkai are suspect but others are revelatory.

i don't find it implausable that a kata could be "lost" or forgotten or just grow into disuse. hell, the bunkai for the most common kata are lost to most modern karate-ka! and it makes sense that these kata, which spread to japan from okinawa from china would spread out from china to other places. and while all this knowledge was exchanging hands it would be modified for personal tastes or certain things would lose meaning or be forgotten - hence the kata eveolves/devolves. but you could still find different interpretations of a kata (jion/jiin/jitte???), or find one no longer practiced in the mainstream, by researching. and not always in the obvious places, i.e. thailand, phillipines etc... anyway, just my thoughts....

#106658 - 12/17/04 10:51 AM Re: Heian/Pinan

In my club. Kushanku is taught to Purple belts. (4th Kyu) Personally, I have no I idea what you're talking about, because I'm only yellow belt (7th kyu) and the only katas I know is Nidan and Shodan and in the middle of learning Sandan.

#106659 - 12/17/04 11:55 AM Re: Heian/Pinan
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5843
Loc: USA

Some "name" guy (maybe Motobu-or Mubuni--I'll look it up later)

Came to Itosu dojo and say the students doing kata.

(my paraphrase here--but the gist is accuarte)

He said "What kata is that? It looks like the Channan kata I know but its a bit different."

Itsou says "they are doing Pinan kata"

And goes on to say that "he made some changes" and changed the name to what the "young people" thought was a good name.

Not the only reference to Channan of course--but if true--and sure thats an "if" it tells us two things.

1-Channan was around and used--not a fairly recent invention of Itsou.

2-That it was close enough to the Pinans that someone who had trained in Channan could see that it was both the same and yet different.

I enjoy looking at "lost kata"

Problem is that "lost kata" are seldom the high level masterpieces that only a small handful of folks know.

"Lost kata" are more often just redundent--from the point of the person teaching, they don't "add" to the training in a way another kata does not.

Not saying I agree, just that was the feeling of the guy at the time.

Maybe thats what happened to the Channan?

Many Shorin/Shuri schools seem to have taught Seisan or other kata as "intro" katas and Channan was just not really needed so Itsou reworked it?

[This message has been edited by cxt (edited 12-17-2004).]

#106660 - 12/17/04 02:36 PM Re: Heian/Pinan

has anyone ever seen or heard of anyone doing this kata in recent times? (Channan)

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