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#270626 - 07/10/06 07:25 PM Channan anew
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
I don't know if anyone else noticed but the Heian/Pinan to Channan thread has been getting complex and perhaps starting again will make it clearer.

First everyone, is an open discussion forum. The topic may be Karate, but any member may join in. So you have dedicated karate-ka of all stripes, people who practice other arts and want to see what karate is all about, people who don't believe in tradtional karate and want to wet their claws or logic against it's existence and practices, and others of all stripes.

When a discussion gets interesting everyone joins in and it becomes difficult to always keep separated who anyone is.

For myself as a martial artist who practices Isshinryu and a number of other arts I have absolutely no interest in Channan, Pinans or Heians. My art doesn't use them, my art works and has a lifetime of infinite study in its own right, I have no interest in tacking anything else on. I am fully engaged in ongoing studies and efforts on my own arts.

For myself as a martial researcher, I have an avid interest in everything. I've translated books in French into English on the Bubishi, Mabuni's early writings on Sanchin, Seiunchin and Seipai, and other works. I've written a few articles about various aspects of different arts. Along the way I've made many friends around the world who've shared tons of information with me, most in confidence which I don't break, ever. But I still try to understand the depth and bredth of the arts. Not for my students, only for myself.

As a reseacher the existence or non-existence of Channan kata holds interest, but only in its historical context. One of my friends Joe Swift living in Tokyo, knoweldgeable in Japanese as a translator, and actually teaching karate in Japan himself, has written about his Channan study, and as I understand it hasn't found anyone practicing theform along his way. That means just that he hasn't seen it in his study and he does travel to Okinawa too.

Of course with the disporia of Okinawan's in the depression across the world, and the intense bombing of Okinawa in WWII, resulting in tremendous loss to Okinawan karate (the least of the losses), it may well be if Channan survives on the Island it remains very private. That doesn't preclude it remaining in other Okinawan communites around the world. I have actually read Okinawan Hogan really only is alive overseas anymore and in Okinawa almost all is in the Japanese language too.

As we know there are various versions of Channan showing up. From Dr. Sheissman's (myspelling may be off) out of Shotokan, to Mr. Mertz's version, to the one Mr. Wax is describing. When you can see a version you can at least make a somewhat informed guess to it's potential history.
When you can't see it, it becomes more problematical.

Let me digress. Once upon a time, about 30 years ago I was lied to my face by someone of Mr. Wax's generation as to the intenst authenicity of their art from Japan. They were a strong force in the tournament circuit. Their people were fast and strong with their technique. And at that time there was no information about many arts available. And they had a strong organization. As martial artists they weren't bad.

But time passes and 15 years later I learn their house was built on lies. They were real but absolutely none of their 'history' was. And you know that does make a difference. It doesn't detract from what they can do, it does however make you question everything they said, do say or will say forever.

On the internet we cannot prove anyting, we can only discuss. Making strong claims (by ANYONE) gets no where.

If we look at the Okinawan video record we see several trends. No.1 is most of the time the demonstrations are walk throughs for many reasons, as much as not to make a mistake in public, as well as to hide the full transmission. There are even senior instructors how consciously changed their demonstrations so others would not know the correct way.

All of which is fine, they're just demonstrating, not passing a truth test.

On the other hand there are those who kick butt when they demonstrate. Such as the young Hiagonna Morio, or

They're not trying to hide anything because they know they can kick butt, and want you to see everything they have. Of course they don't show you the myriad of steps it takes to get there, and in effect are showing you little.

But the Okinawan's go to both extremes, and there are plenty who follow the older tradition and don't share anything. But of course they don't talk about what they're not showing either.

At the very best they show a shape you can reflect on. Only the misinformed will try and learn from that shape.

There is no right tradtion, they're all traditional.

Mr. Wax, I've actually had Mr. Heart call me. I liked our discussion and feel he has always been truthfull and constistent describing his practices. But rationally that doesn't mean I can understand their truth because I can't see them.

Nor can I travel to do so, because teaching for free for decades doesn't pay for travel bills, if I had such inclination.

What that leaves us with is discussion.

We all want to understand the past, even those who don't believe in Karate still want to undestand why and how things happened.

I've practiced many arts, some for a while and some for an instant. I don't know much, but I do know before I can honestly believe there is a link between the Okinawan arts, without outstanding documentation which doesn't exist, I first want to see a Chinese practionier performing a form that even remotely looks like something that is done on Okinawa. Then I'd say there was a credible source to consider.

In the case of other research I'd honestly like to see the same. For example, with absolutely no disrespect to your practice, I'd foremost want to see an Okinawan practicine Channan kata. But baring that seeing even the grainiest, poorest shape of the form by someone else presents a link to consider, that no discussion can resolve.

Yet I agree with you. You have every reason not to share that shape. The path of study is very long and a glimpse of a kata doesn't describe anything that goes into crafting that version.

Earlier today I posted a link to OkinawaBBTV showing the Kasiba Juku Pinan 1,2 and 3. There they took the time to share a slice of their practice. Not the final goal, but a part of their way towards that goal.

It may or may not make much sense to any of us, but they did take the time to share a piece of their private practice (and they are a small and on the whole private group). I don't know why they did so, but the fact they choose to make it available to view does say something.

I don't know much. My instructors are or were all better than I will ever be, but I do my best to try and make my students better than them.

Lets try and discuss with respect, and perhaps even learn.
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#270627 - 07/10/06 10:19 PM Re: Channan anew [Re: Victor Smith]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

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

I am mainly a goju-ka, so I don't use the Pinan series in my training.

Was taught the series however--the heian version anyway.

But as a researcher I would be VERY interested in an extent Channan kata.

Couple of problems though.

One of the few historical refrences we have for the Channan rather stongly suggests that the Pinan were instantly recognizable by a student that learned the Channan.

Add to this that the Channan were largely replaced by the Pinan by Okinwans that were in postion to have learned the Channan themselves.

In brief, I strongly suspect that the Channan were basically the "same" as the Pinans.

In effect that the Channans and Pinans are more or less simple variations on a theme.

Much as the multiple versions of Bassai or Seisan.

Love to see the kata--but then again I also love looking at the "other" versions of Seisan floating about.

Just an opinion of course.
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#270628 - 07/11/06 12:07 AM Re: Channan anew [Re: cxt]
senseiaverywax Offline
Channan fodder Banned Member

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 97

#270629 - 07/11/06 12:15 AM Re: Channan anew [Re: cxt]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I can't add anything. I look at it the same way.

but for giggles, lets get technical on this subject for a change...that ought to keep the fakes out.

sometimes for fun, I like to look at the pinan kata with particular methods of Goju I'm currently learning in mind. I don't spend time on's just for fun as a change of pace.

* opening to pinan shodan -> see sepai (about 3/4 of the way thru).

* all of the 'shuto' in pinans ->when changed to circular you have a technique found in seisan. which, in my biased opinion has alot more versitile follow up options than the linear and often highly stylized shuto.

* beginning of pinan sandan ->seiunchin after first turn.

etc.... having learned the movements to pinan kata last year and combined with Goju application class this year from current instruction, it's interesting how non-goju kata can be anaylized the same way.

but is it any surprize to be able to pick apart another okinawan style's kata with your style in mind and come up with something that either already exists or very similar in principal? or even a completely dissimilar art like a non-kata system and see similarities or overlap? it's cool to see something familiar from T'ai Chi or a form in Baguazhang having overlap.

the order of things found in kata or I suppose we could call it the choreography is based on nothing more arbitrary than space conservation and perhaps efficiency of practice.

so if things overlap, particularly pinan with channan or the various Hakusuru kata...who cares that someone has a differing choreography? the question is, can they use it to train and can they use it to teach?

when we are young, it's easy to get trapped into thinking something with an old name must be more authentic. not the case. completely fabricated kata are made up from bits and pieces of classical kata and composed into a new kata which the creator then gives an old name to it in order to give it the 'authentic' touch.

same goes for style names. we had a fellow on here who was the creator of a 'unique' system and when asked why he decided to create a system instead of joining an established one the reply was something to the effect that advancement in the Japan system are political and somewhat prejudice to foreigners....why can't westeners start their own styles and grading councils?

interesting tell me why you chose a Japanese sounding name for your new 'Ryu' and have the same kata names and curriculum as a Japanese style. lol

The reason is because it sells. they want the benefit of selling the product from it's name. superficial wide-eyed students don't care and can't verify legitimate kata, they want to collect 'em all - gimme yours and I'll give ya mine...

but psssst Victor, lets not tell anyone the true original Seisan that we've uncovered from the most unlikely of places....from the knights Templar.

#270630 - 07/11/06 09:44 AM Re: Channan anew [Re: Ed_Morris]
senseiaverywax Offline
Channan fodder Banned Member

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 97
The seisan you do is this Matsumura's wife's kata. The one where you fight with your baby on your back!

#270631 - 07/11/06 10:02 AM Re: Channan anew [Re: Ed_Morris]
senseiaverywax Offline
Channan fodder Banned Member

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 97

I was on Okinawa in the 1940's not the 50's I no you can read but comprehention seems to be a lttle hazy for you.

I know you guys are probably can't affrod to come and train with me. (thats O.K.) And contrary to what you think I am not rubbing it in your face that I know the Channans and you don't heck you know Itosu's Pinan's and I don't. So I got a Solution for you lets put all this B.S. effort into some Reasearch you guys seem more school smart than I do so let try to find you the answers your looking for! Unless you are a bunch of panty waisted Mama's Boys!

We Need to compile a list of everyone that saw or supposedly did Channan kata's and what they said and go from there. Here is my 2 C's: of the folks I know of!
Yui Fei
Li ning Jan
Peichin Takahara
Tode Sakugawa
Sokon Bushi Matsumura
Choyu Motobu
Choki Motobu
Ankoh Itosu
Ankoh Azato
Kosoku Matsumora
Chojun Miyagi

Now lets keep going...

#270632 - 07/11/06 10:06 AM Re: Channan anew [Re: senseiaverywax]
senseiaverywax Offline
Channan fodder Banned Member

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 97
Now the only inprtant stuff is whatever they said regarding Channan Kata's only so we don't get off on a wild tangent or another subject.

#270633 - 07/11/06 10:11 AM Re: Channan anew [Re: senseiaverywax]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

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

If we don't know what it looked like how can we compare it?

The are about what 12-18 versions of bassai? and almost as many versions of seisen.

No way to tell if Motubu the younger's channan was anthing like Motobu the elders version--heck their actual "karate" is very different--why would their kata be the same?

Itosu phased out the Channan--or re-designed them and his good buddy Azato seems not to have taught them to anyone. And we have no clue what his loooked like.

Yui Fei was a chinese genral that pre-dates the the other folks by a considerable margin---the lord alone knows his kata "looked like" but given the wide diffrences between Okinawan karate and the Chiense arts that spawned it--chances are pretty good that they looked nothing alike.

Heck you can't find Okinawan kata that ARE practiced currently that match perfectly with Chinese arts--much less a extinct kata.

This is a little more fun---but still pretty jacked up "logic."
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#270634 - 07/11/06 10:17 AM Re: Channan anew [Re: cxt]
senseiaverywax Offline
Channan fodder Banned Member

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 97
Research is not your Opion or your guess! I asked for written record not your oppion. How do you know if you have never seen either one. Now you are speculating.

#270635 - 07/11/06 10:19 AM Re: Channan anew [Re: cxt]
senseiaverywax Offline
Channan fodder Banned Member

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 97
We are not talking about Bassai or Seisan keep to the subject and task!

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