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#338561 - 04/28/07 08:44 PM Help!
roninofGa Offline

Registered: 10/02/05
Posts: 61
Loc: Georgia
Did Matsumura Soken do Naihanchi? I was taught that he Knew a form from the prior Tode that was like naihanchi and possible formulated Tekki sho from that. (I know he didn't call it Tekki btw.) and that Itosu created Tekki Ni and san.
Then just not long ago I read Shotokan's Secret by Bruce Clayton and Even if it's far fetched in somes opinion, I've got to say that his interpretation of Tekki Sho makes more since to me than any thing else I've heard. (Maybe I'm just an idiot.). Then just yesterday I was told by a man who travels to Okinawa and Japan to train, who btw is Dan Smith from Seibukan, that Matsumura didn't do any form of Naihanchi! Did he or didn't he?! HELP, before I lose my mind .

#338562 - 04/28/07 09:01 PM Re: Help! [Re: roninofGa]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

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

The issue has two sides. Dan Smith (Seibukan) is a student of Shimabukuro Zempo and orignally his father Zenryo who in turn was a student of Kyan Chotoku who in turn studied with Matsumura.

Dan was taught Naifanchi and never asked the source thinking it was from Kyan. In turn all of the students of Kyan also teach Naifanchi. Dan was even the one who originally shared Kyan's curricula (as in the book Unante) and started the history chain.

The trouble is, not asking (and few students really ever have a chance to grill their Okinawan instructors anyway) he didn't learn it was an import into Shimabukuro Zenryo's teachings from an outside source. In turn all of Kyan's students who incorporated Naifanchi also drew on outside sources, and not the same one.

It's obvious they felt Naifanchi was central to the Okinawan arts and wanted their students to participate in it (perhaps due to Motobu Choki's strong history with it).

But the form wasn't practiced by Kyan.

Now did Kyan's instructor, Matsumura, one of many instructors he had, use Naifanchi.

I'm sure it depends on the source you look at.

Personally Clayton's research and logical analysis is extremely flawed (lack of sources for his historical story, and extremely fauty use of several Isshinryu sources to try and analyze Kyan's teachings, ignoring vast Matsubayshi, Seibukan and other Kyan students teachings that might have made a more coherent analysis.

Then again Dr. Clayton never got his doctorate in history or the martial arts....

I think a more interesting question for you would be why such a historical question is so important? I can understand the research drive, but the reality is the past is gone and what we do with what we have is more pretinate.

I hope this helps you find your answers.

Edited by Victor Smith (04/28/07 09:02 PM)
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#338563 - 04/28/07 10:03 PM Re: Help! [Re: Victor Smith]
roninofGa Offline

Registered: 10/02/05
Posts: 61
Loc: Georgia
Thank you so much. The reason I am checking so much into it is as Funakoshi's saying "to search for the old, is to understand the new". I believe that if we can maybe kinda sort out what the old master's were about, then that will help us understand our karate better. I personally studied under my instructor for about 10 years. From age 12 to around 22. I have come to realize that his teachings were very limited in the history department and some of the old fact,that I myself was preaching is not so at all. Not saying that he was a bad instructor mind you, just we didn't have the information resource's in that time like we do now. I.m just trying to see this forest but all these ^%$# trees are in my way . I agree about the Isshin-ryu part too btw, I'm not taking Mr. Clayton's "opinion" to heart, just that the explaination he gives on tekki sounded better to me than anything else I'd read or been told.
thanks again.

#338564 - 04/28/07 11:31 PM Re: Help! [Re: roninofGa]
WuXing Offline

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
It's generally taught (in shorin ryu) that Matsumura passed down naihanchi. It's said it is based on something he learned in China, or from one of the several vaguely named Chinese teachers on Okinawa.
I've also heard that naihanchi was taught through the Tomari side of the lineage, taught to Matsumora and Oyadomari by , Uku Gigo, who may have been a disciple of one of the Chinese teachers (maybe even the same one who supposedly taught Matsumura? Gigo and Matsumura were about the same age, according to the sources I've seen). It is also said the Itosu learned not only from Matsumura, but also from a Tomari man called Gusukuma, who was also a disciple of the Chinese, so if Matsumura didn't teach it, that's where it may have come from.
It's pretty certain that Itosu taught, and most likely developed, the second and third naihanchi kata in addition to the first. Or maybe divided the original form into smaller parts, similar to how he invented the pinans from longer kata.

From what I can tell, the old masters were about learning whatever they could from whomever would teach them, and then making it their own. It seems pretty common that someone would learn a couple kata from one teacher, a couple from another, and put them together to create a couple more. Mix in the occassional trip to China for tutelage, and you've got Tote.

This sort of practice is frowned upon now, by "traditional" teachers, it seems...students are expected to be loyal to their lineage, and accept that their particular school has everything they could possibly need. Maybe this is not in small part because martial arts has become a business, and keeping students loyal means keeping the business alive.

#338565 - 04/29/07 04:56 AM Re: Help! [Re: WuXing]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

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

Training with multiple teachers, historically, was at a time when an instructor only taught a few people, and having a student study with another teacher was a way for the instructor to learn (from his student's other studies) as much as it was for the student.

I belive the reason it became frowned on was as times moved on, most people had less time to train, and were getting less personal attention in their training (larger classes) and were perhaps less knowedgable so that additional training wasn't what they needed.

Today there are many who have continual clinics from other instructors in their schools, but do they have the time to study deeply enough to really learn?

Having trained under multiple instructors myself, only out of sheer need to have someone train me, I consider it a mixed blessing.

If an instructors teachings are deep enough, it's a waste of time to seek elsewhere. Likewise unless you've experienced enough serious training yourself, seeking other answers is likewise a waste of time.

One of the answers is that instructors like Miyagi Chojun did train with other instructors, learned new kata, etc. and did NOT include them in his students Goju Ryu training.

It's obvious his training was to really learn what those instructors had and in turn be sure his art could handle it.

On Okinawa I don't think the practice of training with others ever stopped. Almost to a person most of the past few generations of instructors have multiple studies backgrounds..

Is the answer you can find whatever answer you wish?

thinking on it.
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#338566 - 04/29/07 10:24 AM Re: Help! [Re: Victor Smith]
WuXing Offline

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
It's true, nowadays the various ryus teach many more kata than the "old masters" did...because they have been compiled by their founders (or the founders' teachers) from several sources, usually. I know shito ryu has attempted to compile just about every kata from every Okinawan style, both naha and shuri side.

I'm not suggesting that people today should float from teacher to teacher, or school to school. I don't think that's the way it was "back in the day" either...I usually read that a sensei would suggest that his student go train with someone else after a period of dedicated practice, or that there were a group of teachers who worked together in an area, and always shared their students.
Putting myself in their shoes...I'm only teaching what I'm really an expert in. Though I have acquired many various skills over the years, I can only claim to be an expert in a few. Therefore, I teach the skills I have the deepest knowledge of, and send my serious students to other experts to give them the opportunity to acquire the best skills. I may know how to fight with the bo, but it's not my speciality...I'd want my students to become better than me someday, so they can learn best from the bo expert, whos teacher was the one who taught me.

Maybe because of that type of learning, we now have schools which include many more kata and skills than the old masters may have taught. Even the founders of these modern schools didn't pass on everything they learned from everyone...they chose that which they felt was most important, that they could best teach, I think.

Yes, if you've only got four hours a week of training time, seeking more than one source of instruction seems a little silly. It will take a long time to gain proficiency in one area at that pace, let alone spreading it between two or more schools. Best to spend eight or ten or fifteen years mastering what the first teacher has to offer, at least


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