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#355052 - 09/09/07 12:49 PM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: shoshinkan]
Gesar Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/07
Posts: 77
Loc: England, UK
Hi Jim,
I am aware of the quote, I am told that somewhere there is another translation of the same, though I have not seen it, it would be interesting to see if the quote is translated using the same words.

Whilst we may say that the Motobu Udun Ti is not combat orientated (although it has made claims to be) it was certainly meant to be a means of self protection for those who practised it.

However when we look to the Bugeikan version of Ti (which is not IMHO a Court instructors style of Ti) and provided we try to ignore the Motobu Udun Ti and more recent modifications and influences of which you and I are both aware, we have a line that goes back to Kishomoto and his teacher Bushi Takemura, a contemporary of and possibly a training partner, senior or junior, to Bushi Mutsumura.

The waters at this point do indeed become very murky. I think we have to be very careful in defining Ti and not categorising all Ti as Go Ten Te or Palace Hand (such as is Motobu Udun Ti).

What can be said of the Bugeikan Ti, in its original, rather than its more recently modified version, is that it is direct and to the point and makes no claim to being a Go Ten Te or Palace hand style.

Ti or Te or di whilst its direct translation is generally rendered as hand it can according to some be read imply a lot more in the sense of meaning Jutsu or Art and the term has been occassionally used to describe Pre-Tode, pre-kata martial arts methods of Okinawa.

Some may think that this is no more than Semantics but: Tegumi; Te Gumi, Tode; To de (di)Tuite; Tui Te and if we hop to the mainland Torite; Tori Te.
Regards

Chris Norman

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#355053 - 09/09/07 03:35 PM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: Gesar]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
Hi Chris,

I am of course in-famous for my generalisations and sweeping statements , it goes with not being as clever as most..............

As always your comments are a superb addition to the thread, my thanks for your writing it and making the waters a little less murky for me and im sure others.

I have to agree that elements of the deceased Higa O'Sensei Ti seem very functional, as you say modernisms would seem to have changed the focus a little at the Bugeikan,

something I didn't drill down into on this thread, as I didn't think of it.................

grey areas in the arts always exsist, nothing is black or white when trying to nail this stuff down.
_________________________
Jim Neeter

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#355054 - 10/24/07 06:01 AM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: shoshinkan]
chofukainoa Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 146
Loc: tokyo, japan
I've been studying motoburyu udunti for seven months now in Japan. Not long, I know, but my shihan studied under Uehara sensei and I have had the opportunity to learn from him and speak (in Japanese) with him at length one-to-one.

I'd caution anyone from making judgements about udunti based on what is readily available over the internet or even in print. Uehara sensei appears to have been very concerned with protecting the integrity of what he had learned by limiting its accessibility. Even in Japan today, there are only a handful of places to study udunti.

Uehara sensei stated himself that he only learned "how to walk" for his first five years of study. I have heard complaints that the pace of study has been quickened to match modern lifestyles, but there are still many things I will not be taught until much later. I can't imagine he would have consented to perfom anything BUT a demonstration for Japanese or French television crews searching for the mysteries of Okinawa.

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#355055 - 10/24/07 02:21 PM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: chofukainoa]
Gesar Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/07
Posts: 77
Loc: England, UK
Hello and welcome Chofukainoa,
I would agree with your statement entirely, internet and print and even video footage does not allow one to appreciate the subtleties of Udun Ti. Uehara as you say was concerned with protecting the integrity of his art and I would hasten to add that he was also concerned that one day that it would revert back to the Motobu family, which it has. However he did produce some materials both in print and in film that were to help popularise his art and provide something of a record.

There are elements of Udunti that have been taught outside of Okinawa for example through Shian Toma's Seidokan organisation and by Mark Bishop who taught a small number of people in the UK, among whom we can include a member of this forum Mick Powell. Admittedly in neither of these cases is it the complete transmission of Uehara's system.

The Motobu Udun Ti system that Seikichi Uehara taught has now, as aforestated, reverted back to the Motobu family and headed by Chosei Motobu, are you training as part of that line? or the Sakon Ryu or another line?

I am genuinely interested in the perspective that you may be able to bear on this discussion.

Regards

Chris Norman

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#355056 - 10/24/07 04:10 PM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: chofukainoa]
CVV Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 605
Loc: Belgium
Hi Chofukainoa,

Indeed the video and print cannot grasp the actual depth of the system. As a pure Ti system my interest is especially around the links with karate/toudi. Certainly as the system contains a kata that resambles alot to the goju-ryu sanchin kata.
As far as I understand, the link of native ti and toudi is about practical fighting knowledge, sort like the chi-na techniques you find in shaolin quanfa.
I mentioned the French video, because Uehara sensei explained the link with the RyuKyu court dance.
It is very interesting also to hear reputable karate masters draw comparison with folklore dances of Okinawa where certain karate postures, be it hand or foot or stance, can be found back in those dances. Also folklore activities, like the tug of war competition and boat races between the villages, have had their influence in karate and vice/versa.
These forums do not try to grasp the depth of the art, merely share knowledge beyond the point of individual technical ability. We welcome the input you can give. Feel free to participate in the discussions.

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#355057 - 10/24/07 11:13 PM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: Gesar]
chofukainoa Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 146
Loc: tokyo, japan
I am a member of Shudoukan, which is in Motoburyu Udunti Kobujutsu Kyokai headed by Chosei Motobu. There is some association with Motoburyu Kenpo.
Shudoukan's Ikeda shihan is, I believe, kaicho in the larger organization.
Recently a good amount of information has been made available from the following site, although it is all in Japanese (an English translation may come soon):
Motoburyu

As for the larger question in this thread about the link between dance and kata: interesting, but ultimately probably impossible to establish provenance. Okinawan dance and martial arts evolved in the same cultural context, so I would be more surprised by glaring differences rather than subtle similarities. I think the idea that fighting movements were deliberately hidden in court dances is a misunderstanding of Uehara sensei's feeling that dance could illuminate some aspects of udunti because of a shared concept of the body and movement.

I've heard that the kata taught in udunti were comparatively recently systematized to make them easier to teach in a broader setting. That doesn't mean that they were "made up".
What we learn as "kata" are:
motode 1,2
kasshinde 3,4,5
and two more complicated ones that i've forgotten the Okinawan pronunciation of at the moment...it is written with the characters for "married couple", or "fuufu" in Japanese.

There are also weapons kata.

Ti-no-moto is not considered a kata. It is the only part of our training that does not have an immediate practical application, in that it is designed to reinforce basic posture and breathing. It's only done as a warm-up and cool-down.

Women who don't want to do sparring and grappling are sometimes taught dance. I have seen my sensei "dancing" as well.

Udunti is refined in the sense that excess movement is pared away to allow for fighting a number of opponents without tiring quickly. We are constantly reminded to think about how basic movements can be applied when faced with opponents. Kata are definitely only seen as a training tool, not as an endpoint. Given that we do not do full-contact sparring, I've only so far practiced how to neutralize threat rather than take someone out. However, I have been given a little instruction as to how to do that if necessary.
I've often been on the receiving end of being neutralized by my sensei or shihan. It's not fake.

Certainly there are people more knowledgeable than I. Just giving my impressions of what I have learned.

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#355058 - 10/25/07 11:00 AM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: chofukainoa]
Gesar Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/07
Posts: 77
Loc: England, UK
Chofukainoa,

Thanks for that information. Your perspective is in my opinion a great contribution to this thread. There are some that were a little sceptical of the Motobu Udun Ti legacy when it returned to the Motobu family, mainly because they felt that Chosei Motobu would focus mainly on his fathers, Choku Motobu's Karate Kempo. Your post confirms that the Udun Ti legacy lives on in that line, that others within Chosei Motobu's organisation trained with Seikichi Uehara and have continued the legacy which is good to hear.

In the Motode do you do their version of the Sanchin kata? Are you able to enlighten us as to its origins? There has been some speculation about this in another section of this forum, some time back, in part because Seikichi Uehara once visited Uechi Kanbun in Wakayama in 1924 and trained with him for a week.

As you may also be aware Choyu Motobu and Chojun Miyagi also shared a Dojo when they established the Karate Kenkyu club in 1926, this is the same year in December that Seikichi Uehara immigrated to the Philippines to join his brother. So this is another possible origin of that Sanchin Kata.

Some have said that orginally there were no kata in Motobu Udun Ti and others have stated that the kata's in Motobu Udun Ti were introduced into the system in the 1980's. Seikichi Uehara stated in Bu No Mai (1992) page 108: ' There are no kamae or kata in Motobu Udun di...', In 1994 Seikichi Uehara in an interview with Richard Florence corrected this to say that what he meant was 'We do not have Kata with Chinese names'. However it is well known that Choyu Motobu both knew and taught Kata and the Karate Kenkyu club and that kata is present in the Motobu Udun Ti system. Do you know when the kata in Motibu Udun Ti were systemised? Could this have been what happened in the 1980's?

Could the name for married couple be Mefutode= husband and wife hands, a hand position mentioned by Choku Motobu in his Watashi no Karate jutsu and a common Ti hand position?

As for the comparison with Udun Ti and dance I would agree with you that it is imposible to establish provenance on this and that the idea of Motobu Udun Ti techniques being hidden in the dances is in all likelihood a misunderstanding of Uehara's feeling that there were shared body dynamics that could illuminate aspects of Udun Ti, which seems much more likely. How much of this speculation is based on the quote Shoshinkan makes from Bushi Matsumura quoted by Mark Bishop which reads 'The court instructors styles are practised in a very unusual way; movements are formless and light, becoming (like women)more and more dance like as the proponents mature' (Bishop 1999:56).

It is research by one of Seikichi Uehara's senior students Takeo Miyagi, who is often quoted in support of the dance theory, though the following quote by Takeo Miyagi is often overlooked: 'Ancient theatre and Bujutsu: these two have been said said that they have similarities, but I could only take the opinion as a unique one, and could not take it seriously. The purpose of the research was to look at similarities and differences between the two'.

The research done with Murasaki no Kai under Mitsushiro Shimabukuro which resulted in them doing demonstrations with Motobu Ryu and Seikichi Uehara was in order to show what they had in common culturally. There is also mention of various dances in which Okinawan weapons are used.

I think that a further point of confusion is the use of the term Bu No Mai in a book published by Uehara, where as Mai may man dance it can I understand also refer to turning movements that characterise some aspects of Udun di.

The dance drama's do demonstrate some martial art skills and techniques, although these are in theatrical mode, and as I have previously stated I personally would not link them directly to Motobu Udun Ti in the sense that techniques are hidden in those dances.

Regards

Chris Norman

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#355059 - 10/25/07 11:44 AM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: Gesar]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
great conversation going on,

Chris, in realtion to this

'Could the name for married couple be Mefutode= husband and wife hands, a hand position mentioned by Choku Motobu in his Watashi no Karate jutsu and a common Ti hand position?'

I was taught that this 'concept' in Okinawan karate specifically relating to the strong side forward kamae.

The link to husband and wife being historically the women would walk a little behind the man,

however in karate terms what this means is that our front 'srong' arm deals with the initial engagement and the deadly gyakute or reverse hand follows.............

I can't contribute any other specific thread subject matter, but thought I would mention this.

It may well have meaning in Ti etc etc as well, or have come from there?
_________________________
Jim Neeter

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#355060 - 10/25/07 12:45 PM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: Gesar]
chofukainoa Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 146
Loc: tokyo, japan
Okay, quite a number of questions, and I will have to get back to you on some of them!

Motode and the openings to kasshinde 3,4 look like sanchin kata, but the legs are always kept completely straight and sometimes we are up on the balls of our feet. This is a basic characteristic of udunti. As for origins, I'll have to look into it a little more, as well as the question of when exactly the kata were systematized.
I really am drawing a blank on the name of the other 2 kata. We haven't been doing them recently because we are preparing for an enbu in november. I'll get it next practice.

Again, the kata seem to be mainly teaching tools, and more advanced students don't spend a lot of time on them. The ideal is to achieve a naturalness of motion so that fighting becomes like walking (or dancing). Therefore the walking practice in udunti is very important and useful. There is also a huge emphasis (even in the kata) on being able to move in all directions.

So the dance connection is definitely there in terms of similar mechanics and economy of motion, but I think some people draw the wrong conclusions from it either to exoticize or denigrate udunti, depending on their perspective.

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#355061 - 10/26/07 09:39 AM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: shoshinkan]
Gesar Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/07
Posts: 77
Loc: England, UK
Jim,

There in you find part of the Ti in your Karate with that very hand position.

What differs between the Ti and the Karate/Kempo is application and the underlying body dynamics.

Yes it is Side forward Kamae, one fist is behind the other, but in Mefutode, the rear fist is at the elbow. Both hands are often used at same time.

Your quote:
'In karate terms what this means is that our front 'strong' arm deals with the initial engagement and the deadly gyakute or reverse hand follows.............'

Choku Motobu stated that the approach you mentioned, if you mean that the rear hand relied upon for the Gyaku Zuki, leads to front hand becoming what he called shite or 'a dead hand'.

He also emphasised that 'in the case of an actual fight both hands should be used together. The lead hand should be capable of defence and offense and the rear hand used only when the front hand cannot accomplish the intended outcome' (Motobu 1932 Transl McCarthy 2002:83).


Regards

Chris Norman


Edited by Gesar (10/26/07 09:58 AM)

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