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#355072 - 11/25/07 06:08 PM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: Gesar]
ThunderboltLotus Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 16
Loc: Cornwall, Great Britain
I have very limited Internet access at the moment, so here it goes.

Expanding on the posts of Chris, Cvv etc who to my mind have accurately presented alot of the information out there.

If this dance like form is the same as on the dvd gotente then this dance is called the Hamachidori (plover dance). This, Uehara taught as a &#8220;Martial dance&#8221;. He also called this Bu nu Mai or dance of martial arts/skills and has also referred to it as Anji Kata etc.


Just as some have &#8220;reversed engineered&#8221; the kata to reveal in their eyes the constituent elements that make up the principles etc, the same is true of the dance.
Broardly speaking it could be said or implied, that whereas &#8216;tegumi&#8217; makes up part of kata,(or to some that tegumi needs to be understood to know how to use kata) tuidijutsu partly makes up dance. Tegumi is more strength directed and tuite &#8216;softer&#8217; and subtle.
(although Shuri&#8217;s Tegumi called Mutou is thought to be more subtle and possibly with ways to remove a sword)

In Motobu Udun Ti, tuidi/tuite is based on the sword and in Uehara&#8217;s own words in the technique and inner teachings&#8230; &#8220;In the earlier stages of Taijutsu, the practitioner learns the so called &#8220;hard&#8221; techniques designed to down an opponent in a single blow. The purpose of Tuite, however is to cultivate &#8220;soft&#8221; techniques that can render an opponent unable to resist, but without causing undue injury&#8230;The ways in which an opponents hand is grasped and manipulated in the Tuite techniques are very similar to the movements used in Motobu Udundi swordplay.&#8221;

Fundamentally the footwork and hand positions are a type of chi kung like exercise called kiko. The aforementioned Ogami/Coneri/Oshi te make up the hand positions/principles of this kiko (as well as tuite principles) and the steps from the dances are a type of meditative walking. It is the introspective nature of the female dances among other things that sets them aside from the &#8220;dances that had Karate techniques put into them&#8221; and the two differences can be seen on The Way Of The Warrior Karate episode with Higaonna. Near the beginning is the female meditative stepping and later with dance teacher Miyagi is one of the newer/folk dance.

Although Uehara has previously denied kiko was in his art, Seitoku Higa (who received his 10th dan Hanshi in Motobu Ryu in 1975, and Mark Bishop teach/taught or described it as such.(As an all encompassing TI rather than just Udun ti)

Building from that base free form dance springs and in Seitoku Higa&#8217;s words &#8220;true softness cannot be found in the rigid karate forms&#8221; and Takao Miyagi (different person from Takamiyagi who started Udunti in 1990, Takao in 1972)&#8220;technique compounds technique and more comes to light&#8230;the real techniques are not to be found so much in the outward form, but more in the internal dance and body movements that can manifest all the martial strength together,&#8221; so this becomes their Anji Kata preserved at that point of time, and like Aikido&#8217;s Ueshiba who was said to never perform a technique the same twice, so it is with our own unique dance. Kiyohiko Higa&#8217;s Anji kata is far more dynamic and a reference can be found on it in Zen Kobudo (Bishop)

Mark Bishop as far as we are aware is the only person to have trained at both Higa&#8217;s and Uehara&#8217;s dojo for a number of years and has written about it extensively (in English) as well, in 2 books to date (two more are finished) and 20+ articles. He also researched/studied the female dances and was only permitted as &#8220;he already had a straight back&#8221; (private communication). He also learned and developed his Okinawan wife&#8217;s family Pressure point therapy alongside the &#8220;health massage&#8221; of Udun ti and the Shiatsu taught by Hiroshi Miyagi of the Bugeikan/Higa.


This is one aspect of four interrelated practises that I believe make up &#8220;ti&#8221; and how I was taught, practice and teach it.

Empty hand (goken and juken, Mark taught all juken &#8211; soft fist &#8211; the lowest trainee was already nidan in Karate)

Weapons (bladed and wooden)

Odori te/mai te (dance hand &#8211; Kiko and Meditative walking)

Therapeutic bodywork (shiatsu/massage/pressure point releasing etc)

Walking, neutralising with &#8216;softness&#8217;, pressure point releasing, and reversals, among other things are the essence of this art as taught to me. It is human nature to interpret a given method and Choyu Motobu would have adapted ti to his generation Uehara in his and his students in theirs now. That&#8217;s why Mark wrote &#8220;a flexible key ethos of te has survived through the ages and its called turning the other cheek and is the opposite of a revengeful eye for an eye.&#8221; If you look at some of Uehara&#8217;s translated work that&#8217;s what he was also implying. (Possibly also enhancing his longevity).


If there is interest I will run a day or weekend course in Cornwall UK soon by way of introduction and appropriately titled &#8216;A taste of Ti&#8217;
Alternatively, for those not wanting to study another art I can run for a limited time &#8216;Bridging the Gap&#8217; seminars exploring the ti already covertly stored in some Karate styles/techniques.

All &#8216;levels&#8217; all styles all peoples are welcome.
_________________________
Michael Powell

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#355073 - 11/26/07 03:37 AM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: ThunderboltLotus]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
welcome Mick,

thankyou for posting your view and experience.

There is alot in that post and im sure members will have lots of questions to discuss.
_________________________
Jim Neeter

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#355074 - 12/01/07 01:04 PM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: shoshinkan]
Gesar Offline
Member

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

'Although Uehara has previously denied kiko was in his art' Curious as to your source on this one?

The term just means energy exercise, so it must have been there given the purposes of some of kata's now incorporated in to Motobu Udun di by Seikichi Uehara

Anyway here is an interesting link on Kiko:
http://www.chikara.com.au/kiko1.htm


I assume that you may have meant that Seitoku Higa practised Kiko after training in Motobu Ryu Udun di?, the brackets did not make sense.

How do you know if it was practised by Seitoku Higa that it is not Seido? Do we know how the Kiko of Seikichi Uehara differed from that of Seitoku Higa?

Is it possible that Uehara awarded Seitoku Higa a 10th dan Hanshi under the Motobu Ryu Udun di umbrella in 1975 but was it specifically in Motobu Ryu Udun di? or was it for services to preserving what were being called ancient martial arts?

Regards

Chris Norman

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#355075 - 12/02/07 04:30 AM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: Gesar]
chofukainoa Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 146
Loc: tokyo, japan
So I finally mentioned youtube to sensei, and he is considering posting some video of kata from our recent enbu, after he susses it out a little more. I didn't want to do it on my own!

I was also told recently that some of the kata we do were developed with the assistance of a karate-ka who helped adapt kata to the udunti style and mechanics. If true, I wonder if that person was perhaps Seitoku Higa?

Whatever the case, some of the questions here about kata just don't seem that interesting to my sensei and shihan. They believe deeply that the mechanics are more important than anything else, and that udunti is still in the midst of a period of formal evolution. There's a lot of tinkering that goes on in order to find the most efficient ways to teach and apply the essential mechanics.

It kind of makes it hard to ask, "well, who exactly developed this kata and when?" because there is often not a clearcut answer, and I also want to enjoy interacting with them as humans talking about the weather and other inconsequential stuff.

Also, having seen two enbu and trained a lot more with the bbs, I went back and watched the dvd of Uehara sensei as well as the anji kata on youtube. His abilities at the age of 90 are remarkable, and I understand a lot better (better, not completely) what he is doing. For instance, some of the movements that look sword-derived are actually used in tuite, or grappling.

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#355076 - 12/02/07 10:19 AM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: chofukainoa]
Gesar Offline
Member

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

Do let us know if and when your Sensei posts those videos on YouTube, it would be interesting to see how they differ if at all from other available material.

I strongly suspect that Seitoku Higa would have been one of the people involved in this adaptation or even adoption of Kata, though there may have been otehrs as well.

Interesting what you have been told about the mechanics, for many Karate people the mechanics of a style come from the Kata. I think most would agree with you 'that it makes sense to ask who developed the kata and when?' though sounds like they are not going to say much more about it.

Interesting what you say about udundi is in the midst of a period of formal evolution, do you know who is leading this formulation? Is it just within your dojo or over the style as a whole and what part Chosei Motobu is playing in this if any?

Regards

Chris Norman

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#355077 - 12/02/07 08:48 PM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: Gesar]
chofukainoa Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 146
Loc: tokyo, japan
As for mechanics and kata, first come the basic principles of body weight distribution, extended limbs, and moving into attacks (rather than standing ground and blocking). Once we kind of begin to understand those, kata are good for developing agility and speed, but sensei is not happy if we forsake the basics just to go through the motions of the kata.

I would think most karate-ka would feel the same about the kata in their respective styles, but maybe this feeling is enhanced for us because of the history of our modern kata being added only in the last century? When training with the bbs, only about 5-10 minutes are spent on kata, and I think that reflects the amount of importance they have in our style. Still, in sparring we are reminded to use certain movements from the kata, so they are useful as a kind of reference.

I mentioned before that we often do a kata in the opposite direction or with open hands or with a different kind of kick or whatever. The point being that we are expected to adapt our movements for a variety of situations. I think there has been resistance to writing an udunti training manual or something similar because of the feeling that would send the message that the kata are set in stone, instead of keeping them malleable.

As for the evolution, I think it is just a natural process rather than something being directed from above. It comes from the fact that udunti is no longer limited to one family or one man's dojo and there is not a tournament system in place to enforce rules, distribute awards, and in the process stifle experimentation.

The differences between dojo can be pretty apparent. For example, we have a sister dojo not far away, and our shihan and theirs are best friends from way back. The essentials of udunti are recognizably the same, but that dojo's style is rather flamboyant and acrobatic, whereas I think our dojo comes off as restrained and almost austere.

This kind of variation is perhaps acceptable while udunti is still small and relatively inaccessible, but finessing future growth is a matter of concern right now.

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#355078 - 12/05/07 07:00 PM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: chofukainoa]
Gesar Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/07
Posts: 77
Loc: England, UK
Hello Chofukainoa,
I agree with you that Kata are good for developing agility and speed and you should not, as you Sensei says, foresake the basics to go through the motions of kata.

However many Karateka may feel that the Kihon that they do is in order to provide a basis for good kata and that the kihon comes from the kata. I have no doubt that you are correct in what you say about the approach to kata you menation is enhanced due to the kata being relatively new to the style.

Some Karate styles would go from Kihon (taken from kata and building to Kata): to Kata: to Application: to Kumite.

What happens between the practise of kata and its application is its adaptation to specific situations and this can result in changes to kata, although there are in many Karate kata key moves by which you can recognise them. For example not all versions of Passai are the same.

The natural process of evolution that you mention in relation to Motobu Udun di has I think being going on for quite some time, including whilst Seikichi Uehara was alive, in an interview he gave back in the 1990's which can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5o7x5SHdu8
He said that the techniques were not his but those of his Master Choyu Motobu, although is suspect that though he meant this he did not rule out evolution of the style, hence why he researched Okinawan Dance. I was just curious as to whether Chosei Motobu had taken any lead with the style being returned to the Motobu family.

It is interesting what you say about the differences between Dojo's and their emphasis, that is something that I suspected would be the case, peoples early training always influences how they interpret things they learn later on. For example we have seen in Seitoku Higa's performance of Motobu Ryu Udun di elements of what he had learnt from Kishomoto and others, but it was still recognisable as a variant of Motobu Ryu Udun di.

Interesting what you say about future growth being a matter of concern, as this often leads to some degree of standardisation.

Regards

Chris Norman

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#355079 - 12/06/07 12:47 AM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: Gesar]
chofukainoa Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 146
Loc: tokyo, japan
"Kihon...provide a basis for good kata" is exactly what I have never been told, or even implied. And the idea that kihon come from kata is just not there. More like "kihon is everything"!

We were reminded before our recent examinations many times that the quality of one's kihon is judged much more heavily than performance of kata. As I mentioned before, we have another element to our kihon, which is the walking practice, and sensei has said many many times "as long as you can walk, you can do udunti".

I really haven't been able to discern any influence of Chosei Motobu yet. Although udunti is now affiliated and does enbu and such with the motoburyu kenpo dojo, there seems to still be a fairly clear line between the two styles. If anything, it seems kids are taught kenpo so that they can participate in tournaments, and move into udunti as adults. Of course, that may lead to more mixing in the future. As far as I know, our dojo is the only one in the tokyo area where kids are training in just udunti. There are only two of them (12 and 16), and they train right along with the adults!

Some of the tinkering that is going on with our kata seems to be in order to "fix" some of the karate influence and make it more udunti-like, especially with regards to limiting excess motion.

Also, the alterations to the kata at kata-practice stage are a lot more pronounced than I have yet seen in karate styles, especially for students at the beginning levels!

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#355080 - 12/06/07 12:02 PM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: chofukainoa]
Gesar Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/07
Posts: 77
Loc: England, UK
Chofukainoa,
Thanks for your reply.
"Kihon...provide a basis for good kata" is exactly what I have never been told, or even implied. And the idea that kihon come from kata is just not there. More like "kihon is everything"! Actually this does not really surprise me and it would most certainly seem that way in respect of what you are telling us about your learning of Motobu Ryu Udun di and I have no reason to doubt you.

I was merely pointing out how it tends to work in Traditional Okinawan Karate and another Okinawan di system (Bugeikan).

An interesting point of note though is that when Richard Florence interviewed Seikichi Uehara on 7th September 1994 he told him: ' I meant to say that we did not have kata with Chinese names. They [Kata] have been handed down from generation to generation since the old days and are called mutu-ni-di' He then tells Florence (1996) these mutu-ni-di are Mutu-ni-di ichi, ni, san etc.

So I do wonder what Seikichi Uehara meant or whether Mr. Florence misunderstood what Seikichi Uehara meant.

I recall that when Mark Bishop (who had trained in Okinawa at the Bugeikan and at the Motobu Udun di of Uehara) was teaching Michael Powell and Michael Powell taught others Ti that there was focus on Kihon and no Kata whatsoever.

Given the emphasis in the style it sort of makes sense that it does not have kata in the Karate sense and to tinker with the kata that have emerged in order to lessen the karate emphasis.

Do you by any chance know anything about the history, origin and influences in the sword aspect of Motobu Udun di?

Regards

Chris Norman

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#355081 - 12/22/07 04:17 PM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: Gesar]
ThunderboltLotus Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 16
Loc: Cornwall, Great Britain
Chris

'Although Uehara has previously denied kiko was in his art' Curious as to your source on this one?

Motobu ryu Udun di has no intrinsic-energy (ki) training. As Uehara explained it: ;Intrinsic energy is generally called kiko and many people are learning it these days. It is a big mistake to think that kiko can actually work. What I mean is that nobody can knock down an opponent without touching him. If somebody thinks he can beat me by kiko, I will accept his challenge any time. It may work if the opponent is your student because you teach him every day. However it will not work on a stranger"; (JAMA Vol5 No3 p.72 Article and interview by Richard Florence)

And

Uehara emphasised that the ki training of Motobu Ryu Kobujutsu is not the Chi Kung, that is Kiko, of Chinese Martial Arts, but is a unique Ki method more like the fluidity of Aiki. (William Durbin article) - I assume this came from Shian Toma

Chris wrote

The term just means energy exercise, so it must have been there given the purposes of some of kata's now incorporated in to Motobu Udun di by Seikichi Uehara

Anyway here is an interesting link on Kiko:
http://www.chikara.com.au/kiko1.htm


I assume that you may have meant that Seitoku Higa practised Kiko after training in Motobu Ryu Udun di?, the brackets did not make sense.

How do you know if it was practised by Seitoku Higa that it is not Seido? Do we know how the Kiko of Seikichi Uehara differed from that of Seitoku Higa


My experience is- Kiko and Chi kung mean yes to "exersise the energy". The article by Ryan I have a copy of from 10 years ago, that was, I believe originally featured in Steve Graystons Martial Arts plus, over here in the Uk. It is a classic example of putting "Chinese Theory" into a relatively simple method. The same is true of many modern shiatsu groups.

As you are aware there are many ways of practising Chi Kung from standing still to spontaneous movement and it is impossible not to be doing kiko/chi kung or whatever name when doing what I have titled the Odori te. Both this and the shiatsu/therapeutic bodywork have one main goal in mind (or intent) - to release negative energy blockages. One is with a partner the other generally without. (This process starts with potentially defusing a nasty situation all the way to dealing with those that "refuse to desist"

Seitoku Higa (according to an article by Rick Woodhams 1994 Traditional Karate) first learned Ki exersise from Kishimoto and was "celebrating his 60th" year of doing so. Interestingly enough I decided to spend some research time re going through two Seidokan pamphlets !977 and 1981. Two photos clearly show some dance like kiko with a partner (Uehara and a female student) that is remarkably similar in my opinion to some Seido exercises. These photos are 1976/7.
(Seido supposedly came about in the 80's)

Cho

Moving in on attacks was very disconcerting when I first began this study. (I had already practiced the blocking and countering for almost 14 years). Now having practised this for the same length of time and for the last 4 years I have practised no kata and soon will be able to answer Ed Morris (I believe) to the question "5 years no kata" Seikichi Uehara was clear for his students "to make new kata befitting a new era." Matsuo Kanenori Sakon "Just as Uehara has created some kata for the purposes of popularising his art I feel that kata are also necessary to this extent". And Mark Bishop was clear to me to make up ti kata if I felt it would help teach principles and techniques etc. But and this is a big but, this is advise to Senior practitioners and not beginners or intermediates looking not to go through the hard work that you are clearly being taught (from your descriptions). So as I have previously stated on another thread, myself and you seem to be saying the same "Kata is not the heart and soul of Udunti"

Warm regards
_________________________
Michael Powell

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