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#355132 - 01/19/08 08:43 PM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: shoshinkan]
Gesar Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/07
Posts: 77
Loc: England, UK
Hi Jim,
You do have a point. Interestingly the weblink that Chofukainoa posted has a picture of Seitoku Higa and makes some reference to Kishomoto in the text as well. It can be found here:
http://motobu-ryu.org/michifukashi.aspx

Regards

Chris Norman

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#355133 - 01/19/08 09:37 PM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: shoshinkan]
Gesar Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/07
Posts: 77
Loc: England, UK
Looks like I double posted during the editing process whilst trying to work out the text on that site. http://motobu-ryu.org/michifukashi.aspx
Interestingly the weblink makes some reference to him as the old martial arts association leader. It also mentions Kishomoto and his 10 students and states (I think) that Takemura was associated with the Royal Court at Shuri in the text. There is also mention about Seitoku Higa's eldest son Kiyohiko Higa.
I thought that Bugeikan was no longer associated with Motobu Udun Di, so it is interesting to see that there is a contribution by Seitoku Higa to this website.

Regards

Chris Norman


Edited by Gesar (01/19/08 09:51 PM)

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#355134 - 01/20/08 04:41 AM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: Gesar]
chofukainoa Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 146
Loc: tokyo, japan
Chris,
Good on you for finding that. I have been working on translating from the introductory material, so I had only glanced at that page of the site a few months ago!

It's an article Higa wrote in 1966, when he says he had been studying what was then just known as "Motobu-ryu" under Uehara sensei for five years.

It was interesting for me to read because I didn't really know much about Higa's background, even though when I looked back at Mark Bishop's Okinawan Karate, there was a lot there. Let's call my memory lapses information overload instead of early-onset Alzheimer's, shall we?

Anyway, Higa mentions that Takemura "was said to have been an important person in the old Ryukyu Kingdom," but not necessarily of the Udun or Anji class himself. In Bishop's book, he is called a tax collector.

Higa's son Kiyohiko (at that time, probably what we would call in America a middle or junior high school student) is mentioned as participating in the enbu in Kumamoto in 1963 (Bishop says 1964) which I guess is seen as Motobu-ryu's coming out?

Higa mentions in the seventh section the reaction of a female student from Tokyo University seeing the practice at Uehara's dojo. He quotes her as saying that for the first couple of months of training, the students are working hard and look angry, but by the third month, they are smiling and look like they are having a good time. I think maybe similar to Dennis's reaction? (If this is true, then my sensei needs to work on this aspect a little more, as he can be pretty tough on us! But I have to admit, my sensei and shihan are always asking, "are you having fun?" which at first I thought an odd question...)

The most interesting portion is at the very end, where he discusses the "sei" character which led to our foray into the morasses of nationalism and religion! He says Uehara sensei had a large display of two kanji in his living room: "ken" (fist) and "sei" (the character from his dojo name). I kind of understand but am having a hard time coming up with the right translation for Higa's interpretation of these characters. Basically, he seems to say the cultivation of softness and loss of anger in Uehara's students leads to a beautiful, elegant type of movement and a fighting art that becomes "sei". I'm going to go here with maybe "sublime", as that seems to be the word we might use in english (although philosophical purists may fault me). It's clear that it's the conscious cultivation of this state that he is talking about rather than something received from a divine source.

Of course, this could be Higa's mystical bent showing itself and Uehara still may have understood the characters as meaning "fist of the Sho", but I still have not found a reference with the Sho Dynasty being referred to with the "sei" character. (Sho is just an alternate reading).

The same character read as "hijiri" has specific meanings in Japanese Buddhism.

Have we made any progress or just opened up more mysteries? I might just come right out and ask my shihan tomorrow because this is starting to annoy me!

I don't really think it is odd that Higa's article is on the website, as it is probably one of the few eyewitness documents regarding the time when Uehara started opening his art to the wider world. I'd bet money that Higa's mysticism led to their parting. Looking back at Bishop's description of Bugeikan, there is a lot of mystical stuff there about Takemura and Kishimoto that is totally absent in the histories of Motobu-ryu Udundi. What do you think?

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#355135 - 01/20/08 08:49 AM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: chofukainoa]
Rascal Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/29/07
Posts: 21
Loc: USA
This, I suppose, explains Seiki Toma Sensei's inspiration for the large kanji that I have from him mentioned earlier. They are on two separate papers, one with "ken" and the other with "sei".

Something leads me to feel that the use of "Sei" may be more than a disguised reference to "Sho" since Toma Sensei openly used the character "Sho" (the character that typically refers to the kingdom on his dojo signboard) as well as the character "sei" on the same sign.

Dennis

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#355136 - 01/20/08 12:44 PM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: Rascal]
Gesar Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/07
Posts: 77
Loc: England, UK
Chofukainoa,
I think we may have found something, but at the same time opened up some more mysteries as well. The reason I thought it odd was as Uehara and Higa had parted company with Seitoku Higa probably on the basis of some of Higa's later claims, for example Higa states that by means of coincidence he purchased some land where Ti or an early form of it was taught by Motobu Seijin (Motobu the Sage) back in the 6th Century, this Motobu Seijin then becomes a Kami that Higa relies on in order to discover the deeper mysteries of Ti. Higa's dojo the Bugeikan is built on this very same site. There is certainly some mystical stuff regarding Kishomoto such as the seeing of shadows, though I am not sure that this was the case with Bushi Takemura, who is believed to have been a Kohai of Bushi Matsumura, little else is known about him, but what we do know is that he had a son who was selected by the prefectural government of Okianwa to go to Kagoshima and learn Judo and was responsible for helping introduce it to Okinawa prior to 1918. We know that Kishomoto studied under Takemura and that Kishomoto had no more than 10 students in his life time, the junior to Higa was Seiken Shukimune, who founded Gensei Ryu and later Taido. Seitoku Higa, Seiken Shukumine, Seiki Higa and Seiichi Akamine were associated and that both Higa and Akamine took on some mystical aspects in their respective martial arts.

What is certain is that Seitoku Higa had not only been a student of Seikichi Uehara as well but was involved in helping with the promotion of Motobu Udun Di through his Ancient United Budo Association. Its hard to tell how much influence that Seitoku Higa had on certain aspects of Motobu Udun Di, but it has been suggested in certain circles that there was some cross fertilisation of ideas between Higa and Uehara and that this may well have included techniques as well. But as you say its also hard to determine how much of what has been said actually is due to Higa's own mystical bent and I would add also his own agenda of preserving what he believed to be ancient martial arts of the Ryukyu Kingdom. I will be interested to hear what answers you get from your Shihan.

Dennis,
I noticed that one set of the characters for Seidokan on the kanji you sent me, were the same as found in the Kanji on Shian Toma's Seidokan group. The Go Sho Do, seems to imply a lot more. I also suspect that you are right that the use of the Sei character implies a lot more than a mere disguised reference to Sho.

Regards

Chris Norman


Edited by Gesar (01/20/08 12:59 PM)

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#355137 - 01/20/08 07:52 PM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: Gesar]
chofukainoa Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 146
Loc: tokyo, japan
Chris, the further information you give about Higa is--shall we say--interesting...

As for Takemura, in Okinawan Karate, Bishop relates two superhuman feats: one where he was able to shake a group of attackers off of him into the sea, and another where he performed an act of levitation. Of course, there are plenty of these tall tales that go around about past masters, but I have yet to hear a similar one about Motobu Choyu or Uehara.

Uehara's legend is partially based on his having actually used his art to save himself during the war in the Philippines. Instead of heroic, his experiences are always referred to as traumatic, and must have been a big influence on his promoting a style of training that was purged of anger.

I know that is what attracted Ikeda shihan to udundi. Apparently, he discovered it after acquiring a collapsed lung while doing Motobu-ryu karate, wondering what good would he be in a real altercation if he had been knocked out of commission just in training. I've never heard anything remotely mystical from him, but I'll see what he says today.

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#355138 - 01/21/08 10:11 AM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: chofukainoa]
ThunderboltLotus Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 16
Loc: Cornwall, Great Britain
Well this has moved on

I'm in a libary at the moment so this will be quick.

There are numerous references regarding Seikichi Uehara believing that Choyu Motobu must have had divine inspiration or words to that affect. This seems to be very prevalent with the 'older Okinawan mind'. There is so much to say on some of the comments on this thread and would say if things cannot be spoken of freely because they may offend then i suggest a new forum be set up for the uncensored discussion (and hopefully leading to practice) of Udunti/di. Just to clarify one earlier point Chris made (although i think i know what he meant) Mark Bishops 'ti' wasn t isn t based on shiatsu, but due to the stiffness of many martial artists both in body and mind, his emphasis was on this first, but is one aspect of the 4 i previously mentioned.

until i can get on again

regards
_________________________
Michael Powell

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#355139 - 01/21/08 05:17 PM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: ThunderboltLotus]
Gesar Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/07
Posts: 77
Loc: England, UK
Chofukainoa,
I had forget about the stories Mark Bishop had been told by Seitoku Higa about Bushi Takemura (The levitation incident and the shaking the attackers off). Bishop's book is the only source for these as far as I am aware and his source is as stated Seitoku Higa, whose mystical bent has already been pointed out.

Mike,
Dont take this the wrong way. But yes the thread has moved on, substantially, and I dont actually think that Mark Bishop's Ti has actually been discussed as part of this thread at all, it has limited relevance, and as such was briefly mentioned in places, mostly I hasten to add by yourself (especially see page 5 of this thread and your own post which seems to be the only mention of Shiatsu). Where Mark Bishop has been mentioned by myself and others it is not in the context that you have stated. You seem to have clearly attributed a quote to me that I did not actually make on this forum. Something that us academics find particularly annoying. But I guess in your case that it may very well be the time factor involved. I have just checked in case I had made such a reference, I am unable to find one and certainly cannot see the relevance of my having made such a quote in the context of what is being discussed in this thread. Besides I tend to leave the discussion of mark Bishop's Ti to yourself, as you have had more involvement with the man in question.

Anyway, for your benefit, to summarise what has actually been discussed is Motobu Udun Di of Seikichi Uehara and there has been recent mention of the possible relationship that Seitoku Higa and his Ancient United Budo Association has had with that. There is a page on the site that Chofukainoa had posted which contains a statement written in 1966 by Seitoku Higa about Uehara and Motobu Udun Di, but also mentions others, that is the more recent point we have arrived at, I believe.

As regards the issue of possible offence this concerned two specific terms that were in need of clarification surrounding the term Seidokan and some specific Kanji used by Seikichi Uehara, Seiki Toma and Shian Toma and a statement that Stephen Chan (Currently a Senior Grade of Shian Toma's Seidokan organisation and Dean of studies at SOAS my old University where I did postgraduate study and research training) had made which Roy J Hobbs (who had trained with both Seiki and Shian Toma) had quoted in article in relation to a question that Dennis had asked.

As regards the censorship issue; I do not think that the moderator, Jim Neeter, has censored the forum, far from it, he has merely asked for some caution to be observed regarding certain terminology which has specific academic meaning of which contributors to this thread are aware and understand but which holds other meanings in common parlance and which could be misunderstood because of that by others. This is something which Chofunkainoa and myself had discussed and been careful to clarify and have since agreed to avoid discussing on a public forum and for good reason. I think we are now someway beyond that.

I think that few of us reading this forum would be interested in these references to Choyu Motobu's divine inspiration, especially given the recent references to the Sho and Sei characters. Do you have any sources for these?

Regards

Chris Norman


Edited by Gesar (01/21/08 05:24 PM)

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#355140 - 01/28/08 05:16 AM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: Gesar]
chofukainoa Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 146
Loc: tokyo, japan
Hey, where were we? Oh yeah, me asking about "seidokan." Well, I didn't get a chance to ask my shihan yet because I started telling him about things I had seen in English on udundi on the internet, and he wanted me to basically give him a rundown, so I didn't get to asking him about that specifically.

I did ask my sensei, and he pointed me to one of the five "essences" of udundi according to Uehara sensei. The last line is:
"The only way to the pinnacle of bu is to walk with mushin (often translated as no mind )."

He also mentions using a natural form, and calming/emptying the mind/heart/spirit.

So I wondered if it were possible for him to have gotten these very Zen concepts from Motobu Choyu (instead of adopting them later, for example). So I looked into the religious practices of the Cho Dynasty and found some very interesting articles in English:
http://chinajapan.org/articles/11.1/11.1steben39-60.pdf
http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/jjrs/pdf/490.pdf
http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/g/j/gjs4/2000_Ambiguous_Boundaries.pdf
http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/g/j/gjs4/Smits_SF06.pdf

I hadn't known in detail about the Zen influence in Okinawa, but apparently many of the Zen concepts were adapted by Okinawan Confucians and Buddhism was officially discouraged from the 18th century.

Why go off on this tangent? Because I don't think that it is easy to define things like "sei" "mushin" "kyoshin" in this context--the meanings are likely to vary from mainland Zen.
But it seems entirely plausible that Uehara received this influence as part of his early training, as opposed to later, from Higa.

Another interesting point is that Uehara does not mention "ki" in his five essences. Actually, the character does not even appear once!

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#355141 - 01/28/08 05:49 AM Re: Udundi Kata Anyone? [Re: chofukainoa]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
for the benefit of the thread could you post -

five "essences" of udundi according to Uehara sensei,

that would be most in interesting.
_________________________
Jim Neeter

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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