Mike
You made some point that I suggested statistical analysis, I made no such mention of any statistical analysis at all at any point. Variables can still appear in a qualitative research hypothesis.Hypo = low Thesis = Theory. But something has to be proposed to be tested against something else in order to get some result.

You state that:
'The dependent variables are the specific movements in the 40 kata', and that 'the 40 kata contain literally hundreds of dependent variables'.

You also state that 'the independent variables are the applications, spear and empty hand' and that 'the independent variable of empty hand applications will be those movements taught in the specific school of the viewer'.

So you are going to look at specific movements in 40 kata and measure the effects of those specific movements on the applications for both spear and empty hand in those same kata.

Well the only words that comes to mind now is that this is tautological.

This now seems a long way from what was originally proposed:
'Chinese military personal likely taught Okinawans military arts to defend tribute vessels, and that these arts survive until today'.

Actually you are not really proposing a hypothesis at all, what you are suggesting is that you can see that the spear can be used with Kata. Ok I will grant you that, but so can the Sai, Tonfa, Rokushakubo, Hanbo, Tankon, Nunchaku, Tinbe and Rochin to name a few.

It does not strike me that you are going to be able to prove any influence of Chinese miliatry spear arts surviving in Okinawan kata other than by your own subjective interpretation (not that there is anything wrong with that). You certainly would not be able to prove your original hypothesis with much of what you suggest anyway:

26 kata practiced by Shotokan(I don't include Taikyoku)
These are recent kata and developed for state physical education in Japan, they differ from Okinawan versions and have been subject to Japanese influence.

5 Goju kata not brought back from China: Then these are not Chinese and are also quite modern, again physical education.

So that is 31 kata out of the equation in proving the original hypothesis, good, that makes a bit more sense.

You might have something of a chance with Matsumura Passai and Rohai, but then you would have to accept that the earliest kata that you are going to have that has any possible Chinese influence is from Sokon Matsumura, which takes you back to what Chinese systems Matsumura studied.

As for the 7 Kyan kata: I assume you mean Chotoku Kyan, he was allegedly from Motobu clan, which had its own martial art, which uses spear, which in all probability came from the Chinese. So you might want to follow up on my original suggestion in the first post I made and look at Motobu Ryu Udun Ti, if you have not already that is.

I dont think that there is anything wrong with you are doing in terms of practice or even the value martially of the following two points you made:

1. the spear applications or the empty hand applications appear to be more effective for their respective combat environments.

2. the spear applications or the empty hand applications map closely to what is found in the kata. (Fidelity to the kata movements).

As to your point:
Many schools use applications that bear little resemblence to the kata movements. For example, often all kinds of non-kata movements are included.

It does appear that many modernists, especially those coming from Japanese Karate styles do this, but I think that you will find that many Okinawan stylists keep their application to the movements of the Kata. A lot of this comes about from such people modifying the movements of the original kata, it seems you are as guilty as the rest on this point:

As I note that from your blog November 29, 2009 Naihanchi that you state the following:
'In Clip 1 (2 minutes) I practice the opening with modified footwork'.

I looked at some of your clips on your blog and it appears to me that you are adapting the kata in order to facilitate spear movements, again there is nothing wrong with that either in terms of a method of practice and I am sure that you and your students will gain something from it.

Regards

Chris Norman.