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View Full Version : For Harry Cook, re Channan



kusanku
3rd March 2003, 03:16
Harry, In answer to your question about the channan I saw on another thread now locked down, and I do understand why Ted locked it, and apologize for my part therein-

I never saw 'em.Elmar Schmeisser described part of one of them to me, years ago, via email, and I did not buy that they were in any way authentic.

He was going to write a book on them, called something like Channan, Heart of the Heians, but by the time Joe Swift and myself got done with the 'provenance ' of these kata, that plan may or may not have changed.I do not know.

Apparemntly a sixteen year old black belt from California was the only source for these kata, and his teacher, an American, and his teacher,now deceased,either an American stationed in or emigrant from the Phillipines, who learned them from an unnamed Chinese Monk ( really, this was the line of provenance) who learned them in Thailand(!) and went to the Phillipines, teaching a man who came to America, teaching another man who taught the above mentioned sixteen year old, who imparted them to Dr. Schmeisser, who then, apparently, bought the whole story, lock, stock and barrel.

Thailand? Yi.:D

I haven't seen even the complete written description of these kata, but what I have seen,just one section which I no longer have, reads like a Pinan, Three in fact, with more two finger pokes and spins added, which fails to convince me of a supposed Chinese origin.

You could ask Elmar about this if you like, I sure am not going to even attempt to defend that thesis.While Funakoshi in Ryukyu Kempo:Karate, does name some kata that apparently have been lost to us,or perhaps have other names today, I don't believe that chanan are among them.The explanation you posted on the other thread, for which I thank you, is in support of the information found by Joe Swift, and which I tend to believe, that channan were merely the first name for the Pinan katas.

This would explain why the kata no longer exist, because, as early name for Pinan, they merely got called Pinan.

That there were two Chinese kata called Channan Sho and Channan Dai, I highly doubt.If such kata existed, someone on Okinawa would at least know about them.What does seem to be known is what you have posted.

I like to find truth, and appreciate all information leading to this.We may never know for sure all the sources of the Pinan kata, but Channan, don't appear to be one of them.

Thats all I got on the elusive American Channan.:D

Machimura
3rd March 2003, 08:08
No one can say for sure what the origins of the Pinans were. Whether it was Chatanyara, Sho, Dai or Sho and Dai Kushanu/Kusanku/Koshanku/Koshokon or Chan'nan/Chiannan/Channan who knows. Some have speculated that its origin is not even Chinese, but Vietnamese. The truth is all Shuri Te derived styles do some form of Pinan (except Isshin Ryu) and it all looks pretty much the same. I tend to lean towards the fact that there is more oral and written proof from eminent Masters like Hohan Soken and Ryusho Sakagami pointing towards the original form called Chan'nan and the later manifestation of the Pinan series. Those who claim it is from Kusanku origin are probably correct too.

Regardless, I like the first 2, and think the last 3 are "auxillary" kata. That's why Hohan Soken didn't teach the last 3. Now that I've done an Itosu-based style and a Matsumura-based (well they're both Matsumura Ha) style, I can see the reasoning behind Soken's rationale. Seisan, Naihanchi, Passai Dai and Sho, Chinto, Kusanku Sho, Dai ("CY Kusanku" John spoke of?), Gojushiho and Chinto are much better for teaching intermed. and advanced karate principles. Let's not forget Hakutsuru... Oh no, I shouldn't have implied the "C" word on ebudo! Thats' for another ruckus, another day.

Good points John, even if I can't totally agree with them all.

Bryan Cyr

Harry Cook
3rd March 2003, 13:19
Thank you gentlemen. This whole Channan/Pinan thing has always intrigued me, but like many questions in the history of karate I guess we have to accept that we will never really know what went on.
Yours,
Harry Cook

Machimura
3rd March 2003, 23:48
Originally posted by Machimura

Seisan, Naihanchi, Passai Dai and Sho, Chinto, Kusanku Sho, Dai ("CY Kusanku" John spoke of?), Gojushiho and Chinto are much better for teaching intermed. and advanced karate principles.

Bryan Cyr

Oops, said Chinto twice. that's what happens when you work a 36 hour shift! I like Chinto that much, hahaha!

Bryan Cyr

kusanku
6th March 2003, 02:04
Originally posted by Harry Cook
Thank you gentlemen. This whole Channan/Pinan thing has always intrigued me, but like many questions in the history of karate I guess we have to accept that we will never really know what went on.
Yours,
Harry Cook

I believe this is correct.I was talking to a Shito Ryu friend of mine on email, and it afterwards occurred to me, that if Kenwa Mabuni Librarian Supreme of Karate Kata, of both Okinawan main lineages, and direct student of Itosu, had ever seen any channan kata, he would have kept and preserved them, unless they were the earleir Pinans, of course, I may be wrong here, but just a thought.Anyway, I do believe, we will never really know the whole thing.I too,m always wondered about these.

regards,
John

kusanku
6th March 2003, 02:16
Originally posted by Machimura
[B]No one can say for sure what the origins of the Pinans were. Whether it was Chatanyara, Sho, Dai or Sho and Dai Kushanu/Kusanku/Koshanku/Koshokon or Chan'nan/Chiannan/Channan who knows. Some have speculated that its origin is not even Chinese, but Vietnamese.

I've even heard, Hsing-I.Vietnamese is a new one on me, though.I suppose anything however, is possible.:-)




The truth is all Shuri Te derived styles do some form of Pinan (except Isshin Ryu) and it all looks pretty much the same.

Yah, some are prettier though, some leaner, and some have a couple more angles but that's a mere quibble.


I tend to lean towards the fact that there is more oral and written proof from eminent Masters like Hohan Soken and Ryusho Sakagami pointing towards the original form called Chan'nan and the later manifestation of the Pinan series.

From what Harry Cook and Joe Swift have translated and posted, it would seem so.I am willing to buy this one,for those reasons and because no one known on Okinawa today has preserved any Channan form, and if they were different forms, that woulkd be out of character to say the least.



Those who claim it is from Kusanku origin are probably correct too.

Well, some Okinawan masters have said this, and also, if one does the Matsubayashi Ryu Pinana and then the CY(Chatan Yara) Kusanku from that school, one see about where most if not all, Pinan waza come from,, there may be a little from Passai and Chinto in there too.


Regardless, I like the first 2, and think the last 3 are "auxillary" kata. That's why Hohan Soken didn't teach the last 3.{/quote]

I have heard this and it may be so, too.I don't know, though.

[quote]Now that I've done an Itosu-based style and a Matsumura-based (well they're both Matsumura Ha) style, I can see the reasoning behind Soken's rationale. Seisan, Naihanchi, Passai Dai and Sho, Chinto, Kusanku Sho, Dai ("CY Kusanku" John spoke of?), Gojushiho and Chinto are much better for teaching intermed. and advanced karate principles.


Why, yes, they are. Harder for beginners though.


Let's not forget Hakutsuru... Oh no, I shouldn't have implied the "C" word on ebudo! Thats' for another ruckus, another day.

Aye, and that's a true fact.:D


Good points John, even if I can't totally agree with them all.

I suspect, Bryan, that any disagreements you and I may have, were mere detials, stemming naturally from slightly, not greatly different perceptions gained through different experiences of the similar arts from different teachers.In short, we'd probably get along fine.

And thank you both for your information and viewpoints.

Regards,

Machimura
7th March 2003, 09:44
Thanks for the attention to my replies. Kusanku is an awesome form. Right now I'm concentrating on Chinto and Passai Dai. Outstanding kata, too! Great takes Shihan Cook! Same for you John. Later all- Kyoshi Cook and Sensei Vengel!

Bryan Cyr

kusanku
8th March 2003, 02:09
Thank You, Bryan!
Chinto and Passai Kata are very deep forms, containing many explicitly revealed principles , techniques and strategies previously concealed or disguised in simpler kata, or only implicit therein.Also the Gojushiho or Useishi forms and some others, Niseishi and so on, contain a lot of this type of advanced training.

Kusanku, in many Shorin based styles, whichever form or forms of it are used,is generally considered to be in the same class as the above forms but , often, even if its not the last one taught, is considered to be the ultimate Shorin ryu type form( hakutsuru being in a separate category, the 'c' category), containing most of the defensive and offensive Shorin ryu strategies and techniques, clearly shown, sometimes only once on one side but shown nevertheless( blink and you miss them).It is considered to be a kata that, in older times, was worthy of ten years study, after you mastered others first.

Hadn't thought of this, but maybe that was why Pinan were created, to cut down on time needed ot master Kusanku and some of those other forms, which are quite advanced in themselves.

Figure three years minimum needed for any classical kata, Naihanchi one -three, ten years total, Passai, three, Chinto, three,maybe seisan, two and a half to three,then ten years for kusanku, that's almost thirty years right there.Twenty if you use seisan instread of naihanchi.

So, if you are involved with Chinto and Passai, thats a six year project right there.Nine if add Gojushiho.Then ten for Kusanku.Long time.

No wonder those old guys used to learn about three to five kata,that was around ten to twenty years study right there.If one kata was Kusanku, maybe longer.

Once figured that to really learn well, all eighteen Matsubayashi Ryu kata, would take sixty years.