PDA

View Full Version : White crane, hakutsuru etc.



Timothy.G.B.
11th December 2004, 00:16
I have heard a lot about the elusive white crane and have even seen one of Soken Sensei's students demonstrate a couple of hakutsuru kata.

It was about 8 or 9 years ago and so I don't remember much, but I was taken by the open handed "flicking" type techniques and the way he moved his feet and I was just wondering if anyone has a link to any video clips of people doing Soken Sensei's Crane Kata(s)? My teacher also told me of an individual in Okinawa he knows that also does White Crane.

I'm always curious about stuff that no one ever seems to be able to find a lot of!!

Thanks in advance!

Tim Black

Victor Smith
12th December 2004, 01:13
Tim,

There is very little substantian information about the Hakutsuru forms on the net. Lots of words, little substance.

I've seen the Soken movie and its not much, friends tell me he was just 'playing' not showing.

The quest for Hakutsuru in Okinawan Karate is sort of a 'Holy Grail', but from some of what I've seen it often resemble's Monty Python's efforts, espeecially the Knights who say Knicht!

The best Okinawan Crane I've seen has been Matayoshi Shimpo (Spelling likely wrong by choice I'm too lazy to check it out), and his students. In fact its on the video tapes by a Company in Calfornia I'm not to particularly fond of, but if you want it it is for sale on Matayoshi's first kobudo tape. In fact a friend who trained in Okinawa down in Cambridge does one of the best Hakutsuru I've seen.

There are various competing groups, Sandoval, and Lindsey I guess I've read about, doing Hakutsuru kata. But uless you join their groups (Matsumura Seito?) or buy their tapes you won't find it openly. Likewise there's an industry of it on Okinawa and elsewhere around the world.

John Sells and George Alexander also have Hakutsuru tapes for sale. I like Sell's effort. I can't prove they're lineage however.

Very good Crane inspired kata are found in the Shito-ryu, I would place their efforts in second place if I was seeking Crane.

BTW, it matters very little but I too have a Hakutsuru kata, credited to Soken, but after years of checking i've come to believe it was created within the old National Karate and Jujutsu Union. It is quite interesting, filled with Crane technique and about twice the length of Kusanku kata. Links to many kata, ground techniques, etc. It just isn't source Soken as was told to me. I like it but don't teach it, my students have vastly other interests, and alas I don't sell video tapes.

I wonder if anyone can prove source, unless they study it on OKinawa themselves, but it means little. If anything moves you, and you can break em up with it, more power to you.

Hope this is helpful,

shisochin#1
12th December 2004, 02:59
I have seen the Matoyoshi tape supposedly he learned it from Gokenki. There is a version of a crane kata on the Hayashi Ha Shito ryu tapes aswell. He call's it Hakaku which I believe is the same as Hakucho.

Timothy.G.B.
13th December 2004, 17:49
Thanks for the replies. I know about Lindsay Sensei and Sandoval Sensei's groups and some others and have seen their websites with very little on them. Too bad that they don't post anything visual like photos or video.

The person that I saw do the Crane kata was in fact Sandoval Sensei, at a camp I went to with a previous school I trained at. As I said it was so long ago, I don't think I really knew what I was seeing and that is why I would like to see it again.

Thanks for the heads up on the tapes. I am not a big tape buyer, as I have been disappointed with most tapes I have seen.

Looking forward to hearing from others :)

Best,
Tim Black

Ed Gingras
14th December 2004, 09:23
Soken Sensei taught several of his Okinawan students the Hakutsuru kata. I currently work out with Akamine, Yoshimatsu who studied under Soken Sensei from the mid 1950's until Soken Sensei's death. He teaches kata pretty much the way Soken Sensei did. When I opened my Oyama Dojo, he performed the Hakutsuru kata. For those of you who don't know me, I have been on Okinawa for 30+ years and was fortunate enough to study with Soken Sensei and am still studying with his students and even a son of one of his students.
v/r
Edward Gingras
Shorinryu Matsumura Seito Karatedo Hozon Kai
Okinawa, Japan

Sanseru
15th December 2004, 17:49
Just my two yen worth.

In my time living in Japan it was my observation that there is a
strong tendency in Okinawan karate to revere the crane - almost to
deify it. There is a fair bit of evidence to support that there is a
a crane influence on Okinawan systems, BUT there are also many other influences such as SE Asia.

Unfortunately, these "Crane" kata are viewed by many as some form of
"supreme" or "ultimate" kata in their systems. And in some case it
is taught outside the system as an added bonus, or under the special
tuition of the teacher.

Historically speaking, this diefication of the "Crane" seems to be
the result of the tea merchant and Chuan'fa teacher Wu Xiangui aka
Gokenki, who's role was pivotal in the early Kenkyukai.

Undoubtedly Wu did teach large parts of his "Crane" system (IF we can
even call what he taught a system), but no one individual ever took
the whole thing. It was taken only in small pieces or fragments.
IMHO, the Okinawans who did learn from Wu did it as an ADJUNCT to
their own personal training and understanding, allowing a different
perspective on fighting techniques and concepts.

The addition of these "Crane" techniques were, IMHO, interpreted by
subsequent students as "hidden knowledge" and somehow superior. As a
result, in one generation we have a crane connection that is
disproportionally strong.

I apologise for the rambling nature of this post, I simply wanted to
get my thoughts out on this topic as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely,

Mario McKenna
Vancouver, BC
Canada

chizikunbo
15th December 2004, 17:56
most White Crane people especially those in China and surounding islands think that hakutsuru is BS but you would have t ask him, I iwll get ahold of aSifu I know and give you the inside scoop :)

Timothy.G.B.
15th December 2004, 18:15
Interesting stuff!

Mario, great to hear from you on the forum. In case you weren't aware, Kogan Sensei is my teacher and you and I met in the Kits dojo twice, once during your class and once at the dojo party.

It seems like the Crane, as Mario mentioned, has become, as one person put it, the "holy grail" of Okinawan karate. I have heard and seen enough people selling their version of the "holy grail" and have been terribly unimpressed most times. I guess with the crane stuff, it seems to be so "well hidden" that it intrigues me.

Is it well hidden because of the sheer depth of the learning or is it well hidden because of the sheer lack of depth? Or is it just another "good" Okinawan style that not many people don't know. Not being able to see it done makes it very hard to know for certain. I guess for me it is a little like Motobu-Ryu. I have seen video and it looks very peculiar (especially the kobudo stuff) and it intrigues me.

In another life, I learned several Hakutsuru kata and basic exercises and some of the prevailing wisdom in the katas did not hold up when I asked a Hung Gar Sifu I know about application of certain techniques.

I don't necessarily think there is anything to be resolved in this thread, so much as I enjoy the discussion.

Tim Black

Sanseru
15th December 2004, 19:26
Funny running in to you here Tim ;) I rarely post to e-budo, but the Hakutsuru thread caught my attention as it is such a quagmire of fact, fiction and half-truths.

Much of what is publically available or sold as "hakutsuru" is little more than salesmanship - it is simply marketing. In an age of mixed martial arts, tae bo, and a miriad of other combinations, something new is necessary to attract and keep students in some people's minds.

This is not to say that there are NOT crane based forms and techniques in some karate styles/systems, but as I mentioned before, I believe these to be adjuncts. But by presenting crane forms as "secret" or "closed door", this creates an interest on the students part. Making the student feel that he/she is part of an inner group that is privy to restricted information.

I honestly feel that if the teacher was grounded in a non-sports-based, classical, Okinawan system then there would be no need for the student to be looking around for such commerical non-sense.

We brings me to another thought

_________________________________________________________________

We are all pretty familiar with the development of modern karatedo and the influence of the social and political climate of Japan from the Meiji restoration to the rise of militarism in the 1920's. It goes without saying that the face of Karate was forever changed: Standardized unifroms, universal curriculum, new basic forms, emphasis on "moral and mental" development, COMPETITION, etc.

In contrast to this, from what little I know and have discussed with
teachers in Japan and Okinawa, old style training involved the three "K"'s -Kitsui, Kiken and Kitanai - Hard, Dangerous and Vulgar. Endless, self-imposed training on a handful of techniques both in pairs and by oneself, combined with weight training using the old style equipment and impact training on the makiwara and/or kaki-ya.

That's it. No systematic or overt instruction in bunkai or let alone oyo. Instruction, was very hands on and if the student was lucky and
listening, hints were given along the way. But ultimately this
apprentice model focused on developing a strong sense of efficacy in the student as experience is always the best teacher. Hence the need to test oneself via Kake-damashi in the old red light district of Tsuji or perhaps even go so far as try Jissen.

Looking at this old model, it is not appropriate for everyone in this day and age. I am always a little surprised with people who say they want to get back to "karate's roots" and return to "old style training methods". I doubt they really understand what those old methods entail.

For most people, what is probably more sensible is to include some of the older Okinawan training methods in your current regime.

Getting off my soapbox now :p

Best regards,

Mario McKenna
Vancouver, BC
Canada

CEB
15th December 2004, 21:53
How often in the old model would target areas reffered to by accupuncture chart nomenclature????

Sanseru
15th December 2004, 22:34
Hello:

The Bubishi aside, I have never heard of any references to accupuncture charts, terminology, etc. in old style karate training. At least not in direct practice and transmission to students. But I am limited by my own experience.

I think Old style training is largely the product of a parocial, non-literate 19th century island culture. Hence the lack of terminology in any form and the emphasis on transmission of technique and principles via kata.

My Tou'on teacher was a product of this kind of training in some respects. His explanations of striking and targeting were something to the effect of, "hit here because it hurts". :)

Best regards,

Mario McKenna
Vancouver, BC
Canada

CEB
15th December 2004, 22:41
:nw: :nw: :nw:

Thank you!

Timothy.G.B.
17th December 2004, 19:31
An Okinawan Goju Sensei that I know through my teacher says that he only knows 3 points...jo, chu, ge :) That has been my experience of the whole pressure point thing and Okinawan karate.

I have no doubt that pressure points work for certain things, but I wouldn't want to rely on trying to hit them in a confrontation. Its hard enough hitting the major vulnerable targets when someone realy doesn't want to get hit.

And, after all, most of the major vulnerable areas (jo, chu, ge) are at the end of the limbs so you can always find your way there!

Best,
Tim Black

harleyt26
18th December 2004, 14:36
Jo,Chu and ge are only levels.Jodan is high chudan is middle and gedan is low.They would not be indicators of pressure point strikes unless noting which pressure points are in that area.I believe that if you practice using pressure points as target areas then the likelyhood of hitting them in a confrontation is much better than trying to hit them without that time spent in training,but there is no guarantee that you will hit that point and there is no certainty that they will work on the particular person(all pressure points are not as effective on all people as in the case of double jointed or nerve damaged people some locks and pressure points are not always effective on them but they are not double jointed or nerve damaged over the entire body so keep trying) that is attacking you.But I do believe that practicing those strikes are not a waste of time.When we practice application and oyo bunkai out of the kata I have found that pressure points are a major part of many of the techniques.We do not necessarily practice pressure point attacks but we have found that they are a part of all okinawan karate styles that we have been trainig with(Isshinryu,Shorin ryu and goju ryu).The use of pressure points in joint locks can more than double their effectiveness. Tom Hodges

Old Dragon
19th December 2004, 20:59
Originally posted by harleyt26
I believe that if you practice using pressure points as target areas then the likelyhood of hitting them in a confrontation is much better than trying to hit them without that time spent in training, Tom Hodges



Tom I agree:

A few years back I had the same thought. Using the (what I refer to) the "delicate" strikes learned in Pressure point attacks seemed unlikely in a real confrontation was useless. My sensei agreed but added that if you were to simply use the general area of the point in question as the target for a punch, kick, or strike you stood a good chance of making that strike more effective. In demonstrating pressure points I have seen people use their fingers, or small points of a weapon to demonstrate the exact spot on the side of the thigh that will take someones balance, my sensei explained that in combat I was right, the presence of mind to strike it with the thumb was unlikely, but to shin kick or knee strike the general area would often have the same result. The same as the triangle on the side of the neck... there are I beleive 7 points on the side of the neck ( I'm not an expert on pressure points but I beleive they call this the anterior traingle) to affect, so instead of picking one and attempting to hit it, hit the whole neck with a forearm or shuto. This gave me a new perspective on how to use pressure points effectivly. I beleive the commercialisation of the pressure points in the last few years has failed to demonstrate this concept. My sensei does not follow pressure points but will point out that they are generally the okinawan targets of preference and it is because of the vulnerability of the area that it is this way.

Mike O'Leary

Timothy.G.B.
20th December 2004, 20:02
Hi Tom:

Thanks for your post regarding the translation of the japanese words jo, chu, and ge. I was aware of the meaning when I posted my reply, but my "tongue-in-cheek" story didn't seem to translate as well as I might have liked, in the text version! :)

Best,
Tim Black

Rob Alvelais
20th December 2004, 23:35
I got it , Tim. Seemed fine to me.

Rob



Originally posted by Timothy.G.B.
Hi Tom:

Thanks for your post regarding the translation of the japanese words jo, chu, and ge. I was aware of the meaning when I posted my reply, but my "tongue-in-cheek" story didn't seem to translate as well as I might have liked, in the text version! :)

Best,
Tim Black

CEB
21st December 2004, 03:21
Ditto

harleyt26
21st December 2004, 11:46
Hello Tim,after reviewing your post I do notice the smiley you inserted to indicate a funny.Sometimes I am the last one to get it and some days I just do not get it at all.As far as my post,nevermind. Tom Hodges

Patrick McCarthy
21st December 2004, 13:37
Folks,

I got a British pal named Martin Watts now living in Spain who studied Yongchun Crane in Fujian and is happy to discuss crane-boxing with just about anyone. He can be contacted c/o martin@allmydates.com

Yongchun crane quanfa is, IMO, one of the most likely proginator-quanfa styles to influence old-school Okinawan karate; especially the Naha-based traditions...Goju, Ryuei and Uechi etc.

I've crossed arms with Matin and he knows his stuff, although he's pretty modest about his skills (which are great). He's a sincere guy who has a real passion for training with anyone, hates the political stuff and has a website located here if anyone wants to visit and say hi. http://www.fujianbaihe.com/fujianbaihe/index.html

Hope this helps

Patrick McCarthy

Timothy.G.B.
21st December 2004, 20:41
McCarthy Sensei:

Thank you for the link to the crane website. I haven't been able to open the videos yet, due to my ancient PC here at home. But, I look foward to watching them later.

I was just wondering. Surely, you must have come across the Okinawan White Crane in your extensive research of the ryukyuan traditions. Any insights you would be willing to share with the rest of us?

Thanks in advance!

Best,

Tim Black
Kokusai Shinjinbukan(Canada)

Patrick McCarthy
23rd December 2004, 02:10
Dear Tim san,

Hmm, Okinawan White Crane??? I have seen pseudo white crane practiced in several karate styles (some of it quite nice, too) but not "Okinawan"; rather, an interpretation of that which is practiced/taught in Fujian. Technique is technique; kick, punch, block, stance & strike, however, Fujian crane boxing (in its many interpretations; Yongchun, Singing, Flying, Sleeping, Feeding etc.) exhibit idiosyncratic characteristics which I have not seen in its Okinawan interpretations.

Hope this is what you were looking for?

Season's Greetings

Patrick McCarthy

dsomers
23rd December 2004, 03:51
Dear McCarthy Sensei ,

When I was younger , I used to train Nisei Goju Ryu , for a few years . We used to do a Kata called Gesaku Sho . I had let it go , because I believed it to be made up . However , I recentlly have came upon some footage of Odo Seikichi demonstrating the same Kata , I believe he calls it Hakutsuru Ichi , if I remember correctlly . Do you know anything about this Kata's background ? Thanks in advance .

David Somers

Patrick McCarthy
23rd December 2004, 04:13
Dear David san,

I think they're all made up...aren't they? Some just older than others and from different places. I do, however, often wonder about the inner-defensive value (not its physical/holistic benefits) of practicing kata of which no one knows its original defensive intentions. Therein lies reason enough to *make up* your own.

I am not familiar with Mr. Odo's Hakutsuru Ichi but am confident my friend and colleague, Bruce Heilman, probably would.

Season's greetings

Patrick McCarthy

dsomers
23rd December 2004, 04:32
Yes , w/o a doudt , they all are made up . But , some are more recent then others , & some have practical applications to the , while others are for mere show .

Merry Christmas!
David

Timothy.G.B.
23rd December 2004, 20:51
Dear McCarthy Sensei:

Thank you for your reply. Very helpful indeed.

Sincerely,
Tim Black
Kokusai Shinjinbukan

Troll Basher
25th December 2004, 02:24
Originally posted by dsomers
Dear McCarthy Sensei ,

When I was younger , I used to train Nisei Goju Ryu , for a few years . We used to do a Kata called Gesaku Sho . I had let it go , because I believed it to be made up . However , I recentlly have came upon some footage of Odo Seikichi demonstrating the same Kata , I believe he calls it Hakutsuru Ichi , if I remember correctlly . Do you know anything about this Kata's background ? Thanks in advance .

David Somers

Mr. Odo was in a karate research group that included Uehara Seikichi, Oyata Seiyu, and Higa Seitoku I believe was the president. He may have picked up that kata from Mr. Higa.

Dong
25th December 2004, 09:45
Hi,

You might want to visit this:

http://wulin.proboards31.com

Some heavy flow of Chinese Crane info going on.

Thanks.

Shorinman
27th December 2004, 16:49
Originally posted by Dong
Hi,

You might want to visit this:

http://wulin.proboards31.com

Some heavy flow of Chinese Crane info going on.

Thanks.

Hi Tim,

I was going to PM this site to you but, there's no PM option.

So there you go.:)

Happy Holidays!

Timothy.G.B.
30th December 2004, 20:56
Dong and Larry:

Thanks for the link to the discussion forum!

Best,
Tim Black
Kokusai Shinjinbukan

Timothy.G.B.
11th January 2005, 03:53
To anyone who is interested, I was directed to a version of Matayoshi Hakutsuru Kata at the following site:

http://www.nikawakai.co.uk/videos.htm

So far, this is the only Okinawan Crane I have seen on the net. Interesting to watch! Curious what others think!

Best,
Tim Black
Kokusai Shinjinbukan

CEB
11th January 2005, 04:47
.

Sanseru
11th January 2005, 08:27
Tim:

The next time you are in Vancouver, remind you and I will show you the Touon-ryu Nepai kata. The kata that Kyoda Juhatsu learned from Gokenki (Wu Xianhui) at the Toudi Kenkyukai in the 1920's.

Cheers,

Mario McKenna
Vancouver, BC

Sanseru
11th January 2005, 08:47
P.S. The Crane kata demonstrated on the site you provided appears to be a version of Hakaku - a kata found in Kingai-ryu made popular by the late Matayoshi sensei.

For what its worth.

Good training.

Mario McKenna
Vancouver, BC

Harry Cook
11th January 2005, 09:03
I saw a version of this performed by Chojiro Tani (Shukokai/Shito Ryu) in Osaka in 1979 or so. It may be that this White crane can be found in Shukokai.
Harry Cook

CEB
11th January 2005, 15:01
Originally posted by Sanseru
P.S. The Crane kata demonstrated on the site you provided appears to be a version of Hakaku - a kata found in Kingai-ryu made popular by the late Matayoshi sensei.

For what its worth.

Good training.

Mario McKenna
Vancouver, BC

Yes, but look at the man's feet. I think he learned it off a video or else it comes from some 3rd party source perhaps the Shukokai idea ( I have no idea, I don't know what Shukokai is.) This form starts with the feet.

Tim, your PM thingy is shut off. E-mail me at Rokkishu@hotmail.com if you are interested.

Timothy.G.B.
11th January 2005, 17:33
Thanks Mario!

I will get in touch next time I am coming to the Kits dojo. I would be interested to see it.

Best regards,
Tim

----------------

Tim Black
Kokusai Shinjinbukan

sean_stonehart
11th January 2005, 21:08
Fujian White Crane... www.yongchunbaihechuen.com or www.fujianbaihe.com

Have fun...

Sanseru
12th January 2005, 00:08
Well since you brought it up Ed, yes, it looks like he learned the form either a) from someone who didn't know the form well him/herself, or b) from a video. I know we could all go on and on about how the mechanics of the form are completely out to lunch, but since we know that we'll just leave it at that :-)

Cheers,

Mario McKenna
Vancouver, BC