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Patrick McCarthy
9th August 2006, 07:32
Hi folks,

Thought you might like to know about a new DVD just released by Don Warrener featuring vintage footage of Akamine Eisuke.

Ed_morris
9th August 2006, 19:03
since these aren't coming up in google yet, I figured I'd put the links to help people find it if interested.
http://www.risingsunproductions.net/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=1083
http://www.risingsunproductions.net/catalog/images/M97.jpg

TimJurgens
13th August 2006, 03:48
Hiroshi Akamine Sensei the Thrid President of the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko Kai is unaware of this production and neither is his mother and surviving widow of Esuke Akamine Sensei.

They would like to know the intentions behind this video.

It seems that as common courtesy contact with surviving family members would be standard protocol before such a release.

If anyone wants to see footage of Akamine Sensei, coming to Okinawa and training at the Hombu with the shihan that he trained and with the family he provided for remains the best and most courteous way. If you want to train Ryukyu Kobudo then doing it on the floor he built for that purpose is a great opportunity and the Dojo remains open to visitors of good moral character who are willing to train hard.

Doug Daulton
14th August 2006, 01:14
This is a difficult topic.

On the one hand, it is always wonderful when new, historical footage is made available to the general public. As a member of the Taira --> Akamine lineage, this release certainly has the potential to be a valuable historical record. I will buy a copy, if only to evaluate it's merits and be able to provide an educated reply when asked about it.

On the other hand, as Tim so clearly states, I am disheartened by the fact that this video is being released without so much as a courtesy call to the Akamine family. Unfortunately, this video is not unique in that regard. More and more, people come out of the woodwork with an 8mm film shot 30 years ago at an embu or shiai and simply release it to the public. They feel if they shot the video, it is theirs to do with as they will. To a large degree, this is a misguided idea. Ask any professional photographer or documentary film maker and they will preach about the need for a photo/video release for any projects that are to be released commercially.

Legalities aside, we come back to the basic tenet of all martial art ... courtesy. The individuals involved in these releases all purport to be senior "masters" of budo. However, they neglect the most fundamental principle of courtesy. Were Akamine Eisuke still alive, I highly doubt this video would have never seen the light of day commercially. Perhaps he would not have fought the release, but the producers never would have risked it to begin with.

Legalities and common courtesy aside, there is another, equally pressing reason to be wary of this release. <strong>Accuracy.</strong> Assuming the cover art is taken from the 8mm transfer, I have no doubt that this footage is genuine. But, is it accurate? There are several ways that the footage could be misleading or inaccurate.
<ol>
<li><strong>Who is Taiju Lee?</strong><br /> As some of you may know, I have written or co-written <a href="http://okinawakobudo.com/content.php?page=media">a series of historical articles on Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai (RKHS)</a>. In addition, I co-wrote, directed and produced the documentary "<a href="http://okinawakobudo.com/content.php?page=media">Taira Shinken: Father of Ryukyu Kobudo</a>". Each of these projects were extensively and laboriously researched with the expressed permission of the Honbu in Okinawa and direct input and regular review of Devorah "Yoshiko" Dometrich (U.S. Honbu-cho) and other senior deshi of Akamine Sensei. I mention this not to blow my own horn, but to support the following statement.<br /><br /> <strong><em>I've never heard of Mr. Taiju Lee and neither has Dometrich Sensei.</em></strong> <br /><br /> Given the time frame, Mr. Lee may have been a short-lived student or visiting student of Akamine Sensei. In any case, Mr. Lee is certainly not one of Akamine's deshi and was probably not in the dojo long enough to be able to grasp much beyond the basic <strong><em>embusen</em></strong> (path) of the katas in question. Any martial artist worth his salt will tell you that kata is worthless unless you understand the underlying waza. <br /><br /> Please understand, I do not mean to disparage Mr. Lee. Should new evidence prove my assertions wrong, I will be the first to apologize.</li>

<li><strong>Did Akamine Sensei "edit" while filming?</strong> <br /> Given Mr. Lee's questionable status as a legitimate RKHS practitioner, it is also entirely possible that Akamine Sensei preemptively "edited" the kata. In other words, he may have left out steps in the embusen or intentionally misrepresented techniques on film to foil plans to use the video as it is being used now ... out of context and without his expressed permission. This practice is very often used in martial arts circles, which makes any production from outside of the source lineage of <strong>any art</strong>, questionable at best.</li>

<li><strong>Did the producers inadvertantly edit out something important?</strong><br /> Assuming that no "creative license" was taken, just the act of editing old 8mm footage into something viewable (sans scratches, pops and burns) might misrepresent certain techniques or concepts demonstrated. I have practical experience with this process. I know the pitfalls.</li>

<li><strong>Lost in Translation?</strong><br /> Assuming that the interview is translated from Japanese or Hogan, who did the translation? A long-time student of Akamine who is bi-lingual and articulate? Or, a non-martial artist translator who knows neither the vernacular of Taira --> Akamine lineage or the particular idiosyncrasies of Akamine Sensei's speech and vocabulary?</li>

<li><strong>Does the viewer understand the evolution of the teachers?</strong><br /> When producing the Taira documentary, Dometrich Sensei and I were very careful to explicitly tell folks not to use the Taira footage as a training aid. Aside from the fact that Taira's personal waza was impacted by a long-standing leg injury, that footage was taken at least 20 years before Taira's death. During the intervening years, Taira's waza matured and changed considerably. So, what is on the video is different than what he taught then (due to injury) and what he taught later with 20 more years of additional study. The same principal hold true for this footage of Akamine Sensei. Shot in the mid-60s, the waza and kata shown in this footage is subject to almost 30 years of evolution and change. <br /><br /> While it is often true that modern arts can be watered down, it is wrong to blindly assume that older footage neccesarily represents purer waza. If the teachers and lineage are strong and committed, then all waza can and should evolve and become more refined with each generation, else the art is dead.</li>
</ol>In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that Dometrich Sensei and I are in pre-production on a documentary regarding Akamine Sensei. While I'd rather have announced it under different circumstances, this project has been planned since 2000 and in active pre-production since May 2006. Like the Taira documentary, this work will include 8mm film, photos and history gathered, with Akamine Sensei's permission, from family and student archives. This work is being completed with the full knowledge and permission of the Akamine family. Along with the Akamine biopic, we will be re-releasing the Taira documentary on DVD. Look for both in 2007.

In closing, I want to be clear that this post is not meant to be a preemptive rebuttal of a product which some might see as a competitor to our impending release. To the contrary, I very much hope that the two DVDs compliment one another. As mentioned earlier, I am excited by any new footage of any teacher in my lineage. It is part of my history of a martial artist.

That said, I wish the producers had taken the time to exercise common courtesy by calling or writing the Akamine family. And, I think the points mentioned above must be kept in mind by serious students when evaluating any martial arts video, including those in which I have a hand.

Finally, as has been said in these forums ad nauseum, video is no substitute for qualified instruction. At best, video may give one a different insight or perspective to explore under the guidance of a qualified instructor. In the case of the Taira --> Akamine lineage, interested students have the following options:
<ol>
<li><strong>Okinawa:</strong> Honbu Dojo, Akamine Hiroshi Sensei [<a href="http://www.ryukyu-kobudo.com">Visit Website</a>]</li>
<li><strong>United States &amp; Canada: </strong> Beikoku So Honbu Dojo, Devorah Dometrich Sensei [<a href="http://okinawakobudo.com/">Visit Website</a>]</li>
</ol>

Best of luck in your training,

Sanseru
14th August 2006, 06:30
I believe these sites have information on Mr. Lee and his background:

http://www.usadojo.com/biographies/clarence-tai-lee.htm

http://www.kiworks.com/Grand_Opening.htm

Kindest regards,

Doug Daulton
14th August 2006, 06:45
Mario,

Good to hear from you. Did Minowa Sensei know and train with Mr. Lee? Have you met and trained with him? Or, are these links the result of some Googling? I trust your opinions and research, so these questions are not a challenge. I am just trying to put some context to the links.

And to be crystal clear, my post was not intended to cast aspersions on Mr. Lee. From reading those links, he is clearly well respected and liked. But, this comes from left field. In every conversation I've had regarding the history of the Taira --> Akamine line, his name has never been mentioned.

As always, thanks for the information.

Sanseru
14th August 2006, 15:53
Hello Doug:

I do not know if Minowa sensei trained with Mr. Lee as I never asked him. Apparently Mr. Lee appears to be a long time student of Nagaishi Fumio sensei who I have corresponded with. Also, Mr. Charles Goodin knows Nagaishi sensei quite well. I will contact Mr. Goodin about this thread.

Kindest regards,

Doug Daulton
15th August 2006, 22:51
Excellent! Thanks Mario.

TimJurgens
19th August 2006, 09:06
Akamine Hiroshi Sensei, 3rd President of the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko Kai and son of Esuke Akamine Sensei 2nd President, has requested a copy of the video. Once he receives a copy and reviews the content he will decide how to proceede.

Also anyone considering working on a video featuring either the Akamine Family or Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko Kai material should clear their projects with the Association President. That is the best way to ensure that all facts are represented as accurately as possible and the best possible result achieved. It is also standard protocol.

Sanseru
19th August 2006, 22:00
Tim:

I think you need to made your request directly to either Mr. Lee, Mr. Warrner or Mr. Nagaishi.

Kindest regards,

TimJurgens
22nd August 2006, 12:06
Mario,

Thanks as always for your support.

Akamine Kaicho is in contact with Mr. Warrener and they are exchanging mails.

The request for people to contact him for any other projects that people are working on or may begin working on is for the general audiance. It really is the best way to ensure the project is the best possible and it is common courtesy.

Regards,

Tim

TimJurgens
5th September 2006, 12:58
The DVDs have arrived in Okinawa and are being looked at and discussed by the President and Senior Members of the Association.

Thanks to Mr. Warrener for sending them on.

TimJurgens
25th November 2006, 02:56
All,

After viewing the DVD and having extensive discussion at the Association Headquarters and taking into consideration the feelings of Akamine Esuke Sensei's surviving widow and family a decision has been reached.

Here is the message sent by Akamine Hiroshi Sensei, President of the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko Kai.


On Nov 19, 2006, at 5:42 AM, Hiroshi Akamine wrote:


Mr. Warrner,
Concerning the DVD the Association has held meetings to consider how to respond.
We cannot endorse this DVD. We ask that the sale of this video be stopped as we feel it does damage to the efforts that Akamine Esuke Sensei put into preserving and promoting correct kata and technique. The reasons for this are: the source of the video was intended to be personal reference material for Mr. Lee and should not have been turned into a commercial product, in fact our Association has not produced any commercial products relating to Akamine Esuke Sensei, additionally the kata shown in the video are not correct. It was Akamine Esuke Senseiís habit to make small changes when he was being taped to ensure that people would not use the video as a commercial product or use it as a sole source of instruction.
We ask that no videos relating to Present or Past members be released without or prior expressed permission. This includes Taira Shinken Sensei, Akamine Esuke Sensei, and current members of the association. We do have interest in creating an official Association Video with corrected technique and information. Until that time if any unauthorized releases take place we may be forced to seek legal recourse. We ask your understanding in this matter.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai
Hiroshi Akamine

Mr. Warrner replied that we should request to Mr. Lee to stop distribution. If Mr. Lee agrees then Mr. Warrner would consider what he should do.

Our President requests that people refrain from purchasing this video and please be patient for an official release. He also invites anyone interested in Kobudo to come to the Hombu to train or visit one of our registered dojos. As I am sure everyone is painfully aware there is no substitute to actual direct instruction.

TimJurgens
1st December 2006, 16:26
Doug and Mario or anyone else who may know the contact details, Akamine Sensei would like to contact Mr. Lee in this matter.

Can I ask that the details be mailed to me at tim.jurgens@ryukyu-kobudo.com please.

Sanseru
1st December 2006, 16:48
Hello Tim:

I don't know Mr. Lee's contact information, but someone who may is Mr. Charles Goodin who can be reached through his website:

http://hikari.us/index1.html

Another person that you may want to contact to reach Mr. Lee, is Mr. Fumio Nagaishi who resides in Hawaii and was also a student of Taira Shinken - although I hear his health is not good these days.

Kindest regards,

Doug Daulton
1st December 2006, 22:36
Tim,

I do not have Mr. Lee's contact information. However, I may have a resource that can get in touch with him. Let me do some asking around and I'll get back to you.

Thanks,

Doug

TimJurgens
8th January 2007, 12:40
This year we did our Bonenkai at Jundokan's Chinen Sensei's izayakaya. Chinen Sensei is globally known for his work in Gojuryu as well as his work as the chief refree in the world tournament in 2003.

During the party he popped in a DVD he had of about 15 or so top Sensei from several different dojo visiting Akamine Esuke Sensei and asking him various advice on Koubdo. At the end of the lecture there was a demonstration of Kata done by the current President Akamine Hiroshi, Kuniyoshi Sensei, and Takara Sensei. It was from 1998 I believe. It was interesting to see Akamine Senesi and Kuniyoshi Sensei critiquing themselves now almost 9 years later. It also underscores the limitations of DVDs. What the people would like to put on film and what comes out are sometimes not the same.

It is however usually a good snapshot of where people were at in their art in a particular year.

dannyemerick
10th February 2007, 01:52
[QUOTE=Doug Daulton]

<strong><em>I've never heard of Mr. Taiju Lee and neither has Dometrich Sensei.</em></strong>

Mr. Daulton,

There is a minor point of clarification I need to make to your statement that Dometrich Sensei has never heard of Mr. Taiju Lee. I'm sure that the confusion stems from the fact that he is referred to as "Taiju" Lee, his birth name, on the DVD rather than his more well known moniker "Clarence" Lee.

On her first visit to Tallahassee, Florida about 5 or 6 years ago, I took part in a wonderful kobudo workshop with Dometrich Sensei. At that time I told her of Mr. Lee and his connection with Akamine Dai-Sensei, and she kindly gave me a copy of the Taira documentary to send to Mr. Lee.

The following year, both Dometrich Sensei and Takara Sensei visited Tallahassee to give a kobudo workshop, and I was again one of the fortunate ones who had the chance to partake of their teaching.

After the workshop, we had BBQ at a restaurant. This restaurant was within a few blocks of my home, and I thought that both Dometrich Sensei and Takara Sensei would enjoy seeing Mr. Lee's films that he had shared with me of their teacher Akamine Dai-Sensei and of Chibana Dai-Sensei, so I invited them to visit (along with Leslie Williams and her husband, Dometrich Sensei's sponsor here).

They came to my house and I plugged in the video and told them that Mr. Lee had made this film of Akamine Sensei in about 1969 or 1970. When Akamine Sensei appeared on the screen, Takara Sensei, who was sitting on my sofa, dropped to the floor in excitement and exclaimed, "SENSEI!" He was visibly moved with emotion when he saw Akamine Sensei, as was Dometrich Sensei.

If I had been allowed, I would have gladly given a copy of the films to both Dometrich Sensei and Takara Sensei, but Mr. Lee had given these copies to me with the promise to "show, but don't share", and of course, I honored his wishes.

To my knowledge few people, outside of Mr. Lee's students, had seen any of this footage. That's why the DVD of Akamine Sensei seemed to have "come out of left field."

Please be assured that Mr. Lee has the utmost respect for his teachers, and he would never do anything to disgrace or bring dishonor to them. The footage of Akamine Dai-Sensei and of Chibana Dai-Sensei he has now decided to share with other martial artists (after keeping it private for almost 40 years) should not be taken as anything other than a documentary of some wonderful masters who are no longer with us.

In Friendship,

Danny Emerick
Tallahassee, Florida

Doug Daulton
21st February 2007, 08:23
Mr. Emerick,

Sorry for the delay in responding to you. My Dad just had major back surgery and my attention has been focused on family for the last few weeks.

Regarding your post, I have spoken with Dometrich Sensei and she confirms the encounter described below. As you surmised, the difference in names (Taiju vs. Clarence) was one of the disconnects. Also, both Dometrich Sensei and I recently enjoyed long converations with Mr. Rick Wong and now have a very good sense of Mr. Lee and your organization. Based on these conversations, we both feel that Mr. Lee's original intentions with the video were, and remain, noble.

As you are aware, both Tim and I are in regular contact with our respective honbu-cho and will continue to work towards a positive resolution of this situation.

Thanks for offering new information to help clear the air. Look for an email from me in the near future.

Warm Regards,

Doug Daulton


[QUOTE=Doug Daulton]

<strong><em>I've never heard of Mr. Taiju Lee and neither has Dometrich Sensei.</em></strong>

Mr. Daulton,

There is a minor point of clarification I need to make to your statement that Dometrich Sensei has never heard of Mr. Taiju Lee. I'm sure that the confusion stems from the fact that he is referred to as "Taiju" Lee, his birth name, on the DVD rather than his more well known moniker "Clarence" Lee.

On her first visit to Tallahassee, Florida about 5 or 6 years ago, I took part in a wonderful kobudo workshop with Dometrich Sensei. At that time I told her of Mr. Lee and his connection with Akamine Dai-Sensei, and she kindly gave me a copy of the Taira documentary to send to Mr. Lee.

The following year, both Dometrich Sensei and Takara Sensei visited Tallahassee to give a kobudo workshop, and I was again one of the fortunate ones who had the chance to partake of their teaching.

After the workshop, we had BBQ at a restaurant. This restaurant was within a few blocks of my home, and I thought that both Dometrich Sensei and Takara Sensei would enjoy seeing Mr. Lee's films that he had shared with me of their teacher Akamine Dai-Sensei and of Chibana Dai-Sensei, so I invited them to visit (along with Leslie Williams and her husband, Dometrich Sensei's sponsor here).

They came to my house and I plugged in the video and told them that Mr. Lee had made this film of Akamine Sensei in about 1969 or 1970. When Akamine Sensei appeared on the screen, Takara Sensei, who was sitting on my sofa, dropped to the floor in excitement and exclaimed, "SENSEI!" He was visibly moved with emotion when he saw Akamine Sensei, as was Dometrich Sensei.

If I had been allowed, I would have gladly given a copy of the films to both Dometrich Sensei and Takara Sensei, but Mr. Lee had given these copies to me with the promise to "show, but don't share", and of course, I honored his wishes.

To my knowledge few people, outside of Mr. Lee's students, had seen any of this footage. That's why the DVD of Akamine Sensei seemed to have "come out of left field."

Please be assured that Mr. Lee has the utmost respect for his teachers, and he would never do anything to disgrace or bring dishonor to them. The footage of Akamine Dai-Sensei and of Chibana Dai-Sensei he has now decided to share with other martial artists (after keeping it private for almost 40 years) should not be taken as anything other than a documentary of some wonderful masters who are no longer with us.

In Friendship,

Danny Emerick
Tallahassee, Florida

dannyemerick
22nd February 2007, 21:13
Dear Mr. Daulton,

Thank you for your gracious reply to my post.

I fully understand both your and Dometrich Sensei's initial concern with the DVD, so please be assured that no offense was taken and no harm done.

I also truly believe that only GOOD will come out of our future discussions regarding Mr. Lee's experiences and training with Chibana Dai Sensei and Akamine Dai Sensei.


Thank you again,

Danny Emerick

TimJurgens
23rd February 2007, 15:51
I want to publicly thank Danny and Rick for their efforts in this.

A call is being set up between interested parties to decide what is the best way to resolve the situation. Mr. Lee is on travel in Hawaii visiting Nagaishi Sensei and also meeting with students. We wish him a safe and plesant return and look forward to speaking with him.

The end result seems to be better communication in the organization. The Akamine family is accessable and approachable and we have web sites with relevant information on how to contact someone either at the Hombu or in the US, UK, Israel, the PI, India, South Africa, Australia, New Zeland, Mainland Japan, Switzerland and before too long Spain. We are also working on rounding up the last of the lost wagons so to speak and hopefully more information on who is out there and available will continue to be forth coming.

Yours in budo,

Tim

TimJurgens
2nd March 2007, 17:17
Mr. Lee was kind enough to call Okinawa today and spoke with Akamine Sensei at some length. He has experessed a desire to reformalize his status as a member of the association. Unfortunately due to distance and difficulties in communications in the past, there had not been any contact with Okinawa since the visit portrayed in the DVD and the parties fell out of touch. Mr. Lee was in touch with his teacher in Hawaii and now is back in touch with Okinawa.

This reconciliation is a fairly concrete example of the value of these types of forums, and the power of the Internet as a communications tool. Not only is Mr. Lee back in touch with the Hombu, he has been in communication with American representatives most notably Dometrich Sensei and Doug Dalton.

We hope to get more information about Mr. Lee and the people associated with them and their connection with the Akamine Line of Kobudo through a short article that we will post on the Association Headquarters web site and the US site that Doug does such a nice job with. Doug and Rick are collaborating on the work, and we will provide any additional details from the Okinawa perspective if Akamine Sensei has anything to add.

Regarding the DVD it still has some flaws in the embusen of the Kata but there are parts of it with historical value. It will probably be best absorbed into a larger work that will include film from the Hombu and the Akamine Archive and input from all active Shihan instead of just one source. That project is under consideration now. Using the concept of prepoderence of texts, which is thes same discipline that was used to work out many historical texts and living arts, only makes sense and the project deserves to have the best stage lighted from many angles, not just one camera or perspective.

Ideally the product will inclued a historical section, a section on weapons, on Kihon, on Kata, and on Bunkai. Such a document would be a very nice overview of the organization. That being said, we all should underscore that anyone wanting to train Kobudo is best finding a Sensei, we list them at www.ryukyu-kobudo.com, and training in the flesh is the only way to get it right. Shinzato Sensei and Dometrich Sensei are certified Shihans in the US and are available to people in Florida and Kentucky and at various other events.

The DVD that started this conversation captures the spirit of a trip to Okinawa. If you are moved by those images, get on a plane and visit us here! The doors are open and monthly dues are only about 40 bucks (5000 Yen) so it is cheep once you arrive. I also have open positions in my office for people with technical skills (Unix and Microsoft Engineers, DBAs or Cisco guys are needed) so someone seriously interested in coming here to work and train has a chance to do so.

Lastly please coordinate any projects relating to the past or current Presidents with Akamine Hiroshi Kaicho. At present he is contemplating a project from the Hombu, but has asked people contact him relating to any other work relating to his father. Any such work should only come from the Okinawa Hombu on behalf of the entire organization if the subject is the entire organization.

There are some wonderful DVDs on technique that Dometrich Sensei has put together and there is also a collection of fighting techniques that Paul Vermiglio put together, but Akamine Hiroshi Sensei asks that all respect the icons of the entire organization (Taira Sensei and Akamine Sensei) and not release any private film even if the intentions are good as it is now clear Mr. Lee's were.

It just simply makes sense that the organization wants to put the best information out and doing it centrally with a preponderence of input and reviews is the best way to ensure people get the best product if one is released. The name of the organization says it all

Preservation and Promotion of Ryukyu Kobudo

Doug Daulton
17th March 2007, 06:25
For those still following this thread, my wife and I made the scenic drive from Las Vegas to to San Francisco last week. There, we met Mr. Lee, and his students Rick Wong and Ann McPherson.

First and foremost, they were most gracious, open and welcoming hosts. Thanks to our hosts, Kelly and I saw aspects of the Bay Area that most tourists never see. Many, many thanks!

I am preparing a more detailed article/report on this RKHS "reunion", so stay tuned. In the interim, I'd like to say publicly that, after observing Mr. Lee's kata and waza, it is most evident that we come from the same family tree. As one might expect, there are minor variations but nothing glaring.

So as Tim mentioned previously, it appears that what first appeared to be a difficult situation is indeed bearing a most positive fruit. Thanks to everyone who has participated in this process.

Regards,

Doug Daulton

harleyt26
21st March 2007, 11:01
Will it be appropriate to discuss the DVD at some point?I do not wish to offend anyone or any group,but I think there are points brought out by the DVD that should be explained concerning the evolution of Ryu Kyu Kobudo and the experience timeline of the people in the videos besides Akamine sensei.The embusen of some of the kata might be another point for discussion.Could Jurgens sensei or Daulton sensei help with this? Tom Hodges

Doug Daulton
21st March 2007, 17:15
Mr. Hodges,

Certainly. Ask any questions you might have. However, I will offer the following caveats.

1. Learning kata from a video is never advised. Kata is much more than a simple series of movements to be parroted.

2. Detailed explanations may not be available for a variety of reasons. If this is the case, please do not assume we are being coy or that we are offended. We may not know or be at liberty to provide the answer. :D

To be clear, I am not trying to shut down discussion ... far from it. Rather, I am simply outlining issues that are almost sure to come up before the discussion starts rolling.


Regards,

Doug Daulton


Will it be appropriate to discuss the DVD at some point?I do not wish to offend anyone or any group,but I think there are points brought out by the DVD that should be explained concerning the evolution of Ryu Kyu Kobudo and the experience timeline of the people in the videos besides Akamine sensei.The embusen of some of the kata might be another point for discussion.Could Jurgens sensei or Daulton sensei help with this? Tom Hodges

harleyt26
22nd March 2007, 03:16
Thank you Daulton sensei,I agree learning from video is not possible.But video can be an excellent scource for reference after learning from an instructor in that method of practice. This particular DVD is a great collectable but not much use for reference because of the evolution of Ryu Kyu Kobudo Akamine lineage.It looks to me that the way he does the kata in this DVD more closely resembles some other kobudo(Matayoshi for example) than the current Ryu Kyu Kobudo Akamine lineage methods.(no offence intended only a personal observation)This was obviously prior to the addition of koshi and before the developement of the ten bo kihon.I hope more video becomes available in later stages to put the evolution in some order of progression. I did not intend to make it sound like you were shutting down this thread I only wanted to show respect for the Akamine family and the organizations involved,and not discuss it if not the correct time. Is there any way to know how much experience in Akamines kobudo Mr. Lee and the other people in the video had at the time this video was filmed? I train in Ryu Kyu Kobudo Tesshinkan my instructor is Tamayose Hidemi sensei,it is Akamine lineage also.In Kanegawa nicho no Gama he teaches the sequences a little differently but the same embussen.The kata in the video looks like a mixture of it and Toyama nicho no Gama. I only know our first three sai kata: Chikinshitahaku no Sai,Chatanyara no Sai and Hamahiga no Sai. The sai kata they are working on in the video may be a more advanced forms than the ones I know but the order of sequences and embussen seem quite different.If it is Chatanyara no Sai the order of sequences seems to be more like Shimabuku Tatsuo(a student of Taira Shinken) taught in his Isshinryu. Are you at liberty to comment on these things,I understand if you are not.Politics are tough to deal with.I am not looking for kuden(secrets)only more advanced opinions. Tom Hodges

TimJurgens
23rd March 2007, 16:13
Tom,

About 2 nights ago in the Dojo Akamine Hiroshi Sensei made a comment about how some things look different now than they do in older film. Specifically in reference to the Kihon #4 movement just before the Gedan Mawashi Uke that follows the Gedan Nuki. Now the movement is larger than you will see in older film. The reson given was that by making the movement larger it was easier for beginners to put Koshi and Tanden into the technique as it makes the space for the transition between the techniqes a little larger. I hope that makes sense.

I would also offer a comment that the older film seems to be close to Inoue Sensei's group meaning that Akamine Esuke Sensei continued to emphasise what he needed in order to make the system better. Inoue Sensei would most likely have done the same. The result is one system being more focused on sharp techniques and the other on flowing from one technique to the next quickly. Both have elements of each other but you can see the emphasis at work. That the older film in each tree is closer to a common way of moving only makes sense from an anthropological standpoint.

Don Shapland who trains with Tameose Sensei in your group, once related a comment to me that he heard from Akamine Esuke Sensei when Don asked why some things changed. I was told the reply was along these lines. "In 1940 Ford made a good car, in 1995 they make a better one." I know that all the Kata are written out move by move, stance by stance in a reference book in the Hombu to ensure that things don't wander off the ranch so to speak. The first part of the name of the organization is Preservation so that is key to the thinking, so no one is going to change anything just for the sake of it. I am sure that it was a long and developed process.

Yours in budo,

Tim

harleyt26
24th March 2007, 13:02
Thank you for your response to my post Jurgens sensei.I would rather hear that the evolution was due to refineing and improving the effectiveness of techniques to make it a more devastating style rather than easier to learn for beginners.And if that is the case shouldn't #4 kihon revert to the original version at an advanced level(maybe it does and I am just not there yet?)I hope I am not being misunderstood,I like the way we do it now I think it has more availability of power and better body control at that transition point in kihon 4.Shapland sensei has told us that story many times probably because we ask too many questions.That 1940 ford is increasing in value as a collectable while the 95 ford is depreciating.What I am saying is that this is a traditional art and the evolution of it shouldn't be because its easier.But I am OK with the evolution if it is to make it more effective.When Tamayose sensei first started teaching us the nunchaku kata he wanted us to do a technique a little different because he was afraid we would hit ourselfs in the back of the head with the nunchaku,we quickly let him know that we would rather get hurt and learn from that rather than be taught in a watered down method.Most of the evolution has been for the better but we should really watch out for this easier or safer thing.After all there is that word "preservation"in the name of your group. Tom Hodges

TimJurgens
27th March 2007, 13:50
Tom, please call me Tim. While I have an instructor's license and Dojo license in Kobudo when I think of people being called Sensei I think of the generation that came before me not myself yet.

That brings up a good point.

Shu - Ha - Ri.

Shu = usually about 15 years or so: follow along, copy, and do as we are told stage.

Ha = 15 to 30 year mark: slight separation stage, individual thought, adding value stage.

Ri = 30-40 year stage: full separation based on having learned enough to stand on our own stage.

Unfortunately it seems most people in the west recently think it should go Shew - HaHa - Me.

Shew = 3-5 year stage: Shew, you should see me now I have a black belt and can do some technique.

HaHa = 5-10 year stage: look at me laugh at and cut everyone else down to make myself look biger and more important than I really am.

Me = over 10 year stage: it's all about me baby, make that money and crank out funky rank for cash while I claim to be a PHd in whup arse science and call myself Soke or something equally silly.

Akamine Esuke Sensei had a reason to do what he did. I was told it was to make learning how to use the hips easier, but certainly not to water anything down. He wasn't a water things down kind of guy, and neither is Tameose Sensei. What his reason might be, however, is not for me to question because I am still in that Shu stage. At 4th Dan while working on the 5th Dan Bo kata is the first time this was mentioned to me. I guess that it is time for me to begin thinking about making that transition smoother or I would not have been told about it yet. Or maybe it is because with the recent DVD more old film is being looked at and it crossed Akamine Hiroshi Sensei's mind to mention it to the 3 of us working on the kata at that time. In any case I am still at the point where I take the leson as it is presented and am grateful for it. I have way too many things to fix before I can begin kidding myself about making anything better.

That being said I fully understand your comittment to doing things in as traditional manner as possible and asking Tameose sensei to not dumb anything down, and I would probably say the same thing in the same situation as that was a potentialy distinct change as opposed to an emphasis on some movement.

Best of luck in your training and also, in case it is not clear, I am in no way implying that you would be in the Shew - HaHa - Me group. The people you associate with know how to avoid the second group. I am just pointing out that there was a lot of thought put into the system, when the kata come in the order, what that order and progression stresses people to learn in the stage of their development, when they need to start working the left side harder, when they start with bladed weapons, when they work with an unballanced weapon, when they throw something, all of it builds on the previous step and pushes the envelope, so I am willing to let the lessons come as designed.

When we get more advanced, if that movement goes back to being smaller, then I guess we will know why. Until then I am happy to count cadence and just try to keep up.

harleyt26
28th March 2007, 12:15
Thank you again for the reply,but I must show respect.You are in Shapland sensei's peer group,I would be disrespecting him to call you by first name,particularly in a teaching inviroment such as this is. Shu-Ha-Ri is the group that describes how I view me and my instructors now,I guess I would be at the Shu and Ha transtionary point now.But unfortunately I spent the previous twenty years training under a perfect example of a HaHa-Me instructor while he kept me in the Shew stage. I was hoping to initiate a dialog between some of the more advanced Ryu Kyu Kobudo practitioners on this forum,the DVD seemed to be a good opportunity.Thank you for sharing the lessons,insights and comments of Akamine Hiroshi sensei. I will go back to my kihon now and will pay particular attention to koshi and tanden in #4.Thank you Jurgens sensei. Tom Hodges

TimJurgens
29th March 2007, 15:37
He is definately my sempai, and my good friend.

He makes a great Tinbe and Rochin set as well.

harleyt26
30th March 2007, 04:23
I have a Tinbe and Rochin he made,they are very nice.I have a set of his Mugei Nunchaku he made from purpleheart wood that are the same excellent quality.He also makes Kama that equal in quality to his other weapons,I hope to own a set some day. Tom Hodges

Shorin Ryuu
17th April 2007, 11:04
Hello Doug:
Apparently Mr. Lee appears to be a long time student of Nagaishi Fumio sensei who I have corresponded with.



Another person that you may want to contact to reach Mr. Lee, is Mr. Fumio Nagaishi who resides in Hawaii and was also a student of Taira Shinken - although I hear his health is not good these days.



Mr. Lee is on travel in Hawaii visiting Nagaishi Sensei and also meeting with students.

I am glad that all of this has come to a resolution. However, there are a few things I would like to clarify.

First off, Nagaishi Sensei's health is pretty good. He just has a little difficulty driving at night, that's all. His grip is still strong and he trains at his house with his wife.

With that said, I'll provide a little introduction for many of you who do not know much about Nagaishi Sensei.

Fumio Nagaishi was born in Hawaii in 1926. In his early years, he trained as a boxer and participated in many sports. In 1950, after completion of his US military service, he went to Okinawa as a US civil servant. He gained an interest in karate and in 1955, became a student of Chibana Chosin Sensei. While training there, he received some instruction in weaponry, and in 1963, he began to take private lessons from Shinei Kyan Sensei. After meeting Taira Shinken Sensei in 1965, he began to take private lessons with Taira Sensei coming to his house until he passed away in 1970. Afterwards, Nagaishi Sensei joined the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai and aided Akamine Sensei in spreading the art of Taira Sensei's kobudo. In 1988, he returned to Hawaii and established the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai Hawaii branch in honor of Taira Sensei.

All that being said...

The following is what I was told by my instructor, Pat Nakata, who received a teaching license for Ryukyu Kobudo and was designated as Nagaishi Sensei's atotsugi, although he declined in favor of Alan Yokota, as Nakata Sensei felt that his emphasis on Chibana's Shorin Ryu would not do Nagaishi Sensei's Ryukyu Kobudo justice to future generations.

And without further ado...

While Clarence Lee trained with Nagaishi Sensei a long time ago, the training has not been continuous and the way he does his kobudo is not the Fumio Nagaishi way.

I am making no value assignations, condemnations, or commendations. I am simply stating the facts as they stand.

harleyt26
21st April 2007, 13:15
Does anyone know if Nagaishi sensei's kobudo is still connected with the Hozon Shinko Kai,I cannot find him listed on the lineage chart.Are there any video of his kobudo style available, is there a sample on youtube? Tom Hodges

TimJurgens
21st April 2007, 18:20
Does anyone know if Nagaishi sensei's kobudo is still connected with the Hozon Shinko Kai,I cannot find him listed on the lineage chart.Are there any video of his kobudo style available, is there a sample on youtube? Tom Hodges

He is still listed as a member of the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko Kai.

Unfortunately communication had lapsed for some time and we did not have information to post on the website about him. Hopefully that will change shortly as Doug is now in frequent contact with Mr. Lee's group in California.

Akamine Hiroshi Kaicho trained often with Nagaishi Sensei when he was working in Okinawa and spoke highly of him. Nagaishi Sensei was also listed as an official branch dojo when the Third Annaversary Memorial Demonstration was held for Akamine Esuke Kaicho.

Shorin Ryuu
21st April 2007, 21:11
Unfortunately communication had lapsed for some time and we did not have information to post on the website about him. Hopefully that will change shortly as Doug is now in frequent contact with Mr. Lee's group in California.


If there are any questions about Nagaishi Sensei, I can get the answers to them. Again, like I said, Mr. Lee trained with Nagaishi Sensei a long time ago, but he is not a close student either in his kobudo or just simply in the student sense.

harleyt26
23rd April 2007, 12:07
Does Nagaishi sensei have an existing organization in Hawaii?Are there any dojo currently teaching Nagaishi sensei's kobudo?Could Nagaishi sensei's kobudo have been an influence on other Hawaiian martial arts?Is there any video footage available for comparison of the evolution of that branch of kobudo?I have a friend that practices a Kempo lineage from Hawaii,we have not been able to trace the origin of the weapons kata in that system.Most of his Kempo kata have the same names as the Ryu Kyu Kobudo kata and you can see some very interesting similarities between them. Tom Hodges

Shorin Ryuu
26th April 2007, 03:39
Does Nagaishi sensei have an existing organization in Hawaii?Are there any dojo currently teaching Nagaishi sensei's kobudo?Could Nagaishi sensei's kobudo have been an influence on other Hawaiian martial arts?Is there any video footage available for comparison of the evolution of that branch of kobudo?I have a friend that practices a Kempo lineage from Hawaii,we have not been able to trace the origin of the weapons kata in that system.Most of his Kempo kata have the same names as the Ryu Kyu Kobudo kata and you can see some very interesting similarities between them. Tom Hodges

There is a dojo that teaches Nagaishi Sensei's Ryukyu Kobudo on Hawaii. The instructor is Sensei Pat Nakata, a longtime friend and student of Nagaishi Sensei. There is no public footage floating around on the web of Nagaishi Sensei's kobudo that I personally know of.

What is the name of your friend in Hawaii?