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Thread: Humble origins?

  1. #31
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    Default re

    Hi all,

    great stuff...

    A theory of mine is that the patterns of many traditional kata follow astrological patterns.
    Just as you find some kind of taoist or buddhist (or mixed) symbolism in the names of Goju ry kata... The strong Chinese influence is also seen in the chronicle Chzan Seifu, for example, which uses the Chinese year-mottoes instead of Japanese (There are Chinese and Japanese versions of Chzan Seifu; I don't know if the year-mottoes differ). When Satsuma ruled Ryukyu kingdom from 1609 on, contact to China was held up, as well as Kumemura Chinese families. The Bubishi contains the considerations upon the Shizen (double-hours) and other Chinese concepts.

    And the Okinawan religion is found early in history connected with martial arts: when the Shuri forces went for Oyake Akahachi in 15. century, they were not able to enter the island. Only after a Noro priestess made up a strategy (unknown to me) they were able to land on the island and overcome Oyake's forces...

    Just as Taoism, Buddhism and Konfuzianuism mixed up in China over the centuries (the mixing began around 2 century A.D. or so I guess), the Okinawans mixed all that with their own religius beliefs and worship of their ancestors (the latter seems to be the real religion of Okinawa).

    I have the feeling that Okinawans were always able to interpret others cultures in a very unique way. When Hirohito visited Okinawa in 19??, the Okinawans went there and stood looking; that was their interpretation of honouring the emperor. Than they went home. In Japan at that time everybody would have been to the ground when the emperor would have appeared, I guess.

    To know how Okinawans handled Chinese martial art forms or Jigen Ry B odo, for example, would indeed be interesting. At least there must have been a significant change, which not always have to had been due to simple technical considerations, but also due to the obviously specific mindset they developed while dealing with "superior" cultures over the centuries.

    ... working on my small talk abilities ...
    Andreas Quast

  2. #32
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    Default ryu

    By the way; does any of the Okinawan styles of Karate or Kobudo made or make attempts to be recognized as a Kory by the main Japanese martial arts governing bodies???
    Best regards

    Andreas Quast

    We are Pope!

  3. #33
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    Default my personal finish line

    I think I understand now (sorry if Iam late):

    The lineage of Motobu Ry begins with

    Sh Koshin Motobu ji Chhei

    - Sh Koshin was his royal name.
    - ji is the rank or titel given to the sons of a king.
    - Motobu was the place where he resided.
    - Chhei was his "normal" name, bearing the Ch 朝 character which all of the others princes and following first born male family members of that family also bore.

    As the title ji is reserved for the sons (and maybe other relatives) of the king, the children of the ji would not bear this title anymore.

    After Sh Koshin many lineages are given without titles, only the name Motobu Ch ... (Motobu Chkan, Motobu Chry etc.)

    In the Bugei Ryha Daijiten on page 843 the lineage of Motobu-ha Karate is given. Although it describes the style of Motobu Chki, the lineage begins with one Motobu Chmo 本部朝茂 whose rank is given as an Aji (安司), or feudal lord.
    His direct students are given as (this may not be completely correct, but the book ios from 1978):

    (長男)本部朝勇 (eldest son) Motobu Chy
    (ニ男)本部朝信 (second son) Motobu Chshin
    (三男)本部朝基 (third son) Motobu Chki

    That Motobu Chmo given in the BRD must have been one and the same person as the ones given as the teacher of the famous Motobu Chy in other lineages, because the tradition was always handed down only by and to the first son. Thus he was the father of the famous Motobu Chy.

    Motobu Chmo was given with the rank of an Aji in the BRD, and as the Ryky kingdom with its rank system had been abolished at that time, he was the last of rank in the Motobu family. I suggest that all first born (male) family members of the Motobu family coming after prince Sh Koshin up to Motobu Chmo Aji must also have been of Aji rank.

    (His son Motobu Chy of course had no rank anymore, because he lived from about 1865 to 1926, and the Ryky kingdom with its system of ranks had been abolished when Motobu Chy was a teenager.)

    And:

    The Chzan Seifu mentions Sh Koshin as prince of Motobu (本部王子). It also mentions Motobu Chry in the first year of Yongzhen (1723) as an Aji (本部按司朝隆) and again in Qianlong 3 (1738) as an ji. Motobu Chko is mentioned 1751 as an Aji (本部按司朝恒). 1773 Motobu Chkyu is mentioned as an Aji (本部按司朝救). 1804 is mentioned Motobu Chei as an Aji (本部按司朝英). 1809 Chei is mentioned as an ji (prince), and again 1814. in 1859 Motobu Chsh is mentioned as an Aji (本部按司朝章).

    (That they became ji sometimes must offer a different possibility for entering that rank apart from being the son of the king).

    Of course, the Motobu family resided in the families residence in Motobu, the Motobu Udun 本部御殿. Although the name Motobu Udun-di is maybe rather pointing to this residence in Motobu than to the kings palace in Shuri, it is quite an impressive lineage.

    In a modern description of a video it is distinguished between the hard techniques of Motobu Ry Tdijutsu 本部流唐手術 which is said to be meant for actual fighting - and the soft techniques of Motobu Udundi 御殿手. On the video is Moto-te 元手, Kassen-te 合戦手 (battle-hand), Kassen-b 合戦棒 (battle staff), B vs B 棒対棒, Iai 居合 und Iai-dori 居合取.

    Another video deals with weapons fighting:

    薙刀対箒 Naginata vs Hki (broom)
    長剣対短棒 Chken (long sword) vs B
    薙刀対鳥刺 Naginata vs Torisashi (bird catcher)
    ヌンチャク対杖 Nunchaku vs. J
    二刀対鎌 Nit vs Kama
    槍対ウェーク Yari vs Eiku (oar)
    長剣対山刀 Chken (long sword) vs Yamagatana (woodman's hatchet)
    長剣対槍Chken (long sword) vs Yari
    二刀対槍 Nit vs Yari
    長剣対薙刀Chken (long sword) vs Naginata
    二刀太刀 Nit Tachi
    拝み手 Ogami-te (worship hand)
    押し手 Oshi-te (Push/pressure hand)      
    浜千鳥 Hamachidori (plover)    
    槍対箒 Yari vs Hki (broom)
    蛮刀対短棒 Bant (barbarian sword) vs Tanb (short b)
    槍対鳥刺 Yari vs Torisashi (bird catcher)
    蛮刀対杖 Bant (barbarian sword) vs J  
    蛮刀対鎌Bant vs Kama 
    蛮刀対ウェークBant vs Eiku
    蛮刀対山刀 Bant vs Yamagatana
    蛮刀対槍Bant vs Yari
    蛮刀対薙刀Bant vs Naginata
    薙刀対太刀 Bant vs Tachi
    舞の手解説 explanation of the Mai no Te (hand dance or dancing hand)
    こねり手 Koneri-te connecting/pulling hands?)
    武の舞 Bu no Mai (martial dance)

    When looking at that curriculum of the style, the 手 portion of Udun-di seems to show what has been said elsewhere in this forum, i.e. that Ti 手 once maybe was the name of a style which contained more than its name shows directly.

    And thanks everybody because in the beginning of this thread I knew nothing about Motobu Ry. Now at least I know some Kanji, which is not bad at all. (I ordered a Motobu Udundi video...)
    Best regards

    Andreas Quast

    We are Pope!

  4. #34
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    Default

    Joe,

    Just to add some references to the ones you have posted:
    As for academic stuff that touches on astrology in relation to East Asian Cultures there is some stuff mostly in the realm of Religious studies and Shamanism within Anthropology and Ethnomusicology and occassionally stuff can be found in the Culture and History of Medicine.

    China
    Saso, M (1990) Blue Dragon White Tiger Taoist Rites of Passage. Washington D C Taoist Centre. Its a view on Chinese religion from a Taoist Perspective, covers some Astrological aspects from an Academic Perspective from Religious Studies. Covers some Astrological aspects and fusion of religions.
    Saso was Professor Dept of religions University of Hawaii.

    Unschuld, P (1985) Medicine in China: A History of Ideas. California University Press. Good chapter on Chou Period and Demonic Medicine. Other stuff on Religious healing, Buddhism and Indian Medicine and Chi.
    Unschuld was and as far as I know still is Director of instute of history of Medicine at Munich University. This work is very academic and serves as a polemic against certain points in the works by Manfred Pokert.

    Pokert, M (1978) The Theoretical Foundations of Chinese Medicine: systems of Correspondence. MIT Press.
    This covers a lot of astrology, Celestial Stems, terrestial Branhes, lunar Orbs, coupling circuit phases and energetic configurations using these.

    For Chou period and adoption of the Wu from the Shang see works by Eichhorn, W.

    Japan
    Hori, I (1968) Folk religion in Japan: Continuity and Change. University of Chicago Press.
    Covers links with Japanese and Korean folk religions. Probably one of the most important works written on Japanese folk religions.

    Blacker, C (1992) The Catalpa Bow: A Study of Shamanistic Practices in Japan. Chatham. Mandala.
    Blacker lectures in Japanese at Cambridge and did fieldwork in Japan among the Yamabushi (mountain Ascetics).

    Korea and Okinawan Similarities in religious practices:
    There is a lot of academic stuff on Korean Folk religion and Shamanism (Its been promoted as part of Southern Korean National Identity). There are some very interesting Shamanistic practices on Cheju Island of south coast of Korea, the correspondence with the stuff that William Lebra came across during his fieldwork on Okinawa is quite remarkable.

    Claims of Seitoku Higa (Bugeikan Dojo of Motobu Ryu)
    Now here comes the incredible claim of Seitoku Higa, founder of Seido, an Okinawan new religious movement, and former student of Seikichi Uehara and current chairman of the Motobu Ryu organization.

    Apparently Te or at least a Te like martial art was taught on the site of where the present Bugeikan now stands (Higa's Dojo) by Motobu Seijin (Motobu the Sage) in 650 AD and that the first settlers who colonized Okinawa came from Nara around this time (This is paraphrased from Mark Bishop 1996:95).
    Interestingly this is the same period that Statues of Buddha's were appearing from Korea in Nara.

    However substantiating the claims made by Seitoku Higa is another matter.

    Best Regards

    Chris Norman

  5. #35
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    Default

    Oh my. Academic German stuff. Mark Twain on that subject:

    I have heard of an American student who was asked how he was getting along with his German, and who answered promptly: "I am not getting along at all. I have worked at it hard for three level months, and all I have got to show for it is one solitary German phrase--'ZWEI GLAS'" (two glasses of beer). He paused for a moment, reflectively; then added with feeling: "But I've got that SOLID!"

    But, more apropos to this topic:

    I [Twain] would do away with those great long compounded words; or require the speaker to deliver them in sections, with intermissions for refreshments. To wholly do away with them would be best, for ideas are more easily received and digested when they come one at a time than when they come in bulk. Intellectual food is like any other; it is pleasanter and more beneficial to take it with a spoon than with a shovel.

    http://eserver.org/langs/the-awful-german-language.txt

  6. #36
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    Default re

    Joe,

    only now I recognize that I never would have been able to write these posts in German!!! And even if - I would'nt have bet a penny, sorry, a German Euro Cent (DIN ISO 305427 ff etc. pp.), that I met any rule. Also, I would not use my real name to sign, but a stage name

    By the way: we had a reform of the German ortography and everything is much better now. Just one example: Formerly the combined words "Sauerstoff" and "Flasche" formed "Sauerstoffflasche" written with three "f's" (of course, because a consonat followed the f's). "Schiff" and "Fahrt" made up "Schiffahrt," written with only two "f's" (of course, because a vowel follows the "f").

    Now, everything is written with as many of the same consonants following one another as in the original words; Sauerstoffflasche and Schifffahrt! Truly an advancement.

    It is very easy to communicate in German. One only has to disobey every rule and use ones native slang without caring if anybody understands; like the Bavarians do very succesfully. In my case this is not so easy, because I am from Duesseldorf, and if I confuse my slang with that of Cologne I may get hanged (Duesseldorf and Cologne were the archetypes of things like "east coast - west coast." In the battle of Worringen, A.D. 1288, the proud Duesseldorfer warriors conquered the barefaced Cologne). And of course, Duesseldorf has the better beer.
    Best regards

    Andreas Quast

    We are Pope!

  7. #37
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    Default Re: my personal finish line

    Really interesting stuff!
    Originally posted by Shikiyanaka

    蛮刀対杖 Bant (barbarian sword) vs J
    Do you know if "barbarian sword" implies a European sword or a sword from some other barbarian culture?
    Jakob Ryngen

  8. #38
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    Default Re

    European? You are trying to insult me?

    Of course it's German!

    more precisely from Duesseldorf and I am working on a lineage starting 2000 BC which directly leads to me
    Last edited by Shikiyanaka; 8th January 2004 at 10:28.
    Best regards

    Andreas Quast

    We are Pope!

  9. #39
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    Right! So is the "banto"-part in the kata shi-dachi or uchi-dachi? I mean, where the okinawans suspecting an invasion by the Teutonic Order or were they secrety armed by them?
    Jakob Ryngen

  10. #40
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    Default re

    Well, when in the 2nd century A.D. the "invasion of the barbarians" happened in Europe, there was a tribe which lost its way and finally -after some decades of traveling - reached Okinawa. That's the simple truth

    In fact, Makiminato - the harbor of waiting - got his name not from Shunten and his mother waiting for Tametomo to return, but from the germanic tribe waiting for a ship full of beer (the Okinawan ceremonies and rituals in fact all originated from certain behaviour done by the tribe praying for the ship of beer to arrive).

    One more scientific proof of that theory: Awamori is in fact a word stemming from "i-want-more" (there were some english speaking members in the tribe also).
    Best regards

    Andreas Quast

    We are Pope!

  11. #41
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    Default Killepitsch

    Anyone ever heard of Killepitsch?
    Andreas Quast

  12. #42
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    No, but I have had it as a drink, I think. Is it used on the attacking or recieving side?
    Jakob Ryngen

  13. #43
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    Default kanpai

    It is also from Duesseldorf, which is a hint to the fact that the Duesselorf martial arts traditions have been overseen for quite some time.

    Is it used on the attacking or recieving side?
    In secret old documents Killepitsch has been traditionally described as a MPMAB (multiple purpose martial arts brewage). First it is used as a warm up and to relax the muscles of the tongue. After insulting begins, it is poured into the opponents eyes - the one who pours first has the advantage. After all participants are completely exhausted, it is used to disinfect wounds and as a anaesthesia when surgical operations become necessary. Next morning it is used against the headache! It's a vicious circle...

    Of course you can also run your car with it, daze dangerous dogs, use it as a fire accelerant, kill vampires and many other useful thing for daily life.
    Best regards

    Andreas Quast

    We are Pope!

  14. #44
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    Default

    Quote:
    'Intellectual food is like any other; it is pleasanter and more beneficial to take it with a spoon than with a shovel'.
    I take your point, but hey I am an Academic (Sorry).

    As for Academic German stuff, there were only 2 such references (Blacker is English, Pokert is American, Sasso is Chinese, Hori is Japanese, Unschuld I believe is German and all with the exception of Eichorn (who wrote in German) wrote in better English and substantiated what they were writing (using primary sources) better than a lot of academic stuff I have read by English speaking authors on the same subjects.

    Just in case I was misunderstood in relation to Higa's claims:

    When I say incredible claims made by Seitoku Higa I mean claims that cannot in both my humble and professional academic opinion be substantiated by any evidence whatsoever and probably never could be. 650AD indeed! That would make Higa's claims about certain things which have recently been incorporated into Motobu Ryu older than the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu (oldest Documented Japanese Ryu). Some of Higa's other claims are also dubious.

    The whole thing underlying Motobu Ryu is Okinawan Nationalism, a form of nationalism that differs very little from that of Southern Korea an exemplar of East Asian Nationalistic forms (Korean Shamanism has become an intangible cultural assett through Dance).

    A lot of the more recent stuff in Motobu Ryu has been added making it a composite system, or as we say in academia: 'it is a construction' and like all constructions is one with a specific purpose and in this case has a specific victim. That is what underlies the whole thing of this so called humble and not so humble origins over Te/Ti.

    Best Regards

    Chris Norman

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    Default re

    What's the problem? German is so easy... I speak it fluent!

    Yesterday I saw a Motobu Udun-di Video.

    Notes:
    The english translator always pronounced the technical parts of the style just the same as the Japanese speaker, i.e.
    Motobu Odondi-wa
    Kassente-wa
    Kassenb-wa
    maybe I am wrong, but I guess that is quite funny

    It is said in the beginning: "Presently Motobu Odondi-wa () is not a style of karate or jd, but it is an original Ryky style..."

    The practitioners wear karate-gi, some jd-gi, and one practitioner a black jacket.

    The Moto-de shown looks like some kind of long Sanchin, done with both open and closed hands by different practitioners.

    Kassen-te looked like a kata mainly made of Mae-geri, Nukite, Morote-nukite, Shut-uke. There was Kiai and also Rei at the end. Some Nukite may have been grips (in one of the Shut-uke Mae-geri combinations one practitioner seemed to fall into Kusanku kata).

    A Bunkai seen looks compeltely like in some Karate styles.

    All the weapons are trained in kata fashion. The applications or practice are mostly done against multiple attackers; this and the way it is done indeed is the thing which strongly reminds of the videos known from the old Ueshiba Morihei. It is not the techniques, it is the way it is practiced and the attackers sensible reaction.

    Kassen-b also is a kata.

    The J used here is more tsue (walking stick).
    Best regards

    Andreas Quast

    We are Pope!

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