Bassai and the Snake

Discussion in 'Tang Soo Do' started by Makalakumu, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. TimoS

    TimoS Master of Arts

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    Well it's not, they are not even remotely alike. Unless the Bassai you are referring is totally unlike it's modern form or any of the Bassai/Passai to be found in Japan or Okinawa.
    Evidence such as that the reason for Naifachi/Tekki sidestepping? That it's so that the king or some other high official is behind the bodyguard and therefore he has to step only sideways.
    Or how about the claim that Azato and Itosu didn't teach Funakoshi the kata bunkai? That was apparently because they were preparing the next generation of guards in case the king returned to Okinawa. But they were pledged to secrecy and because the trainees were not sworn bodyguards, Azato and Itosu could not tell them what the techniques were for because that would have broken their vow of silence. But the last Okinawan king died in 1901, releasing them from their vow. Where's the evidence for that? And if I remember correctly, the reason for Gankaku's/Chinto's straight line embusen is that it was for fighting in the narrow staircases of the Shuri castle. None of these claims hold water
    As for the article I linked and Itosu's picture, I'm not sure which years edition of the Bubishi I have, but in my version there's a drawing of Itosu and, like all the photographs, it is assumed that it is of Itosu, so the article is correct on that one. What else is wrong on the article in your opinion?
     
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  2. OldKarateGuy

    OldKarateGuy Green Belt

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    With all due respect, I must agree with Timos. I watched the videos you mentioned and see nothing there to match up with either version of Bassai (that is, the modern TSD version or the shotokan Bassai Dai). I'll link here to a video from the '50's of Hwang Kee's school in Seoul. At the 25'01" mark, a student performs Bassai. If anything, that version, only about 10 or 15 years into GM Kee's teaching career, looks even more like the Funakoshi kata than today's does. I would suggest that Kee himself says that he was self-taught, and that his forms came from a book of Japanese karate, and incorporate changes, as Kee puts it in his book, of hip rotation, for instance, which reflect the intrinsic nature of Korean MA (?). However, his saying so might be interpreted as his disagreeing with (or not getting) the concept (from Japanese karate) of reverse rotation, which is not present in at least some styles of modern TSD.
    There's no shame in appropriating MA technique and making it your own. I mean, hasn't everyone along the line done exactly that, according to legend, as far back as the Shaolin monks learning from an Indian? So this sense of martial arts masters trying to shoehorn some kind of nationalistic originality into an art, because of war or politics, is pretty common. Thus, the renaming of the Japanese/Okinanwan/originally Chinese kata in the 1930's from ethnic Chinese based names to more PC titles (i.e. Naihanchi = Tekki, Kushanku = Kanku Dai, etc).
    I kind of think that trying to attribute to Kee research into esoteric Chinese arts and then his hiding the ancient moves in the Pyung Ahn forms, which look just like the Pinan/Heian kata, or the Bassai and Bassai Dai/Sho, is a bit of a reach. But of course, each to his/her own, and disproving is just as difficult as proving. It's an interesting premise, I'll grant.
     
  3. TSDTexan

    TSDTexan Master Black Belt

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    This actually was put to rest sometime ago, The individual who donated the photograph was Kinjō Hiroshi.


    It was only in 2006 that Kinjō donated the group photo to the Okinawa Prefectural Library.

    There, as a result of a detailed comparison and verification carried out by Kadekaru Tooru, chief specialist from the Okinawa Prefectural Office of Historically Important Documents, the mysterious person on the group photo was finally positively identified as being Itosu Ankō.

    In other words: Kinjō had good reason to believe it was Itosu all the time. He just waited for a nonbiased second expert opinion, which he found in 2006 in Kadekaru Tooru.

    As Kinjō stated himself,
    “From Kadekaru Tooru I have received special cooperation in connection with identifying the photo of Itosu Ankō” -Kinjō 2011: p. 299

    One of the reasons for Kadekaru Tooru’s assessment was that he digitized the photo and used computer enhancement to reveal more detail. When he closely inspected the hands of the mysterious person in the photo he found what he considers to be Makiwara calousses.

    A colorized and modified update to the group photo.

    Itosu-2BAnko-2B-28color-29.jpg
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    Unbenannt2.jpg
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    Itosu02_0003.jpg
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    Itosu pictures.png

    .

    There are more than enough photos of him to put this to rest.
     

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