Jion, Ji'in, and Jitte

Makalakumu

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jion

Ji'in, Jion, and Jitte form a group of kata used in Shotokan and other karate styles, beginning with the same characteristic kamae of the left hand covering the right, which apparently has roots in ancient Chinese boxing . Their origin is thought to be from the Tomari-te school.

What else could be added to better understand the origin of these kata? Do you practice them? What are your thoughts? What about bunkai?

I found this part of the wiki article interesting...

This rather short kata of only 24 movements contains a number of defenses that can be implemented against the bo.

Your thoughts?
 

dancingalone

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jion
What else could be added to better understand the origin of these kata? Do you practice them? What are your thoughts? What about bunkai?

I found this part of the wiki article interesting...

Your thoughts?


I've never been convinced that Jitte had useful defenses versus a bo. Not without a lot of modifications to the point to where the form would be unrecognizable in the application. Some might think that is still a valid interpretation even so. I do not.

What is considered to be the bo defense part? The section near the end of Jitte where the hands are open and held in a vertical position with the upraised foot? To me it's more likely that the kata is actually describing how to move forward and strike as you wield a bo, insteading of defending against one.

You can perform Jitte with a staff in hand yourself and it makes more sense to me as a rudimentary training form that way. Even so, there are ample kobudo forms that are better options for training.

I do like Jion, both the Shotokan and Shitokai versions. The movements are familiar enough that if you have practiced any of the introductory kata in those systems and learned the corresponding bunkai, that you should be able to extemporize applications readily for Jion too.

As for all three 'temple' kata as a group, which styles study them? I know they are not part of the Matsubayashi syllabus I studied for a time and they don't seem to be found in any of the other main Shorin-ryu groups either like Shobayashi or Kobayashi. Funakoshi apparently introduced them into Shotokan and Wado-ryu and Tang Soo Do picked them up that way. Not sure how they found their way into Shito-ryu. Itosu taught both Mabuni and Funakoshi... Is that the connection?
 
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Makalakumu

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Itosu taught both Mabuni and Funakoshi... Is that the connection?

I share a lot of the same thoughts on the kata. I think the point you make above supports the idea that these kata came from Itosu. The question then becomes, where did he get them? Also, why are there three? How much modification has there been? Do we have any old videos of these kata to compare with what is practiced now? How many versions are there?
 

Cirdan

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Those three Kata are the main part of our 3rd Dan curriculum. We are outside the big Wado organizations so we might have different reasons for including them. Generally the chinese influence grows stronger at higher levels in our school and I would think this is the final part. Don`t take my word for it however, it is quite a bit above what I practice at the moment.

Isn`t Jion-Ji the name of a budhist temple somewhere? I remember the names of the the three kata translated to mean temple area, temple hands and temple sounds.
 

dancingalone

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Well, here's the thing... I don't think Jion or Jitte look 'Chinese' at all, not at least the way I've seen them performed. A quick look on Youtube confirms my memory, unless you know of an example contrary? I've never really looked at Ji'in, so I won't speculate about it.

As for the origins, I would love to be able to trace them back to a root Chinese form, similar to what can be done with Sanchin kata and its Samchien cognate. I'm just not sure it can be done however. Looking at the so-called basic Shaolin forms like Xiao Hong Quan or Lian Bu Quan or Gong Li Quan, I see little resemblance myself. If you go through the 'Temple' reference, than you can also look at the Arhat or 18 Luohan forms, and the kata just don't resemble these either, at least the Chinese forms I've seen.

I think these forms have been distorted to the point of nonrecognition, even if they came from China at one point. Or someone like Itosu made them up himself perhaps.

Versions I am aware of (you should be able to find them on Youtube): Shotokan, Wado-ryu, Tang Soo Do, Shito-ryu
 

Cirdan

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That is very interesting dancingalone. I`ll keep what you said in mind if I have a chanse to see the kata performed next year. Unfortunately those three are seldom practiced in class.
 

Victor Smith

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Though I've been exposed to the Shotokan version and have observed the Shito-ryu, Wado-ryu and Tang Soo Do versions on You Tube I believe the origin and disposition of the kata by style can be defined a bit.

As to the link from China? Nothing is impossible but those kata do not resemble any of the Chinese systems movement patterns I've observed. But teaching changes so greatly over time what may have been may no longer be observable. The 3 kata are clearly form the days when the Okinawan's didn't document much if anything, leaving only oral history.

If someone wants to make their reputation on Chineses origins, it's easy, show Chinese practicitioners performing anything reasonably close, else it's vaporware.

Most probable Okinawan introudction was in the instrouctors lineage that Itosu was connected with. The kata are not in the Kyan lineage (hence not in Matsubayshi, Isshinryu, etc).

Among Itosu's students were Funakoshi Ginchin, Mabuni Kenwa and after transplanting their teaching to Japan there was a strong link where Funakoshi's students studied with Mabuni and enhanced Funakoshi's original teachings. Funakoshi in turn taught Wado Ryu's founder. Then Tang Soo Do was a derivative of Funakoshi's teachings, which ties most of the links together.

So clear lineage can be determined even if the origins are unknown. And when you think about it if the Okinawan's didn't want to document them clearly, they succeeded. Wny try to do better than their wishes.

I remember when Demura demo'd I think Jion in an 1970 karate magazine. He purposefully reversed two movements to know who tried to learn the kata from the magazine. Okinawan custom after all.

The past is gone anyway. Performing the kata won't make you a monk, or make you studying kung fu. Just learn to use them to break up an opponent.
 

clfsean

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Well, here's the thing... I don't think Jion or Jitte look 'Chinese' at all, not at least the way I've seen them performed. A quick look on Youtube confirms my memory, unless you know of an example contrary? I've never really looked at Ji'in, so I won't speculate about it.

As for the origins, I would love to be able to trace them back to a root Chinese form, similar to what can be done with Sanchin kata and its Samchien cognate. I'm just not sure it can be done however. Looking at the so-called basic Shaolin forms like Xiao Hong Quan or Lian Bu Quan or Gong Li Quan, I see little resemblance myself. If you go through the 'Temple' reference, than you can also look at the Arhat or 18 Luohan forms, and the kata just don't resemble these either, at least the Chinese forms I've seen.

I think these forms have been distorted to the point of nonrecognition, even if they came from China at one point. Or someone like Itosu made them up himself perhaps.

Versions I am aware of (you should be able to find them on Youtube): Shotokan, Wado-ryu, Tang Soo Do, Shito-ryu

I actually don't see any Chinese in most (note most, not all) JMA & such. Now Uechi-ryu & Goju-ryu are different. There's huge amounts of CMA there from Fujian in them, but not so much in most other things.
 
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Makalakumu

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I think these forms have been distorted to the point of nonrecognition, even if they came from China at one point. Or someone like Itosu made them up himself perhaps.

This is what I suspect as well. I think the key to understanding this would be finding an Okinawan version of these kata. The closer we get to the source, the more we learn about them. With that being said, the Shito Ryu versions look the most Okinawan to me. Does anyone know if there is a lineage of Okinawan Karate that practices these? A lineage connected to Itosu would probably be the best place to look.
 

dancingalone

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TDoes anyone know if there is a lineage of Okinawan Karate that practices these? A lineage connected to Itosu would probably be the best place to look.

Seibukan is the only one I know of. They do Jion as a supplementary kata. Apparently Zenpo Shimabukuro learned it from Nakama Chozo who in turn learned it from Chosin Chibana.

Take a look.


[yt]diuuvOk5bFA[/yt]
 

dancingalone

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Hmm, I found a reference on the web about Kobayashi also having Jion, so I may need to partially retract what I said above about Kobayashi not teaching the three Temple kata. Also Kyudokan Shorin-ryu has Jion.

I guess the link with Jion is Chibana? All the Chibana lineages might have Jion. But not Ji'in or Jitte...

[yt]ghI7lqHZ_Io[/yt]
 

clfsean

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Hmmm... you might want to go do some video searching of ngo cho kuen or wuzu quan (same thing, different dialects).

Don't bother with the Samchien vids... you know what you'll see there. Check out other sets or training drills.
 
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Makalakumu

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Hmm, I found a reference on the web about Kobayashi also having Jion, so I may need to partially retract what I said above about Kobayashi not teaching the three Temple kata. Also Kyudokan Shorin-ryu has Jion.

I guess the link with Jion is Chibana? All the Chibana lineages might have Jion. But not Ji'in or Jitte...

[yt]ghI7lqHZ_Io[/yt]

Awesome finds!!!

Chibana would have learned it from Itosu. It's interesting that they only practice one of the three. Where did the other two come from? They seem redundant, almost as if they were one kata at one time.
 
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Makalakumu

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[yt]ghI7lqHZ_Io[/yt]

Looking at this kata, if this is what the original looked like, then damn, that's a sweet kata! This seems to capture some of the Chinese influences...assuming this kata actually comes from China and wasn't put together in Okinawa from Foreign influences.
 

clfsean

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Ngo Cho Kuen (Wuzu Quan) ... see if you can see Okinawa here...



 
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Grenadier

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I've performed both the Wado and Shotokan versions of Jion, as well as also done the Shotokan version of Jitte.

When it comes to Shotokan Jion, I don't really see that much "Chinese" influence on it. If anything, this is the kata that the Shotokan people picked to be one of their two Shitei kata at in the mandatory divisions. Then again, I do wonder what Funakoshi, et al., have done with it, ever since receiving it in its "original" form.

To us (meaning my dojo), Jion is a hard (versus soft) linear kata, and is a great way to evaluate how far your fundamental technique has come along. None of the techniques are considered "dan-level" (whatever that may mean to most), and you can really see how your students have progressed, that their fundamentals that they learned as kyu grades, should be performed with even better proficiency as dan grades.

When it comes to Jitte, I would guess that it all depends on someone's interpretation of it, especially where the hands are rotating and sweeping, especially in the second half of the kata. More circular, versus linear?


Cirdan said:
Isn`t Jion-Ji the name of a budhist temple somewhere? I remember the names of the the three kata translated to mean temple area, temple hands and temple sounds.

This is what I was told as well, with Jitte being temple hands, and Jion being temple sound.
 

dancingalone

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Looking at this kata, if this is what the original looked like, then damn, that's a sweet kata! This seems to capture some of the Chinese influences...assuming this kata actually comes from China and wasn't put together in Okinawa from Foreign influences.

I like it too. Do you have any plans to find instruction and possibly adopt it? There's got to be ample people with Chibana lineage in Hawaii.

I'm afraid I'm too full up on kata to even consider adding another.
 

dancingalone

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Now THIS is a find. Apparently Kyudokan also has Jitte. Maybe they have Ji'in too, but I didn't find one successfully off Youtube.

Take some of the Shorin-ryu mannerisms out of this form, and it would fit in very well in a Goju-ryu curriculum.

I'm liking a lot what I read on the web about Kyudokan Shorin-ryu.

[yt]HSCvVYI_950[/yt]
 
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Makalakumu

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I like it too. Do you have any plans to find instruction and possibly adopt it? There's got to be ample people with Chibana lineage in Hawaii.

I'm afraid I'm too full up on kata to even consider adding another.

There are a lot of people who train in this lineage. Several are in my kenkyukai. Sensei Pat Nakata, at 84 years old, is the senior. He trained directly with Chibana Sensei and Fumio Nagaishi.

http://www.seinenkai.com/salute-nakata.html

Nakata teaches the 16 kata that were taught by Chibana: Kihon Shodan, Kihon Nidan, Kihon Sandan, Naihanchi Shodan, Naihanchi Nidan, Naihanchi Sandan, Pinan Shodan, Pinan Nidan, Pinan Sandan, Pinan Yondan, Pinan Godan, Patsai Sho, Patsai Dai, Kusanku Sho, Kusanku Dai, and Chinto. Nakata does not merely teach the kata: he shows the many applications of each movement, including the fine points of the applications of the intermediate movements (the movements between the movements).

No Jion, Jitte, or Ji'in there. Lots of Kobudo, however.
 

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I have it from a very good source (first generation Shorinkan) that seisan and jion were once part of the Chibana line. They were dropped before the war (I believe). Nakata Sensei was one of the last teachers licensed by Chibana. Nakata also didn't get the Passai Gwa that Miyahira and Nakama practiced (That I know of). Higa was an early student so this might be why it is in his syllabus. With the adoption of the Pinan kata, it may have been thought to be redundant. This is my speculation.
 
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