Okinawan vs. Japanese Goju Ryu

dancingalone

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Not sure of the politics, but some groups have referred back to the name of "Pan Gai Noon" to refer to their system, and also a group that calls it Shohei-Ryu.

I heard it was a squabble of sorts. By mutual decision, certain groups no longer under the guidance of the Uechi family discontinued using the Uechi-ryu name.
 

dancingalone

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8 fukyu kata?! Wow! I'm fairly sure I've heard of three, but I practise just the two myself.


I've only heard of three in the Shorin-ryu myself. The third was created by someone other than Nagamine Sensei, but I don't recall whom off the top of my head.

Since the thread is about Goju-ryu, I'll add a trivia fact: The Gekisai Dai Ni kata created by Miyagi Sensei was supposed to be the third Fukyugata.
 

D.Cobb

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8 fukyu kata?! Wow! I'm fairly sure I've heard of three, but I practise just the two myself.

The 8 katas basically cover all of the basic moves in simple H pattern kata.
Our school knows them as;
Jo - Chu - Ge
Chu - Chu - Ge
Ge - Ge - Ge
Ko - Jo - Ge
Ko - Jo - Geri - Ge
Mai Geri - Mai Geri - Mai Geri
Shuto - Shuto - Shuto &
Mawashi - Mawashi - Mawashi (Geri)

These are trained in H pattern, then as Renzoku Kumite. Each strike has a corresponding block and vice versa. When trained as renzoku, they are done in a straight line, forward and back. As the first person finishes the kata, he attacks his partner, thereby both parties get to practice and learn (hopefully) the intricacies of the basic moves...

As someone pointed out earlier, Dai Sensei was not a fan of sparring or competition. He preferred that training was more in the area of kata and conditioning, and so each kata has it's own renzoku.

-Dave
 

D.Cobb

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It's been a while since I read the article about these kata in the Journal of Asian Martial Arts, but I distinctly thought they were Yagi's own creations, albeit derived of his own training experiences, whatever they may have been outside of Miyagi, Chojun. Not so?

I must admit, so did I until recently. I was asking my Sensei questions about the 5 Meibu-Ken and where they came from. Sensei told me they were from one of the Tiger systems of Chinese Kung Fu, but unfortunately the name escapes me.

-David
 

Meibukanadian

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As a fellow Meibukan stylist, and having trained with Yagi Meitatsu and sons (Akihito and Akihiro), I can attest to the fact that some of the katas practiced outside of the Okinawan honbu dojo aren't necessarily recognized as canon in the homeland. In Winnipeg, Canada, the only H-patterns we officially learn are jo-chu-gei and gei-chu-gei, other combinations are figured out as we go along. The meibu-ken kata definitely feel a lot more kung-fuish, but I can't quite recall which system its from. White Crane kung fu definitely played a role somewhere along the line
 

D.Cobb

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As a fellow Meibukan stylist, and having trained with Yagi Meitatsu and sons (Akihito and Akihiro), I can attest to the fact that some of the katas practiced outside of the Okinawan honbu dojo aren't necessarily recognized as canon in the homeland. In Winnipeg, Canada, the only H-patterns we officially learn are jo-chu-gei and gei-chu-gei, other combinations are figured out as we go along. The meibu-ken kata definitely feel a lot more kung-fuish, but I can't quite recall which system its from. White Crane kung fu definitely played a role somewhere along the line

There seem to be a few people who believe that Goju is strongly influenced by Crane styles, but when you look closer you'll find that almost all of the techniques that are looked on as Crane, are actually Mantis Techniques. The most common example of this is Kata Tensho, in the first combination as the left hand pulls to the hip and the right extends forward then pulls back. Many people do the pull back almost like a kake with the right hand extended to the side like a crane wing, but if you go back to the Chinese version, Rokishu(sp?), the right hand grasps and pulls straight back, mantis style.

Sometimes I think that White crane gets far too much credit in Okinawan karate styles.

--Dave
 

TimoS

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There seem to be a few people who believe that Goju is strongly influenced by Crane styles, but when you look closer you'll find that almost all of the techniques that are looked on as Crane, are actually Mantis Techniques
Interesting theory. I'll run that by some of my (northern) Mantis friends and see what they think
Sometimes I think that White crane gets far too much credit in Okinawan karate styles.
I agree. While Goju has relatively clear chinese roots, the style has, however, moved on from those roots. Maybe it's because I don't practise Goju (or any chinese arts, for that matter) I look at the chinese roots of karate merely as something of an academic interest. It is fun to speculate and all that, but even if we were to discover the true lost origins of karate, be it Shorin, Goju or Uechi, would it really make a difference? The art(s) the pioneers of karate brought back isn't the same art that we're doing today. Sure, we could pick up something practising the "root art(s)", but isn't it just as likely we might pick up a few bad habits as well, if we wouldn't be careful?
 

dancingalone

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There seem to be a few people who believe that Goju is strongly influenced by Crane styles, but when you look closer you'll find that almost all of the techniques that are looked on as Crane, are actually Mantis Techniques. The most common example of this is Kata Tensho, in the first combination as the left hand pulls to the hip and the right extends forward then pulls back. Many people do the pull back almost like a kake with the right hand extended to the side like a crane wing, but if you go back to the Chinese version, Rokishu(sp?), the right hand grasps and pulls straight back, mantis style.

Sometimes I think that White crane gets far too much credit in Okinawan karate styles.

--Dave


Are you aware of any actual connection between Mantis sifu and Higashionna and Miyagi?
 

Guliufa

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Speaking as a student of Meibukan, the branch of Goju Ryu taught by Yagi SEnsei, from what my teacher has told me, Yamaguchi didn't actually train with Miyagi or Yagi, but was allowed to watch them training kata.

Pardon my intrusion... I am a Goju Ryu practitioner and throughout my training I have done Shoreikan and Jundokan versions of kata...

I also heard Yamaguchi never actually trained with them. I was told he trained under a student of Yagi Sensei and he received some "correction" from Yagi. Then Yagi introduced him to Miyagi Sensei, who gave him some correction also and game him his blessing to teach in Japan.

I was also told that An'ichi Miyagi trained for only a couple of years... maybe 3, while Miyagi Sensei was alive, but he was actually Miyazato's student.
 

Guliufa

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There seem to be a few people who believe that Goju is strongly influenced by Crane styles, but when you look closer you'll find that almost all of the techniques that are looked on as Crane, are actually Mantis Techniques. The most common example of this is Kata Tensho, in the first combination as the left hand pulls to the hip and the right extends forward then pulls back. Many people do the pull back almost like a kake with the right hand extended to the side like a crane wing, but if you go back to the Chinese version, Rokishu(sp?), the right hand grasps and pulls straight back, mantis style.

Sometimes I think that White crane gets far too much credit in Okinawan karate styles.

--Dave

I am not convinced that Goju Ryu is related to White Crane. I believe that the relation is closer to Hakka Styles like Southern Mantis. I have worked out with SPM practitioners and have done kata for them, and I even did Shisochin for Louie Jackman Sifu, and he was quite surprised at the resemblance to Hakka patterns. I am currently teaching a SPM practitioner and he also sees in the footwork and also the Kamae that it is practically the same.

It has SOME influence from White Crane but not as much as Hakka Kuen.

Tensho's "rotating palms" is definitely from a Yong Chun(Wing Chun) White Crane Fist form as done by White Crane Master Su Yinghan, of Yong Chun Village, Fujian Province. He is 11th Generation. Tensho is somewhat abbreviated though.

In this video you can see similarities within Tensho and YCWCF

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndYrO76EKlo&feature=related

If you look at the YCWCF footwork and patterns, they are not so much like Goju Ryu. I would say it is closer to Shorin Ryu.

I just thought I would give my opinion since it's been brought up..:boing2:
 

Uchinanchu

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Speaking as a student of Meibukan, the branch of Goju Ryu taught by Yagi SEnsei, from what my teacher has told me, Yamaguchi didn't actually train with Miyagi or Yagi, but was allowed to watch them training kata.
My teacher was a direct student of Yagi Sensei, back in the eighties, and is the owner of the Hombu Dojo in Australia.

Meibukan also use the one step drills, as well as Renzoku and Kakhomi(sp?) Kumite. As for Kobudo, we predominately train with the bo, but the main focus for us is kata. The kids have the eight fukyu kata and the adults have the two Gekisai kata, plus Tencho and Sanchin followed by Saifa, Shisochin, Seipai, Seisan, Kururunfa, Seiunchin and Suparempi.

Someone mentioned the katas that Yagi Sensei introduced, they were actually Chinese in origin and I'd be suprised if there is anyone other than my teacher, in the Goju circles, that knows them, including Yagi Sensei sons. In a recent magazine article, one of the sons referred to them as training drills, which suggests to me that he hasn't seen the whole katas.

Dave
Hello Dave,
Just wondering if your sensei just happens to be Johanes Wong sensei. If so, please send him my regards and tell him we look forward to his next visit out to Okinawa. To clear something up about the Meibuken kata that Dai sensei Yagi created, they were influenced by his studies abroad in China, when he studied Hsing-I, Pa Qua, and Tai Chi under two different Chinese masters. Key word here is 'influenced'. One of the main reasons he created these forms is that he basically was pressured into it, after receiving his title of Japanese National Living Treasure. The names of the forms are taken directly from the Pa Qua Chang. I know this to be a simple matter of fact because my teacher (Ikemiyagi Sensei) traveled with Dai Sensei on these trips and studied/trained along with him.
Now, it is true that many of us do not practice the Meibuken kata. I cannot speak on behalf of all Meibukan practioners, but my teacher does not, nor ever has practiced those forms...for the simple reason that Dai Sensei did not feel it necessary to teach him those particular forms. To say that your teacher is the only person that practices them, though, is ludicrous, to say the least. I know for a fact that Meitatsu sensei does in fact know (and teach) those forms.
As far as Dai Sensei being a 'kata expert', no argument there. But, this may lead some people to the misconception that he only did kata. This is incorrect. He understood a great deal about the applications of the forms, but few ever had the gumption to 'ask for the knowledge' as it were. After all, there was only one good way of transmission of said knowledge...to have Dai Sensei show it (in other words, you had to be on the receiving end of the techniques). Ikemiyagi sensei was one of those who stepped up to the plate, and took his not-so-proverbial lumps!
I am very curious about your eight basic kata that you work...I only know of the four: Jo chu ge; Chu shuto ge; Chu keri ge; and Ko uke jo chu ge.

Yoroshiku,
James Danner
 

Black Belt Jedi

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I used to study Japanese Goju-ryu in the first 3 years of my training, I found that that version is mostly external and linear, and bigger circular motions because Yamaguchi loved to do his training hard and add in yoga exercise techniques since he was a Yoga master. Japanese Goju-ryu has the Taikyoku (first course) katas, there are 5 first course katas from what I have been taught, there could be more than five first course katas. The curriculum also focuses on free sparring, from what Yamaguchi invented.

The Okinawan system of Goju-ryu is focuses more on close quarter combat, the katas represent applications that deals with attackers at close-range. The Okinawan system focuses more on the realistic combat than sport aspect. The system is softer since it has its closer roots to southern Chinese fighting disciplines, including Thai, Cambodian and Philipino disciplines. The system focuses on bunkai, flow-drills and kata and not free sparring. The first katas you learn are Gekisai dai Ichi and Ni and not the first five Taikyoku katas. Somehow at my school my Sensei kept the first course katas, it was in 2007 we switched the Goju-ryu format to Okinawan.
 
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