Seeking Fellow Crane-Stylists

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paihequan

Guest
Hi, I'm new to this board and am seeking to link up with fellow CWhite Crane stylists, people from a Crane Style background or Gojuryu stylists that may have an interest in the Crane arts.
 
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A.R.K.

Guest
I've studied Pangainoon which has as one of it's elements the crane style. Also Dragon & Tiger.

:asian:
 
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paihequan

Guest
Sorry for not replying sooner but I've been busy with other "discussions" on Martial Talk (The Friendly Board) if you know what I mean:D

That's great to hear. So is your primary art Pangainoon?

Lets hear more form you
 
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RyuShiKan

Guest
Originally posted by paihequan
Sorry for not replying sooner but I've been busy with other "discussions" on Martial Talk (The Friendly Board) if you know what I mean:D

You see Ron...."friendly" comments like that just draw heat upon yourself. Why don't you "move on" like you always claim you are going to.


I was interested to know about the lineage fo Pangainoon and asked several people.
One of which was Patrick McCarthy and he had this to say based on his research and actual training:

I don't think Pangainoon ever did exist in China. I think it was another classic case of mistaken identity or misunderstanding (as is so often the case with the early stuff). Actually, if Uechi Kambun studied at the Cai/Kojo dojo in Fuzhou (as he testifies to) and then left to train under Goundgdong Tiger Boxer, Zhou Zihe (as he says he did) in Fuzhou, then why isn't their style called 3 or 4th generation Tiger boxing? I think the whole historical issue is rife with misunderstanding, protectionism or BS.

I think he's also connected to Aragaki Seisho & Kojo Taite (i.e. the Ryukyukan Kojo Dojo); hence, the kata. I've been to Fujian and met and trained with the grandson of Zhou Zihe and their Tiger Fist kata don't look much like what's going on in Uechi Ryu.

Hey, just my 2 cents.
 
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paihequan

Guest
RyuShiKan (Robert): As it is that you are unable to engage in reasonable and civil discussion I have placed you on my Ignore List

Sorry but it''s part of my moving onwards not to lower myself to continuing attacks and flame wars with individuals as requested by the moderator of this board. I hope that you to will appreciate the Moderators rules.

Best wishes.
 
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RyuShiKan

Guest
Originally posted by paihequan
Sorry but it''s part of my moving onwards not to lower myself to continuing attacks and flame wars with individuals as requested by the moderator of this board.

Well I would hate for you to "lower" yourself your highness:rofl:
You can't even put someone on your ignore list without taking a sarcastic "jab" at them can you.......

back to the subject at hand.

Any comments about Mr. McCarthy's response to Pangainoon?
 
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A.R.K.

Guest
Any comments about Mr. McCarthy's response to Pangainoon?

I have a response. Mr. McCarthy might be correct, but I don't know. My sources are from the Uechi days and the books about Uechi/Pangainoon. Since it is generally known that Kanbun was less than fully forthcoming on many issues in regards to his training the name might not be accurate.

Very hard to know for sure years after the fact.

:asian:
 
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RyuShiKan

Guest
Originally posted by A.R.K.
I have a response. Mr. McCarthy might be correct, but I don't know. My sources are from the Uechi days and the books about Uechi/Pangainoon. Since it is generally known that Kanbun was less than fully forthcoming on many issues in regards to his training the name might not be accurate.

Very hard to know for sure years after the fact.

:asian:


If you look at it from a kata perspective then it becomes clear.
If styles have similar kata chances are they have overlapped in some way............if they do not then they probably didn't have a connection.
 
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paihequan

Guest
Any comments about Mr. McCarthy's response to Pangainoon?

A.R.K: the history of most Okinawan arts are subject to some "creative interpretations" over the passage of time so it is almost impossible for one to know for sure.

Regardless of it's origins, Pangainoon/Uechi-Ryu is a fascinating art worthy of study.

What aspects of the Pangainoon/Uechi-Ryu system have you incorporated into your A.R.K. system?
 
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RyuShiKan

Guest
Originally posted by paihequan
A.R.K: the history of most Okinawan arts are subject to some "creative interpretations" .........


For example.............which ones?
 
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paihequan

Guest
Well I'm no expert on History of the arts but lets take Matsumura Seito Shorin-Ryu's links to Hakutsuru for a start. There is no equivalent form (as far as I know) in the Chinese arts which matches or identifies with the Matsumura Hakutsuru other than a technical link to Shihequan within some of its individual techniques.

As stated, I'm no historian.
 
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RyuShiKan

Guest
Originally posted by paihequan
Well I'm no expert on History of the arts but lets take Matsumura Seito Shorin-Ryu's links to Hakutsuru for a start. There is no equivalent form (as far as I know) in the Chinese arts which matches or identifies with the Matsumura Hakutsuru other than technical link to Shihequan within some of its individual techniques.

As stated, I'm no historian.


I think I read somewhere that Matsumura Seito Shorin Ryu as taught by Hohan Soken came under some fire about his incorporating some thingsnot teaching the real
Matsumura Shorin Ryu???

I should have read the article more closely but it wasnt of interest to me.
 
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paihequan

Guest
I think I read somewhere that Matsumura Seito Shorin Ryu as taught by Hohan Soken came under some fire about his incorporating some thingsnot teaching the real
Matsumura Shorin Ryu???

That's interesting! I'd like to hear more on this! I have not read that but have heard it said. My understanding is that Matsumura Seito Shorin-Ryu was essentially Soken Hohan's interpretation of that which he was said to have recieved from Machimura Nabe.

As for the elusive Hakutsuru, well it's my belief (unsupported) that it is actually a form that was created by Soken Hohan himself based upon his own experiences with some Taiwanese Shihequan Boxers. From here, a kind of "history" was then made around the form.

Of course I cannot verify this as it is a belief only.
 
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RyuShiKan

Guest
The following interview with Hohan Soken is by Ernest Estrada. We are very grateful to him for granting permission to us to use his work.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SOKEN HOHAN (SHORIN-RYU)
The following interview was conducted at the Kadena NCO Club located at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. Present were Soken Hohan and one of his senior students, Kise Fusei. Soken is a Shihan 10-Dan in Shorinryu Matsumura Seito Karate-do. His honbu dojo is located at 104 Gaja, Nishihara City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.

The date of the interview was September 10, 1978. The interview was conducted in Spanish . . . Soken spoke excellent Spanish due to the fact that he had lived in Argentina for over twenty-five years. I should also make mentioned that I was a Spanish language translator for the Pentagon for two plus years and worked in Washington, D.C., hence, I am familiar with the language.

Interviewer: Sensei, can you please identify yourself.

Soken-sensei: My name is Soken Hohan and I was born on May 25, 1889. I come from (I live in) Gaja Village, Nishihara City, Okinawa Prefecture. I am a native Okinawan. My style is officially called the Matsumura Orthodox Shorin-ryu Karate-do and I am a Shihan 10-Dan. My honbu dojo is presently located at Gaja Village, Nishihara City.

My style comes from Kayo Soken. To mark the occasion when Kayo was appointed the chief body-guard to King Sho Ko (and later to Sho Iku and then Sho Tai), he was allowed to change his name. This was a custom back then, especially if something important or notable happened to you; he changed his name to Matsumura, -- Matsumura Soken.

It was later that King Sho Tai officially gave Matsumura the title of "Bushi" { The term "bushi" is different from the Japanese meaning. In Japan a "bushi," in simplistic terms, is a warrior. In Okinawa, the term "bushi" also refers to the individual being a martial-man/warrior but with a strong slant to also being a true gentleman -- hence, the meaning, "a gentleman warrior." - ed} and to this day he is, with affection, referred to as Bushi Matsumura.

When Bushi Matsumura died he left the "hands" of his teachings to my uncle, who was his grandson, Matsumura Nabe. My mother was Nabe-tanmei's sister. Tanmei means "respected senior or respected old man," this was and still is a title of much respect in Okinawa. I became a student of my uncle around 1902 or 1903 and learned the original methods of Uchinan Sui-di, as it was then called.

Back then, there weren't large followings of students for a master of the warrior arts. Itosu Ankoh had less than a dozen students and he was one of the greatest of teachers at the time. My uncle had only one student, and that was me. He was still a practitioner with an "old mind" and would only teach or demonstrate for family members. Since I was the most interested, he allowed me to become his student.

I should also state that Matsumura Orthodox is not the only authentic shorin-ryu style. This style, my style, was passed on from Matsumura Sokon to my uncle, Nabe-tanmei but Nabe-tanmei was not Bushi Matsumura's only student. Matsumura had a good dozen or so dedicated students. Each one learned his methods and then expanded on them.

My uncle only learned from Bushi Matsumura and only taught me what he had learned. So, it can be said that it is an "old version" with no updates. By studying my Matsumura Orthodox you walk back into ancient times when karate was more forceful and challenging.

Interviewer: Sensei, can you tell me something about your training methods?

Sensei: Old training was always done in secret so that others would not steal your techniques. Nabe initially taught me stepping before anything. He would cut the leaves off the banana tree and place them on the ground. He would then have me do exercises to develop balance. If the balance was not good you would fall and since the exercises were always vigorous, a fall could seriously hurt you.

We would also use the pine trees that were found throughout Okinawa. We would slap or kick the trees and develop our gripping methods for close in fighting. This kind of training was very hard and severe on a person who had to work hard all day and then train hard at night. Life was very hard back then.

We would train twice a day. Early in the morning we would train on striking objects and conditioning to prepare one for the day. After working hard in the fields, we would have nightly training in two person techniques and conditioning like present-day kotekitai. We had to toughen our legs and hands - like iron, then they became true weapons. During the late hours we would practice the kata of Matsumura.

Interviewer: Can you tell me something about the kata you teach.

Sensei: Well, kata, yes, the most important Matsumura Seito kata is the kusanku. Sometimes we would practice the kusanku with kanzashi (hairpins) held in the hands - this was a common method of fighting. The hairpins were symbols of rank and many Okinawans carried them for decoration and also for protection.

Interviewer: I understand that you teach a white crane form. Is this the hakucho kata?

Sensei: No, hakucho, is another kata that, I believe, came from the Chinese tea seller, Go Kenki. He moved to Japan but my kata is much different. I call it hakutsuru. It was about... no, it was after ten years of training my uncle taught me the most secret kata of Matsumura Seito shorin-ryu, the hakutsuru (white crane) kata. This form stressed the balance -- all the Matsumura kata stressed balance but this form was the most dangerous in training.

The practice of the hakutsuru form forced me to learn better balance by performing the techniques while balanced on a pine log. Initially I learned the form on the ground and then I had to perform it on a log laying on the ground. For the advanced training the log was put into the river and tied down so as not to float away. I was then instructed to perform the kata while balanced on the log. It was very difficult and I almost drowned several times by falling and bouncing my head off the log.

Interviewer: You are recognized as a leading practitioner of traditional weaponry. Can you tell something about your weapons training?

Sensei: I studied traditional weaponry under Komesu Ushi-no-tanmei and later under Tsuken Mantaka. Tsuken is known for the bo form called Tsuken-nu-kun or Tsuken-bo. It is very famous.

Interviewer: Sensei, you speak excellent Spanish. Where did you learn to speak Spanish?

Sensei: Yes, Spanish. In 1924 I moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to find my fortune. I apprenticed myself as a photographer and later I worked in the clothes cleaning business. I learned Spanish there and I taught karate after they found out who I was. Most of my students in Argentina came from the Okinawan community - some Japanese.

All in all, in Argentina, I only had a small handful of students but we gave numerous demonstrations throughout the country. There were many, many Okinawans and Japanese living in Argentina. I returned to Okinawa in 1952.

Interviewer: What happened when you returned to Okinawa?

Sensei: I did not teach karate at first. Yes, not to the public but I began to teach a few family members which then opened up to a small dojo. I initially called it by the "hogen" name Machimura sui-de or in Japanese, Matsumura Shuri-te.

Around 1956 I changed the name of my teachings to Matsumura Orthodox Shorin-ryu karate-do. I still trained in the old ways and did not understand the new methods that were being taught. It appeared to be softer and more commercial. Because of this, I did not join the new organizations that were being formed at the time. My old way of karate was not readily accepted by everyone. They thought it too old and too crude -- I think it was just too hard or maybe my training methods were too severe. Whatever it was, it was the way I learned and the way I taught. It was later, when the Americans came to learn, that I changed my ways.

I found that there were two kinds of students - one was a dedicated and motivated student who wants to learn the Okinawan martial arts. The other is an individual who only wants to say he is learning karate. There are more of the latter. It is the latter that you see everywhere. They say that they "know" karate or that they "use to" practice karate - these are worthless individuals.

Interviewer: Can you tell me some more about your kata.

Sensei: I teach the Matsumura kata. The kata that I teach now are pinan shodan, pinan nidan, naihanchi shodan, naihanchi nidan, patsai-sho and dai, chinto, gojushiho, kusanku, rohai ichi-ni-san, and last, the hakutsuru. The last one is my favorite kata that I demonstrate - because it is easier to do. When I was young, the best kata was the kusanku. This is the Matsumura kusanku -- the older version that is not done much now.

I also teach bo, sai, tuifa, kama, nunchaku, kusarigama and suruchin. My favorite weapons form is tsukenbo (I learned that from Komesu Ushi) but in the old days it was the furi-gama or kusari-gama. We, on Okinawa, use a hand made rope to tie the kama to the hand or wrist. In Japan they use an iron chain but this is too cumbersome and can damage the student that practices that method.

I knew Taira Shinken very well before he died. I taught him some of my older forms. In 1970 I formed the All Okinawa Kobujutsu Association. I hope that this will spread all over the U.S. and mainland Japan. I am also a member of the Ryukyu Historical Society. We are trying to preserve the "hogen" dialect. Many young Okinawans no longer understand or even speak the old Okinawan language anymore. It is shameful.

[It should also be noted that Soken preferred to speak in his native dialect of Hogen. He often stated that he did not care for the Japanese language that much. -- Editor]

Interviewer: Sensei, you say that Shorin-ryu Matsumura Seito Karate-do is an old style with many secrets. Since you also say that you are getting old, what do you feel needs to be passed on to modem day students of Okinawan karate?

Sensei: There are many secrets in karate that people will never know and will never understand. These ideas are really not secret if you train in Okinawa under a good teacher. You will see the teacher use these so called secret techniques over and over again until they will become common knowledge to you. Others will look at it and marvel that it is an advanced or secret technique to them. That is because they do not have good teachers or their teachers have not researched their respective styles.

Karate is much more than simple punching and kicking and blocking. It is the study of weaponry and of grappling. Weaponry and empty hand fighting go together. How can you learn about defending against a weapon unless you are familiar with what the weapon can do?

[Soken-sensei used the Spanish word for wrestling when describing this art-form but I felt that a more apt term would be grappling - much like Japanese-style jujutsu. He stated that many people often referred to the Okinawan grappling arts as Okinawan-style wrestling mainly because it was never systematized and looked like a free-for-all form of fighting.

Soken-sensei continued by stating that as a youngster on Okinawa, that grappling was taken very seriously and it was not uncommon for individuals to suffer broken arms and legs as a result of taking part in this light form of entertainment. Soken-sensei would use the terms "te-kumi" or "gyaku-te" as identifying this old Okinawan art form.

The danger of reminding Soken-sensei of the "old methods of playing" was that he would often stand up, grab you, and then apply one of these painful methods of common people entertainment - he enjoyed watching Americans "squeaking like a mouse who had been stepped on." -- Editor]

Grappling is an old Okinawan custom that is commonly practiced in all villages. In America, the children played at "cowboys and indians. " In Okinawa we played by grappling with each other. We would have contests for grapplers in every village and one village would pit their best grapplers against all comers. It was very exciting.

Some people see the grappling and call it Okinawan jujutsu but this is incorrect. It is the old method called "ti." Ti { this is pronounced in the old dialect of Okinawa -- it sounds like the word "tea" -- ed. } practice was very common during the turn of the century but with the Japanese influences, these methods have almost disappear.

Interviewer: Sensei, any recommendations for us -- Americans?

Sensei: Yes, but you won't like it! Americans want to learn too much, too fast. You want more this and more that. You have a life time to learn. Learn slowly. Learn correctly. Look. Listen. Practice, practice, practice. Don't be a rash American, but a smart American. Never be in a hurry to learn, OK? Learning in a hurry can cause pain. Do you know about pain? Let me show you!

DEMONSTRATION: At this time, Soken demonstrated basic "ti" methods involving the use of the "sharp forearm bone" and the "thumbing" methods. All of them hurt - a lot! He had an uncanny command of the human anatomy and would use the thumb to hit the various nerves in the shoulder, the forearm and the sides of the body. He laughed a lot when doing this - he really enjoyed grappling.

A number of techniques resembled aikiJutsu movements and instead of moving in on the opponent, he would step backwards and would use his body weight to increase the power of the technique. He would always block using what he called a "double bone block" and counter with a thumb technique or a grappling technique that took you to the ground.

Soken stated that he could drive an individual through the ground or just simply throw him on the ground either way, the opponent was at a distinct disadvantage. He could then subdue you with techniques like kicks or move away from the confrontation.

Taken from the second interview:

Interviewer: Sensei, your kata is very distinct and beautiful to see. I have a question that has been bothering me since the Okinawan Expo. Remember when we saw the bo fighters in Nago. They used the names of many of the kata that are practiced today but they are very different. The only thing that appears to be the same is the name.

Sensei: Yes, they are the same and they are not the same. You say you lived on Okinawa for five years but you cannot understand the Okinawan people. In the old days, when we were really Okinawan and not Japanese, many of the old people were not smart -- or as smart as they are today. They did not travel, they did not watch TV, many never left their villages unless they had to. What we did have was festivals... village festivals. Everyone would come and watch and learn.

These village people would watch the other fancy city people practice their ti or their methods of weaponry. Say, like... well, ... Yes, a kata that they knew or practice had a number of movements. They come to the city and see and city kata with some of the same movements. The city kata had a name... and maybe their kata did not have a name. So, they would go back and ... yes, you now understand. They would name their kata after the city kata because they had a few of the same movements.

Some of their kata had five or maybe ten movements. Taira, my friend, would go to the village and learn these kata. He says that he learned 500 kata this way! Wah! This is true but he also liked to tell stories. Some of these kata had only 3 or maybe 5 movements. 500 kata, yes, now that is funny but he was a history collector. He knew them but he didnt understand them.

Interviewer: Was Taira a friend or student? He is very famous for his weaponry in Japan.

Sensei: Yes, Taira... he knew a lot of kata, huh. Huh, huh, huh... Yes, he is dead, you know that. He would watch my kata all the time and try to learn my tsuken style stick. But I would trick him and change the kata, wah!! ... just like that. He would still come back and look some more in the hopes of being able to take it back. When we both were young -- our karate was very good. When we both got old, our weaponry was good.

Why do you want to know these things -- these old ideas, these old ways. Their old value was to survive a challenge match. You punch me and I will show you ... good karate means you also test yourself through pain. Like pain... in good karate... movements are quick, like a mongoose. If you are slow, you can die. If you are quick, then there is a chance that you and your family (???) will live.

Interviewer: Yes, fighting must have been very different at the beginning of this century.

Sensei: Yes, you don't know these old days. In a fight... if you would lose, the loss would be suffered by your family. They could die. You would work hard to support the family working all day, If you were injured or killed while fighting, then your family would starve... maybe even die. Okinawa life was very hard.

Now, the young people want to be Japanese. They don't speak the Okinawan language. They are lazy. They do not respect old people, they have no pride in being Okinawan. Yes, we are a poor country but that is no excuse in putting our culture in the dark and saying we are someone that we are not. This is no good.

NOTE: The second interview ends here. Sensei's mind begins to wander and he begins to get angry. I believe it has to do with painful, old memories that are brought up by the questions.
 
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RyuShiKan

Guest
Putting the Hakutsuru in its Place

By Steven Watson


Those who read many of the US Martial Arts magazines will know what I am saying when I say that the focus within the general Shorin Ryu community is on the Hakutsuru kata (Crane forms). This would be fine if this focus was directly proportionate to the place that Hakutsuru holds within our system. Because the Hakutsuru is the last kata within our system, it is unfortunately considered the ultimate, and that by studying this kata one will become advanced much quicker.

Well in my opinion this is trying to run before you can crawl.

Our system is made up of Naihanchi (2), Passai (2), Chinto, Rohai, Gojushiho, Kusanku, and Hakutsuru. All of these kata complement each other with concepts being learned within one kata, then reflecting through in the others.

I learned the ground gripping techniques (with the toes) from Naihanchi, and now practice this throughout the whole system. I learned many of the seated and ground work techniques from Gojushiho and Kusanku, which combined with the techniques of Naihanchi, Chinto, and Passai, are a great complement to each other. Our Hakutsuru is a kata that was formed from the best of our other kata, not the other kata as a preliminary to the Hakutsuru ONLY.

By training in a more advanced kata, your earlier kata should improve with the techniques that you learned in the new.

. . . We should not concentrate on the bunkai of an individual kata, but the bunkai of the whole system, which mixes and draws from our kata to achieve a limitless system.

Keep in mind that our Hakutsuru is from our other kata, and that the movements and methods learned within Hakutsuru will reflect back through the kata that formed it, while the theories that we learned in the earlier kata assist us in understanding the Hakutsuru.

Soken Sensei didn't learn kata first. He learned to step correctly, then kata. After training (twice daily) for 10 years he then began to learn Hakutsuru. Not after 10 years of casual practice, or even 20 years of causal practice.

How can we then expect to obtain the same degree of proficiency without the mastery of the kata that were drawn upon to create Hakutsuru?

We cannot expect to have a full understanding of Hakutsuru without a full understanding of our other kata.

Steve Watson
 
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RyuShiKan

Guest
A Summary and Review of the article "The White Swan of Hohan Soken" By Don Lucas

(The article was originally published in Black Belt Magazine, and was apparently written in 1967.)

At the time the article was published, Soken was 78 years old. It says that Soken at the time did not teach at the Kadena Air base, but that his pupil, Fusei Kise did. Soken's style is classified as a strong, "hard" style. He practices the same type of techniques that his ancestors practiced. He was born in 1889. The abolishment of the feudal system caused Soken and his family many problems. They had to work meanial jobs, and Soken was forced to work side by side with peasants, even though he was a samurai of noble lineage.

Nabe Matsumura, his uncle, told him that if he could demonstrate the patience and control necessary, that he would teach him Bushido, or "the way of the warrior." Soken accepted gladly. He heard the tales about his great grandfather, Sokon "Bushi" Matsumura, and other well known Samurai ancestors as he was growing up. Bushi Matsumura was a master in the Okinawan style of empty handed combat. The article makes the claim that Soken was also trained in traditional weapons by Nabe, but that is not correct. Neither Bushi nor Nabi practiced weapons. Soken learned them from Ushi Komesu and Mantaka Tsuken. The limit of his use of weapons under Nabei was with hairpins when practicing Kusanku, according to the interview with Hohan Soken. The article says that the king of Okinawa sent Bushi to the Shaolin temple to increase his knowledge in the martial arts. The article says that it is not known if Bushi ever found the temple. However, we know he did, because Soken said he did, and remained there for a number of years. It also says that the site of the Shaolin temple has still not been found. That was the case when the article was published. But it was found later in the early 1980s they found it near Putian. The article says that the king that sent him was Sho Tai, but that is not likely, because according to tradition, Bushi went to Shaolin around 1830. If that is the case, then it would have been one of the kings previous to Sho Tai. Upon Bushi's return he was made the personal bodyguard to the king at that time.

It says that Soken claimed that Bushi fought a number of lethal contests to protect the king. He was frequently challenged, but he would never fight except to defend the king. He was never defeated and died a natural death. His name is still known in the Ryukus.

The article says that after the death of Bushi, Nabe (Nabi) Matsumura, his grandson, was designated as his successor. In keeping with the samurai family tradition, Soken was the next in line after Nabe.

Soken began his training with Nabe at age 13. He would work in the fields during the day, and train in the evenings rigorously. The training intensified as he grew into manhood. When he was 23, ten years after he started his training, Nabe told him it was time to learn "real" karate. Soken had been trained in fundamentals for 10 years, but now it was time for Hakutsuru (White Crane). This article incorrectly translates it as Swan. The article says that Gichin Funakoshi asked to be taught the Hakutsuru, but was refused by Matsumura. Soken said it was because Matsumura was confining it to his family, which is true. But that is not the only reason. Funakoshi's attitude was also lacking. Then the article talks as if Hakutsuru is just imaginary, saying that all this talk about it is pure speculation. However, we have more than enough evidence to prove its existence. Soken offered an allegory to understand Hakutsuru better: "He tells of seeing a slender, swan-like bird perched on a large rock in a roaring wind. Despite the force of the wind, and sudden changes in its speed and direction, the bird maintained perfect balance and control. Perfect control of the body and mind in any situation, then is one of the keys not only to the White Swan, but to all of Soken's karate." Nabe told Soken to mount a board just big enough to support his weight, and to push it out into a pond. After much practice, he was able to do kata on the board in the pond. He would also spar with Nabi on the board. They would practice in all kinds of weather.

Soken also stressed the importance of Ch'i (ki) and breath control in the Hakutsuru. He said breath control should be practiced every day, but not to the point of exhaustion. He also said that Hakutsuru uses a more powerful opponent's strength against him.

According to the article, Soken wore a red belt showing he had a tenth dan. Back then, beginners would wear a white belt until they earned their black belts.

His students speak many different languages. But using Japanese, Spanish and some limited English, he was able to communicate well. Soken traveled throughout the Far East and South America. He left Okinawa in the 1920's and lived in Argentina until the end of World War II. He conducted demonstrations of karate regularly. The rules for Soken's dojo were spelled out on a scroll. It said that "the karateka is told he must always act in a courteous manner. During training he must concentrate to the limit of his mental endurance, and he must give his all mentally and physically as training without mental concentration prevents advancement. The technical and mental training of karate should be combined as one; the heart, mind and body should be in unison at all times. The karateka is told he must heed the advice of his master and of more advanced people from other schools, and listen to and never forget their advice. Listening and watching are key points of advancement. In order to advance, he is told to strive to obtain the true spirit of karate. Training is on a continuous basis and one learns a little at a time, the karateka must not take breaks in training as it will result in a step backward. He should always strive for advancement, and when he does advance, must not brag or boast. Self-praise and over-confidence is a sickness which corrupts training, according to the code of Soken. The karateka is to refrain from over-eating, drinking and smoking, for these bad habits hinder the effectiveness of his training. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the scroll states: 'Karate training has no limits; step by step, study by study, and one day in the future you will undoubtedly enter the temple (of Shaolin).' That certainly, is Hohan Soken's goal."
 
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paihequan

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RyuShikan:

Thanks for posting the interview and Steve Watson's piece. I've seen both of these before and found both to be very interesting.
 

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