Thanks for that. That sounds like the exact article I was thinking of when I posted. There are several similar to it as well.History of the Kata:
Essentially, the two Fukyugata are “Pinan equivalents” in that they were designed to be summation of the karate that went before. They are very new kata (made in the 1940s) and were created by Shoshin Nagamine (Matsubayashi-ryu) and Chojun Miyagi (Goju-ryu) at the request of Gen Hayakawa (governor of the Okinawa Prefecture) via the Karate-Do Special Committee.
The idea was to create standardised kata that would cut across all the various streams of karate, that were suitable for novices, and would provide a common grounding in the basics of karate.
The Pinans had been in existence for some time, but they were considered to be a summation of “Shuri-te” line alone (quite rightly) and hence were lacking the “Naha-te” side of things.
Shoshin Nagamine made the first kata (Fukyugata Ich) and Chojun Miyagi made the second kata (Fukyugata Ni).
Matsubayashi-ryu still practise them both.
Fukyugata Ni remains part of Goju-Ryu but under the revised name of Gekisai Dai Ichi (normally the first kata taught in Goju-Ryu).
Chojun Miyagi later went on to teach a second version of the same kata, which is largely the same, but with the addition of the circular hand motions common to other Goju kata.
This revised version of Fukyugata Ni / Gekisai Dai Ichi is called Gekisai Dai Ni (normally the second kata taught in Goju).
The name “Fukyu” (普及) translates as something like “universal”, “popular” or “widely spread”. So the name of the kata matches the intention behind their creation.
The revised name of “Gekisai" (撃砕) translates as “Pulverise” or “Attack and Destroy” which would seem to be more reflective of the intent of the applications; as opposed to the former name which reflected the “political intent” of the kata.
Source: Iain Abernethy.... but this is something my own research agrees with.
I just wonder why he agreed to it, other than being asked by an authority figure. Did he want everyone to learn karate the same way, or was he thinking help standardize curriculum taught in grade schools?
Sure enough, it was most likely his answer to the Pinans, but who was it intended for? Kids? Adults? It says novices, but who’s a novice? If he waited 2-3 years before he taught Sanchin, did he teach Gekisai Dai after that or before? Gekisai Dai came along towards the end of his life. Did he start teaching Gekisai Dai earlier in a student’s learning than he would’ve taught him Sanchin? Later? Everything I’ve read said the first kata he taught was Sanchin, and that was after 2-3 years. Nothing I’ve read mentions when he taught Gekisai Dai. But there’s not really a lot written about him teaching anyway. Most stuff comes from a handful of people who started training under him well before he developed Gekisai Dai.
As far as I know he didn’t teach children like the others did, so he had to teach it to some adults. Some may have been an age we’d consider children, but things happened a lot younger back then - marriage, having kids, working, etc. A 12 year old during his era was nothing like a 12 year old today.
Sorry for rambling a bit at the end there. I have no idea why Miyagi and how he taught intrigues me so much. If you know of any good biographies, I’d love to read one.