Monday, October 17, 2011

Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai - October 9, 2011

On October 9th, 2011, the Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai gathered to train together and study the Niseishi, Naihanchi Sandan, Gekisai, Fukyuugata, and Wanchin kata.

At the beginning and the end of the training, we shared a moment of silence for Shihan Bobby Lowe, who passed away on 14 September 2011. Lowe Sensei was a senior member of the Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai and very much a part of the Hawaiian karate community for many years. He was the Dai Sempai for the entire Kyokushin organization and a man who truly loved karate. Lowe Sensei, OSU!

The schools performing Niseishi/Nijushiho were Ryukyu Kobudo, Island Ki, IKL, Kenshukan and Minakami Dojo. Niseishi is a Nahate kata, meaning that it was directly imported from China, being taught and performed in the same manner as it was in China. According to Chibana Sensei, most Nahate kata were generally “numbered”. Niseishi is the Chinese pronunciation of the kata, literally meaning “24”. One of the main  versions of Niseishi practiced today came from Arakaki Seisho, who taught this kata to Shito-ryu founder Mabuni Kenwa. The kata spread further when Shotokan founder Funakoshi Gichin incorporated this kata into his system after sending his students Nakayama Masatoshi and Ohtsuka Hironori to learn it from Mabuni.  Hironori Ohtsuka later founded his own style known today as Wado Ryu Karate.  As such, the different schools performing had interesting variations in pattern and technique, but were fairly similar.

The remaining schools do not practice Niseishi, so they demonstrated different kata. OSKA did the Naihanchi Sandan kata, one of the basic mainstays of Shorin-ryu. It was explained that some believe the Naihanchi Shodan and Nidan kata were created by Tudi Sakugawa and that Naihanchi Sandan was created by Itosu Anko. According to Chibana Sensei, his teacher Itosu Anko actually emphasized that all the Naihanchi kata should never be altered because Tudi Sakugawa, who created the Naihanchi kata fighting system after training in China, was such a skilled master. This suggests that they were all created by Tudi Sakugawa instead. The focus of the Naihanchi kata is strong, powerful basics.

The next group of kata were interrelated, with Kyokushin Karate performing Gekisai Sho, Senbukan performing Gekisai Shodan, and Hikari Dojo performing Fukyugata Ni. It was explained that the Gekisai kata and Fukyugata were originally created in the attempt to have a simple, universal kata that the many different styles of karate on Okinawa could practice and perform together during exhibitions, study sessions, or just in general. Fukyugata Ichi was developed by Nagamine Shoshin of Matsubayashi Ryu and the Gekisai Sho (referred to as Fukyugata Ni by Matsubayashi Ryu) was created by Miyagi Chojun of Goju Ryu. In the end, the goal of having a universal kata shared by all karate styles on Okinawa was not realized.

Rounding off the kata demonstration portion, Wanchin was performed by the Ninchokan Dojo. Wanchin was created by Shimabukuro Zenryo and presented at the grand opening of his Seibukan dojo in 1962. It was explained that the name did not have any special meaning, only that it was chosen because it sounded similar to what a traditional Okinawan kata would be called.

After each kata was demonstrated twice and questions were asked, everyone broke into pairs and practiced techniques from the various kata. Both this section of the training as well as the demonstration of the kata emphasize to me the similar and differing approaches that each style brings to the table. As techniques were explained, some styles moved completely off-line to avoid attacks, others stepped back to change distance, and others still simply rotated the body. Other differing approaches included using blocks to destroy an opponent’s attack or simply to redirect it.

Performing the Kata (in order):
Niseishi - Ryukyu Kobudo - Pat Nakata Sensei, Alan Yokota (representing Fumio Nagaishi Sensei), Roy Rivera, and John Oberle
Nijushiho - Island Ki dojo - Taylour Chang (Round 1) and Hisae Ishii-Chang Sensei (Round 2) with participation in the application practice by Frank Lopes
Niseishi - International Karate League - Stephen Lodge (representing Walter Nishioka Sensei)
Niseishi - Kenshukan Karate Kobudo Association - Shawna Carino (representing James Miyaji Sensei)
Niseishi - Minakami Dojo - Sean Roberts Sensei
Naihanchi Sandan - OSKA - Pat Nakata Sensei, Alan Yokota, Steve Chun, Grant Kawasaki, and John Oberle
Gekisai Sho - Kyokushin Karate - Herbert Ishida Sensei
Gekisai Shodan - Senbukan Dojo - Alan Lee Sensei, Kyle Nakasone Sensei and Ryan Okata
Fukyugata Ni - Hikari Dojo - Charles Goodin Sensei
Wanchin - Ninchokan Dojo - Angel Lemus Sensei and his wife Judy Lemus Sensei

Walter Nishioka Sensei, James Miyaji Sensei, Rodney Shimabukuro Sensei, Robin Sagadraca

After the session was over we shared light refreshments and as always, had a fun time talking story. Food and drink were provided by the following: Grant Kawasaki/Hanapa’a Sushi, Steve Chun/C.Q. Yee Hop Co./Commercial Enterprises, Kyle Nakasone Sensei, and Pat Nakata Sensei.

Technorati Tags: