• Study Time


    Study Time 

    By Patrick McCarthy Hanshi. 

    I have long been passionate about the traditional fighting arts but prefer functionality to impractical ritual. By going out on my own, and establishing Koryu Uchinadi, I not only challenged the existing status quo, I succeeded in ruffling many a feather within our tradition. Nowhere was this sentiment more evident than with the zealots who believe the art is the exclusive domain of the Japanese [i.e. Okinawans]. My knowledge of Japanese language and [Budo] culture, unique experience and technical competency represented the kind of progressive independence, which seemingly threatened the control and insecurity of certain powers of be. 

    17th Century Haiku Master, Matsuo Basho, summed up tradition nicely when he wrote, "Seek not to [blindly] follow in the footsteps of the men of old but rather continue to seek out what they sought." This timeless concept says so much about keeping tradition alive, rather than blindly adhering to, "Exactly how the master did it 75 years ago!" Citing the wisdom of Thomas Moore, “Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.” Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. The only way to do this effectively, especially in lieu of such widespread ambiguity, is the continual exploration of that which we don't understand by using any and all means available to us. This is the guiding light of the IRKRS, and I am confident that the direction, in which we are currently travelling is much more in line with the teachings left to us by the pioneers than is the conformist mentality that shaped the dysfunctional modern interpretation of this art.

    Koryu Uchinadi represents the culmination of my life’s work. It is a uniquely contemporary tradition, meticulously constructed from the remnants of four classical practices [Tegumi 手組, Ti’gwa 手小, Torite 捕り手 & Kata 型], once vigorously embraced during Okinawa’s old Ryukyu Kingdom Period. For many years I dreamed of a way in which to reach out and help other people find their way through the historical, cultural and technical ambiguity, which tends to shroud understanding the essence of this art. The International Ryukyu Karate Research Society has become is the result of that dream; It’s a worldwide movement bringing together like-minded people in pursuit of common goals. Celebrating empowerment, personal achievement and camaraderie has become the hallmark of our movement. 


    Two-Person Drills

    I am not 100% sure that everyone gets the importance of two-person drills ... in relationship to kata. Personally, I love two-person drills simply because they're an excellent hands-on tool in creating context and response. Almost every domestic-based act of physical violence can be approached in this way. Being taken out of one’s comfort zone, experiencing defeat, failure and other adverse challenges is what keeps us fresh and nurtures the, "beginners mind," as without this we run the risk of becoming complacent!

    Old-school methods used scenario-based drill practice for the purpose of taking its learners outside their immediate comfort zone to test veracity although few styles actually do this anymore. Using aggressive resistance, violent scenarios get the learner used to the adrenaline dump, which occurs during pre/post confrontation and managing the fear that is associated with it. 

    What's even better is that learners are able to clearly understand how Kata were developed from the two-person drills. By linking together the solo parts of the two-person application practices into geometrical routines pioneers were able to create something greater than the sum total of their individual parts... subsequently, even if the person doesn't understand its application the kata can still serve several other purposes such as creative mechanisms through which to express individual prowess while strengthening one's overall mental, physical and holistic conditioning.


    More on Kata...

    I don't believe that kata were ever meant to impart the lesson but rather, “culminate what had already been taught!” Form follows function! Therefore, any prescribed movements, or sets of prescribed movements, which re-enact the application of how to attack, counter and or escape specific acts of physical violence must, by definition, culminate lessons already learned? 

    That kata can also be used as instructional mechanisms support their creative use. Today’s confusion with kata application dates back to the practice falling quietly dormant following Itosu Ankoh’s campaign to support Japan’s radical period of military escalation. When contextual premise–based training and 2-person drill practices were replaced by outcomes that focused exclusively upon physical fitness and social conformity, in support of producing able-bodied male military conscripts, something different from its original intentions unfolded.

    Kata represents form and its application is the function. Kata are an abstract collection of conceptual application practices linked together into creative practice routines. What breathes life into this abstract formula is its, “contextual premise!”  Long ago, empirical study provided a unique opportunity to identify the acts of physical violence, which plagued domestic society. In doing so, tactical fighting practices ultimately unfolded allowing average people to effectively deal with domestic-based physical violence. Such conceptual practices were customarily learned and rehearsed in two-person re- enactment drills. As a learner’s repertoire of application practices grew larger the idea of linking such individual concepts together into dynamic solo routines became the basis from which style unfolded. Such routines not only culminated important lessons already learned they also provided creative mechanisms through which to impart timeless teachings and express individual prowess while strengthening one's overall mental, physical and holistic conditioning.

    Contextual Basis Reveals Origins

    One dark side of human existence, which habitually plagued early society, was domestic violence. Our struggle for survival, and understanding of these "Habitual Acts of Physical violence [HAPV], served as the contextual basis upon which two-person "re-enactment" drills evolved. The idea of identifying and recreating those empty-handed acts of physical violence most commonly exampled in one-against-one domestic scenarios provided the foundation upon which discover effective ways of dealing with them. 

    Understanding the HAPV-theory/2-person application drill practice also provides a plausible explanation to understanding the origins of kata. Each escape, counter and application concept can also be rehearsed and performed individually, as solo practices. If and when linked together, into larger routines, the practice becomes something greater than the sum total of its individual parts... kata! Kata not only served as a mnemonic mechanism to culminate lessons already learned, and impart lesson yet to be taught, it also became a creative form of expression through which improve physical skill, mental focus and holistic conditioning, hence strengthening the overall learning experience.

    I'd like to discuss some of the solo-routines next.


    As physical violence has long been regarded the very impetus responsible for cradling the development of self-defense, let's take a moment and identify some of the most common issues surrounding it. In doing so, I'm confident it will become possible to determine how pioneers best dealt with creating the art which brings us together. Moreover, I also believe some of us may change our perspective about this art... at least, to this end my efforts continue on. 

    First off, I'd like to discuss some guidelines surrounding the broad issue of "physical violence," so as to establish our [the IRKRS, KU & my] position on the subject, as it's not fair to 'paint the entire issue with a single brush stroke.' So, let's get a few facts first. 

    Must Know Facts

    What we now know as "Karate," was never originally developed to be used on the battlefield or in the arena. Karate was not developed for/by the military nor is it bound by rules, as is the sport and competitive aspect; i.e., it is/was never meant for warfare or competition! 

    This is PARAMOUNT in understanding the origins and nature of the art and yet, sadly it's something terribly misunderstood by so many enthusiasts. Can you imagine how by just misunderstanding this one point alone can, and does, distort one's subsequent perspective? When excluding the competitive, military, weapon-based and gang or multiple attacker-based scenarios, determining what else remains is really quite simple. The kind of violent encounters that set the historical precedence, for the development of karate, have to be purely domestic as exampled in early society's very often brutal civil circumstances. Looking even more closely at our unique methods, it would appear as if its development is/was based entirely upon one-against-one physical confrontations and in particular the kind using only one's empty-hands. 

    * Note: For those of you who work in Security, Law Enforcement, Correctional Facilities, and or as active Military, or private Military/Security Contractors in the field... I am confident you understand the brutal realities faced with "defending oneself" against an armed attacker and the "effectiveness" of karate in such encounters.

    Not Just Violence

    Rather than even take the time necessary to discuss the pros & cons of the myriad styles of karate, let's agree that their origins are, in fact, found in "self-defense," the ability to protect oneself. The fact that they have also become a mechanism to condition the body, cultivate the mind and nurture the spirit, is subsequent to its original purpose and not the target of "this" presentation. I mention this because of two reasons:

    #1. It's always been the human body, its unique condition and common anatomical strengths/weaknesses that ultimately dictates how percussive impact [striking] and seizing [anything to do with grabbing a hold of a person] best impedes motor function; the dispassionate aim of self-defense. 

    #2. The acts of physical violence, by which our art would become a means, do not discriminate and ARE NOT dependent upon culture, nationality, time, religion or gender... only the human body! 

    Here again, are two hugely important points to grasp. Not only do these two points help remove any and all ambiguity that might otherwise shroud the actual nature of karate, they alone make understanding the nature of the art very simple.

    Review the Facts

    1. Karate was not developed to be used on the battlefield or in the competitive arena. 

    2. Karate was not developed to defend against weapon-based and gang or multiple attacker-based scenarios.

    3. Karate was developed to be best used in empty-handed one-against-one physical confrontations as exampled domestic society. 

    * None of this means that Karate CANNOT be used [or, has not been used] on the battlefield, in the competitive arena, or against weapon-based and gang or multiple attacker-based scenarios...as it most certainly can be but goes directly to describing the pliability of its principles, not its origins. 


    I feel the need to mention something about propaganda here, too. Why? That's simple. People in charge of a product use propaganda when trying to win support of and maintain authority over it, as we customarily see everywhere. In this case karate, and its subsequent styles, can very well be thought of as a 'cultural' product worthy of protecting. As such, there is no shortage of propaganda, cultural and otherwise, protecting the "product." 


    Wiki Definition: Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position by presenting only one side of an argument. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda, in its most basic sense, presents information primarily to influence an audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus possibly lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or uses loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the attitude toward the subject in the target audience to further a political agenda. Propaganda can be used as a form of political warfare. While the term propaganda has justifiably acquired a strongly negative connotation by association with its most manipulative and jingoistic examples (e.g. Nazi Propaganda used to justify the Holocaust), propaganda in its original sense was neutral, and could refer to uses that were generally benign or innocuous, such as public health recommendations, signs encouraging citizens to participate in a census or election, or messages encouraging persons to report crimes to the police, among others.


    Folklore would have us believe that Okinawa’s civil fighting legacy was developed by the subjugated “pre-Meiji peasant class.” Described as tyrannized by their overlords, the peasants, in an effort to break free of the chains of “oppression,” had allegedly conceived an omnipotent fighting tradition. Some people have further hypothesized that combative principles had “somehow” been applied to the implements they used in their daily lives. It has also been postulated that, during the cover of total darkness, for fear of reprisal if caught, the peasants not only established this cultural phenomenon but also succeeded in handing it down for generations, unbeknownst to local authorities. 

    Supported by mere threads of historically inaccurate testimony, one discovers that the “pre-Meiji Peasant Class Supposition” is not worthy of serious consideration. Nonetheless, some researchers have erroneously credited the peasant class with the development of both Okinawa’s armed and empty-handed combative traditions. However, a further study of the Ryukyu Kingdom reveals findings that suggest a more plausible explanation. 

    There is certainly something to be said about Karate's mythology. I have learned that enthusiasts want karate to be something more than it really is ... no where is this more evident than here in the West. I think for those who have done their homework, understand the cultural landscape and social mindset of the period and place, there's little stumbling over contemporary assumption. This is not to lessen the knife/weapon-wielding attacker and or gang/multiple-assailants theory, but rather to explain the futility of what is actually possible in real life. I think you understand this better than most.

    Let me, again, emphasize one area that few instructor's like to discuss [I don't even believe it's ever brought up within traditional schools of karate]; this is the VERY real possibility that, even with training in Karate, the chances of actually surviving an unwarranted encounter today, forget about the knife-wielding attacker and his pal laying in wait for you, is highly doubtful... for the 'average Joe.'

    Before I conclude, I'd like to mention another IMPORTANT issue.

    There is/was a HUGE difference between learning Karate during the old days in the tiny outlying island's [homogeneous cultural] social community, where the pathway was truly long and lifestyle orientated, and that of the 21st century's "global village!" Moreover, the mindset of today's 'law enforcement and security officials' [armed with the latest technical/tactical capabilities], in spite of their auxiliary obligation [probably a bad choice of words] of peace keeping and public relations, is almost entirely expectant of worst case scenarios; i.e., ready, willing and able to effectively deal with "such things" ... where "your average 'Joe' is not! 

    Not sure if this is understandable???


    Shaolin history tells us the origins of Chinese [White] Crane quanfa comes from there... along with Dragon, Leopard, Tiger and Snake-style boxing, too [i.e., 5-Animal style Kung Fu]. An alternative account cites a young Fujian-based girl named Fang Qiniang as the person who pioneered White Crane quanfa [see my Bubishi for a complete history of it and the subsequent evolution of the various Fujian/Taiwanese styles which sprung from it]. 


    As Okinawa has had a long and eventful symbiotic liaison with the Middle Kingdom, dating back to the 13th century [36 Families, Sapposhi, etc.] and there can be no denying its influence upon local Ryukyu Culture... including the fighting arts ... and the appearance of White Crane quanfa!

    What is a Kata?

    Kata [型/形 Hsing in Chinese] are an abstract collection of 'fighting' techniques [i.e., conceptual defensive/offensive practices] arranged into a geometrical configuration by a 'human' person, or persons [with varying degrees of understanding and expertise]. Originally, they were used as a mnemonic mechanism to culminate the lessons ... already learned. Subsequently, they could also be used to impart lessons and carry on the teachings of that particular person, or persons. Their unique characteristics [hand & foot techniques, foot steps and body dynamics, etc.] is what differentiated them to other ways of accomplishing the SAME OUTCOMES. Herein we discover the mechanism from which gives rise to, "styles."

    One feature all kata had/have is that they can also be used quite effectively as creative mechanisms through which to express individual prowess while strengthening one's overall mental, physical and holistic conditioning. 

    The "Secret" 

    I think what so many people DON'T GET is that 'styles' are simply different ways of accomplishing the SAME THING! ... and they vary drastically due entirely to the founder's understanding of self-defense ... or lack thereof!!! What makes the study of kata so easy, for me, is having discovered the so-called "lost formula," the HAPV! "It's always been the human condition, its unique function and anatomical strengths/weaknesses which ultimately dictate how seizing and impact best impede motor skills; the dispassionate aim of self-defence." 

    Up until quite recently, [i.e., the era of modern fighting arts, cross training and scientific study] the entire traditional Eastern fighting arts community [cultures which systematised its arts of self-defence into ritualised practices] had based their tactical strategies on quite specific contextual premises; HAPV! Based entirely upon this fact [and I am referring here exclusively to ... "one-against-one empty-handed" acts of physical violence in a domestic environment] we can discover that there are only so many ways with which to effectively negotiate/handle/escape/counter each of the HAPV. Observing the application concepts in their solo recreations we can clearly see that such ways ALL SHARE wonderful similarities in their physical appearance. What I mean by this is that the way[s] a person can escape/counter any given situation is due exclusively to several factors.


    In the case of being seized...

    #1. How the technique is being applied. a. If the attacker is struggling to gain position in the process of applying it, or... b. that the technique is already firmly applied but has not yet achieved its outcomes [unconsciousness, etc.]; e.g., a rear naked choke. Please apply this example to any and all of the seizing-based HAPV. 

    #2. The size, age, gender, strength and [physical/mental/emotional] condition of the attacker and the defender.

    #3. The environmental circumstances of the attack. 


    In the case of being struck...

    #1. Whether you have already been struck [and how much] and the variables surrounding its immediate affect upon you; a. unconsciousness b. extremely disorientated c. mildly disorientated d. not disorientated 

    #2. The size, age, gender, strength and [physical/mental/emotional] condition of the attacker and the defender.

    #3. The environmental circumstances of the attack. 


    In the case of being seized and struck...

    #1. Whether you have already been struck [and how much] and the variables surrounding its immediate affect upon you; a. unconsciousness b. extremely disorientated c. mildly disorientated d. not disorientated - How the technique is being applied. a. If the attacker is struggling to gain position in the process of applying it, or... b. that the technique is already firmly applied but has not yet achieved its outcomes [unconsciousness, etc.]; e.g., a rear naked choke. Please apply this example to any and all of the seizing-based HAPV. 

    #2. The size, age, gender, strength and [physical/mental/emotional] condition of the attacker and the defender.

    #3. The environmental circumstances of the attack. 


    So, the point here is really quite simple ... unless you've been rendered unconscious, extremely disorientated, or petrified with fear, and are incapable of adequately responding, the ways of countering and or escaping all share identical similarities. This is because of the uniqueness of the human body, its universal mechanics and the immutable principles that support them; hence, the need to UNDERSTAND THIS! 

    There is simply no avoiding the fact that each of the HAPV can and are dealt with in timeless ways. A person who is considered "an expert" [i.e., a "Master"] understands such ways and the mixing and matching of them [i.e., the creation of their kata] subsequently reflect their understanding of them along with the idiosyncrasies peculiar to that person. Hence, the variables of kata. 

    Let me further break this down into even a simpler description:

    Let's say for the sake of this example there are 36 HAPV and each one has at least one different way of countering or escaping from it. Let's also say that in some cases, not all, the same concept can also be effectively used in the same way. Let's also say that in addition to this some HAPV have more than one concept which can be effectively used against them. Finally, and for the very adept alpha-learner, some people might possess the ability to improve any and all of these ways by reinterpreting the common principles upon which they rest. 

    As such, and realising that all application practices rest upon common mechanics and governed by universal principles, each concept can, from a pedagogical perspective, be likened to instructional responses to both specific and generic challenges. Therefore, 

    When I say things like ... these methods transcend time, culture, age and gender, etc. I am referring specifically to the fact that it doesn't matter if the person[s] involved lived 300 years ago or now, were Okinawan or Dutch, 20 or 50, and male or female, as it is all based upon quantifiable HAPV and common mechanics and one specific historical period, nationality, age or gender does NOT have exclusivity over it. Therefore, it can and is identifiable and subsequently understandable, hence, reproducible in far less abstract ways than exampled by our 20th century Japanese/Okinawan predecessors. 

    FYI, culture [social behaviours], language, costume, mindset and outcomes [sport, fitness, lifestyle, business, etc.] all affect the outward physical appearance of kata; The solo-routines of Chinese Kung Fu, Korean Karate, SE Silat, Filipino arnis/kali and Japanese/Okinawa kata, etc. 

    The "Fight" [i.e. the actual need for 'self-defense']

    I thought I mention one more thing ... as it too often "slips" by even the most astute learner. 

    I was/am NOT discussing two male persons meeting in less than desirable circumstances and mutually agreeing to "fight" each other but rather the real and unfortunate circumstances of needing to defend oneself in an instant; and the common brutality surrounding this reality... most often when the victim [the defender] doesn't even see the attack coming. Honestly speaking the likelihood of your average Joe surviving the first 10-seconds of a full-on attack [a predator-like street thug with nothing to lose coming at you like a Mac truck] is slim and next to none!!! 

    This means that some “human being[s],” just like you and I, actually developed them. However, the point I want to make here is that the conceptual rituals [application techniques], which go into making each and every kata, are fundamentally limited to addressing the HAPV. As such, and in spite of the varying cosmetic appearances, or the wonderfully creative ways of displaying one physical prowess, conceptual rituals can be rearranged, assembled and or produced in any geometrical configuration conceivable and still be "authentic" kata. 

    Original Source?

    In my experience, people who lay claim to possessing the original believe that such propaganda as to possessing the "original" means to suggest they are "THE ONLY SOURCE." As such, no one can get "IT" anywhere else because we are the most "AUTHENTIC/BEST," etc. Another way this is accomplished is through LINEAGE! "We learned directly from, or trained under, Master so and so! Also, experience and rank is yet another way; i.e., "I am a 10th dan and have been training/practicing FOREVER! I'm sure you've seen it many times, "the self-promoted 10th dan [or credentials purchased/received from the certificate mill MDS "Mutual Admiration Society"], etc.


    "Mizu No Kokuro"There is a beautiful descriptive phrase, which appears again and again in Zen & Budo (the 'way' or the 'path' of Martial Arts) literature: Mizu no kokoro "mind like water". For a better understanding, here are some interpretations of this same phrase.The appeal of "Mind Like Water" is the calmness and peace that you are trying to achieve. Say having everything in its place, to empty your mind of the baggage that life presents us with. Then you may be ready for anything that comes your way. It is an on-going quest.Mizu no kokoro, this is a lovely phrase, what is meant by It is to make the mind calm when facing an emergency or perhaps an adversary. The calm mind, like still water, accurately reflects all that comes before it. It is often referred to as fudoshin or "immovable mind." Calm waters are like a mirror; conversely troubled waters only reflect the turmoil within. When a person approaches a problem with a calm composure then like the reflection on calm water they can see everything. So also when a problem causes turmoil then like the troubled water only confusion is seen. Imagine an intellect as calm, a will as relentless and indomitable and a personality as adaptable as water and you will have envisioned a MIND LIKE WATER.This term was often emphasized in the teachings of the ancient karate masters. It refers to the mental attitude required while facing an actual opponent. Mizu no kokoro reminds us of the need to make the mind calm. If the mind is kept in this state, apprehension of the opponent's movements, both psychological and physical, will be both immediate and accurate, and one's responses, both defensive and offensive, will be appropriate and adequate. On the other hand, if the mind is disturbed, the images it reflects will be distorted, or by analogy, if the mind is preoccupied with thoughts of attack or defence, it will not foresee the opponent's intentions, creating an opportunity for the opponent to attack." In karate you should hold a position of perfect readiness: "mind like water." your mind should be at peace most of the time. And it should only react when something necessitates it. Imagine throwing a pebble into a still pond. How does the water respond? Water reacts exactly in proportion to the object thrown into it - with a big splash for a big rock, or a little ripple for a small pebble. And when the reaction is over, it goes back to a state of peace/calm. It doesn't overreact or underreact. Anything that causes you to overreact or underreact can control you, and often does. Responding inappropriately could lead to having less effective results than you'd like. Many people give either more or less attention to things that deserve their attention, simply because they don't operate with a "mind like water."As the moon shines equally on everything, so does the mind encompass all it perceives without discrimination? In Karate when one is engaging in freestyle, if there are thoughts of winning or losing, or what technique one should use, these thoughts are like clouds that pass in front of the moon blocking the light (of awareness). So too with a “mind like water” Still waters reflects only what is there. The distracted mind cannot respond accurately and immediately to what is happening. These concepts (mind like moon-mind like water) are important not only in the practice of martial arts, but are also important to one's everyday life. The challenges of living demand accurate and intelligent responses. When the mind is clouded or disturbed by waves of anxious thinking, then one's response is diminished and therefore one is not capable of meeting these challenges fully. But there is more to these concepts. The word "mind" referred to in Japanese Karate means "consciousness," which is all of living. What we in the West refer to as "mind" is only a small part of this Japanese concept of mind. The typical Western notion of mind is the analytical, logical, intellect, a necessary tool for living.But "mind" in "mind like moon-mind like water" has a far deeper and more profound meaning. This mind is the foundation of all consciousness; this mind is in stillness, in silence. When the intellectual mind finds its proper place in living, then this order can pave the way for the larger mind to enter. It is this larger mind from which consciousness emanates. It is where all things arise and disappear into the void. It is the seat of being, the wellspring of life.When there is a moment of forgetfulness, a break from the chaos of hectic living, then mind may blossom. But all too often one is caught up in the smaller mind, in the frenzy of self-centred preservation, in trying to find psychological security. It is only by not knowing this mind. In not knowing there is intelligence. Not knowing does not mean ignorance, not thinking. Not knowing means that thought is not seeking security in itself. Mind Like Moon-Mind Like Water is a metaphor for the mind that is intelligent, a mind that is rational. Joe Glavin,Chief Instructor.Cork Koryukan.

  • Tegumi
    by Patrick McCarthy

    Kararte-do is the product of an ambiguous history, derived from diverse yet interrelated traditions, and woven together by common defensive themes passed down both orally and kinesthetically from one generation to another. Transmission of this knowledge was embodied in ironclad rituals of secrecy called kata. Consequently, kata has become the time capsule for karatedo’s enigmatic heritage. In spite of the intense curiosity that currently surrounds kata, few have been able to unravel its innermost secrets. One of the principal reasons why kata remains such a “riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,”[1] is because the original two-man training methods that linked fundamental techniques to defensive applications are no longer associated with the modern practice of karate.

    Two-man training methods are still commonly practiced in many Chinese, Filipino, and Southeast Asian defensive traditions. Tegumi, once a common practice during Okinawa's old Ryukyu Kingdom, is karate’s “lost” two-man practice that provides the link between basic techniques and defensive applications. Following the modernization of Toudijutsu[2] during the turn of this century, alternative Japanese training methods were subsequently developed in an effort to support the tradition's new recreational aims and rule-bound objectives. As the emphasis of modern karate shifted to physical fitness, character development and athletic competition, the older two-man training drills that were the foundations for the defensive themes and brutal applications originally inherent in toudijutsu became overshadowed and ultimately obscured by the development of the modern “tradition.”

    It has been said, "kata is karate," moreover, that kata is the only reason that karate has been able to survive to the present day. If this is true (and I believe it is), then I can't help but ponder upon the words of the late Matsubayashiryu founder, Nagamine Shoshin, who said said to me[3], "Where is the kata in kumite?" He was certainly correct to make such a statement, as there is no question that kumite (tegumi backwards) is a modern development and a highly demanding athletic practice, that is supported by training methods that area reflection of its rule-bound aims and competitive objectives. However, by the very nature of its practice, it does not support the defensive themes inherent in kata.

    Searching for the Old to Understand the New With no single formula for success, karateka all over the world continue to search for answers to the mysteries that shroud the defensive themes inherent within kata. Concomitant with this search, is the phenomenon of endless analyses of the value of cross training and the eclectic “borrowings” from other defensive traditions. How many students learn kata, yet remain oblivious to the defensive themes and principles inherent within the flow of techniques? Without the support of the practice of Tegumi, learning kata is analogous to learning a song in a foreign language. It is melodic, and superficially pleasant to listen to, but unless there is an understanding of the language in which the song is sung the meaning of the lyrics will forever remain without context and meaning.

    Indiscriminate learning is a virtual institution in the modern karate community. Is this type of learning the possible root cause from which widespread misunderstanding of kata has arisen? Is this phenomenon limited to practice in the West or does it exist everywhere, even in Okinawa? I wonder what turn-of-the-century French Philosopher and Mathematician, Henri Poincare, possibly knew about karate when he wrote, in his 1905 publication entitled “The Hypothesis of Mathematics”:

    “Science is built upon facts, much in the same way that house is constructed of brick, but the mere collection of facts is no more a science than a pile of bricks is a house.”

    This principle is eminently applicable to the practice of karatedo. What difference does it make what dan someone is, their length of time in practice, race or nationality, or how many trophies they have won, or how rough and tough they are, or who their teacher is or was, or even how many kata they know? Ultimately, if there is no understanding of the principles upon which karate rest the same cycle of misunderstanding is simply and unfortunately perpetuated generation after generation.

    There is an ancient yet important maxim which, in Japanese, reads, “On Ko Chi Shin;” (To search for the old is to understand the new). Appreciation of this maxim begins with the understanding that if one seeks out, studies and comes to understand the original principles upon which a body of information rests, e.g. karatedo; then comprehending any of its subsequent interpretations becomes purely academic.

    American anthropologist, Joseph Campbell,[4] in discussing the rituals of man, told us that:

    "Every generation produces innovators who, in an effort to keep their ritualized practices a living experience for the people they serve, reinterpret the common principles upon which they rest. By doing so, it is not necessarily new rituals established as it is more innovative ways of imparting the same principles."

    The nature of my field research ultimately took me directly into the culture from whence karate evolved and brought me into personal contact with many of the martial art's most prominent authorities. Those who made the most lasting impression upon me spoke not of how powerful their ryuha was, or even the faults of others, but rather about historical study, common principles and the inward journey;

    "What lies behind or before us, is nothing compared to what lies within us."

    After years of research in Japan, China, and Southeast Asia, I was able to discover, reconstruct, and ultimately revive the lost practice of Tegumi by very literally "exploring the old, reinterpreting common principles, and looking within the tradition." Now that the concept and practice of Tegumi is resurfacing, it is rapidly becoming a source of intense interest for karateka who seek a deeper understanding of this ancient art.

    Recognizing Common Principles
    During the early years of training in the martial arts, I compared and contrasted many of the ritualized practices utilized by a great number of Asian empty-handed defensive traditions. In doing so I discovered a shared commonality in technique and defensive application across all of these arts. Challenged by such symmetry, (and during a time void of published research surrounding this phenomenon), I redoubled my efforts to better understand how and why numerous techniques and defensive applications could be virtually identical, even when the methods through which they were transmitted (e.g. kata, jurus, kune, pyongs, sayaws etc.) remained considerably different.

    During this independent study a fortuitous window of opportunity was thrust open. After delving deeper into the works of the late researcher, Donn F. Draeger, who, in combination with insights gleaned from the works of Joseph Campbell, allowed me to recognize the enormous influence that anthropological forces have in determining the evolution of man's rituals and traditions. The realization that a defensive tradition was literally a microcosm of the culture from whence it came, enabled me to see how diverse factors like varying customs, language, costume, climate, social ideology, and spiritual conviction, influenced the growth and direction of ritualized practices. These factors were especially influential in the development and perpetuation of the defensive traditions and their respective exercises.

    The history of Okinawa reveals that it was profoundly influenced by the cultures of China, Japan and Korea. An inscription on a bell cast for Shuri Castle in 1485 reads:

    “The Ryukyu Kingdom is a place of great beauty in the Southern Ocean. Gathered here are the treasures of three countries: Korea, the Great Ming and Japan. It's ships ply between ten thousand countries, and it is filled with wondrous things which are to be seen everywhere.”

    A unique geographical proximity to China, Japan and Korea, as well as Southeast Asia, and the long history of commerce and diplomatic relations between these nations, provided Uchinachu with many opportunities for active cultural interaction. There is no question that such communication between these cultures served to enhance the "local" defensive traditions. Such interaction would tend to explain the constant flow of innovation, or “new ways of doing the same things.”

    In defensive applications however, there are certain universal truths irrespective of style or politics. A strike is a strike, a kick is a kick, a person's joint only bends one way, without air a person is rendered unconscious, and, pain never discriminates. Throughout the history of mankind, and in every culture, human structure and function has always been the most important determinant in deciding what empty-handed self-defence techniques best-impaired physical performance. After all, impairing an attacker's ability to continue an assault has always been the fundamental aim of self-defense.

    With a working knowledge of the human anatomy, one becomes better equipped to understand how cause and effect generate predetermined responses. Knowledge of such responses are vital to the process of defending oneself as they serve to set up anatomical weaknesses for the express purpose of physical exploitation, prior to determining what subsequent defensive themes are deemed appropriate to expedite an end to the conflict. Circumstances always dictate the means. However, without recognizing the original premise upon which the art of self-defence is based, the corresponding application principles cannot be wholly understood or completely appreciated.

    Contrary to popular belief, the empty-handed defensive methods cultivated within the spiritual confines of China's monastic sanctuaries[5] were never meant for use against professional fighters in an arena, or, against warriors on a battlefield. This assertion however, has never precluded their actual use in hand-to-hand confrontation or battlefield combat. It does however support the hypothesis that such methods were originally developed to address the random acts of physical violence that plagued Chinese society, and as such, were most effective against those who possessed little or no understanding of such defensive tactics.

    Imagine being grabbed by someone. In the very moment after being seized, you quickly spit in the person's face (providing a momentary distraction), and then flick your fingers into the attacker's testicles (bending them forward in direct proportion to the energy transfer). Following this set-up, you immediately strike the radial artery on the thumb side of the attacker's wrist. Already knowing that each artery has its own neuro-vascular bundle which, when correctly[6] stimulated, induces pain and a predetermined reaction. This predetermined reaction creates corresponding anatomical weaknesses. Let's say that by attacking the previously mentioned target that the power of one's grip is momentarily weakened. Foreknowledge of this, would subsequently permit one to make a bridge by seizing the opponent's wrist, and follow up by attacking the triceps tendon. Knowing that the triceps tendons have a complex set of neurological structures including stretch and pain receptors, one could traumatize this anatomical zone in an effort to impede the opponent's continued assault. There is no question that such knowledge is fundamental to facilitating the learning processes of karatedo. One need only evaluate the content of the Bubishi[7] to discover the extraordinary emphasis early pioneers placed upon such learning.

    Through generations of empirical observation Shaolin[8] spiritual recluses reasoned that if man's ego could be harnessed, physical violence could be reduced to incidences of pure chance. As such, a body of moral philosophy was developed to complement the training of those who had mastered the brutal applications of Shaolin training, and served to strengthen their commitment to uphold the moral values of espoused by the Shaolin Monastery. Training was further fortified by introspective practices, so that one could discover and ultimately conquer the source of human weakness. This encompasses what is commonly referred to as the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of karatedo.

    Why two-man exercises?
    In order to eliminate cultural stereotyping and establish a common ground from which to consider my hypothesis, I'd like to substitute the word "kata" (and other culturally specific terms) for the term "defensive paradigm." In this manner, I hope to avoid any of the prejudices, which might arise from usage of cultural terminology, and instead, focus upon the purpose of the practices that support defensive paradigms.

    Used by nearly all Asian martial arts, defensive paradigms are universal rituals through which random acts of physical violence can be safely addressed.[9] Combining the fundamental tools of impact with their respective methods for transferring kinetic energy, footwork, and body movement promotes the mobility necessary to negotiate physical confrontation and enter into critical engagement zones. Defensive themes interwoven within these paradigms address various means of: twisting bones; separating tendon away from bone; joint-locks; take-downs; strangulation's; counters; throws; grappling and ground-work; along with traumatizing or impacting anatomically vulnerable zones; and digging or gouging into the cavities of the body unprotected by the skeletal structure.

    The product of spiritual recluses, who delved deeply into esoteric tradition for more than a thousand years, it comes as no surprise in modern times to learn how and why defensive application principles were enhanced through understanding the human body.[10] Direction, angle and intensity of transferring kinetic energy helped forge defensive application into a precise art, and two-man flow drills facilitated this development. Understanding one, without the other, would reduce one's defensive capabilities to little more than chance.

    By virtue of human anatomy and the way in which it operates, defensive themes may be divided into four unique categories:

    1) Techniques of Restraint (i.e. methods aimed at impeding movement to prevent a continued attack),
    2) Neurological Shutdown (i.e. methods of attacking nerves for the purpose of rendering an attacker temporarily immobile),
    3) Respiratory Assault (i.e. rendering an attacker unconscious by preventing the flow of air) and,
    4) Trauma Impact (i.e. methods of impeding an attacker by temporarily paralyzing motor performance).

    Asian defensive traditions customarily use a myriad of two-man training drills when developing fundamental physical and cognitive response skills. In examining the information gathered over years of interviewing various authorities, and through personal practice, I arrived at the conclusion that drills of this nature must have originally developed from copying and re-enacting various acts of physical violence. These acts of violence must have been those that commonly plagued people of that time[11], and were re-enacted in order to study them and develop corresponding methods of defence. When I visited the Shaolin Monastery with my good friend Li Yiduan,[12] I had the opportunity to speak with Liang Yiquan,[13] who provided me with some valuable insights.

    The Shaolin order was the legendary “melting pot” in which a myriad of esoteric practices had been synthesized. It had I learnt, through generations of empirical observation, vigorously analyzed various random acts of physical violence and succeeded in developing 72 different responses, with 36 variations, providing a total of 108 defensive applications. Transmitted through the original Shaolin defensive tradition of Luohan Quanfa (Monk Fist boxing, or Rakkan Kenpo in Japanese), the classical 108 defensive applications fell into seven (7) categories, taught via eighteen (18) unique defensive paradigms.

    The seven categories included:
    1. Defenses against habitual techniques,
    2. Defenses against linear attacks,
    3. Defending against alternative hand attacks
    4. Defenses against kicking techniques,
    5. Reactions to being seized or grabbed,
    6. Dealing with special circumstances, and
    7. Defending against combinations.

    The 18 defensive paradigms also included six (6) which specialized in striking anatomically vulnerable zones with the fists, two (2) that involved using the palms, one (1) which specialized in using the elbows, shoulders, head & knees, four (4) that utilized foot and leg maneuvers, and five (5) designed for grappling.

    From this legacy evolved an infinite repertoire of brilliant two-man exercises that linked defensive strategy with its corresponding act of physical violence. By structuring it in this manner, two-man flow drills brought a willing student into direct contact with physical violence under controlled circumstances and with a degree of relative safety. Further, each physical scenario could be examined and enacted to encompass as many variations as imagination would allow. Two-man drills were continually improved over many generations so that one would be better prepared to respond in the very likely event that a desired effect was not completely achieved, or an injury prevented an application before an opponent was completely dispatched. In many cases, these two-man drills became a highly sought after practice, as were the experts who were capable of teaching them. Ultimately, these Shaolin developed two-man drills provided the basis for the development and practice of Tegumi.

    Tegumi Renzokugeiko
    In Koryu Uchinadi, defensive principles are imparted in an incremental manner using Tegumi drills to reenact the corresponding acts of violence addressed in kata. Fundamental application of kihon waza is taught prior to learning the supporting variations of how to enter and follow-up. In bunkaijutsu (principles of application) this is referred to as Omote application; i.e. surface/superficial application. It is a necessary prerequisite before Ura applications (back or behind; referring to that which is beyond the surface) can be learned. This process of study culminates with Oyo applications (practical interpretation). The final stage of application can never be wholly understood or completely appreciated without first mastering its predecessors; Omote & Ura. Imagine a primary school student attempting to compose a high school essay without first having learned the essential grammatical principles necessary to write the essay. It simply would not be possible.

    A thought provoking analogy I often use at seminars to help participants better understand the inseparable nature of the relationship that Tegumi represents to their training, likens karate to the English language. If kihon waza (the building blocks of the tradition) was analogous to the alphabet, it follows that kata (comprising of a series of linked kihon waza) would represent words. Continuing this metaphor, bunkaijutsu (application principles) would then represent conjunctions of words or phrases. By extension, Tegumi (a process of linking basics to application) would be the means by which grammatical structures and phrases could be synthesized to create passages of text, providing the reader with punctuation, tense, and context, resulting in meaningful prose.

    What is Tegumi?
    Tegumi is a native term once used to describe the plebian or peasant form of grappling, allegedly handed down from the combative vestiges of Minamoto[14] Tametomo's (1139-70) exploits in 12th century Okinawa. The term Tegumi is comprised of two separate Chinese characters:

    1. Te (Lit. hand [s] but also an old local term referring to Martial Arts,) and
    2. Kumi (an ideogram carrying several meanings, this one referring to grappling…. the 'G' sound changes to a 'K' when the prefix is removed.)

    Legend maintains that this plebian form of fighting became intertwined with early island society, and ultimately evolved into a ritualized practice dedicated to the gods of heaven and earth for abundant harvests and bountiful catches. The sheer nature of its brutal practice likens Tegumi to a cultural rite of passage as young men approaching manhood in early Uchina history vigorously embraced it as a test of courage. For generations, Naminoue and Makishiugan, Obon, Kensha and the Shokon festival at Onoyama Park, drew thousands of anxious spectators eager to watch young athletes brutally compete for top honors in Tegumi. In fact, right up until the Taisho Period (1911-25,) Tegumi remained a popular native tradition in Okinawa. In a 1991 interview with Nagamine Shoshin, I was told that among the local karateka who actively partook in Tegumi during that era were Yabu Kentsu (1863-1937), Hanashiro Chomo (1869-1945), Kyan Chotoku (1870-1945), and Aragaki Ankichi (1899-1929).

    In spite of one stream of Tegumi practice forming the foundation upon which the once popular form of no-holds-barred grappling[15] unfolded, another stream found its way into the local interpretations of Chinese gongfu (Toudijutsu) vigorously embraced during Okinawa's old Ryukyu Kingdom. As difficult as it may be to imagine nowadays, karate without "styles", 19th century Uchinadi[16] represented a process by which defensive principles were ultimately realized, rather than the rule-bound or signature practices so commonly observed in modern karatedo.

    The trapping, bumping, grabbing and deflecting drills, once used to establish grip and position in old-style Tegumi grappling, became a fashionable practice amongst young 19th century local Uchinadi disciples who sought to better their skills in kakedamashi[17] challenges. Combined with, and synthesized from existing two-man Uchinadi practices and continually enhanced by corresponding drills introduced from Fujian and Southeast Asia, Tegumi renzokugeiko (Tegumi “flow drills”) became an indispensable link in the perpetual chain of learning, that lead to the application of the principles that were taught through kata.

    From conversations with eminent karate historian and Master instructor Kinjo Hiroshi,[18] I learned that such drills were virtually unknown within the sport aspect of modern Japanese karatedo, and, that only fragments of them were ever handed down through a handful of modern Okinawan schools. One of the very few Okinawan pioneers of karate during the early part of this century to excel in Tegumi was Motobu Choki (1871-1944). Nagamine Shoshin, related to me that Motobu practiced very few kata, not because no one would teach him, but simply because it was not necessary. This philosophy contrasts markedly with today's popular but pointless practice of accumulating as many kata as possible. In 1989, my colleague, Iwae Tsukuo,[19] related to me that "Motobu believed that when fundamental defensive principles were understood, all one needed were Tegumi drills to support their application." He [Motobu] was called many things in his life, a poor fighter was never one them, and Motobu's record for quickly dispatching many opponents in full-on confrontations clearly speaks for itself. Supporting Iwae, Kinjo Hiroshi taught me several Tegumi drills favored by Motobu, which he often taught. Motobu maintained that the fundamental hooking, pushing, bumping, trapping and deflecting two-man drills that make up Tegumi, were commonly taught by men like Kojo Taite (1837-1917,) Aragaki Seisho (1840-1920,) Xie Zhongxiang (1852-1930,) Zhou Zihe (1874-1926,) Miao Xing (1881-1939,) Wu Xianhui (1886-1940,) Tang Daiji (1887-1937,) Higashionna Kanryo (1853-1917,) Kiyoda Juhatsu (1886-1967,) and Uechi Kambun (1877-1948). Moreover, he also described such drills as an integral part of a larger whole, painful to practice, often resulting in superficial injury, and considered to be closely guarded secrets overlooked by modern karate. While listening to several old-timers tell me about their personal experiences with the Okinawan Bujin, I got the impression that Choki regarded many of the so-called modern karate “sensei” with contempt because, as he was quoted saying, "if they didn't understand Tegumi how could they possibly understand kata?"

    The results of nearly a decade of field research in Japan, China, the Philippines and Southeast Asia have allowed me to experience a myriad of two-man drills and practices, all of which facilitate the development and understanding of the applications of defensive technique. Based upon the results of this comparative research, and combined with the lack of corresponding Okinawan practices, I formulated several important deductions as to why there had been a gradual decline in the practice of Tegumi as part of karatedo. Theories as to why Tegumi practice declined include:

    1) The transition from private instruction to teaching “en masse” – Itosu Ankoh
    2) The advent of growing militarism in Japan
    3) The foundation of a “modern art” for a new generation

    Itosu Ankoh
    Prior to the advent of Itosu Ankoh's (1832-1915) campaign to modernize the practice of karate for the purpose of supporting Japan's escalating war machine, Toudijutsu, like its progenitor styles in China, vigorously employed two-man training practices which linked the fundamental tools of impact, and varying methods of transferring kinetic energy, to its defensive applications. However, after the establishment of Itosu’s modernized interpretation of Toudijutsu, such practices were no longer continued as the aims and objectives of training had radically changed.

    Prior to Itosu's time, Toudijutsu was customarily taught in private, with most masters usually having only a few students, often only one, and sometimes none. The latter situation accounts for why some secrets were taken to the grave. One-on-one instruction provided the time and personal attention necessary to develop in students a complete understanding of kata and those two-man drills associated with supporting the defensive applications of kata. Such a luxury was never afforded during the massed group training that Itosu cultivated in the school system. Rather, kata became the principal method of teaching whereby large groups of school children could follow a single teacher at the same time. Quantity compromised quality, but made training available to the masses, which, in turn, popularized the new practice.

    The Military Agenda
    The transformation of toudijutsu from an obscure art of self-defence, the reshaping of its practice and purpose, and its introduction into the mainstream of Okinawa's public school system produced yet another focus for its use. Thus, training in Toudijutsu (which emphasized physical fitness and character development) became a means for preparing young men for their mandatory two-year military obligation. If there are any remaining doubts as to why Itosu modernized the practice of Toudijutsu, one need only evaluate his 1908 address to the Ministry of Education and Department of War in which, among other things, he wrote, "Karate could be disseminated throughout the entire nation and not only benefit people in general but also serve as a enormous asset to our military forces.” Let's not forget what the Duke of Wellington said at the Battle of Waterloo after defeating Napoleon, 'Our victory today was gained on the playground of Eton.'" Supported by government-sanctioned bureaus, propaganda from the Dai Nippon Butokukai during the pre-war era maintained that budo (of which karatedo was destined to became a part of in December 1933), was "The Way" through which common men built uncommon bravery!

    A Modern Art for a New Generation
    Itosu's innovations represented the foundation from which a new generation of karate expert was to surface. Subsequent to this development, his eclectic interpretation of karate was also successfully introduced to mainland Japan. During its early introduction to the mainland, Toudijutsu underwent yet another metamorphosis. Introduced during an era of radical military escalation, karatejutsu as the reinterpreted tradition became known, was profoundly influenced by the “native” budo arts of Japan, kendo and judo. In retrospect, it is widely acknowledged that the adoption of the shobu ippon-kumite[20] phenomenon was what ultimately revolutionized both the practice and purpose of karate. Vigorously pursued as a competitive activity within the bukatsu (sports clubs) of major Universities in the central districts of Kanto and Kansai, karate quickly ascended to the apex of popularity.

    Preserved and promoted in post-war Japan, the shobu ippon-kumite phenomenon, and its corresponding practices were maintained and, in some cases, even improved upon by the forces concerned with its growth and direction as a competitive tradition during that era. The group most responsible for cultivating and perpetuating the shobu ippon-kumite competitive practice at that time was the JKA (Japan Karate Association), although Ohtsuka Hironori (1892-1982,) and his colleague Konishi Yasuhiro (1893-1983,) are still recognized as the pioneers of ippon-kumite. In addition to Wado, Shindo Jinenryu, and Shotokan, other pioneer mainland groups who also followed suit in supporting the new standard, were Shito, Goju, Kushin and Kenyuryu.

    My continuing efforts to better understand the nature of karatedo ultimately brought me into contact with both Japanese authorities and their Okinawan counterparts. Comprehensive analysis revealed, that in spite of some clearly defined physical and social idiosyncrasies (representing signature practices and cultural milieu), most modern Okinawan styles also reflected the inescapable influence of Japanese karatedo. Typical training practices and bunkaijutsu methods as well, reflect the same rule-bound aims and competitive objectives common to the mainland. Further study into this phenomenon made it possible for me to understand how the collective efforts of promoting karate as sport, consequently paved the way for developing universal training methods to support its competitive goals. Moreover, the establishment of national standards subsequently made it easier to promote the tradition as a sport, which resulted in bringing the various factions together in an effort to test both their technique and spirit in the competitive arena.

    Supported by training methods, that reflect its rule-bound aims and competitive objectives, the history of modern karate (commonly and often erroneously referred to as "Traditional Karate") has never adequately addressed the defensive principles inherent in its original kata. Why learn to traumatize a limb, gouge and eye, twist a joint or even squeeze the air out of someone, if the sole purpose of your efforts are based around “winning by a full point” or alternatively, getting into better physical shape? By the same token, why teach someone rule-bound techniques if its ultimate purpose is to be used in an arena without rules?

    Respected Okinawan Martial Art's historian, Kinjo Hiroshi, observed that when Japan was dragged out of feudalism, a new and modern society had little need for the plebian goals that karate once fostered. Practices, which cultivated and developed such brutality, became obsolete, and understandably so, in the wake of the development of a modern cultural recreation which fostered physical fitness, character development and social harmony.

    Don't Lose Sight of the Forest for the Trees Too often we become so preoccupied by the ends to which our choices would be a means that we rarely, if ever, give any attention to the causes from which those choices are effected. When the goal becomes more important than the effort, we lose sight of the process, the moment. The pursuit is as important, if not more so than the possession, i.e. the race, not just the finish line. Tegumi, irrespective of its distinguishing labels, cultural origins, or signature identities, is a practice inseparable from karatedo and, while it may have little value in the competitive arena, its practice is symbiotically linked to cultivating and developing an appreciation of the application principles of kata.

    I wonder if Abraham Maslow[21] studied karatedo before composing his discourse on hierarchical needs? There can be little question that karate can be many things to different people. Karatedo can serve a variety of purposes. It may be amongst other things:

    1. An alternative to Western conventional exercise.
    2. A challenging rule-bound competitive activity.
    3. A brilliant form of self-protection.
    4. An art punctuated by the unique culture from whence it comes.
    5. A hobby.
    6. An occupation.

    By removing the quagmire of half-truths, the minefield of protectionism, and labyrinth of misunderstanding, which has obscured the unabridged history, moral philosophy, and original application principles of karate, we are able to resolve its long-standing ambiguity and clearly determine its value. Such knowledge is vital to the learning process, especially if more harmonious teaching standards are ever to be established.

    In this outline, I have described karatedo as an interrelated tradition woven together by many common defensive themes passed orally from one generation to the next, through a ritual of secrecy called kata. I have examined the advent and development of two-man drills in Asian defensive traditions, and looked briefly at the history surrounding the systematization and practice of Tegumi. Whilst not having the space to describe each of the drills individually, (you'll have to attend the seminars, buy the videotapes or join the Society) I have also addressed the value of such a neglected practice and emphasized the need to re-establish it as a common practice in karatedo. Unfortunately, the history of karate has been plagued by politics, power struggles and personal agenda's. What little historical testimony remains to this day, seems to be, in my opinion, hampered by suspect oral testimony in terms of authenticity and accuracy. Too often so-called leaders have manipulated historical fact in an effort to serve their own personal agenda.

    What is a style of karate if not one person's individual understanding of universal defensive principles appropriated from one or more sources, continually assimilated and reinterpreted, and finally structured into a system of learning? How each person internalizes new knowledge across the spectrum of their life remains, as much a product of their art as their art is a product of their life. In karate, styles are referred to as ryuha, and, by definition; each ryuha has a soke (founder). Therefore, if one knows the history of that soke, and from what source/s his schooling came, the cultural context from which his interpretation was forged, and the purpose behind his endeavors, it becomes possible to gain an understanding of the training methods he used to achieve his goals. In the same way that a mathematician extrapolates and reasons inductively, a primary researcher[22] can similarly work backwards in a logical manner to divine the evolution of modern karatedo and the associated practices, which support the applications of karatedo.

    In addition to considering the effects of anthropological forces upon the development of karate practice, we must not discount the influence of ego, politics, and intolerance upon the growth and direction of ryuha and the curricula through which their style was imparted. Can you imagine what a ryuha might be like if its soke did not completely understand the history of the art, its corresponding philosophy, or associated defensive principles? Enough said.

    The Society
    Dedicated to researching, systematizing and promoting the original defensive legacy of Okinawa's old Ryukyu Kingdom, the International Ryukyu Karate Research Society is a fraternity that guides interested parties along a path which links theory to practical skill and deeper understanding irrespective of political affiliation. In a tradition preoccupied with personal agendas, the nature of our research has often made the Society a victim of professional jealousy. Res ipsa locqitur, let our research speak for itself, and if judgments must be made, please make them based upon the content of our research, rather than upon unsubstantiated hearsay.

    Listening to American military icon General Colin Powell recently discuss an issue at the forefront of American consciousness, I couldn't help but admire his words whilst simultaneously recognizing their affinity with karatedo. We must remember that karate is a diverse yet interrelated tradition woven together by common defensive themes and kept alive by our like-minded brothers and sisters of this generation. Agreeing to disagree is a good thing but we must not fight each other, as what separates us is not nearly as important as what can bring us together. We need to find strength in our diversity, and let the fact that we are of different styles become the source of our inspiration and direction. Let bad attitudes, big egos and wrong thinking be someone else's agenda, not ours. Never hide behind it or use it as an excuse for not doing your best or the right thing. Integrity is the foundation upon which karatedo rests. Linking one's behaviour to one’s convictions, is what separates us from the others. Integrity is to karate what Tegumi is to kata: they both link together our art and way of life.

    Any errors that may appear in this dissertation are mine alone. As such, this presentation must be seen as an exposition of my personal research, and in that light, it must still be recognized as a continuing work.

    About the author
    At 50 years old, Patrick McCarthy is a 5th generation student of Uchinadi with an impeccable lineage of Okinawan instructors, starting with his teacher Kinjo Hiroshi and his teacher’s teacher, Hanashiro Chomo3, Itosu Ankoh who preceded him, and his master, Matsumura Sokon, —historically the tradition’s most visible pioneer. A Canadian-born Australian migrant, McCarthy has studied the art of karate since childhood, and enjoyed an outstanding competitive background6 before embarking upon a lengthy journey as a field-researcher in Japan, where he ultimately resurfaced as a best-selling author. He can be contacted c/o www.koryu-uchinadi.com

    [1] Sir Winston Churchill, when describing Russia.
    [2] Toudijutsu: Comprised of three separate ideograms, 1. Tou (Lit. Tang, i.e. Tang Dynasty, but also being the old way in which Japanese & Uchinanchu [Okinawans] referred to China or things Chinese,) 2. Te (Lit. hand {s} but also a way in which Uchinanchu once described fighting disciplines,) & 3. Jutsu (Technique, art, magic etc.) the term is almost always misinterpreted as China Hand. The term means Chinese Martial Arts.
    [3] In a personal interview with this writer at his home in Okinawa in 1990.
    [4] From his book "Power of Myth."
    [5] Taoists and Buddhist spiritual sanctuaries have long been recognized as original sources from whence China's empty-handed self-defence traditions came. This is important to know, as is it further believed that Chinese (martial art) culture had a profound impact upon the evolution of its neighboring societies and their self-defence traditions; i.e. Okinawa.
    [6] Direction, angle and intensity.
    [7] Commonly referred to as the "Bible of Karatedo," the Bubishi is an anthology in 32 chapters containing the essence of karatedo. The first and most comprehensive English translation of this ancient text was completed by this writer, and is available through Charles E. Tuttle.
    [8] It is widely accepted that the history of karate is connected to Shaolin gongfu traditions introduced to Okinawa's old Ryukyu Kingdom from China's Fujian province.
    [9] Obviously, the oscillation of the limbs, muscular expansion and contraction, and regulated breathing practice, defensive paradigms also have holistic and therapeutic qualities in addition to their principal defensive purpose.
    [10] The Yin/Yang-5 Element Theory of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine.) [11] In spite of the corresponding similarities to other oriental and SE Asian martial arts practices, Buddhist and Daoist defensive traditions are widely recognized as the original sources from which such drills first came.
    [12] The Deputy Secretary General (retired) of the Fuzhou Martial Arts Association.
    [13] A retired Shaolin monk then in charge of its historical research department.
    [14] The eighth son of warlord Tameyoshi (1096-1156) of Japan's feudal Minamoto clan, Tametomo, is described in the "Hogen Monogatari" ("Tales of the Hogan War") as a powerful fighter, famous for his remarkable skill in archery. During a brief military encounter in 1156, Tameyoshi was defeated by Taira Kiyomori, and later held captive on Izu, Oshima. Island.. Tametomo escaped and made his way to Kyushu and ultimately to the Ryukyu Archipelago. Arriving in Okinawa, at Unten, he made contact with Ozato Anji, lord of Urazoe Castle, where he was revered for his military might. Marrying Ozato's daughter, Tametomo became lord of Urazoe and had a son he called Shunten. In 1186, Shunten defeated Riyu (the last ruler of the Tenson) and became the island's first king. The Shunten Dynasty lasted from 1186 to 1253 and perpetuated both the combative traditions introduced by Tametomo and his bushi.
    [15] Originally, few rules applied to what is now called Okinawan Sumo. Not to be confused with Japanese Sumo, Tegumi originally employed fierce hand and foot exchanges, strangulation's, manipulating joints and groundwork. In an effort to make the sport a safer practice rules were ultimately introduced and, in 1956, those pre-war rules were finally amended to establish a standard by which the sport continues today.
    [16] The progenitor of modern karate, Tegumi is a local term more aptly describing the pre-twentieth century native interpretations of Chinese gongfu. in Okinawa.
    [17] Denoting a test, challenge match, or exchange of techniques between two opponents, similar to the pushing-hands of Taiji, sticky-hands of Wing Tsun,, hubud/dumog of kali, or sambut of silat, kakedamashi (the spirit of entangling one hands) was a popular practice among local 19th century Uchinadi practitioners.
    [18] Kinjo (Kanagusuku) Hiroshi (1919 DOB, Shuri, Okinawa) began his training as a child in primary school and, among others, studied directly under Hanashiro Chomo (1869-1945) and Oshiro Chojo (1889-1930.) [19] A native of Tomioka City, Gunma prefecture Japan, Iwae Tsukuo, is a highly regarded budo historian, author and disciple of that Uchinadi passed on by Motobu Choki.
    [20] Lit. "Victory/Defeat…One-Point Contest." Based upon the feudal battlefield concept of "one strike-one kill," Shobu Ippon Kumite was vigorously cultivated in post-Edo Japan in kendo & judo as a means of judging the outcome of a competitive match.
    [21] Dr. Maslow's (1908-1970) great insight was to place actualization into a hierarchy of motivation. Self-actualization, as he called it, is the highest drive, but before a person can turn to it, he or she must satisfy other, lower motivations like hunger, safety and belonging. The hierarchy has five levels. 1.Physiological (hunger, thirst, shelter, sex, etc.) 2.Safety (security, protection from physical and emotional harm) 3.Social (affection, belonging, acceptance, friendship) 4.Esteem (also called ego). The internal ones are self-respect, autonomy, achievement and the external ones are status, recognition, attention. 5.Self actualization (doing things.) [22] In my opinion, there are two types of researchers in budo: 1. Primary and 2. Secondary. Type #1 researchers, conduct hands-on research at the source, usually in that culture's native language, under local cultural circumstances, with the senior authorities of the tradition and remain in the field for extended periods of time. Their published analyses are usually comprehensive; include bibliographies, indexes, and sources. Type #2 researchers study the published work of others in their own language; i.e. seek out and collect, analyze, categorize and sometimes even publish the results of these observations. Type #2 researchers, better referred to as chroniclers, rarely experience the actual culture (and if so, do so superficially e.g. a brief tourist visit) or ever come into direct verbal contact with the most senior authorities at the source(s) because of language difficulties