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Original Stances in Forms

Author Topic: Original Stances in Forms  (Read 94 times)

Offline larrykirk

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Original Stances in Forms
« on: June 26, 2018, 08:27:18 AM »
My original Kajukenbo training did not stress forms but as I've gotten older I've been drawn to them as part of the Kajukenbo legacy and for exercise. However, I've noticed that the different branches use different stances (of course there are other differences too). I've seen king fu inspired bow stances and deep horse stances, but then also very Japenese looking forward stances as well as more upright Kenpo type neutral bow stances. Do any of you know which stances were used in the "original" Palama sets? Also, I'm curious, are the more upright- neutral stances, recognized as "correct" in competition. I've had friends who are Yoshukai tell me my stance is wrong when it is the way I was taught. Thanks in advance for any insight, clarity perspective on stances for the forms!
Larry Kirk -  brown belt/black belt Kajukenbo (Tiwanak line) “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.” John 6:47-48

Offline Dave Jones

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Re: Original Stances in Forms
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2018, 02:38:06 PM »

The Pinans/Palamas (aka "original kajukenbo forms") were derived from Choki Motobu's Okinawan kempo / karate-jutsu as it was taught by James Mitose.
Those "Pee-Non" katas were developed by one of Motobu's instructors, Itosu Anko, in Okinawa around 1895 -over 120 years ago- and they were based on an even older Chinese form.
No, James Mitose did not train in some secret family style in Japan.  He learned Okinawan kempo from the Choki Motobu lineage.  Even "Mitose's"* book gives that away.
As for when and where those kata were first taught in Kajukenbo or where they were brought in from, I have no idea.  I wasn't there and most of the people who were are not talking.

The Pinan forms have been morphed and modified almost since day one because of body mechanics etc, so over the decades you would be hard pressed to find many people who even understand the true origins.
It didn't help that they were renamed to "Heian" by Funakoshi (he was also taught by Itosu Anko), Palamas by Emperado, or that they are called either "Pyong-an" or "Pyung-Ahn" in Korean.
ITF / Tang Soo Do has shotokan in it's origins; Tang Soo Do [Korean] = Tang (China) Hand Way = Kara Te Do [Japanese].
WTF Taekwondo ("taygwondo" not Tie Kwan Do!) tried to strip out the Japanese / Okinawan / Chinese origins and components after the break-off from the ITF, so it uses different forms than the Pinans.
Funakoshi changed his KARA-TE kanji from "Tang (China) Hand" to "Empty Hand" in a similar manner to strip out the Chinese influence of his "Japanese" karate, even though it is still pronounced the same way.

Yoshukai karate (and it's parent chito-ryu) ultimately share the same origins and forms from Okinawa, so they *might* have some insight into how they are done *traditionally* because the founder of chito-ryu was taught by Choki Motobu's brother.
But comparing karate-do styles like Yoshukai or chito-ryu with karate-jutsu systems such as Motobu's Okinawan kempo or kajukenbo is just asking for trouble, IMO.

Imagine four "masters" who had been doing these forms for 40 or 50 years (from different respected systems) all doing the "same" Pinan (shorin ryu, maybe) /Heian (shotokan) /Palama (kajukenbo) /Pyong-an (tang soo do) form side-by-side.
Have you ever seen such a demonstration?  I haven't.  I've looked for such things but never found it.
But do you doubt that if you looked close enough that you would see somewhat different parts, positions, stances, etc. in each one?
More to the point, would you have the cojones to tell one of these "masters" that their "stance is wrong"?

In short, who cares?  What difference does it make?  Where I come from it matters more if you can fight than if your form is "pretty" anyway.

If you are truly concerned with how they are judging your kata in a competition or something then perform it the way they want to see it.

But if they insist you are doing the katas "wrong" then I'd challenge them to provide footage of Itosu Anko or at least Choki Motobu performing them.
When they failed to do so, I'd smack the taste out of their mouth and ask how THAT form was.  Welcome to kajukenbo!

* Mitose plagiarized "What is Self Defense" from Choki Motobu.  Many of the pictures are even shot-for-shot reproductions of an earlier Motobu text.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 10:23:43 AM by Dave Jones »
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