Tracing the Path of Where Real Karate Came From(part two of five)
Let’s take the four styles which could be considered the genesis of Real Karate one by one.
Shito ryu was founded by Kenwa Mabuni. Sensei Mabuni originally considered naming his style Hanko ryu, or ‘Half Hard Style.’ He finally settled on shito as it is a combination of syllables form his two teachers names, Anko Itosu and Kanryo Higaonna.
Goju ryu was founded by Chojun Miyagi, and the name means ‘half hard, half soft.’
Shorin Ryu was founded by Chosin Chibana, the name is held to be a direct translation of Shaolin.
Uechi Ryu was founded by Kanbun Uechi, and named after him. It was originally a style in China, Pan Gai Noon, which means ‘half hard half soft.’
We will continue with this lineage in a moment, but there is one interesting fact that should be noted before we go on. Three of the styles has labeled itself, at some point, with a phrase that means ‘half hard/half soft.’
To continue, as noted in the Shito ryu section above, Shito ryu was descended from the teachings of Kanryo Higaonna.
Goju founder Chojun Miyagiu took lessons from…Kanryo Higaonna.
Shorin Ryu founder Chosin Chibana has lineage to Matsumura Sokon.
Uechi has already been traced to earliest Okinawan root.
Now, the interesting fact behind all this is that the three men who are at the earliest source of Okinawan Karate, Kanryo Higaoona, Matsumura Sokon, and Kanbun Uechi, all went to the Fuzhou province of China to study martial arts. further, others of their lineage also went to Fuzhou province to study martial arts.
Thus, we have a common seed. While this seed undoubtedly has variation, there must also, undoubtedly, be common kung fu teachers amongst the men.
And, at any rate, even if there were not, they were still contemporaries of each other, and so must have discussed martial arts, interchanged forms and pieces of systems, and so on.
Thus, in these three men we have a commonality of lineage, a pivotal place in the history of Karate, and quite possibly the ‘acorn’ of martial arts that we are seeking. We have a definite path of where real karate came from, to find out about the one Master who kept real Karate alive, click on…I want to learn karate!