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tatsujin
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Joined: 12 Oct 2021
Posts: 32

Styles: Ryusei-ha Ryukyu Kempo Karate-jutsu

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:54 pm    Post subject: Why no codified kiko system in Okinawa? Reply with quote

So, I am working on a little project and maybe some of you more experienced folks here could offer up some opinions or thoughts...

With the heavy influence of Southern Chinese quanfa on Okinawan martial arts, why do you think it is that there is no codified system of kiko (qigong)? With all of the Okinawans that went to Southern China (and Gokenki that came to Okinawa...with others), they had to have been exposed to it. Pretty much every quanfa style does some form of qigoing.

Sure, Sanchin and Tensho could be considered kiko in nature, but it is very much a hard "golden bell" or "iron body" in nature. And not much of a codified system.

Thoughts?
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could it be that it wasn't actually a part of the system, but more of a cultural aspect that perhaps Okinawan masters at the time weren't interested in learning?
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Wado Heretic
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Joined: 23 May 2014
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Location: United Kingdom, England, Shropshire
Styles: Wado-Ryu , Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Kodokan), RyuKyu Kobojutsu

PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is important to remember that Modern Chinese Arts are as different from their historical counterparts as Karate has become from its historical predecessor. Furthermore, Qigong is often a health activity rather than martial activity far more similar to Yoga than to Quen'fa.

The breathing exercises the Okinawans considered important to retain are, as you yourself have mentioned, found in Sanchingeiko. From a martial perspective that is where you find the Kiko the Okinwans felt was important.

Similarly, the Okinawans innovated as much, if not more so, than they borrowed from the Chinese Arts. We find only a few one-to-one examples from an Okinawan Art to a Chinese Art. The example of Seisan that Jesse Enkamp covered from his exploration of White Crane springs to mind as an exception to the rule.

We also need to keep in mind the Pacific War. A lot of Okinawans died during the Battle for Okinawa, and during the difficulties of its aftermath. A lot of knowledge was lost and examples of codified Kiko that might have existed may have gone extinct. In this case I would have to argue that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Also, a lot of the Chinese Martial Arts influences on Okinawa come very specifically from Fujian Province. The arts that first formulated their Qigong systems: Tachiquan, Xing Yi Quan, and Baguazhang were in different parts of China and unlikely to have influenced Tode as it came to exist in the 1800s.

In terms of the influence of White Crane: I think it is frankly exaggerated. Very little in Karate bears a resemblance to the substance of White Crane when you set them side by side. I also reckon Go Kenki's influence is over stated by some as there is little evidence he had any students, and though a few notables trained with him none seem to have held him in high regard beyond curiosity. He did not found a White Crane School in Okinawa, despite his obvious willingness to teach, and so I am left to believe he was nothing special and not as influential as many have argued.

A lot of Dojo also have their traditions regarding Junbi Undo, which are preliminary exercises done prior to training, which often involve a lot of elements you would find in Qigong. I think the Okinawans cared about the Martial Applications, and had such a different cultural foundation, that the Qi based world view of Qigong just did not end up being adopted.

Then again, it is impossible to say that Qigong systems never arrived in Okinawa. They could have and just not survived. We can only then speculate as to why they did not survive.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent post by Wado Heretic!!

My two-cents...

I'd say that it's because Kiko is more of on a personal level, and not of a codified system for the masses. However, that personal Kiko of the CI can become codified within that dojo, starting with Tanden Breathing...then followed by Shoshyuten Kiko, Nuun Breathing, Daishyuten Kiko, Rooting Training, Bu no Chikara, and Dako.

Kiko training can be an invaluable asset to students of Okinawan MA.



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Wastelander
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Joined: 18 Oct 2010
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thought would be that every instructor emphasized different aspects of the arts they taught, and not everyone who trains karate is interested in kiko, today, so it stands to reason that not everyone would have been interested in it in the past. I have a friend who learned kiko from one of his Okinawan instructors (can't remember if it was Matsumura Seito or Ryukyu Kempo), and what he's explained to me seems pretty well systematized, so some lineages certainly have it. That said, I haven't seen many other people from his lineages doing it, so it would seem that only the people with an interest really took it on.
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tatsujin
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Joined: 12 Oct 2021
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Styles: Ryusei-ha Ryukyu Kempo Karate-jutsu

PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wastelander wrote:
I have a friend who learned kiko from one of his Okinawan instructors (can't remember if it was Matsumura Seito or Ryukyu Kempo), and what he's explained to me seems pretty well systematized, so some lineages certainly have it.


His name would not be Ryan would it?
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