GojuUechi, Goju, Kyusho Connection

Well it has been over 2 decades of research and development with Kyusho in Pangainoon (Known better as Naha Style; Uechi Ryu), the name translates as Half Hard, Half Soft.

The work on this ongoing project and admitted passion or addiction, has not only yielded a far better developed skill and instructional capability in Kyusho, but also important correlations to the ancient Bubishi and one of the roots of Kyusho itself.

The ancient Bubishi (of which I have published so much about in the past two or three years), has led to the discovery of a core root in Pangainoon/Uechi (3 Animal System of Crane, Tiger and Dragon of Southern Chinese Temple Boxing), running deep at the heart of their four main Kata.  The 3 Main Kata that were originally passed down are Sanchin, Seisan, Sanseiru with one additional Kata; Suparempi… being very controversial in this style as many do not fully accept it is the 4th Kata. However the common core revealed by the Sanchin, Seisan and Sanseiru all point to the Suparempi as an even more advanced and interdependent piece of the Pangainoon system.

In Sanchin not only is the “Iron Shirt” method, strength and conditioning linked with breath control, hand training (the 6 Ji Hands of the ancient Bubishi), is an integral component and base platform from which the art advances and completes the circular training system. We will concentrate on these hands as opposed to all the other training components as they enable the practitioner to access Kyusho as the primary attack principle. As such at the start of one’s Martial Training in this system, the novice works primarily with the “Iron Bone”, “Iron Claw” and the “Iron Sword” Hands. Once accomplished with the base Sanchin training, each subsequent Kata adds new hand postures as well as additional uses of the practiced hands in the Sanchin. As example the next learned Kata, Seisan, develops the strength and uses of the already learned hands as they add more depth and possibility within the Sanchin, as do Sanseiru and Suparempi.

As Seisan training begins, the practitioner works more intensely with the Iron Bone Hand in striking, as it also adds the component of grasping and tearing. The addition and implementation of the “Single Blade of Grass” (that morphed to the Shoken), for striking is trained in conditioning as well as application. Another advancement during the first learning stages of Seisan, is the addition of the “Blood Pool” hand for striking, trapping and tearing. Once the Blood Pool hand is developed with all three capabilities, it can then be integrated back into Sanchin for one of the more important postural methods. The other tools that can be integrated back into the Sanchin is the newly developed Single Blade of Grass hand, not as Shoken this time, but more as the original hand posture.

The next trained Kata is Sanseiru, this Kata has a beginning focus on the more advanced striking abilities of the Shoken, but now trained with the newly developed grasping aspects of the Shoken and further development of the remaining hands like the “Iron Bone”, Iron Sword” and “Blood Pool” hand, all employing trapping, striking and tearing in more fluid and dynamic methods. They Sanseiru also trains the double hand applications to a higher skill and applicational process than does the more basic Sanchin and Seisan.

Suparempi furthers the adaptability and strength with the grasping Shoken and more specific development of the “Iron Claw” and other hands, but the advancement that is most notable is the use of the “Iron Palm” (This is the last, the most advanced and the most difficult weapon to train correctly). As these last two hands are developed, they too can be added back into the Sanchin, Seisan and Sanseiru. This is the pinnacle of the systems forms as the development of the “Iron Palm” forever changes the deployment of all prior hands in all the forms and applications.

This is only a brief glimpse of the Kyusho training process utilizing the Bubishi, it’s 6 Ji Hands and the Postures or Kata of the Pangainoon/Uechi system.

Enter Goju

The first similarity with the Pangainoon/Uechi, lies in the styles name Goju (which translates as Hard-Soft), as it is the essence of what the ancient Bubishi discusses. They also share the same Base Kata of Sanchin, Seisan, Sanseiru and Suparempi, yet there are more Kata unique to Goju as well.

This (Naha) style of Karate has great emphasis also on the hand postures of the Bubishi, but they have been altered and muted over time. To understand this we look at a unique Kata in the Goju Style called “Tensho” (Turning Palms – or could it imply Torqueing Hands). The Tensho Kata is derived from the Chinese Fujian White Crane form of "Rokkishu" (meaning 6 Hands), by the Goju founder Chogun Miyagi. Unlike Sanchin, which is almost identical to its Chinese counterpart, Tensho is unique to Okinawan Karate.

Rokkishu literally translates as 6 hands and are the exacting hands found in the ancient "Bubishi". Many versions now taught have modified these hands slightly, which is good for training drills and traditional muted Bunkai. However with slight modification to the hand postures themselves we can easily see that the more Martial and potent hands can easily be restored.

Now if the practitioner develops their "Kakie" which is similar to Chinese Push Hands or Wing Chun Chi Sao, their in close fighting skills, sensitivity to oppositional force and control increase many fold. It also serves as a form of arm conditioning, balance and core body strength.

Tensho was designed to begin where Sanchin ended... or as the Yin for the Yang (although some forms of Sanchin contain both concepts and all 6 Ji hands). This form was designed with a more soft approach as opposed to traditional hard Sanchin practice. In Goju the breathing patterns are also different and more natural in the Tensho as opposed to designed or controlled. Tensho therefore can be trained as the internal method and Sanchin as the external component.

Both of these Kata (Sanchin and Tensho, but especially the Tensho), are termed "Heishu" (closed) term "Heishu" translates as "closed" and is for more internal control and muscular contractions, one hard one softer. These practices develop restriction and direction of energies (transferring force), using the body, both superficial and on deeper conscious and unconscious brain pattern and physiological function. The Goju Kata known as "Kaishu" (open), as they are involved less with constant controlled muscle contraction and breathing (which is more natural or normal).

Kyusho Connection

The benefit this form has for Kyusho is profound as it uses the exacting hands of the ancient Bubishi and were designed to attack the deeper vital targets on the Human body. The hands are performed in a loose manner with sharp and sudden wrist rotations… or turnings.

When most people start Kyusho, they experience difficulty in getting the same results as seen when practiced by more seasoned practitioners. The reason is in the delivery of the strike and the transference of shock into the deeper levels and vital structures. They also use a rotation or torque that not only twists past the overlying and protective layers, they also stretch the vital target so as to be more vulnerable. As example a stretched nerve is more sensitive than a relaxed one, so that the resultant shock will be greater to the nervous system. It is similar with vascular structures of the capillaries, veins and arteries as they get far more fragile with diminished blood flow capabilities as they do become stretched.

As we continue the deep research into Kyusho, we invariably become connected to all the older fighting styles and arts. Everything from Judo, Tai Chi and Jujitsu styles to all Karate, Aikido and other arts. They most difficult aspect of Kyusho is convincing the people that it is in their style (was at the styles founding) and could be again.

Follow the above links for more information and video.



© Evan Pantazi 2016

#Kyusho -ep