Emerging Tiger

Pangainoon (later called by some groups as Uechi Ryu), is a Chinese based style that is the blend of three animals; Tiger, Crane and Dragon.

  • Tiger represents strength and relentless devastation upon the opponent at close range.

  • Crane represents balanced action with precision attack at long range.

  • Dragon represents the heavens or the ability to transform or utilize all the qualities of the other animals at all ranges.

So many people see only the Tiger or the Crane, but do not see the Dragon that is the Tiger within the Crane... or the Crane within the Tiger.

This classic Crane posture in the Uechi Seisan is often interpreted as either a defensive blocking action for kick, punch, push or grab.



Let's take a look at what is inside this seemingly Crane style posture of Pangainoon / Uechi Kata Seisan... as performed by Kanei Uechi... deeper than the above and typical Bunkai.

First we need to look very closely at Master Uechi as his hands travel upward and outward to finish the posture with the very distinct "Single Blade of Grass" hand of the ancient Bubishi (based on Tiger and Crane styles).  Over time this hand may have evolved or mutated into the Shoken they so frequently utilize.

Seisan-CraneAs for the rising leg we must also note that the foot is not flexed upward so as to form a blocking action against a kick.  The reason the foot should be flexed if blocking a low kick is that the muscles and tendons of the shin, contract and gain mass as well as density to protect the inner leg structure during the attack.  This action although stronger in protection, does not lift as high or as fast due to the pull of the antagonistic muscle groups in the leg.

When the foot is pointed as we see in the old film of Master Uechi, we can surmise that the leg was intended as an attack to the opponent. However as depicted in the short Bunkai film above, this action is still not efficient or destructive enough to fully stop the opponent (this is an elementary level Bunkai). The reason is that there is a lot of distance to travel and also bringing the practitioner into a vulnerable position of balance and following possibilities until the foot is again on the ground for base, power and or transition.

We will also see that pulling the opponent in to cover that distance will hunch the body, condensing their torso and further protecting the inner vulnerable or vital structures of the body. If the attack was a single push or strike that we used the posture for to deflect, it leaves even less vital targets or vulnerability for the opponent.

A secondary level of Bunkai could be unlocked by using the hooking thumb of the forming hand posture to lock into the nerves of the arm to weaken and bring the opponent into a more vulnerable position.

We can easily escalate or advance the level of Bunkai and potency as we further analyze and implement the exacting actions of this Ji Hand (Single Blade of Grass).  However we must use the correct rotational action this particular hand follows... as it is different in form, function and affect on the opponent.  The Tiger Claw (or Iron Claw Hand), has a different torquing action that does not allow the same penetration or action on the vital targets of the body in the same manner that the Single Blade of Grass hand does and therefore can not be interchanged with expectation of as advanced vital targeting and affect.

ST-10The use of the "Single Blade of Grass" hand with this specialized torque will allow the inward turning and clasping thumb to become more powerful as well as penetrating.  This is realized by using the Yin and Yang whereas if the finger tip is turning outward the remaining fingers and thumb are therefore turning inward... it all works together.  This is in conjunction with the hands, arms, shoulder and back muscles supporting this tearing action for even greater unity, power and affect.  This tearing action is not a Crane style action, it is the realm of the Tiger and works great if in that grappling range and attribute.


Serious targets

WIth the action of the Kata and the Ji Hand, we can attack some highly dangerous targets inside the formation of the neck... but this is just the graduate level so far. Our thumbs can dig in past the skin layers as well as the muscles to penetrate deep enough to seize, compress and possibly tear the nerve and blood vessels in this area.  We can access the Carotid Artery, Jugular Vein as well as Transverse Cervical, Phrenic and Vagal nerves (as well as other minor branches.

The deepest structure is the Vagal Nerve which is vital for heart function, but we also assess the Phrenic Nerve which innervates the diaphragm and out breathing.  All the other nerves serve to weaken and control other parts of the body... this will also make the recipient take a squatted or seated position, with legs spreading out.  This then allows the rising knee to target the perineum and anus, where several nerves are located. These nerves also have a correlation and affect on the heart.... so in affect you are targeting the heart from three targets (by the way the following "Blood Pool" hand can be used against the heart as well, escalating to a masters level targeting).

Now bear in mind this is not a proclamation of "True" meaning of the move, but it does explain a serious escalation of affect on the body and mimics the actions of Master Uechi.  It is also far beyond the typical and elementary explanations given for this action.  Folks it must have more meaning than block and knee... it would not have been such a revered action, posture or martial attack that would live for centuries if it was that simple in application.  Is the simple action wrong... no, but there is more (way more) if you want it.

Now there also needs to be "what if" type scenario training as well with the same posture... for example look at the film where the recipient's legs falter and jump back away from the attack.  In this case a direct knee to the heart will also cause major disruptions, dysfunctions and dangerous affects on the recipient...again the one posture has unlimited possibilities and why they were added to the Kata to preserve for those that understand the Kyusho aspects.

These details are all unlocked once one is adept with the 6 Ji Hands and the torquing actions they manifest, (along with the concept of Yin and Yang or the push needs the pull and the pull needs the push to occur).


Debrief and additional thoughts

I have also added a debriefing filmed with Cody Robyn as we always discuss and analyze the affects of even the slightest actions to more fully understand from the recipients experience.

Another idea for this posture would could be another what if type need or being prepared for a spontaneous and reflexive withdrawal by the opponent.  The example (one of so many), is that one hand will reach the target first causing the opponents head to turn as it withdraws from that attacking hand and therefore protecting that desired target.  However when you study the real affects of the Kyusho you are trained to always see the targets presented by the opponent, even in withdrawal.  In this presented case one of the carotid sinus areas are withdrawn and protected, but that reveals another target to access along with the one sie carotid, now made more accessible and vulnerable due to the stretching action during the ead turn.  The windpipe is now far more accessible and vulnerable due to this position, so the attack is now to the windpipe with one thumb and the carotid with the other.  The windpipe is unprotected and will become damaged easier with this lateral attack than if we attempted it frontally.  This will cause suffocation as well as blood restrictions to ad from the brain, neurological affects on the brain and full body as well as dysfunction and or shock to the heart and other structures.

Only real Kyusho discusses this, trains it and can unlock your Kata or style.

Next week the Uechi - Goju connection

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