Part of educating ourselves (and our children) - has involved the continuous stimulation of mind and body through visiting museums, examining the past and striving to understand humanity as a broad expression of culture and creativity. During 2018, myself, Gee, Mei-An and Kai-Lin visited Torquay Museum (in South Devon). Astonishingly, this place has a Medieval Japanese Battle Kite! Oddly, I believe this object has been subsequently 'returned to storage' not long after our visit - and despite enquiring - I could not find out any further data as to provenance.
An Imperial Archer (the Medieval equivalent of Early Japanese 'Special Forces') would be 'affixed' to the centre of a large (bamboo) kite and extended (through the use of a rope anchored to the ground) around 200 feet into the air above the battlefield. Sniping with arrows would then ensue - whilst the position of the enemy would be relayed to the Command on the ground! The kite could be moved with the soldier kept up in the sky if the terrain, weather and enemy activity allowed. What these individual soldiers went through whilst having to stand on such a flimsy device - we can only speculate! Their bravery, however, must be beyond doubt!
After graduating, Mr Miyagi Chojun worked in a local Okinawan bank for one year. This was the ‘147 Bank’. After working hard for one year – the Elders of the Miyagi family were of the opinion that the family finances were secure – and they ordered Miiyagi Chojun to pursue a career as a full-time martial arts practitioner-instructor. This decision was premised upon the fame Miyagi Chojun had already built-up as a young man on the island for his psychological and physical toughness – and how he had managed to survive the severely ‘strict’ martial arts training of his teacher – Higaonna Kanryo! Master Higaonna Kanryo was very strict, and his training was so difficult that many young men could not stand it for long – despite being full of youthful vigour! Everyday Miyagi Chojun would run 12 kilometres per day to reach Higaonna Kanryo’s home for training – often carrying heavy rocks along the way! He would also stop occasionally to punch and kick certain rocks designated by his teacher! So strong did this make Miyagi Chojun that when he wrestled – his movements were far too strong and powerful for many of his opponents to stand! Bones were broken and joints dislocated – resulting in Miyagi Chojun being expelled from the Okinawan Wrestling Classes!
During 1908, Mr Miyagi Chojun was married and settled down to family life. The Miyagi family business consisted of importing very high-class Chinese medicines which were then provided to the Ryukyu Royal Family. Then, during 1910, Miyagi Chojun was conscripted for two-years into the Imperial Japanese Army – with his military training taking place in Kyushu – Mainland Japan. The tough training under Higaonna Kanryo had moulded the mind and body of Miyagi Chojun – making him both strong in appearance (and ability) but humble in attitude. Before he left for his military training, Higaonna Kanryo taught Miyagi Chojun the ‘Stick Law’ (棒法 - Bang Fa) - possibly the skilful use of the ‘club’ or ‘truncheon’! He also taught Miyagi Chojun how to ‘Attack Correctly with the Open-Hand' (手攻击 - Shou Gong Ji) for future self-defence requirements! Although Okinawans are often discriminated against by the Japanese during military training – as Mr. Miyagi Chojun possessed excellent hand-to-hand combat skills (and unusual physical strength) - he was assigned by the Japanese Officers as the ‘Hand-to-Hand Combat Instructor’ of his squad!
After a year of military training, Mr Miyagi Chojun was promoted to the rank of ‘Corporal’ and applied for transfer to the Medical Unit. Here, he learned an in-depth knowledge about human body structure – a profound understanding of biology that assisted his ability to apply scientific knowledge to martial arts training methods later during his life. During that year Miyagi Chojun also joined a local Judo Club to assist his all-round fitness and training development. During November 1912 - Miyagi Chojun completed his military training and returned to Naha City to continue his martial arts training under Higaonna Kanryo. After returning to Okinawa a ‘Party’ was held during which Miyagi Chojun was ‘attacked’ for no reason by a famous Okinawan martial artist known as ‘Motobu Choki’! Miyagi Chojun, without hesitation, swiftly applied an over-powering strength that immediately subdued the attacker with ease in front of many witnesses! This matter was highly publicised at the time (1913-1914) when Miyagi Chojun was 26 years old!
Chinese Language Source:
剛柔流实际的创立人是宫城长顺先生（1888-1953）。宫城长顺先生生于1888年4月25日，於那霸市出生。宫城家是以进口中国药材供应琉球王府御用的经商家族，琉球时代上等位阶士族的后裔，在那霸闻名的素封家 （そほうか，指拥有大土地，大資産的家族），宫城长顺先生的父亲是宫城家三男宫城長祥，早亡，三岁时宫城长顺先生被属于无亲子的亲戚领养并且从小被指定为宫城家业的继承人，家道富裕。 作者：猫爷习
学校毕业后，宫城长顺先生在当地一所银行里就职一年 （ 一百四十七银行）。一年后他家族长辈认为家族财力足以支撑他的武术事业并且要求他辞掉银行里的工作。宫城长顺先生1908 年左右结婚，1910年被征召到日本九州进行两年的军训。在走之前，东恩纳宽量先生教了他一套棒法以及贯手攻击的正确方式作为来日防身之用。军训中虽然冲绳人常被日本人歧视，但是因为宫城长顺先生徒手搏斗技艺和体力超群，因此被军官器重指派为所属小队的徒手搏斗指导员。一年之后宫城长顺先生升级为下士，申请调到医务部队服役，在此他学习了许多与人体结构有关系的知识，对他后来设计各种训练运动大有帮助。这一年内他也加入了当地一个柔道馆的训练。1912年 11月宫城长顺先生完成了军训后回到那霸继续在东恩纳宽量先生门下进行空手道的训练。
回到冲绳后，在一次的聚会上宫城长顺先生受到冲绳著名的打架好手本部朝基的挑拨时瞬间用他过人的力量将本部朝基制服。后来此事被在场的其他人宣传出去，而此时的宫城长顺先生大概26岁 (1913~1914年左右）。 作者：猫爷习 https://www.bilibili.com/read/cv1652712/ 出处：bilibili
The official Karate-Do class was held by Master Mekura Kenichi (铭苅拳一) (b. 1947) in Shanghai during 1988 – after he had respectfully approached the government of Mainland China with diplomatic support from Japan and Brazil! He stayed in China for twenty-five years teaching the Kobayashi lineage of the Shorin Ryu Karate-Do style. After spending a quarter of a century moving around and teaching throughout China – he retired aged 66 years and left China in 2013 leaving behind a great reputation amongst the Chinese people!
Just nineteen years after the unconditional surrender of the Imperial Japanese in 1945 – the British Authorities of the colony of Hong Kong permitted a rich Japanese business man named ‘Mr Harada’ to open a ‘private’ Dojo in 1964 (teaching the Japanese Goju Kai style of Karate-Do) within an exclusive health club located along the coastline of Hong Kong Island! In other words, well within the living memory of Chinese (and other people) who were the victims of Imperial Japanese atrocities – the British Authorities in Hong Kong allowed a previous vehicle of Imperial Japanese atrocities (I.e. ‘Karate-Do’) to be ‘sold’ to the general public as a ‘leisure’ activity! Although the British Colonial Authorities operated a strict ‘racial’ and ‘cultural’ segregation policy throughout Hong Kong (with Chinese men used as labourers and Chinese women as prostitutes)! The way these exclusive health clubs operated was that ‘Members’ had the right to ‘invite’ any friend or colleague they wished providing the other Members did not protest. Therefore, the Goju Kai Dojo was intended for ethnic ‘Japanese’ only – but this principle was short-circuited by the fact that a young Chinese man named ‘Lin Jingfeng’ (林竞峰) [1947-2018] - was invited into the classes by a Japanese Member. As none of the Japanese Members protested – Lin Jingfeng was allowed to stay and over the decades became a highly skilled (Japanese) Goju Kai and then (Okinawan) Goju Ryu Karate-Do practitioner.
In 1979, the ‘International Okinawan Goju Ryo Karate-Do Federation’ (IOGKF) was founded in the UK. In 1980, the Head Instructor of the IOGKF – Higaonna Morio – appointed Lin Jingfeng the IOGKF Branch Supervisor of all Hong Kong AND Mainland China Dojos (registered with the IOGKF). As Lin Jingfeng was a Cantonese citizen of Hong Kong - and given that he was well-known as a high-ranking Goju Ryu practitioner amongst the many distinct Chinese ethnic groups that lived on Hong Kong island, the boats surrounding the Hong Kong coast (the Dan-Ka boat people), and all the different Chinese clans living throughout the New Territories – the idea that he was chosen as the official IOGKF Representative (or ‘Supervisor’) of all the IOGKF Dojos in and around the Hong Kong region that comprised the British colony and/or ‘Protectorate’ of Hong Kong was logical and legal. The IOGKF, however, possessed no political, cultural or legal right to appoint Lin Jingfeng as the IOGKF Representative of Mainland China! The British Authorities controlled Hong Kong only – and possessed no authority whatsoever anywhere in Mainland China! Placing Lin Jingfeng as the ‘Representative’ of Mainland China in 1980, then, was an ‘empty’ appointment that possessed no real substance. Lin Jingfeng only became (by default) the IOGKF Representative of Mainland China in 1997 – when the British Colonial Authorities ‘handed-back’ Hong Kong to direct Mainland Chinese control!
The 1964 Goju Kai Dojo was established upon Chinese soil, but it was a part of China that had been artificially and viciously excised from the direct political control of the Chinese Mainland because of British imperialist greed and militarism during the 19th century! Hong Kong was a part of Mainland China – but was not under the direct political control of the Chinese people in 1964 - and so the Goju Kai Dojo does not qualify as the ‘first official’ Karate-Do class established within a fully independent and functioning Mainland China! As modern Japan (which is a close ally of the US) refuses to acknowledge its atrocities and war crimes throughout China (and Asia) committed during the 1930s and 1940s – it is doubtful that any genuine Chinese government would permit Japanese businesses and Japanese ‘militarised’ leisure activities at any time throughout the 1960s! Foreign powers aggressive toward Chinese interests, however, (such as the British, the Japanese and the ‘Nationalist’ Chinese), then it is more likely that activities such as Karate-Do would be taught! The Japanese invaded and brutally suppressed the Chinese and aboriginal people of the island of Taiwan during 1895. This resistance fighting carried on for about five years before the invading Japanese managed to turn Taiwan into a Japanese-controlled Police State controlled through the use of regular ‘mass’ public executions through beheadings! Chinese language, religion and martial arts practice were outlawed – and replaced with a full Japanese education syllabus typical of that found throughout Mainland Japan!
In 1901, the racist Japanese government changed the name of ‘Tang Hand’ (唐手 - Tang Shou) - referring to the various systems of ‘Chinese’ martial arts transmitted to (and preserved upon) the island of Okinawa - into ‘Empty Hand’ (空手 - Kong Shou) - a Japanese ‘joke’ which suggests a martial activity now ‘emptied’ of ALL Chinese historical influence and philosophical meaning! Later, the mediocre Okinawan Karate-Do practitioner Funakoshi Gichin (who was in the pay of the Imperial Japanese government) would invent the bizarre falsehood that this ‘empty hand’ Japanese art was somehow linked to the Heart Sutra – a text popular amongst a certain stratum of well-off Japanese people – which discusses the inherent ‘emptiness’ of all phenomena. As the Imperial Japanese Army had subdued the war-like Taiwanese (Chinese) people by 1900, and given that the mass atrocities had killed many of the most effective leaders and removed tens of thousands of Chinese militants, I suspect that the very first Japanese ‘Karate-Do’ class (albeit ‘enforced’) was held on the subjugated Chinese island of Taiwan at some point from 1901 onwards – the date that the Imperial Japanese government introduced Karate-Do training as a keep-fit sport into all Japanese schools! Certainly, photographic evidence suggests that the Japanese (colonial) social control mechanism not only involved the brutality of public executions (often using traditional martial arts to kill the condemned), but also mass exercise sessions in public – very similar to how Japanese business personnel still start their working shifts today! Although Japan controlled Taiwan for fifty brutal years – until 1945 – the criminality did not stop there as the brutality of the dregs of the ‘Nationalist’ regime ‘invaded’ Taiwan and started a massacre of ALL those Chinese people who supported the Revolutionary Forces that finally came to power in 1949! This is a further ‘Crime Against Humanity’ and a ‘War Crime’ similar in magnitude to anything the Japanese committed – who also paid so-called Karate-Do experts to ‘Reverse-Punch’ condemned people to death who were tied to posts! This is part of the ‘dark’ history of Japanese-controlled Karate-Do that requires exposing!
Chinese Language References:
Shifu Adrian Chan-Wyles (b. 1967) - Lineage (Generational) Inheritor of the Ch'an Dao Hakka Gongfu System.