I was researching if I could find any direct connection between Goju Ryu Karate-Do and Kobudo - and I found this video:
Kanryo in this instance is written as '贤亮' - which does not quite match the Chinese ideograms used to spell the name of 'Higaonna Kanryo' (東恩納 寛量):
1) For the name of this Style of 'Kanryo' Kobudo we have the following two Chinese ideograms of:
a) 贤 = (xian2) - 'Ken' in Japanese
b) 亮 = (liang4) - 'Ryo' in Japanese
This would suggest the name of this Kobudo (贤亮) should read 'Kenryo' (Virtuous Brilliance) in English translation - and not 'Kanryo' which seems to be the convention as used in the West.
2) The name of Higaonna Kanryo is written as '東恩納 寛量' - with the last two ideograms forming his first name of 'Kanryo':
a) 寛 = (kuan1) - 'Kan' in Japanese
b) 量 = (liang2) - 'Ryo' in Japanese
The name of 'Kanryo' (寛量) in this instance translates into English as 'Kan' (寛) being 'Kind (Gentle) Big Hearted' and 'Ryo' (量) as 'Limitless'. Kanryo might mean a 'boundless heart and mind', however, the first ideogram 'Kan' (寛) also denotes a ram (or goat) with horns ready to fight in any direction.
This exercise demonstrates the importance of logical and correct research. This Kobudo should be transliterated into English as 'Kenryo' and not 'Kanryo' as it exists - as this could - at first glance - suggest a (false) direct link between Higaonna Kanryo and this Style of Kobudo. Of course, the person and the Style could well be linked - but not in the sense of an associated 'first name'- unfortunately!
Translator's Note: According to the HISTORY of the International Meibukan Goju Ryu Karate-Do Federation - during 1952 Miyagi Chojun gave permission for his leading disciple Mr. Yagi Akitoku [八木明德] (1912-2003) to establish his own Dojo! The following year (in 1953) Miyagi Chojun formally passed the 'robe' and 'belt' to Yagi Akitoku confirming his status as the lineage inheritor of the Goju Ryu Karate-Do lineage. Yagi Akitoku is also known as Yagi Meibukan - as 'Meibukan' (明布馆 - Ming Wu Guan) which translates as 'Bright' or 'Pure' 'Warrior Training Hall' - as this is the name he gave his first Dojo and the manner in which his lineage of Goju Ryu was referred to thereafter. Whilst researching the various histories of Goju Ryu preserved within the 'International Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate-Do Federation' (IOGKF) - I have never come across this man's name! Indeed, it was only whilst researching the history of 'Meibukan' on that Style's Hong Kong site (in preparation for translating this article) that I learned of Yagi Meibukan and the general attitude of respect that abounds for him amongst the martial arts community of China, Okinawa and Japan! I have 'Maria Manalastas' and her 2018 (Chinese language) article conveying her journey to Okinawa and her training in the Karate-Do of the MURASAKIMURA Dojo! She is a University student from the UK whose ancestry hails from the Philippines. As we have very close ties with the Filipino people - we welcome her interesting article - which I translate here! ACW (10.10.2022)
Hello everyone! I'm Maria from the Okinawa Holiday Hackers Editorial Department. It has been four months since I came to Okinawa, and now I am experiencing the Karate-Do Dojo in the kingdom of MURASAKIMURA. There I met Mr. Kinjo, Mr. Kevin and Mr. Florian!
Senior Instructor Kinjo (full name ‘金城 敬章’ - ‘Kinjo Hiroaki’) is the Head of the ‘International Meibukan Goju Ryu Karate-Do Federation’ - that is the ‘Bright Martial Training Hall’ which is said to be the ‘true’ and ‘genuine’ inheritor of Goju Ryu Karate-Do tradition as founded by Miyagi Chojun (1888-1953). The ‘Hard - Soft’ (Goju) Style of Karate-Do – as led by Kinjo Hiroaki is a member of the ‘Yomitan’ Branch of the ‘Daoist Alliance’.
Mr. Kevin Chaplin and Mr. Florian Poupard are Technical Instructors associated with the Okinawa Traditional Kobayashi Ryu Karate-Do and Kobudo Federation and the World Shorin Ryu Society, passing on their knowledge of Karate-Do to the world. It is slightly bewildering to gain access to such expert teachers so easily! Mr. Kevin Chaplin, for instance, is British and started trained at just 12-years old – he earned his Black Belt at 24-years old! How long does it take to earn a Black Belt? Well, that all depends on motivation and circumstance.
With regular training and a high standard of commitment coupled with excellent instruction – a Black Belt can be earned in three or four years – but it all depends. Some people like to take their time and progress slowly but surely – focusing on different skills and on overcoming various weaknesses or shortcomings. Sometimes, individuals have no interest in grading and spend years working-out at the back of the Dojo! I am told that an old Black Belt sometimes fades to ‘gray’ and that there are various types of Black Belt all the way up to ‘White Belt’ again – an honour rarely bestowed in Japan and Okinawa (and only then usually by the Japanese Government itself – as such an individual becomes a ‘National Treasure’)! This means the student has completed the entire circle of mind-body self-cultivation and is beyond grading!
As the practice is barefoot – I do not need to wear trainers. Oh, I forgot to introduce myself! I am a student studying at a university in the UK. I am doing a one-year Internship in Okinawa, and I have been living in Okinawa, Japan since September 2017. Before coming to Okinawa, I thought about what I wanted to do, and thought of ‘Karate’ and ‘snorkelling’. Especially Karate for self-defence. The turbulent society here has granted me ‘opportunity’ and ‘result’!
In the UK, I have also taken many Karate courses described as ‘Women's Self-Defence" - but no matter as they were all single-shot – and I have almost forgotten what I have learned before the next class. If you encounter an emergency, what skills should you use to deal with it? When asked this question I had no idea of the answer! I really want to learn about self-defence properly and to a greater depth. Even if it's just a little bit of good quality knowledge – such learning can make you feel more at ease!
When I was a child, I was often taught that ‘even at noon, never go out alone, and definitely go out with someone you know’, but this attitude did not teach us about self-defence, which made me feel very insecure as a child. When traveling alone from England to the unknown land of ‘Okinawa’, I decided to development my abilities and make the most of this time. After I asked Mr. Kinjo and Mr. Kevin who teach Karate-Do in MURASAKIMURA, they said that the techniques are different depending on the Karate-Do ‘Style’. I was surprised and found a more attractive side to Karate-Do than just self-defence. There are so many more and different elements than simply nullifying an attack!
It may be an exaggeration to describe this, but through the principles of Karate-Do training - we can connect to our lives and discover our own true value! We become self-aware through the process of concentrating upon our body posture and movement – as well as upon being aware of our state of mind! Awareness in the mind ‘expands’ throughout the body and a general sense of ‘Wholeness’ develops!
I am able to see things from a ‘Beginner’s’ perspective – even though I have a little bit of experience. Prior to coming to Okinawa I had no idea that Karate-Do has ‘different’ Styles! Self-defence courses are very basic and do not bother with background information. The teachers charge a lot of money and spend a few hours showing the most basic movements. In the Dojo of MURASAKIMURA things are very different! Here, two ‘Styles’ share the training space harmoniously! This is the ‘Kobayashi Ryu’ Style (which moves sharply from left to right and right to left – whilst the ‘Goju Ryu’ Style uses big, circular movements which flow smoothly forward and back! In this Dojo the differences between Styles are respected and preserved – but this does not stop a positive interaction!
Although the MURASAKIMURA Dojo is very strict – it is also very welcoming, and thousands of people visit every year! This led to the development of the MURASAKIMURA Hotel which is not very far from the Dojo! We must enter the Dojo with respect by bowing at the door and walking calmly to our training spot on the Dojo floor. We then must sit down in the Japanese ‘Zen’ style and ‘meditate’ so that the mind and body ‘relaxes’ before the in-depth technical training begins. Leaving the stresses and tensions of the world ‘outside’ is a unique quality of ‘Karate-Do’ - and is certainly a cultural attribute I could not find in my home country of the Philippines! As training happens all through the day – the type of training varies depending upon the time of day (and the type of Yin-Yang energy in the air). After meditation we loosen the body from bottom to top and work on strengthening. After that there is technical practice, Kata and sparring, etc. Although basic agendas are followed – sometimes individual students have come for a particular type of training and the teacher(s) separate the class into appropriate groups.
From the tips of the toes to the top of the head and to the tips of fingers – every part of the body was systematically trained so that the next day I was as stiff as a board and thought my body was going to fall apart! The instructors are happy to share a joke or have a laugh – but do not over-step the line of respect or the training will take an unexpected turn! Although this Dojo is open to the general public - ‘special’ classes also are given for disciples and students who are looking to achieve a very high level in Karate-Do! This training is different and not for the faint of heart – although we were not allowed to see any of it. We were told ‘stories’ by other students although the instructors said nothing. One of my favourite areas of Karate-Do is the weapons training! I had never seen this in the UK and absolutely love all the different implements! This was the area I requested extra training within. One of the stories is that an Okinawan King once banned weaponry amongst the population – and so all the Karate-Do weapons look like farming tools!
Every part of the Dojo floor must be regularly cleaned and maintenanced. The Okinawans (who follow many Chinese customs) say it is an ‘honour’ to do this! To make this system work, everyone must be polite and well disciplined! There are many different training paths being pursued at any one time – and rarely are you left alone. I personally like it when large groups all move together – punching, kicking and blocking their way up and down the hall! It takes tenacity to enter the Karate-Do Dojo every day and voluntarily submit yourself to the hard discipline of Karate-Do training! Teacher Kevin seems to have some doubts about modern karate. Nowadays, many people just want to learn the skills that appear in the movies or the movements that can get high scores in the competition. However, compared with those who just want to get the first place, the number of learners who aim to get a Black Belt has gradually increased recently, and the teachers are also very happy because of this.
That's what I thought at first too (Can't you just learn the techniques that appear in the movies?) but as I wrote above, having a connection to everyday life is the beauty of karate. Whether it's karate or other fighting skills, you must never retreat when defending, you need to keep moving forward. Teacher Kevin said that this is how he learned. There are very few backwards Karate-Do skills, and so is our life. Although it is a very old-fashioned statement, just recalling the past will not help you, and will not change anything at all. But every next step, as much as possible, move forward and change according to what you want. You can learn a lot of life lessons from the techniques and movements of Karate-Do. Decide in advance what kind of Karate-Do you want to learn. I would recommend visiting the MURASAKIMURA Dojo and talk to the instructors who will be happy to talk with you about all your training needs.
Original Chinese Language Source:
大家好！我是Okinawa Holiday Hackers编辑部的玛利亚。
金城老师（本名：金城 敬章）为国际明武馆刚柔流空手道联盟 读谷支部所属的金城空手道道场的馆主。
Kevin老师（本名：Kevin Chaplin先生）跟Florian老师（本名: Florian Poupard）冲绳传统小林流空手道‧古武道联盟 世界王修会内的技术指导员，向全世界传递关于空手道的知识。
来冲绳之前思考了自己想要做些什么，想到了 “空手道” 和 “浮潜” 。尤其是空手道，特别想尝试。为了Self defence（防身术）。在这里动荡的社会…。
在英国我也上过很多次 “女子防身术” 的空手道的课程，但无论哪次都是单次式的，等下次上课的时候之前学了什么几乎都忘了。如果遇到紧急的时间，到底要用什么技巧来对应呢？当被这么问的时候，我连答案都说不出来。所以真心地想要再次学习关于防身术的技能。哪怕是一点点只是也好，能让自己安心一点。
小时候经常被教导 “就算中午也绝对不要一个人出门，绝对要跟认识的人一起出去” ，但却没有教我们关于自我防卫的知识，反而让儿时的我很没有安全感。
MURASAKIMURA内也紧邻着 “MURASAKIMURA酒店” ，听说为了学空手道而来长住的客人也不少呢。
从前冲绳的某位皇帝曾经颁布 “禁止使用武器令” 的条例，所以大部分武器看起来像是农具的样子。
在我的内心中曾经有着 “无法学习空手道的理由” ，但已经因为这次美好的邂逅而消失了。难得来到空手道的发源地，不学习不是很浪费吗？
Respect To 102-Year-Old (Japanese) Shuri Ryu Karate-Do Master - Yoshitaka Inokuma (猪熊佳孝) (b. 1920] (17.8.2022)
Sensei Yoshitaka Inokuma (猪熊佳孝) was born on the 25.2.1920 - and as of 2022 - he is currently 102-years-old! Although he currently holds an 8th Dan Black Belt Grade - he gave-up wearing the White 'gi' uniform and coloured belts years ago as he focuses to an ever greater degree on the 'Chinese' spiritual and physical roots of the martial art he tells everyone should be known as 'Chinese Hand' and not 'Empty Hand'! His Dojo is open twice a week for two 24 hour stints - where students can walk in and out as they please. (During its 'closed' days, individuals and groups can attend through arrangement)! Sensei Yoshitaka Inokuma (猪熊佳孝) does not teach all the classes (which are often directed by Sensei Masahiko Ando 8th Dan) - but can often be seen wandering in and out in a natural manner - very different to the average Japanese Dojo.
At the conclusion of training, for instance, the teacher often sits with his students sharing a meal and a cup of tea with them - food that he has prepared himself! He describes his Karate-Do as being premised upon perfecting the following attributes:
・Concentrating unified power whilst performing and landing each technique.
・Unified power in generated within and expressed through the outer body.
・Karate is about gathering unified breathing power - and not brute strength.
・It is a martial art that includes throwing and joint-locking techniques.
・Okinawa Kobudo includes the weapons of Sai, Nunchaku and Bojutsu, etc.
Shuri Ryu karate-Do is a traditional fighting system formed in Kyushu before the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) - which combines Okinawan Shuri-te (Shuri-Hand) and various elements of old Japanese martial arts. As is typical with many Okinawan martial arts - Shuri-Te has both Chinese and Okinawan influences. By combining these influence with Japanese fighting arts - a more all-round system was produced. This is the martial system that Yoshitaka Inokuma (猪熊佳孝) has taught at the Hasshokan Dojo for more than half a century - where he has established a temple for storing important historical objects and documents relating to the theory and practice of the martial art of Shuri Ryu. This Dojo is located Japan's Kagawa Prefecture, situated within Takamatsu City. Shuri Ryu involves the alignment of the bones and joints, as well as the alignment of the mind, body and environment! The must become calm, expansive and all embracing - whilst the bodyweight drops through the aligned bones and joints before hitting the ground and rebounding upwards - creating a massive counter-force which is transitioned around the body through 'will-power' and 'intention' - so that it can be emitted through the relevant (attacking) anatomical weapons. The Shuri Ryu practitioner is 'still' and perfectly 'centred' - and yet can move with a surprising speed and agility whilst applying an explosive power which is enhanced by a profound relaxation of body and mind! By breathing deeply and fully all these attributes fall into place and the centre of gravity is 'dropped' - ready to stabilise, move and evade, or 'explode' with a surprising force!
Chinese Language References:
Japanese Language References:
Shifu Adrian Chan-Wyles (b. 1967) - Lineage (Generational) Inheritor of the Ch'an Dao Hakka Gongfu System.