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By way of an introduction …

SippingTi is a blog about the Okinawan fighting art of Ti [手], also known as ‘Okinawa-te‘ [沖縄手], ‘UchinaDi’ [うちな手] and ‘Udundi’ [御殿手], but more appropriately understood as ‘Ryukyu Bujutsu‘ [琉球武術]; the ‘classical martial arts of Okinawa’.

Ti, literally ‘hand‘, is the oldest of Okinawa’s three branches of martial arts; the others being karate [空手] and kobudo [古武道]. Whereas karate and kobudo evolved on the islands during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, records show that Ti’s development antedates their emergence by at least 400 years. Oral tradition extends this period further to approximately AD650. Continue reading

Meotode & Tachugwa: Posturing in martial arts

A topic that has been recurring this week is the use of meotode and tachugwa.

Meotode refers to the concept of a mutually supportive partnership of the hands. The lead arm is held forward with the rear hand connected or hovering at the elbow. The move appears in Naihanchi, but also in many Shorin kata. It has a striking semblance to the old ‘Queensbury rules’ boxing pose.

In Shuri-te It’s a concept; a very practical way of using the hands. Continue reading

Advice on restoring damaged knees from karate training

One of the most common complaints from those who have practiced karate for a long time is that they have damaged or painful knees. The secret to restoring damaged knees is simple: Stretch, Pressure and Movement.

Understanding and putting that gem of wisdom into practise will require a fuller explanation, hence this article. The attached video shows some light exercises to work with but it probably won’t make much sense on it’s own either. Continue reading

Mokuso: “Karate begins and ends with gratitude”

Very often we hear the phrase “karate-do begins and ends with courtesy”, which, in the West, has largely come to mean ‘start and finish with a bow’. But I’d like to pass on something that my teacher Higa Kiyohiko impressed upon me, which I feel goes far beyond simply ‘paying respect, for respects’ sake’. It’s this, “At the Bugeikan, training begins and ends with gratitude.” Continue reading

Okinawan Kobudo Styles

This list of Okinawan Kobudo styles comprises of dojos that were founded in the Ryukyu’s. It does not include branch systems and styles formulated outside of Okinawa.

Just like karate, Okinawan kobudo styles didn’t strictly emerge on the island until the wake of WWII. Prior to this period a number of ‘family traditions’ existed, though they most likely weren’t labeled as such until more recent times. Continue reading

Okinawan Karate Styles

Here is a list of traditional Okinawan karate styles and their respective founders. This list represents styles founded on Okinawa but not their branch organisations formed in other countries.

The list is organised by Style name, Founder and Root. As Japanese kanji can have several phonetic interpretations I have included the kanji for each respective group as well as the name of their Founders to assist with domestic research. Continue reading