1874 - 1926
Chinese Buddhist monk Chou Tzu Ho was known to Okinawans as Shushiwa.
He taught Pan Gai Noon, a type of Chinese kempo, at the the Shoalin
Temple in Southern China. Pan Gai Noon, meaning half hard soft,
included techniques from the tiger, crane and dragon styles of kung
The name Pan Gai Noon came from the two styles of Chinese kempo
from which it derived. The first, Southern Shaolin Ken, consisted
of hard body training and was primarily offensive. Emphasis was
placed on fingertip (nukite) training. Practitioners were known
for having fingers like iron. The second, Eishun Ken, was a soft
style known for its defensive skills. Shushiwa is believed to have
combined the two styles to create a system that used hard techniques
for offense and soft techniques for defense.
Legend attributes Shushiwa with great strength. He reportedly could
hold the weight of two men hanging from the fingertips of his outstretched
arms. He also taught Chinese medicine and was an accomplished painter
The karate styles in the Uechi Ryu family of Okinawan karate, including
our style, Koburyu, are based on the three kata taught to Uechi
Kanbun by Shushiwa: Sanchin, Seisan and Sanseiryu. The single-knuckle
punch (shoken), spear-hand strike (nukite), pointed-toe kick (sokusen)
and circle block (wauke) are signature moves of the family.