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Shushiwa
1874 - 1926

The 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 fu.

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 and calligrapher.

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.

 

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