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Friday, April 13, 2012

Different Flavors of Ti*

*Some will quibble, no doubt, that this post would have been more accurately named "Different Flavors of Tuite," but if I had done that, I would have missed the opportunity for an outrageous pun.

You can find more than a little "tuite" on YouTube these days. It is not my intention to get into a spitting contest with anyone on the subject. I make no bones about who I am and what I think: I am a very junior member of the RyuTe Renmei, and what I think is that A)Taika Oyata is the foremost exponent of tuite-jutsu and kyusho-jutsu that I have seen, met, or heard of; B)that we in the United States are darned lucky to have him; and C) that both his tuite and kyusho are different from what goes under those names in other organizations.

Note that I have not said "better" or "worse". I have simply noted that in my opinion, it is different. For purposes of comparison, here are a few video clips, for the handful of people who might be interested.

First, here is Joel Reeves:

Mr. Reeves, in turn, was apparently a student of Higa Seitoku, seen here:

Higa Seitoku, in turn, was a student of this man, Uehara Seikichi:

Here is Toma Shian, who was, if I'm not mistaken, was another of Uehara Seikichi's students:

And lastly, here is Taika Seiyu Oyata, who was a training partner of Uehara's, but learnt, if I understand my history correctly, his tuite as the result of his kata analysis under the instruction of Uhugushuku no Tanmei, and the two systems--Uehara's and Oyata's--are identifiably different. This sums it up about as well as I have read anywhere. Emphasis is mine:
After WWII in 1946, Taika met Uhugushuku Tan Mei (95 yrs.), a former bushi, who had been in service to the Okinawan emperor....Mr. Uhugushuku taught Taika fighting theory, history, how to study technique, and the weapons kata used in Ryu Te®....He also taught Taika that all kata contained Tuite, And Taika was encouraged to look further into kata to discover their hidden meanings.
Because of his abilities, Taika was introduced to other karate masters to further his knowledge. One such instructor was Wakinaguri Tan Mei, a large heavy set Chinese about the same age as Uhugushuku, who specialized in nerve and blood vessel striking techniques; Kyushu Jitsu. Wakinaguri taught him the bodies weak points and vital areas as well as how to strike them. With this knowledge, Taika began to analytically research kata to discover their hidden meanings...As his search for knowledge continued, Taika joined an analyzing and research group with Seikichi Uehara, the only living student of Choyu Motobu. Uehara is famous for a form of Tuite and weapons fighting that dates back to the 1600's and passed down solely through the Motobu family. Taika began working with Uehara comparing the two systems of tuite and weapons fighting.
But I suppose you can look at the video and form your own opinions, can't you?

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