Guest Columnists - Numeric Kata

Numeric Kata (a personal interpretation and overview). Stemming from the history of Suparinpei and Sanseiru.

I wonder if people are actually aware of the coincidences within these Karate Kata and the Chinese Hsueh-dao (Kyusho)?

Acupressure originates from the art and science, similar to acupuncture, where the use of pressure and massage replaces that of needles to the Hsueh-dao (vital energy points). In healing, certain 'points' are prohibited with needles, as they may cause injury, so the advantage of pressure replaces the point of the needle.

The practitioner of acupressure understands more fully the potential of healing and injuring with acupoint-pressure. In injuring, these points can be used to stun, paralyse, render unconscious, and even kill the victim if applied in the correct way.

In the book of Hsi-yuan-lu of AD1247, there are diagrams indicating all these 'vital-points' on the human body. It is believed that there are over 300 of these points, although there are only 108 major stunning and killing points, and out of those, 36 are actually 'major' lethal points. So maybe Sanseiru (36) and Suparimpei (108) may have originated from this.

Going even further into the history of this concept of thought we have the famous Chinese martial-artist Feng-Yiquan (AD1522-1567). Feng-Yiquan was a Chinese martial-artist who developed a mathematical acupoint striking method of combat using variations of the number system surrounding the number 36 (in acupoint science there are considered 36 'killing' points on the human body).

He believed that the human body was based on a mathematical system that was important to the human balance. Later, students of Master Feng would create their own schools expanding the number of strike-point variations around the numbers 72 & 108.

A practitioner of this style emerged in history by the name of Xie-Zhongxiang (AD1852-1930). A Master of Shaolin Chuan-fa, known in Japanese as Ryo-Ryo-Ko, who lived in the Fujian province of China. His system was based on the acupoint striking method originally founded by Feng-Yiquan in the early to mid 1500's, using variations of 36 (36, 72, 108 etc.).

Xie-Zhongxiang went on to develop and expand this numeric concept further by dividing, multiplying, etc., this mathematical principle. His students included the famous Higaonna-Kanryo, Miyagi-Chojun, and Nakaima-Norisato etc.. Even Kata Go-ju-shi-ho means 'fifty-four contacts'. This only means a 'division' of 2 from 108. Gojushiho was a Kata also 'developed' by the karate master Itosu-Yasutsune.

Is it just me, or is there a coincidence here..?

Gary E Swift, 8th Dan.
Chief Instructor to the British Wadokai Karate-do. British Wadokai

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