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Thread: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

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    Default The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    Well this has been a hotly debated issue over the years, with at least 7 theory's of where James Mitose got his training.

    1. Taught by monks at a family temple in Japan
    2. Taught by his family, the Yoshida Clan
    3. Taught by his family, the Komatsu's.
    4. Taught by Choki Motobu in Japan
    5. Taught in Hawaii by a Motobu student
    6. Taught by Fujika Seiko of Sato Ryu Kenpo Jutsu
    7. Self taught from books by Motobu and Mutsu.

    We have a much more diverse group of kenpo practitioners here then some of the other kenpo forums which primarily represent one style of kenpo.
    What I would like to see is for people to present their theory, and the supporting research that brought them to that conclusion.
    Lets have everyone put their pieces to this puzzle on the table so we can look at them and see which ones fit, and which ones don't.
    No personal attacks, just information, and where you got it.

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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    Going by his first book, I think it is most likely that he got a LOT of his information from the two books you mentioned. Many of the techniques etc. are reproduced including actual photographs from these two books.

    Now, having said that, what Mitose was teaching before he decided to make his book is less clear. The reports of his students seem to indicate that he taught a very karate-like martial art with a lot of drill and one-punch kill technique etc. and the Nihanchi Shodan kata. Where he learned that is hard to say. Someone mentioned someone named Tanamaha (whom I have not heard of before, but was ostensibly a student of Choki Motobu). His Jujutsu techniques could have been learned from Okizaki since, I believe he taught in the same gym as Okizaki did.

    Mitose seemed unclear on what to actually call his martial art. Many different names including karate were used by him.
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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    This is just my opinion, based on 20 years of research and interviews with people who knew Mitose, like Thomas Young, Robert Trias, Sijo Emperado, Ed Parker, Sig Kufferath, Wally Jay, Richard Kim, and a few others.


    I think no one will ever know where and how much Mitose studied. I just believe that the Koshoji Temple story is a fairy tale written to sell books and scam people. The following things lead me to believe this.

    1. Mitose highly plagarized a Motobu and Mutsu book to do his book.

    2. Mitose was married at least 2 times. Buddhist monks do not marry. Plus Mitose impersonated a Christian minister from at least the 40s on.

    3. Both Thomas Young and Sijo Emperado believe that Kenpo jujitsu was Okinawan. Young believed this because they practiced the Naihanchi kata along with other Okinawan training methods.

    4. Mitose did makiwara training, which is a Okinawan training method.

    5. Mitose only taught one form. The naihanchi kata, which is Okinawan. Choki Motobu was known as a master of the naihanchi kata.

    6. Mitose told Emperado that Motobu was his teacher and uncle.

    7. The late martial arts historian Richard Kim, told me that he had met Mitose a few times when he was living in Hawaii, and that Mitose had received instruction from Choki Motobu, to what extent, he did not know.

    8. Mitose had Motobu's picture in his book, along with the picture of one of the karateka's (the man who's breaking the roofing tiles) who brought Motobu to Hawaii.

    9. Both Mitose and Robert Trias used the Kosho Crest at one time. Mitose's people said Robert Trias barrowed it from Mitose. Trias said it was Motobu's crest. Who are we supposed to you believe? Trias retired as a Lt. from the Arizona Highway Patrol, Mitose retired as a convicted murderer and con man.

    10. If the Koshoji temple trained up to 200 monks at one time, where are their decendants? Kosho Ryu is totally unknown in Japan. It is also unknown everywhere else outside of James Mitose's lineage.

    In my own mind I believe that Mitose learned the naihanchi kata from someone, or a book, and also learned some jujitsu from someone. I mean how much do you have to know when your the only guy teaching karate to the non-Asians who have never seen karate before?

    I have seen the pictures of Mitose with Okizaki. Okizaki's "American Judo and Jujitsu Association" had a kenpo branch. Mitose, Young, and Chow's schools were the only members. In fact they were the only kenpo schools in Hawaii at the time.

    I don't really see any factual evidence to support the differant stories that have been told over the years, such as Motobu was Mitose's paternal uncle. Both Kim and Trias said this wasn't true. Motobu's son has said that they were not related.
    I don't know where Al Tracy got the Yoshida clan story, but he has changed his historical writtings a few times over the years.
    William Durbin is the same way.

    I have a journalist colleage in England ( Graham Noble) who has researched and written much on the history of Okinawan/Japanese styles. We've corresponded a lot trying to figure out where Kosho Ryu Kenpo came from. He has traced many Japanese ryu's trying to find a connection to, or mention of Kosho.
    Both Thomas Young and Sijo Emperado said that they never heard Mitose use the term "Kosho Ryu" kenpo untill the second edition of his book was published in 1981. The first edition in 1953 has no referance to Kosho Ryu, or the Kosho Ryu crest.

    Anyway, looking at Mitose's book, will see a lot of jujitsu techniques, and a small sampling of strikes and kicks.

    Now I believe theory #5. That Mitose learned Okinawan Kempo from someone in Hawaii.
    But I'm not foolish enough to put that theory forward as indisputable fact. It is just a theory that I feel the above research supports.

    Here's some interesting comparisons between the Okinawan techniques in Okinawan master Mutsu's book, and the techniques in Mitose's book.

    http://kempokan.com/Glastonbury/books.html

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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    John, it's almost like the garden has too many weeds.
    The more i read and learn, it does appear that there are only a few options.
    I have my own opinions as to the origins from the info that i have been exposed to, but i truly believe that there will never be anything concrete that we will be able to hold up and say "Eureka, this is what it is!!"
    I dont have access to all kinds of "secret" documents.......but Ive done my fair share of reading the history as written by martial arts teachers from Japan from the late 1800's/early 1900's.....I've tried to study the japanese language and kanji so that i can reference names and meanings without relying on romaji that really doesnt give an accurate representation.

    I do believe Hanshi Juchnik when he says the stuff that Mitose showed him wasn't like anything else he had seen.....and i dont chalk that up to him being inexperienced, because at that time, he was.

    I'm fine with the stuff i learn from kosho ryu....in fact more than fine, it's based on solid principles of natural movement......and if thats all Mitose showed Hanshi Juchnik, so be it.

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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    Shawn, I not looking to say anyone's techniques are any better then anyone else's. I've always had the opinion that my art is the "best one"; for me. And I'm sure yours is the "best one", for you.
    But I've got a strong interest in the history of martial arts, no matter what the findings may be.
    Sad thing is I don't think anyone will ever get a creditable result unless people are willing to share the research that they have. Too many groups are turning this into a "us against them" situation. Like the one who really finds the truth will hold the power over all kenpo groups, or at least be able to sell the movie rights to the story .
    Man it's just history. It belongs to everyone.
    You know we've got this same discussion going on at another kenpo site, and a lot of people are really trying to learn something about the history. And some good information is being shared.
    But then there are others there who refuse to consider the possibility that there may be more undiscovered information availiable. Or that someone other than them may also have some credible information. Being closeminded is one thing. But insulting and condescending behavior toward anyone with a differing opinion, does nothing to prove the creditbility of their theory, or contribute to the discovery of new information.
    So like I said before, I would just like everyone to share the research they have, so that someday we may get all the pieces to the puzzle.

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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    There are some questions that I have regarding who this fellow Tamanaha is. The fellow in the front of Mitose's first book that is breaking the tiles is Mutsu and the photo is from his book. There is a long article in one of the editions of Dragon Times about Mutsu that I have at home. I was looking at it last night and it's the same picture as the one in Mitose's book.

    The only Tamanahas that I can find that is in any way related to the Motobu story is Yoshimatsu "Chosho" Tamanaha of Hawaii. He was a fight promoter and the guy that sponsored Motobu to come to Hawaii. He later also brought Mutsu and Higaonna to Hawaii. There is no mention of any student of Motobu named Tamanaha that I can find. The lineage chart of Motobu's students doesn't list him (though I doubt if it is complete), so where did the Tamanaha that supposedly taught Mitose come from? Who was he?

    The reason for asking is that on Martial Talk it was mentioned that Tamanaha was a student of Motobu and may have taught Mitose. The only student of Motobu that I can find in Hawaii was Miyashiro.
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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bishop
    Shawn, I not looking to say anyone's techniques are any better then anyone else's. I've always had the opinion that my art is the "best one"; for me. And I'm sure yours is the "best one", for you.
    But I've got a strong interest in the history of martial arts, no matter what the findings may be.
    Sad thing is I don't think anyone will ever get a creditable result unless people are willing to share the research that they have. Too many groups are turning this into a "us against them" situation. Like the one who really finds the truth will hold the power over all kenpo groups, or at least be able to sell the movie rights to the story .
    Man it's just history. It belongs to everyone.
    You know we've got this same discussion going on at another kenpo site, and a lot of people are really trying to learn something about the history. And some good information is being shared.
    But then there are others there who refuse to consider the possibility that there may be more undiscovered information availiable. Or that someone other than them may also have some credible information. Being closeminded is one thing. But insulting and condescending behavior toward anyone with a differing opinion, does nothing to prove the creditbility of their theory, or contribute to the discovery of new information.
    So like I said before, I would just like everyone to share the research they have, so that someday we may get all the pieces to the puzzle.
    I agree 100%.
    i think everyone should get together for the beverage of their choice and throw all of the paper on the table.....even the crazy guys...lol.

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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbonz
    I agree 100%.
    i think everyone should get together for the beverage of their choice and throw all of the paper on the table.....even the crazy guys...lol.
    You included the crazy guys in this, so I'll ask--

    Who, if any, has been the major influence on your system since Mitose? Has it changed any, or remained pretty much the same?

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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan
    You included the crazy guys in this, so I'll ask--

    Who, if any, has been the major influence on your system since Mitose? Has it changed any, or remained pretty much the same?
    Well, i guess there could be a few different correct answers to that question.
    If we are talking about the way the art is taught in SKSKI, Hanshi Juchnik teaches the principles that Mitose taught him.
    But that is not to say that what he does hasn't been influenced by some of the other great teachers he's had in the past, like Angel Cabales, Remy Presas, Bill DeThouars, etc.....none of those guys taught him Kempo (but some would debate that Kuntao is indeed kempo) but i think they all had a hand in influencing what he teaches today....

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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbonz
    ...But that is not to say that what he does hasn't been influenced by some of the other great teachers he's had in the past, like Angel Cabales, Remy Presas, Bill DeThouars, etc.....none of those guys taught him Kempo (but some would debate that Kuntao is indeed kempo) but i think they all had a hand in influencing what he teaches today....
    Kenpo is whatever works, and those people you listed would know.

    I've found that the biggest difference in most martial arts is the concepts they emphasize more than anything else. We all do pretty much the same things, but differently. Of course, the difference in martial artists and schools is their understanding of the principles and concepts and their ability to use them. Looking at what you do from another perspective can help both your understanding and application.

    I was just curiouse. I don't know much about Mitose, or what he taught. I know the controversy, but I doubt that it does a lot of good to drag it out. At least the discussion here is polite. I'll just say that he's not the first to embellish his credentials. Heck fire, if I had any credentials I might be tempted to embellish them a little!

    Thanks for the info.

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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bishop
    This is just my opinion, based on 20 years of research and interviews with people who knew Mitose, like Thomas Young, Robert Trias, Sijo Emperado, Ed Parker, Sig Kufferath, Wally Jay, Richard Kim, and a few others.

    I think no one will ever know where and how much Mitose studied. I just believe that the Koshoji Temple story is a fairy tale written to sell books and scam people.
    Well, the position of folks who support this theory is that Mitose studied at Shakainji, which is a real place. The obvious solution would be to talk to the administration there.

    It should be noted, also, that the Kojo and Koshojo are small Okinawan ryuha of their own.

    1. Mitose highly plagarized a Motobu and Mutsu book to do his book.
    That seems obvious by comparison. Then again, you also see this kind of thing in Bruce Lee's notes, so I'm not sure what it actually signifies.

    2. Mitose was married at least 2 times. Buddhist monks do not marry. Plus Mitose impersonated a Christian minister from at least the 40s on.
    True, but neither of these things is actually unknown in Japan, either. Japanese religion is highly tolerant of heterodoxy and Buddhist monks are not always traditional Sangha members. Meiji law decreed that monks should be able to eat meat, grow their hair and marry of they want. From that point on, it was up to individual sects and temples to enforce any such proscriptions. Some did; some didn't. Plus, dressing up in other faiths' getups and nicking their doctrines is actually pretty common in heterodox or folk Japanese religion. Mitose himself apparently believed (as per What is True Self Defense) that one should practice in the fashion of wherever one lived. This is not necessarily a strange concept, and has been advocated by Buddhists before and since (and ironically, as probably learned from Jesuits, who made a habit of this sort of thing for conversion purposes).

    More to the point, though, Mitose's description in WITSD of temple hierarchy is not something I recognize from any Buddhist practice.

    3. Both Thomas Young and Sijo Emperado believe that Kenpo jujitsu was Okinawan. Young believed this because they practiced the Naihanchi kata along with other Okinawan training methods.

    4. Mitose did makiwara training, which is a Okinawan training method.

    5. Mitose only taught one form. The naihanchi kata, which is Okinawan. Choki Motobu was known as a master of the naihanchi kata.
    The funny thing is that I now doubt this because of video evidence that you yourself brought to light, where Prof. Chow is clearly performing a Japanese/Okinawan-style set. Where would Chow have gotten it from? Plus, I have read (but unfortunately can't cite right now) that the current Karaho sets were designed to replace the old "Japanese-style" forms (not "lines").

    Some time ago, I also found a small webpage claiming that a set called henshuho came from Mitose, but the author has since corrected himself, saying that it came to his school from Richard Kim. Henshuho is also a Chitoryu practice.

    Lastly, I am curious about the origins of "hansuki," a set in several kenpo lines that is described as "Japanese," when it doesn't seem to have any equivalent anywhere else.

    6. Mitose told Emperado that Motobu was his teacher and uncle.
    Literally? That's unfortunate.

    7. The late martial arts historian Richard Kim, told me that he had met Mitose a few times when he was living in Hawaii, and that Mitose had received instruction from Choki Motobu, to what extent, he did not know.
    From what I've read, this connection has largely been discredited, since Motobu was only in Hawaai briefly. On the other hand, the Tracy's people did come up with documents showing Mitose did spend tim in Japan. I have no idea how well any of it might synch up. Part of the problem is that different teaching customs have passed in and out of fashion in the interim. At various times, one might say they were the student of the person actually teaching them, the person running the current line of the art, or the person closest (in karate's case), to the Fujian source. Knowing the exact context of statements about motobu would help immensely here.

    8. Mitose had Motobu's picture in his book, along with the picture of one of the karateka's (the man who's breaking the roofing tiles) who brought Motobu to Hawaii.
    I would think it's simple plaigiarism.

    9. Both Mitose and Robert Trias used the Kosho Crest at one time. Mitose's people said Robert Trias barrowed it from Mitose. Trias said it was Motobu's crest. Who are we supposed to you believe? Trias retired as a Lt. from the Arizona Highway Patrol, Mitose retired as a convicted murderer and con man.
    The crest (mon) is ahistorical, but it might have a precdent without the pictures. I have no idea what the mon without the pictures would be associated with.

    10. If the Koshoji temple trained up to 200 monks at one time, where are their decendants? Kosho Ryu is totally unknown in Japan. It is also unknown everywhere else outside of James Mitose's lineage.
    Kojo and Koshojo karate/kenpo actually do exist. Kojo is reputedly heavily influenced by xingyiquan. They are Okinawan. As for the temple: Again, somebody needs to contact whoever administers Shakainji.

    In my own mind I believe that Mitose learned the naihanchi kata from someone, or a book, and also learned some jujitsu from someone. I mean how much do you have to know when your the only guy teaching karate to the non-Asians who have never seen karate before?
    The problem with this is that there were other martial artists around him. You would know better than me, but I have difficulty believing that he could get where he was in that community without something substantial to back it up.

    I have seen the pictures of Mitose with Okizaki. Okizaki's "American Judo and Jujitsu Association" had a kenpo branch. Mitose, Young, and Chow's schools were the only members. In fact they were the only kenpo schools in Hawaii at the time.
    Is it plausible that Okazaki would train Mitose and then let Mitose claim an independent art?

    I don't really see any factual evidence to support the differant stories that have been told over the years, such as Motobu was Mitose's paternal uncle. Both Kim and Trias said this wasn't true. Motobu's son has said that they were not related.
    Agreed.

    I don't know where Al Tracy got the Yoshida clan story, but he has changed his historical writtings a few times over the years.
    William Durbin is the same way.
    The documents are useful. Durbin is not useful.

    I have a journalist colleage in England ( Graham Noble) who has researched and written much on the history of Okinawan/Japanese styles. We've corresponded a lot trying to figure out where Kosho Ryu Kenpo came from. He has traced many Japanese ryu's trying to find a connection to, or mention of Kosho.
    Apparently there was a Japanese Koshoryu kempo system listed in the Bugei Ryu Daitijen, but that book, while the most authoritative source, still has problems. Again, to rule out the temple, it would be a good idea to get a hold of Shakainji. Mitose did leave the US, so there might be paperwork related to him somewhere. It's entirely possible that he did learn something over there, but "officially," it doesn't mean anything without documents.

    Having seen some rather odd and self-serving historical research about such things in the past (*cough*Bujinkan*cough*), I hope this is documented step by step and analyzed by more than one person.

    Both Thomas Young and Sijo Emperado said that they never heard Mitose use the term "Kosho Ryu" kenpo untill the second edition of his book was published in 1981. The first edition in 1953 has no referance to Kosho Ryu, or the Kosho Ryu crest.
    Didn't he call it Shorinji Kenpo at some point?

    Anyway, looking at Mitose's book, will see a lot of jujitsu techniques, and a small sampling of strikes and kicks.
    Some of it looks like torite to me, especially with the lack of large entering movements.

    Now I believe theory #5. That Mitose learned Okinawan Kempo from someone in Hawaii.
    But I'm not foolish enough to put that theory forward as indisputable fact. It is just a theory that I feel the above research supports.
    I don't think it's necessaily all Naihanchi plus some half-learned jujutsu, but I think an Okinawan connection is almost indisputable. It *might* be possible that he had some informal, authentic (and unlicensed, which is not implausible) training in Japan or elsewhere. There are some aspects that are common throughout many branches of self-described Kosho (like movement patterns). E-Budo had a very good thread about it some time back as well.

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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    That seems obvious by comparison. Then again, you also see this kind of thing in Bruce Lee's notes, so I'm not sure what it actually signifies.

    Yes but Bruce Lee's wasn't published until after his death. They were his own personal notes.



    True, but neither of these things is actually unknown in Japan, either. Japanese religion is highly tolerant of heterodoxy and Buddhist monks are not always traditional Sangha members. Meiji law decreed that monks should be able to eat meat, grow their hair and marry of they want. From that point on, it was up to individual sects and temples to enforce any such proscriptions. Some did; some didn't. Plus, dressing up in other faiths' getups and nicking their doctrines is actually pretty common in heterodox or folk Japanese religion. Mitose himself apparently believed (as per What is True Self Defense) that one should practice in the fashion of wherever one lived. This is not necessarily a strange concept, and has been advocated by Buddhists before and since (and ironically, as probably learned from Jesuits, who made a habit of this sort of thing for conversion purposes).

    Interesting.


    The funny thing is that I now doubt this because of video evidence that you yourself brought to light, where Prof. Chow is clearly performing a Japanese/Okinawan-style set. Where would Chow have gotten it from? Plus, I have read (but unfortunately can't cite right now) that the current Karaho sets were designed to replace the old "Japanese-style" forms (not "lines").

    The Karaho was made up in part by GM Kouha by mixing various things that he ahd learned from Chow and Tai Kwon Do etc. No one seems to know what set that is that Chow is doing. He likely made it up.


    Lastly, I am curious about the origins of "hansuki," a set in several kenpo lines that is described as "Japanese," when it doesn't seem to have any equivalent anywhere else.

    Master Bill Chun Sr. made up hansuki. It was taught to Cerio and he taught it to Villari and thus it was propagated throughout Kempodom.


    The problem with this is that there were other martial artists around him. You would know better than me, but I have difficulty believing that he could get where he was in that community without something substantial to back it up.

    This has thrown me too. Various stories as to how talented he was. Some say he knew the basics. Chow said he was a con man of limited skill. Emperado has reportedly said that he had the skills of a master instructor. Doc Chapel said he was not impressive at all. This is a hard one to pin down for me.


    Apparently there was a Japanese Koshoryu kempo system listed in the Bugei Ryu Daitijen, but that book, while the most authoritative source, still has problems. Again, to rule out the temple, it would be a good idea to get a hold of Shakainji. Mitose did leave the US, so there might be paperwork related to him somewhere. It's entirely possible that he did learn something over there, but "officially," it doesn't mean anything without documents.

    Be interested to see that book. When was it written?


    Didn't he call it Shorinji Kenpo at some point?

    Yes, before he coined the term Kosho Ryu



    I don't think it's necessaily all Naihanchi plus some half-learned jujutsu, but I think an Okinawan connection is almost indisputable. It *might* be possible that he had some informal, authentic (and unlicensed, which is not implausible) training in Japan or elsewhere. There are some aspects that are common throughout many branches of self-described Kosho (like movement patterns). E-Budo had a very good thread about it some time back as well.

    I think it looks Okinawan also. Especially since he kept refering to it as Karate (As did Thomas Young and William Chow) which is an Okinawan term.
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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    This has not been discussed in 4 weeks but it def. peeked my interests. Actually I cannot believe that this does not have more points of view. I was told that the kenpo hand crest was that of Choki Motobu's family. They called it Udunde. Chosei Motobu uses it sometimes when he describes the name of his art. Motobu Sensei will be in New England this summer doing a seminar for myself and one of my fellow brothers in the art. He will be in for 3 or 4 days and i am hoping to get as many stories/answers and history as i can. The video on your site kajukenboinfo.com of Prof. Chow doing his form had movements in it that i have seen before in my own art. The most obvious to me was the downward cross block / upward cross block trap to right hip and then rising left front punch - I was waiting for the step through straight punch. That sequence (from my point of view) comes from Heiean Godan. I am sorry for the spelling on that. We call it 5 pinion and it is different from the actual Shotokan version but that part is the same and I was fortunate enough to be taught the original movements of these forms before they were Kemponized. (side note-- I do like the kempo versions but i feel when you mess with a form to much it loses a lot of its meaning - at that point it may be sometimes better to create your own - but thats for another thread)
    In Peace
    Jesse

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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    I have heard several stories about the origins of the crest.
    I do think that at one time Chosei Motobu said that the crest did not belong to his family, nor was Mitose related in any way.
    There have been several different versions floating around about Mitose's relation, if any, to Choki Motobu.
    In the SKSKI, it is taught that Mitose was no relation to Motobu, but did place his picture in the book out of respect because he considered Motobu a great kempo master.

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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    As far as the photos inthe book goes, here's a factor to consider. How many photo's of karate stuff was available at the time?? Perhaps the publisher only owned the rights to one ot two real karate photo's, I mean it was'nt like today with the thousands of reference materials and photos that we have. Could that be how the pictures ended up in Mitose's book?

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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    I did not say the crest belonged to the Motobu family, just that the 3 hand symbols were what Motobu family refer to as Udunde. Possibly these hand symbols where taught to someone then to Mitose as self defense positions and he liked them and made a crest with them.
    In Peace
    Jesse

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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    I was under the impression that the Motobu family art was referred to as Udunde.

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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcatbonz
    I was under the impression that the Motobu family art was referred to as Udunde.
    Gotente in Japanese, Udunti in the Okinawan language.

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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    There is an interesting interview with Thomas Barro Mitose on this website
    http://www.kempokarate.com/history/articles.cfm According to this interview it dosent appear that Thomas thought That his father trained in Japan. He dosen't know if he ever left Hawaii. Also Thomas denys that
    there is any relation between The Mitobu family and the Mitose family. He states in this interview that members of the Mitose family were at the last Gathering of Eagles and they denied any relationship and stated they didn't even know of James Mitose.
    I don't know how accurate any of this is but I am also a Martial Arts history Buff. I only read and try to see if any of it makes sense. I don't really have an opinion yet. I did however find the Thomas Barro Mitose interview interesting.
    Good luck to all of you in your research.

    Most Respectfully,
    Sifuroy

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    Default Re: The Origin of James Mitose's Kenpo?

    Uehara Seikichi became the sucessor of the Motobu Ryu System. Which he renamed Motobu Udun Ti out of respect to Choyu Motobu. The Family crest for the Royal Family of Okinawa is the three prong swirl pattern and was the official crest from approximately 1429 to 1879.

    As for the Naihanchi kata, he may have taught it to Hanshi Juchnik. But the video I have of Hanshi Juchnik performing Naihanchi is very different from the Japanese or Okinawan verisons. I don't mean this in a dis-respectful way. Choki Motobu learn Naihanchi from Anko Itosu and there are some different verison out there. But this tells me if Mitose learned it from Choki, he only learned about half of it.

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