Okinawa Goju Ryu is a fighting art with a unique heritage in that it has absorbed the characteristics of two cultures Chinese and Okinawa. The environment it was created in was a trading culture, which looked to the outside world for economic survival and cultural adaptation. Being a trading center Naha village was a transit port for goods coming from the South Seas and China going to Japan. With trade came the exchange of ideas and opportunities to train in martial arts from the outside world.
This thesis will discuss four characteristics particular to Okinawa Goju Ryu.
- Muchimi – ムチミ– Heavy Sticky
In Hogan, Muchimi literally refers to sticky rice that can be pounded into a sticky paste. It is dense and heavy. When touched it sticks to you, and when you pull away it sticks to you. In Goju Ryu karate, Muchimi refers to the heavy sticky movements used for blocking (e.g. Hiki Uke 引き受け pulling block) and attacking (e.g. Furi Geri振り蹴りSwing Kick), and to the notion that you stay close to your opponent in blocking or attacking. Developed thru Kata (型) forms training and Kakie (カキエ) sticky hand training also thought as Chinese push hands (T’ui shou推手) which was brought from Southern China. Muchimi is developed thru Kakie training. By constant contact with a partner one learns to feel/listen to your partners movements through body contact. One can know whether a person is relaxed or tense; balanced or not; posture is correct or not; and rooted or not. You learn to feel a person’s intention through physical contact. The practice of Kakie can be done stationary or with movement. Suri ashi practice you learn how to ‘stick’ with a person in motion.
Kata, Sanchin (三戦) and Tensho (転掌), help further along the development of Muchimi. The tensing muscles and physical contact in the Kata Sanchin for example lead to internal development and physical awareness. The Kata is done with a heavy sticky feeling and because of the slow deliberate movements the student feels inward and becomes aware of posture.
While applying techniques one has to remain in contact with your partner as breaks in physical contact will often lead to failure in applying a technique and counter attack. Through regular Kakie and Sanchin training a greater understanding of this concept will be developed.