Kanryo Higaonna

In one of former releases we have begun conversation about goju-ryu - the style which has undergone very minor alterations on a way of the development. There was it owing to a brilliant galaxy of masters which could save up and transfer the richest fighting heritage to descendants.

In offered clause it will be a question about Kanryo Higaonna- the person, with whose name connect arrival of style " the White crane " to Okinawa and its transformation in Naha-te.

Sensei Kanryo HigaonnaSensei Kanryo Higaonna was born in family of nobleman in the city of Naha on March, 10th, 1853. He was small growth, however moved extremely quickly and possessed extraordinary jumping skills. He is literally from 4-5 years Higaonna has started to show the big interest to art of struggle.

Hand-to-hand fight on Okinawa has ancient, rich history, deeper, than, say, football in Brazil or boxing in the Great Britain. All adult men were engaged in fighting arts, and the various adaptations till now applied in karate, it was possible to see in the most unexpected places. For example, mаkiwara - the shell for statement of impact and strengthening of various parts of a body - was almost in each house. Therefore at Higaonna there was no lack of the information, but his trainings were unsystematic. Only in 16 years he has started to study kempo at one of the Chinese immigrants. Sensei Higaonna has not left growth, but small, physically strongly developed young man has quickly got skills which his teacher possessed. He even has surpassed in his skill and technics of performance kempo. Despite of a youth, Higaonna became known in Naha as the master of fighting arts. But most Higaonna did not arrange the level of skill reached by him. In November, 1874 22-years the young man he has left for China.

But has passed year before there was an opportunity to be presented to master Ryu Ryuko. It has occured casually.

In one of ports of Chinese province Fujan at tried to moor vessels the fodder rope has broken. In the turmoil which has risen on coast, someone has pushed off in water of the little boy. It was threatened with inevitable death as the child has fallen between a board and a berthing wall. Seen it Higaonna, has jumped in water, has pressed to itself the boy and, having dived together with it, has avoided a mortal blow. The young man with the boy dived some times while them have not pulled out from the storming sea. The father of the rescueed child was known master Ryu Ryuko.

Maestrul Ryu Ryuko"What can I make for you? " - he has asked the savior of the son. " I wish to study at you ", - has answered Kаnryo Higaonna. But even after that the master has not made event Higaonna the pupil.

In China then there was a custom before to take the pupil, the master studied his person, character. Therefore long time Sensei Higaonna cleaned rooms and looked after a garden of the teacher. And only after that process of training has begun.

Employment began with approach of darkness with training  Sanchin, power kаta, a style being by base exercise. Then - a raising nigiri game (ceramic jugs) which the pupil held for edges fingers. The weight of jugs gradually increased and reached 25-30 kg. Exercise unsokuho - a complex of base steps Further has followed, - in which were used nigiri game. These exercises have allowed to develop extraordinary force of fingers, and also have learned to move correctly legs that did a position very steady.

Trainings have proceeded with muchi ishi (a natural stone), then transition to mаkiwara on which base impacts and blocks were fulfilled. Impacts were put by different parts of a body: an elbow, a fist, an edge, the back party of a palm, internal and external surfaces

Forearms, a knee, a shin and even a shoulder, a basin or a back. Training also passed in the big bamboo basket named uki. In a basket two persons were located, and near fight and suffocating receptions was fulfilled.

Sensei Higaonna took a great interest in instruments and tools of which he for the first time has taken advantage in dojo masters. Each studied reception strengthened belief Higaonna in the teacher and in correctness of the direction chosen by it even more strongly.

The pressure which he tested during trainings, demanded the tribute. Legs, hands and shoulders of the sensei swelled from excessive loadings and a pain. But nevertheless only by means of such rigid trainings Higaonna has developed steel muscles. After several years of persistent study sensei Higaonna became the most skilful pupil of master Ryu Ryuko.

Higaonna was the personal pupil of master Ryu Ryuko of 15 years then has left China and has returned to Okinawa where has continued to improve the art.

From ancient times for Okinawa there is a custom to give people the nicknames corresponding character traits and abilities. Usually sensei Kanryo named Higaonna - " the Magic leg " for its perfected technics of legs. Eyewitnesses were surprised, that the undersized person possesses such huge energy and force. Therefore in Naha te was two nicknames - " the Magic leg " and " Sacred fists ".

Gradually art sensei Higaonna began to name Naha-te that " the Hand of the city of Naha " means.

Victor Panasiuc,
Chief-instructor IOGKF in The Republic of Moldova

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