A Brief History of Han Ko Nan Ryuu Karate-Dou and the lineage of this organization.

Han Ko Nan Ryuu, "Pang Gai Noon Ryuu" originates from the Uechi Ryuu system of Okinawa, but it could be said "Pang Gai Noon" is the original name of Uechi Ryuu. This canny statement can be clarified if one reads on. Pang Gai Noon Ryuu has its roots in the system of gong fu which the founder, Uechi Kanbun Sensei (1877-1948) learned while in Fukien Province in China around 1897 - 1907. It is unclear whether he stayed ten or thirteen years in China, depending on the source of information, but he was born and raised in Okinawa. After having spent that extended number of years in China, Uechi Kanbun Sensei moved to Wakayama, Japan and taught his system there and called it "Pang Gai Noon" from the Japanese "kanji" meaning "half hard-soft."

The photo on the right shows father, Uechi Kanbun Sensei,
and son, Uechi Kanei Sensei, taken in 1941

In 1940, students of Uechi Kanbun Sensei named his school "Uechi Ryuu." After Uechi Kanbun Sensei died in 1948, his oldest son, Uechi Kanei, carried on the style of Uechi Ryuu. There were three kata which Uechi Kanbun Sensei learned while in China: Sanchin, Seisan and San Sei Ryuu. Uechi Kan-ei Sensei, his son, added more kata and hojou-undou to the system, as well as other excellent practitioners, including Uehara Saburou Sensei and Itokazu Seiki Sensei. This made a total of eight kata in the system, the three original kata from China, plus Kanshiwa, Dai Ni Sei San, Seichin, Kanchin and Sei Ryuu.

In 1978, when Nishiuchi Sensei was living in Okinawa and training under Kinjou Takashi Sensei and Matayoshi Shinpou Sensei of the Zen Okinawa Kobudou Renmei, Itokazu Seiki Sensei and his students broke away from Uechi Ryuu and took the name Han Ko Nan Ryuu (Pang Gai Noon Ryuu). (Actually, "Pang Gai Noon Ryuu" pronunciation is rarely heard in Okinawa now days). The Japanese pronunciation of "Han Ko Nan Ryuu" is more commonly used. Since that time, there have been many break-ups in Uechi Ryuu in Okinawa and as of 1997, there are 15 different Uechi Ryuu organizations and three Han Ko Nan Ryuu organizations (i.e. "Pang Gai Noon") in Okinawa. There is Han Ko Nan Ryuu headed by Itokazu Seiko Sensei, Okinawa Ko Nan Ryuu Karate Dou Kyoukai, headed by Maeshiro Shusei Sensei and Itokakazu Seishou Sensei and Ko Nan Ryuu Koubukai Honbu Doujou headed by Kinjou Takashi Kaichou, which he founded in 1990.

The Ko Nan Ryuu Koubukai Honbu Doujou has one more kata, named Koubuken, created by Kinjou Takashi Kaichou, for a total of nine kata. This organization is part of this lineage, since Nishiuchi Shihan and Bolz Shihan both are students of Kinjou Kaichou, who learned from Itokazu Seiki Sensei of Uechi Ryuu.

Many fragmented organizations seems to be the common course of Okinawan budou now days, not only Uechi Ryuu. Regardless, these organizations named are all legitimate and all stem from the main trunk of Uechi Kanbun Sensei. There are excellent practitioners in all of them. For further history and details of Uechi Ryuu, refer to Master George Mattson's Uechi-Ryu site or his books.

©2009 Pang Gai Noon Ryu Karate-Do Seibu Juku
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