Every so often, I search Youtube for "Taika Seiyu Oyata." The man taught gobs and gobs of seminars and lots and lots of it was caught on videotape. For years, hardly anyone who wasn't at the seminars or part of his organization ever saw this stuff, but since his death, it has been coming out in bits and pieces.
This is the first time I've seen this clip, although my teacher told me that Taika'd told him much the same thing. Do you get what he is saying? He is saying that the old material, the hidden material of the katas, is now gone from Okinawa, the people that taught that are now all dead. If you want to learn the old stuff, you are better off in Kansas City with, yes, mostly a bunch of white guys, than you are going to Okinawa.
Taika's English was hardly perfect and I am sure he was not trying to say that no one on Okinawa knows anything at all anymore. He was, after all, training partners with Seikichi Uehara, who was still very much alive and active at the time of this tape. And Shian Toma, too, was still teaching at that time, and Tetsuhiro Hokama still is. But in general? He's right. The core content of the old Okinawan martial arts is no longer best learnt in Okinawa. Go to Kansas City.
Kind of sad, but it's one of history's little oddities.
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