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Hamahiga-no-tuifa 浜比嘉のトゥイファー

     This was another kata taught to Shimabuku by Taira. In the now-famous 1966 film taken of Shimabuku during his second and last visit to the United States, this kata is often denoted as Chie-fa in English. However, this is nothing more than a misspelling of a misspelling.

It is said that Shimabuku always referred to the weapon as tuifa. On the 1966 film, the katakana syllabary for this kata reads Tsuifa, an innocent misspelling, apparently made my the Japanese translator, which was then misspelled again as Chie-fa in English.

According to Perkins (1998) Tokumura Kensho, a direct student of Shimabuku, stated in an interview that Shimabuku never taught the kata on the film in Okinawa. There is speculation that this kata is what bits and pieces Shimabuku remembered from the longer, older Hama Higa no Tuifa as taught by Taira.

This longer, older version can be found in Inoue's series as well as in Taira's own book. On the film, one can clearly see him fumbling for movements and techniques. However, there are still Isshinryu groups in the United States and elsewhere who still refer to this kata as Chie-fa no Tonfa, apparently because that's what it says on the film.

The following account of Hama Higa Peichin is a summary of an essay written by Taira Shinken, and can be found in the 1998 republication of his 1964 Ryukyu Kobudo Taikan (pages 183-184). Hama Higa accompanied King Sho Shin and Prince Nago Chogen on their trip to Edo, where he played a game of go with the famous Japanese master Hon'inbo Dosaku on 17 April, 1682. It is also said that with the permission of Shimazu Hidehisa of Satsuma, Hama Higa also performed Toudi (Karate) and Saijutsu in front of the 4th Shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi. This sai kata later became known as Hama Higa no Sai, and is still practiced in Okinawa kobudo today. (Taira, 1998)

*from The Kobudo of Shimabuku Tatsuo by Joe Swift, 1998

 

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