Did the Japanese Samurai learnt & wrote down the Shaolin Staff techniques in their manual first, BEFORE the Chinese?
For real antique evidence, please watch the video in this article, and we can then have a discussion.
Heiho Ogi Sho (兵法奥義書) was written by Samurai General Yamamoto Kansuke. He lived from 1501 to 1561, so this book must have been written before 1600.
Shaolin Gunfa Canzong (少林棍法闡宗) was written by Shaolin Monk Cheng Zong You and published in 1616, which is decades after General Yamamoto's death.
The video above shows several examples of the Shaolin Staff stances being found in General Yamamoto's book first, but I'll just show 2 of the examples here
Example #1 - The "High Four-Even" Stance
This is the very 1st stance in both the Chinese and Japanese version. The Four-Even Stance is held with the Staff pointing forward, which is the most common stance to begin fighting with.
There are 3 versions in the original Shaolin manual: High, Middle, Low. But in the Japanese version, there is only 1 version, which is the "High" version.
Based on the drawings, you can see that the Chinese version has the Staff tip pointing up, which fits the name of the stance better. However, the Japanese version has the Staff's tip pointing in the middle, which is more like the "Middle" version of this stance.
Example #2 - The "Unsheath Sword" Stance
In the Japanese manual, this is the 2nd Staff stance that was written. But in the Chinese version, the "Unsheath Sword" stance is the 14th stance. So perhaps you can say that the Japanese version is missing quite a lot of stances in between.
For more examples, please watch the video above.
What do you think? Did the Samurai really wrote down the Shaolin Staff techniques first? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Ancient Chinese Martial Arts Manuals
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