|The history of
Pangainoon and Uechi ryu karate seems to begin with Shushiwa. Shushiwa is
the Japanese pronunciation of Chou Tsu Ho. Chou Tsu Ho (or Chu Chi Wo) was
born in 1874 in Nanko-chin Shibata village in the Zhitian area of China.
As least two different backgrounds have been established for Shushiwa. The same is true for the art of Pangainoon which he taught to Kanbun Uechi in the latter part of the 19th century.
Southern Shaolin Ken, considered the strongest sect of Chinese kempo, consisted of hard body training and was offensively rather than defensively oriented. Emphasis was placed on fingertip (nukite) training. Practitioners were known for having fingers like iron.
Eishun Ken, another system developed in
the South, was a soft style known for its defensive skills. Shushiwa is believed
to have combined the two styles to create a system that used hard techniques for
offense and soft techniques for defense.
Shushiwa, described as an intelligent and dedicated student, became proficient in several forms of Chinese boxing, particularly Tiger Fist, one of the Five Fists of Fujian. Legends attribute him with great strength. He reportedly could hold the weight of two people hanging from the fingertips of his outstretched arms. He also became an accomplished painter and calligrapher.
Shushiwa contracted a severe illness and died in 1926, at the young age of fifty-two.
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