Ahnan Tomari-te World Organization (ATWO)
was developed to preserve the connection between Taoist China and Okinawa. Its founder and Head of the Style or ‘Soke’ is Mr. A.F. Walker , Grandmaster of the Pyong Hwa Do and long-time practitioner of the Tsong Quo Chuen System. Soke was initially taught the ancient forms by his teacher, Master Kushubi who, amongst other things, was preserving ancient Tibetan forms, old Okinawan forms and very ancient Chinese forms.
The specific purpose of forming the ATWO was to preserve the “lost” Kata of Okinawa and passing them down to practitioners interested in keeping them alive and true to the original form. Anyone of good character may learn these forms at any of the seminars hosted by the ATWO or ATWO-Europe. Included in the preservation of the forms, the actual techniques of bunkai, kyusho and dim mak, or vital point striking, are taught so that the forms are preserved in their entirety.
If you have any questions on The Ahnan Tomari-te World Organization, please visit our website at www.ahnantomarite.com. For Ahnan Tomari-te Europe Branch, please contact M. Braglia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ATWO emblem
The emblem of ATWO has a long history that coincides with a painting donated by the Chinese monk of Ahnan to his student Kosaku Machimora (Matsumora) before his departure from Okinawa in the 1860’s. Lao Leong made this gift to Machimora to testify his own lineage. This transmission from Master to disciple is similar to receiving a current diploma, signifying completion of the style.
The woman in the image represents Ng Mui, a great Chinese martial arts expert, from whom the origins of the oldest part of our fighting system, Tsong Quo Chuen, comes from. The style in which she is painted has a mixture of Chinese and Okinawan elements due to Master Kushubi’s mother being Chinese and his father being a native of Okinawa.
The blue/black color of her gown symbolizes the ancestral force of the water element connected to the kidneys and essence (jing), while the stars symbolize the link between Heaven and Earth, and the connection of Heaven with Heavenly Energy. Additionally:
- The base color is bluish purple, the color of Chinese Royalty referencing divinity and immortality.
- The Kidney is referenced in the black on the gown with the essence of ancestry and the connection between Heaven and Man.
- The greenish/blue is to reference the liver and the connection between man’s Hun and the spirit of Heaven.
- Yellow/gold for the stars symbolizing the imperial color of power, royalty and prosperity, and the Heavenly energies, references to the elements of Earth and the Spleen.
- The White is to reference the Po of the earthly spirit connection which is found in the Lung.
- The color red of the Chinese calligraphy around Ng Mui references the Shen and the Heart connection.
Ng Mui’s hands are hidden as they were the hands of the people living in the Eastern courts – both men and women – just as much as the origins of this martial art are hidden.
The branch Ng Mui holds in her hand is a pussy willow (Salix Caprea), a variety of willow growing near the banks of the rivers, important for stabilizing the ground on the banks. Unlike the better-known weeping willow, which symbolizes the proper attitude while in the presence of divinity, this additionally represents immortality, eternity and spirituality, the pussy willow stem is straight despite the great flexibility, representing the attitude to approach this martial art system and the development of the Zhen Ren 真人 (the “true” person).
In addition to affirmations from the oral tradition of Tomari village, there are further written testimonies concerning this image that come from Fujiwara Ryozo, Mark Bishop and Fernando P. Camara. Confirmation of the imagery from these numerous references illustrates that the image of the young woman denotes the spirit and essence of the forms. It illustrates the concepts of lightness, cunning and agility as the style of movement is light and strategic taking advantage of mobility and intelligence (from them it can be seen that the girl is the spirit of the school. It means lightness, cunning and agility. Our style is light and full of strategic movements).
The calligraphy of the five animals around Ng Mui coincide with the first five Taoist martial arts animals upon which further fighting styles were born. These Five Animals – Tiger, Crane, Dragon, Praying Mantis, and Snake – are revealed in many of the forms.
Both, the image of Ng Mui and the Chinese calligraphy, are superimposed on the Chinese symbol of Yin-Yang, the eternal energetic process of conversion and change. This imagery depicts the origins of two extremes from the center of Chaos. This symbol is embedded within the style, is based upon Daoism and Shamanism, and which is threaded through the entire fabric of this style. The two opposites of Yin and Yang are always in contrast with each other yet always in balance as they are constantly flowing from one to the other. The imagery of the stagnant Yin and Yang, is merely a “snapshot” in time as they are constantly in flux. Our style, like the universe, is constantly and infinitely changing following the natural cycle of Universal energy flow.
The affiliation to the Ahnan Tomari-te World Organization is open to all practitioners of every martial arts style, regardless of their degree. The main objective of this organization is to preserve and spread the Chinese origins of Okinawa’s karate.
The Ahnan Tomari-te World Organization is a non-profit organization and therefore does not collect any membership dues. The only cost is for the seminars members choose to attend. For more information please contact Rolando Kraeher by filling out the application online.
For more information on Ahnan Tomari-te World Organization – Europe Branch or if you are interested in hosting an internship in Europe, please contact Massimo Braglia by filling out the application online.
Within the curriculum of the Ahnan Tomari-te World Organization there are 15 original forms which make up a large portion of Okinawan karate kata. Some of the forms taught to ATWO affiliated members include:
|Chinese Name||Okinawan Name|
|Kuan Muan||Rohai (Meikyo)|
|Huang Kuang Tsou||Wanduan (Wando)|
|Kuan Yin Yang Pao||Wanshu (Enpi)|
Other kata found within the ATWO include several of the “lost” forms.
These and other forms are the core of the material that the Ahnan Tomari-te World Organization has dedicated to preserve and teach to future generations. The applications (sometimes multiple applications for a specific movement), the exact point to hit and the breathing techniques (where applicable) will be taught together with the forms.
Anko Itosu used these forms to create the five kata Pinan (Heian), Passai (Bassai) Dai and Sho, Jion, Jitte, Jiin, Wanshu (Enpi), Chinto (Gankaku), Chinte, Rohai (Meikyo), Wankan (Matsukaze). After finishing his new stylistic system, Itosu taught it to his students Gichin Funakoshi, Kenwa Mabuni, Choshin Chibana and others.
Ranking within the Ahnan Tomari-te World Organization is not via belt levels. Instead it is done the “old way, which means that ranking is based on the number of forms known by the practitioner. Ranking will be graded as follows:
- Advanced Student