There is a lot of information that has had to be put together piece by piece, from many different sources over the years. This may have caused some of the information here to be inaccurate. It has not been done to mislead anyone or to try to rewrite history.
When doing research for the bloodline, there was some information for Zhou Bei and Zhou Zi He, but not very much. There are lots of different reasons for this including inaccurate or missing personal records from those times, multiple name changes (that were not uncommon to do over the curse of a normal persons lifetime), the names were different due to the different dialect pronunciations and secret societies of that time did not want their members to be identified.
The following is a historical account of the lives of persons who have been or currently are part of the history or Pangai-Noon. Time has been spent to directly contact many of the persons listed below. However, due to mortality, some were unable to be contacted. The information has been gathered from multiple sources and only corroborating personal history has been placed here.
The new system likely passed from Chow Ah Naam to Zhou Bei while both studied at the Fukien temple during the late 1800’s. Chow and Zhou are variant spellings of the same name and the two monks may have been related. Very little is known about Zhou Bei expect that he was rumored to have been an active member of one of the many secret societies that were working to restore the Ming Dynasty to power. These secret societies were conceived with a high moral standard and often espoused high religious principals. Many of the memberships of these societies were Shaolin monks. As time passed, many of the organizations turned to more secular goals and after the rise of communism, these secular organizations became the forerunners of the modern day crime syndicates know in the west as the Triads.
Zhou Zi He
Zhou Zi He is considered the founder of Pangai-Noon Kung-Fu. He is credited with being the person to take different styles that he learned throughout his travels and blend them together.
There are three names associated with this master: Zhou Zi He, ShuuShabu, and Shushiwa. This is due to the different dialects of Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin, etc).
Zhou Zi He was born in 1874. In his early teens, he studied at the Fukien temple with his uncle Zhou Bei. Zhou Zi He studied with Zhou Bei for an unknown length of time. However, it is from the study of Chow Gar the three central forms were derived that became the basis for Pangai-Noon.
Eventually, Zhou Zi He met and began to study with HiXidi from the Shangdong Province. By his early to mid 20’s, Zhou Zi He was well versed in the arts of Chow Gar, Iron Palm and the five animal forms of Fukien Temple Boxing (Tiger, Leopard, Snake, Dragon and Crane). Master Zhou bundles all these styles together into the three central forms learned Zhou Bei and called the style Nan-Pa Toro Ken or Southern Group Mantis Fist. The name confirms its close relationship to the Southern Mantas Kung-Fu.
Zhou Zi He was a wandering Taoist monk that would travel from village to village despising herbs and remedies. From time to time during his travels, he would take on students to teach both the healing arts as well as Kung-Fu.
Zhou Zi He remained a spiritual man and directed his energies towards art and healing through his adult life. Master Zhou died in 1926 at the age of 52.
Kanbun Uechi was born on May 5 1877 in Izumi, a mountain village on the Motobu peninsula in northern Okinawa. Kanbun’s family was of samurai decent and as a young man was very familiar with the local martial arts propagated by his ancestors. In 1896 at the age of 19, Kanbun left home for the Fukien province in southern China to escape Japanese Military conscription and further his study of the martial arts.
Kanbun Uechi studied for less than a year at Kugusku Dojo with another Okinawan named MaKabei. In 1897 Kanbun met and resolved to study under a wandering Taoist monk named Zhou Zi He. After training for daily for 7 years, and in 1904 Kanbun received his certification from Zhou Zi He in Nan-Pa Toro Ken (Southern Group Mantis Fist).
Please note that the Boxer Rebellion took place in 1901 and during that time Kanbun and Zhou Zi He were traveling together as “wandering monks”. They are said to have sustained themselves on donations while administering healing herbs to those in need. It is possible that may have been participating in the rebellion in one fashion or another. This theory is given more credibility by Zhou Zi He’s training and history at the Fukien temple as well as his ties to the Chow Gar system and the families it represents.
Kanbun Uechi continued to study and travel with Zhou Ze He until 1905 when he was given permission to open his own Dojo. The school opened in Nanching in 1907, and that was no easy task. Whenever a student had studied for many years and felt they were ready to teach, they would ask their teachers permission. If and when it was granted, the student would find an area that they wanted to teach in and would publicly demonstrate their Katas every day for six months. The demonstration served a very important purpose. It was a test to see if there were any masters watching during that period and see if the form was good enough. If it was not good enough then the student would return to their teacher and resume their studies for several more years before returning to try again. If by the end of the six months the prospective teacher had a following, then those who wished to learn from him would go and prepare a Dojo and a place to live. The new teacher would then be formally invited to his new home and school. Unfortunately, Kanbun’s school only lasted until 1909. Legend states that one of his students killed a neighbor over a land dispute. There a two different reasons for this land dispute, wither it was over the placement of a fence or a well. Whatever the reason, the end result was that Kanbuan Uechi was disgraced by the incident. In that same year, Kanbun closed the school and moved back to Okinawa, vowing never to teach again.
In 1910, Kanbun Uechi married Toyama Gozei. Between the years of 1911 to 1923, the couple was blessed with their first son Kanei Uechi, two daughters, Tame Uechi and Tsuru Uechi and their second son Kansei Uechi.
During his time on Okinawa, Kanbun Uechi was approached by many possible students and asked to teach. He would always deny any involvement in the martial arts and send them away. Every year the Motobu police department had a large celebration and would invite all the local schools to demonstrate. All the other schools wanted to see what, if anything, Kanbun knew. So the mayor was approached and asked to force Kanbun’s hand and demonstrate at the festival. A plan was put into place that would insure that Kanbun attended and was seated so near the stage that when the mayor asked to see a demonstration, any refusal would result in Kanbun loosing face. The plot worked, and with the other teachers playfully pushing, Kanbun walked onto the stage. Eyes glaring, Kanbun performed the Kata SeiSan very fast and beautiful, with strength and power. After he finished and jumped down from the stage, the martial art program ended. No one else wanted to follow Kanbun’s demonstration. In 1924 Kanbun had to support his growing family and left Okinawa to take a job in Wakayama, Japan. The job was working at a cotton mill as a janitor. It was during his time in Wakayama that he was finally convinced to teach again.
Athough Kanbun Uechi was not a religious man, he was very suppositious. While he was in China, a fortune teller had told him that he would not die until the age of 88. Kanbun believed this foretelling so strongly that it cost him his life at the age of 71. It was just after the Second World War, and Okinawa’s living conditions left much to be desired. Along with many other Okinawans, Kunbun contracted a kidney disorder that a doctor could have remedied. However, Kanbun believed that he was going to live until he was 88, so it was not necessary for him to get treatment. On November 25, 1947 Kanbun Uechi suddenly stood up and got into a SanChin stance. Focusing every muscle in his body he yelled out “It isn’t time, you can’t have me!” He then fell to the floor and died.
Ryuyu Tomoyose was born on Okinawa in 1900. At the age of 24, while working at a cotton mill in Wakayama, Japan, he met 47 year old Kanbun Uechi. Ryuyu lived next door to Kanbun in the same compound. The two would often talk and it became clear to Ryuyu that Kanbun knew something about martial arts. However, Kanbun still refused to teach. In an attempt to convince Kanbun to teach him, Ryuyu would tell stories that he was being bullied and needed a means to defend himself. Kanbun was reluctant at first, claming that he didn’t know anything. But over time, the stories convinced Kanbun to show Ryuyu some techniques and to eventually take him on as a student. The name that Kanbun called the art was Pangai-Noon, and it was the first time that the art was taught outside of China. There is no way of knowing weather the stories that Ryuyu told Kanbun were truthful or a cleaver ruse to get Kanbun to share what he knew. What is known is that the end result was Kanbun began to teach Pangai-Noon again.
It took two more years befor Ryuyu was able to convince Kanbun to teach the public, saying that if he did not teach, the art would die out. Finally Kanbun consented and Ryuyu was able to recruit many students, almost all of which were of Okinawan decent.
Ryuyu Tomoyose studied only two Katas during his training, SanChin and SeiSan, and taught those forms throughout the rest of his life.
Kanei Uechi was born on June 26, 1911. In 1930 at the age of 19 he joined his father in Wakayama, Japan. He studied with his father and Ryuyu Tomoyose for the next 11 years. In 1940 Kanei received his certification in Pangai-Noon.
For the next 2 years, Kanei tried to start and run his own Dojo in Osaka.Eventually, in 1942, Kanei moved to Nago, Okinawa and settled down as a farmer.
Eventually Ryuko Tomoyose met back up with Kanei Uechi and together they opened a school in Gonowin city. It was during this time that Pangai-Noon was finally taught on the island of Okinawa. In 1957, Kanei moved the Dojo to Futenma and renamed the system Uechi-Ryu, in honor of his father.
In 1959 Kanei received his Masters Certificate from Ryuyu Tomoyose. In 1967 he received the rank of Judan (10th degree) from both the Zen Nihon Karate-Do and the Zen Okinawa Karate-Do Renmei.
Kanei Uechi was elected president of the All Okinawan Federation in 1975. Kanei was one of the few martial art leaders on Okinawa that saw the importance of sharing the art with the rest of the world. Master Uechi and Tomoyose were among some of the first on Okinawa to teach outsiders, including U.S. military service personnel.
Kanei Uechi died in 1991. His son, Kanmei Uechi took over the Uechi Ryu Karate Do Association from his father. Unfortunately, this decision was unpopular to some and it caused a rift in the organization. The separation into different independent entities resulted in the founding of Shohei-Ryu Karate.
Ryuko Tomoyose was born in 1929 in Ie Village. He lived in Okinawa with his grandparents. At the age of 13, while attending school, he we instructed in Shorin-Ryu. He noted that “I would see my father’s Karate, and it looked very different. So I wanted to do a different style from school.” This led him to study Goju Ryu with the founder Chojun Miyagi. His teaching came about after a brief question and answer session where it was discovered who his father was. He began his studies and trained for about 18 months in 1942. In 1946 when Kanbu Uechi returned to Okinawa was when his training in Uechi Ryu began. This was at the Futenma Dojo.
During the 1950’s Ryuko began to lead a number of classes for U.S. Military personnel stationed in Okinawa. Around 1956 Ryuko Tomoyose began to teach a young marine named Allan Horton and is credited with introducing him to the martial arts.
Ryuko Tomoyose offset his martial studies with that of calligraphy. He became a very accomplished calligrapher and much of his work can still be found.
In 1999, after the split in Uechi Ryu, Ryuko Tomoyose was awarded KyuDan in Shohei-Ryu Karate. In 2000, he had the honor bestowed upon him of being “Recognized as Intangible Cultural Asset holder in the Field of Okinawan Karate and Martial Arts with Weaponry by Okinawa Prefecture.”
Allan Horton began his studies in 1958 while on Okinawa, stationed there as a Marine. His studies were in Uechi-Ryu under the watchful eye of Master Ryuko Tomoyose. From time to time he also trained at main dojo with Master Kanei Uechi.
In 1959, Allan Horton traveled to Japan and visited the head Goju-Ryu Dojo. There he met with Master Gogen Yamaguchi (the cat man) head of the Goju-Ryu system. Also at this time Allan went to the Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong visiting various schools.
In 1960 Allan Horton missed his Black Belt test by one month due to his Marine unit returning stateside. He was awarded his brown belt.
Allan Horton was discharged from service in 1961 with Honorable & Good conduct medal. He returned home to Kalamazoo Michigan and began teaching in the basement of his home. Over time he also taught in other places such as the local armory, school gyms, and colleges.
During 1963, Allan Horton opened a school in Kalamazoo Michigan with Bill Keith (who eventually received a NiDan under Allen Horton). At this time Allen was Mid-west director for the Okinawan Uechi-Ryu Karate Federation. There are to this day still schools located in that area.
In 1966 Allan Horton traveled to Boston Massachusetts where he was finally promoted to ShoDan. Then in 1970 he tested and was promoted to NiDan by George Mattson.
Allan Horton moved to Three Rivers Michigan in 1972 and established a school there. He formally broke away from the Uechi Federation and joined with Ernest Lieb to form the American Karate Association (A.K.A.). Later that same year he began training under Tadashi Yamashita, a 7th Dan and chief examiner for the Okinawan Shorin-Ryu system who was appointed Head Instructor for the A.K.A. Tadashi Yamashita tested Allan Horton and promoted him to GoDan, find that he was under ranked.
At the All Style Open National Karate Tournament in 1973, held in Milwaukee Wisconsin, Allan Horton took 1st place in Kata and 2nd place in weapons demonstration. In 1980 Allan Horton relocated to Bradenton Florida.
Shi-Han Homer Ordaz promoted Allan Horton to GoDan in Uechi-Ryu in 1996 and to 7th Dan by Ernest Lieb in 2005.
Shi-Han Allan Horton, who is also a Pentecostal Minister, has headed and taught Kung-Fu for the Christian Pangai-Noon Federation since the mid 1970’s. He is the current Grand Master of this branch of Pangai-Noon.
David Heaton was born on September 22,1949 in Mason, West Virginia.
In 1981 David Heaton moved to Florida. It was there that David met and began training with Shi-Han Allen Horton. His studies resulted in Shi-Han Allen Horton awarding David with his ShoDan in 1984, NiDan in 1986 and SanDan in 1989.
In 1996, Sensei David Heaton had the good fortune to be awarded the rank of SanDan in Uechi-Ryu by Sensei Homer Ordaz.
In 1998, Shi-Han Allan Horton awarded David Heaton his YonDan. Four years later Sensei David Heaton received a promotion to GoDan and received an Instruction Certificate in Pangai-Noon from Shi-Han Allen Horton.
Sensei Dave Heaton teaches ongoing Pangai-Noon classes in Palmetto Florida. These classes focus on the three central Katas and two weapons forms (Bo staff and Nunchaku).
A REMEMBRANCE FROM SHIHAN ALLAN BENTLEY:
“I began training in 1973 at the Sarasota Tae Kwon Do School of self defense. I fought locally (central Florida) and was undefeated. I was awarded my Black belt in June of 1975. I defeated Lane Hendrix who went on to fight for the middle weight championship here in Florida. I also was training in free style, working a little with Mike and Amy Hancock and also with Michael Green, a free style black belt here in Bradenton. I also began training with Alan Horton’s son Mike before I met Al.”
“I finally met Al while visiting my Grandmother and of course he had heard of me and invited me to his dojo for some sparring. I met with him at his dojo and brought all my gear, mitts, feet pads etc. Al advised me that he didn’t utilize padding and that he preferred no protection which I thought very odd? Nonetheless I figured I would make short work of a minister that appeared a little over weight and of course older. I left the session completely bewildered and beaten. From that day forth I became a Pangai-Noon practitioner. There was no dancing foot work, no flying kicks, no spinning techniques and every time I threw something at him he hurt me with blocks. I spent about 10 years with Al. After 10 years, I left with a wealth of knowledge and as you know continue to practice and teach the kata and techniques as they were taught to me.”
Allen Bentley began his martial studies in Tae Kwon Do. He achieved a black belt rank in 1975 and in 1978 he achieved a black belt in free style fighting. He was introduced to Pangai-Noon 1982. It was at this time that he began his lifelong study of this system under Shi-Han Allan Horton.
Shi-Han Allen Bentley began teaching Pangai-Noon with Shi-Han Allan Horton and Shi-Han David Heaton in the mid-eighties at the Gospel Center on 51st Ave. E. in Oneco, Florida. Through the years, the dojo has been moved to Palmetto, Bradenton, E. Bradenton, and is currently at his home dojo in Myakka City, Florida.
Shi-Han Allen Bentley received his 1st through 3rd Dan ranks under Shi-Han Allan Horton and in accordance with the Pangai-Noon Dan Ranking timeline, earned his YonDan in 1993, GoDan in 1998, RokuDan in 2003, and is currently a ShichiDan, which he earned in 2010.
The system has taken many personal turns for Shi-Han Allen Bentley. He has taken Pangai-Noon Hojo Undo strength training to a more demanding level, merging it with his dedicated study of fighting. Shi-Han Bentley holds sacred the adage that remains true in any survival situation, “The Strong Survive”
Michael Revell started studying in 1988 at the age of 15. Michael trained with Sensei Allen Bently for three years, and at the age of 18 was awarded his ShoDan and instructor status (Black Belt). He had learned 8 Katas, 6 open hand katas and 2 weapons katas.
In 1991, Sensei Michael Revell taught Pangai-Noon at the Majestic Oaks Farm as part of a summer camp program.
In 1995 while teaching a class at the Olympian Gym in Bradenton, Florida, Sensei Allen Bentley introduced him to Shi-Han Allan Horton. After observing the class, ShiHan Allan Horton invited Sensei Michael Revell to move the class to his Dojo and study with him. At this point, Sensei Michael Revell began an in-depth study of the three central forms (SanChin, SeiSan and SanSeiRyu) that lead to a new level of understanding of Pangai-Noon. Sensei Michael Revell studied regularly with Shi-Han for two years and sporadically then after.
Sensei Michael maintained the long tradition of teaching his classes out of his home. He continually taught classes in the Sarasota, Bradenton and Port Charlotte areas for many years. It is this dedication to the tradition of a “Family Art” that he has upheld and passed on to his students. He currently teaches in Tallahassee Florida and waits till his sons are old enough to begin their studies in Pangai-Noon and continue the “Family Art” that Sensei Michael Revell has continually promoted.
As of January 6, 2011, ShiHan Allan Bentley formally recognized Sensei Michael Revell’s years of dedicated study of the art and awarded him a promotion to the rank of GoDan.
- For more information, please visit: www.tallyfamilymartialarts.com
Eddie Sosa began studying Pangai-Noon with Sensei Michael Revell in February 1995. Eddie tested for his yellow belt in September 1995.
Late in 1995, Sensei Michael Revell had a chance to study under Shi-Han Allan Horton. Eddie Sosa joined those classes and in 1996 had the fortune to test for his green belt under the watchful eyes of both Sensei Michael Revell and Shi-Han Allan Horton.
Eddie’s training continued under Shi-Han Allan Horton and was awarded his brown belt in 1997, the honor of ShoDan in July 1998, and NiDan in September 1999.
After a 2-year hiatus in Maui Hawaii, Eddie Sosa retuned to the area and to Pangai-Noon classes with Shi-Han Allan Horton and Sensei David Heaton. In April 2006, Eddie was promoted to SanDan.
Eddie’s dedication has seen him awareded YonDan by Sensei David Heaton on April 7, 2011.
Sensei Eddie Sosa currently is teaching along side Sensei David Heaton in Palmetto. He has had the rare honor of studying under three different generations of teachers, and been able to witness the evolution of the art, katas and philosophies of Pangai-Noon.
Cody Bentley began his studies in 1997 under the instruction of his father, Sensei Allen Bentley and awarded his ShoDan in 2002. He is currently conducting classes alongside his father at the Bentley families traditional Dojo in Bradenton, Florida.
Brian Nell started studying Pangai-Noon under Sensei Michael Revell in September 1999. This was at Sensei Michael’s Dojo on Siesta Drive. Brian moved to Portland Oregon for 2 years, continuing to practice the katas that he was taught up till then. When Brian returned to Sarasota, Sensei Michael had moved to Port Charlotte where he resumed his studies.
Sensei Brian Nell received from Sensei Michael Revell his ShoDan on October 2, 2003, his NiDan on December 21, 2005, SanDan on December 21, 2008, and most recently his ShiDan on January 6, 2013. Sensei Brian was instructing at some of the parks around Sarasota, and at Sensei Josh’s house. When completed on October 13, 2006, he moved into his personal Dojo. Since the Dojo is clad in cypress, it was named Makibashira (真木柱), which is from a poem in “The Tale of Genji” and means “cypress pillar”.
One of the tasks Sensei Michael Revell gave to Sensei Brian Nell during his studies was to use the graphic skills he acquired at Ringling School of Art and Design to collect the history and make it available to all. With the age of the Internet, he has been able to gather and archive information that prior would never have been know to others. He will continue my gather and present it to whoever wants to read it.
Josh Harrold began a serious study of Pangai-Noon in 1999. Sensei Harrold overcame many difficulties and hardships since his initial introduction to the art. Despite challenges, he persevered and achieved his ShoDan in 2004.
Currently Sensei Josh is studying Arnis (a system of Filipino stick fighting) under Guru James Eddings.