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  • Higa Peechin, often called Machuu Hijaa is a semi-legendary martial artist in Ryūkyūan history who was a direct influence on the development of karate and kobudo, especially with respect to bōjutsu. Pechin is social class of Ryūkyū Kingdom. A resident of the island of Hama Higa, he was perhaps a student of the Chinese emissaries Zhang Xue Li and later Wanshu, who would have taught him techniques of quan fa. Ryūkyūan history relied mainly on oral tradition prior to the 20th century, so it is difficult to separate fact and fiction. It is said that Matsu Higa had forearms like tree trunks and that he could crush a coconut in his bare hands, though he stood only 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighed about 140 pounds. Legends state that Matsu Higa with his bō stood up to the head-hunters of Formosa and to Japanese pirates from the north and never lost a battle. What has turned out to be a big misunderstanding, however, is that Matsu Higa was the teacher of Takahara Peechin, who in turn taught Sakugawa Kanga. Takahara Peechin died 30 years before Matsu Higa was born. Matsu Higa was one of the first to codify a system of kata and techniques.

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