Higa Peechin

Higa Peechin (比嘉 親雲上?) (1790–1870), often called Machuu Hijaa (マチュー ヒジャー?) is a semi-legendary martial artist in Okinawan history who was a direct influence on the development of karate and kobudo, especially with respect to bōjutsu. Pechin (親雲上, Peechin?) 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 chu'an fa.

Okinawan history relied mainly on oral tradition prior to the 20th century, so it is difficult to separate fact and fiction (or embellishment). 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 (157 cm) tall and weighed about 140 pounds (64 kg). Legends state that Matsu Higa with his bo stood up to the head-hunters of Formosa and to Japanese pirates from the north and never lost a battle.

What is known, however, is that Matsu Higa was the teacher of Takahara Peechin, who in turn taught Sakugawa Kanga. Matsu Higa was one of the first to codify a system of kata and techniques. His contributions live on in several weapons katas, especially for tonfa, sai, and bo.