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#105322 - 01/31/04 12:56 PM History Question..
Aku-Do Bushi Offline

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 46
Loc: NJ
My question is as follows:

Did The Kara-Te schools of old Okinawa, fight in matches against each other? Like rivals would in a sense..
Thanks in advance

#105323 - 02/02/04 06:44 AM Re: History Question..
kempocos Offline

Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 516
Loc: flemington,nj,usa
From what I have heard/read it was more like vilage vs village. But I would bet it would also go to RYU's as well.

#105324 - 02/03/04 07:34 AM Re: History Question..
Kotetsu Offline

Registered: 04/17/03
Posts: 314
Loc: Hollis, NH, USA
The villages and schools could be to a degree like rivals. Usually it would be the best student or master fighting/competing against eachother, as a representative of the school. Some schools/villages were more freindly would be the term i guess, and wouldn't do that against eachother as much.

#105325 - 02/04/04 07:40 PM Re: History Question..
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
To the best of my knowledge, except for antidotal evidence of individual fights, there is no evidence that there was organized karate violence.

Karate before the modern era, say 1915 or so, was very small and very individual almost student to instructor. There were no Ryu-ha. The advent of formalizes schools when karate moved to Japan and any issues between those groups, was a Japanese issue, not on its Okinawan origins.

Especially as there is almost no written documentation on the history of karate, as the arts were taught non-verbally, there is literally nothing that can be used as proof to substantiate these tales.

The closest is Richard Kim's 'The Weaponless Warriors' that I understand may just be a translation of part of a text originally written in Okinawa by Shimabuku Ezio, who tried to pull oral legend together.

Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

#105326 - 02/06/04 07:50 AM Re: History Question..
kempocos Offline

Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 516
Loc: flemington,nj,usa
I do not see contests having to be called KARATE violence. I am not sying it was like the movies where the guy walks and slaps the master around. I believe from what I have read that there were contests in market places and such . Okinawia had fighting systems such a TE, they had to be proven in some format. I am sure there were also some challange matchs in history.

#105327 - 02/06/04 08:01 AM Re: History Question..
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
According to Nagamine (see his Tales of Okinawa's Great Masters) there was competition between towns in Sumo, the Okinawan variant of wrestling. Those were town sponsored competitions.

But Karate before 1900 was a very small activity. Likely some people did 'test' themselves but there does not seem to be any evidence of more than demonstrations being given, such as the one Pat McCarty wrote about in the mid 1800's.

The issue of 'Ti' (and variant spellings) is difficult, but it appears to be training used by the King's guards and such. How much Ti influenced Karate, which appears to have Chinese origins, remains speculation. The arts using the Ti designation today are different, though it appears Karate has influenced them.

Where almost everything on Okinawa was kept non-verbal, including very, very little technical vocabulary for those arts (what you can't say you can't spill to outsiders).

So there are just the tales, the oral history, and even that seems to indicate karate use was minor.

Of course if you have more compelling evidence I would be very interested in seeing it.

The past seems most valuable if it gives us lessons to move forward, and less valuable to worry about intensly, at least to my way of thinking.


Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu


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