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#140915 - 05/11/05 12:21 AM Re: Defining Karate [Re: Camilo_kun]
SANCHIN31 Offline
Former Moderator

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3783
Loc: Arkansas, U.S.
Okinawan influenced karate is the "real" karate ,not Japanese. Budo or no Budo.
Skinny,Bald,and Handsome! Fightingarts Warrior of the year

#140916 - 05/11/05 12:57 AM Re: Defining Karate [Re: SANCHIN31]
Camilo_kun Offline

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 19
Loc: Chile
Gichin Funakoshi (Japanese, 1868-1957) is the father of the karate do, he was a studen of Yasutsune Azato (Okinawa).
I speak spanish, sorry my bad spelling :P

#140917 - 05/11/05 01:25 AM Re: Defining Karate [Re: Victor Smith]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
other thoughts:
A major shift in training method when Karate was so-named, was from individual training to mass public training. It was a relatively fast, forced and unnatural change instead of the Art developing in it's own time and place.
And shortly following, a similar magnitude of training method shift after WWII, where profit became a factor of training method for the first time.

If that is fair to say, then could these shifts only describe mainstream and say nothing about an individual practitioner?

Is it possible to sift through the fog and realize the essence thru given kata, rigerous study and time? Isn't there an element of the Art that will never be obtainable since our time and place is vastly different from those with the original intent? In order to survive, an Art must be impervious to changes in time and place... so,
wouldn't that mean we have to pursue our own intent?

I think that is where the real value of any quest in Art resides... just like in life: It's not about the destination, it's about the journey there.

#140918 - 05/11/05 02:11 AM Re: Defining Karate [Re: Kintama]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Victor Smith and Kintama,

If we take Victor's definition as quintessential, what about all of Karate's lesser siblings that have lineage but trace their ancestory through other Japanese connections? Isn't karate's definition large enough to house, no matter how extended from home, the lesser stepchildren of Okinawan Karate?

What you have listed as definition and characteristic of Karate might be a listing of what is seen by most, but not all. If Karate is a grouping of rules for a work of great art, sometimes the heart doesn't lie within a particular piece, but with the viewer. And the truths that are exposed are therefore determined in their own time, and in their own place, specifically for those who look at those works of art.

Time changes many things, including our appreciation and understanding of artistic endeavors. Therefore, the viewer may illicit a different understanding and appreciate the work differently than his predescessors since his needs are now different. But just because the newer patron of the arts puts the blocks together differently, or uses fewer blocks to produce his own work, can you not say that this is not the same art? A rose by any other name smells as sweet.



#140919 - 05/11/05 02:14 AM Re: Defining Karate [Re: Camilo_kun]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts


Karate is still karate if you train to kick butt, karate is a very real and brutal method of kicking butt.

Man!!! no, no!!
I'm a begginer of karate budo shotokai, and all that i learn is that karate is for my spirit, mint and soul. I hope never have to use karate for fight...
All you people that use karate for fight, for kick ass and stuff are really practicing a "american influenced karate" (in other words, not the real karate). In shotokai they teach us like Master Egami, the karate is for auto knowledge and confidence.
I think that Budo Shotokai (and shotokan) are the real Japanese Karate. The real essence of karate is not for "kick ass" you know?

wow...I just read this. I don't want to I'll just say, read up on your Karate history cam_kun, focus on the history right before the Japanese come into the picture...THAT would be your 'real karate'.
Boris the Irresistable Monstrosity.

#140920 - 05/11/05 05:47 AM Re: Defining Karate [Re: Kintama]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
Several further thoughts.

When I began my definition of karate (kata and time) I didn't draw lines that it was just the Okinawan versions, trying to find a common ground for discussion.

I don't believe trying to distinguish that Okinawan is good and say Japanese (or American) is bad, has relevance. There are many different flavors within my definition.

But at the same time I avoid additional distinctions. like the 'Do' definition, even though many on Okinawan have adopted it, simply because outside of verbage I don't really believe it applies to say any of the Japanese systems.

For those that belive karate is a 'karate-do', or way of betterment, they have a lot of reconciling to do with the actual actions of those who claim to be '-do'.

I accept ALL karate, focusing on kata study and/or a great amount of time to understand any of the approaches, is a tool to better the human spirit, become more efficient as a means to drop an opponent with different visions how the tool may be used, and a whole lot more.

Karate really represents innumerable layers of study, self-actualization of mind and body, and many other things.
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#140921 - 05/11/05 08:01 AM Re: Defining Karate [Re: butterfly]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
butterfly, how does Victor's description exclude any practice...(kata & time)? Are there versions of Karate which do not have kata? If they don't have kata, is it really Karate?

also, I understand your point and I was not trying to distinguish between any versions of practice... I was trying to define Karate thru it's intent, which (in my opinion) is based on the individual.

Instead of everyone trying to come to a concensus (we will not) of what Karate is, maybe we simply give our own descriptions...and the total sum of our answers will be closer to the actual definition?

It would be unfortunate if this thread went into a spiraling debate...what would that say about us as students of our study?

only one opinion.

#140922 - 05/11/05 10:19 AM Re: Defining Karate [Re: Kintama]
nenipp Offline

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1205
I call my training karate, if someone claims it's not, I wouldn't mind.
If someone on the other hand chooses to call their own training karate, I won't try to refuse them the right to do so, whatever their training looks like.
I mean it's just a name, what's the big deal (if there is any)?

#140923 - 05/11/05 12:10 PM Re: Defining Karate [Re: nenipp]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH

What Names Mean

In answer to your question why canít I choose to call what I practice/teach as I wish, the answer is in the reason one names anything, clear communications

Ben Franklin in the movie 1776 made the point while you might call an Ox a Bull, and the Ox might enjoy the title, but he would rather have restored what he is missing instead of the name.

But names to mean something. I one has created something they believe has worth and value, and I assume it does, why pick a name from something else to describe it.

Itís like Iíve seen plenty of Tae Kwon Do and Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan schools in towns advertise they teach multiple arts (including karate) when in reality they only teach their art, and are using the names to pull in the gullible public that doesnít understand the distinction involved. I could care less about the public, itís always craveat emptor (let the buyer beware) anyway, but it is insulting claiming that which you are not to those that practice the art youíre not doing.

The simple definition for karate (kata and time) I used can cover a very wide variety of training and answers, but itís not an arbitrary one. The major issue isnít kata, the heart, its time, the soul of karate training.

If somebody creates a new system of training, even if they create a whole bunch of kata with it, and desire to duplicate karateís aims, it would still take decades to prove they were karate. Because the subtle layers of training take a very long time to address. Itís why I donít take new black belts and make them instructors, they donít really know enough. And unless youíve trained for decades and have taught people for decades, itís really difficult to explain where the training leads to those who donít have the same time in the art.

So a solid definition of karate leads to somewhat clearer communications as discussion ensues.

And after all calling an Ox a Bull doesnít make it a Bull after all.
Calling some set of training karate may feel good, but I truly question that is the correct name,

victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#140924 - 05/11/05 03:50 PM Re: Defining Karate [Re: Kintama]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Kintama, again the question would be kata and the definition of kata. The kata I have seen has been manyfold and some would insist that shadow boxing and other solo exercises could be considered kata.

I have seen kata and its changes as dictated by other styles. So if kata is malleable and has different aspects and considerations within different styles of karate, can kata (and then of course, which kata) be held as a the main characteristic defining karate?

Some katas have changed little, and then some a lot (note Shotokan's take on things). And then there are other katas that have been made recently for certain more modern styles of karate (Enshin Karate for instance). And then of course the Chinese progenitors of the Okinawan katas. Which versions have more truth? And which training model would one go for to learn the defense side of kata. Could Bunkai be provided sans kata as discrete movements per application and then be drilled in this manner alone? Wouldn't these be subdivisions of kata with actual utility in mind?

Just some questions.

Warmest regards,

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