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#186802 - 09/18/05 04:11 AM Why were different styles created???
GojuRyuboy13 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 538
Loc: U.S. of A.
This, I suppose, is more of a history lesson that some of you may be able to provide. I want the to focus mainly on Japanese styles.
I know there are many and was wondering where they came from and why there are so many. Like Judo and Jiujitsu, they are similar yet different. What with that.
All the styles of Karate, Shotokan, Goju, Isshinryu, ect. Why did the "creators" feel that it was necessary to have a certain style?

I don't really understand why the "Masters" had different styles. What started this?

This is probably a really vague Q. and hard to answer. I barely understand why I posted it myself, but I am bored. So, what ya gonna do except try and think of something clever to post.
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#186803 - 09/18/05 10:41 AM Re: Why were different styles created??? [Re: GojuRyuboy13]
BigRod Offline
Does it all

Registered: 02/10/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Difference of opinion, desire to have one's own school, beliefs that a given system is flawed or outdated, the reasons are many.

You would have to discover the motivation of the creator of each individual style, and since most of them are dead, good luck.

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#186804 - 09/18/05 11:19 AM Re: Why were different styles created??? [Re: BigRod]
BuDoc Offline
The doctor will see you now

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1067
Loc: USA and Abroad
I agree with what Big Rod said, but I will elaborate a litte.

Imagine Sensei GojuRyuBoy, that you have 3 top students. Each has been training with you for 30+ years. Each has a different body type, social standing(upper,middle,lower class),lives in different parts of town, different levels of education, etc. The only thing they really have in common is "your" Karate.

Now your dead(sad but true)! Which one is heir to your teachings. Each has adopted modifications to your style to fit their own personal needs and circumstnces. And they will pass along their interpretations to their own students.

Often 2 out of the 3 will get disgruntled that another was left "the hands of your teaching", and create their own systems based largely on their own interpretations(right or wrong) of the base that you provided them.

Getting back to what Big Rod said. Some will maintain the old ways for traditions sake, while others will move forward and meet a more modern need, laying aside out dated techniques.

This begins a cycle of the top students of your top stuents doing the same.

This is how you get so many different Ryu-ha from one main System.

Hope this helps.

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#186805 - 09/18/05 11:50 AM Re: Why were different styles created??? [Re: BuDoc]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
There is also the social context surrounding the development of an art. For instance, Jigoro kano was a school teacher and part of the development of judo (as I understand it)was to create a reasonably safe system which could be taught to academic students (even women and girls). As I understand, jujitsu had a bad name at the time from its association with thugs. Similar things happened with Mestre Bimba's codification of Capoerra regional.

Add to this the growing exposure to other systems and a need for a particular system to develop to meet the challenges of other styles.
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#186806 - 09/18/05 01:00 PM Re: Why were different styles created??? [Re: GojuRyuboy13]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
In one way or another, everyone eventually creates their own style of fighting whether they set out with that intentional goal or not. From what I've read and think, it seems that in the past, creaters of styles didn't set out to do so, but instead pursued interests and opportunities from teachers of differing philosophies which developed into their own fighting system long before it was given a name. I've heard that they used to refer to the 'style' based on the person doing it, 'Higashionna naha-te' for instance.
When Okinawans were merging with the Japanese empire during the reconstruction period (Meiji 1860's-1910's), the Japanese insisted the styles be categorized by 'school' (Ryu) as oppossed to the community-based family naming of styles. The naming of customized styles continued just as always, however, now they had 'Ryu' tacked on and the family name was replaced with basically a logo-name. now, enter in the politics which BuDoc mentioned.
Add laissez-faire capitalism to the mix and you get a brand name for everything from repackaged Ryu's to fighting range (sport, SD, performance). and everything in-between...the ones that bubble to the surface and are still around and talked about after say, 50 years or so, are the 'successful' styles - the ones that have lasted longer are the ones most likely worth taking a look at.

so, it's not as though everyone having their own style is anything new...it's also nothing new that some styles will work better for some and will be less effective for others. What IS new, is, in the past, if you claimed you had your own style, it would have been stress-tested. Now the only test is if you can think of a catchy name. My personal choice is to go with the styles that have been around for a while with as little deviation from that method as possible. I wouldn't for instance, invest my time in something created 2 years ago called 'Rex Kwan Do' which has a base philosophy of 'break the wrist, walk away.' lol
A person has to make their own decision as to what is worth pursuing and how credible and applicable the style is to you.

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#186807 - 09/18/05 01:02 PM Re: Why were different styles created??? [Re: BuDoc]
Ironfoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 2682
Loc: St. Clair Shores, MI USA
And to further elaborate on BuDoc, say instead of tabbing one of those three students as your successor, the torch gets passed to... your technically inferior son! In that case, who could blame the three.
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#186808 - 09/18/05 01:11 PM Re: Why were different styles created??? [Re: Ironfoot]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
We've also overlooked one possible point so far, civic pride. Here's the scenario: The grandmaster has his top three students. He dies. One student inherits the system leadership, so the other two move to other areas to teach their own students. One of those teachers die and leaves the school to his top student. That student learns another kata or a few new combinations, adds them to the style, renames the style, and viola! you have a "new" style born in that region, so all the people become attached to it. Also related to that is that MA do change over time to fill the needs of the practitioners. AKK is probably the best example of that. One of the things that EP did was to codify and organize his entire system in a form that Americans would understand and accept more easily. By teaching his arts in a fashion that allowed for business practices, and the expectation that you could make money at it after enough time, he introduced a style, that while Asian in origins, was American in concept.

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#186809 - 09/18/05 01:20 PM Re: Why were different styles created??? [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
Bushi, thats basically what I mean whenever I say 'repackaging' - a reorg of curriculum and maybe some renaming, but the fighting style has no significant advances in practice (but perhaps changes in concept with the way it is explained).

side note: When MA's were being introduced to the West in large numbers...the people who could best translate/explain the concepts and maybe a dash of telling people what they wanted to hear, were the ones to win popularity.

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#186810 - 09/18/05 01:39 PM Re: Why were different styles created??? [Re: Kintama]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
Unfortunately, you can't completely limit the topic to JMA, as any MA born in a larger area is going to split and branch off more. The FMA are a good example of that. Why is it that only in modern times do we see the branching off of multiple lineages in Kali styles? The obvious answer is that FMA didn't leave the islands until more recent times, which meant that everyone learned basically the same thing from one generation to the next. To be the top guy, you had to be the best, and moving to the next village didn't create any leeway for that.

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#186811 - 09/18/05 01:46 PM Re: Why were different styles created??? [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
I'm thinking there were just as much 'branching off' in the past as today, except now, there are a larger number of people doing the branching.
I don't think it's a bad thing...just makes it harder for the student to choose what flavor is right for them.

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