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#217707 - 12/27/05 10:46 PM Do Traditionalists have it backwards?
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
(I guess I should start w/ a disclaimer):
I was trained in traditional karate - white Gi, regulated Kata, respect/reverance for lineage. Until a few years ago, I never questioned all that I learned &, in turn, taught.

One of the reasons I left my former sensei was because of the emphasis on competition. My life experience included many physical altercations due to the nature of my work. I realized that something was amiss w/ the S-D aspect of my art by training to master competition skills.

I imagine that in the old days, the good fighters were known, not because of tournaments but through real-life encounters & challenges. So if one was a tough karate-ka, he would put his skill to the test. But as Te became Karate & the culture of Kendo & Judo began to influence Karate, rules for safe competition needed to be developed.

Now we have thousands & thousands of karate-ka (from traditional to "Krotty") training for competition & only after they no longer have a desire or ability to compete, do they seek the deeper elements within kata (if ever).

Keep in mind that millions more quit long before they develop an interest/curiosity to look deeper. Maybe they weren't successful in competition or advance fast enough. Now they will never assimilate the core of MA which is self-defense.

So should we train the Gendai (traditional) way or the Classical (orthodox) way?

owari

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#217708 - 12/27/05 10:55 PM Re: Do Traditionalists have it backwards? [Re: hedkikr]
Subedei Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/04
Posts: 479
I usually equate traditional with self defense focused. I do, however, agree with everything you've said.

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#217709 - 12/28/05 01:04 AM Re: Do Traditionalists have it backwards? [Re: hedkikr]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
I've only been in a couple of tournaments. My training was always self defense focused,not competetion. It just depends on what you are after. Both will be around,one is just more widely accepted and commercialized.
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#217710 - 12/28/05 01:34 AM Re: Do Traditionalists have it backwards? [Re: hedkikr]
bo-ken Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 1228
Loc: beaver falls, PA, beaver
I think it ranges from school to school not styles. We focus on competition when a competition is coming up. That is for the childrens class only. Most adults from our school do not compete we don't tend to train that way. I do not think competition is bad but too many people look at it as the only think that matters. A lot of people ask me do you have a lot of trophies and I just say no they don't matter that much.

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#217711 - 12/28/05 08:11 AM Re: Do Traditionalists have it backwards? [Re: hedkikr]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Your post leaves me completely confused. I thought traditional (Okinawan) meant 'gi if ya got it', small teacher/student ratio, learning the 'applications from the start and basically eshewing competition.

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#217712 - 12/28/05 08:12 AM Re: Do Traditionalists have it backwards? [Re: hedkikr]
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
So true. Many practioners are stuck in their schools out of loyalty but would rather train traditionally, me for one. I could care less about competing and when we have class it seems it is focused on competition. I have talked with my Shihan about it a number of times and we have compromised with different types of classes, one for traditional and the other for our competition people. Don't get me wrong the competition class is a fabulous work out but please don't take away my kata's, weapons and self defense.
_________________________
The way of the warrior does not include other ways... Miyamoto Musashi Schanne

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#217713 - 12/28/05 09:58 AM Re: Do Traditionalists have it backwards? [Re: schanne]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
A long while back Joe Swift (from japan) suggested the following structure to karate's periods, as a general guideline (not a hard guide).

1. Classical Karate (pre 1920 Okinawan) - no styles, uniforms, just training
2. Traditional Karaate (1920 - 1960) - Styles Developed, uniforms, sport karate in infancy
3. Modern Karate (1960 forward) - Styles plentiful, advanced uniform and belt development - focus on sport karate
4. Contemporary karate (the last 10 years)

This paints a very broad swipe, but is useful to make some distinctions.

What most have trained in (Modern Karate descended from the Traditional Period), has little relationship to the Classical period. The entire use of Sparring is a modern development.

There are instructors who take a more classical approach, and rarely touch the sport aspects of training, and then just when they're useful for the student, not for the group.

My main point is what is referred to as Traditional Karate has very little relationship (except ancestry) to Classical Karate.

Perhaps this will help frame the discussion.


Edited by Victor Smith (12/28/05 09:59 AM)
_________________________
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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#217714 - 12/28/05 11:03 AM Re: Do Traditionalists have it backwards? [Re: Victor Smith]
Toudiyama Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 229
Loc: Zaandam, Netherlands
Hi Victor,
would you classify Koryu Uchinadi as Classical or Traditional ?( Koryu Uchinadi is what Patrick McCarthy is teaching

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#217715 - 12/28/05 12:43 PM Re: Do Traditionalists have it backwards? [Re: Toudiyama]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

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

Thanks for the question. I don't know the answer. Patrick and I have shared over the net, but I haven't trained with him and don't know the scope of his teaching.

I would suspect it's related to the Classical concepts of karate, based on his writings, etc. But my belief isn't proof. I haven't explored them further because first I have more to work on than I can handle in this lifetime anyways, and teaching for free for decades I have no spare cash to train elsewhere or elseplace.

Let me give a simpler answer in turn. I teach/practice/etc a system of karate created in the Modern Period (on Okinawa), and my intitial study and my initital teaching was directed towards the sport aspects, but over the decades I'm using the system I practice to try and re-create a classical approach to how it can be used. That doesn't mean I succeed, it's just what I work towards.

For example I and my students rarely do sport anymore, except where appropriate for an individual student development. My major focus of advanced students is on the full application potential of our art against attack, with layers of looking into those potential.

I'm not sure hard use of the names is important, rather what we do on the floor.
_________________________
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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#217716 - 12/28/05 05:59 PM Re: Do Traditionalists have it backwards? [Re: Victor Smith]
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
Victor both of my thumbs are in the up "OK" position, good post and I like your attitude.
_________________________
The way of the warrior does not include other ways... Miyamoto Musashi Schanne

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