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#217717 - 12/28/05 06:36 PM Re: Do Traditionalists have it backwards? [Re: Victor Smith]
CVV Offline

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 605
Loc: Belgium
What do you want Karate to be ???
I have done competition and teached competition fighting (WKF rules)/ I am a national referee with international experience (WKF rules). I have been in bar fights and won most of them. I have known people from other disciplines that openly chalanged me into a fight. But I have never had to fight for my life. I train kata, test the applications and spar trying to apply them. I consider some of my knowledge really geared to have decisive advantage in fights and some even very harmfull.
I train focused on kata history and try to 'uncode' kata to applicable fighting principles and specific techniques.
I mostly focus on sanchin, tencho, sanseru and sesan as these are my favorites. The research in kata, I do only with like minded friends and teachers in training with the same level of understanding. I do this because I enjoy it, it is my hobby. In other settings, with other people I am either a student or a teacher. It took me 25 years to come at this level and I am still searching.
The study of karate is to me very dynamic. My level of understanding is influenced day by day. To understand the old aspects/ways I think you have to travel back expierencing the evolution of karate. Just to dismiss certain aspects because one thinks they have no value in real fighting without serious study (walk the walk) could be a potential miss in valuable knowledge even when the conclusion is that it's not for you (like sport karate).
Victor Smiths timeframe analysis and designation is one I can agree. In that regard, it will be very difficult to understand what happened before 1920 as we no longer have a physical link to that period (teachers that have lived through that period). The same will happen with generations after us. Karate is a unique system through the kata that are left behind. There should be as much documenting as possible to give the possibility to rely on the old information for the generations to come. Nothing should be limited only into one way (like the standardization of kata into one format for competition).
Karate has evolved in the past and will evolve in the future or it will vanish. For the better or worse ?? Only time will tell and we will not live to see that. But looking at available information and ways to comunicate and train globally, I think it will evolve in a way that it has potential for the sporter as well as for the SD oriented practitioner. Only few will become top sporter in karate and only for a limited time. There will still be a lot of time left after a sport carreer either as a coach/trainer or as a 'traditional' practitioner or both.

#217718 - 12/29/05 12:46 AM Re: Do Traditionalists have it backwards? [Re: CVV]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
1st off, Thanks Vick for the break-down (saved me the time/effort).

When I think of all the hours devoted to improving my competition skills & making my kata picture-perfect... Nothing was wasted but I could have been dedicating myself to bunkai.

If we take the break-down & reverse it, you'll probably have an accurate list of the greatest to least number of practitioners. Still, Traditional (Gendai or 1920-1960) based karate is recognized as "authentic" possibly due to the fact Japan had the greatest influence in spreading a little-known fighting method(s).

It's as if one were to say American history started @ the European crossing while neglecting Native American history.

The question isn't so much "Is a tournament fighter able to defend himself?". It's "What's the focus of your training today & what will it be in 20 years?".


#217719 - 12/29/05 01:28 PM Re: Do Traditionalists have it backwards? [Re: hedkikr]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
CVV - Only few will become top sporter in karate and only for a limited time. There will still be a lot of time left after a sport carreer either as a coach/trainer or as a 'traditional' practitioner or both.

I agree with CVV the MAs is a cycle in persons career unlike boxing (over at 35 on average)or Thai-boxing (in Thailand over at 28-30) after the ring fighting is over you graudally stop training, on average. In Karate you come to a new horizon and start to discover what it is you are really studing. I've had numerous sport fighters come back to training serious and have discovered a whole new art instead of sport. They are even more serious in their training understanding that they don't have to kick high anymore, but know it exist.

Hedier -
Karate cycles start at 6-35yrs old, the sport aspect entices them, (mines was s/d then sport then back s/d)then you start to gravitate toward more serious training at 18-35 yrs of age. You start listen and training on whats being said and taught instead of if it will score in tourneys.

25-40 years old you may even quit competing and start training on self defense skills, personal devlopment and awarness, maybe keep up on tourney skills because its is a big draw and you can't teach if the doors are not open.

25-50 years - Old you are travelling particpating in other arts or digging deeper into your base. Studying with like students and teaching and learning variations of what you already know or new totally concepts of delievery.

30-7X - Your studies continue and you are able to deliver a more concise idea of what a technique is and how to apply it. You learn until you die just an accepted reality.

Few boxers or Thai-boxers become coaches or teachers compared to Karate students, all my people have a chance in front of the class at a certain level. This might just be their nicht.

I think the state of Karate in 20 years will be more reality and self defense. Point tourneys paids the bills,
But there are already continuous sparring division, full contact at some tournaments some are even having MMA like bouts. Karate will be looked at like Judo or JJ a skill you can start as a base. But really it will still be a life time journey.

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