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#294092 - 10/18/06 11:29 AM Re: Karate 'styles' [Re: Meibukan003]
Meibukan003 Offline

Registered: 10/17/06
Posts: 100
Also of note is that originally karate was not a business, it was a tool of survival. It had to be effective. One HAD to train hard. There was no tournaments, belt ranking systems, etc... If two masters fought, that was a BIG deal. Now guns are about survival. LOL
My Bo:

#294093 - 10/18/06 12:27 PM Re: Karate 'styles' [Re: Unsu]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA

You write with clarity and a great appeal for what you enjoy. But in the midst of this explanation that you give you present evolutionary equivalents to the deccimation of your arts and castigate those karate-ka whom dealt their styles into a codified system for consumption by the Japanese.

The problem here, (though perhaps you are right in some sense, that only some few will be left who have the "authentic" goods to hand to the consumer) is that the world has changed and the times are not what they were.

One can chastise those who came before for their presentation of watered down arts or changed arts, but if not for them, then perhaps karate would have died a meager death on Okinawa after the war. Or, perhaps, other Japanese styles would not flare up with a new take on something that has merit. Not all that is old is good and not all that is new is bad. This is also evolution.

There is also a recognition in this process, whatever you want to call it, that those who made the trek to solidify karate within Japanese Budo, may have done it for its continued existence in whatever iteration it has now.

There are bad, crappy martial arts in whatever arena you want to look at, but there are still some good things out there too. How good? How close to the original? I don't know. But without these more common and commercialized styles there would be no entry here in the States for the authentic stuff. If you never had any syrup on a pancake, and then were given some sugared liguid with brown dye....wouldn't that at least make you curious about real Maple Syrup?

#294094 - 10/18/06 07:21 PM Re: Karate 'styles' [Re: butterfly]
Unsu Offline

Registered: 09/29/06
Posts: 142
Loc: San Antone, Tejas

I agree that Funakoshi kept his beloved Tode alive by being slick and offering it up to the Japanese with Nipponese sensibilities in mind. Many say he was a mediocre karate guy. I don't know if this is true. I feel from what I've read and seen of him in "Karate Jutsu" and "Karate-do: My Way of Life" that he not only learned from the best, Asato and Shishu (Itosu), but he had a very clear and concise understanding of what Tode meant to the typical Okinawan of his era and before. He adjusted his karate to fit with the times, accordingly. So I know that the majority of karate that is practiced out there is of the Japanese and Korean variety. I also understand that a lot of the Okinawan karate trained nowadays is what some Okinawan shinshi call "schoolboy" karate. What I was getting at is the fact that what I do and a few others out there will be dead if we don't explain our position and relevance to it all. I feel that we can give people a glimpse of karate when it was about life (and death), a very practical art which included weapons play and a lot of "grappling". There is a vanguard for that kind of karate too, and it does still exist and hopefully won't be drowned out by the more modern-minded styles.

I like good karate. I have seen good Korean karate and good Japanese karate. I have seen some decent American Karate (Hawaiian or otherwise). Kyokushinkai is an awesome system as are its offshoots. There are outstanding Shotokan-ka and Ryuei Ryu practitioners (although technically Ryuei Ryu is an Okinawan art). The same can be said for Yamaguchi-influenced Goju Ryu and Shito Ryu. I have seen good Japanese Shorinji Ryu too.

My take is that it is often the stylist, but the dojo and teacher(s) are also big influences on one's training. If the intent of your system is to test your mettle in point sparring, kata comps and the tournament circuit then I feel that you might just be going through the motions of good karate, but your intent is different than mine. That stuff is what Mastumura coined "Budo of Nominals"- lots of fighting for glory and false pride, the kind which can bring shame and harm to you and your family. I practice "Budo no Bugei" or the "Bujutsu of Budo". To each their own.

I don't include good kickboxing or even MMAs stuff in my evaluation of what is effective training or not. Of course you can increase your ability to withstand punishment and to fight at all levels with arts that emphasize a lot of hard contact. So the truth is I have the utmost respect for your style of karate and in fact John Farrell's group (Kyokushin) from Corpus Christi use to come up and train with us. He's since relocated outside Texas, but they were very good karate-ka.

The intent inherent in my training is based upon self-preservation and protecting those around me if need be. I feel that if you fight all out in training, you might not be at your physical best when the excrement hits the fan. I don't know how realistic this really is, but this is what I've decided good MAs training is --- for me.

I haven't been to LA in a long while, but when I do visit I'd like to check out your dojo and then maybe we can meet so we can have a better understanding of who it is we really are. These forums are not good for that. My words are often miscontrued as angry and combative. How anyone can surmise what my demeanor is or if I'm a phallus or not is a mystery to me. I guess when it comes to intuition some have it and some don't.


Edited by Unsu (10/18/06 07:35 PM)

#294095 - 10/25/06 09:55 PM Re: Karate 'styles' [Re: Unsu]
Saisho Offline
more than just a pretty face

Registered: 06/26/06
Posts: 620
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
I belong to a "style" because my Sensei teaches that style and I am his student. However, too many "styles" are being created because too many people think they are the best thing out there and what they have is sooooo unique (actually just a compilation of several other styles that they received a sandan in).

I used to say that even within my style I could tell you who a person trained with because of little differences. I respected some teachers more than others and knew that their students knew what they were doing.

That being said, lineage is more important than style. I have trained under several instructors of varying styles. If I say that I trained under teachers X,Y, and Z, and they are known for being good, That should speak enough for me. However, someone else could be in the same style and have studied under A,B, and C, all of whom are thought low of.

In my ideal world, there would be no styles. There would be a lineage recognition system. However, that kind of eliminates the ranking system and brings it back to a system of someone being designated an instructor and that being the end of it.
Tony Partlow Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do Minamoto Shibu Dojo

#294096 - 10/25/06 10:08 PM Re: Karate 'styles' [Re: Saisho]
student_of_life Offline

Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 1032
Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
in my ideal world, my back fist can knock out a rhino.

we live in an ideal world already, the dojo. i think you understand a appreciate what i have to say already, styles don't matter to most expirenced karate ka, they have been around the block enough to understand that style's are more to be thought of as just one idea about how some situations should be handeled.

i think we should count ourselves lucky that we have a few of these guys kickin around here to answer questions and give valuable advice that you might end up paying Dillman 5000$ bucks for.

my instructor always gives s a speace about the belt meaning nothing outside of organization, im glade i got that speach early, and at ever seminar. bottom line, i think is that we should learn to get along through our training differences, like having you over to my house for dinner, you eat what my mom cooks, and then i kick your a$$ for callin my sister hot!
its not supposed to make sense

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