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#345164 - 07/11/07 01:54 PM Re: Funakoshi and modificiations [Re: cxt]
Shonuff Offline
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Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 603
Loc: London, UK
CXT

Good point!

In my thinking on the topic I was fixated on the Pinan kata and their use of cat stance and the fact that the Shorin ryu's are the main contenders when we talk about "original Okinawan karate". I hadn't considered the contemporaries of Itosu...

The problem with trying to compare Funakoshi's teachings to those of Itosu's contemporaries is simply that none of them (please correct me if I am wrong) seem to have passed on their own individual styles directly, i.e. people who trained under 2 or 3 of that generation of teachers did the style forming. People like Chotoku Kyan, Kenwa Mabuni, Chosin Chibana were all contemporaries of Funakoshi in that they trained under the same teachers, but all were considerably younger and trained for less time before developing they or their students developed their own styles.

I think it would be very interesting to split the Karate teachers of old into their respective generations and try and get a picture of the kind of karate they each practiced to get a feel for the differences between what they taught and what they learned.

I should add here that really I am simply arguing the evidence. I think it is equally likely that there was a change from neko-ashi dachi to kokutsudachi as the other way around. The thing is, though similar they are different methods meant to be used differently, both effective for what they each do. Which came first is really irrelevant as all it means is one teacher felt that his art would benefit from the adjustment.

But Ed is right, if we are talking about changes to a style we should be specific and the evidence, what little there is, gives no clear indication of which changed to which, only that Funakoshi was doing his thing before just about anyone else.

In Karate circles once you start down the road of 'changed from the original' especialy without concentrating on specifics, you leave opening for all the "Karate-do not karate-jutsu" "My style is better than your style" BS that closes peoples minds. I'm quite happy to hear all that stuff if it is properly supported, but usually it isn't.
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#345165 - 07/11/07 02:10 PM Re: Funakoshi and modificiations [Re: Shonuff]
cxt Offline
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Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Sho

I think you hit the nail on the head!

When I look at the various kata practiced by the Shorin systems--and Shito systems, even the Tomari varients--to me they ALL look different, some a little some a lot.

I suspect that if you lined up Itsou and Azato and watched them do the same kata--they would do it differently.

For someone like me that really enjoys the history of the art I find the tendency to "personalize" the kata terribly frustrating---makes perfect sense that they do it--just really irks me that there are so many variations of the same kata.

Drives me to distraction.

In Funkoshis case I keep going back to the fact that they could have sent anybody--but they picked Funakoshi.
We can speculate their motives, argue it back and forth, but at the end of the day, the facts are with all kinds of folks to choose from--they picked him.

Love him or hate him, that's still pretty impressive--to me anyway.


Edited by cxt (07/11/07 02:13 PM)
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#345166 - 07/11/07 02:27 PM Re: Funakoshi and modificiations [Re: Shonuff]
medulanet Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Quote:

CXT

People like Chotoku Kyan, Kenwa Mabuni, Chosin Chibana were all contemporaries of Funakoshi in that they trained under the same teachers, but all were considerably younger and trained for less time before developing they or their students developed their own styles.






Please, check your facts. Kyan was born in 1870. Funakoshi was born in 1870 or maybe 1868. Kyan never officially developed a "style" he simply taught karate, frequented brothels, gambled, and kicked ass everywhere he went. I personally don't believe you can compare the level of Kyan's training to that of Funakoshi's when you consider Kyan's "practical" training as well as technical.

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#345167 - 07/11/07 02:31 PM Re: Funakoshi and modificiations [Re: cxt]
medulanet Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Actually it is well known why Funakoshi was chosen. Funakoshi was chosen due to his education. Funakoshi was a well educated and cultured man. Think if they sent Kyan to represent Tode as he gambled, bought hookers, and got into fights in Japan, and taught the university students to do the same. Funakoshi's skill in karate was not exceptional, but competent. And his pious actions and cultured upbringing made him the perfect choice.

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#345168 - 07/11/07 07:27 PM Re: Funakoshi and modificiations [Re: medulanet]
Shonuff Offline
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Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 603
Loc: London, UK
Med,
My mistake, Kyan wasn't considerably younger. I added into my post about the students starting styles with him in mind though. That fact is actually quite key to the point I was making, i.e. we don't know how Kyan did Karate as all we have are arts created by his students, all of whom (please correct me if I am wrong) trained with other people as well before starting their styles. This means we can't really identify what practices were Kyans and what belonged to others. Saying that with Kyan having trained with almost everyone he was almost certainly schooled in all the variations of Karate that were around at the time. I would imagine that Kyan would either have taught different variations to different people depending on needs or he decided on what worked best for him and taught that.
I can quite well concede that Kyan was at least as well schooled as Funakoshi. However we have no idea what level of practical training either exponent had. All we know is that Kyan got into fights and apparently won. Good for Kyan. That was his life not his training or his knowledge.

As to the reasons for Funakoshi's appointment, I'm sure his education was a huge and deciding factor, but I've never actually read or seen any evidence of it. You seem pretty certain of the fact Med, would you be able to point me to a source?
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#345169 - 07/11/07 08:42 PM Re: Funakoshi and modificiations [Re: Shonuff]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
conjecture, guessing and suppossing of what went where taught by whom and at which time....bla bla bla...how much does it help really?

The salient point of the thread is what were the modifications- or lets call them 'differences' since it's even contested Funakoshi made any changes at all. (although I note, nobody was really ready to argue that until I brought up specifics)

after people identify those differences...then it's an exercise of the pros and cons of each difference based on our collective experience.

THEN, that may shed light on the 'why'.

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#345170 - 07/11/07 08:43 PM Re: Funakoshi and modificiations [Re: Shonuff]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
I'll have to do more research as to where I got that from, however, one thing has always stuck out in my mind. In Funakoshi's book MY WAY OF LIFE he references his teachers' view of him as a karateka and as a man. On page 54 in the second to last paragraph Fuankoshi speaks about Itosu and Azato's reaction to his ability to avoid a fight by offerring his assailants cakes and not having to fight, he says, "I tried to smother my pride. Although the two masters had never praised a single kata that I executed during our practice sessions, they were praising me now, and mingled with the pride was an abiding sense of joy."

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#345171 - 07/11/07 08:51 PM Re: Funakoshi and modificiations [Re: medulanet]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
while that example exemplified the 'Do' part of karate that Funakoshi is credited for largly defining/popularizing....doesn't really say much about the Art's principles themselves....it's a philosophy.

is this thread about Funakoshi's philosophy?

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#345172 - 07/11/07 09:02 PM Re: Funakoshi and modificiations [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
No, but is is about his technique and/or modifications of what was taught to him. If he was never praised by his teachers for his kata, then maybe he was doing it wrong for many years. Has anyone ever had a student/classmate/senior who is a wonderful person and tries very hard. They are able to adequately apply what they have learned, however, their technique has just always been off and is mediocre at best, even after 20 years of training. Maybe Funakoshi's modfications of Azato and Itosu's art was unintentional. Maybe he simply lacked talent in karate, however, his being a wonderful person and teacher made up for this.

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#345173 - 07/12/07 02:12 AM Re: Funakoshi and modificiations [Re: Ed_Morris]
jude33 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1539
Quote:



How is it that pinan kata all coming from the same source (Itosu), then branching out into different streams of teachers - all have the high mobile and shifting cat stance, yet Funakoshi's stream alone has the elongated and grounded postioning?











My thoughts

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=kJu0YECQIDk

Isnt the principle on the opening of the above kata to use the cat stance to get inside an attacker then into naihanchi( rising /twisting hip action) for the counter attack? the front hand blocking/striking the limb on the way in the rear hand blocking also a possable strike? Requires fast foot work and agility?

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=6Hc1NMdjU9U

Using kokutsu dachi(or slight variation) to pull back after a grab attempt or even evasion to the rear/side as opposed to getting the body full inside the opponents limbs? Might be considered as not as much agility required? There for might be said that different physiques/ require different methods?

Two different uses for the same technique?

There is seemingly another version of jion(with lineage back to okinawa) created at the same time and other than the one thought to be created by funokoshi.

The one I am studying(traceable lineage okinawa) is said to have been modified and is said to be 90 percent simular to the version created at that time.(confusing all these kata changes drives me nuts)

It seems to me to be using kokutsu dachi(slight variation on the foot placement as opposed to the one in the shotokan kata) and cat stance.

But I am a student and like anything else in life I suppose proof is required.I will look harder at the kata.

Just my thoughs again. There seems to be a specific stance then logicaly variations on the stance that would then border on being named differently by anyone who cares to.

I suppose in a fight variations will occur.

It is said that Funokoshi had other teachers. Namely pechan. Isnt that the Okinawan equavilant of the samuri?

Perhaps that is where his influence came from. But mere speculation from myself.

Just my thoughts



Jude


Edited by jude33 (07/12/07 02:59 AM)

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