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#354196 - 08/09/07 09:42 PM Re: Is Karate less effective because it covers too [Re: shoshinkan]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Hi Jim... it's been a while...

You and I are on the same page here about karate having limited amounts of ground work. In the first place, I can't imagine anybody that can generate a 900 ft-lb punch wanting to grope around on the ground with somebody that's trying to hurt them. I can see them knocking the guy's lights out at his first opportunity, and even taking the guy down to make kicking him even easier... but to "actively grapple"... I don't think so.

Luckily, my first teacher was trained in Judo and karate, and we did judo when we weren't doing karate... "the old stuff", where it was ALL self defense, as opposed to "tournament"... so you were just as likely to be taken to the ground and grappled as kicked or punched in our classes... but we kept the arts separate (except in rare occasions where we all went home with shiners).

We used "anything we had" at anytime we saw an opening to do "a technique", so takedowns and grappling were common, but when doing karate, we were focused on delivering force to the target... not rolling around with them. We did judo for fun, and had a ball grappling with each other, but it wasn't ever the focus of our "fighting skills". We wanted to stay standing up so we could protect against "others" that were in the area.

I just find it interesting that "groundwork" discussions are always about BJJ, when different "judos" were around long before BJJ was ever heard of, and from talking to the teachers at the USJA training facility have answers for anything BJJ has to offer. The difference is that a lot of BJJ techniques are against the rules of judo, so they aren't practiced that much in Judo schools.

I just like the idea of kicking or punching somebody until they're on the ground, and if you want to "head kick"... knock them down so you can hit their head without ever kicking above your waist... principle of judo... maximum efficiency...

What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

#354197 - 08/09/07 11:20 PM Re: Is Karate less effective because it covers too [Re: wristtwister]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5846
Loc: USA
General reply.

Very interesting discussion!!!!

Sometimes I think part of the problem with martial arts in general is people look for "concrete", isolated techniques, when its often more of a case of "principles" that were often ideosyncratic in application.

Maybe the the focus should be on what multi-use principles can be found and used rather than on specific explict tecniques.

On of the very first admonishions I got when I first started karate was about the bunkai---my teacher took pains to hammer home that what he was showing me was just one "possible" application---that I could and SHOULD develop "my own" applications.

I've read some pretty resonable applications for using stuff out of kata for all kinds of things--inculding groudfighting (Elmer S has some really well thought out ones BTW)

Weither that stuff was there--at least in part back in the day--and I tend to think it was--to me is less important than if someone can find and use stuff that works today.

I start with "does it work?" and work my way back from there.

BTW at least one Tomari expert (naksone? Spelling) was pretty well known for his "tricks" at least some of which were fast takedowns and locks etc.

Edited by cxt (08/09/07 11:21 PM)
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#354198 - 08/09/07 11:49 PM Re: Is Karate less effective because it covers too [Re: cxt]
Stampede Offline
Lord of the Kazoo

Registered: 04/08/04
Posts: 967
Loc: El Dorado, AR
For me, my karate (Isshinryu)has:

Kotekitai/makiwara - part of the polishing of the physical attributes, primarly striking and reception surfaces. Without proper conditioning, certain techniques don't work.

Bag Work - speed bag, heavy bag, Thai bag, uppercut bag. Natural, efficient training tools allowing for further enhancement of attributes.

Weight training/CV conditioning - physical strength, power, and stamina are essential for health, why not karate?

Kata - a useful training tool for the long haul, allowing focus on very specific attributes, and overall training in movement potential.

Lower Body Strikes - feet, instep, shin, knee, hip [used more for clearing distance in close-in, standing grappling]

Upper Body Strikes - fingers, for-knuckles, wrist, palm, all edges of the forearms, the elbows, the shoulders (again, for making space during close-in, standing grappling)

Standing, Close-In Grappling (it seems to me karate assumes we've crossed the line of entrance, that is, we're already withing grappling distance because We Fudged Up and let the attacker get positional dominance). Most kata have movement potential occurring within the clinch. proper drilling and, more importantly, sparring, are key.

Throws/Takedowns - a natural extension of standing grappling.

I figure, I train all of the above regularly , I should be healthy and hopefully a handful for someone wishing me harm.

Oh, and a decent bit of ground-based grappling, cuz I don't always get to dictate where an altercation is going to lead, and would like the best possible tools available.
Formerly Vash

#354199 - 08/10/07 12:11 AM Re: Is Karate less effective because it covers too [Re: Stampede]
Saisho Offline
more than just a pretty face

Registered: 06/26/06
Posts: 620
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
If defining groundwork as both people on the ground, I would say that Karate is limited and I personally don't care much for it.

However, what I consider grappling in Karate is the putting of my opponent on the ground and continuing to work techniques on them while I maintain a standing or kneeling position.

I know this will rub some the wrong way, but BJJ, while having some great techniques, does preclude striking from being used. If you remove the striking (or even limit it as in MMA competition), you open the door for puting yourself into a ground position (guard) that would otherwise be undesirable.

If I can continue to stand in a fight, I will. If I can't, I would prefer to put my opponent on the ground and stay over them. I would never voluntarily get on the ground myself.
Tony Partlow Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do Minamoto Shibu Dojo

#354200 - 08/10/07 05:52 AM Re: Is Karate less effective because it covers too [Re: Saisho]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
'However, what I consider grappling in Karate is the putting of my opponent on the ground and continuing to work techniques on them while I maintain a standing or kneeling position.'

this is my experience as well.
Jim Neeter

#354201 - 08/10/07 09:41 AM Re: Is Karate less effective because it covers too [Re: Saisho]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
What really is in question is ground submissions or 2 people on the ground submissions taught. The type techniques Master Hagashinoa showed is in all or most type street defense Karate/Kung-fu (though most systems can be more Sport oriented bc its safer and less viloent in mindset), it does look like Silat but Silat has some GS in its working, but less resistance similar trad JJ.

The point thats being made is 2POTGS is not a taught in most Karate training format, 1POTGS has always been taught. Maybe its there in the Palace hand set, but not in most Te. This is not to say that the Okinawans didn't grapple and use GS, they knew a form of wrestling that was practiced when young and throughout adulthood.

Odd as it may seem there is a Chinese/Mongolia version of Wrestling and Kung-fu that almost looks like Judo or BJJ, it stresses throws and gs over strikes, the name escapes me. Its Originator was a famous fighter but apparently it didn't catch on bc of battle field conditions.

But thats not Karate, which stresses the conditioning of the Mind, Body and Spirit, not just whop a$$, though it definitely has and can.

I don't believe that Karate is the quickest way to learn how to fight, even though it was prepared to be. It is still one of the most effective forms of self defense.

Hindsight can never be questioned, But in a scenario that I've of spoke of in short. This 230lbs muscular wrestler (we use to wrestle often) watches a suspect leave a group of guys cross the street and passes him, calls out as he turns he is KO'd. This guy was Very prepared for mono mono assaults or for wrestling.

I question how many Karate/JJ BBs would have not been alarmed at this??? Each may have taken a different path. But this would not have happened not like this. These type scenarios are practiced in class most times. Mental awareness, is hightened in Karate.

Edited by Neko456 (08/10/07 09:45 AM)

#354202 - 09/06/07 02:54 PM Re: Is Karate less effective because it covers too [Re: Victor Smith]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA

While most of this discussion hasn't been of much interest to me in the last day it has suggested Okinawan Sumo was related to ground fighting.

At least the Okinawan Sumo I've seen on doesn't seem to resemble that argument. On a large circle of sand about 6" thick, two contestents grab each other's obi (or whatever it is they wear) and when they begin they try and wrestle the other to touch the ground and if doing so the match is over.

In that contest it is a form of grappling, and not disimiliar to other grappling arts around the world. I've seen similar Celtic arts demonstrated.

On the whole it looks fun and if I was younger I think I'd enjoy giving it a go.

But unless there are other aspects I haven't seen I have a hard time trying to unbalanced and drop someone as being a form of ground fighting.

Interesting what reading karate books instead of doing work will turn up. I was rereading Nagamine's book Tales of Okinawa's Great Masters. In it Nagamine discusses his best friend Jukei Kushi, who was also part of his dojo and a Matsubayashi Ryu senior. Kushi was a yokozuna in Okinawan sumo and a researcher of Okinawa's grappling traditions. Kushi died before he was able to publish his book, so Nagamine published his research that they developed. In it he discusses that Okinawan Sumo came from the practice of Tegumi. In other words it is like the sport version of tegumi. Similar to what point karate is to classical karate. Nagamine states that "Notwithstanding, it is believed that the tradition was not completely unlike present day amateur wrestling where the victor is the one who conclusively defeats his opponent by twisting his joints, sealing his breath, or holding him down so that he can no longer move." Nagamine also states that te is the combination of this tegumi and striking and kicking techniques. Sounds a lot like what I have been saying is a part of old style karate. If you have the book this statement is on page 138. There are some arts which have not lost these aspects of te and other who have. Not a judgement call, just a fact.
Dulaney Dojo

#354203 - 09/06/07 04:55 PM Re: Is Karate less effective because it covers too [Re: medulanet]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
good find.

yeay! now we can say that karate has always had groundfighting! lol

That is interesting though, could it be that there were several evolutions going on at the same time? (Tegumi, Te, Toudi) That is, some trained Tegumi, some Te, and some Toudi and some cross-trained?

With Toudi being the one that bubbles to the top in popularity to eventually become Karate...I wonder.

or if you could guess, what would you envision as the relationship with tegumi to karate? When curriculums were first established in the 20th c. Okinawan karate Ryu's, no one included tegumi. Even Nagamine seems to talk about it as past tense. was it a dead Art and only hints of it kept alive in Okinawan sumo at that point?

If it was dead at one point. is it being 'revived' by people taking various grappling arts and calling it 'tegumi'? are there any tegumi teachers on okinawa today?

opens alot of questions!

#354204 - 09/06/07 05:17 PM Re: Is Karate less effective because it covers too [Re: Ed_Morris]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Actually, I personally believe that he was referring to tegumi in the past tense because it no longer exists by itself. As Nagamine says it was combined with striking and kicking which became te. Now the techniques of te were preserved in the kata and training methods of karate. Now, regardless of what people stressed in their own training, these principles and techniques are preserved in the kata. In addition, the training methods of karate serve to develop skills to apply such techniques. Such as grappling training prior to or along side of karate training to develop wrestling skill to be able to apply the hold downs, joint twisting, and sealing breath techniques of old style te. In addition to this information Nagamine states in the his book that the karate masters he trained with were only interested in fighting skill. Many karate masters such as Yabu Kentsu were highly skilled in grappling for fighting. I assume this came from their karate training as well. So maybe this te which combined grappling, submission, sriking, and kicking skills was widely practiced in Okinawa as recently as the early 1900s and perhaps even after then. However, when karate begins to focus on a way rather than a fighting art many of the grappling skills Nagamine discussed take a back seat to other things. However, since these skills were still being developed in karate in the 1900s I believe it is safe to say that there are kata alive today which still contain these elements. In addition, if you follow the ways of the old karate masters and are able to learn the fighting principles from the kata then it is not a revival, just continuation of training. I know my teacher always told me that he witnessed okinawans training with each other differently than they would train foreigners. A heavier emphasis on grappling was always part of this training. At least it was in the 50's, 60's, and 70's.

As far as I can tell, Jokei Kushi was one of the last. I believe he died in the late 60's or sometime in the 70's, but I am not sure. Not only was he a yokozuna in okinawan sumo, a historian on okinawan grappling traditions, and expert in tegumi techniques, but he was junior only to Shoshin Nagamine in Matsubayashi Ryu. There definitely are not many like him around anymore. Does anyone know of anyone else who could be in the category?
Dulaney Dojo

#354205 - 09/06/07 07:47 PM Re: Is Karate less effective because it covers too [Re: medulanet]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772

Now the techniques of te were preserved in the kata and training methods of karate.

thats the real question. If kata did come from China and blended with Te to make Toudi, then did the kata change to incorporate Te principles/methods while at the same time keeping some of the Chinese ones?

one thing is for certain, grappling arts today do not practice forms (except maybe judo and some ju jitsu, but that was a known modern invention for political reasons in those arts). but the point is, the essence of those arts are not captured and passed on within forms.

so then the question becomes - reguardless of the history, is it possible to contain a wide range of grappling principles within standup forms?

some grappling/clinch? definitely.
ground grappling? I don't see it.

If tegumi within karate did die out, then what are people learning from in order to train grappling in their karate today? BJJ/JJJ/Chi Sao/Judo/other? which is great, but can it really be called 'tegumi' in the historical sense?

and, if you can see a BJJ learned principle within a kata, can you point to it and say 'ah ha! there's tegumi'. well, sure you can, but how artifical is that? isn't it more useful to just say 'ah ha, there's a JJ principle'.

also, it's not certain how much of the Japanese Arts played an influence on earlier Ryukyu arts. It's sortof established that Okinawan sumo came from Japanese sumo. Te could have come from JJJ as much as Tegumi from Japan's older version of sumo.

cutting thru the guessing and BS, we know that most of the reason Karate folk want to call their crosstraining in modern grappling as 'Tegumi' is so it gives the impression their Art is older. and 'older' seems to give the impression of legitimacy or functionality or effectiveness or direct lineage or whatever effect they are shooting comes down to: they can sell it better using modern training under an older name.

but another 'bottom line' is that people expanding their thinking with grappling arts alongside their karate is not a bad thing, whatever they choose to call it or mask where the training really comes from.

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