it's important to keep perspective with all of this and im no scholar...........
however it would seem likely that the art of old karate, ie the one practised on Okinawa in the period 18-1900ish was about real fighting,
by that I mean personal fighting, not battlefield stuff.
Now through my own expieirence and importantly what I have been told by a few trusted Seniors, stand up grappling is a real element of defending oneself, and to a point some groundwork, therefore karate.
so when the art was used for real, it had to meet real requirements, otherwise no one would bother to practise?
Soken and Nagamine Sensei have mentioned grappling (and weapons), under different names for sure, and IMO for different reasons.
Some of my Seniors talk about it as being part of real training. I believe them as it makes absolute sense that a good deal of training should be centered around stand up grappling (and weapons),
if self defence is a prime consideration which in 'karatejutsu' it most certainly is.
karatedo, sports semi contact, knockdown it most certainly isn't hence the perception could be - it was never there in the first place, as this is what the vast majority of us do, and so did our instructors.
trying to be sure of anything historically is difficult at best, but MA history is clouded by exageration, false statements and to a point translation issues and misunderstandings.
I use the term tegumi to describe stand up wrestling practise/drills and some very limited groundwork, I feel it is accurate to do so as it is perfectly logical when trianing in old karate to do so, want me to prove im right historically..........
ok I can't..........
The more I find out about the Okinawan's and karat ethe more I see how indeed cross trianing was typically how things were done, so we can expect different ryu to have different teachings and methods to train, Soken sensei clearly talks about stand up grappling as part of his art.
good enough for me to train, research and present what I do as 'old' karate as when you compare it to most modern practise it is very different, it is also consitant and accurate to what my Seniors have showed me and encourage me to do.