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#358965 - 08/29/07 08:34 PM JAMA - Historical Influences on ..goju-ryu
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Hi,

I strongly recommend the current issue of JAMA (vol 16 no. 3) for Giles Hopkins article "Politics and Karate: Historical Influences on the Practice of Goju-ryu".

I believe his observations expaining the changes of traditional karate from classical karate (Joe Swift's terminology) are something that is useful in our understanding how Okinawan karate developed.
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#358966 - 09/02/07 12:21 AM Re: JAMA - Historical Influences on ..goju-ryu [Re: Victor Smith]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
still waiting for my copy, but I got a chance to read it today.

I thought the strong points made, were the various direct and circumstancial evidence that political climate, contemporary events and national agenda of Japan largely shaped Okinawan Toudi into a Japanese budo art and named Karate, during the first quarter of the 20th century. Also the observation that even Martial Arts do not exist in a vacuum impervious to social, national and politial changes - I think is a fair call.

Establishing that changes WERE made...

The tricky part is identifying WHAT changes specifically, especially in a technical sense.

I thought the article showed an interesting angle to view a possible technical reasoning behind the composition of Tensho.

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#358967 - 09/04/07 12:47 PM Re: JAMA - Historical Influences on ..goju-ryu [Re: Victor Smith]
harlan Offline
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Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
It seems to me that Goju's 'Tensho' is actually very much like other Chinese/ Crane 'Sanchin' (var. spellings) forms. Reading the article, about political influences on katas, I wondered if that might have had some effect on the understood 'order' of katas...and who got taught them. I don't know all the Goju katas...do the 'higher' ones retain any distinct 'Chinese' flavor/techniques?

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#358968 - 09/04/07 03:09 PM Re: JAMA - Historical Influences on ..goju-ryu [Re: harlan]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Hi Narda,

In that one of the few kata of Goju formally credited to Miyagi Chojun is Tensho (though many maintain many of the advanced kata are his too) the fact it is silmilar to White Crane forms is only relevant if research shows they do the same things with those movements.

On the whole most of the Chinese training I've seen does not resemble the Okinawan training, even when the movements are similar.

I would make the same observation on the other kata, even if there is some similarty in their movement flow, if they don't follow the same training practices it is less releveant whatever the source is.

As I see it the Okinawan systems forms, regardless of the source, retain little in common with the Southern Chinese systems.
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#358969 - 09/04/07 03:14 PM Re: JAMA - Historical Influences on ..goju-ryu [Re: Victor Smith]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Not to be argumentative, but I'm told that most karate taught is crap and has lost its' roots and efficacy. I assume you are making comparisons between what you've seen as 'good' karate.

Quote:

As I see it the Okinawan systems forms, regardless of the source, retain little in common with the Southern Chinese systems.




Thanks for the reply. More to think about.

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#358970 - 09/04/07 04:41 PM Re: JAMA - Historical Influences on ..goju-ryu [Re: harlan]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Narda,

No problem but I don't really worry about most Karate, just what I teach and what my friends have shared with me.

I think it is quite exact that the Okinawan's aren't spending any time today researching their Chinese origins, if any (I'm always leaving that open without absolute proof). They have no reason to say don't study our art and instead go to the Chinese to train do they?

Regardless of roots, a system works by the effort put into it by its practioners. Great roots and incorrect practice might leave as little as shallow roots and good practice. But effort is the key.

We can't tell much about any system from the shape of its forms, and it is really difficult without spending time with a training group to understand how their efforts shape their art.

Hence my answers.
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#358971 - 09/04/07 08:57 PM Re: JAMA - Historical Influences on ..goju-ryu [Re: Victor Smith]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
I think during the lifespan of each person's training, everyone shapes their Art - consciously or 'by accident' based on their technical influence(s) and/or their changing view on what their training is for.

but there is another factor which manages to shape people's Art that is easy to forget, since we live in a much different political and social climate than WW2 Japan/Okinawa....or any other period in history where some overt or subtle manifestation of political oppression, national conflict, social assimilation, economic pressures, etc is large enough to influence the shape and propegation of Arts to varying degree.

Like any other living thing, Art itself adapts to what it needs to in order to survive in it's environment.

The question is, what survives?

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#358972 - 09/05/07 10:47 AM Re: JAMA - Historical Influences on ..goju-ryu [Re: Victor Smith]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Thanks, Victor. Perhaps the main problem with (me) being a beginner is 'monkey mind', and the tendancy to look for patterns, create connections, where there are none.

Quote:

We can't tell much about any system from the shape of its forms, and it is really difficult without spending time with a training group to understand how their efforts shape their art.



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#358973 - 09/05/07 12:44 PM Re: JAMA - Historical Influences on ..goju-ryu [Re: Ed_Morris]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Ed,

Consider how today's politics of money shape the arts everywhere. The interesting History Channel Human Weapon is an exmaple what a drive the politics of money has.

Politics and Money are truly interchangeable in the end.
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#358974 - 09/07/07 01:54 PM Re: JAMA - Historical Influences on ..goju-ryu [Re: harlan]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
Some say that Superimpei is an near exact version of the Chinese form Pechrin. So Goju offers a close look at the applictaions of Southern crane Gung-fu not an copy of their kuens but the movements application and its done in a Gung-fu like method most times. Almost all the advance Goju forms have that Chinese flair, that links them to Southern Chinese, 5 ancestor, Blk tiger and Monk style Gung-fu.

Really in the basic-intermedate forms I remember being told to flow like closed fist Gung-fu. Some Goju schools are different stressing more of a Japanese flair longer stance, less focus on flow and snap and more on tension. As in most system diversity exist.

To me Goju & Uechi Sanchin in length and overall movement looks more like 5 ancestor Semchein kuen then S crane's shorter version. Except for the turning steps, maybe Toon-ryu's version could verify if Hagashiona or Miyagi added it?

Its commonly thought that there is less seen common ground is in the Shorin small pine system then in the Chinese Shaolin sps, except in some of the method of delivery in some techniques, such as the straight punch. Its said that Shuri-te & Tormai-te is closest to how Toude was once trained.

Goju and the Chinese system mentioned here, are linked visual in its hard & soft movement, structure/high stances, the stress in using breathing principles, iron body and application of flow just to name a few things. Goju's connection with Gung-fu is more then just in end of the technique principles or in distance past orgin.


Edited by Neko456 (09/07/07 01:58 PM)
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