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#360167 - 09/08/07 09:30 PM Engami and the Shotokai
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
It was over 30 years ago when I first read Engami's "The Way of Karate - beyond technique" (which has since been republished a few years ago).

Engami Sensei had been a student of Funakoshi Ginchin, who upon subsequent research on Okinawa abandoned the flat fist and his Shotokai only utilized the single knuckle strike.

It's also very obvious they're working for extreme motion potential as a training device, requiring a very high level of training to execute correctly.

The result of an interesting mind, something beyond most of our experiences I'm sure.

It is a big world after all.

Maître Shigeru Egami (Shotokai) - Stage au Japon
Quelques extraits filmés d'un stage au Japon (années 70) dirigé par Maître Shigeru Egami. Retrouvez les textes de Maître Egami et de Maître Murakami sur

Qu'est ce que le Karaté-do Shotokai EgamiRyu® ?

Karaté-do Shotokaï EgamiRyu® : L'Art de Maître Egami (1)
Découvrez l'un des rares styles de Karaté-do traditionnel basé sur l'efficacité, la décontraction, les mouvements naturels du corps et l'expression de l'énergie : le "SHOTOKAI EGAMIRYU ®"

L'AKSER est une Association internationale de Budo Traditionnel, créée par le Sensei William A. Schneider, dispensant son enseignement dans la partique du Karaté-do Shotokai EgamiRyu®, du Bo-jutsu, du Ken-jutsu et du Goshin jutsu (Self défense).

Karaté-do Shotokai EgamiRyu® : L'Art de Maître Egami (2)

Karaté-do Shotokai EgamiRyu® : L'Art de Maître Egami (3)
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#360168 - 09/11/07 06:20 PM Re: Engami and the Shotokai [Re: Victor Smith]
bo-ken Offline

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 1228
Loc: beaver falls, PA, beaver
The whole sliding punch was weird I have never seen that before. What was your impression when you first read the book? Why were there wrists bent when punching. I am not saying there training was bad but I do not train like that.

#360169 - 09/11/07 07:04 PM Re: Engami and the Shotokai [Re: Victor Smith]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
A few years back I came apon a video of egami's group. I was really startled by what I saw as it seemed very different than what I had come toknow as Shotokan. My first thought was "Well the french do love Jerry Lewis". Later I tried to experiment and move as they did. While some of the practicioner were amazing strong and limber it still seemed odd to me. I have no doubt that there are people that with alot of hard work could make it functional. To me it seemed like people inventing a new and stylized way to run instead of just running.

#360170 - 09/12/07 08:35 PM Re: Engami and the Shotokai [Re: bo-ken]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH

I first read Egami's book about 1976 or so. It didn't represent the karate I studied but I was always interested in the journey he took to arrive at this approach to study.

This video clip is the first time I've seen this in action.

It is very different from what I practice, still I can see some of the rational behind his changes. Whether they make sense in the long run I don't know.

The clip is not clear and I won't assume what his hand positions are. What I do know from his book is he only practices the single knuckle strike. Almost all of them in the clip are directed face height. Logically it may be he discovered enough pain from a light strike so he's using the strike like a javelin and then driving his body behind it to work off of the initial pain.

It is very much a different paradigm from other striking. I plan on re-reading his book this weekend and see what I can glean from it.

It is not impossible that the method of training he's showing is more for physical development purposes than how his art would be used when pressed.

of course that thought is hard for some to understand, why train in what you won't use.

I would only assume there is a logic behind this. I'm curious what it is, but have no desire to change what I do.

I do think that only striking with the single knuckle might be radically different. Is there a need to strike to the face with the power of what we think of as punching, where the single knuckle strikes with that power could break faces. Logically perhaps he toned down the strike because the pain of using what he practices is enough.

just thinking aloud,
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#360171 - 09/12/07 09:26 PM Re: Engami and the Shotokai [Re: Victor Smith]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
The video that I had at one point was of a group in France. There was talk about Aikido influences. Ido think Egami was exploring philosophical terrain. The video showed all of the kata, some application and kumite. The kumite looked or should I say had the feel of aikido randori as much as it looked like shotokan sparring. Things started t very long range which closed quickly then turned just as quickly with a type of tai sabaki. Then there was a very slow parting of the combatants with their gazes locked in on each other. All of this was done with VEEEERY long and Loooooooow stances. It almost had the feel of jousting.

#360172 - 09/13/07 05:09 AM Re: Engami and the Shotokai [Re: oldman]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
hmmm, it's probably on the net somewhere but in most things hard to say what it shows us.

Off hand I would see it difficult to have any free practice with the single knuckle strike being so 'painful' on the recitpent, especially at close range.

It might suggest a long range practice like you're describing, to allow a portion of the art to be practiced, but more safely because the distance allows more defensive reaction time.

That wouldn't suggest that was how the practice would be used if pressed, but just another training practice.

I"m still re-reading Egami's book this weekend and see what it suggests.

But a book and afew snippets of video hardly answer anything. They are just what they are, too.
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#360173 - 09/14/07 08:45 AM Re: Engami and the Shotokai [Re: Victor Smith]
Barad Offline

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 427

Thanks for posting the clip-I have been interested in Shotokai (as a mostly Shotokan practicioner) from a distance. The "loose" style of punching seems to reflect the lack of kime that Shotokan under Nakayama made so prevalent. Having largly discarded kime myself (in Kissaki style karate), I find this quite appealing. Similarly the ippon ken is attractive, although I generally thought of this in terms of kyusho point striking, which I do not think actually features in Shotokai. I do remember the tales of 1980's UK Shotokan seniors in Japan who sparred with senior Shotokai people and reported being floored by seemingly very soft strikes to the body that caused deep, internal pain, akin to descriptions of tai chi/internal art strikes.

The sliding feet would be good IMO if they were coordinated with the punches landing to add momentum as they struck through the target. However some of the sliding seems to take place well after the punch lands so not appearing to add much. Perhaps there is another reason for it which is not clear.

The performance of Heian Yondan I found very odd. They seem to like very high, acrobatic kicking but in the context of kata, that seems to negate realistic applications (for example jodan kicks after a close, grappling movement in "holding the reins" position or after a lock using stacked hands). I do seem to remember reading that Egami admitted (very humbly for someone at his level) that he did not understand much of the meaning of kata movements.

The French "Egami style" Shotokai group look a lot firmer in their techniques than the old footage of the man himself, almost like Shotokan and without the obvious sliding.


Edited by Barad (09/14/07 08:49 AM)


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