you have a lot of questions, and I would like to make a few comments , not sure if this will answer your question though.
I believe 'cxt' tried to steer you in the right direction. I believe you should read George Kerr's book 'Okinawa:The History of an Island People'. You can buy inexpensive used copies and new copies from Amazon.com. This would help your understanding of the Okinawan people and their culture and history. It's not a martial arts book. Why I suggest this, is because Okinawa was not a warring country (Island) of people.I believe you have an idea or understanding of this. They were farmers, fishermen, etc. but they were in a position of being in the trade between two countries, Japan and China. Okinawa did not have armies to fight these two neighbors and generally they did not need too. China and Japan used Okinawa as a exchange. Japan did not need to bring armies in to Okinawa to overthrow it, if they did it would be destroying their trade with China. (not saying Japan didn't ever show Okinawa its might). In this trade situation, China and so did Japan, had military guard and escorts of their merchant ships. There were a lot of pirates in this area. China even had placed some of these military people to live on Okinawa. In the era of Sokon Bushi Matsumura who you know was the king's bodyguard and head of security got to know many of these military people from China and he augmented his fighting skills (martial arts) with what he learned from the Chinese. Chinese katas were introduced and new katas were developed. Remember Okinawa had there own systems of martial arts before all these influences (but I'm sure that even came from somewhere else). My point is the Okinawan were basically 'tode'/ 'te' or hand. Only the guard of the king had military weapons (swords, etc.) but not an army to ward off an opposing army such as Japan or China. The most fighting they did were agaist the pirates who came inland at times to steal or raise 'hell' when going into the towns. The Okinawan people other than the guard and royal class, had only their kobudo weapons (oars, sai, tonfa, staff, etc.) to fight these bandits. Is this classified as military (martial arts, could be in my opinion) You ask if katas are of the martial arts, again I believe, (I only can se your first post at present) someone below stated it depended on what you were practicing the kata with, a bo, sai, etc. or Te empty hand. Many katas you can incorporate the use of a weapon with it, you may do this with your spear training? But katas of te/empty hand are for training on a more close contact as opposed to weapons, but again can augment weapon training. I won't get into details about kata itself, whole different subject, but to me it all comes down to the application if it's martial arts or defense against your neighbor. You see some schools teaching handguns and rifles as martials arts. Is a FA18 pilot a martial arts practitioner? It's getting late and I'm losing my train of thought, sorry. Hope this helps some.
Edited by reboot (10/25/09 01:23 AM)