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Old 18-Feb-2013, 01:50 PM
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The different styles / systems of Karate: Part-II, The descendent systems

Part-II of The different styles / systems of Karate.

As with the development from the earliest systems of Okinawan Karate many of it's students have made further studies of their system and incorporating other systems to their knowledge including other forms of martial arts from both Japan and from other countries.

This leads to the development of new systems including dojos setup by some of these students to promote such.

Others have developed it's own system but from traditional Okinawan martial arts of Shuri-te or Naha-te but have been developed after WWII.

And with this period, we see the development of Okinawan Karate and it's spread not just in Japan but in other countries as well specifically The United States where it has became the generic name to describe any striking based martial art.

Let this article, including Part-I serve as a guide and info for those who are new to karate and are still decided on what style he or she is going to train in.



Shindo Jinen Ryu (神道自然流)

Origin: Japan
Founded: 1933
Founder: Yasuhiro Konishi (18931983)
Ancestor Schools: Shito-Ryu, Shotokan, Motobu-Ryu, Takenouchi-Ryu
Techniques: Both hard and soft
Stance: Deep / natural
Known practitioners:

I - About Shindo Jinen Ryu

The founder of this Karate system believed that if one lives a moral life, then one is naturally following the divine way.

Such idea is extended in Karate training in which, if training in karate in a natural way leads one to mastery of one's body, knowledge and experience are vastly increased and the foundation for naturally living a moral life is established.

This philosophy is why it's founder, Yasuhiro Konishi named it Shindo Jinen Ryu meaning "godly, natural style, complete empty-handed way".

II - The system

The earliest systems of both Shotokan and Shito-Ryu were major influences in Shindo Jinen Ryu.

Elements from other Japanese martial arts including Aikido, Jujitsu and Kendo have been incorporated to this system.

It is more of a practical system with emphasis on takedowns after entering strikes.

III - Kata

Known for have the most number of kata in any Karate system, Shindo Jinen Ryu has over 60 forms of kata which includes variation from both Shotokan and Shito-Ryu and from the weapon system of Okinawan Kobudo.

There are also additional forms of kata that is exclusive to Shindo Jinen Ryu which includes Shisochin, Saifa, Kururunfa and Tomari Bassai.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8DSDvsDqsg"]Yasuhiro Konishi - YouTube[/ame]

Research sources: Japan Karate-Do Ryobu-Kai



Isshin Ryu (一心流)

Origin: Okinawa
Founded: 1956
Founder: Tatsuo Shimabuku (19081975)
Ancestor Schools: Shorin-Ryu, Goju-Ryu, Kobudo
Techniques: Primarily Hard
Stance: Natural
Known practitioners: Kaneshi Eiko, Kichiro Shimabuku, Harold G. Long

I - About Isshin Ryu

Tatsuo Shimabuku, the founder of this system started his martial arts training through his maternal uncle, Shinko Ganeku and was later sent to train Traditional Okinawan Karate under Chotoku Kyan, a major influence on the system of Shorin-Ryu.

Shimabuku was the first to master both Shorin-Ryu and Goju-Ryu as he also trained from the later's founder, Chojun Miyagi and with Choki Motobu who developed the system of Motobu-Ryu.

He then opened his own dojo in Konbu Village, Okinawa back in 1946 and began teaching that same year.

In 1956, Shimabuku held a meeting where he announced the name of his system, Isshin-Ryu meaning "one heart way".

His philosophy, "because all things begin with one".

II - The system

A synthesis of three different systems, Isshin-Ryu focuses on empty-hand techniques based on both Shorin-Ryu and Goju-Ryu. It also feature weapons techniques based on Kobudo with much emphasis on the Bo or "wooden staff" and The Tonfa.

One of the distinctive features of Isshin-Ryu are the various striking techniques.

Vertical punches with tucked-in fingers and the thumb of top of the fist are common with this system as it is faster to execute compared to a corkscrew punch.

And instead of putting emphasis on thrusting and follow-through, kicks in Isshin-Ryu are of "snapping motion".

Other than strikes, blocks within this system differ due to the use of the muscle at the intended contact point compared to the use of the bone as with other systems. Such increases the ability to absorb a strike and it causes less stress for the defender.

III - Kata

There are 14 forms of kata in Isshin-Ryu which includes both empty hand and Traditional Okinawan weapons.

Many of the empty hand katas were based on the teachings of Chotoku Kyan, Shimabuku's most influential instructor. This includes, Seisan, Naihanchi, Chinto and Kusanku.

There are also Goju-Ryu based katas in this system including Sanchin and Seiunchin.

Shimabuku also developed his own kata for this system which was Sunsu. This form of kata contains several movements from other forms that are within this system.

The Sunsu kata is unique in Isshin-Ryu as it best represent this system of Karate plus has made it's acceptance as a modern Ryukyu martial art.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfmmjhhNawI"]SHINSHINKAN ISSHIN RYU KARATE - BLACK BELT IN TRAINING - YouTube[/ame]

Research Sources: Isshin-Ryu World Karate Association



Kyokushinkai (昭平流)

Origin: Japan
Founded: 1956
Founder: Masutatsu Oyama (19231994)
Ancestor Schools: Shotokan, Goju-Ryu
Techniques: Hard, Soft (advanced)
Stance: Natural
Known practitioners: Sonny Chiba, Dolph Lundgren, Terutomo Yamazaki, Vladimir Putin

I - About Kyokushinkai

A full contact karate-style developed by Japanese of Korean descent, Masutatsu Oyama or also known through his Korean name, Choi Yeong-eui.

Oyama received his martial arts training various Traditional Okinawan Martial Arts including Shotokan under it's founder Gichin Funakoshi and Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu under Yoshida Kotaro.

He also trained in Goju-Ryu after WWII under So Nei Chu as well as Gogen Yamaguchi.

Masahiko Kimura, known for defeating Brazilian Jujitsu champion Helio Gracie was also a major influence to Oyama who encouraged him to train in judo.

Despite of that, Oyama retreated in the mountains and trained there alone. This practiced was known to be called yamagomori.While there, he engaged in shugyo or "spiritual discipline".

As a Goju-Ryu practitioner, Oyama traveled to The United States back in the early 1950s and spread the influence of their art and taught those interested.

He then resigned from Goju-Ryu back in 1953 and opened up his own dojo in Tokyo which was originally called Oyama Dojo. Oyama then decided to move his dojo from a vacant lot in Mejiro, Tokyo to a ballet studio near Rikkyo University.

During a ceremony back in 1957, Oyama named his system Kyokushin due to it's curriculum and reputation as a tough, intense, hard-hitting, and practical style.

II - The system

Kyokushin means "Ultimate Truth" in which it's goals is to strengthen and improve character by challenging oneself through rigorous training.

Much of it's techniques and movements in Kyokushin Karate are influenced by both Shotokan and Goju-Ryu as with the mostly hard strikes and blocks.

In most kumite or sparring sessions, hand strikes to the head is strictly forbidden but kicks to the head and both inner and outer leg, punches to the upper body and knee strikes are permitted.

Self-defense technique are also taught in a few Kyokushin dojos. This is known to be Goshin-jutsu based on Oyama's training of Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu under Yoshida Kotaro.

III - Kata

Kyokushin Katas are classified into two forms, northern and southern.

The northern forms of kata have it's influence from The Traditional Okinawan martial art of Shuri-te and in Shotokan where Oyama trained under it's founder Gichin Funakoshi.

These includes, Taikyoku sono ichi, Taikyoku sono ni and Taikyoku sono san.

Another is the Pinan / Heian kata developed by Shuri-te master and one of the developers of Shorin-Ryu karate, Anko Itosu.

Examples would be, Pinan Sono Ichi, Pinan Sono Ni, Pinan Sono San, Pinan Sono yon and Pinan Sono Go.

Other katas include Kanku, Sushiho, Bassai-dai and Naihanchi in which the latter two are used in some Kyokushin organizations.

In addition, Kyokushin founder Mas Oyama developed his own kata which emphasizes on kicking.

These are, Sokugi Taikyoku sono ichi, Sokugi Taikyoku sono ni and Sokugi Taikyoku sono san.

The southern forms of kata are based on the soft styles of Naha-te and Goju-Ryu where Oyama trained under So Nei Chu and Gogen Yamaguchi.

These are Gekisai Dai and Gekisai Sho which were developed by Goju-Ryu founder Chojun Miyagi.

Another kata developed by Miyagi was Tensho which was one of the older forms and is based on the point and circle principles of Kempo.

It is one of the most advanced kata in Kyokushin.

A third would be Sanchin which is one of the oldest form of kata with it's roots in China. Kyokushin practitioners perform the traditional version developed by Miyagi's teacher, Kanryo Higashionna.

Other katas based on Higashionna's influence would be the Chinese katas of Saiha, Seienchin and Seipai.

Next is Yantsu or "keep pure" which originates with Motobu-ha Shitoryu.

And Tsuki no kata founded Kaicho Tadashi Nakamura.

Oyama also developed his own soft form of kata, Garyu based on his pen name meaning "reclining dragon".

He also developed "reverse katas" which is called Ura. Such include, Taikyoku sono ichi ura, Taikyoku sono ni ura, Taikyoku sono san ura, Pinan sono ichi ura, Pinan sono ni ura, Pinan sono san ura, Pinan sono yon ura and Pinan sono go ura.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyhaZ4ODZHk"]This is Kyokushin - YouTube[/ame]

Research sources: Mas Oyama official site

Last edited by Manila-X; 19-Feb-2013 at 02:49 AM.
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