Discussion in 'Karate' started by bodyshot, May 28, 2015.

  1. bodyshot

    bodyshot Brown Belt Zanshin Karate

    Just wanted some feed back from the mappers concerning what a karate is and isn't, in other words what really makes it a Karate instead of something else.
  2. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    You walk into a dojo and the instructor says, "Hi. I teach karate."


    Srs response. You're only going to get subjective answers to that question. Generally, you have the "major" styles like Wado, Shotokan, Shukokai, and so on. But there are so many derivates of those styles, and no universally accepted qualifying criteria to say what karate is or isn't, that you can pretty much slap the label "karate" on something and crack on.
  3. Travess

    Travess The Welsh MAPper Supporter


    Chuck Norris is synonymous with 'Karate', but he actually trained (initially) in Tang So Do, which due to lack of awareness of the style, was marketed as Tang So Do style Karate.

    Plus, each style will then also be subject to additional variants (Traditional, Sport, RBSD etc...) of which ever is claimed, me not be what is actually being covered. As VZ pointed out, way too subjective, with far too many contexts to provide an answer.


  4. bassai

    bassai onwards and upwards ! Moderator Supporter

    That's pretty much it , the only other thing I'd add is some kind of connection back to Okinawa or Japan.
  5. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Even in the same organisation, in the same style, in the same city even, you will get variations in what is taught from dojo to dojo.

    Karate is quite a vague term (I know a number of instructors who avoid using it altogether, instead preferring to say "We teach traditional [something]-ryu"). But it is a good reference point when discussing martial arts with non-martial artists. I found myself describing Taekwondo as "Karate, but from Korea and with flashier kicks."
  6. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Nowadays its ""Hi. I teach MMAa (or JJ)

    In the late 50's...everyone wanted to go to a boxing gym.

    Then Judo hit the scene in "spy movies" (like early James Bond), Judo was almost everywhere

    Then Karate hit the scene (worse than Judo because people were calling everything Karate, including those who "invented their own school-style"

    Then it was Kung Fu....even was a song about it (Kung Fu Fighting)

    Then Kickboxing

    Now MMA

    A rose by any other name is still a rose.
    Only those who are a florist, gardener, horticulturist tend to get more "technical"

    Martial Arts and Martial Artists are in the same position

    I guess another way of looking at Karate, is to mention some good books to read;

    Patrick McCarthy and Mark Bishop is a good start

    If anyone cares to add other books on the subject, it will be good
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
  7. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    You forgot what went in between "kung fu" (70s) and "kickboxing" (90s). The 80s belonged to the ninja.
  8. bodyshot

    bodyshot Brown Belt Zanshin Karate

    That's good stuff guys, I think you covered it pretty well. Just a couple questions though, I see the Japanese karate association and the kukiwan as being liget certificate associations, what does that mean about all the other karate associations are they bunk?
  9. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    direct descent from the okinawan stylists and specific claim (there are "karate" styles that have renounced the name, such as daido juju karate becoming kudo daido juku, and stuff like tang soo do and tkd which come from karate but evolved into their own thing). if they call it karate but it doesn't come from any source of, you know, actual karate, then strictly speaking it ain't karate IMO :p
  10. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    re: organizations: the vast majority of organizations are independent of each other and have varying degrees of beef with each other (some being extremely friendly, some outright hostile to certain others). there are general orgs, regional orgs, sport based orgs, style based orgs, mixes of the former (such as when a substyle splits from its parent school), and so on. i know of three worldwide "general" orgs, namely the world karate federation, the world karate confederation (afaik a splinter group from the wkf), and the japan karate federation, and i think all three groups are sports based (and most of the styles that fall under their umbrellas still have at least one, sometimes multiple governing organizations each, such as for the multiple lineages of shotokan, ****o-ryu and goju-ryu). the japan karate association is the original organization that managed the shotokan style, and where the first international instructors came from, but many of those ended up splitting away and forming their own geoups, some of which rival the jka in size (skif and itkf for example)
  11. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Better kicks. "Karate, but from Korea and with better kicks."

  12. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    Shhhh. The first rule of ninja club...:vanish:
  13. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Yes...I could not include that without the worry of getting hit with a ninja death star
  14. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    "Better" is what people who can't do the splits call flashier.
  15. bodyshot

    bodyshot Brown Belt Zanshin Karate

    Alright thanks guys, one more thing though. Does all karate have some kind of moral doctrines, and if so then how stringent are the about keeping to them?
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
  16. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    nope. some do, and adheRENCE runs the gamut. most universal things you'll find are related to not being a naughty person and randomly attacking people.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2015
  17. bodyshot

    bodyshot Brown Belt Zanshin Karate

    I wanna make some serious jokes about that but I won't.
  18. bodyshot

    bodyshot Brown Belt Zanshin Karate

    If its called a karate does it have to use Kata, that's a big question for me. Other wise isn't it just kick boxing.
  19. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter


    Kata is a teaching tool, but you could be learning kata originating techniques rather than spending time learning kata. While kata as a learning tool that pre-existed karate, the techniques and tactics always predate the forms that can be used to teach them, so you can have 'real' karate without kata.

    Kickboxing may have originated in karate but it is a different art and lack of kata is only one element of that.
  20. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Some would say that Kata (in a sense) is in any type of physical training

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