Sport Karate

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Shotowarrior, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. Tommy_P

    Tommy_P New Member

    I have to disagree, while kata are designed to end where they start it's a generalization. You come back to the beginning but in the general area not right on the same line you started from. To give the benefit of doubt I viewed some Matsubayashi Shorin kata and most that I viewed finished a couple of steps forward of the line.

    In Funakoshi's Karate Do Kyohan in the section giving instruction on performing Heian Godan, when explaining the jump he instructs to "jump as high and as far as possible". How can you possibly end up on the line after that?

    I have been a Shotokan practitioner for many years and the branch that I belong to has always practiced very old versions of Funakoshi's kata as the head instructor was a student of Funakoshi and his son. We have never ended up " on the start line" until recently when a governing body to "standardize" the kata was formed. The kata have now been altered slightly to look more like JKA kata. Extra Steps (the same ones in the JKA forms) have been added to insure coming back to the line. Somtimes the change can be as subtle as the addition of a yori-ashi (dragging step)
    here or there ;)

    The embusen is the line of the kata, not the finish point from what I understand. It's the line of movement. You state that Aragaki kata haven't been altered? Do you have data to support this, I'm just curious since I don't know many kata that haven't been altered in some way, especially if they have been used in competition.
    Just as a side note, if your kata is kicking above where the tips of the fingers rest with your hands at your sides then it has at least been altered in that manner......ok, I'll give ya groin height! :D

    Last edited: Feb 2, 2005
  2. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    Apologies, Unsu has been altered, the high acrobatic kick replaced a similar lower kick for crowd pleasing purposes.
  3. shotokanwarrior

    shotokanwarrior I am the One

    Actually, from what I've heard, you get a lot of bloody noses and lacerated faces. Removed.

    Death to traditional karate. I would LOVE to see it become an Olympic sport. There is no value in holding on to a load of 'true' or 'budo' rubbish which is of no use anywhere. Ippon to Kwajman - elitist attitudes to sport karate are analogous in my opinion to rich people's condescending attitude to working/middle class people. It's nothing but snobbery and adhering to useless formal practices which will not serve you anywhere does not make the art 'better' 'truer', more wholesome or more fulfilling in any way. Traditionalists, PLEASE stop treating the sport fighters with such condescension, it is unwarranted. If your 'true' methods are so much better than ours, come on then, the ring's over here.

    Yakh!!!!!! *blistering punch to the jaw*

    And you are so much better than us. There, rationalize that. 'Oh, but I do true karate, not that sport rubbish you do, real budo karate is much better.' *******, it's not better if it DOESN'T SERVE YOU ANYWHERE.


    Personal attack removed - Gaskell
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2005
  4. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    That was clear and obvious sarcasm you completely failed to grasp. It was parody of the people who, whenever shotokan is mentioned, start bleating on about it being watered down and for schoolchildren. I train in (and throughly enjoy) shotokan karate myself and have competed in various national tournaments, so I know exactly what happens in shotokan tournaments. I don't consider it "sport karate" and just enter competitions for the fun of it and to try out my techniques against different people. I can understand your frustration about martial arts snobbery, but next time, don't vent it at someone who's on your side. And please avoid swearing and threats - they detract from your argument.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2005
  5. shotokanwarrior

    shotokanwarrior I am the One

    Damn sorry, moosey, I apologize. I thought you were being sarcastic about Shotokan, not the people who slate it. No hard feelings?

    It wasn't a threat though, I was making a point. Just trying to 'illustrate' the fact that 'true' or 'budo' karate is not better because it's NO USE to people.
  6. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    No hard feelings. I get protective of karate myself - I think we all tend to take it very personally when someone picks on our martial art. I guess it's a good thing - shows passion and dedication!
  7. shotokanwarrior

    shotokanwarrior I am the One

    Sorry for the offense.

    I don't mind it if Bullshido people point out existing and true flaws in Shotokan, but when people just slate's a different matter.
  8. Shotowarrior

    Shotowarrior New Member

    [Just trying to 'illustrate' the fact that 'true' or 'budo' karate is not better because it's NO USE to people.
    I am affraid sir you are wrong, true traditional or Budo Karate is more important to the true Karate ka than sport. Sport and competition teaches us how to have fun with our skill, meet new people and to see how we react in competition.

    It does not teach us the basics of the system, nor the way of Ki or to breath correctly, or how to use undying concentration and focus. This is what true traditional Karate teaches us. I am not against competition but just at how seriously people take sport Karate.

    "Follow the Way with honor, and be like the nature of water"
  9. shotokanwarrior

    shotokanwarrior I am the One

    Yes, it does. Correct me if I'm wrong, I am assuming that by basics you mean things like core movements. We do not sacrifice technique for any other quality such as speed, we still swivel the body in a reverse punch and turn the hip in a side kick and all that.

    1) What will the way of Ki do for me? You can talk about developing the spirit and vital energy and all that, but at the day messing around with things like learning to feel Ki will not have a tangible effect on my life.

    2) Who are you to tell me that the way of Ki is necessary? You have no right to force your own values on other people. If you find that walking around with an imaginary ball of light embedded in your solar plexus affects you positively, good for you. Enjoy it - but you have no business imposing judgements on other people because they find no place for this practice.

    Actually, it does, my sensei has always taught us to exhale when exerting any muscle, which obviously includes throwing a punch or kick, as it is beneficial.

    This is blatant rubbish. Of course you need concentration and focus in sport fighting. If you don't have concentration and focus you will go to pieces when you and an opponent are launching attacks and clashing your limbs at high speed. In fact you use more 'undying concentration and focus' in sport fighting than you do in the traditional practice, because in traditional training methods (stuff like drills and katas) you can concentrate just on one move, whereas in actual fighting you are moving at high speed and it is hard not to 'lose it.' For this reason someone trained as a sport fighter will likely be a better fighter than someone who trains purely at 'traditional' practices becase they will be used to this.

    You have no business telling people that we should not take sport karate seriously. If you want to do nothing but katas and robotic drills, good luck to you, but you have no right to tell others what to take seriously. It is your own personal opinion and it is fascist to impose it on other people who may not agree.

    This is beside the point but I will say it anyway: What is the difference between an Olympic athlete like Kelly Holmes who trains for an event with all the intensity and motivation she has, and a sport karateka who also trains their ass off? They are both making progress to something which means a great deal to them and they are both learning to deal with winning and losing.

    Also, consider this: A purely 'true' karateka will not learn to deal with winning and losing and they will never learn what it is to put their ego on the line in a contest. How is this beneficial? How is it good to never fight for something which means a lot to you, never learn to acknowledge that someone else is superior, never have to acknowledge that you are just another contender and never have to learn to keep coming even when you are losing?

    By the way I'm a girl, don't call me sir.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2005
  10. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    Ok, I'm going to make a controversial point now, which will no doubt get me flamed into oblivion. Shotokan is Gichin Funakoshi's style, so to practive shotokan you must practice Gichin Funakoshi's style. Funakoshi taught that going on the offensive when attacked was wrong, and he also taught that anyone who used karate to satisfy their ego had not grasped the essence of karate-do. So, technically you cannot train in Shotokan for the purpose of competition, because it goes against one of the primary principles of the style (in the same was that you cant pass forwards in rugby).

    Told you it was controversial.

    As for Ki, if you've ever experienced it then you would see that is has a place in any part of karate, and that ball of light is focussed in your hara (2 inches below your navel) not your solar plexus.
  11. shotokanwarrior

    shotokanwarrior I am the One


    I sincerely hope you are being sarcastic. I was not being genuine when I referred to the ball of light in the solar plexus thing. It's an expression I like to use as a byword for pretentiousness/pretentious spiritualism in the martial arts. I read about a visualisation exercise some time ago which told people to 'Imagine a yellow white ball of light in your solar plexus' and I've been fond of using it facetiously/sarcastically ever since. You are not telling me you SERIOUSLY learn to focus balls of light in the visceral region at your training sessions?

    Technically you can't spar and hence you cannot learn to fight, according to this principle.

    This is just being patronising. 'You have not experienced Ki, so you have no space to talk.' I do however have common sense and it tells me that if it does not actually have an effect on my life or my development then I can do without it.
  12. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    The ball of light is an analogy for the focus of energy, and yes I practice it, and it happens to be a vital principle in Zen Buddhism so congratulations on rubbishing an entire religion.

    It is possible to practice controlled sparring or jiyu kumite without it being for the purpose of competition.

    I'm sorry if you found me patronising, but my point stands, it is easy to rubbish something you have no experience of, and without learning to use ki, it is difficult to continue your progression much past nidan.
  13. Tommy_P

    Tommy_P New Member

    Please keep going, I'm enjoying this :D

    Wow! She's good!!!!!

  14. shotokanwarrior

    shotokanwarrior I am the One

    Yes but someone has to attack first or you would be standing in the dojo all night waiting for the other person to attack, so according to the principle you documented free sparring is wrong. This is beside the point but the principle is actually stupidly authoritarian. The point of 'no first attack' is that you do not transgress on the bodily integrity or exert your power on another sentient being when you do not have a right to. Sparring is nothing like this. 1) It's consensual. No one makes you walk into the ring and 2) You are doing it to learn, not because you are in danger or have a disagreement, there are no power issues involved.

    Another consideration: Who says Funakoshi is right? So he's the founder of the art, it doesn't make him infallible.

    1) I cannot help thinking this is a very convenient argument. How are you supposed to experience Ki? It's a nothing, an untouchable ether.

    2) Let's just throw aside all the theories and symbolisms and look at the REALITY here. Ki does not tangibly exist. It's not even a physical nothing like subatomic particles or electromagetic radiation. It's not going to have any effect like making me stronger or my reflexes faster. The most it can do if I decide that I believe in it is have a 'placebo effect' and that will be very limited as if you do not develop your body, and rely on Ki, you will not get stronger/faster/more skilled etc. So of course it is easy to rubbish and this should not make my point invalid when I say that something so intangible should not be so emphasised.

    I'm aware of this ethos in senior martial arts. My sensei has told me that after 3rd dan grading you don't fight any more, you have to display things which show development of the spirit and things like writing theses on supposedly profound subjects like 'What does having a black belt mean to me?'

    This is morally wrong. For a start it is very undemocratic. People who are not spiritual cannot rise to the top and so the people who do have the approved spiritualist ideology will always be the ones exerting power. So, if you don't agree with the head honchos, or at least pretend to, you will never get anywhere and no one can change this system, unless of course they act like 'sleeper agents' (is that the right term for it?) that is, pretend to fit in with the mandatory ideology then when they rise high enough to start exerting some influence, spread their own views/material. Then of course there is the fact that karate is not primarily about using Ki, it is about learning to fight. My arguments for this fact are:

    1) It was developed for fighting
    2) Kicking, punching etc. is used as the medium
    3) The great majority (I will not be so arbitrary as to say they all do) of people go to karate classes to learn to fight. If they wanted spiritual development they would go somewhere else for it.

    So, not progressing past Nidan does not make progressing past Nidan a good thing.
  15. shotokanwarrior

    shotokanwarrior I am the One

    By the way Kwajman, I love your signature:)
  16. Kyu

    Kyu New Member

    Man Shotokanwarrior
    ...You know a lil about Shotokan..I agree with your points
  17. shotokanwarrior

    shotokanwarrior I am the One

    Thanks, Kyu. I always try to know what I'm on about:)

    I like learning about anything. Even if the subject sucks, you can learn about it so you can legitimately criticise it:)
  18. Kyu

    Kyu New Member

    I will make a note not to ever go Against anything you say...
  19. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    Good idea, I'm regretting it
  20. shotokanwarrior

    shotokanwarrior I am the One

    So now I'm relegated to the status of 'oh, that really visceral and fiery girl who flames everyone.'

    *Sigh* God knows I try.

    Oh, and Kyu, you can disagree with me if you want, don't worry. I might be a passionate debater but I have democratic principles.

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