Styles of Karate.

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Andy Murray, Jul 11, 2002.

  1. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.


    Can anyone explain the distinctions between the different styles of Karate.

    I have come across Shotokan, Shoto- Kai, Shuko-Kai, Goju Ryu, Ishin-Ryu, Wado Ryu etc.

    Are they all that different, and if so, why?


  2. Saz

    Saz Nerd Admin

    As far as I know, most of the styles of Karate are based on the basics (or kihon) from Shotokan. If you look at most histories of Karate's that began in the early 20th century, most of the founder's of various systems studied Shotokan at some point. As they studied other arts, they incorporated techniquies they found most effective it into their new art. Mas Oyama managed to incorporate Shotokan, Goju Ryu, Chinese kenpo and Thai Kickboxing into Kyoukshinkai for example.
  3. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    Sorry Sarah,

    How could I miss Kyokushinkai doh.

    Do you think incorporating multiple styles into one dilutes each component, or is that an acceptable loss in building a more adaptable style?

  4. Kosokun

    Kosokun Valued Member

    Hahahahaahaaahhahahahaa! Sorry, no. Patenly nonesense.

    Take for example, Goju. One of the styles that the founder of Kyokushinkai studied. It has completly different basics and kata from Shotokan. It's lineage is thouroghly different.

    KG, you're trolling, aren't you?
    I'm sorry, but your info here is ridiculously untrue.

    Miyagi (founder of Goju) never studied under Funakoshi, and was considered to be a far superior martial artist than Funakoshi. Same for Kenwa Mabuni (founder of ****o Ryu). Kanei Uechi (founder of Uechi Ryu), or pick any of the founders of the myriad Shorin Ryu systems on Okinawa.

    This is true for Oyama. Ohtsuka and Konishi (founders of Wado and Shindo Jinen ryu's, respectively). But, to say that even *most* karate schools founders studied under Funakoshi (shotokan's founder) or his students or, as you say above, is somehow *based* upon Shotokan, is terribly misinformed.

  5. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    Hey Rob,

    That's what the threads here for.

    Inform us.

  6. Kosokun

    Kosokun Valued Member

    Hmmm, daunting task.

    Shotokan and Shoto-Kai both stem from Gichin Funakoshi and his students.

    Shuko Kai, is also known as Tani Ha ****o Ryu. It's founder was Chojiro Tani, one of the few people that Kenwa Mabuni (****o Ryu's founder) gave Shihan licenses to.

    Goju Ryu was founded by Chojun Miyagi. It's a style that originated from Naha and emphasizes body conditioning, breathing, and circular movements.

    Isshin Ryu, was founded by Tatsuo Shimabaku. He studied under both Chotoku Kyan (Seibukan Shorin Ryu) and Chojun Miyagi. It represents his synthesis of these two styles.

    Wado Ryu was founded by Hinori Ohtsuka. He was one of Gichin Funakoshi's most senior students in Japan. He also was a Grand Master of a particular style of Ju Jitsu *prior* to studying with Funakoshi. Ohtsuka also studied extensively with Kenwa Mabuni and Choki Motobu. Wado represents Ohtsuka's idea of budo based upon his Ju jitsu and karate backgrounds.

  7. Kosokun

    Kosokun Valued Member

    Andy, I can only write one post at a time! ;)

    I was writing my secon post (about the founders of the other styles) while you posted this! :D

  8. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    No problem Rob,

    Impatient cos I'm laid up mate.
  9. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    So are Shotokan and Shoto Kai, the oldest systems of Karate?
  10. Kosokun

    Kosokun Valued Member

    Not by a long shot!!!

  11. Melanie

    Melanie Bend the rules somewhat.. Supporter

    The oldest noted martial art I have heard of so far is Shaolin Boxing. About 1400 years ago while teaching at the Shaolin Temple in China, Daruma Daishi used techniques basic to karate, these techniques apparently developed into Shaolin Boxing and in the 16th Century this "style" found its way from China to Okinawa.

    In 1922 Gichin Funakoshi brought "Shotokan" to the fore wasn't it? When he demonstrated karate at the 1st National Athletic exhibition in Tokyo.
  12. Kosokun

    Kosokun Valued Member

    Funakoshi demonstrated Shuri Te and not "Shotokan" before the Crown Prince and the Emperor.

    "Shotokan" hadn't been created, and Funakoshi never liked that name, according to most researchers.

  13. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    So what is recognised as the oldest form of Karate then?

    Is it still practiced today?
  14. Kosokun

    Kosokun Valued Member

    There's nothing that's recognized as such. The reason, IMO is because of the concept of Shu Ha Ri that's part of the Japanese/Okinawan culture. In this concept, one will study from someone, strictly imitating the instructor and doing exactly as told. Without any variation. Think about it, for a moment. For you to modify what I teach you to fit your body, you first have to learn and understand what it is that I'm teaching you, right?

    The next step (ha) is a phase where the student begins to experiment, explore, expand and develop his understanding of his teachers instruction.

    The final step, ri is where the student is no longer a student, but a master in his own right. His karate at this phase is uniquely his own. In fact, it can be considered a new style.

    The common understanding of the day, and with Funakoshi in particular, was that there were no styles as such. Much like with accomplished Jazz musicians. Each creates their own style, yet they still play Jazz. For example, Do Cannonball Adderly, John Coletrane, Richie Cole or Grover Washington all have the same style?

    So, from that perspective, there were only practitioners that came before but no "styles".

    That help?

  15. Kosokun

    Kosokun Valued Member

    Now, having said that, the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai (a de facto branch of the govt) wanted the organization and codification of the various karate methodologies into schools. In the early 1930's Chojun Miyagi became the first to register his school and cirriculum with the DNBK as Goju Ryu. The next was Kenwa Mabuni with ****o Ryu and I forget whether Ohtsuka's Wado or Funakoshi's Shotokan was next. So, the notion of styles is a relatively new phenomena.

  16. Kosokun

    Kosokun Valued Member

    The USANKF has some nice histories of 3 of the 4 major styles of Japanese Karate on its website.

    Click on "Organization" at the top and then "Karate Styles" on the side.

    A drop down menu will appear for you to select which style's history to view.

  17. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    What's the fourth major style Rob?
  18. Kosokun

    Kosokun Valued Member

    Goju. I just wasn't impressed with the submission for goju on the site. the 3 of 4 was an editorial comment. Sorry. Mea Culpa!

  19. Chazz

    Chazz Keepin it kickin TKD style

    There is a good book called "Martial Arts Training In Japan, A Guide For Westerners" ! It give info on most of the styles for Karate including history and contact info. Its a good book to read!
  20. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    Interesting that there is a kind of concept of wrongness to change inherent in most of the Trad systems.
    At some point someone assumes their own Mastery and sets out on their own.
    How can an individual realise that they have acheived the 'Ri' phase?
    Do they feel they have nothing left to learn from their art?
    Or is it that they are unable to learn anything further from their art?
    Does 'Ri' pounce on them unawares one day, and off they go to form a new system/style?

    If someone who has acheived this level moves on to start a new style/system, then initially I would imagine their contemporaries will think them arrogant and illusioned, yet if their spin on things proves to be successful, then I suppose History will be written by the victor.


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