3 questions about karate history

Discussion in 'Japanese Culture and History' started by donald1, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. donald1

    donald1 Senior Master

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    1. during class when you are in line with the others, why is it insulting to show the bottom of your foot to the upper belts?

    2. if you are invited to partake at the grand masters table, why is it insulting to show the bottom of your glass?

    3. what does it mean when someone is a doctor of karate?
     
  2. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master Black Belt

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    "karate" is a pretty loose term, and the questions you've asked have nothing to do with history. However, here are the answers as I understand them ...

    1. It is considered quite rude and insulting in Japanese society to expose the bottom of your feet to anyone. I presume this is because they are often dirty, but that is simply one of Japan's many etiquette rules.

    2. It is considered somewhat insulting in polite Japanese society to show the bottom of your glass as this suggests that your host is not doing his job and keeping your glass full. In polite Japanese society, you never fill your own glass.

    3. Someone is considered a "doctor" of karate when their ego has outgrown the ability of their head to contain it. Seriously, I don't know what the deal is with terms such as "grandmaster", "professor", and "Phd" or "doctorate" in karate. They make no real sense to me, and don't have anything to do with traditional schools of karate as far as I know. Of course, there are a great many American and European martial arts schools that call what they do "karate" and have no connection or affiliation with the traditional schools of karate. In that case though, I don't understand why they would want to attempt Japanese etiquette.
     
  3. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

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    Perhaps Hokama Tetsuhiro might be the exception. :asian:
     
  4. donald1

    donald1 Senior Master

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    thank you for the advise, you seem wise are there any good websites that show Japanese history. hopefully our karate club will come to japan 2 years from now and it would be good to at least have a decent understanding
     
  5. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master Black Belt

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    Really? I've never heard of Hokama Tetsuhiro calling himself doctor or grandmaster. In fact, I remember reading an interview with him several years ago where he said something along the lines of "those that make the most noise have the least knowledge". That's not an exact quote as it was a while ago, but that was the gist of it.
     
  6. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master Black Belt

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    Wise is NOT an adjective most people would use to describe me! :)
    I get the feeling that English is not a first language for you. I feel that when you say history you are actually meaning etiquette, so I have included what I consider a good link for etiqutte when visiting Japan ... http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e622.html

    The important thing to remember is that they don't expect foreigners to know all the ins and outs of Japanese society. If you make an effort to try, they are very forgiving of any mistakes made.
     
  7. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

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    From his book "Timeline of Karate History".

    2002 Honorary PhD in Karate and Kubido from IOND University, USA.

    2004 PhD in Physical Education (Martial Arts) from Mindinao State University in the Philippines.

    I know he has done a lot of lecturing in various places and has produced a heap of literature.

    Apropo the quote about noise. Apparently in one interview he picked up a nearly empty container of drink and shook it. He went on to say that if you shake a full container it doesn't make much sound. I like that. :)

    :asian:
     
  8. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master Black Belt

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    I didn't know that he had honorary doctorates. Of course, an honorary doctorate doesn't actually give someone the right to call themselves doctor, but I still didn't know he had them.

    That's the one I remember reading, but I couldn't remember exactly how it was put. I'm going to make more of an effort to remember it this time as I really like it also! :)
     
  9. Argus

    Argus Black Belt

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    In my head!
    Are you sure about that? I know that is the case in some cultures - especially in the middle east. But I've never heard of that in regards to Japanese culture (which I'm pretty familiar with). I'm curious if something slipped past me.
     
  10. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

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    I'm not sure that the Philippines one isn't the real deal. I can vaguely recall him telling us about it a few years back when we visited him. He is very unassuming and totally charming. : asian:
     
  11. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master Black Belt

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    According to one of my instructors in Japan, one should never point the soles of your feet at another. He explained this because many westerners have trouble sitting in seiza, and so will sit with their legs crossed tailor fashion. If not careful, this can bare the soles of your feet to whoever is next to you, which he said was rude. Women have it easier because they can sit with their legs tucked to the side, but men don't sit like that. :)
     
  12. TKDTony2179

    TKDTony2179 Blue Belt

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    Wow!! All new to me.
     

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