Four Major Styles of Japanese Karate.

Discussion in 'Karate' started by arnisador, Feb 2, 2002.

  1. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    In an interview with Fumio Demura of Shito-ryu karate I saw the statement:

    Shotokan would be another of course; what are the remaining two styles? Wado-ryu and Kyokushinkai come to mind as possibilities.


    (Other interviews from that site are available here.)
     
  2. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    Maybe Yamaguchi's Goju ryu? I think Wado ryu and Kyokushin are more likely possibilities, though.

    Cthulhu
     
  3. Martin h

    Martin h Green Belt

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    Hi all

    The four major styles of karate in japan are:
    Gojuryu (and gojukai).
    Shotokan.
    Shitoryu (divided into several schools -Shukokai, Sankukai, Itosu-Kai, Seishinkai, Kofukan, Kuniba Ha, Motobu Ha, and Hayashi-ha to name a few).
    and
    Wadoryu (and wadokai).

    Kyokushin is not counted among the four big ones because Kyokushin always been "outside" the main karate community in japan, with its own competition rules and so on.
    The four main ones are the ones who joined to form the JKF (japan karate federation), today part of the WKF (World karate federation - formerly known as WUKO). And you can easily see who they where by looking at the wkf shitei kata (allowed katas and variations in wkf kata competitions) list, as they are restricted to katas from these styles.
     
  4. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Is this the WKF site? I couldn't find a list of the "shitei kata" that you mentioned--do you know what they are?
     
  5. Martin h

    Martin h Green Belt

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    yes it is the right site.
    You can read the shitei list in the rules section at:
    http://www.wkf.net/html/apprendix3.html#apprex6
    However looking at it I realise that I am using old terms.
    Shitei is, after the big rule revision of 2000, the short list of katas allowed in the finals.
    The total list is now known as the major kata list.
    However both lists include only katas from the four major styles.
     
  6. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    From the WKF site, the eight shitei (cumpulsory) kata are:
    Goju Seipai
    Saifa

    Shoto Jion
    Kanku Dai

    Shito Bassai Dai
    Seienchin

    Wado Seishan
    Chinto

    This is followed by this more comprehensive list:
    MAJOR KATA LIST OF THE WORLD KARATE FEDERATION
    SHOTOKAN KATAS

    1. Bassai-Dai 12. Jion
    2. Bassai-Sho 13. Sochin
    3. Kanku-Dai 14. Nijushiho Sho
    4. Kanku-Sho 15. Goju Shiho-Dai
    5. Tekki - Shodan 16. Goju Shiho-Sho
    6. Tekki - Nidan 17. Chinte
    7. Tekki - Sandan 18. Unsu
    8. Hangetsu 19. Meikyo
    9. Jitte 20. Wankan
    10. Enpi 21. Jiin
    11. Gankaku

    GOJU-RYU KATAS

    1. Sanchin 6. Seisan
    2. Saifa 7. Seipai
    3. Seiyunchin 8. Kururunfa
    4. Shisochin 9. Suparimpei
    5. Sanseru 10. Tensho

    WADO-RYU KATAS

    1. Kushanku 7. Rohai
    2. Naihanchi 8. Wanshu
    3. Seishan 9. Jion
    4. Chinto 10. Jitte
    5. Passai 11. Suparimpei
    6. Niseishi

    SHITO-RYU KATAS

    1. Jitte 23. Naifanchin Nidan
    2. Jion 24. Naifanchin Sandan
    3. Jiin 25. Aoyagi (Seiryu)
    4. Matsukaze 26. Jyuroku
    5. Wanshu 27. Nipaipo
    6. Rohai 28. Sanchin
    7. Bassai Dai 29. Tensho
    8. Bassai Sho 30. Seipai
    9. Tomari Bassai 31. Sanseiru
    10. Matsumura 32. Saifa
    Bassai
    11. Kosokun Dai 33. Shisochin
    12. Kosokun Sho 34. Kururunfa
    13. Kosokun Shiho 35. Suparimpei
    14. Chinto 36. Hakucho
    15. Chinte 37. Pachu
    16. Seienchin 38. Heiku
    17. Sochin 39. Paiku
    18. Niseishi 40. Annan
    19. Gojushiho 41. Annanko
    20. Unshu 42. Papuren
    21. Seisan 43. Chatanyara Kushanku
    22. Naifanchin
    Shodan
     
  7. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Wado-ryu has a strong jujitsu influence, no?

    How simialr are Japanese and Okinawan Goju?
     
  8. RyuShiKan

    RyuShiKan Guest



    No kyokushi is very much part of the "Main 4". It is by itself the largest "style" of Karate on Mainland Japan.
    I assure they are included in the JKF even though they do not participate in JKF tournaments.
    I was a member of the JKF for over 10 years.
    I can't say wether they are a part of the WKF or WUKO or whatever that thing is called now.
     
  9. RyuShiKan

    RyuShiKan Guest


    If you look at the founder of Wado's Bio you will see he was highly ranked in Jujutsu before he ever learned karate.
     
  10. Martin h

    Martin h Green Belt

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    Kyokushin and IKO (International karate organisation kyokushinkaikan)) may have friendly cantacts with JKF, but they are not a member.

    The JKF organisation:
    http://www.karatedo.co.jp/index4.htm

    Kyokushin is one of the largest single styles of karate in japan (and the world), but that realy has nothing to do with the term "Big four".

    IKO is not a member body of JKF, they do not have their katas represented in the tournament kata list, and the competiton system is totaly different.

    In WKF, kyokushin is members depending on the local situation, since most national federations are not style restricted. In sweden (my home :viking3: ) all kyokushin dojos are member of the national martial art federation and through them the WKF.
    All dojos are also members of IKO (all but three dojos in sweden belongs to the faction known as IKO2 on the internet btw), but that is separate from the SBF - swedish budo federation, membership.

    Martin H :drinkbeer

    (oh and btw, I still didnt get the "shitei" thing right in my last post. Shitei is the list of katas , from which you MUST choose the kata in the initial two rounds. After that you may choose any of tha katas of the major list).
     
  11. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    I was hoping there would be a simple answer! I guess not!
     
  12. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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  13. Kempo Guy

    Kempo Guy Guest

    Regarding Wado-ryu.
    I believe Ohtsuka Sensei was a Menkyo Kaiden (a certificate of full transmission) in Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jujutsu.

    Regarding Gojukai vs. Okinawan Goju.
    I've read that one of the distinguishing factors of Japanese Goju is the inclusion of Yoga type exercises introduced by Gogen Yamaguchi sensei.

    As for other major styles, another that seems to have a decent following is the Shindo Jinen Ryu Karate (Ryobukai). They seem to participate in most of the events.

    Finally regarding Kyokushin, I don't think we should discount the various offshoots of this style. There are pretty strong systems out there with roots in this system such as Ashihara Karate, Enshin Karate, Shidokan, Seidokan to name a few.

    KG
     
  14. Kgirl

    Kgirl Guest

    Martin's right, Kyokushin isn't really included as one of the "big four", I believe due to its origins, which came from outside of Japan (Oyama being Korean). I wouldn't really class any of it's offshoots as one of the major styles either. Thats not to say they aren't any good, just that they're not all that widely practised. The big four Japanese karate's as I understand it are,

    Wado Ryu
    Goju Ryu
    Shotokan
    Shito Ryu

    Whether Kyokushin is practised as widely as some of these, I don't know.
     
  15. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Seems reasonable. If I were to add another I'd surely think of Kyokushin and its descendants though.
     
  16. Kgirl

    Kgirl Guest

    So would I. There's been a lot of debate about why it isn't in the big four, why it should be etc. I tend to try and ignore the politic's of karate, so I can't say for sure why its not.

    Maybe I'm biased, but isn't Kyokushin a more widely practised style than Shito-Ryu, and possibly even Wado Ryu? I'm not trying to offend anyone by saying this, but its certainly the case in my area.
     
  17. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think that's probably so--at least, that's my impression, especially if you lump in descendants of Kyokushin with the main art. You don't see much Wado at all. I do see Shito-ryu from time to time.

    On the other hand, Shito, Goju, Wado, and Shotokan are more different from one another than would be the case for Shotokan and Kyokushin, in my opinion--maybe this point of view gets in more variety.
     
  18. hardheadjarhead

    hardheadjarhead Senior Master

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    Who has the largest memberships/schools?

    In assessing "Big Four" status, what criteria is used?


    Regards,


    Steve
     
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  19. cas

    cas Guest

    in "1940 Wadoryu Karatejutsu was registered at Butokukai, Kyoto for the demonstration of various Budo, together with Shotokanryu, Shitoryu and Gojuryu. This occasion is regarded as the first official naming of Karate styles."
    This is a quote from http://www.hogia.net/karate/karate/history.htm
    I think this is where the four come from. Three out off these four styles had Okinawan teachers that introduced the style to mainland Japan, wado-ryu has a Japanese founder.

    So "the four" are the first four historically in japan, i.mo.. Kyokushin comes from shotokan and goju-ryu I believe.
    Although some karate was formed into a style in Okinawa (goju-ryu comes to mind) other karate was this or that teachers karate (or whatever term used then). I believe I've heard it said/written that Funakoshi never claimed a particular style he said he taught karate. I think much off the organisation into ryu's (schools) is a japanese thing.

    Ryushikan: Above linked site and http://www.wadoryu.org.uk/ provide good history on Ohstuka sensei i.m.o.

    hope this helps,
     
  20. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    I bet your interpretation is correct--the first four.

    You don't often hear of Shotokan being referred to as Shotokan-ryu!
     

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