My next step in my MA journey, From Shotokan to Matsubayashi Ryu

Discussion in 'Karate' started by chrissyp, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. chrissyp

    chrissyp Green Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    33
    So iv'e been away from being able to train at an actual martial arts school for about 2 years, do to several issues, mostly health.

    I tried to find a Shotokan school, to continue what I was learning(did this for about 3 years and 15 years Muay Thai), to no feasible option, so I decided to engage in Matsubayashi Ryu.

    (For those who don't know, matsubayashi ryu is a variant of Shorin Ryu)

    So I took my first class, thinking it wouldn't be much different from Shotokan, this is coming from other experienced martial artist putting this into my head.

    I was very wrong, kinda. The basic techniques are there, but nearly every technique has its own twist and variation from Shotokan, mainly the stance.

    These little things really added up when putting it all together, and was a pleasant change and mind opening experience.

    It also seems to be a much more "loose" style, more relaxed, more natural postures. comparing this to Shotokan has been making me challenge what iv'e known from Karate, which is great.

    This school doesn't do sparring they told me, if they do it would be very rare. Is this a normal trait of this style, or something to be worried about? Any advice for someone switching over to this style?
     
  2. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    15,849
    Likes Received:
    3,690
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    Pueblo West, CO
    I guess I'd wonder about the whole no sparring thing. Why?
    Don't get me wrong. I think people pursue MA training for lots of reasons, and sparring isn't necessarily required. But if what YOU want would benefit from sparring, then a no-sparring school would seem to be a problem.
    For me, I like to spar. I'd never be happy in a no-sparring school.
     
    • Agree Agree x 6
  3. chrissyp

    chrissyp Green Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    33
    I wonder that too! I'm not happy about not sparring. There is a local MMA gym I can do open sparring at to work what I've learned in a full contact situation. Like I said, I come from Muay Thai backgroud, but I enjoyed the easier point karate sparring still, and id like to find a way to spar with what I learned against someone who knows the same thing, so it is a red flag for me.
     
  4. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2015
    Messages:
    1,242
    Likes Received:
    290
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Major red flag for me, unless they do a lot of near sparring, (semi free) exercises.

    To spar or not is always a choice of the teacher never the style (to my knowledge) especially in Karate.

    That being said, I benefited greatly from sparring in other places to work out how to apply things in my own way for my own body.
     
  5. chrissyp

    chrissyp Green Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Thats the whole reason I want to spar. I can learn the craft and art from the teacher, and then apply it in real situation else were, but its not exactly practical from a personal level stand point, making extra trips and burning extra gas.
     
  6. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    5,052
    Likes Received:
    1,395
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    New York
    I agree no sparring is a red flag. But want to point out that, even if that is a normal trait of the style, that would be a red flag. Except the red flag would go from the school to the style as a whole.
     
  7. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    11,509
    Likes Received:
    1,913
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    It’s not automatically a red flag in my opinion. It depends on what you want. If you want sparring, then it is a red flag.

    If you want good self defense skills, sparring is not required although it certainly can be included.

    But that’s an argument that has been done many times here.
     
  8. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    5,052
    Likes Received:
    1,395
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    New York
    Its a red flag to me as in its a concern to consider more seriously. It doesnt mean the style is a no go, but that they have to be able to explain, and explain well, why they dont feel they need sparring (if the goal is self defense. If its fitness or health, or religion/phililosophy, or just fun, that's a different story entirely)
     
  9. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    11,509
    Likes Received:
    1,913
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I feel it’s a matter of knowing what you want. If you want sparring, you go elsewhere.

    If you want self defense, you need to understand how the school/method goes about training and developing those skills. Yes, that includes talking to the instructor to become educated on the method and how it is intended to work. Once you become educated on their approach to the training, you decide if it sounds good to you. Then you either go elsewhere or you join up.

    Maybe we are saying the same thing.
     
  10. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    5,052
    Likes Received:
    1,395
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    New York
    I think so. I'm in favor of talking to the instructor, learning about the method and evaluating it. I'm just going to have more skepticism if they say they do not spar, and would want to know what they do instead to take care of the benefits sparring does. If they're able to answer that question, great. If they can't, or not well, I'm out.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. chrissyp

    chrissyp Green Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    33
    That's exactly what i'm going to do. I can get sparring outside of the school, and the instruction and attention to detail is pretty sharp, so it seems like its solid training minus the sparring, which isn't every thing, just something I really enjoy, but i'm DEFINATLY going to ask about the lack of sparring.
     
  12. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Messages:
    2,298
    Likes Received:
    683
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Location:
    Southeast
    It sounds like you know the right answer, sparring is important. If your options are limited, for whatever reason, and you enjoy the other aspects of class I would not consider it a waste of time. After you have been there a while and a comfort level has been established with the instructor/owner, is there a chance you can work with someone outside of class? Could it be the financial liability aspect the instructor is worried about?
     
  13. Never_A_Reflection

    Never_A_Reflection Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I can't say that it's necessarily style-wide, but in my experience, a lot of Matsubayashi-Ryu schools don't spar. A lot of Shorin-Ryu schools, more broadly, don't spar, really--for a lot of Okinawan styles, sparring just isn't really seen as that important, because they are so heavily invested in developing character and fostering a healthy lifestyle. Only a few still find it to be vital to maintaining an effective fighting art. Even in my style, there is no sparring allowed at the honbu dojo on Okinawa (although affiliates can spar in their schools if they wish). Apparently, the Shorinkan used to have sparring, but someone died in a tournament somewhere in Africa in the mid-90's and the head of the style said there would be no more sparring in his dojo after that.
     
  14. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    11,509
    Likes Received:
    1,913
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    San Francisco
    It is my understanding that free-sparring was introduced into karate in Japan, after it was brought from Okinawa, and sparring was never really a part of training in the older Okinawan schools. Yet they were definitely training to be able to use the skills in a fight, when necessary.
     
  15. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    1,587
    Likes Received:
    609
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Location:
    Australia
    Yeah this was my understanding as well. No free sparring but I think alot of partner drills and conditioning.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    4,724
    Likes Received:
    2,795
    Trophy Points:
    403
    Location:
    In the dojo
    And we have to define sparring as well. If it’s not “ready... go” and do whatever you want, is it sparring? If it’s a partner coming at you near full speed and throwing a punch or kick that’ll easily hit and hurt you if you don’t block right, and then you counter equally hard and fast, is that sparring? I’ve seen older and newer videos that do the second one. I’d call it sparring. Not free-sparring, but definitely sparring. Here’s two newer videos that have it. Both are filmed on Okinawa in dojos of very well regarded teachers. I can’t remember when in the videos, but they’re a great watch anyway...


     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    4,724
    Likes Received:
    2,795
    Trophy Points:
    403
    Location:
    In the dojo
    And here’s an interview with Shinyu Gushi Sensei of Pangai Noon (Uechi Ryu). He talks a bit about sparring. And the first official dan testing done on Okinawa in the mid 50s. Reading it, it’s safe to say they sparred. And sparred pretty hard...
    Shinyu Gushi A Remarkable Exponent of the Uechi Ryu form of Karate
     
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page