Naha-te style vs. Shuri-te style

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Kempojujutsu, Jun 22, 2003.

  1. Kempojujutsu

    Kempojujutsu Master Black Belt

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    This is not the battle of different styles of karate, like BB MAG use to write on. Do you feel learning one particular style of karate would help you on learning different style of karate? Both types of karate incorporate different kata's could this help in learning the bunkai for kata.
    Bob:asian:
     
  2. Shuri-te

    Shuri-te Guest

    KempoJuJutsu,

    There may be good "cross-fertilization" but not as much as you might expect.

    In the past many years, I have been to a number of Shuri-te dojos. And with rare exception, the approach that most take to bunkai could only be characterized as bad fighting. If you were to try some of these applications in a fight, you would likely get seriously hurt. There is a diversity of opinion as to how this sad state of affairs has come about, and in all likelihood, there are probably a number of factors. (But that would be another thread.)

    Up until recently, it was difficult to make a convincing case for this, but systems have now published videotapes with both kata and bunkai, so there is official documentation of some of this really bad bunkai.

    Goju Ryu, on the other hand, has a history of practicing good bunkai. Higaonna published his first tape in 1980, and more recently expanded on that with a series of videos. Chinen's tapes have been availble from Panther for many years as well.

    So to answer your question, if a typical Shuri-te practitioner cross trains in Naha-te, then IMO, there will be some gain. But if a Naha-te student went to train in a typical Shuri-te system, then I am not sure what the gain would be.

    I would recommend a different approach. If students want to learn better bunkai, have them study JuJutsu, Judo, or some other grappling art. To truly learn grappling, you need to spend a lot of time focused on the details of grappling. Once you gain the expertise, you are well positioned to figure out how to use these movements within the kata.

    To me, the great beauty of kata, is that it combines block-kick-strike techniques with locks and takedowns. IMO, it is the combination of these two approaches that can open the doors to really meaningful interpretations of kata. You use karate blocks to protect yourself, kicks and strikes to temporarily stun, locks to bring vital targets into striking range to stun or further stun, and then throws to put the temporarily disoriented big guy on the ground where his relative advantage is mass is neutralized. And karate gives the best finishing techniques to the attacker on the ground, should your life depends on them.

    One last caveat. There are exceptions to the bad bunkai rule. I have been in Matsubayashi dojos that taught good concepts, and I know of branches of Seibukan that do as well. There are others. Certainly Oyata has been a moving force, not only within his RyuTe, but also by teaching non-RyuTe students who have promoted many of his ideas to a broader audience. (I was first exposed to some of Oyata's teachings through Sensei Smaby, a Shotokan 6th dan under Nishiyama. And for all the oddities of his NTKOs and KOs in general, Dillman has published several books with some useful ideas.)

    I also recognize that there are systems where good applications are kept tight to the vest, and only shared with those who spend many years training in the dojo. However, it has also been my experience that in many of these schools, there are often vast tracts of kata that are never addressed.

    But this gets back to a different argument, and a different thread opened right now. "How many kata is too many kata?"
     
  3. Kempojujutsu

    Kempojujutsu Master Black Belt

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    My former instructor studied under Oyata and friend of my is now in the Dillman Organzation. I also have several of Dillman's books
    Thanks for your info Shuri-Te
    Bob:asian:
     
  4. Rick Tsubota

    Rick Tsubota Guest

    I was given a very interesting video of Mr. Oyata giving instruction to Hokama Tetsuhiro (8th dan goju) down in Okinawa. What was interesting was Mr. Oyata's techniques worked very well every time on Mr. Hokama but Hokama's techniques didn't even work on Mr. Oyata's student. I have also heard that Hokama wants Mr. Oyata to come give seminars at his dojo in Okinawa after that.
     
  5. Shuri-te

    Shuri-te Guest

    Oyata's ideas are special. IMO, they make much of Higaonna's bunkai look like kihon (basic) techniques. (No offense to Higaonna here because many of his applications are pretty lethal.) I am not surprised that a person of Hokama's rank would want to incorporate some of Oyata's teachings into his system.

    The great thing about the depth of Oyata's knowledge is that no matter how much "ti" a master might know, chances are pretty darn good that Oyata has applications that are new and different. And there is no doubt they work. I had the good fortune to attend his presentation and demo at the Japan Society in NYC in March. It was truly awesome.

    I felt kind of bad for the second of his two ukes. Oyata used one of his 6th dans, Peter Polander (from Poland no less) as uke for his demo. This guy is short, but a really powerfully built karateka. And Oyata effortlessly did his locks and strikes that made this guy flop around like a rag doll.

    At the end, Oyata opened it up for questions. Well, some joker in the audience asked something like "You showed how it can work against a smaller attacker, but does it work well against a tall attacker?"

    So Oyata asked one of his big students in the audience to come up. This poor guy gets up on the stage in his street clothes, and takes off his shoes. Oyata takes him through some obviously painful tuite and he was tapping out all over the place.

    Up until that point, Oyata had been conservative on the KO strikes. But he really kind of opened up then. From the way he talked (or at least the translater talked), he sounded a little miffed at the question, which I think was an attitude shared widely across the room, myself included.

    So Oyata really turned it on then. I think he might have done 3 KO strikes against this guy in short succession, making him also look like a rag doll despite his large size. It was just an amazing presentation of his art.
     
  6. Sauzin

    Sauzin Guest

    You know funny enough the guy who created Ichin-Ryu was both an 8th degree in Go-Ju-Ryu and Shorin-Ryu. I've seen some very effective martial artists come from that school system. I would call it particularly combat applicable and rather painful for the opponent. The guy who created the system had a thing for unusually painful and quick to the point techniques.

    I would say there are things to be learned from both groups of systems, though I would surmise that it takes a very rare person to have the ability, commitment, and time necessary to truly understand two systems.

    -Paul Holsinger
     
  7. fuyugoshi

    fuyugoshi Yellow Belt

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    In most organizations, the bunkai shown to the public is usually kihon. Oyata is not the only one, and he is not the first. That is the Okinawan way.
     
  8. Jim Greenwood

    Jim Greenwood Yellow Belt

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    Oyata's Techniques are more advanced than most and very precise. This aspect of my training is where I concentrate on real techniques from the katas. No matter which katas you study from either style they can be effective if done properly.
     

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