The difference

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Eric Damon Rapier, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. Eric Damon Rapier

    Eric Damon Rapier Orange Belt

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    Can someone explain the difference between Goju Ryu karate and Shotokan Karate?
     
  2. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

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    I havent done either, but i think, unless i got my karates confused (which i do) the former mixes a little of juitsu into it and has a bigger focus on internal training and that sort of thing than shotokan.

    thats what i have been told/read the diffrence as being or what makes Goju Ryu special. or the one i may have mistook for it.


    Edit: i always get Wado Ryu and Goju Ryu confused. But i think they both have a bigger internal focus than shotokan.
     
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  3. Eric Damon Rapier

    Eric Damon Rapier Orange Belt

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    Thank you for your input. As you can tell I'm new and feel like a kid in a MA candy store. I have questions on top of questions. Thank you all for having patience with me.
     
  4. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    All styles are different in different ways. Even the same style can have differences depending on the instructor. You could drive yourself mad comparing this style and that style and hey there's no harm in looking around and experimenting at all. It's what I'm doing now just looking at any that takes my interest and seeing the different methods. But for a begginer you should just take one and get yourself to a good level at that first so at least you have a base in something
     
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  5. Eric Damon Rapier

    Eric Damon Rapier Orange Belt

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    I hear you. I have time...thanks
     
  6. Mitlov

    Mitlov Blue Belt

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    It's like the difference between vanilla bean and French vanilla ice cream. In isolation, they can seem different, but compared to strawberry ice cream, or a cookie, they seem very very similar.

    Goju is slightly more circular in movement; Shotokan is slightly more linear in movement and has lower, deeper stances. The biggest difference is their forms; the two styles have a completely different catalog of forms from each other. But in the big picture of martial arts from wrestling to wing chun, they're nearly identical.
     
  7. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Gōjū-ryū

    Shotokan
     
  8. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Green Belt

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    Your 1st 2 sentences are correct. Goju, like other Okinawan styles, has a strong southern Chinese influence. Originally, they were combat oriented and utilized joint locks, breaks, vital point attacks, and other nasty techniques which were incorporated into their forms. When Funakoshi and Itosu adapted Karate for the public school system in Okinawa and Japan in the early 1900's, these dangerous techniques were removed and the forms were simplified and became more regimented in the Japanese way. This new style became Shotokan. Shotokan and old Okinawan karate do share some forms, though they appear somewhat different due to the modifications (Japanization) as mentioned above. They are more different than French and vanilla bean - more like vanilla and chocolate fudge swirl. Much information is available on the history and evolution of karate on-line and in several good books.
     
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  9. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Only because I can't resist. One starts with a "G" and the other starts with an "S" :pompus:
     
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  10. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I believe that "One" actually starts with an "O" and "the other" starts with a "t". :smuggrin:
     
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  11. Eric Damon Rapier

    Eric Damon Rapier Orange Belt

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    Y'all funny
     
  12. Mitlov

    Mitlov Blue Belt

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    The one thing I don't like about the "Goju has dangerous techniques; Shotokan doesn't" is that that distinction characterizes Shotokan as a single thing, a snapshot in time, in just one context, about a hundred years ago. And Shotokan, perhaps more than any other karate style right now, can be radically different things depending on which school you go to.

    There are certainly still Shotokan schools where there's minimal contact and bruising and it's all about perfection of movement through kihon and kata, almost like the karate version of a tai chi school. But there's also Shotokan schools where you learn to hit hard and be hit for much of each class, where every "block" is interpreted as a smashing forearm blow, and you go home with bruises all over your body. (I've trained at a Shotokan school like the first, and a Shotokan school like the second). There's Shotokan schools heavily invested in drawing out and learning the throws and joint locks from Shotokan's forms (Iain Abernethy is an example) instead of the sanitized "block-and-punch" oriented surface bunkai; at an Abernethy-style school, you're going to be learning just as many joint locks, breaks, and other "nasty techniques" as any other karate style. And there's Shotokan schools heavily invested in the competition sparring circuit, where a lot of emphasis training in WKF sparring as a competitive sport just like, say, Olympic fencing.

    I don't know nearly as much about Goju, so I don't know if there's more consistency from one Goju school to another in approach and training method than there is in Shotokan.
     
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  13. Eric Damon Rapier

    Eric Damon Rapier Orange Belt

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    Very in depth and detailed. Thank you
     
  14. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I think you’re looking for general/stereotypical answers, so I’m going to go that way with it...

    Goju and Shotokan share very few kata. The kihon (basics) are a bit different as well. Comparatively speaking, uses big and exaggerated movements, whereas Goju’s movements are far smaller and more compact. Goju’s movements may look sloppy to the Shotokan-trained eye. Shotokan’s movements may look way too over the top and a waste of energy to the Goju-trained eye.

    Goju’s stances are higher up and shorter. Shotokan’s are lower and deeper.

    Shotokan tends to favor a medium range where they can kick rib to head height, whereas Goju doesn’t like to kick above their own waist and prefers a more up-close distance.

    In the real world, these stereotypes can be reversed, completely true or completely false, depending on the individual teacher. Shotokan gets stereotyped by the point fighting competition training, but there are plenty of Goju schools who are competition heavy. In these, the only real difference can be the kata list. And there are Shotokan schools that don’t do anything resembling point fighting and look far more like Kyokushin than stereotypical Shotokan. And everything in between for both schools.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't encourage them.

    (Unless I become one of "them". In which case, encouragement is always encouraged.)
     
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  16. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Since this thread is already here...

    I've heard, several times, references to Goju ryu being more circular than Shotokan. Can someone point me to a clip or two that might illustrate this difference in an obvious fashion?
     
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  17. Mitlov

    Mitlov Blue Belt

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    I definitely think it's an oversimplification, but watching the kata collections of each style, I personally see a very different feel in the two styles. I see a lot more joint locks in Goju kata, and a lot more straight punches and kicks and forearm smashing in Shotokan kata (at least in terms of surface-level bunkai).
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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  18. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I see that, too. I don't see (outside the movements in the grappling hands) a lot of circles. But that might be me looking for circular movement as I'd define it, expecting more than is there.
     
  19. Mitlov

    Mitlov Blue Belt

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    When I say Goju is more circular than Shotokan, those circular hand movements and such are what I mean. I guess you could call them small circles, as opposed to the big circles of Choy Li Fut, or the circle walking of Baguazhang. It's still very linear compared to those two Chinese arts, but less linear than Shotokan's heavy emphasis on bum-rush style fighting.
     
  20. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That makes sense. I was looking for something in the footwork. The hand movements are similar in some ways to what I see in Nihon Goshin Aikido.
     

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