Which is the best? Goju-Ryu, or Uechi-Ryu, or Kyokushin or what?

Discussion in 'Japanese Martial Arts - General' started by Mider1985, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. Grenadier

    Grenadier Administrator Staff Member

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    Mar 18, 2005
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    Not unusual at all. Many instructors teach kata that aren't part of their "native" systems (although it may have been "native" to them before).

    The head of my old system was trained in the original Wado Ryu Karate system, directly under Ohtsuka Shihan, yet decided to re-incorporate much of the Shotokan system when he split off, incorporating many of the Shotokan kata at the advanced levels, in addition to adding a good bit of the Shotokan fundamentals. It wasn't unusual to see someone learning Chinto and Seisan at the nidan level, but also working on Shotokan's Gojushiho series, Unsu, etc. later on.

    My old Shuri Ryu instructor sometimes taught the Goju Ryu version of Suparinpei to those interested in competition, along with a couple of Shotokan kata, with the emphasis that they are separate from the core kata of the Shuri Ryu system. Those were more of icing on top of the cake.
  2. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

    Mar 20, 2004
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    Hangetsu in Shotokan would be most similiar to the Shorin-Ryu styles. As you can see when you compare Seisan from Uechi and Goju vs. Shorin they appear very different in some places.

    Itosu, was never a part of the Goju-Ryu lineage. That started with Kanryo Higaonna (also spelled Higashionna). He went to China and studied southern kung fu and then combined it with his knowledge of okinawan te. He learned 4 core katas while in China, those were Sanchin, Seisan, Sanseiru, and Suparenpei. His top two students both created their own styles (Kyoda created To'on Ryu and Miyagi created Goju-Ryu), they both have these 4 kata, but then they differ after that leading newer researchers to conclude that the additional katas in Goju-Ryu were created by Miyagi (outside of Gekisai and Tensho which are known to have been created by him. Miyagi also took out the turns from Sanchin and changed the open hands of Sanchin to closed fists).

    As to Uechi-Ryu, he too went to study in southern China and is reported to have learned from the same school as Higashionna. He brought back 3 of the 4 core kata (not mastering Suparenpei) and then his son created 4 additional kata to bridge between the others.

    Most okinawans were probably familiar with each other and probably had some knowledge of the kata and training methods, but Naha and Shuri based styles did not share an overlap of katas (the exception being Seisan, which has led some people to believe that is was an older kata indeginous to okinawa and changes were made and altered based on the founders training).

    Their link comes in from Kenwa Mabuni. Mabuni studied with both Itosu and Higashionna. He added all of the katas of both methods into his approach so you have a VERY large kata repitoire in Shito-Ryu.
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  3. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

    Nov 7, 2007
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    A somewhat amusing anecdote: I actually heard that Miyagi Sensei didn't remove the turns himself, but the students from that time did it as a mark of respect so that they would not be turning their backs on him and forcing him to move to view their technique from the front.

    The Sanchin I learned retains the turns.
  4. Laus

    Laus Orange Belt

    Jun 4, 2010
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    Yes that's right. Hmmm I'm not sure how those kata connected for us then. Evidently misunderstood what my Sensei was explaining about their lineage, my notes are from my kyu days and god knows the man could be obtuse. I suppose he might have included them for no other reason than that he could.

    Oh well...research time.

    Both the Sanchin I learned in Goju and the one I've done in Kyokushin retain the turns. The Kyokushin one is identical up until the end, where are three (I think? might have been two) extra steps we didn't do in Goju, similar to those at the end of Tensho, with the hands pressing downward, befor going into the mawashi ukes.
  5. Black Belt Jedi

    Black Belt Jedi Blue Belt

    Jul 2, 2011
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    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    In my belief there's not better system in Karate, it all depends how well the individual uses that system, since every Martial Art system can have its strengths and weaknesses. I say that Kyokushin Karate is good for conditioning the body, but I think that this art is catered to young students more than older students. Goju-ryu focuses mainly on close quarter combat, same as Uechi-ryu, the self-defense moves based from the templates mostly demonstrates disabling one opponent. Close quarter combat is good to takedown one attacker, but not multiple attackers, using long range combat can be helpful for evading multiple attackers, that's what Goju-ryu and Uechi-ryu don't have.

    However, there is always room to grow in the training. Always learn from others to improve your skill.
  6. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

    Jun 25, 2011
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    I would not call any one of them "Best".
    They all have Pros and Cons.

    I do know that Kyokushin can churn out some seriously tough bastards, and that Uechi-Ryu can have some rather fast hands.
  7. Tired_Yeti

    Tired_Yeti Green Belt

    Jun 22, 2016
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    The islands of Okinawa are the RyuKyu Islands and prior to 1879, Okinawa was the RyuKyu kingdom and not part of Japan. So it makes sense that "Ryu" in the name would make it appear Okinawan. Especially since the old Japanese arts (and Chinese arts) were not called Ryu.

    Sent from my iPhone 6+ using Tapatalk
  8. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Feb 18, 2008
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    Melbourne, Australia
    Hmm… you've resurrected a 6 year old thread, and essentially been wrong in doing so.

    No, the usage of "ryu" (流), also pronounced "nagashi", meaning "flow, stream, style" is not related to the "ryu" in Ryukyu (琉球)… the first character there is "ryu", and refers to lapis lazuli, a blue glass like rock… in any way other than the same pronunciation… so no, to make that assumption is to not understand the terms.

    Secondly, while Chinese arts weren't referred to as "ryu" (why would they, it's a Japanese word…?), but Japanese arts absolutely were. In fact, the ryu methodology and approach for systematising a combative system dates back to at least the mid 15th Century, with "proto-ryu" existing before that. But, if you're going to say that "old Japanese arts were not called Ryu", then I might suggest looking into the following:

    Tenshinsho Den Katori Shinto Ryu
    Maniwa Nen-Ryu
    Kashima Shin Ryu
    Takenouchi Ryu
    Araki Ryu
    Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu
    Yagyu Shinkage Ryu
    Kage Ryu
    Chujo Ryu
    Chikubajima Ryu
    Chokugen Ryu
    Jigen Ryu
    Ippo Ryu
    Kobori Ryu
    Suio Ryu
    Sosuishitsu Ryu
    Hasegawa Eishin Ryu
    Tendo Ryu
    Kukishin Ryu
    Takagi Ryu
    Asayama Ichiden Ryu
    Shingyoto Ryu
    Toda-ha Buko Ryu
    Kiraku Ryu
    Tatsujin Ryu
    and many, many, many, many, many, many more…

    … or, just research Koryu itself. That might give you some different ideas.
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