Do Shotokan and Goju Ryu competitors fight the same in point tournaments?

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Is the difference in Karate style reflected in the point tournaments?

I watched an elite Goju Ryu competitor at the European Championships and it looked identical to Shotokan in my lay persons eyes.
 

Mitlov

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Yes and no. "Japan Karate Association" is a Shotokan organization, so if it's a JKA tournament, there won't be Goju folks. "World Karate Federation" has karate folks from multiple styles, so if it's a WKF tournament, you'll have both Shotokan and Goju and more styles; it's a sport organization as opposed to a particular style. I suspect there are Goju-only tournaments run by Goju organizations (comparable to the JKA), but I never trained in Goju.

The rules are pretty similar, especially when compared to knockdown karate, WT TKD, or other combat sports.

JKA tournament:

WKF tournament:
 
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Yes and no. "Japan Karate Association" is a Shotokan organization, so if it's a JKA tournament, there won't be Goju folks. "World Karate Federation" has karate folks from multiple styles, so if it's a WKF tournament, you'll have both Shotokan and Goju and more styles; it's a sport organization as opposed to a particular style. I suspect there are Goju-only tournaments run by Goju organizations (comparable to the JKA), but I never trained in Goju.

The rules are pretty similar, especially when compared to knockdown karate, WT TKD, or other combat sports.

JKA tournament:

WKF tournament:

I asked if they fight the same, not which tournaments both show up in.
 

Buka

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If it’s an open tournament they do. We used to compete in a lot of tourneys.
All of them open - unless it was an invitation by friends who were throwing a tourney. We would always go just to support them.
 
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If it’s an open tournament they do. We used to compete in a lot of tourneys.
All of them open - unless it was an invitation by friends who were throwing a tourney. We would always go just to support them.

So no give away that person X is likely from a Shotokan background? No distinct preference?
 

Buka

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So no give away that person X is likely from a Shotokan background? No distinct preference?

I'm not really sure. I competed a few hundred times. Never really paid attention to what kind of stylist I was fighting, I was just trying to A.....Not get killed. And B....just trying to get to the next round.

Kind of the same for kickboxing - don't get killed. Make it to the next round. :)
 
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I'm not really sure. I competed a few hundred times. Never really paid attention to what kind of stylist I was fighting, I was just trying to A.....Not get killed. And B....just trying to get to the next round.

Kind of the same for kickboxing - don't get killed. Make it to the next round. :)

Bill Wallace claimed that Shotokan guys were the most aggressive in point tournaments, always pushing forward. I found that very strange given how Lyoto Machida fights, who is the exact opposite. Very much a counter puncher who has trouble generating aggression by himself (but a very good fighter nonetheless).

If someone were to ask me if I prefer to counter an attack or initiate an attack, and let's say I have time to react... then without question, I would pick the latter, just like Machida.
Amazingly enough, I asked this question to a Shotokan master and he wanted to attack first if given the chance. So much for "there is no first attack in Karate"...
 

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Bill Wallace claimed that Shotokan guys were the most aggressive in point tournaments, always pushing forward. I found that very strange given how Lyoto Machida fights, who is the exact opposite. Very much a counter puncher who has trouble generating aggression by himself (but a very good fighter nonetheless).

If someone were to ask me if I prefer to counter an attack or initiate an attack, and let's say I have time to react... then without question, I would pick the latter, just like Machida.
Amazingly enough, I asked this question to a Shotokan master and he wanted to attack first if given the chance. So much for "there is no first attack in Karate"...

I'm with you, bro. To me, counter fighters are difficult to fight, really good ones can give you fits.

I always found Shotokan guys, at lease east coast ones back in the day, were very aggressive and hit really hard. I always used to describe them this way "They'll punch a hole clean through your chest - just so they can give the finger to your friends behind you."
 

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I think of the straight-punch blitz and the reverse-punch sniper both as classic Stotokan sparring styles (think Vitor Belfort for the former, Lyoto Machida being the latter).

I kinda associate Goju more with infighting, but I can't even articulate where that association comes from, and don't know if it's remotely accurate in point-sparring tournaments.
 

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I've fought against a Goju guy a couple of times in all-style tournaments (the same guy), and he definitely had a different style of fighting compared to alot of the competitors. Was very planted, grounded, counterattacking, and not moving around a great deal. A very tall guy.

BUT it very much may have been just his personal style being a bigger guy. I adopted a much faster, agile and explosive fighting style with quick footwork as I've noticed over the years of watching this all style tournament that they were the ones who got really far in it. Not that I was doing super flashy stuff, but quick retreats and advances, combos etc.

The first time I ever faced him I lost. A year later we faced each in the finals and I beat him. Got a great head hook kick in at one point ;). But that being said, when I was up in points, he really ramped up the aggressiveness (I could tell it was out of frustration), and really advanced aLOT.

But it seems there weren't too many Goju ryu guys, mainly alot of hybrid modern styles, and Shotokan.

There was a dude who competed in kata division with us, but didn't do the sparring. He wiped the floooor with us haha, amazing kata.
 

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Amazingly enough, I asked this question to a Shotokan master and he wanted to attack first if given the chance. So much for "there is no first attack in Karate"...

A little note, that maxim isn't necessarily about striking/punching ;)
 

_Simon_

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I think of the straight-punch blitz and the reverse-punch sniper both as classic Stotokan sparring styles (think Vitor Belfort for the former, Lyoto Machida being the latter).

I kinda associate Goju more with infighting, but I can't even articulate where that association comes from, and don't know if it's remotely accurate in point-sparring tournaments.

I'd say that in general terms that's pretty accurate :)
 
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I've fought against a Goju guy a couple of times in all-style tournaments (the same guy), and he definitely had a different style of fighting compared to alot of the competitors. Was very planted, grounded, counterattacking, and not moving around a great deal. A very tall guy.

BUT it very much may have been just his personal style being a bigger guy. I adopted a much faster, agile and explosive fighting style with quick footwork as I've noticed over the years of watching this all style tournament that they were the ones who got really far in it. Not that I was doing super flashy stuff, but quick retreats and advances, combos etc.

The first time I ever faced him I lost. A year later we faced each in the finals and I beat him. Got a great head hook kick in at one point ;). But that being said, when I was up in points, he really ramped up the aggressiveness (I could tell it was out of frustration), and really advanced aLOT.

But it seems there weren't too many Goju ryu guys, mainly alot of hybrid modern styles, and Shotokan.

There was a dude who competed in kata division with us, but didn't do the sparring. He wiped the floooor with us haha, amazing kata.

Does soft or hard kata and Kihon in your experience influence how you fight in kumite?

Like say I did Taekwondo style katas which are delivered in the middle of the soft hard spectrum on the - neither soft nor hard, then I switch to Shotokan which are tense and explosive and very hard. Will I see this reflected in sparring in terms of my style?
 
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I'm with you, bro. To me, counter fighters are difficult to fight, really good ones can give you fits.

I always found Shotokan guys, at lease east coast ones back in the day, were very aggressive and hit really hard. I always used to describe them this way "They'll punch a hole clean through your chest - just so they can give the finger to your friends behind you."

Yeah I can imagine so. One of the pioneer Japanese masters who trained with the Funakoshis said that the longer and deeper stance produced more penetrative strikes. When Shotokan was new, it looked like Okinawan Karate, then Gishins son changed it to what we see today.
 

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Does soft or hard kata and Kihon in your experience influence how you fight in kumite?

Like say I did Taekwondo style katas which are delivered in the middle of the soft hard spectrum on the - neither soft nor hard, then I switch to Shotokan which are tense and explosive and very hard. Will I see this reflected in sparring in terms of my style?

Hmmm it's sort of hard to say definitively, but it's an interesting point. Usually people develop their own sparring style, and it's not necessarily limited to how you do kata. But if in the style the kata are quite hard or explosive, I'd say the sparring done would usually reflect that. That being said I was able to adapt to different styles of sparring in tournaments and other dojos co.pared to what I was used to.

Even within my old dojo we had vastly different styles of sparring people would express.

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Hmmm it's sort of hard to say definitively, but it's an interesting point. Usually people develop their own sparring style, and it's not necessarily limited to how you do kata. But if in the style the kata are quite hard or explosive, I'd say the sparring done would usually reflect that. That being said I was able to adapt to different styles of sparring in tournaments and other dojos co.pared to what I was used to.

Even within my old dojo we had vastly different styles of sparring people would express.

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It would be interesting to do a lager study on how much effect, if any, it has
 

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Even within my old dojo we had vastly different styles of sparring people would express.
This has been my experience, even among groups who only had training in a single style. Personality matters a lot in how a person spars.
 

isshinryuronin

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Times change. Last couple of decades, competitors seem to bounce around a lot, hopping up and down, and in and out. They scoot in, try to score a point, then scoot right out and away (Brings fencing with the foil to mind). As the old guys here know, back in the day, there was less constant motion, but really more action. The fighters would close and engage using combos resulting in (extended) exchanges of blows. Not sure whether this change is a result of newer scoring rules, or just a change in competitors themselves.????

I do agree with many of the previous generalizations and comments:

Shotokan is typically a linear, penetrating, step in and attack, or stand your ground, block and reverse punch based style.
Okinawan and Kenpo more close in and hand-foot combinations.

As Gerry and others said, sparring is quite personal (I think combat is one of the most personal things, along with lovemaking, as it reflects a person's inner core - spirit, confidence, physical ability, attitude - all against an instinctual drive.) In these ways, no two individuals are alike, even within the same style. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they fight. So I think personal style is more important than school style.

But water (style) tends to take the shape of the vessel (tournament rules.) In other words, the fighters must mold their individual style in be effective within the imposed competitive restraints. So no matter what school or personal style they are, they come to look more similar in the ring, adopting "tournament" style.
 
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