Fellow Shotokan Karateka!

chrissyp

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So I love Shotokan! I've train many marital arts, including Muay Thai, boxing, kung fu, among others.

The reason I feel in love with this style, is for me at least, it was a different atmosphere than you'd get in a full contact gym, and the teachings were very much out of the box from my previous training, most of which I found very useful.

As for my story, my first kickboxing coach was an old school kickboxer and shotokan guy. I had became good friends with him and his wife over the years. When they divorced, and he moved away, she started her own school and let me train for free, in exchange for teaching my thai boxing knowledge and help co instruct childrens classes.

So how did you get into Shotokan? Why do you personally love the art?
 

_Simon_

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I don't train Shotokan and come from Kyokushin (which has Shotokan kata/background), but would love to hear from others what they like about Shotokan and also what they feel it's about as a style (what it emphasises). One of my favourite instructors is Sensei Rick Hotton, he is from Shotokan but incorporates aiki stuff in there and his own insights into his teaching.

Always loved the Shotokan kata too :) (and have trained in quite a few of them, Pinan Yon, Enpi to perform, and Kanku Dai to watch being of my favourites)
 

Christopher Adamchek

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likewise i do not train Shotokan but Goju, however we have/use many shotokan elements and katas that our teacher blended into the school.
 

Papageno

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When I started, I just went to a dojo. At the time I wasn't aware of the different styles and it just happend to be Shotokan. But that was many years ago. Now I love Shotokan. Tried Goju for a few months out of curiousity, but got confused by the katas. So now I'm back in Shotokan.
 

Hanzou

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I got into Shotokan because I didn't want to take Taekwondo. I eventually received my second-degree black belt in the system, and then moved on to more contact-heavy martial arts. I currently practice Bjj. Never a huge fan of the kata system, and I greatly prefer Bjj over my old Shotokan training. However, I appreciate the striking background I received from my karate practice.
 

DaveB

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I got into Shotokan because I didn't want to take Taekwondo. I eventually received my second-degree black belt in the system, and then moved on to more contact-heavy martial arts. I currently practice Bjj. Never a huge fan of the kata system, and I greatly prefer Bjj over my old Shotokan training. However, I appreciate the striking background I received from my karate practice.
Was it a non contact dojo?
 

DaveB

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I started learning Shotokan from a bookshop owner I met in my 18th summer.

Mostly just hitting pads then sparring behind the shop. Eventually I went to the school he trained at.

I enjoyed it from the start, the big whole body movements felt powerful and enjoyable to do. And I was lucky enough to learn about more subtle uses for those movements from the start, which put me on a long term path of deep study of the art.

It's still on going as we speak.
 

Papageno

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[QUOTE="...It's still on going as we speak.[/QUOTE]

I studied Shotokan for 3,5 years when I was at the university. Then I quit for various reasons, graduated, got a job, met a girl etc.
Four years ago my daughter wanted to try it out. Waching her made me want to start again. Now we both have been at it for four years. And counting...
 

_Simon_

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[QUOTE="...It's still on going as we speak.

I studied Shotokan for 3,5 years when I was at the university. Then I quit for various reasons, graduated, got a job, met a girl etc.
Four years ago my daughter wanted to try it out. Waching her made me want to start again. Now we both have been at it for four years. And counting...[/QUOTE]Awesome, love it :)
 

kitkatninja

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...So how did you get into Shotokan? Why do you personally love the art?

Shotokan was my first art when I started my MA journey back in the 90's. To be honest, it was a choice of Shotokan or Wado and at the time due to work and studying, Shotokan fit in with my schedule. 6 years later I left shotokan (after gaining my 2nd Dan - changed associations after I gained my 1st Dan) due to moving... Why do I love it? Because it was a very good fit for me and it introduced me to the martial arts... I don't train in it now as I have found another art that suits me better (as I grew as a person and as a martial artist, what I wanted out of a martial art changed as well), but that doesn't diminish my respect or love for the art... I now do Tang Soo Do which has part of it's roots in Shotokan, but the association that I'm with now is more self-defence orientated rather than sports orientated which all of the Shotokan associations that I have tried in my area are...
 

Leviathan

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I sent to a shotokan karate dojo not beeing aware of the various styles. I wanted to practice some martial art. For a while I loved it because it made me fit, gave me self confidence, mentally woke me up, I got many friends and it was a very welcome experience for a nerd. My colleagues at the job who didn't know I had enrolled in a karate class noticed some clear change.

Over time though I got more and more tired of it as I realized that the artistic aspect had squeezed out the martial component: useless uke techniques, poor training methods, pointless katas etc etc etc.

Switching to Muay Thai confirmed this and made me see the light. Now I can't figure out going back to shotokan.
 

Tez3

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I think it's always worth remembering that even in the same styles classes can be very different. the Shotokan places I know of are full contact and not at all 'arty'. To categorise a style just by the place you go to or have been to would be quite wrong.
It's like pubs, we have many different ones, thousands in fact, just because you go into one that has loud music doesn't mean you should now think all the pubs have loud music.
 

Leviathan

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I think it's always worth remembering that even in the same styles classes can be very different. the Shotokan places I know of are full contact and not at all 'arty'. To categorise a style just by the place you go to or have been to would be quite wrong.
It's like pubs, we have many different ones, thousands in fact, just because you go into one that has loud music doesn't mean you should now think all the pubs have loud music.

Believe me I have been to countless seminars with many different trainers and nearly all were waaaaay more artists than martialists. I was in 2 different dojos that had several trainers each and it was the same stuff. :wtf:
 

wab25

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Believe me I have been to countless seminars with many different trainers and nearly all were waaaaay more artists than martialists.
How do you define your terms artists and martialists? Specifically, what are you seeing that makes these guys an artist and not a martialist? What would they have to change in order to meet your definition of martialist?
 

Leviathan

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How do you define your terms artists and martialists? Specifically, what are you seeing that makes these guys an artist and not a martialist? What would they have to change in order to meet your definition of martialist?

Martial serves a fight / combat purpose

Art has no purpose in itself, it's just supposed to be beautiful and please for itself

Many techniques and much practice in shotokan is claimed to be martial but is completely pointless in a halfway realistic fight. You may say it is ******** but let's be nice and call it artistic instead. Need some examples:

- katas: are to a fight sport what blood letting used to be to medicine: useless at best, more often counterproductive. I guess they were dumped from a dance class - for obvious reasons - and got recycled in some dojo a long time ago. Ok that previous sentence was ironic (but only that sentence).
- blocking a Mae Geri with a gedan barai: underarm vs leg, how insane is it...
- shuto uke, age uke, ushi uke, you name it: too slow to be of any use, generally trained while stepping forward (a nonsense). You instinctively perform other moves in a sparring to block punches.
- oi tsuki: too lame, as realistic in a fight as a unicorn on a farm.

I could go on this way for a while.
 

Papageno

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It sounds like there's some kind of misunderstanding here. Kihon and Kata are extremely formal types of training. This is where we learn the basics of how we do things. In Kumite we try it out. It doesn't mean executing it exactly the same way; we adapt it to the situation. Everything we do, every punch and kick, block and move, is in our Kata. But Kata is about form and style. In a fight you don't stand still in a zenkutsu dachi. You adapt all the technics according to the current situation. Shuto uke could be an effective block when you're moving to the side and counter gyaku with a quick twist of your hips. Uchi uke too slow in a fight? Yeah, of course, if you do it as in the Kata. But that's not the idea. In Kata and Kihon you pull from your opposite hip, in a fight that's too slow so you execute the block from your guard. Same thing with punches. You don't pull your fist back to the hip before striking; that would only announce your attack. No, you strike directly from your guard in front of you.

As for oizuki, it let's you take a distance. You attack your opponent and close the distance quickly and strike. But most often you'll perform a nagashizuki instead. The idea is the same, but you hit as soon as you can long before your foot has landed. Again, the idea is to close the distance quickly and surprise you opponent.

And if you instinctively perform other moves to block in a fight? Good! Whatever works, right?
 

Tez3

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- katas: are to a fight sport what blood letting used to be to medicine: useless at best, more often counterproductive. I guess they were dumped from a dance class - for obvious reasons - and got recycled in some dojo a long time ago. Ok that previous sentence was ironic (but only that sentence).


it sounds as if your martial arts education is severely lacking if you don't know what kata is for. You obviously don't know what Bunkai is as well, you know instead of Shotokan you really should just do boxing or a combat sport, it's hypocritical to 'train' Shotokan and then rubbish everything it is.


What is Kata? | Iain Abernethy

Bunkai - Karate's forgotten 95% | Iain Abernethy

What are the true applications of Kata? | Iain Abernethy

From here Articles | Iain Abernethy
 

Tez3

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Thanks for these links. Lots of goodies here.


Isn't there just! So much to learn not just from Iain but other's too. Iain's' seminars are amazing too.
 

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