Four Major Styles of Okinawan Karate.

arnisador

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 28, 2001
Messages
44,564
Reaction score
438
Location
Terre Haute, IN
I recall hearing it often said that there are four major styles of Okinawan karate; in chronological order, Shorin-ryu and its sub-styles, Goju-ryu and its sub-styles, Uechi-ryu and its (few) sub-styles, and Isshin-ryu and its (few if any) sub-styles.

Would anyone contest this? We hear more and more today about Ryukyu kempo (under various names) and of course there are other Okinawan styles extant that are not sub-styles of any of these four, but would people agree that these are the four major Okinawan styles?
 

Cthulhu

Senior Master
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 1, 2001
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
27
Location
Florida
I would agree that they are the four major Okinawan styles of today, since you can still find schools from each system in Okinawa.

I had more to say, but my brain locked up on me.

Cthulhu
 

tshadowchaser

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
13,461
Reaction score
730
Location
Athol, Ma. USA
I agree but what about Te dose it still exsist as a style/system of its own in Okinawa?
Any one know if the Okinwan ryukian do karate do association still exsists
Shadow
 

Cthulhu

Senior Master
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 1, 2001
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
27
Location
Florida
To me, 'Te' (sometimes 'ti) is a generic term used to describe the majority of early Okinawan martial arts. So, there is no one style of 'Te'...it's used similar to the word 'karate'. It describes a group of styles with a common foundation, but not any individual style.

Cthulhu
 
C

Chiduce

Guest
Well, there is Shito Ryu founded in ( 1926) by Mabuni Kenwa Shorinji Kempo and Okinawan Kempo! Sincerely, In Humility; Chiduce!
 

Cthulhu

Senior Master
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 1, 2001
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
27
Location
Florida
Originally posted by Chiduce

Well, there is Shito Ryu founded in ( 1926) by Mabuni Kenwa Shorinji Kempo and Okinawan Kempo! Sincerely, In Humility; Chiduce!

Shorinji Kempo is Japanese, and is supposedly based off of Shaolin chuan-fa. I have yet to hear of a school in Okinawa billing itself as Okinawan kempo.

Cthulhu
 
C

Chiduce

Guest
Originally posted by Cthulhu



Shorinji Kempo is Japanese, and is supposedly based off of Shaolin chuan-fa. I have yet to hear of a school in Okinawa billing itself as Okinawan kempo.

Cthulhu
Sorry, the spelling is Shorenji Kempo, it may have been a misprint; yet the country of it's origin says The Ryukyu Archepeligo or Islands. My source is "Shorin-Ryu Okinawan Karate Question And Answer Book, page 81"! It Lists Shorenji Ryu under Shito-Ryu; yet it does not list a date or founder! As far as Okinawan Kempo, the lineage states back to bushi and nabe matsumura and choki motobu and was founded by Shigeru Nakamura! Though is seems to be of chinese and okinawan origin during the time when okinawa was a tributary state of china. Sincerely, In Humility; Chiduce!
 

tshadowchaser

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
13,461
Reaction score
730
Location
Athol, Ma. USA
My second instructor studyed Shorenji kempo in Okinawa but did not learn any of the history of the style. Thus some of my earliest posts and questions on this forum He studied in the early to mid 50's.
Shadow
 

Martin h

Green Belt
Joined
Mar 3, 2002
Messages
133
Reaction score
5
Originally posted by Cthulhu

To me, 'Te' (sometimes 'ti) is a generic term used to describe the majority of early Okinawan martial arts. So, there is no one style of 'Te'...it's used similar to the word 'karate'. It describes a group of styles with a common foundation, but not any individual style.


A few years ago, I ran into a couple of styles that labeled themselves as Te, or okinawa Te, to distance themseves from karate in general (okinawan karate aswell), but Im afraid I have lost all references and dont remember any names.

I do recall that they used no (or almost no) kata, but other than that I could not see any real difference other uchinadi/okinawan karate.

I have also seen some styles that refuse to be called karate, but use the older term toude.
Once again, I have no idea what they are about or what differs them from other okinawan karate (or how they fit into the okinawan martial art society).
 
OP
A

arnisador

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 28, 2001
Messages
44,564
Reaction score
438
Location
Terre Haute, IN
I think this is correct--and there are Shorin influences too I believe--but it seems that people consistently list Shorin, Goju, Uechi, and Isshin as the four main styles. The first three are fairly independent of one another, though there was clearly cross-fdertilization of the styles that were precursors of Shorin and Goju, but Isshin is descended from previous arts, so I agree with you in that regard.
 

D.Cobb

2nd Black Belt
Founding Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2001
Messages
820
Reaction score
5
Location
Australia
Originally posted by Chiduce

Sorry, the spelling is Shorenji Kempo, it may have been a misprint; yet the country of it's origin says The Ryukyu Archepeligo or Islands. My source is "Shorin-Ryu Okinawan Karate Question And Answer Book, page 81"! It Lists Shorenji Ryu under Shito-Ryu; yet it does not list a date or founder! As far as Okinawan Kempo, the lineage states back to bushi and nabe matsumura and choki motobu and was founded by Shigeru Nakamura! Though is seems to be of chinese and okinawan origin during the time when okinawa was a tributary state of china. Sincerely, In Humility; Chiduce!

I am not to sure about the four major styles but I can tell you that "Shorenji" is Japanese for Shoalin.

Kempo/ Kenpo is the same character in Okinawa as the one the Chinese use for Quan fa, which means "fist law" or "way of the fist".

I think you will find that most of the Ryukyu styles, are just styles as practised in the Ryukyu Kingdom, rather than a specific style. Much the same as "Karate" has many styles under it's umbrella.

For further in depth information, you should read, The Bubishi, by Patrick McCarthy. Once you get through all the pats on the back that the author gives himself, it makes for a great read.

Hope this helps.
--Dave


:asian:
 

Cthulhu

Senior Master
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 1, 2001
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
27
Location
Florida
There is also a system that uses the old Okinawan term 'udun di' (Motobu Ryu Udun Di).

Shorinji Kempo is pretty much a direct Japanese translation of Shaolin Chuan Fa. It is a Japanese, not Okinawan, system and it isn't very old at all.

Cthulhu
 

Turner

Blue Belt
Joined
Mar 9, 2002
Messages
268
Reaction score
0
Location
Martinsville, Virginia
I studied Shorinji Kempo for 2 years under someone who studied it while stationed in Japan. It is a relatively new art (like all of them) that was created by So Doshin <A title of some sort>, a Japanese intelligence agent spying on the Chinese. One of his 'covers' was that of a monk and he spent a great deal of time in Temples and studied the martial arts. Like the founder of Shotokan, he was dismayed at what had become of the Japanese society after the war and so he created Shorinji Kempo. Due to the fact that there was a time period in the 1900s where the study of martial arts was illegal, he claimed that it was a religion... often times you will see its black belts wearing the brown habits of monks over their Gi's tied off with long ropes.

Its a small martial art primarily because of the extremely tight reign its Hombu keeps on its members. So Doshin claims that the Grand Master of one of the Chinese Temples He trained at named him his successor, but on the GrandMaster's death his son took the title.

The system is very similar to hapkido, but not flexible at all. It doesn't teach, nor does it allow variations. It primarily relies on Joint manipulations and basic kicks, punches, and blocks. It only has 3 Kyu Levels (Brown Belts) for adults.. more for children... Its forms are continuous forms that allow the Kempo-ka and his bunkai to go back and forth in a never ending circle.
 
R

RyuShiKan

Guest
Originally posted by Cthulhu

To me, 'Te' (sometimes 'ti) is a generic term used to describe the majority of early Okinawan martial arts. So, there is no one style of 'Te'...it's used similar to the word 'karate'. It describes a group of styles with a common foundation, but not any individual style.

Cthulhu


I have read that Ti was the forunner to Karate. It seems plausible since many Ti styles do not resemble Karate very much.

Originally posted by Chiduce

Well, there is Shito Ryu founded in ( 1926) by Mabuni Kenwa Shorinji Kempo and Okinawan Kempo! Sincerely, In Humility; Chiduce!

Shorinji Kempo was developed by Do Shin So and is very Japanese. He claims to have learned his art from the Shao lin temple in China.
Like many people I am doubtful of this claim since what he taught is different than what the Shao lin temple taught.
A good documentary on Shorinji Kempo was done by the BBC in their series "The Way of the Warrior".
Do Shin So's daughter is now the "Head Master" although she does not practice the art herself.
Actually Mr. Turner they are a very large group, several million members, and a very rich one. They claim to be a religious organization and therefore are tax exempt under Japanese law. (BTW, after WWII Karate and Shorinji Kempo were the only martial arts NOT banned from practicing by the GHQ)


In Okinawa there is a group that goes by the name of Shorinji Ryu no relation to Shorinji Kempo. They do have Shorinji Kempo clubs on Okinawa but they are of the above mentioned Japanese style.

Okinawa Kempo was developed by Nakamura Shigeru. Mr. Nakamura is mentioned in Mark Bishop's book Okinawan Karate. A good book to have BTW.


As for the 4 styles in Okinawa................politically I guess you could say that.
My teacher has always enforced on us the "All Karate is one".
 
OP
A

arnisador

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 28, 2001
Messages
44,564
Reaction score
438
Location
Terre Haute, IN
All Karate is One! I hear that more often about Japanese Jujutsu.

I wouldn't agree--uech-ryu especially is too different. Throw it out and I'd be more sympathetic to the idea.
 

searcher

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 15, 2005
Messages
3,317
Reaction score
58
Location
Kansas
Chiduce said:
Well, there is Shito Ryu founded in ( 1926) by Mabuni Kenwa Shorinji Kempo and Okinawan Kempo! Sincerely, In Humility; Chiduce!
Actually Shito-ryu is based on Shorin-ryu from Anko Itosu and Naha-te from Seisho Aragaki. He also picked up some kata from the Ryuei-ryu style. It has both Okinawan and Japanese sub-systems. They share many kata and a common lineage, btu they also have many differences.
 

searcher

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 15, 2005
Messages
3,317
Reaction score
58
Location
Kansas
I believe that there are only three main style, but many sub-styles. I go a step further back and divide them into: Shuri-te, Tomari-te, and Naha-te. While most of Shuri-te and Tomari-te are today called Shorin-ryu the styles that have come out of these distinct areas have differences in kata and bunkai. This is why Shorin-ryu has three main branches: Shobayashi, Kobayashi, and Mastubayashi.

The same can be said of Naha-te, aka Shorei-ryu. Uechi-ryu, Goju-ryu, Ryuei-ryu all have some similarities, but they have to many differences to be called the same.

Styles like Shito-ryu, Chito-ryu, Isshin-ryu, Okinawan Kempo/Kenpo, are all some combination of these. The level of influence from one area is dependant on the time each founder spent with his different instructors.
 
OP
A

arnisador

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 28, 2001
Messages
44,564
Reaction score
438
Location
Terre Haute, IN
You're talking about traditional styles, some of which are not, or only barely, extant. I might well agree with you in that sense ! But I was discussing today's four major styles.
 

TimoS

Master of Arts
Joined
May 25, 2003
Messages
1,607
Reaction score
70
Location
Helsinki, Finland
searcher said:
This is why Shorin-ryu has three main branches: Shobayashi, Kobayashi, and Mastubayashi.

I would say it has four, or even five, main branches:

Shobayashi, Kobayashi, Matsubayashi and Seibukan. The fifth might be Isshin ryu
 
Top