Introduction on my dissertation on Karate

Ivan

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So I recently made a post asking for help on writing a dissertation. I have chosen to specifically write about how Kung Fu and relations between China and Okinawa impacted the origins of Karate in Okinawa. Here is my introduction. Please, leave some constructive criticism below. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Introduction


Karate (蝛箸) is a martial art with an origin shrouded in controversy. Many debates and many sources have backed up different points of view on how different nations have impacted its development. Some argue that its development began when a weapons ban was imposed upon the Okinawan common folk by the Japanese Satsuma Clan, yet others present evidence that its origins lie as far back as the Egyptians. The art itself uses a wide variety of kicking, punching, grappling, knee and elbow techniques along with open hand strikes, joint locks and chokes for manipulation of opponents, aimed at specific and vulnerable parts of the body; these may include nerve points, and areas in the center line such as the solar plexus, and the groin. In this dissertation I will be exploring the extent that China had on the development of this fighting art, in Okinawa.


The first ever point of contact to be recorded between Okinawa and China was in 607 A.D. (according to the book Bubishi, on its chapter about Chinese Influences on the Development of Karate-do). Due to differences in language, communication was lacklustre between both nations until four years after (1372) the establishment of the Ming Dynasty (1368). Soon after, sometime around 1393, a Chinese organisation was founded known as the 36 Families from Min. Said organisation, consisted of a number of Chinese bureaucrats, craftsmen and labourers who emigrated from Fujian to Okinawa (then known as the Ryukyu Kingdom). It was thanks to this organization, that Okinwawan folk began to appropriate and learn more about the culture of the Chinese; it was the establishment of the 36 Families in Kume village that led to the merging of Chinese culture with Okinawan.


According to Douglas Harings translation of the Takanoya Account 1896, the mission was settled in 1393 by immigrants of China and provided a place for Chinese diplomats to reside, and for Okinawan nobles to learn the language and manners of China. This settlement was in Kume village and it served as a center of diffusion of Chinese culture in Ryukyu for five centuries. That is an immense amount of time for cultural assimilation to take place. Eventually, young Okinawans would learn and take part in Chinese culture too and they would stand to gain much respect for it, and become well accepted scholarships and also receiving scholarships for education directly from the Chinese government. The conclusion of this account, stated that The enrichment of Okinawan culture via Kume was incalculable. Supposedly, the public not only achieved proficiency in writing and speaking Chinese, but also other useful craft such as ship building techniques and architecture. Most importantly, Confucian morals as different philosophies commonly grow to shape entire martial styles.
 

Gerry Seymour

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I like this start. I'll give a few nit-picky editing notes - others can provide better commentary on the content.

I'd add some timeframe reference in the first paragraph. "....by the Japanese Satsuma clan in the ____ century." With the reference to the Egyptians, this doesn't seem like a counter to the previous comment. If the lineage traces to the Egyptians (no timeframe given - I'm assuming this should also have some time reference), could that lineage not also link to the ban? I think I understand your intention with those sentences, but I found myself trying to work it out by re-reading, which I don't think is what you want that early in your dissertation.

Also, in the last sentence of that paragraph, it seems you're missing a couple of words: "In this dissertation I will be exploring the extent [of the influence] China had on the development of this fighting art, in Okinawa." Or maybe you just meant to have "influence" where you put "extent".

I'd rearrange this sentence to make it an easy read: "...communication was [limited] between both nations until [1372], four years after the establishment of the Ming Dynasty." I don't think it's necessary to list both years, since you provided the "4 years after".

You don't need the comma early in this sentence, "Said organisation consisted of a...."

You have some quotes that you don't attribute. It might be easiest to adopt a standard inline citation style, with a References section at the end, rather than having to give a short sentence as you did for the Bubishi reference in the second paragraph.
 

Jaeimseu

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You should have explored your topic when you researched it. Your thesis should state a claim that your research supports.


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skribs

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Are you doing a dissertation or a thesis? If this is a dissertation there should be 'new' information you are presenting.

Is that the difference between a Master's thesis and a Doctoral dissertation?
 

Danny T

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Is that the difference between a Master's thesis and a Doctoral dissertation?
Though similar and often mistakenly used interchangeably they are different papers with different intended purposes. A thesis is writing on ones understanding of a particular field of study based on prior work done by others in that field. The previous work/s is analyzed by the writer of the thesis to make a case for a certain point of view.

A dissertation focuses on ones own and original research in a field that covers new material/information or research that has not already been done. The writer comes up with a hypothesis based on his/her own original research to prove or disprove the hypothesis.
 

Buka

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I think we have to keep in mind that Ivan is writing an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) in the UK.
I, for one, don't really know what that is. However, him being in the UK, we really don't speak the same English anyway.

Ivan, are you still framing your work on these questions that I think you started out with -

To what extent did immigration and cultural assimilation* impact the origins of Okinawan Karate?
To what extent did conflict and the ban on weapons affect the origins of Okinawan Karate?
To which degree has eastern philosophy affected the development of Okinawan Karate?


Did you keep them in mind while writing the introduction? If so, you might want to tease them. If not, no big whoop, I know how quickly we change things when writing.
 

Danny T

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I think we have to keep in mind that Ivan is writing an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) in the UK.
I, for one, don't really know what that is. However, him being in the UK, we really don't speak the same English anyway.
Interesting...
So I looked up the Oxford Universitys description of its thesis requirements: Most of the thesis should be devoted to the matters to which you have made a contribution. Your own work must be presented, matters to which you have made a contribution in reasonable detail and with clarity A concluding chapter should summarise what has been learned as a result of your work showing its significance, its relation to other work.

And the University of Cambridge which states that a dissertation (as opposed to thesis) takes account of previously published work on the subject AND represents your contribution to the work.

So even in England there is a difference in definitions to the terms were one University defines a thesis as the what another defines as being a dissertation.

???
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Interesting...
So I looked up the Oxford Universitys description of its thesis requirements: Most of the thesis should be devoted to the matters to which you have made a contribution. Your own work must be presented, matters to which you have made a contribution in reasonable detail and with clarity A concluding chapter should summarise what has been learned as a result of your work showing its significance, its relation to other work.

And the University of Cambridge which states that a dissertation (as opposed to thesis) takes account of previously published work on the subject AND represents your contribution to the work.

So even in England there is a difference in definitions to the terms were one University defines a thesis as the what another defines as being a dissertation.

???
Based on those quoted definitions, wouldn't england just not have a difference between thesis/dissertation? Did cambridge have a different definition for thesis (or oxford and dissertation)?

Either way, i think bukas right that ivan is probably not having to write an actual dissertation, in the sense that we think of the word. Which is fine, as long as we know that reading what he writes.
 

Danny T

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Based on those quoted definitions, wouldn't england just not have a difference between thesis/dissertation? Did cambridge have a different definition for thesis (or oxford and dissertation)?

Either way, i think bukas right that ivan is probably not having to write an actual dissertation, in the sense that we think of the word. Which is fine, as long as we know that reading what he writes.
They are both describing what I originally showed as being defined a dissertation...where the writer must use their own contribution to the research and information. One is calling it a thesis the other a dissertation therefore make no distinction between a thesis or a dissertation.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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They are both describing what I originally showed as being defined a dissertation...where the writer must use their own contribution to the research and information. One is calling it a thesis the other a dissertation therefore make no distinction between a thesis or a dissertation.
Thats what i got from it too...so the terms are interchangeable in england i guess
 

Gerry Seymour

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They are both describing what I originally showed as being defined a dissertation...where the writer must use their own contribution to the research and information. One is calling it a thesis the other a dissertation therefore make no distinction between a thesis or a dissertation.
While I think you're right, I could also read the second definition differently, with the "your contribution" being the new analysis of existing work - meaning you can't just cite old work and refer to the existing conclusions, but have to draw your own, new conclusions.
 
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Ivan

Ivan

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When doing an EPQ, we have choices as to how we want to present our work. Some choose to do a play, start some sort of business or make an artifact. The other choice is what my teacher/EPQ manager calls a 'dissertation'.

I think we have to keep in mind that Ivan is writing an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) in the UK.
I, for one, don't really know what that is. However, him being in the UK, we really don't speak the same English anyway.

Ivan, are you still framing your work on these questions that I think you started out with -

To what extent did immigration and cultural assimilation* impact the origins of Okinawan Karate?
To what extent did conflict and the ban on weapons affect the origins of Okinawan Karate?
To which degree has eastern philosophy affected the development of Okinawan Karate?


Did you keep them in mind while writing the introduction? If so, you might want to tease them. If not, no big whoop, I know how quickly we change things when writing.
As for this, I have changed the question to:
What was the extent that China had on the origins of Karate in Okinawa?

I feel like I have much more to go on since I can easily compare different stances such as a Tiger Taming Stance to the much narrower kakutsu dachi karate variant. I like your new profile picture by the way!

The way that I wish to develop this 'dissertation' is to investigate migratory flows or trade relations and routes between both nations and eventually show how the appropiation of Chinese culture led to the cultivation of their own fighting style. I would also like to make comparisons of stances and techniques using images and descriptions to also show the influences of kung fu on karate.
 

Buka

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When doing an EPQ, we have choices as to how we want to present our work. Some choose to do a play, start some sort of business or make an artifact. The other choice is what my teacher/EPQ manager calls a 'dissertation'.

Do a play? Like put on a play on a stage? Man, I wish I had had that option when I wrote my series of papers in college. I would have brought half my classmates from the dojo into school and just gone all Enter the Dragon in English class. It would have rocked. :)
 

Gerry Seymour

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Do a play? Like put on a play on a stage? Man, I wish I had had that option when I wrote my series of papers in college. I would have brought half my classmates from the dojo into school and just gone all Enter the Dragon in English class. It would have rocked. :)
I actually had a college professor who would have allowed that. In fact, it took something of an impressive production to get an A from him.
 

JR 137

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Do a play? Like put on a play on a stage? Man, I wish I had had that option when I wrote my series of papers in college. I would have brought half my classmates from the dojo into school and just gone all Enter the Dragon in English class. It would have rocked. :)
Go all Last Dragon instead. Only hiccup is how to get the glow.
 

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