Kyokushin with Jesse

Yokozuna514

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Jesse picked a good school to see what Kyokushin is all about. Sensei Nick Pettas visited a few different schools which was also quite interesting:
 
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Jesse picked a good school to see what Kyokushin is all about. Sensei Nick Pettas visited a few different schools which was also quite interesting:
Thank you for sharing this video, it was very interesting and enjoyable to watch

Karate is all about Kata. I think it is important to incorporate Karate into your life in a way that enhances your being - Hajime Kazumi

Okinawan Karate is not about overcoming one's opponent. Training provides a means of defense. One should never initiate an attack. One's true enemy lies within oneself - Yasuhiro Uema
 

Yokozuna514

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Thank you for sharing this video, it was very interesting and enjoyable to watch

Karate is all about Kata. I think it is important to incorporate Karate into your life in a way that enhances your being - Hajime Kazumi

Okinawan Karate is not about overcoming one's opponent. Training provides a means of defense. One should never initiate an attack. One's true enemy lies within oneself - Yasuhiro Uema
Im glad you enjoyed it. The quote you gave from Sensei Kazumi is quite ironic considering he was the leading proponent of Knockdown when he was competing so to see him open a dojo where he only taught kata was very interesting and quite thought provoking.

As mythical and famous as these guys are in Kyokushin circles they are also quite approachable and kind. They are really like you and me but have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of excellence in their chosen field and were able to achieve some success. Interesting people for sure.

I know a few people that have made the journey to Okinawa to learn about the roots of karate and their influence on Kyokushin. Its another topic but fascinating nonetheless.
 

Buka

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I've always enjoyed Kyokushin Karate. I liked the people, liked the training, liked the way they spar.

I had always heard that there was no punching face contact in Kyokushin. Apparently the half dozen Koyokusin guys I knew never got that memo. They used to kill each other to the face with punches.

The very first Martial competition I ever saw was held in a boxing ring, at the old Boston Arena. Nobody wore gloves or pads of any kind. They were Koyukushin fighters. I wasn't aware they weren't supposed to punch to the face until afterwards.
Man, there was more bloody faces than I think I've ever seen since.
 

MetalBoar

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I know a few people that have made the journey to Okinawa to learn about the roots of karate and their influence on Kyokushin. Its another topic but fascinating nonetheless.
This brings up something I've been curious about. How well preserved is traditional Okinawan karate in Okinawa, and if it is still well preserved, how accessible is that training to westerners?

My understanding is that if you want to learn TCMA you may be better off looking in New York or San Francisco than in mainland China at this point, but obviously that situation was complicated by the communist revolution. How does Okinawa compare?
 

Yokozuna514

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I've always enjoyed Kyokushin Karate. I liked the people, liked the training, liked the way they spar.

I had always heard that there was no punching face contact in Kyokushin. Apparently the half dozen Koyokusin guys I knew never got that memo. They used to kill each other to the face with punches.

The very first Martial competition I ever saw was held in a boxing ring, at the old Boston Arena. Nobody wore gloves or pads of any kind. They were Koyukushin fighters. I wasn't aware they weren't supposed to punch to the face until afterwards.
Man, there was more bloody faces than I think I've ever seen since.
To be precise, Kyokushin is the art and Knockdown is the sport aspect which we use to compete with one another. We do train with face punches in Kyokushin. Its in the kata, kihon and some organizations and dojos allow face punches in kumite but the majority dont in regular classes if they have a dojo that regularly competes in Knockdown tournaments.

If people are interested in competing in Kyokushin style tournaments that include face punching then they should join schools that focus on Kudo. Face protection is worn but it everything else is pretty much the same as knockdown but youre allowed to strike to the face. Head butting as well as throwing are legal too.
 

Yokozuna514

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This brings up something I've been curious about. How well preserved is traditional Okinawan karate in Okinawa, and if it is still well preserved, how accessible is that training to westerners?

My understanding is that if you want to learn TCMA you may be better off looking in New York or San Francisco than in mainland China at this point, but obviously that situation was complicated by the communist revolution. How does Okinawa compare?
Unfortunately I have no personal knowledge about training in Okinawa but from the friends of mine that have gone access can be had with a written request to the dojo you wish to visit. The other option is to attend seminars that bring these people to North America but traditionally you must already be studying in the art. There is a school in Alberta Canada that has held many seminars that bring the head of their style and his closest disciples to our shores.

Im not sure I quite understand the question of preserved per se. Can you elaborate?
 

MetalBoar

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Im not sure I quite understand the question of preserved per se. Can you elaborate?
I guess I'm interested in several related questions and they're all tangential to this thread, so my apologies for the hijack.

I've not really studied enough karate to count and am not an expert on its history or current status, but my experience has been that most karate I see taught in the US has been largely or entirely stripped of stand up grappling, in general focuses more on longer range techniques than traditional Okinawan karate is said to do, and tends to be heavily influenced by its exposure to Japanese culture outside of Okinawa, and by the rules that are generally applied in karate tournaments.

I'm curious to know how much this has occurred in Okinawa, that is to say, how much does karate in Okinawa now look like karate in Chicago or Tokyo, and how much does it look, and is it trained, like Okinawan karate before it was accepted and modified in mainland Japan? Has karate in Okinawa maintained its roots in terms of approach and application, or is it more like the generic Shotokan school down the street here in Arizona that's been influenced by both the larger Japanese and now American cultures?

The other, related, part of my question was, how much is karate still taught in Okinawa at all? Has it faded away in its place of origin, or is it still widely practiced?
 

Yokozuna514

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I guess I'm interested in several related questions and they're all tangential to this thread, so my apologies for the hijack.

I've not really studied enough karate to count and am not an expert on its history or current status, but my experience has been that most karate I see taught in the US has been largely or entirely stripped of stand up grappling, in general focuses more on longer range techniques than traditional Okinawan karate is said to do, and tends to be heavily influenced by its exposure to Japanese culture outside of Okinawa, and by the rules that are generally applied in karate tournaments.

I'm curious to know how much this has occurred in Okinawa, that is to say, how much does karate in Okinawa now look like karate in Chicago or Tokyo, and how much does it look, and is it trained, like Okinawan karate before it was accepted and modified in mainland Japan? Has karate in Okinawa maintained its roots in terms of approach and application, or is it more like the generic Shotokan school down the street here in Arizona that's been influenced by both the larger Japanese and now American cultures?

The other, related, part of my question was, how much is karate still taught in Okinawa at all? Has it faded away in its place of origin, or is it still widely practiced?
Youre right your questions have little to do with Kyokushin and probably deserve a thread of its own. I cant really speak to your questions from any standpoint other than to say I know people that practice karate from Okinawa (mainly Uechi Ryu) and they feel it is well preserved and passed down as closely as it was taught by the founder as any could be.

The few Kyokushin folks I know who have gone to okinawa to train with those folks have found their experiences mainly positive and helpful to their own development. Its a different emphasis and focus from what we do and there is much to learn if one is so inclined.
 

MetalBoar

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Youre right your questions have little to do with Kyokushin and probably deserve a thread of its own. I cant really speak to your questions from any standpoint other than to say I know people that practice karate from Okinawa (mainly Uechi Ryu) and they feel it is well preserved and passed down as closely as it was taught by the founder as any could be.

The few Kyokushin folks I know who have gone to okinawa to train with those folks have found their experiences mainly positive and helpful to their own development. Its a different emphasis and focus from what we do and there is much to learn if one is so inclined.
Thanks for the reply.

Also, I want to state that I can see how my response might be seen as slighting the karate I've seen in the US. I do not intend to denigrate the art in any of its various styles and Kyokushin in particular is a style that I've wanted to try. Unfortunately, there has never been a Kyokushin school available to me within a reasonable driving distance or with a schedule that worked for me. Right now there's a Kyokushin school that I'd really like to try out and the schedule works, but I'd be driving more than 300 miles a week to do it and I just can't justify that much time, gas, or wear and tear on my car right now.
 

Yokozuna514

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Thanks for the reply.

Also, I want to state that I can see how my response might be seen as slighting the karate I've seen in the US. I do not intend to denigrate the art in any of its various styles and Kyokushin in particular is a style that I've wanted to try. Unfortunately, there has never been a Kyokushin school available to me within a reasonable driving distance or with a schedule that worked for me. Right now there's a Kyokushin school that I'd really like to try out and the schedule works, but I'd be driving more than 300 miles a week to do it and I just can't justify that much time, gas, or wear and tear on my car right now.
300 miles a week is a bit far to travel 3 times a week. I agree that isnt very practical to build into your lifestyle.
Kyokushin is not for everyone but if its for you, that is a hellava distance to do something you may come to love.

Its far better to find something closer in proximity to where you live that will provide you with that ache that keeps you coming back for more. Its also about a community that enjoys that particular style of suffering .

Good luck and I hope you find something that will fit the bill. Where are you, by the way ?
 

MetalBoar

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300 miles a week is a bit far to travel 3 times a week. I agree that isnt very practical to build into your lifestyle.
Kyokushin is not for everyone but if its for you, that is a hellava distance to do something you may come to love.

Its far better to find something closer in proximity to where you live that will provide you with that ache that keeps you coming back for more. Its also about a community that enjoys that particular style of suffering .

Good luck and I hope you find something that will fit the bill. Where are you, by the way ?
I live just east of Phoenix, Arizona, still in the greater metropolitan area. The Kyokushin school I'm interested in is across the city from me and the Phoenix area is a sprawl. I just re-checked and it's about a 60 mile round trip to the school so I guess 300 miles I was remembering is for the full 5 classes a week they offer. Even 3 nights, at 180 miles a week, is still quite a lot of driving
 

isshinryuronin

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How well preserved is traditional Okinawan karate in Okinawa, and if it is still well preserved, how accessible is that training to westerners?
I think it's alive and well and accessible to Westerners, though if you want to get with one of the top guys it's best to get some formal introduction and/or have some strong established creds. In a few cases, $$ helps, but I think that's still the exception.

most karate I see taught in the US has been largely or entirely stripped of stand up grappling, in general focuses more on longer range techniques than traditional Okinawan karate is said to do, and tends to be heavily influenced by its exposure to Japanese culture outside of Okinawa, and by the rules that are generally applied in karate tournaments.
This is accurate for the most part and for the reasons you stated. Sport caused a mutation in traditional karate. However, there are some schools in the West, especially those with traditional Naha-te influence, that retain the grappling aspect of Okinawan karate - tuite and hikite.

Much of the grappling aspect was discouraged by the Japanese who, with their organized ways, saw karate as a striking art, and judo/jiu-jitsu as the grappling arts in the 1930's, thus clearly differentiating them. There was a lot of political lobbying in the MA world back then with the Okinawans often resisting but giving in when necessary to flourish in the Japanese world. Thanks to WWII, efforts to unite the styles (likely under the Shotokan) never progressed and Okinawan karate was able to retain its unique characteristics.

That said, the grabbing, pulling, twisting and takedown techniques, while living on in the kata (if not corrupted by inept teachers) are not often taught. There is a lot of it in the katas, though unrecognized by most practitioners. And when they are, they're likely usually reserved for post-blackbelt ranks training under well taught traditional instructors.
 
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