legendary fight between masters...

TSDTexan

Master of Arts
Joined
Jul 18, 2015
Messages
1,866
Reaction score
531
“Yasuhiro Koneshi reported that a newspaper carried the story of a fight that took place between the Motobu Choki and Funakoshi Gichen in 1930.

When Funakoshi finally faced his nemesis, his feet were instantly swept from beneath him and he suffered the indignity as he lay at Motobu's feet of having his face menaced with the latter’s enormous fist.”

Source: David Chambers, in a Tsunami video tape, “Wado Ryu the way of peace and harmony,”

it is also reported "Two of Funakoshi's top students (Hironori Ohtsuka and Koyu Konishi) also left him to train with Motobu."
 

Tames D

RECKLESS
MTS Alumni
Joined
Apr 18, 2006
Messages
5,133
Reaction score
664
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Doesn't surprise me. Many "Masters" can't fight. Reminds me of Boztepe and Cheung.
 

Hanzou

Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
6,691
Reaction score
1,260
Doesn't surprise me. Many "Masters" can't fight. Reminds me of Boztepe and Cheung.

Yep. Prime example;


But what's the point of this thread TSD? That Motobu was supposedly superior to Funakoshi?
 

Tames D

RECKLESS
MTS Alumni
Joined
Apr 18, 2006
Messages
5,133
Reaction score
664
Location
Los Angeles, CA
tThey look like a couple of kids in the schoolyard that don't know how to fight. I especially like the girly punch LOL.
 

DaveB

Master Black Belt
Joined
Jun 19, 2015
Messages
1,243
Reaction score
292
The nonsense some of you guys have posted about these fights is why senior martial artists and instructors don't do more tournaments.

When two people fight there is a winner and a loser. Losing a fight against someone better doesn't mean you can't fight. Winning doesn't mean that you can teach.

Funakoshi understood fighting and how to use karate to do it. We know this because of his writing: some of the details he added were not things someone without that experience could have added.

That he lost a fight as an old man to a younger stronger karateka after only teaching others for years, doesn't really tell us anything.

And as for the kung fu masters, aside from the lack of boxing guard (the defining factor of effective fighting for many mma junkieso who critique others) they look no worse than Chuck Liddell did when striking. Again you are.looking at people who have probably not fought in years from a time when protective gear was rare. What do you expect, a Donnie Yen scene?
 

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,381
Reaction score
4,691
Location
England
That he lost a fight as an old man to a younger stronger karateka after only teaching others for years, doesn't really tell us anything.

This bears repeating.
Ohtsuka Sensei stayed good friends with Funakoshi, their differences didn't interfere with their friendship.
 

Tames D

RECKLESS
MTS Alumni
Joined
Apr 18, 2006
Messages
5,133
Reaction score
664
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Sorry. I called it the way I saw it. Regardless of their age and status. In my opinon, they both looked like terrible fighters at that point. Not trying to hurt anyones feelings.
 

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
32,560
Reaction score
7,183
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
Yep. Prime example;


But what's the point of this thread TSD? That Motobu was supposedly superior to Funakoshi?

Problem you have with this is there are people still alive that were there and my sifu was there with his sifu (Tung Ying Chieh, who is the guy at the beginning doing the form, he was not one of the fighters)

A challenge was made, but no one understood why the older Wu took it up and not the younger.

It was hyped and billed much like the Ali Fraser fights. Many tickets were sold too. However the majority of the audience, including the other CMA people there thought it was rather pathetic, there was much booing and calls for money back.
 
Last edited:
OP
TSDTexan

TSDTexan

Master of Arts
Joined
Jul 18, 2015
Messages
1,866
Reaction score
531
The reasons, I mentioned this fight is Funakoshi called Motobu Choki an illiterate on many occasions.

Some (Motobu's students) have said it was not inability to speak mainland Japanese, but royal pride refusing to acquiesce to the language and customs of a subjugating culture, that kept Motobu from speaking Japanese while in Japan, and almost always using an Okinawan translator.

Point number one. Be careful what you say about others, in the real world. It may come back to haunt you and your students.

Point number two. If what you say about other instructors causes them to challenge fight...and you lose decisively... Expect to lose good students... Even if they think you were right in what you said.

Students of MAs generally want better fighting ability, and if the perception exists that one teach is significantly better at fighting then their present one, some will jump ship. In the end, some people's loyalty ends with themselves.
 
Last edited:
OP
TSDTexan

TSDTexan

Master of Arts
Joined
Jul 18, 2015
Messages
1,866
Reaction score
531
The nonsense some of you guys have posted about these fights is why senior martial artists and instructors don't do more tournaments.

When two people fight there is a winner and a loser. Losing a fight against someone better doesn't mean you can't fight. Winning doesn't mean that you can teach.

Funakoshi understood fighting and how to use karate to do it. We know this because of his writing: some of the details he added were not things someone without that experience could have added.

That he lost a fight as an old man to a younger stronger karateka after only teaching others for years, doesn't really tell us anything.

And as for the kung fu masters, aside from the lack of boxing guard (the defining factor of effective fighting for many mma junkieso who critique others) they look no worse than Chuck Liddell did when striking. Again you are.looking at people who have probably not fought in years from a time when protective gear was rare. What do you expect, a Donnie Yen scene?

I never said Funakoshi lost because he couldn't fight.
Your response here is clearly insinuating that I did say or imply that.

My contention is both could fight, but one was a superior fighter to the other. Funakoshi's methods and Motobu's method of training when Motobu was a young man led to very different Karateka.

I would venture to say even if they were the exact same age I would put 10000 yen on Mutobu every time.

As for as the age difference.. it was two years. It was not an unfair fight with regard to age difference. Funakoshi Gichin (1868 – 1957) and Motobu Choki (1870-1944)

This puts both men in their early 50s. like between 50-53.
It is folly to assume 50 year olds don't have what it takes to fight, because they are not young men, and cannot fight like a young man.

I know some incredibly dangerous 50 year olds, that I would prefer never to get into a fight with.

I once briefly met a very deadly man who is now 79. This man was already a martial artist before he trained under Bruce Lee for a very long time. This is a man, who I would not even raise my voice in anger with. Not because I respect him. (and I do) but because I would prefer to not take a chance in having the taste knocked out of my mouth.

Motobu Choki had just defeated a Russian boxer in a "all takers, bar none" fight ring which helped put Okinawan Karate into the mainland Japanese awareness. It didn't help matters that Kingu Magazine chose to "incorrectly" Illustrate the fight using the image of Funakoshi instead of Motobu.
Which only served to escalate tensions between the two.

As for your statement: "That he lost a fight as an old man to a younger stronger karateka after only teaching others for years, doesn't really tell us anything."

We can clearly see it doesn't apply here.
 
Last edited:

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,381
Reaction score
4,691
Location
England
The reasons, I mentioned this fight is Funakoshi called Motobu Choki an illiterate on many occasions.

And?

Where does your 'story' fit in with Ohtsuka Sensei then? Are you suggesting he was just a lowly student of Funakoshi?
The History of Wado Ryu

There is, it seems, no confirmation of this story of the fight other than the quote from 'David Chambers', someone whose name seems to be connected to a lot of rebuttals against his articles.

I think this is more style and now people bashing. If they fought what does ascribing words and ideas to them mean to us? It certainly doesn't mean what you want it to I think.
 

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,381
Reaction score
4,691
Location
England
I never said Funakoshi lost because he couldn't fight.
My contention is both could fight, but one was a suppior fighter to the other. Funakoshi's methods and Motobu's method of training when Motobu was a young man led to very different Karateka.

I would venture to say even if they were the same age I would put 10000 yen on Mutobu every time


And this is relevant to us how?
 

elder999

El Oso de Dios!
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Messages
9,917
Reaction score
1,431
Location
Where the hills have eyes.,and it's HOT!

Hanzou

Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
6,691
Reaction score
1,260
And as for the kung fu masters, aside from the lack of boxing guard (the defining factor of effective fighting for many mma junkieso who critique others) they look no worse than Chuck Liddell did when striking. Again you are.looking at people who have probably not fought in years from a time when protective gear was rare. What do you expect, a Donnie Yen scene?

I expect at least a grade-school level of martial skill. Especially if those two are supposedly experts in their arts.

Also if you really think that resembles anything like a chuck lidell striking style, you need to watch a Lidell fight again.
 

DaveB

Master Black Belt
Joined
Jun 19, 2015
Messages
1,243
Reaction score
292
I never said Funakoshi lost because he couldn't fight.
Your response here is clearly insinuating that I did say or imply that.

My contention is both could fight, but one was a superior fighter to the other. Funakoshi's methods and Motobu's method of training when Motobu was a young man led to very different Karateka.

I would venture to say even if they were the exact same age I would put 10000 yen on Mutobu every time.

As for as the age difference.. it was two years. It was not an unfair fight with regard to age difference. Funakoshi Gichin (1868 – 1957) and Motobu Choki (1870-1944)

This puts both men in their early 50s. like between 50-53.
It is folly to assume 50 year olds don't have what it takes to fight, because they are not young men, and cannot fight like a young man.

I know some incredibly dangerous 50 year olds, that I would prefer never to get into a fight with.

I once briefly met a very deadly man who is now 79. This man was already a martial artist before he trained under Bruce Lee for a very long time. This is a man, who I would not even raise my voice in anger with. Not because I respect him. (and I do) but because I would prefer to not take a chance in having the taste knocked out of my mouth.

Motobu Choki had just defeated a Russian boxer in a "all takers, bar none" fight ring which helped put Okinawan Karate into the mainland Japanese awareness. It didn't help matters that Kingu Magazine chose to "incorrectly" Illustrate the fight using the image of Funakoshi instead of Motobu.
Which only served to escalate tensions between the two.

As for your statement: "That he lost a fight as an old man to a younger stronger karateka after only teaching others for years, doesn't really tell us anything."

We can clearly see it doesn't apply here.

Actually I wasn't thinking of you at all as your opening post made no comment either way.

Fair enough about the age, I thought the gap was bigger. However, that makes no difference to what I was saying. Motobu was a better fighter. So? How does barging in on a guys lesson to fight him disprove a claim of illiteracy?

Motobu went out to the red light district and picked fights to test his skills. GF was a school teacher. What exactly is your point?
 
OP
TSDTexan

TSDTexan

Master of Arts
Joined
Jul 18, 2015
Messages
1,866
Reaction score
531
I never said Funakoshi lost because he couldn't fight.
Your response here is clearly insinuating that I did say or imply that.

My contention is both could fight, but one was a superior fighter to the other. Funakoshi's methods and Motobu's method of training when Motobu was a young man led to very different Karateka.

I would venture to say even if they were the exact same age I would put 10000 yen on Mutobu every time.

As for as the age difference.. it was two years. It was not an unfair fight with regard to age difference. Funakoshi Gichin (1868 – 1957) and Motobu Choki (1870-1944)

This puts both men in their early 50s. like between 50-53.
It is folly to assume 50 year olds don't have what it takes to fight, because they are not young men, and cannot fight like a young man.

I know some incredibly dangerous 50 year olds, that I would prefer never to get into a fight with.

I once briefly met a very deadly man who is now 79. This man was already a martial artist before he trained under Bruce Lee for a very long time. This is a man, who I would not even raise my voice in anger with. Not because I respect him. (and I do) but because I would prefer to not take a chance in having the taste knocked out of my mouth.

Motobu Choki had just defeated a Russian boxer in a "all takers, bar none" fight ring which helped put Okinawan Karate into the mainland Japanese awareness. It didn't help matters that Kingu Magazine chose to "incorrectly" Illustrate the fight using the image of Funakoshi instead of Motobu.
Which only served to escalate tensions between the two.

As for your statement: "That he lost a fight as an old man to a younger stronger karateka after only teaching others for years, doesn't really tell us anything."

We can clearly see it doesn't apply here.

Because of editing time limits I have to continue this as a reply..

The following is a quote from Graham Noble:
The change from Gichin Funakoshi's original 1922 karate to modern Shotokan was a gradual process, but in many respects the style was there by the mid-1930s among some of the younger trainees. The change arose from several sources: Funakoshi himself, his son Yoshitaka and his associates, from a general infusion of new blood into the art and over the last three decades the contribution of the Japan Karate Association and its instructors. But if we go back a little to the 1935 edition of, "Karate-do Kyohan" it seems to me that Funakoshi sensei's personal karate did not go much beyond there, that is a karate based primarily on the practice of kata, augmented by yaku soku (prearranged) kumite and makiwara (striking board) practice. Funakoshi did not care for jiyu-kumite (free sparring) and even in that era he drew some criticism from other (Japanese) teachers for what they saw as his overemphasis on kata. Such teachers were familiar with the free-play of judo and kendo and felt that something of that sort should be introduced to karate. That was a new idea to Funakoshi and, because of long established habits of mind, something that he had difficulty coming to terms with.

Now.. this observation by Graham is important because Funakoshi was old school "Te"... Ie "Karate is kata, Kata is Karate". There was a huge gap here between him and Motobu. Motobu had very high appreciation for Kata and said without Kata you could not know Karate. Or how to how to hold the right stance in a real fight without kata. Motobu was ahead of his contemporaries, as a young man because he was doing street testing of his "Te" in the red light district against real opponents in real fights. He won a fair number, but his losses drove him to harder training.

Funakoshi had a low view of free fight kumite
Motobu had a high view of kumite but not just kumite against other karateka in the dojo. He practiced and tested his art with real world opponents in the streets of Shuri.
 
OP
TSDTexan

TSDTexan

Master of Arts
Joined
Jul 18, 2015
Messages
1,866
Reaction score
531
Actually I wasn't thinking of you at all as your opening post made no comment either way.

Fair enough about the age, I thought the gap was bigger. However, that makes no difference to what I was saying. Motobu was a better fighter. So? How does barging in on a guys lesson to fight him disprove a claim of illiteracy?

Motobu went out to the red light district and picked fights to test his skills. GF was a school teacher.

As far as I am aware, this duel didn't happen in Funakoshi's dojo, while a class was in session.

Also, we both posted on the red light district training at the same time, and yes, this had a big impact on Motobu as both a teacher (different understanding because of practical application learned in the "doing" vs theory driven education) and as a fighter.
I doubt he would have stepped into a fighting ring with a Russian boxer if he hasn't done his red light training.
 
Last edited:

DaveB

Master Black Belt
Joined
Jun 19, 2015
Messages
1,243
Reaction score
292
I expect at least a grade-school level of martial skill. Especially if those two are supposedly experts in their arts.

Also if you really think that resembles anything like a chuck lidell striking style, you need to watch a Lidell fight again.

I did look again and I stand by my statement.
 
OP
TSDTexan

TSDTexan

Master of Arts
Joined
Jul 18, 2015
Messages
1,866
Reaction score
531

Actually good links here, three out of these four were already in my bookmarks sometime ago.

The Karate by Jesse link I read about ten days after my birthday about 5 years ago. Was the best gift I got that year.

Great compilation of source quotes, and showing our great Karate Forefathers were men just like the rest of us.
 
Last edited:

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,381
Reaction score
4,691
Location
England
As far as I am aware, this duel didn't happen in Funakoshi's dojo, while a class was in session.
.


If you read the links Elder posted you will find this is just what did happen and wasn't a 'duel' as such.

I don't know what you are hoping to achieve with this thread, you seem to have several ideas that actually contradict each other going on. Also this 'legendary duel' may or may not have happened, every source I've seen says it was reported to have happened but there's little proof one way or another other than hearsay. Do you have proof it happened?
 
Top