Simple karate

Flying Crane

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I do not find it reasonable to think that the MA taught and practiced in a temple by monks was NOT infused with some degree of their beliefs. There is a close connection to mind, body and spirit and all three do affect execution of technique.

Anyway, whether some of TMA's mythology is true, partly true or just made up and passed on as fact is actually irrelevant. The fact is that it was largely embraced and acted upon by those who played a part in the evolution of kung fu and karate. As such, these ideas did enter the TMA realm and played a part in its development. This is the power of mythology.
This is a pretty good book that talks about the development of martial arts in China over the centuries and millennia. It is worth reading. It is not so much about the development of individual styles, although there is a little bit about that. Rather, it is more about the larger trends related to military actions and how that affected martial development as battlefield methods, that later became empty-hand methods as the socio-political climate changed along with technology.

 

GojuTommy

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I do not find it reasonable to think that the MA taught and practiced in a temple by monks was NOT infused with some degree of their beliefs. There is a close connection to mind, body and spirit and all three do affect execution of technique.

Anyway, whether some of TMA's mythology is true, partly true or just made up and passed on as fact is actually irrelevant. The fact is that it was largely embraced and acted upon by those who played a part in the evolution of kung fu and karate. As such, these ideas did enter the TMA realm and played a part in its development. This is the power of mythology.
I think youre confusing people having religious beliefs and doing a martial art meaning that said religion or philosophy is part of the martial art.

This is super weird to me since this logic is only applied to Asian martial arts. Nobody acts like HEMA or bohurt must include Christian teachings just because Christian orders of knights fought using those methods.

You can remove any and all Buddhist teachings from shaolin Kung fu and still train shaolin Kung fu.

Lack of understanding of the culture that birthed a martial art imo why people from outside that culture associate philosophical or religious relevance to Asian martial arts, but not western arts.
I know for a fact there are boxing gyms and what not that have prayers before training, and prayers before competition.
How weird would it be Shinto believing Japanese people started wearing crosses and praying to Jesus as part of their boxing practice? And all because that was the personal belief system of the one gym they trained at, and they saw that Christianity was the pervasive religion of the US
 
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isshinryuronin

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I think youre confusing people having religious beliefs and doing a martial art meaning that said religion or philosophy is part of the martial art.
I am not confused. If you carefully read what I wrote in full context you will see that I specifically qualified my main idea that limited the religious aspects and centered on the philosophical elements (as well as cultural) as shown below:
Religious elements, NO. I agree (with a SLIGHT exception or two). However, there are numerous philosophical, cultural, ethical and spiritual elements which strongly influenced TMA
I just now capitalized a couple of words in case you did not note them earlier.
(at least in spiritual attitude such as mushin and mizu no kokoro) and breathing technique.
Going back to my post on the subject (#38) the great number of other delineated points I made make it clear what my thoughts are on the subject as well as my post #35 where religion was not discussed at all. So, I think we are making too much about what was to me just a minor supporting point to the main topic. Don't let a single tree obscure the forest.
 

GojuTommy

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I am not confused. If you carefully read what I wrote in full context you will see that I specifically qualified my main idea that limited the religious aspects and centered on the philosophical elements (as well as cultural) as shown below:

I just now capitalized a couple of words in case you did not note them earlier.

Going back to my post on the subject (#38) the great number of other delineated points I made make it clear what my thoughts are on the subject as well as my post #35 where religion was not discussed at all. So, I think we are making too much about what was to me just a minor supporting point to the main topic. Don't let a single tree obscure the forest.
安hatever you say.

In the end you can train karate without trying to ape cultural aspects that are specific to Japan or Okinawa, and you definitely can do so without teaching any philosophy specific to either place.

My previous example can also be altered. A boxing gym in the US with a conservative Republican owner and head coach, a Japanese dude comes trains, and goes back to Japan now obsessed with guns, talking about the US constitution and requiring people to wear 9line and grunt style shirts in their gym for training?

That is essentially what happened when Americans spent a year or two in Japan or Okinawa training and brought karate back with them.
Some westerners have a much deeper understanding and appreciation of the culture because they spent the time to immerse themselves in, but that wasnt and still isnt the majority of karate instructors.
 
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Buka

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Would you say "American Karate" is simply sport fighting using karate tournament sparring techniques? Besides this, what other elements (if any) of traditional karate does it have? Is it based on EPKK?

I have no experience with it so am trying to get a handle on just what it is. Thanks.
I don't know what EPKK is, so I dunno'.

That being said,
I always believed the two main goals of Martial Arts are the development of character and the ability to train and defend oneself. I also believe every dojo is different. In the American Karate dojos that Ive run for most of my life we based ourselves on traditional Japanese dojo etiquette. The first thing every student learned were the rules, which were strict and of which we had many. On the flip side of that - the very first thing you saw when entering the dojo for the first time was a large sign that said We are a Martial Arts Institute of Higher Pugilisitic Education. We taught, and practiced to the best of our abilities, the tenets of Bushido. That's from day one. I was fortunate to have opened a dojo that already had a group of Black Belts. We also had fifty young men, sixteen to late twenties, all city kids, also from day one. They learned the rules, learned a strict dojo etiquette and manners by both teaching and example. And Ill tell you what, they loved it. Im still in touch with many of them and they still exhibit those qualities to this day. As do their own children.

Our training was not traditional for the most part. That being said, a lot of friends of mine are traditional Karate instructors. I had all of them down to teach the occasional class. The students loved that, too. We also had an open door policy for sparring. Every Thursday night wed spar. And every Thursday night there were guests who came down just to spar. Wed spar in different ways, free sparring (Karate style) kickboxing, boxing, point fighting, grappling, sometimes all of them together. That might sound odd, but it was natural to us. We had very few injuries, less than other places I visited.
Everyone got in shape. We ran, we were on weight training programs, we drilled up and down the floor, did two man Kumite exercises, we did pushups, sit-ups and chin ups until we couldnt do anymore. Then did some more, anyway. We warmed up to music every night before we stretched out. We read every book on Martial Arts we could get our hands on, as well as every training film. We competed everywhere we could, making a ton of friends - whos dojos we were invited to and went to and trained. Damn, we were so fortunate.

We held seminars all the time, not one of them to make money. Not one. We had EMTs come down to speak and teach basic first aide (students loved it) I had all those that taught me Martial Arts come down, usually every year, or anytime they were in town. I loved having my students experience other things that our dojo didnt provide, loved having them explore the world of Martial Arts in general. Might not be the best business plan, but I didnt open a dojo to make money.

Hindsight is always 20-20. One thing Id do differently if I could go back to that time would be to include two Katas. One would be Sanchin, which I always liked. The other I would make up comprised of quick, solo BJJ drills. Both would be good for fitness and fighting, at least in my opinion. I know the idea of "making up a Kata" is considered almost blasphemy in some circles, but, alas, me no care.
 

isshinryuronin

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I don't know what EPKK is, so I dunno'.

That being said,
I always believed the two main goals of Martial Arts are the development of character and the ability to train and defend oneself. I also believe every dojo is different. In the American Karate dojos that Ive run for most of my life we based ourselves on traditional Japanese dojo etiquette. The first thing every student learned were the rules, which were strict and of which we had many. On the flip side of that - the very first thing you saw when entering the dojo for the first time was a large sign that said We are a Martial Arts Institute of Higher Pugilisitic Education. We taught, and practiced to the best of our abilities, the tenets of Bushido. That's from day one. I was fortunate to have opened a dojo that already had a group of Black Belts. We also had fifty young men, sixteen to late twenties, all city kids, also from day one. They learned the rules, learned a strict dojo etiquette and manners by both teaching and example. And Ill tell you what, they loved it. Im still in touch with many of them and they still exhibit those qualities to this day. As do their own children.

Our training was not traditional for the most part. That being said, a lot of friends of mine are traditional Karate instructors. I had all of them down to teach the occasional class. The students loved that, too. We also had an open door policy for sparring. Every Thursday night wed spar. And every Thursday night there were guests who came down just to spar. Wed spar in different ways, free sparring (Karate style) kickboxing, boxing, point fighting, grappling, sometimes all of them together. That might sound odd, but it was natural to us. We had very few injuries, less than other places I visited.
Everyone got in shape. We ran, we were on weight training programs, we drilled up and down the floor, did two man Kumite exercises, we did pushups, sit-ups and chin ups until we couldnt do anymore. Then did some more, anyway. We warmed up to music every night before we stretched out. We read every book on Martial Arts we could get our hands on, as well as every training film. We competed everywhere we could, making a ton of friends - whos dojos we were invited to and went to and trained. Damn, we were so fortunate.

We held seminars all the time, not one of them to make money. Not one. We had EMTs come down to speak and teach basic first aide (students loved it) I had all those that taught me Martial Arts come down, usually every year, or anytime they were in town. I loved having my students experience other things that our dojo didnt provide, loved having them explore the world of Martial Arts in general. Might not be the best business plan, but I didnt open a dojo to make money.

Hindsight is always 20-20. One thing Id do differently if I could go back to that time would be to include two Katas. One would be Sanchin, which I always liked. The other I would make up comprised of quick, solo BJJ drills. Both would be good for fitness and fighting, at least in my opinion. I know the idea of "making up a Kata" is considered almost blasphemy in some circles, but, alas, me no care.
Sounds like rockin' and rollin' karate style, and then some, minus the kata. My old school in the 70's was much like yours in several respects. Without kata, IMO, you miss out on some interesting techniques as well as a chunk of developmental history, but it seems you made up for it in other ways. FYI, EPKK is Ed Parker Kenpo Karate.
 

Buka

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Sounds like rockin' and rollin' karate style, and then some, minus the kata. My old school in the 70's was much like yours in several respects. Without kata, IMO, you miss out on some interesting techniques as well as a chunk of developmental history, but it seems you made up for it in other ways. FYI, EPKK is Ed Parker Kenpo Karate.
Well DUH on me for not knowing what EPKK was. I'm sure Ed would have laughed at me. (wouldn't be the first time)
I trained in a lot of Kenpo schools, there were a lot of them in New England. Got my butt whooped by a lot of good Kenpo fighters, too. Made a lot of friends, shared a lot of laughs.
 

isshinryuronin

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Well DUH on me for not knowing what EPKK was. I'm sure Ed would have laughed at me. (wouldn't be the first time)
I trained in a lot of Kenpo schools, there were a lot of them in New England. Got my butt whooped by a lot of good Kenpo fighters, too. Made a lot of friends, shared a lot of laughs.
I was thinking that your "American Karate" was an offshoot of EPKK since its lexicon was all in English with the forms ID'd by numbers: Short and long 1, 2, 3,... In fact, he accordingly branded his style as "American." But it seems there is no relation between the two.
 

Taiji Rebel

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Cultural artforms
No sorry to tell you this, but primarily in the west karate is taught by people who have no actual experience with their styles home culture except through someone else who had little to no understanding of the culture.

This cultural art form is primarily people playing dress up and butchering another culture.

But how much kata then is necessary for karate to be karate? Surely nowhere near the amount of kata that modern karate tends to focus on is 100% unnecessary
Not sure how I previously missed this one.

Playing dress up and butchering another culture. This sentence was the one which really made me laugh 不

It is a little bit like those folk who dress up to do re-enactment battles, pretending they are soldiers from the Civil War era etc.

Does anyone know if this kind of thing happens in the martial arts?
 
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Hot Lunch

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Not sure how I previously missed this one. Playing dress up and butchering another culture. This sentence was the one which really made me laugh 不

It is a little bit like those folk who dress up an do re-enactment battles, pretending they are soldiers from the Civil War era etc.

Does anyone know if this kind of thing happens in the martial arts?
If the instructor has limited knowledge of the culture, but is still earnest in the teaching of the art; I'd much rather learn from him than some condescending know-it-all.
 

Taiji Rebel

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If the instructor has limited knowledge of the culture, but is still earnest in the teaching of the art; I'd much rather learn from him than some condescending know-it-all.
Are there really instructors out there like the one you have mentioned above?
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Reminds me of the differences between Oyo and Omote bunkai. They'll both get the job done, right? But which one would a person be most likely to apply under stress? For me, most likely Omote (it is what it appears to be, if it looks like a block, it's a block). Surface but excellent when trained until ingrained into a mushin (no mind) response. Oyo is fun and if it were trained enough, it could be as useful, but I personally don't train it enough. Doesn't mean I don't like it though. Fun to learn, interesting and insightful and mind-opening to other possibilities. And honestly, you never know when it will come in handy. But there is nothing wrong with learning both and practicing what you want until it becomes locked in to your brain and body.
 

Taiji Rebel

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Reminds me of the differences between Oyo and Omote bunkai. They'll both get the job done, right? But which one would a person be most likely to apply under stress? For me, most likely Omote (it is what it appears to be, if it looks like a block, it's a block). Surface but excellent when trained until ingrained into a mushin (no mind) response. Oyo is fun and if it were trained enough, it could be as useful, but I personally don't train it enough. Doesn't mean I don't like it though. Fun to learn, interesting and insightful and mind-opening to other possibilities. And honestly, you never know when it will come in handy. But there is nothing wrong with learning both and practicing what you want until it becomes locked in to your brain and body.
The simpler the better. Under stress, fine motor-skills quickly begin to deteriorate. Drill the basics over and over, until they become unconscious. Once you have your immediate actions drills locked in, everything will flow as the training takes over.
 

GojuTommy

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Not sure how I previously missed this one.

Playing dress up and butchering another culture. This sentence was the one which really made me laugh 不

It is a little bit like those folk who dress up to do re-enactment battles, pretending they are soldiers from the Civil War era etc.

Does anyone know if this kind of thing happens in the martial arts?
yes it does almost every day in most every western school that teaches eastern martial arts.
 
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