Which is the best? Goju-Ryu, or Uechi-Ryu, or Kyokushin or what?

Grenadier

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I didn't mean they are part of the Goju curriculum, just that we trained them at that dojo. The Sensei was keen on training kata foreign to the style and had a few at each rank that we were expected to learn, though they were not emphasized as strongly as the Goju core.

Not unusual at all. Many instructors teach kata that aren't part of their "native" systems (although it may have been "native" to them before).

The head of my old system was trained in the original Wado Ryu Karate system, directly under Ohtsuka Shihan, yet decided to re-incorporate much of the Shotokan system when he split off, incorporating many of the Shotokan kata at the advanced levels, in addition to adding a good bit of the Shotokan fundamentals. It wasn't unusual to see someone learning Chinto and Seisan at the nidan level, but also working on Shotokan's Gojushiho series, Unsu, etc. later on.

My old Shuri Ryu instructor sometimes taught the Goju Ryu version of Suparinpei to those interested in competition, along with a couple of Shotokan kata, with the emphasis that they are separate from the core kata of the Shuri Ryu system. Those were more of icing on top of the cake.
 

punisher73

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As to why we were doing them, from what I was taught, the Rohai and Nihanshi forms came from the Itosu lineage (taught by him if not originating with him), but while they ended up being carried into Shotokan they didn't carry into Goju, and the names they carry now are the Japanese ones given to them while Funakoshi was setting up shop in Japan. I'm unclear about the lineage of Hangetsu, though the shorinji prefix is a clue I suppose. At any rate they were included in our curriculum for historical value as part of our lineage, a long with a few others.

As for some of both Goju and Shotokan kata being included in that Uechi ryu curriculum, they just happened to be on the list I happened to come across doing some research one day. I don't know the first thing about Uechi and wouldn't know what their core kata are, but I wondered if the ones I did recognize might have been on that list for the same reasons that my Goju Sensei taught us kata that were not technically Goju (if it was because they were part of their lineage).

Hangetsu in Shotokan would be most similiar to the Shorin-Ryu styles. As you can see when you compare Seisan from Uechi and Goju vs. Shorin they appear very different in some places.

Itosu, was never a part of the Goju-Ryu lineage. That started with Kanryo Higaonna (also spelled Higashionna). He went to China and studied southern kung fu and then combined it with his knowledge of okinawan te. He learned 4 core katas while in China, those were Sanchin, Seisan, Sanseiru, and Suparenpei. His top two students both created their own styles (Kyoda created To'on Ryu and Miyagi created Goju-Ryu), they both have these 4 kata, but then they differ after that leading newer researchers to conclude that the additional katas in Goju-Ryu were created by Miyagi (outside of Gekisai and Tensho which are known to have been created by him. Miyagi also took out the turns from Sanchin and changed the open hands of Sanchin to closed fists).

As to Uechi-Ryu, he too went to study in southern China and is reported to have learned from the same school as Higashionna. He brought back 3 of the 4 core kata (not mastering Suparenpei) and then his son created 4 additional kata to bridge between the others.

Most okinawans were probably familiar with each other and probably had some knowledge of the kata and training methods, but Naha and Shuri based styles did not share an overlap of katas (the exception being Seisan, which has led some people to believe that is was an older kata indeginous to okinawa and changes were made and altered based on the founders training).

Their link comes in from Kenwa Mabuni. Mabuni studied with both Itosu and Higashionna. He added all of the katas of both methods into his approach so you have a VERY large kata repitoire in Shito-Ryu.
 

dancingalone

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Miyagi also took out the turns from Sanchin and changed the open hands of Sanchin to closed fists


A somewhat amusing anecdote: I actually heard that Miyagi Sensei didn't remove the turns himself, but the students from that time did it as a mark of respect so that they would not be turning their backs on him and forcing him to move to view their technique from the front.

The Sanchin I learned retains the turns.
 

Laus

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Itosu, was never a part of the Goju-Ryu lineage.
Yes that's right. Hmmm I'm not sure how those kata connected for us then. Evidently misunderstood what my Sensei was explaining about their lineage, my notes are from my kyu days and god knows the man could be obtuse. I suppose he might have included them for no other reason than that he could.

Oh well...research time.


Both the Sanchin I learned in Goju and the one I've done in Kyokushin retain the turns. The Kyokushin one is identical up until the end, where are three (I think? might have been two) extra steps we didn't do in Goju, similar to those at the end of Tensho, with the hands pressing downward, befor going into the mawashi ukes.
 

Black Belt Jedi

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In my belief there's not better system in Karate, it all depends how well the individual uses that system, since every Martial Art system can have its strengths and weaknesses. I say that Kyokushin Karate is good for conditioning the body, but I think that this art is catered to young students more than older students. Goju-ryu focuses mainly on close quarter combat, same as Uechi-ryu, the self-defense moves based from the templates mostly demonstrates disabling one opponent. Close quarter combat is good to takedown one attacker, but not multiple attackers, using long range combat can be helpful for evading multiple attackers, that's what Goju-ryu and Uechi-ryu don't have.

However, there is always room to grow in the training. Always learn from others to improve your skill.
 

Cyriacus

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I would not call any one of them "Best".
They all have Pros and Cons.

I do know that Kyokushin can churn out some seriously tough bastards, and that Uechi-Ryu can have some rather fast hands.
 

Tired_Yeti

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"ryu" just means style, and it`s used in any Okinawan or Japanese martial art. It doesn`t mean Karate and it doesn`t mean the style is Okinawan.

The islands of Okinawa are the RyuKyu Islands and prior to 1879, Okinawa was the RyuKyu kingdom and not part of Japan. So it makes sense that "Ryu" in the name would make it appear Okinawan. Especially since the old Japanese arts (and Chinese arts) were not called Ryu.


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Chris Parker

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The islands of Okinawa are the RyuKyu Islands and prior to 1879, Okinawa was the RyuKyu kingdom and not part of Japan. So it makes sense that "Ryu" in the name would make it appear Okinawan. Especially since the old Japanese arts (and Chinese arts) were not called Ryu.

Hmm you've resurrected a 6 year old thread, and essentially been wrong in doing so.

No, the usage of "ryu" (瘚), also pronounced "nagashi", meaning "flow, stream, style" is not related to the "ryu" in Ryukyu () the first character there is "ryu", and refers to lapis lazuli, a blue glass like rock in any way other than the same pronunciation so no, to make that assumption is to not understand the terms.

Secondly, while Chinese arts weren't referred to as "ryu" (why would they, it's a Japanese word?), but Japanese arts absolutely were. In fact, the ryu methodology and approach for systematising a combative system dates back to at least the mid 15th Century, with "proto-ryu" existing before that. But, if you're going to say that "old Japanese arts were not called Ryu", then I might suggest looking into the following:

Tenshinsho Den Katori Shinto Ryu
Maniwa Nen-Ryu
Kashima Shin Ryu
Takenouchi Ryu
Araki Ryu
Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu
Yagyu Shinkage Ryu
Kage Ryu
Chujo Ryu
Chikubajima Ryu
Chokugen Ryu
Jigen Ryu
Ippo Ryu
Kobori Ryu
Suio Ryu
Sosuishitsu Ryu
Hasegawa Eishin Ryu
Tendo Ryu
Kukishin Ryu
Takagi Ryu
Asayama Ichiden Ryu
Shingyoto Ryu
Toda-ha Buko Ryu
Kiraku Ryu
Tatsujin Ryu
and many, many, many, many, many, many more

or, just research Koryu itself. That might give you some different ideas.
 

Mr.Olympus

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I mean i see alot of smiliarities in the training of Goju and Uechi Ryu, Ive seen the Uechi Ryu masters use the iron body, basically striking there students in various area's all over making them strong enough to take a 2 by four to there body and not budging, they use the pots to make there fingers strong and they are able to break boards with them, They make there wrists strong and are able to break baseball bats.

Ive seen the same pots used in Goju, but ive also seen the stone hammer, and other weights, that go on the feet, neck, and hands. I dont know if Goju has the same iron body as Uechi though i havent seen it.

Kyokushin has iron body as well similar to Uechi

So whats the diffrence between these arts? Which art is better for modern defense? Which makes the body stronger and which makes you faster?
 

Mr.Olympus

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The islands of Okinawa are the RyuKyu Islands and prior to 1879, Okinawa was the RyuKyu kingdom and not part of Japan. So it makes sense that "Ryu" in the name would make it appear Okinawan. Especially since the old Japanese arts (and Chinese arts) were not called Ryu.


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I am a instructor in Goju Ryu but I have studied the histories of the different arts and we were required to understand the differences and the histories. Uechi Ryu is like the sister art to Goju Ryu. The katas and techniques are nearly the same. Kyokushin is the combination of Goju Ryu and Shotokan created by Mas Oyama. M獺s Oyama firstly studied Shotokan and was a beast at it. He killed a man and vowed not to train until he me Gogen Yamaguchi an expert in Goju Ryu. It was when M獺s Oyama studied Goju Ryu he became nearly invincible. Goju Ryu focuses on body conditioning (iron body training) or (Chi-kung exercises) which train the body to deliver powerful strikes and to absorb blows from different angles. To me Goju Ryu is a complete system which incorporates many lethal applications for self defense. Goju Ryu was not developed for competition like Uechi Ryu. Their sole purpose is to maim and destroy a target. Goju is the balance of hard and soft. Using the hard parts to strike the soft parts or the soft parts to strike the hard parts. Like the palm a soft but hard part is used to strike the chin the hard body part. Goju Ryu uses the whole body as a weapon. Finger, hands, fists, head, elbows, knees, shin, hips, feet. Uechi Ryu is softer which employs fast strikes like a whip. In Goju its is the same but a true master balances both hard and soft with fluidity.
 

hoshin1600

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I am a instructor in Goju Ryu but I have studied the histories of the different arts and we were required to understand the differences and the histories. Uechi Ryu is like the sister art to Goju Ryu. The katas and techniques are nearly the same. Kyokushin is the combination of Goju Ryu and Shotokan created by Mas Oyama. M獺s Oyama firstly studied Shotokan and was a beast at it. He killed a man and vowed not to train until he me Gogen Yamaguchi an expert in Goju Ryu. It was when M獺s Oyama studied Goju Ryu he became nearly invincible. Goju Ryu focuses on body conditioning (iron body training) or (Chi-kung exercises) which train the body to deliver powerful strikes and to absorb blows from different angles. To me Goju Ryu is a complete system which incorporates many lethal applications for self defense. Goju Ryu was not developed for competition like Uechi Ryu. Their sole purpose is to maim and destroy a target. Goju is the balance of hard and soft. Using the hard parts to strike the soft parts or the soft parts to strike the hard parts. Like the palm a soft but hard part is used to strike the chin the hard body part. Goju Ryu uses the whole body as a weapon. Finger, hands, fists, head, elbows, knees, shin, hips, feet. Uechi Ryu is softer which employs fast strikes like a whip. In Goju its is the same but a true master balances both hard and soft with fluidity.
I think your history is a little off. I don't think Oyama ever killed a man.
But my bigger issue is that Uechi is not for competition. Perhaps you were thinking Shotokan?
And everything you said about Goju could also be said about Uechi. You are partially correct about Uechi being softer. I wouldn't call it softer, that's a mistaken impression. But rather it retains its Chinese influence and is less ridged than Goju. The dynamic tension in Uechi is more fluid. Where Goju is so tight guys could burst a blood vessel in their heads. So a true master of Uechi balances both the hard and the soft.
 

isshinryuronin

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[QUOTE="Mr.Olympus, post: 2033055, member: 48449Goju Ryu was not developed for competition like Uechi Ryu[/QUOTE]

Can't imagine where you got this. Uechi studied at the end of the 1800's - early 1900's. Way before sport karate was a thing. Karate had not even reached Japan at that time. Uechi studied kung fu in China for over a decade, leading to a somewhat more fluid style than Goju (Miyagi hardened up the style a bit that he learned from Higashionna (who also spent much time in China.)

By the way, Uechi practiced Pangainoon. I don't think it was known as "Uechiryu" till after his passing to honor him. Back then, few would have thought to name a style or kata after themselves. Uechiryu, like Hoshin 1600 mentioned, has many elements similar to Goju and their body conditioning can be very hardcore as well. As a Gojuryu instructor you should have a more balanced view and appreciation of other Okinawan styles as did the old masters.
 
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