Who is the father of Karate

Manny

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Who is the father of the karate? I know Jigoro Kano was the father of judo but it seems that karate has many ryus and don't know who is the truly father of karate.

Manny
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Okay, I will admit it. I named my kid 'Karate Sullivan', making me the father of 'Karate.'

Not really, but it sounded good. I might be willing to say that Funakoshi is the father of Japanese Karatedo (which may be quite debatable), but I am not sure that tracing Karate to a single individual is possible.

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JadecloudAlchemist

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Some say Funakoshi was the father of modern Karate.
He was one of the ones who brought Okinawan Karate to the mainland of Japan.

But if you are looking from Okinawa to trace it to one person from China I don't think it can be done because different people set up their own ryu-ha so I am unsure if it can be traced to one person.

But maybe someone who is more knowledgable on Karate can shed some light.
 

punisher73

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Some say Funakoshi was the father of modern Karate.
He was one of the ones who brought Okinawan Karate to the mainland of Japan.

But if you are looking from Okinawa to trace it to one person from China I don't think it can be done because different people set up their own ryu-ha so I am unsure if it can be traced to one person.

But maybe someone who is more knowledgable on Karate can shed some light.

I would have to second that opinion. I think Funakoshi could be considered it since he brought it to the forefront and was widely responsible for it's mainstream spread.
 

arnisador

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Funakoshi Gichin is surely the father of modern (i.e. Japanese) karate. As to Okinawan karate, I don't know what to say...Chojun Miyagi is one of the most notable of the many who played a key role, but there isn't a single figure. An art like Uechi Kanbun's is separate from the development of the others in many ways. It's hard to say.
 

twendkata71

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The oldest known practitioner of what we know as karate todays was Sakagawa toide. I guess you could consider him the father of Karate(Okinawan), Funakoshi Gichin father of Karate(Japanese), Robert Trias father of karate(American) being the first American to teach karate in America.
To break it down further Hiagoanna Kanryoh father of karate(Naha te) Goju ryu,Uechi ryu,too'n ryu. , Matsumura Sokon father of karate(Shuri te)Shorin ryu and Shorinji ryu styles.
Matsumora Kosanku father of karate (Tomari te)Okinawa kempo,Okinawa kenpo,Ryukyu kempo styles.
Hope that helps.
 

Makalakumu

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Funakoshi Gichin is surely the father of modern (i.e. Japanese) karate. As to Okinawan karate, I don't know what to say...Chojun Miyagi is one of the most notable of the many who played a key role, but there isn't a single figure. An art like Uechi Kanbun's is separate from the development of the others in many ways. It's hard to say.

It's really hard to isolate who would be considered the Father of Karate because there basically are three distinct flavors of Okinawan Te. These flavors are based off of the various geographic regions in Okinawa. That said, we have Shuri Te, Tomari Te, and Naha Te. In each I will list down the person I believe had the greatest influence and why.

Shuri Te - Sokon Matsumura - Out of all the masters of Shuri systems, no one trained more adepts and influenced more people then Matsumura. His influence is felt in most of the karate practiced around the world. Shotokan is directly influenced by his teachings and thus all Korean Karate flows from this spring...and this neglects to mention all of the Okinawan styles that trace direct lineage back to the man.

Tomari Te - This pick is controversial because Tomari Te is so diffuse and has mostly been adopted in Shuri systems. It's not really a system of itself anymore. That said, Kosaku Matsumora, who taught Choki Motobu, Chotoku Kyan and perhaps even Gichin Funakoshi (this may be disputed). Those three masters had a huge influence on the development of karate-do throughout the world.

Naha Te - Higoanna Kanryo - The development of this style of karate on Okinawa is nearly always traced back to the practice of this man. Yes, there is the karate of Kanbun Uechi, but his karate is nothing but an earlier version of what Higoanna practiced. Also, the karate of Higoanna is far more widespread.
 
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Manny

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Upsss alot of names, well, lets say Funakoshi was the father or modern Karate.

Manny
 

dancingalone

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Upsss alot of names, well, lets say Funakoshi was the father or modern Karate.

Manny

Why? There's been discussion that it was actually Funakoshi's student Masatoshi Nakayama who is responsible for Shotokan's long lines today, having changed what he learned from his teacher to suit his own Japanese aesthetic ideals. Funakoshi's personal karate may have looked a lot closer to what we typically think of as shorin-ryu karate.

You may as well say Chuck Norris is the father of modern karate with as much accuracy.

To try and answer the original question is impossible. It could be "Bushi" Matsumura or Gichin Funakoshi or even Ed Parker based on what you train in and what you consider karate to be.
 

Makalakumu

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To try and answer the original question is impossible. It could be "Bushi" Matsumura or Gichin Funakoshi or even Ed Parker based on what you train in and what you consider karate to be.

Not impossible. It's just a matter of lineage, IMO. The so-called Father of Karate would be the person who has the most connections.
 

arnisador

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Yes, there is the karate of Kanbun Uechi, but his karate is nothing but an earlier version of what Higoanna practiced.

Well, it's more like a cousin I'd say--he brought it back from China around the turn of the 20th century but it was related to the arts brought to Okinawan in the 1500s and continually replenished by Ryukyuan sailors.

Also, the karate of Higoanna is far more widespread.

Absolutely! Uechi-ryu is an oddity in many ways.
 

dancingalone

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Not impossible. It's just a matter of lineage, IMO. The so-called Father of Karate would be the person who has the most connections.

Far too broad a definition for me. You might as well name the apocryphal Bodhiharma as the father of karate since he by definition would have the most connections down any hypothetical family tree.

In my personal opinion, Sokon Matsumura or Kanryo Higashionna would be the best answer based on which kind of karate you do.
 

Makalakumu

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Far too broad a definition for me. You might as well name the apocryphal Bodhiharma as the father of karate since he by definition would have the most connections down any hypothetical family tree.

Since there is so much debate on this figure in regards to the martial arts, he would stand as a poor example to stand as the "Father of" anything IMO. That said, I believe the idea of lineage bears more consideration. When we consider the idea of who was actually involved in the development of certain ideas and principles, an analysis of lineage is unavoidable.

In my personal opinion, Sokon Matsumura or Kanryo Higashionna would be the best answer based on which kind of karate you do.

How would you arrive at this opinion without taking lineage into account?
 

dancingalone

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How would you arrive at this opinion without taking lineage into account?

I suppose lineage does enter the picture inevitably. I pick Matsumura and Higashionna since they're the earliest karate figures identified with the either the Ryukyu Islands or Japan, given karate's classification as an Okinawan or Japanese art.
 

K-man

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It's really hard to isolate who would be considered the Father of Karate because there basically are three distinct flavors of Okinawan Te. These flavors are based off of the various geographic regions in Okinawa. That said, we have Shuri Te, Tomari Te, and Naha Te. In each I will list down the person I believe had the greatest influence and why.

Shuri Te - Sokon Matsumura - Out of all the masters of Shuri systems, no one trained more adepts and influenced more people then Matsumura. His influence is felt in most of the karate practiced around the world. Shotokan is directly influenced by his teachings and thus all Korean Karate flows from this spring...and this neglects to mention all of the Okinawan styles that trace direct lineage back to the man.

Tomari Te - This pick is controversial because Tomari Te is so diffuse and has mostly been adopted in Shuri systems. It's not really a system of itself anymore. That said, Kosaku Matsumora, who taught Choki Motobu, Chotoku Kyan and perhaps even Gichin Funakoshi (this may be disputed). Those three masters had a huge influence on the development of karate-do throughout the world.

Naha Te - Higoanna Kanryo - The development of this style of karate on Okinawa is nearly always traced back to the practice of this man. Yes, there is the karate of Kanbun Uechi, but his karate is nothing but an earlier version of what Higoanna practiced. Also, the karate of Higoanna is far more widespread.
Good choices all. I think you could legitimately argue the case for each of these men. Each was highly influencial in his own way.
Itosu Yasutsune is another to be considered. All of these men left a lasting legacy of kata that have been passed down through the generations. Itosu modernised karate for the schools (in Okinawa) before Funakoshi so if spreading the popularity of karate is the criteria I would favour him over Funakoshi.
Despite my Goju background and a sentimental attachment to Higoanna, who to my mind comes a close second, my vote goes to Sokon Matsumura for the reason that he was teaching karate well before the others started. He was the first to integrate the Chinese forms and he laid out the path the others later followed. Others may have been more influential but they may not have even been in the frame if it wasn't for Sokon Matsumura. :asian:
 

twendkata71

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Chuck Norris, father of Chun kuk do, system of karate-combining Tangsoo do,Shito ryu(from Demura Fumio-Itosukai at the time), BJJ and Judo.



Why? There's been discussion that it was actually Funakoshi's student Masatoshi Nakayama who is responsible for Shotokan's long lines today, having changed what he learned from his teacher to suit his own Japanese aesthetic ideals. Funakoshi's personal karate may have looked a lot closer to what we typically think of as shorin-ryu karate.

You may as well say Chuck Norris is the father of modern karate with as much accuracy.

To try and answer the original question is impossible. It could be "Bushi" Matsumura or Gichin Funakoshi or even Ed Parker based on what you train in and what you consider karate to be.
 

twendkata71

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Other "Fathers of"
Ed Parker-father of American Kenpo Karate
Jhoon Rhee-Father/First teacher of American Taekwondo/Korean Karate or first to introduce Taekwondo to America.
Hwang Kee-Father of Tang soo do/Modern Soo Bahk do-Korean Karate.
James Wax-First American Black belt to teach Matsubayashi Shorin ryu in America.
Ed Kouladis-First American Black belt to teach Koei Kan Karate do in America. Or so I am told.
Jerry Gould-First American black belt to teach Shobayashi Shorin ryu in America.
Robert Trias-First American to teach Karate in America(1946). Founder of the first American Karate Association(USKA).
As far as Funakoshi Gichin being the Father of Modern Karate do(Being the first Okinawan to teach karate in Japan), Mabuni Kenwa, and Motobu Choki also started teaching karate in Japan in that same year 1921. Funakosi being the first actual one to teach. It should have been Mabuni since, Mabuni was senior to Funakoshi(longer serving student of Itosu Ankoh).
 

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