Why is karate different from kung fu?

Yes they got one but why some karate movements they use aren't no longer the same in Kung Fu? Or shall I say no longer original? That means "difference".
 
Ok Okinawan Karate came from Kung Fu but how about other Karate?
 
Anyway Pyros, Bubishi was not only a book of White Crane but other forms as well maybe there a lot versions of it
 
Originally posted by yentao
Yes they got one but why some karate movements they use aren't no longer the same in Kung Fu?

Ahem... Because they changed them according to their preferences and skills in Okinawan arts? Is this too difficult to understand?

Ok Okinawan Karate came from Kung Fu but how about other Karate?

What do you mean? I don't understand. Okinawans learned Te and Chuanfa. They mixed them and taught it as they preferred. Japanese karate was born from some people studying Okinawan karate and focusing it for school education and tournament teaching. Thus the differences, no big deal. People learn, modify and pass on. Change is inevitable. Same with languages. Most spoken languages belong to families of languages and have their common ancestor languages, yet different groups of people use their languages differently thus modifying the languages so we no longer understand the other group. Same with evolution of the species. Start from common ancestors, yet grow into something different with some similar traits apparent when researched.
 
Originally posted by Pyros
Ahem... Because they changed them according to their preferences and skills in Okinawan arts? Is this too difficult to understand?



What do you mean? I don't understand. Okinawans learned Te and Chuanfa. They mixed them and taught it as they preferred. Japanese karate was born from some people studying Okinawan karate and focusing it for school education and tournament teaching. Thus the differences, no big deal. People learn, modify and pass on. Change is inevitable. Same with languages. Most spoken languages belong to families of languages and have their common ancestor languages, yet different groups of people use their languages differently thus modifying the languages so we no longer understand the other group. Same with evolution of the species. Start from common ancestors, yet grow into something different with some similar traits apparent when researched.

Yes I got your point boy! But the topic here is the difference between karate and Kung Fu. I'm telling you not all karate came from Kung Fu brother.

So you are trying to say that some karate that was came from some korean martial arts are came from Kung Fu?

Not all okinawan arts came from China you know some are already practice before like their weaponry such as the sai which is mostly all asian country has with different versions of practices.
So you said Japanese Karate came from Okinawa error dude some karate were develope already from Japan by using other arts...:) Like you're saying Kendo came from China. Some arts like Tang Soo Do and Hwa Rang Do are korean arts traveled to Japan and some karate has it! Actually some kicks came from Tae Kwon Do! Well now... That's the deal they modify it therefore they no longer the same. The originality got lost. Why would they call it karate if its KUNG FU after ALL. Or shall I say "Kempo"
 
That's the point they changed it and that what's makes them different from KuNG FU. Was it clear yet? I think you have to learn more about Asian culture and histories. :rofl:
 
Originally posted by yentao
Not all okinawan arts came from China you know some are already practice before like their weaponry such as the sai

Well, I was trying to keep this simple and not get into too much detail. There have been whole books written about this and even they have gaps as the issue is quite large. When I said that they combined kungfu with Okinawa's own Te, I kinda included all the koryu 'n uchinadi stuff there without mentioning it specifically.

Why would they call it karate if its KUNG FU after ALL.

They called it kara + te, that is Chinese Hand (kara was originally written with a kanji meaning Chinese and later substituted with another kara kanji meaning empty). The old karate kanji were actually pronounced toudi but the kanji Chinese itself was kara. But this again goes into far too much detail for my taste. This ain't an uchinanguchi lesson after all.

:asian:
 
Japan did have indigenous martial arts like Sumo, Kenjutsu, and Jujutsu, but I believe Pyros is right in saying that "Karate" is derived from Chinese martial art.

To further support this claim is of course the original "spelling" of "kara-te" with the characters that mean "T'ang Hand." This reference to the T'ang dynasty of China was meant to be clear--what we are doing is a chinese method of fighting/Te .

A couple of years ago I found that my local library carries 2 videos in a british series called "What is karate?" (Forgive me for not remembering who wrote and narrated). They give a wonderfully detailed account of the history of karate and its major breakdowns, and even the history of each style, and an account of the major players involved. It is very well-detailed.


I too wonder about Arnisador's original question: since at least some of these traditional styles were at first 100% kung fu, then why don't they even look similar any more? Why is karate so linear and tensed, while kung fu is so circular and relaxed? (I generalize, but I think we understand the visual difference between the two).

My only possible explanation hinges on the japanese training methodology. Perhaps since, as yentao pointed out, there are indigenous arts of Japan, the early karate styles were under pressure to train in a "more japanese" way. This corresponds historically to a time when xenophobia was high, and there was much suspicion about foreign things (hence the changing of the "spelling" from "T'ang hand" to "empty hand"). Perhaps they mimicked the training methods of kenjutsu and jujutsu, or some other Japanese training ideas to produce this difference in "feel."

Best,

~TT
 
arnisador, can you identify the characteristics that allow you to differentiate the two?
 
Originally posted by Elfan
arnisador, can you identify the characteristics that allow you to differentiate the two?

Well, I find them hard to put into words, but they're there--generalizing, karate is more linear (in its strikes especially), has fewer changes of head height in the forms and less variety of stances, has relatively more closed fist vs. open fist techniques and few clawing techniques, doesn't have techniques that take the person doing the form all the way to the ground, is done in a more staccato fashion, is occasionally punctuated by a "kiai" (the expressin of breath is different in kung fu), keeps a straight spine, and other things.

Someone will disagree with me on every point above, and certainly I can name exceptions-I've been taught clawing techniques in karate--but those are some of the things, leaving out obvious cultural issues like the nature of the opening bow.
 
Originally posted by arnisador
Well, I find them hard to put into words, but they're there--generalizing, karate is more linear

This is certainly true in Japanese styles, but many styles such as Okinawan Goju-ryu, Uechi-ryu and so on contain lots of circular movements (blocks, punches, throws and so on).

We should also define more closely, to which kungfu style are we comparing karate. If we compare Okinawan karate to the styles from which it was developed from, we find lots of similarities. If we take some other kungfu style we find lots of differences. For example, compare such kungfu styles together like Wing Chun and Choy Lee Fut. They look very different yet are both kungfu. Wing Chun doesn't have much "changes of head height" or much "variety of stances" as you put it. Yet it is southern kung fu. Okinawan karate has several forms that are exactly the same as their chinese counterparts. Okinawan karate has even more forms that have been slightly modified but still resemble their original counterparts. I have already given examples of both categories (Hakutsuru is identical, Sanchin is slightly different but still totally recognizable).

Okinawan people had their own previous martial arts experience and that affected how they studied and modified kungfu. For example, many of the most prominent kungfu styles imported to Okinawa favored open palm techniques, but Okinawans preferred clenched fists. So they quite often modified techniques so they were done with fists. This sometimes required changes in the technique or tactic too as you cannot use fist in exactly same manner as you can use an open palm.

One of the kungfu styles that affected karate on Okinawa, was White Crane. Compare White Crane forms and techniques with Uechi-ryu or Okinawan Goju-ryu. You'll see quite a lot of similarities when you look into it. But you have to dig a bit as there are the differences too and many see them first. The hand positions are just a surface. See the forms, see the tactics and theories and notice that they begin to look similar.

keeps a straight spine

As in many Chinese styles (like Wing Chun for example).
 
I think I am in full agreement with you. The differences between Japanese Karate and Northern Shaolin Kung Fu are much more pronounced than those between Okinawan Karate and the Southern Kung Fu styles from which they derived. Okinawan systems have more circularity in their blocks but still tend to have more linear strikes than kung fu. Uechi-ryu I think must be considered a special case--I've argued ths elsewhere on the board--while on the other hand Isshin-ryu shows less of its Chinese influence than other Okinawan styles, in my opinion.

It's hard to put the differences into words, perhaps, but I stand by my assertion that you'd have a very hard time tricking me in to thinking that a kung fu form was a karate form or vice versa. The similarities are striking but the differences are there.
 
Originally posted by yentao
Yes I got your point boy! But the topic here is the difference between karate and Kung Fu. I'm telling you not all karate came from Kung Fu brother.

So you are trying to say that some karate that was came from some korean martial arts are came from Kung Fu?

Not all okinawan arts came from China you know some are already practice before like their weaponry such as the sai which is mostly all asian country has with different versions of practices.
So you said Japanese Karate came from Okinawa error dude some karate were develope already from Japan by using other arts...:) Like you're saying Kendo came from China. Some arts like Tang Soo Do and Hwa Rang Do are korean arts traveled to Japan and some karate has it! Actually some kicks came from Tae Kwon Do! Well now... That's the deal they modify it therefore they no longer the same. The originality got lost. Why would they call it karate if its KUNG FU after ALL. Or shall I say "Kempo"

Hate to tell you this, but the TANG in TANG SOO DO means China. Tang Soo Do is the Korean version of the word Kara Te Do.
That is, Tang = Kara = China.
Having said that, I would just be guessing if I said that the other words follow suit. Though I do know that by the time Tang Soo Do was formed, Korea had been heavily influenced by Japanese culture and language.

The Okinawan word for Chuan Fa is Kempo. They mean the same, therefore Kempo and Kung Fu should be the same, however as has already been said in this thread, certain changes were made to suit personalities and preferences.
I'm not sure of how the change from Kempo to Karate came about, but when it did there were a lot more changes made.


--Dave
:asian:
 
Originally posted by twinkletoes
Japan did have indigenous martial arts like Sumo, Kenjutsu, and Jujutsu, but I believe Pyros is right in saying that "Karate" is derived from Chinese martial art.

Jujutsu, is only Japanese by virtue of the fact that it was created by some samurai, that travelled to Okinawa, and studied the grappling portion of Kempo, and returned to Japan and taught it as a stand alone art.

--Dave
:asian:
 
Originally posted by D.Cobb
Hate to tell you this, but the TANG in TANG SOO DO means China. Tang Soo Do is the Korean version of the word Kara Te Do.
That is, Tang = Kara = China.
Having said that, I would just be guessing if I said that the other words follow suit. Though I do know that by the time Tang Soo Do was formed, Korea had been heavily influenced by Japanese culture and language.

The Okinawan word for Chuan Fa is Kempo. They mean the same, therefore Kempo and Kung Fu should be the same, however as has already been said in this thread, certain changes were made to suit personalities and preferences.
I'm not sure of how the change from Kempo to Karate came about, but when it did there were a lot more changes made.


--Dave
:asian:

Dave your right Tang Soo Do is from kung fu but not influence by karate. ACTUALLY Tang Soo Do means TANG DYNASTY MARTIAL ARTS BUT THEN FORMED BY KOREANS IN THE SILLA DYNASTY THEY JUST NAMED IT THAT WAY out of respect. You said changes right? CHanges can produce difference right? So.... How about HWA Rang Do an Tae Kwon Do that influenced KARATE?
 
What would other people say are the visually apparent differences between a Karate form and a Kung Fu form?
 
Regarding differences, there is one point that may be the most important. The differences between all the different Chinese systems are vast. It is very hard to make generalizations about Chinese systems when there is so much diversity.

Just one example. Some of the northern systems emphasize use of the feet to a greater extent, and the southern systems, like Wing Chung, less so.

That is one of the reasons that making any comparisons is so difficult. The second has been discussed above. The karate systems themselves are so varied. In the discussion of linear vs. circular, it was noted that some Okinawan systems have more circularity than others.

With that caveat, I will venture out on to the thin ice. One difference is that compared to Okinawan systems, in many Chinese systems, the kata tend to be much longer and elaborate. A second difference is that in many Chinese systems there is less emphasis more softness, both in the kata as well as sparring. Many Chinese systems are known as internal systems, where techniques are done at high speed, but without all the flexing that occurs in some karate systems.

In sparring, this softness (typically much more open hand) enables more free-flowing combinations, where the object is more to touch the opponent than to hit them. In sparring, one can really see the differences in the more circular aspect of the Chinese systems. In some of the Chinese schools I have been in, this softness leads to a very different sparring environment. The softness also means that it is a bit slower than full speed, and one can really work on a diversity of techniques and combinations, and engage more in trapping and locking, than is possible in the full speed, full power approach to sparring found in many karate systems.

Finally, many more modern Okinawan systems do not do elaborate grappling. The historical reasons for this are varied, and thought some of these less grappling-oriented systems may have a greater emphasis at the higher dan levels, at the lower levels there is a heavy emphasis on block-kick-strike. Whereas in many Chinese systems, there is a lot locking and takedowns done right in the beginning.
 
Being a TKDer, I can see the Chinese influence in out forms, as well as, the japanese influence. It is chinese elements are watered down over the years, yet they are still part of the art. I see a stronger influence in Tang Soo do than Tae Kwon do.

Mountain Sage
 
Originally posted by yentao
Dave your right Tang Soo Do is from kung fu but not influence by karate. ACTUALLY Tang Soo Do means TANG DYNASTY MARTIAL ARTS BUT THEN FORMED BY KOREANS IN THE SILLA DYNASTY THEY JUST NAMED IT THAT WAY out of respect. You said changes right? CHanges can produce difference right? So.... How about HWA Rang Do an Tae Kwon Do that influenced KARATE?

I'm sorry, but from an outsiders point of view, TSD is just too much like Karate in appearance than Kung Fu. In fact Chuck Norris trained in TSD and he calls it karate, so what does that tell you?

As for HRD and TKD influencing karate, I don't think so Tim. (To coin a phrase).
True Karate, that is karate of Japanese origins can be traced back through Okinawa, and then to China. If it is influenced by these Korean styles then I would think that it may happen at a personal level, ie. a certain instructor sees something he likes in TKD or HRD, and adds it to his particular style of Karate.
On the other hand I could be wrong, but I'd need some proof from a reputable source before taking as took!

--Dave
:asian:
 

Latest Discussions

Back
Top