Why is karate different from kung fu?

Although tai chi is pretty widespread right now I dont beleive it was widespread back then , and if i remember correctly from a book i read on chen tai chi, it was originally a familiy/ villiage style so it definitely wouldnt be known to the general public, even at that time.
But what did the Okinawans add or change that made it possible for me to reliably distinguish between the karate and kung fu--as I certainly feel I can!--and where did that knowledge come from? And, really--why did they change it? It sounds as if they originally practiced literal kung fu.

they added the local unarmed combat techniques and sytems, and removed some of the movements to fit their stature and strenth. the Okinawans are slightly larger then the chinese on averidge, and stocky compared to most chinese. they are slighty smaller then most japanese ( at least at that time. the stature diferences changed a large amount after WWII) so they took the techniques that worked for them from the local systems and mixed in the chinese systems and then refined it to work for them in a situation where to loose the fight was to die most of the time. meany of the chinese systems as I understand it, were designed with the smaller stature that meany chinese had to face larger attacker. the okinawans decided as meany of the attackers where as often as not armed, and they were forbiden weapons, to go for broke so to speak and do maxumum damage fast, but keep the soft in it too. so over the centurys the things that they did not like or did not work well for them were modified to what did work. the end result was Karate. and that is why it is something you can see. it was refined to face armed attackers in the feilds and on the fishing boats and in the bars of okinawa. and the okinawans had trade with other cultures more so then most chinese.
I also wonder sometimes why the Okinawans adopted Southern Chinese Kung Fu but they don't seem to have made an Okinawan form of Tai Chi.

becouse the fukuin pravance was near to the islands of the Ryukyu islands and they had trade with the chinese of that provance. northern china for instance was a long way to go comparitivly. beside the southern provance of fukue had similer topography and conditions.. boats, rice feilds and such. so the arts that developed there were not only close, but well adapted to the conditions of Okinawa compared to the northern systems.
I dont know where Tai Chi came out of, but I do know that it is a long fist system, and I understand that the long fist systems are usualy at least northern.
I also wonder sometimes why the Okinawans adopted Southern Chinese Kung Fu but they don't seem to have made an Okinawan form of Tai Chi.

If I may comment. In Okinawan GoJu there are12 kata. The Okinawans had an art and the reason they went to China was to improve on it and they did my incorporating some of the internal concepts that the Chinese readily had . These concepts and principles can be seen in Tai Chi and Shaolin White Crane when compared with the inner structure of Sanchin. Sanchin, as we know Sanchin kata, is not about moves, but the concepts and principles that are incorporated when the moves are done correctly. As I have mentioned in other posts, what we learn in Sanchin are proper breath, movement, and structure and how they relate to each other, and this is the core principles that we carry into all other kata. As we know Martial arts, karate, and all other forms of self defense were invented to kill people and to win at all cost. And it is my belief that all of this is within the kata. Yes the Te of Okinawa was very strong and effective but those trips to China over many years produced something that complemented te. Chojun Miyagi felt so strongly about it that he blended the internal with the external and came up with GoJu, hard/soft, and I for one am glad he did. As for Northern Styles and Southern Styles we categorize it by saying that Goju is a close in fighting art and that Northern styles emphasize long range and Southern styles generally emphasize short range in fighting. The end result is once you add to much sport to the mix all above goes out the window. I will sum Karate up in one word (kata). I dont want to bring a knife to a gun fight and I also dont want to bring sports concepts to a life and death situation. They didn't then and I don't now. Man I said a lot I sure hope I am posting in the right thread. :)

Why is math different from English? Why is boxing different from judo?
Karate is different cause it comes from Chuck Norris an Kung Fu is what Chuck studied form Bruce Lee! Enough, said.
Kung Fu is ancient and has/had at least 3000 independant styles. Most masters would learn many styles or at least more than one. Even so, only a small portion of what kung fu is/was was introduced to okinawa by the chinese immigrants. The chinese living in okinawa taught their systems of fighting which they adapted the okinawan te systems with. During the japanese occupation, not only were weapons outlawed, karate had to be practiced in secret otherwise the "troublemakers" would be arrested (and executed...). There are many styles of karate as well and many masters also went to china to further their knowledge. Then there were the Funakoshi "japanesation" and popularization of the versions he brought back to japan. Upon first inspection, I find the okinawan systems to look much more like kung fu than their japanese counterparts. In the end, karate is an adaptation of the old te systems, chinese kung fu and japanese adaptation(for japanese karate) wheras kung fu is kung fu. Kung fu means hard work and karate means empty hand (or chinese hand). They both come from the human body (the mind is a part of the body).
I would pretty much say that the main difference in Australia, not Japan where I am now, is that you see far more fat Aussie "karate" instructors than "kung fu" instructors. not a slight on either art, just those particular ppl!

Latest Discussions