Why karate is broken...

Hanzou

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And how to fix it. Sounds a lot like what k-man and a few others asserted regarding the differences between Japanese and traditional Okinawan karate. Does this guy have a leg to stand in here?

http://www.karatebyjesse.com/why-karate-is-broken/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+karatebyjesse+(KARATEbyJesse)

Eh, I was with him until he said that kata was the key to making karate whole again. Beyond that, yeah he's right on the money. Shotokan especially is notorious for the stuff he's talking about. Thing is, I've seen nothing out of the Okinawan styles that indicate that they're any better than the Japanese styles.
 

Skullpunch

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Sounds eerily similar to what happened to judo, which I despise because judo was my first love among the grappling arts but the limitations it's developed as a result of decades of IJF's systematic neutering became more and more obvious as I became more educated on all of the different elements to grappling.
 

hoshin1600

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Well....the article is a chicken mcnugget. 20 percent meat and a lot of made up stuff to hold the mashed chicken together.
It mashes the complexity of the truth and shapes it into a nice narrative that's looks good to the fast food consumer.
My question is do we want to talk about the article or address some of the real problems and "brokenness" of karate.
 
OP
Steve

Steve

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I
Well....the article is a chicken mcnugget. 20 percent meat and a lot of made up stuff to hold the mashed chicken together.
It mashes the complexity of the truth and shapes it into a nice narrative that's looks good to the fast food consumer.
My question is do we want to talk about the article or address some of the real problems and "brokenness" of karate.
im interested in whatever discussion you'd like, but I'm most interested in what you think would fill in the gaps of the article, personally.

First, do you think everyone would agree that karate is broken in the first place?
 

hoshin1600

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I would think 80 percent of practioners will feel there is nothing broken.
As for the article, in my opinion karate was not changed to meet a kind of main land attitude , that karate needed to be changed in order to "fit" the Japanese. I think that is a distortion. Rather Funakoshi was a school teacher and knew how to structure a class and create a curriculum for large groups. In Okinawa classes were very small and now in Japan they were faced with classes of maybe hundreds. There was no possibility of direct teacher , student transmission.
Anything taught large scale needs to be homogeneous , watered down and taught "by the numbers".
 

hoshin1600

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I don't by into the whole "karate as a boxing substitute" concept. It's not politically correct but let's be real. Japan was looking at WW2 and needed somthing that would work as a military style PT training for youths. Karate filled that requirement. Therefore the aim and focus for mainland karate was on combative physical fitness this is a rather large shift from the way it was practiced in Okinawa.
 

hoshin1600

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Regardless of the reason on why Japan embraced karate, be it entertainment, physical fitness, nationalist brainwashing or any other reason, there is no link to show that karate is broken or is lacking somehow.
The author failed to explain "how" karate is broken. He does go on to say that kata and bunkai is the solution as if the karate practicing world has forgotten that they exist.
 

drop bear

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Why is cutting the complexity from a martial art breaking it?
 

Drose427

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What "hurts" Martrial Arts, is sacrifice for the sake of popularity.

That funakoshi trained in okinawa versus what he turned shotokan into in order to help it spread were complete opposites.

It happened with TKD as well over the years for a variety of difference, particularly Kukki TKD which changed a good deal since the 70'-80's

Its apparent when you see schools sparring hard like other styles do and its part of why BJJ, judo, MT, etc. have been so consistent. They havent sacrificed much. BJJ, Judo, and MT all have some, but nothing drastic as a change in focus or tons of padding and odd scoring rules.

Changing focus and sacrificing how things are done( in this case,) can impact the style down the line

Now, I put hurts in quotes because I think thats up to the practitioner. I'm not a fan of Kukki TKD, but i respect what it is and sparring that way occasionally is fun for me. Nor are forms the most important aspect of my training. But to others they are, so I'm not sure if Id consider it "hurting" arts.

As for the article, honestly just sounds like a "Drink more ovaltine" moment with the ovaltine being the forms. I like forms, but nothing he's talking about was lost. Application, bunkai, drills, etc have been passed down since the beginning as suggestions, starting points for newcomers, etc. I just wasnt a fan of the article because of how much the end sounds "Kata is all you need" which is where I draw the line
 

hoshin1600

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That funakoshi trained in okinawa versus what he turned shotokan into in order to help it spread were complete opposites.
Lets not be so fast in putting the blame on Funakoshi. if you feel karate is not what it originally was lets put the blame where is belongs, on the Americans.

JCS: Documentation Regarding the Budo Ban

prior to WW2 martial arts were turned into a militaristic war effort. however after the war the American occupation agreements banned all martial arts.

"October 22, 1945, the Supreme Commander Allied Powers (SCAP) notified the Ministry of Education that "dissemination of militaristic and ultranationalistic ideology will be prohibited and all military education and drill will be discontinued." Two months later, on January 4, 1946, SCAP issued Directive 550, which, with its companion Directive 548, required "the removal and exclusion from public life of militaristic and ultra nationalistic persons." One result of these orders was that the Ministry of Education eliminated martial arts from school curricula and another was that the Dai Nippon Butokukai was closed."

the only way to bring martial arts back was to make it competitive sport and "remove all Budo" from the practice.
the next major hit to martial arts was and is the "Wussification of America". maybe it started in the late 80's and early 90's where litigation happy folks would take every opportunity to take karate schools to court. students now needed to be fully padded and no contact during sparring. the full contact karate-ka like Chuck Norris, Bill Wallace and Joe Lewis gave birth to pro full contact PKA style fighting. which quickly died under the weight of parents wanting little Johnny to learn self controll and be a better student in school. Doctors who advised little Johnny take karate to help his ADHD. and still today we find ourselves in conflict between teaching a fighting art and the anti bully, anti confrontation mind set that has its grip on the country.
there is one bright spot on this >>>>>MMA. yes that "human cock fighting, that appeals to the lowest common denominator in our society," thanks John Mcain.

as a backlash to the void of true combativeness in martial arts MMA was born and in return has woken everyone up to what martial arts should be.
 

Kong Soo Do

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Kata is all you need.

This^

Karate is not broken. What is broken is some people's understanding of what karate is, what it contains and what it can do.

From the article in the OP link:

The original Karate techniques are not lost.
They are still here hidden in plain sight.
Embedded in conceptual time capsules known as KATA.
Nakazato-Joen_bunkai.jpg

And the key to revealing their secrets is spelled:
B-U-N-K-A-I
 

Buka

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Difficult subject matter with no common denominator. It's like saying "Restaurants do not have good food."

My Karate is just fine. So, it seems, is the varied Karate(s) of people I know. I would think if theirs were broken, they'd fix it. I know I have, and shall continue to do so.

Maybe it would be more on point to say - The Martial Arts world, as a whole, is fractured and so full of itself it seems auto-cannibalism is the only possible explanation.
 

seasoned

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Not broken, but, misunderstood.

Karate as it was taught in Okinawa was at first handed down from father to son.
It was indeed a national treasure used as a two fold endeavor to instill a moral code of conduct within an ever growing population.
With the teachings of honesty, integrity and respect within a framework of a rigidly taught self protection art, it was coveted by entire families and shrouded in a veil of secrecy.

As if their very lives depended on it, which indeed was the case, very little was written down. Instead everything was uniquely placed within dance like forms called "Kata" that were at times entrusted to a few loyal people outside of the various villages and families.

To modernize the thought process and help make it more understandable it could be equated to our modern day "concealed carry weapon".

Now add the 2nd world war which devastated Okinawa leaving them no means of income.

As the war ended and our occupying army set-up bases it only seemed logical that the only commodity that was available to the Okinawan's and desired by the U.S. serviceman was "Karate".

I will close with this in mind. Under the circumstances of war and the devastation, the Okinawa's still honored the virtues of honesty, integrity and respect and to a few of the serviceman, was given a glimpse of the offerings and a key to open up the treasure within called "Kata".

Is Karate broken? Perhaps to a few but for the most part there are some that get it and if you so desire go out and find that one DoJo and be thankful once you find it.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I can't make this technique work = This technique doesn't work.
I am not a good karateka = Karate is broken.

Perhaps the technique works, but the problem is with us. Perhaps karate is not broken, but we are.

Regardless of how karate has changed or what is now taught or emphasized, karate is still there. It is not hidden, nor is it secret, but you may have to seek it and try very hard to understand it. And perhaps that is not all bad. Real karate awaits. Real karateka seek it out. It's not broken, our perceptions are.
 
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