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Thread: Karate

  1. #61
    dubj Guest
    The only reason I care about lineage is the fact that it was tradition in most high level styles to only pass the full knowledge to select disciples or family members. By tracing the lineage you can see who learned what, and that gives you an idea of how much you can learn. If you want to learn an entire system you would be better off finding someone who is a lineage holder rather than someone who learned some public forms. The person who teaches the public forms can most likely teach you how to fight, but your skills will be limited. Although if you train with a lineage holder you won't automatically be a high level practitioner but the potential is usually greater there

  2. #62
    Dark Knight Guest
    I work with a couple national organizations, the biggest reason I would worry about lineage is just if the guy who is teaching me created the style in 30 days with his buddies.

    I have met a couple of these, they go from 2nd to 10th overnight. They take part of one form and combine it with another, no real reason just to say they made a new style.

    Then to help there are all kinds of people running around who will sell you a certificate that says you are a "Soke" for a fee.

    So when someone tells you they are a young "master" or created their own style, "Buyer Beware".

  3. #63
    SevenStar Guest
    "Then to help there are all kinds of people running around who will sell you a certificate that says you are a "Soke" for a fee."

    I'm not naming styles or practitioners to avoid flames and trouble, but I've heard stories about well known CMA masters doing the same thing, not using "soke" of course though.

    "Just because I joke around sometimes doesn't mean I'm serious about kung-fu.
    " - nightair

  4. #64
    rogue Guest
    "One punch one kill" comes from the Japanese phrase, "One encounter, one chance" which is probably a more encompassing philosophy for a martial artists.

    I agree with the other karateka except on number 4, which I believe changes with ryu and level.

    Rogue, Soke and Senior Grandmaster of Southeast American Brazillian Bagua Combat Chi jitsu Kempo Karate Do and Choral Society.

    The only tactical principle which is not subject to change; it is, “To use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wounds, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time."

  5. #65
    curtis Guest
    We've come long way.
    I think it's more maturity thing, years ago if you were not Oriental you cannot learn and Oriental art.
    My lineage is who I am. thats what makes me different?

    My father can beat up your father.


    If people feel that insecure about what they can do. Then it's not worth it. In my opinion.
    Just because I have a black belt means so very little, if I have to live up to this immature world we live in.
    If I know I am good. Isn't that be enough? If I work hard enough and strive to achieve my goals. Why do I need to impress others?
    After all isn't that, self-discipline.


  6. #66
    SevenStar Guest
    ichi-go; ichi-e...

    "Just because I joke around sometimes doesn't mean I'm serious about kung-fu.
    " - nightair

  7. #67
    apoweyn Guest
    i don't think there's anything wrong with an interest in the lineage of your style. it may yield insights into the application of the style itself (e.g., coming to grips with the history and philosophy of taiji may aid someone in learning how the physical relaxation necessary to that style might be achieved).

    and from an intellectual standpoint, i certainly can't find fault with wanting to know your history. we teach history in school, where we could very easily simply say, "what does it matter? what matters is what's happening now."

    the problem occurs when we use lineage as a substitute for firsthand knowledge. if we allow ourselves to rest on our laurels, two questions come to my mind: 1) what guarantee do we have that past practitioners didn't do likewise? (in which case, we have fewer guarantees that our practice is combat ready) and 2) when we become a part of our style's lineage, what guarantee will those who come after us have that the style is still relevant?

    the first question can be answered relatively easily, i suppose. we have stories of the exploits of those who preceded us. but that's secondhand knowledge.

    the second question, though... if lineage is this important to you, then it'll be this important to those who follow you. and now you are that lineage. personally, that's what compels me to find out whether what i'm doing makes sense. part of it, anyway.

    stuart b.

  8. #68
    Ironpig Guest


    For your first question: All of the Japanese arts practitioners I have had the oportunity to work with all were concerned with Lineage. All knew who they had learned from and whom their teacher had learned from.

    For your second question, there is as much variation in technique and requirement in Japanese arts as in Chinese arts. I have seen Shotokan people work Sanchin Kata and a Kyokushinkai person work Sanchin, both were impressive. There were some minor points of difference in emphasis, and the Kyokushinkai practitioner was in obviously better condition.

    Third question, depends on the school, when I worked Japanese styles, I worked low stances, and high stances, in fact, each form had five ways of being performed for emphasis on different applications.

    The most important factor of Karate, or any Japanese art, should be "Kokoro", or heart. (though that term is larger than simply heart)

    Much of the strengths I bring to my Kuoshu practice I picked up learning various styles before I walked in the door. Not the kicking and punching, but the heart of it. The real intent.

    That I am able to practice martial arts without becoming some goon, but rather a more whole human being.

    I am sure that my Shifu would agree, that I have only grown as a person by practicing any number of arts, and have become a more rounded individual for it.

    So in general, I would say that "heart" is the most important martial principle that I have learned from Japanese arts, and that I continue to learn in Chinese arts.

    just a few pennies from a pig.....
    -"bigger is BIGGER"


  9. #69
    Kevin73 Guest
    Japanese Karate started with Funakoshi when he took what he learned and then simplified it and changed it to make it simpler and safer to be taught to school children and more aesethetic for the japanese nobility (I know alot will disagree with this but he even says he did this in his autobiography).
    Okinawan Karate is harder to trace because it is older and many of the masters also studied in China. So many of the "ryu" styles will have alot of similarities (physical movements that you will recognize from style x).
    From what I have seen (go over to and look at their bad budo section sometime) lineage is VERY important to alot of karate people as well. I was criticized because the style I study was founded by someone who thinks that it should stand on it's own merits and not by who he knew and who gave him a piece of paper. He studied with many people both formally and informally, and when he opened up a dojo to teach one of those styles he was challenged many times by "dojo stormers" back in the 70's and found out what would or wouldn't work in a real fight. Then he took all of the knowledge and systemized it into his own approach based on what he had learned through studying and fighting, and when he declared his style he took on all people who challenged him to prove that his style was legitamite (old fashioned matches where they would meet out in a field with no one else not some tournament or sparring match). I work in corrections and have used what I've learned many times and it works great but this didn't matter to this person because he could trace HIS lineage to some dead okinawan master. Another example I've seen is people saying Isshin-Ryu isn't a real style or good because it's part Shorin-Ryu and part Goju-Ryu even though the early students were beating all of those people in matches. Sounds alot like some of the kung fu examples given.
    Not all styles of karate are one punch one kill, there are some that are very fluid and quick not just lock out punches based on how good it looks.
    The old masters of any style could fight otherwise the style wouldn't still be around, the question is can your instructor impart that skill so you can learn it also using your style as a vehicle to do so.

    "God gave you a brain, and it annoys Him greatly when you choose not to use it."

  10. #70
    Shaolindynasty Guest

    Bravo excellent post

    Loved that post san*****a

  11. #71
    omegapoint Guest

    Age lines....

    First off, great post and replies. This question's validity is based on "ryu" and "ryuha", or systems and subsystems. Most Japanese Karate- Kyokushin, Japanese Goju, Shotokan, Wado Ryu, etc. respect those who came before them. I don't know exactly how far they can trace their lineage back though, as many ideas from Okinawa and China were dropped or altered over the years in order to structure Karate as a whole.

    In the Okinawan or original forms of Karate, lineage is very, very important. Saying you studied under Shimabuku, Kyan, Soken, Chibana, Y. Higa, Nakazato, Kise or one of the few other "koryu" or classical sensei is understood to mean you may know original karate better than, say, someone who studied Shotokan, or as the Okinawan's call it "school-boy karate".

    When Funakoshi began to standardize (not formulate, BIG difference) the karate he learned on the Ryukyus he understood that many of the techs taught to him for life-or-death situations were not applicable to teaching the Japanese people. The fact that many Okinawans looked down on him for attempting to teach their oppressors techniques reserved for Okinawan Samurai (Bushi)was just one reason to restructure training to better fit school boys and the secondary school curriculum.

    Itosu did a similar thing, not only to popularize the art for the masses, but to make it safe for teaching in schools. As great as Itosu was, many Orthodox practitioners of Okinawa Karate refer to his systems as "school-boy karate". Don't get me wrong. They understood and understand that this brand of Okinawan Karate, especially Kobayashi Shorin Ryu, is much more "real" than any Japanese brand, but many of the subtle, effective techs of "ti" have been excluded or replaced with those that emphasize athleticism and power which are more conducive with sport competition.

    As for "one punch, one kill", this means that your first blow should be the decisive blow. The blow which causes his nose to explode and allow you to finish him of while he is "distracted". It also refers to proper placement of a tech in a real situation so that you incapacitate or control the situation quickly and efficiently. It doesn't necessarily mean that you are actually gonna kill him with every well-placed strike!

    So, trust me lineage almost always makes a difference. To say I study BJJ under Carlos Elias, one of Rickson Gracie's top black belts, validates what I learned more than saying I learned from Joe-Schmoe 2-stripe blue belt from Pedro Cornholio's (or whoever's) system. Of course that doesn't automatically confer otherworldly ground skills on the practitioner, that part is dependent on me, but it does tell the knowing that I studied under a 5th Dan who is highly regarded amongst his peers and students. Therefore, you can rest more soundly knowing he's teaching you as he was taught by Rickson, and Rickson by Helio, the Grandmaster.

    The same is true for Karate. To say you studied under a sensei who is only 2-3 teachers/generations removed from the Okinawan source is better than saying you studied under Sensei Fred who learned from some guy stationed in Hawaii, who in turn learned from some old Asian fellow who was a 2nd dan under someone who was a 4th dan and studied with some guy who lived and trained Shotokan in Japan in the 60's, and peridodically learned from a guy who "picked-up" techs while researching the lost methods of Shotokan, on Okinawa (from an Isshin Ryu guy, hahahaha).

    Lineage is very important to a practitioner of Koryu. It's a very good reference point to begin assessing a karatekas knowledge and skill. As for forms accumulation;If your system emphasizes 40-50 kata, then you can rest assured you're definitely being entangled in the "nonclassical mess". Many old school Masters practiced just one form for many years sometimes a decade, before they began perfecting another. The secrets are in the kata and bunkai. If you have Sequined-Sensei-Joe teaching the "Flight of 1000 Sparrows" kata he invented to win the "National Broadway and Show Tunes Vidal Sassoon Karate Championship" then you are not learning about fighting. After all true Karate is about fighting, period.

    [This message was edited by omegapoint on 11-27-01 at 04:04 PM.]

  12. #72
    myosimka Guest

    (I guess this makes me the real omega point and him the penultimate point.)

    Although in truth I will just sum up his and state that he proves, by example, that yeah we put up with the same lineage crap. Lots assume without seeing another style that they are superior as a result of lineage. and that their students learn real karate where others do not without really knowing how the other students train. It's everywhere. In fact, I've seen it less in the CMAs I know. (I think that's only because I have been doing JMAs 3x as long.) Check out e-budo sometime. You'll see the same sorts of heated discussions and rivalries played out there.

  13. #73
    Merryprankster Guest
    Hey, I'm the first to admit that lineage is important, but it's not the end all be all... that's what I was trying to get across in posts.

    Of ALL the things you could be doing with your energy, the LEAST productive is to argue about "who has the REAL 'x'"

    Is he a REAL tai ji master? Well it's not Tai ji because it doesn't look like what I learned. I've seen real tai ji and that isn't it. What he's doing looks good but it's not REAL taiji.

    Ok, yeah... can the guy kick your ass with his tai ji? That's the real question.

  14. #74
    shaolinboxer Guest
    Omegapoint- I see your point, but I did not think any of the schools of karate were considered "koryu" (reference: Not that I am saying "you are wrong", but are there some references you could point me to for extended reading?

    Merryp.: "Ok, yeah... can the guy kick your ass with his tai ji? That's the real question."

    IMO, this is not the real question. Is tai ji not closer to budo than to bujutsu? It was my impression that tai ji is more than just a method of commiting assualt or dominating another person.

    If this is true, how can a tai ji practitioner's technique be validated by the notion of ability to cause harm?

    Or perhaps I am mistaken....

  15. #75
    Merryprankster Guest
    Substitute Judo for Tai ji, BJJ for Tai ji, Wing Chun for Tai ji, .

    I'm not specifically discussing Tai Ji, I was just pointing out how silly it is to argue over who has the REAL 'x'.

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