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Thread: Karate and kung fu

  1. #1
    Anthroman Guest

    Karate and kung fu

    Hello All,
    I was just wondering if anyone here has read the book Barefoot Zen. I think it is a great book on karate, although I'm not really a karate person. It looks at karates roots and then takes another look at application of traditional karate forms. What it basically comes down to is that the author believes 80% of karate kata application should be chin na/grappling type techniques, not punches, kicks, and blocks. The author does make a pretty good case for it. If anyone has read this or picks it up let me know what you think of it. Thanks
    Anthroman

  2. #2
    Budokan Guest
    I am not aware of this book, but I am familiar with the idea that many of the moves in kata are actually of the joint-locking/grappling type. That's not new.

    Still, I will probably take a look at this book when I can. Thanks for the heads-up.

    K. Mark Hoover

  3. #3
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    kung fu and karate

    i started kung fu with BSL and i really enjoyed it. I moved to the DC area and started doing hung fut and i think it is an awesome kung fu style. great workout good variety of techniques. good live sparring. it really is everything i was looking for (except grappling). but i noticed when i try to do my BSL forms or techniques now that i put a much more hung fut style to them. i find myself unable to break out of being rigid in some parts where i need to flow. ya know? anyway, it makes it difficult to express the BSL forms the way i learned them initially. now i don't think forms are the end all be all of kung fu. in fact i am not really a big fan of doing them when i could be training with a partner. but i do recognize they are an integral part of practicing kung fu when you don't have a partner. i don't want this thread to turn in to a debate about whether forms are important.

    ok so i can see how two different styles of kung fu differ from each other and in what ways they are similar. and i can look at other styles that i havent practiced and make comments about how something is like somethign else in another style etc. but what about karate?

    does karate have the same variance from one style to the next? i mean i am sure they have to or else there would be no need to delineate one style from another. i have never studied karate and i am woefully ignorant but i was hoping that some of you could enlighten me with any knowledge you have of the different styles. i am moving to japan in about 9 months and i will probably do judo there but if i decide to take karate i would like to hear some opinions about it and actually know what i am looking at.

    sorry for the long thread.

  4. #4
    I have allways gotten the impression that Karate styles are not differentiated by thier energetic concepts the way Chinese arts are. I think for them it's all the same, or very similar energies. The distinctions come from the lineage or school curriculum where the art originated.

    I could be totally wrong though, I have never looked into it beyond the basic most level.

  5. #5
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    You can use youtube to get an idea:

    Goju ( Japanese and Okinawan)
    Uechi
    Isshin
    Shorin
    S h i t o
    Wado


    That should give you an idea.
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  6. #6
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    Oh, man that's a big subject. Short answer: yes, they do have different styles. Most derive from Okinawan systems. Some, such as Kyokushinkai, also have Korean and Chinese elements.

    Japanese karate-do is largely the product of university clubs in the 1930s who were interested in karate but were unwilling to accept it as it came from Ryukyuan culture. Okinawans were second-class citizens, a defeated nation and all that. So they modified it based on kendo and judo training methods and stances until it was Japanese enough for them. The Okinawan instructors did not have much choice in the matter. They were often employed by the universities and police departments to teach what they knew, and the employer is the boss. Meanings and applications got twisted a lot but the emphasis was on physical education. You'll definitely get a good workout if you try it.

    Karate never did become as popular in Japan as kendo or judo and some say it is losing interest there. Taijiquan and some Chinese arts are quite popular but you have to search for a good instructor. Beware of aestheticism; some teachers focus more on "kirei" or beautiful movement than on application.

    There is plenty of info on the web for styles. Some major schools are Japan Karate Association, Uechi, Wado, Japan Goju, Okinawa Goju, and Shi-to.
    Last edited by jdhowland; 07-17-2008 at 08:19 AM. Reason: circumventing the censor

  7. #7
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    If you do begin to study Karate, you would find a lot of similarities as well as differences between Karate and Kungfu.

    Similar to the variances you find between Chinese styles, the Japanese and Chinese styles share a lot of common ground.


    You will find some styles of Karate that may "feel" more closely related to some styles of Kungfu, more so than some styles of Kungfu will be related to other styles of Kungfu.
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  8. #8

    digging into the vault

    Ok- so here it goes. Yes-- there are stylistic/philosophical differences in pre-war Okinawan martial arts aka Karate. Basically I heard of two major root schools being that Karate schools were either Naha-te or Shuri-te. Shuri was more linear- Naha was more circular. The Naha / Shuri thing refers to their philosophical root- not the name of the style. There's a third called Tomari-te which is kind've a blend of the two approaches. A good example of a Tomari-te stylist is Tadashi Yama****a (Shorin-Ryu). An example of a Naha stylist is Miyagi Chōjun (Gojo). A Shuri stylist Funakoshi Gichin (Shotokan).

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  10. #10
    Greetings,

    I remember reading:

    1- Kanbum Uechi Sensei actually got to the skill level where he was teaching in China.

    2- Mainland China published a book on Tiger Boxing that had a vintage photo that also featured Kanbum Uechi Sensei. (I have a feeling I saw that book and did not make the purchase)

    How can this article NOT mention the aforementioned?


    mickey

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    A good way to measure the overlap is from forms by just pulling out all the possible applications of each form and comparing them, that way you avoid a lot of the people-problems involved. There's only a finite number of applications to compare, allbeit large.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickey View Post
    Greetings,

    I remember reading:

    1- Kanbum Uechi Sensei actually got to the skill level where he was teaching in China.

    2- Mainland China published a book on Tiger Boxing that had a vintage photo that also featured Kanbum Uechi Sensei. (I have a feeling I saw that book and did not make the purchase)

    How can this article NOT mention the aforementioned?


    mickey
    word and photo limit, will try to submit a follow up article

    Honorary African American
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by YinOrYan View Post
    A good way to measure the overlap is from forms by just pulling out all the possible applications of each form and comparing them, that way you avoid a lot of the people-problems involved. There's only a finite number of applications to compare, allbeit large.
    Every single posture in Uechi Ryu has corresponding moves in Fujian kung fu. The issue is that often Uechi ryu visitors are compelled to find an exact copy of their forms.

    Honorary African American
    grandmaster instructor of Wombat Combat The Lost Art of Anal Destruction™®LLC .
    Senior Business Director at TEAM ASSHAMMER consulting services ™®LLC

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