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View Full Version : Is there a "New Shotokan Movement?"



hobbitbob
23rd April 2004, 21:58
I came across this term on another forum. It refers to the trend in MA in general, and Shotokan in particular, to emphasize kata oyo and combat applications over line training and competition. I wonder if anyone else has encountered this term, and what your opinions are? Sensei Cook seems to be a prime example of this new movement, and I wonder what he thinks of the term?

Harry Cook
23rd April 2004, 22:15
I think it is an interesting way to describe this trend in Shotokan (and other systems), but I think that in some ways it is an attempt to return to the roots of shotokan, or possibly to apply a more Okinawan approach to using shotokan techniques.
It seems obvious to me that many shotokan dojo actually train for competition even if the majority of members never actually enter a competition; the underlaying values and the training methodology are based on tournament derived concepts.
Once this approach is abandoned to some degree and ideas such as riai, realistic self defence methods, grappling etc etc are examined then what is perceived to be a new method will emerge. However I think (perhaps romantically) that this new method is actually the real form of "traditional' karate.
Yours,
Harry Cook

hectokan
23rd April 2004, 22:53
I thought I was following the "NEW" shotokan movement.LOL,I guess not.I thought it traveled more along these lines....The JKA style tournament fighting moved into the Mas Oyama full contact tournament era,which eventually led to the Kickboxing/Muaythai phase movement,which later on settled into the wacky world of the MMA/NHB movement.LOL

Just Having fun guys
:toast:


PS:Regardless of which movement you follow,It's great to know your History.I highly recommend Harry cooks book"Shotokan Karate A precise history",Excellent Book.

hobbitbob
23rd April 2004, 23:21
I would agree. I have recently resumed Shotokan traning with Sensei Cyrus Madani, whose teaching reflects this new trend, and meshes quite nicely with the Seibukan Shorin Ryu training I began a year ago.
I wonder, though, is it mostly the "independents" like Sensei madani who train this way, or has this sort of training made its way into the ITKF and ISKF dojo as well?

Tommy_P
24th April 2004, 00:47
Originally posted by hectokan
I thought I was following the "NEW" shotokan movement.LOL,I guess not.I thought it traveled more along these lines....The JKA style tournament fighting moved into the Mas Oyama full contact tournament era,which eventually led to the Kickboxing/Muaythai phase movement,which later on settled into the wacky world of the MMA/NHB movement.LOL

And I tend to think of MMA as a return to the old:D
The way I see it karate became to "sport", to long range distancing, to dependent on striking all due to competition. Especially non contact competition.
I think what karate once was was closer to mixed ma,excluding the 5 minutes of rolling around on the floor:D But what it was was closer fighting, grappling, throwing, locking and finishing techniques. Oh. and of coarse low kicks!

Tommy

Goju Man
24th April 2004, 02:10
I think when you look at fighting as fighting, we become fighters. There are no rules in fighting, so there shouldn't be any limitations on training ie grappling,throwing, etc. Many bjj and grapplers in general hae taken up striking to complete their combat skills, I think it is wise for us to learn the other side as well.

hectokan
24th April 2004, 02:28
"We must not be the frog in the well"which does not know the world-we have to study other martial arts.

Yoshitaka Funakoshi

BULLDOG
24th April 2004, 18:34
It is good to see this trend now in Shotokan.

The Shotokan Dojo that I had the pleasure to train in for 4 years went thought this evolution. They focused on Kihons-Kata-Kumite, with a leaning focus towards the tournament scene. Now, they are still focus on the three K’s, but with a focus on self-defense.

I relocated from S. NJ in 1997 to SW Florida. I still miss the caliber of instruction that I had at Club Shotokan, in Marlton NJ.

I agree with Harry Cook that this is not a new discovery but a return back to what Shotokan was always about. A very effective hand to hand fighting system.

Let’s hope that this return back to Shotokan’s roots is here to stay –at least for a while before the next fad comes in.

Ed Barton

K Dub
28th April 2004, 18:00
I tend to agree. I have a brown belt from many years back in Shotokan (I study Uechi-Ryu now). We pretty much did tourney-style training. Much of the self-defense work we did was truly ineffectual. I've very excited about this climate shift in MA training.


apply a more Okinawan approach
I never trained with anyone from Japan or Okinawa, but my guess is that they haven't gone nearly as far askew as we have. I welcome the cycle back.


And I tend to think of MMA as a return to the old
Absolutely! Correct me if I'm wrong Mr. Cook, but Funakoshi sensei studied both Naha-Te and Shuri-Te and developed Shotokan from those influences. Ueshiba developed Aikido from a mix of many styles. Judo has similar roots. What we call "cross-training" today, was a lot more common in history of the MA.

-Kristian Walker

MAGon
3rd May 2004, 17:57
Originally posted by K Dub

quote:
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And I tend to think of MMA as a return to the old
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Absolutely! Correct me if I'm wrong Mr. Cook, but Funakoshi sensei studied both Naha-Te and Shuri-Te and developed Shotokan from those influences. Ueshiba developed Aikido from a mix of many styles. Judo has similar roots. What we call "cross-training" today, was a lot more common in history of the MA.

-Kristian Walker

Man, am I glad to have run into this thread! Finally, some validation!
Before you start thinking I'm totally off the wall, what concerned me was that for some time I'd come to the conclusion that MMArtists were the true traditionalists and the "traditionalists" were the ones that had moved away from the roots of Karate. I was starting to wonder if I'd gone nuts! From the thread, it seems at least some of you think along these lines.

Sochin
3rd May 2004, 18:09
Guys,

the idea that pre-1900's karate fights might have looked like a ufc match is just a bit off, hmmmm?

Isn't it true that in those days, the majority tried to find the ultimate by perfecting their style and very few cross trained until after 1920 or so?

Tommy_P
3rd May 2004, 18:56
Originally posted by Sochin
Guys,

the idea that pre-1900's karate fights might have looked like a ufc match is just a bit off, hmmmm?

Isn't it true that in those days, the majority tried to find the ultimate by perfecting their style and very few cross trained until after 1920 or so?

I can't speak for anyone else but that wasn't eactly my thought.
I said:

And I tend to think of MMA as a return to the old
The way I see it karate became to "sport", to long range distancing, to dependent on striking all due to competition. Especially non contact competition.
I think what karate once was was closer to mixed ma,excluding the 5 minutes of rolling around on the floor But what it was was closer fighting, grappling, throwing, locking and finishing techniques. Oh. and of coarse low kicks!

Cross training never entered my mind. What I'm saying is that IMO karate was once a little more well rounded than SOME of today's styles (Shotokan being a biggie, and don't shoot me .....that's my system).
I think karate has moved too far into sport land and has been waterd down too much.
It is my opinion that at one time there was more to defense than just block and strike. I think there was grappling, throws, locking and controling all steps in a sequence of defense techniques leading up to the finishing blow. And I think fighting distances have changed to a more Kendo style. Karate moved away from that and now seems to be searching for it again.

Tommy

K Dub
3rd May 2004, 19:13
Originally posted by Sochin
the idea that pre-1900's karate fights might have looked like a ufc match is just a bit off, hmmmm?

Isn't it true that in those days, the majority tried to find the ultimate by perfecting their style and very few cross trained until after 1920 or so?

From the history I've read, many of the major branches of karate came from a mixture of roots. Brief examples:

Uechi-Ryu: Uechi sensei studied both Pangainoon and White Crane boxing in China, as well as the Shuri-Te and Naha-Te of his homeland Okinawa.

Shotokan: Funakoshi sensei studied under Yatasune Azato Sensei and Yatasune Itosu Sensei respectively. Their teachings were eventually refined into two styles of karate: Shorei-ryu and Shorin-ry. Shotokan is said to be a mixture of both.

Aikido:
Ueshiba studied Yagyu- and Daito-ryu aiki-jutsu, jujutsu, and kendo, as well as the hand-to-hand combat he learned while a soldier in the Army. After many years, his own personal style for fighting that was developed from those many influences became modern Aikido.

Judo:
Kano started learning Tenjin Shinyo ryu at 18, then studied Kito ryu, Sekiguchi-ryu and Seigo-ryu. He tried to strip away what he thought was ineffective from all those influences and developed Judo from that research.

Goju-Ryu:
Kanryo Higashionna trained in his "home-town" style of Naha-Te, then studied in China with a Master Woo in Chinese boxing. When he returned to Okinawa after 15+ years, he started his own dojo using the skills he developed from both styles.

While I completely agree that a pre-1900 fight would not look like a modern-day UFC match, the historical evidence strongly points out that many of the "founders" of what we call "traditional" martial arts studied and trained under a variety of different teachers and styles.

And from the MMA bouts I've seen, I don't put those fighters anywhere near the class of the above mentioned.

I think that there is an issue in the dojos outside Asia trying way too hard to be Japanese or Okinawan or whatever. From those martial artist that I know that have trained in Japan or elsewhere (including my father), there isn't the strict dogma about "tradition" you find in the US, UK, Canada, etc.

CEB
3rd May 2004, 23:27
Originally posted by K Dub
...
And from the MMA bouts I've seen, I don't put those fighters anywhere near the class of the above mentioned.
...


Interesting. That is a common opinion I think. I wonder what is everybody's basis for judging the fighting strength of the legendary past masters? There are a few written accounts of some encounters and that is pretty much it.

n2shotokai
3rd May 2004, 23:55
I find this an interesting topic. This is one of the issues that split the shotokan and shotokai groups into what they are today. Shotokan I have found is not the same everywhere. Some of the major organizations focus heavily on competition and some of the groups do not. I started in shotokai 30 years ago and for many years I held a great disdain for all competitions. Although today I do not participate in competitions, I can see that they definitly have their place. For clarity, I practice shotokan and shotokai today so I don't feel I have any bias.

Well almost. I have observed certain techniques that may be effective in competition but could put you in deep trouble on the street. I have not come to terms with this yet.

One other issue is kata. I love bunkai in kata, yet sometimes I hear that the bunkai is different than the way a kata is performed. The reason I hear is "it looks better in competition". Again, I have not come to terms with this response but I have learned to seperate shotokai and shotokan kata when I am instructing and I have no problems doing this philosophically. I do make mistakes sometimes and when asked by students I explain my situation and the correct method for the style they are practicing.

I am thinking of a recent post by Rob where he commented on the values that are presented to us in karate and how so many of us miss the mark (sorry, paraphrased). I think of the values presented to me as a shotokai practitioner and avoiding competitions. I also recall being told to look for the value in every style and school you observe. If you only look for the bad and what to criticize you will miss the opportunity to learn something of value. Like Rob said, we all can miss the mark so I am doing my best to be open minded,

Bustillo, A.
4th May 2004, 10:39
Originally posted by K Dub
And from the MMA bouts I've seen, I don't put those fighters anywhere near the class of the above mentioned.



Why not?
On what basis do you make your comment?


Let's take it a step further.
Perhaps in many areas today's MMA fighters surpass them.

hectokan
4th May 2004, 12:54
Steve writes:
I have observed certain techniques that may be effective in competition but could put you in deep trouble on the street. I have not come to terms with this yet.



Hector writes:
I Agree,by the same token I have seen many techniques from formal kata training that could put you in deep trouble on the street.I really believe that there are no absolutes in any part of traininig wether it be formal training or competition it's just simply a tool that let's you discover or recreate a portion of a scenario that might ressemble a fight.Nobody should claim any type of absolute nothing with either method.

we all tend to get ourselves in trouble when we promote anytype of training method or way as an absolute best method.



PS:No meds needed this morning.LOL

K Dub
4th May 2004, 12:58
Case in point on the MMA thing:
I recently watched the finals for the K-1 in Vegas. I'll grant that these guys were tough. They obviously are strong fighters, and you won't find me in the ring with any of them (I wouldn't go into the ring with Oyama, either...). So, forgive a little Monday Morning Quaterbacking...:D

My observation for this particular tournament was that most. NOT ALL, of these guys very sloppy. They seemed to rely mostly on brute strength than on technique. I saw a lot of telegraphing. Having seen other fighters who have cross-trained, it seemed to my eyes that many of these guys were mostly boxers who had learned some Thai kicks.

I HAVE KNOWN people who have cross-trained in MMA and that have outstanding technique and could kick tail up and down the street. I ALSO THINK THAT CROSS-TRAINING IN OTHER STYLES HELPS MARTIAL ARTISTS GROW IF IT'S DONE CORRECTLY.

My current sensei is like that. He's a 5th Dan in Uechi-Ryu, but has trained in boxing, Judo and BJJ. He's an outstanding fighter, but his precision and technique are world class, too.

I guess I extrapolate what legends like Funakoshi and others would be like by observing Fuller sensei. "I he's that good, then they must have been..."

n2shotokai
4th May 2004, 13:27
Originally posted by hectokan


Hector writes:

we all tend to get ourselves in trouble when we promote anytype of training method or way as an absolute best method.

I completely agree with Thelma on this one ;)

R_Garrelts
4th May 2004, 17:07
Originally posted by K Dub
I guess I extrapolate what legends like Funakoshi and others would be like by observing Fuller sensei. "I he's that good, then they must have been..."

But, by that logic, wouldn't Angelo Dundee have been a greater fighter than Ali (his pupil)? Wouldn't it also mean that Einstein's teachers must have been that much smarter than he was? If so, what were their contributions? (besides one of them calling Einstein a "lazy dog," of course)

None of this is to say that Choki Motobu, for instance, couldn't have handled himself in the octagon, though. I'm just saying that we have no way of knowing for sure. Today's crop of talented instructors really has little to do with the talents of masters long since dead and gone and almost everything to do with how we train now.

If I have no hope of ever surpassing my teachers, I might as well give up teaching at the dojo now--there's not a lot of point in continuing. After all, since I can never surpass my teacher, and people that I teach can never surpass me, there is little benefit from students hearing my perspective on techniques, and I should just refer them to my teacher. Heck, they could actually get worse from training with me.

For that matter, if the advancement of the sciences is just going to be one inevitable downward spiral to a bunch of people returning to a caveman way of life (since we can't surpass our teachers), I want out now!:(

CEB
4th May 2004, 17:32
Not being a party pooper or anything but the Ryukyu giant Choki Motobu was about 5'4". I mean has anybody ever seen guys like Mark Coleman fight. :laugh:

K Dub
4th May 2004, 17:33
R_Garrelts

You know, I never thought of it that way. Something to chew on, for sure.

Thanks

Bustillo, A.
5th May 2004, 11:21
Originally posted by K Dub
Case in point on the MMA thing:
I recently watched the finals for the K-1 in Vegas.
....most. NOT ALL, of these guys very sloppy. They seemed to rely mostly on brute strength than on technique. I saw a lot of telegraphing. Having seen other fighters who have cross-trained,

I HAVE KNOWN people who have cross-trained in MMA and that have outstanding technique and could kick tail up and down the street. I ALSO THINK THAT CROSS-TRAINING IN OTHER STYLES HELPS MARTIAL ARTISTS GROW IF IT'S DONE CORRECTLY.

My current sensei is like that. He's a 5th Dan in Uechi-Ryu, but has trained in boxing, Judo and BJJ. He's an outstanding fighter, but his precision and technique are world class, too.

I guess I extrapolate what legends like Funakoshi and others would be like by observing Fuller sensei. "I he's that good, then they must have been..."


In general what mosr consider MMA are events like King of the Cage, UFC, Pride etc.
The all stand-up fighting of K-1 is different.


The majority of the men we see fighting don't have 30-40 years training. The founders in their youngers days, I'm sure made some of the same mistakes and they were not born the experts their reputation are based on of their older years.

Either way, you did see the k-1 fighters and you had a chance to gauge their skill level in tough fights.

Where, when have we seen the founders you listed in anything remotely similar-- tough fights with tough opponents of their level-- to asses their true fighting ability?


(Fairy tale stories of dodging bullets from a firing squad don't count.)

Troll Basher
5th May 2004, 11:58
Originally posted by K Dub

My observation for this particular tournament was that most. NOT ALL, of these guys very sloppy. They seemed to rely mostly on brute strength than on technique. I saw a lot of telegraphing. Having seen other fighters who have cross-trained, it seemed to my eyes that many of these guys were mostly boxers who had learned some Thai kicks.


My co-worker is training in K-1 and PRIDE out of Nicholas Petas’ dojo here in Tokyo. He has pretty good technique and is as strong as a friggin bull.......does reps, about 8, on the leg press with 1,200lbs......He is 6'6" and 280lbs .....not fat either......I can tell you it truly sucks to have him kick you. He has only trained in MA for about 3 years in Japan and about a month in FAITEX in Thailand and a month somewhere in the Netherlands, but his skill is good......much better than Bob Sapp, Akebono and several others.
K-1 is going through some changes here mostly due to money related things to bring in a bigger crowd....

hectokan
5th May 2004, 12:46
I think that the most technical fighters in K1 are found in the k1 Max division.This division is similar to the smaller weight classes in boxing.The K1 grand prix heavyweight division which showcases the likes of Bob sapp & sumo wrestlers from time to time is a side show main event freak attraction created to increase pay per view sales.

Unfortunately promoters realized that the large mass population of viewers and "casual" spectators could care less about the technical expertise of the lighter divisions,so the Big heavyweights are always showcased(in this case the freak sideshows)similar to heavyweight boxing divisions.In most cases the "casual" fan just want to see a big knockout.The casual viewer tunes in for the first time and get's a distorted view and perception of what the true technical ability of kickboxing(muaythai)or boxing really is.


That's not to say that there are not some great heavyweights in K1 as fighters like Ernesto hoost,Peter aerts and Lebanner come to mind but The die hard connosuers(sp)of Muaythai and boxing alike knows better and always anticipates the big fights in smaller weight divisions.


I would probably enjoy watching fights at the two major stadiums in bangkok any day of the week over heavyweights in K1.I would probably prefer even smaller weight boxing fights at any mexican arena south of the border any time.

Viva Mexica,Cinco de mayo :toast:

K Dub
5th May 2004, 13:38
OK-
First I'd like to apologize for unintentially hijacking this thread.;)

Robert, Antonio, et al-
To be honest you have very valid points, and I've got to say you've made me think quite a bit.

BUT-
According to the Traditional Martial Artist Code, Section 114, Sub-Section "D", Paragraph 12b, line 5, I MUST always publicly state my complete and total reverence for the founder of my style as the ultimate Martial Artist, or else I'll be fined a sum of $15,000 AND be put on suspension for 3 months.:D

And I still think that the old-school masters were the original MMA fighters,as I stated before.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled program...

n2shotokai
5th May 2004, 14:20
Originally posted by K Dub
OK-
First I'd like to apologize for unintentially hijacking this thread.;)
snip .... or else I'll be fined a sum of $15,000 AND be put on suspension for 3 months.:D

I am sorry but this is incorrect. It says "probation" not suspension. Clearly if you are suspended you would not be able to publicly display your reverence on a daily basis to the founder at the shomen. Let us be accurate ;)