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Thread: Shotokan Karate: What Happened?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibukai View Post
    Hello,

    A simple fact is that G. Funakoshi (1868-1957) did not use the term "bunkai" in his Japanese writings. He certainly used the term "kumite" ...

    Regards,

    Henning Wittwer
    What you wrote could be true.... but not sure what your point is....? (I do know he used the term "kumite" and it was clear from his writing that "Kumite" meant sparring... which he didn't support.

    The thread points to "What happend with Shotokan Karate?" The OP put's forth Shotokan being based in a practical format, with traditional waza has morphed into something "other". Then thread posters went on to highlight the lack of practical applications being taught from the Kata. ... ala Bunkai..

    I don't even know if Nakayama Sensei used the term "bunkai", it's not relavent if he did or didn't (just like "if Funakoshi O-Senei used the term )

    CEB wote"
    Bunkai is terrible in Shotokan because much of the kata mechanics have been stretched out and been rendered mechanically unsound
    I disagree

    IMO mechanically "kinetics wise" Shotokan is one of the more advanced Karate and practical. It's been commented many times on the internent how difficult it is for other Karate-ka to do Shotokan , but how relativly easy for Shotokan Karate ka to do other Ryu. Power generation... Shotokan is right up there with the best. Recognisable patterns also... highlighting the art as efficient in the prowess department (ala recognizing "Yea, the guy is doing Shotokan when sparring, MMA etc.. Shotokan pretty much takes the cake on this. Kyokushin Karateka are beast when it comes to kumite, but there Kumite is as flawed as much point sparring is because they do not include the head when striking with thier hands. If MMA is the "gold standandard" for a martial arts prowess (many think it is... I do not, yet will ceed its a good indicator) then Shotokan Karate is the only Karate where one could tell what Karate the practioner was competeing in MMA with. Most couldn't tell if GSP was using Kyokushin, or the "Iceman Lydell using Koei Kan, but everyone knew Machida and his brother was using Shotokan... a Kyu with 6 months could tell.

    So I throw out the idea of Kata Mechanics being strecthed and flawed, yet I totally conceded Shotokan's Bogus Bunkai. As stated, I haven't been prevy to bad bunkai, but I've seen plenty on the internet! I've whatched vids where high ranking Sensei guessed like amatures at the applications of a particular Kata. Then to my shock... whatched the "Monkey see, Monkey do" kick in and the garbage got passed on as if it was legit.

    How did our kata bunkai get so jacked up? IMO that is the question behind "Shotokan Karate what happened?"

    How did experience sensei interpet things like the kiba dachi in Tekki Shodan, Nidan or Sandan as a platform to fight from. the stance gives two giant doors to be pushed or pulled through.. and right now there are vids on the internet were high ranking instructors are teaching standing in kiba dachi and adressing an opponent from there 12-oclock! OMG! What the? Huh? Noooooooo. We see goofy things like this all the time and from serious credible Sensei in Shotokan...

    How???

  2. #17
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    To highlight further... "What's happened to Shotokan?" IMO...this is what happened....



    IMHO: Bad
    bunkai from the jump!
    Who in
    thier right mind would defend in a Kiba dachi like that? Yet... here are two accomplished and experienced Karate-ka propagating bad Bunkai! (which we see in Shotokan Karate way too much) Why? Neither of these guys would ever try to defend from a posistion like this... So why teach it? IMO... This just looks bad all around for Shotokan practitioners, and is one of the reasons why so many in the MMA world think Karate Kata is nothing but waving your hands in the air dancing. Just dabbling in Tekki Shodan, Nidan or Sandan, one comes to understand that these kata are different. The Embusen line IMO...should tell anyone that something is different from other kata. (i.e.thought process wise) Both Funakoshi O-Sensei and Motobu Choki Sensei went on record stating how deep Naihanchi/Tekki Kata were. Motobu Sensei stated "Naihanchi was all the kata one needed."



    To the two gents in the vid.

    The Naihanchi/Tekki are the Okinawan versions of a kata laid out in shorthand. The Kiba dachi is used for the following: A) strength training... the geri(kicks) that the kata are teaching by standing in kiba dachi it expertly trains the muscles needed. The kiba dachi is also meant as a "transitional stance" (everyone moves through a kiba dachi or a varation of Kiba dachi, like a Sochin or Hangetsu when progressing from one stance to another.. even if its for a split second.) All techniques in the kata are performed right or left foot forward or with the weight shifted forward or backward (never in a kibadachi with the opponent at your 12-Oclock as shown).... Unless the technique is a Katame waza (grappling technique) if so.. then the kiba dachi is used for grappling but again the opponent is to the left or right. Examples: The elbow joint lock & sweep in Tekki Shodan ( or the Elbow Joint lock in Tekki Nidan (same in Sandan also)

    The stepping is in Naihanchi/Tekki teaches and enforces Tsugi Ashi!

    These two guys need to pay attention to where the actual geri/kicks are in Tekki Kata. By paying attention to the kicks (hopfully they will notice the geri are always done at the center of the embusen line ( i.e. center of the kata) Then they might come to understand what is a zuki, uchi, empi waza (i.e. pugilistic technique ) and what is a katame waza (i.e. grappling technique)

    Shotokan practioners have to stop with the "Monkey see, Monkey Do" it looks bad....
    Last edited by Shoto123; 26th December 2017 at 21:35.

  3. #18
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    Hello,

    My words are simply an answer to your statement that you don't know about G. Funakoshi. In the same statement you mention "bunkai", a word G. Funakoshi apparently did not use. Now you state that G. Funakoshi was against "kumite" (as he himself defined the term), which is not true. He introduced it in each of his manuals and even performed it in his Eighties.

    Regards,

    Henning Wittwer

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    Respectfully.....

    I do believe the term your trying to admonish me on is "Juyi Kumite" that's the correct term he used. right? By all account he didn't approve of the free fighting i.e. "juyi kumite" that went on at the various universitiy clubs. is that Correct?

    Or have I had that wrong for 30+yrs?

    You're the resident expert..... you tell me,

    Other than getting 'off topic" our comments have little substance in refrence to the OP's original post. "what went wrong with Shotokan?
    Last edited by Shoto123; 27th December 2017 at 14:12.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoto123 View Post
    I do believe the term your trying to admonish me on is "Juyi Kumite" that's the correct term he used. right? ...Or have I had that wrong for 30+yrs?
    You may have had it wrong for 30+ years: It's "jiyu kumite," not "juyi kumite."
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  6. #21
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    Brain, I probably have it wrong... I don't use the term. The print media I went to clearly had the spelling "juyi"

    I'm still trying to figure out why "if" or 'if not" did Funakoshi O-Sensei use the term "kumite or bunkai" has any relevance on this thread.

    Playing with word semantics hardly explores what went on with kata applications within Shotokan and how they got to so far away from being effective. (bunkai wise) What is being demonstrated in the VID, No one in thier right mind would square up to and opponent in a kiba dachi like that . Would you? Would Mr Winter? I think not....

    & Not to pick on the two in the Vid, their are some serious karate ka in Shotokan on the internet pushing this type of garbage.

    We can play semantics with words but that hardly explores the "effectual truths" behind a kata bunkai. (by "effectual truth" I mean the Machiavellian term to define what is the actual truth and not percieved truth... )

    I'll understand If guys are stuck on word semantics and pushing your academic historical prowess, if that's what you do here... Rock on... Obviously that's not my thing... and I'll motivate somewhere else..

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoto123 View Post
    Brain, I probably have it wrong... I don't use the term. The print media I went to clearly had the spelling "juyi"
    I assumed from your user name, "Shoto123," that you were expressing some expertise in Shotokan. I guess that's not the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shoto123 View Post
    I'm still trying to figure out why "if" or 'if not" did Funakoshi O-Sensei use the term "kumite or bunkai" has any relevance on this thread.
    It's relevant because if one is stating what Funakoshi's teachings were, but uses terms that he did not use, then one's statements are not credible.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  8. #23
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    Straight up weak sauce!

    Is that how you practice your Karate? Playing semantics and rolling with assumptions?

    Who's stating what Funakoshi's teaching were? Me? Bunkai is Bunkai... a waza is effectve or it isn't. So am I reading all this correct... You don't and Mr Academia don't like me pointing to bad Shotokan bunkai, so you Troll with the "I don't know Funakoshi ? WOW!

    Stay clear of my dojo boyz.. that weak sauce doesn't go with anything I serve!

    feel free to ban me... Please! Cause right now all in with not letting you two paper tigers getting the last word in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoto123 View Post
    Is that how you practice your Karate? Playing semantics and rolling with assumptions?
    Actually it seems to be you who is "rolling with assumptions." You asked what difference it made if Funakoshi did or did not use certain terms, and I answered your question. I did not say that you had claimed he had used any particular term. Furthermore, this is not "semantics" for semantics' sake; this a matter of fact versus fiction. You may not value accuracy of language and historicity, but this is the "Traditional Karate" forum, and verifiable connections to a legitimate lineage are important.

    As for your challenge to "feel free to ban me... Please!" let me caution you that I, as a moderator, may accept that challenge. If you wish to continue as a member of this community you need to follow the rules and keep your discourse civil.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    Hi shoto123,
    This is a great forum board. Don't get yourself banned.Take a look at Mr. Wittmer's blog. He does a lot of research. There is a lot all of us can learn from him. There are a number of others here with vast amounts of knowledge. Calm down a little. If you have direct experience that contradicts the experts please express it. We will all be the better for it. I know what went on where I trained at different times and will share my disagreements with anyone, but just do it nicely. We don't need less members.
    Len MCCoy

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  12. #26
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    Hello,

    In order to know what went wrong with Shōtōkan, it would be good to know, what G. Funakoshi – the very first director of the Shōtōkan – practised and preached. At least I think this would be a good idea.

    So, he did not use the term “bunkai” (this term was used by recent, mostly Western persons). He taught that “kumite” is a necessary element of his karate. In the final edition of his “Karate-dō Kyōhan” he included “free kumite” (so, he did not ban it).

    There are two main points which he highlighted. First, he wrote that his karate has nothing to do with tournament contests. Second, he wrote that his karate has nothing to do with commercialism. I write “his karate” because I don't want to generalize. If you want to compare these two points with the modern situation, you are able to make conclusions about what happened to Shōtōkan.

    By the way, I don’t consider myself a “resident expert”; I am simply sharing a little information …

    Regards,

    Henning Wittwer

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  14. #27
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    To a couple of Shoto123's points.
    I remember at least once Isao Kise Sensei saying to a mixed Japanese, Okinawan and American class "Tomorrow kata bunkai"> This was 86-87 but I don't know if he used the word bunkai for the American's benefit or was using it for the Japanese speakers.

    I know I read an English language artice where it stated that G. Funakoshi left a class abruptly because he did not approve of free sparring, but without being able to find the article again it is hard to tell how authoritative it was.

    Lastly I generally agree with Shoto 123's points about kiba dachi and would added that even at a 90 angle it isn't great for fighting. My Kyokushinkai teacher said if someone faced you that way you could easily beat the daylights out of his leg with gedan mawashi geri (round house kicks to the legs like Muay Thai).
    Len McCoy

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