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Thread: Discuss kata and point-fighting

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    Default Discuss kata and point-fighting

    As this forum's description for "Traditional Karate", it has: "Discuss kata and point-fighting". Curious choice of words.

    Is point-fighting 'traditional' ? I've never read of Karate point-sparring pre-WWII. I've seen pictures of Mabuni and others experimenting with protective gear, but the tournament scene doesn't seem to come into the picture until maybe late 1950's.

    also, is there a relationship between kata and point-fighting? I usually think of the two as being at very different ranges.

    not nit-picking...well, ok...I guess I am.

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    You mean Matsumura didn't have point fighting tournaments at the Shuri castle? Wasn't that the way they took care of problems, met on the mat? They didn't have the Internet to remove them from danger while they stabbed the opponent in the back, like they do now, lol. (Not meant for anyone in particular, but if the shoe fits)

    Come on, Ed. No one wants anything true in Karate anymore.
    The People formerly known as Paul Hart

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    did someone stab you in the back Paul?

    on topic: words like 'real' and 'true' can get you into trouble. for instance, one person might consider belts and rank as traditional and therefore 'real karate'...whereas another person might point out since Matsumura didn't use rank, then rank is probably not needed in order for your Te to be real.

    I was just pointing out that even the word 'Traditional' changes in time. Just think, in 25 years, XMA will be 'traditional'.

    whereas my image of 'traditional' karate is generally one that doesn't engage in the sport aspect. so 'kata' and 'point spar' seemed an odd criteria to describe 'traditional'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed_morris
    Just think, in 25 years, XMA will be 'traditional'.
    Heaven forbid .....
    Prince Loeffler
    Shugyokan Dojo

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    Not that I can feel Ed, but some of the people I have met through the net make it so I check on a daily basis. Of course that is the magic of the net, you can get it in the back and never know it, because a lot of times the people who do it hide on closed boards that they control. Once again, not speaking to anyone in particular, but if the shoe fits....

    BTW, thanks for starting a great thread. I will be dead by the time XMA becomes traditional. I have it fading out soon anyway.
    The People formerly known as Paul Hart

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    Default Traditional?

    As already mentioned "traditional" can have many meanings to many people. In an article I read not to long ago it was defined as a fighting system from Okinawa that has small groups of people being taught individualistic techniques, had no ranking or uniform, and did not participate in "sport" competition. That sounds like pre-war karate.
    The point sparring was designed to give "hot blooded young men" a way to work off some of their energy in a "safe" enviroment while instilling a desire to improve their abilities. Did it? Yeah. But it also started the de-evolution of karate into the slap/tag, dog at a fire hydrant fighting position that "modern" point fighting has become. With all the associated boorish pro athlete antics.
    At this point in Okinawa there are those masters who are looking at starting to call what they teach "tode" rather than "karate" to distinquish it from the "traditional karate" with a sport fighting emphasis.

    Duane Wolfe
    Traditionalist
    Duane Wolfe

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    well Paul, the only thing I can say is, if you've got a problem with someone, then you need to be direct and ask them "whats up widdat?", as oppossed to writing vague notions of feelings you've been wronged in open discussion.

    so, I'll be direct for you: by using the phrase "if the shoe fits" to me, not once but twice, I can't help but get the impression you are directing towards me. You need to explain that. how you choose to is up to you. PM, or right here as a further off-topic.


    on topic: I've also heard the definition of traditional as simply - passing along what you are taught.

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    No Ed, not you. Just have a lot on my mind and am tired of dealing with people who will not allow you to tell them by hiding. A lot of people, even some who are not members read these posts. You and I have never had that problem. So what is the fix for the quandry of Martial Arts becoming "traditional" I wonder. It use to be that if your style wasn't any good it would die out because when used people would see that, or worse, it would be executed out over time. No hopes of that today unfortunatly. Think I am going back to not posting, to much on my mind.
    The People formerly known as Paul Hart

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    As an aside, you know I am always open to talk or exchange techniques with anyone. My number is 253-653-2780 for anyone that wants to converse in whatever way. I will leave it there.

    So what to do about bad Martial Arts becoming the norm? Seems it is already on the way. A lot of what I have seen passed as traditional is poor today. I am gone!
    The People formerly known as Paul Hart

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    My instructor started his training in 1965 under an Oknawan practitioner. He went to the school to join Judo but after seeing the adult Karate students sparring in Kendo Armor he was hooked. He continued the practice of having us spar in kendo armor occasionally. I always get a not in my stomach when he says "the rules are there are no rules." He tells us this is what was lost from Karate after WWII.
    Chris McLean
    Martial Arts student

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed_morris
    As this forum's description for "Traditional Karate", it has: "Discuss kata and point-fighting". Curious choice of words.

    Is point-fighting 'traditional' ? I've never read of Karate point-sparring pre-WWII. I've seen pictures of Mabuni and others experimenting with protective gear, but the tournament scene doesn't seem to come into the picture until maybe late 1950's.
    My understanding is that modern budo arts are referred to as 'traditional arts'. (Sure, less traditional than classical budo or bujutsu or okinawan karate, but traditional in the sense that modern budo has a long and rich history - unlike modern sporting variations of karate).

    And it's certainly typical to have competition in modern budo arts - for example, kendo, judo, karate. As far as I know, all of these traditional modern budo arts use some kind of controlled fighting technique so as to avoid injury. In fact, I understand that the motivation for the development of modern budo arts was dissatisfaction with classical budo and the lack of opportunity to 'test' skills against an opponent.

    Now the goal in modern budo contests is to score points rather than win by killing, injuring or KO'ing your opponent. So points sparring is a fair description. I don't see how you could do it any other way given that the goal is to take your opponent out with a "single killing blow". You tell me one sport that allows you to try and kill your opponent (now I'm not suggesting that traditional karateka are capable of killing with a single blow, but that's the mindset that is fostered - it's an important concept in traditional karate).

    I think you can certainly make a distinction between the nature of the points fighting in traditional arts and pure sporting arts. But the fact remains that if you aren't out to KO or injure your opponent then you're engaging in point-sparring.

    Unless of course you stick to pre-arranged routines, in which case it's not even sparring. It's a display or drill. And that's exactly what the critics of classical budo wanted to get away from!

    I would definately say that points sparring is part of traditional karate (i.e. modern budo).


    Quote Originally Posted by Ed_morris
    also, is there a relationship between kata and point-fighting? I usually think of the two as being at very different ranges.

    not nit-picking...well, ok...I guess I am.
    I don't think it's nit-picking.

    But I don't agree with your point. In traditional karate (i.e. JKA/ITKF) you don't really have bunkai (not traditionally anyway) - so there aren't really close range techniques in kata. Kata is just the form - perhaps the display side of karate (I know people hate you to say that, but I really think it's true). The short range techniques AREN'T extracted from the kata and practiced with an opponent (not formally anyway - it's not part of your typical traditional karate syllabus which indicates to me that it's not considered a core part of the style). I know that bunkai has been introdcued into ITKF competition in recent years, but it's very much 'display bunkai'. Bunkai tends not to appear in the syllabus of most traditional karate organisations (except perhaps a quick reference to 'demonstrating an application' for a particular kata at 5th Dan level! - certainly that's the only reference to it in my syllabus).

    There's been a recent trend towards 'borrowing' bunkai from Okinawan karate and cobbling it on to Traditional Japanese Karate. But it doesn't really fit in my opinion. Okinawan karate is kata centric self-defence - Traditional Japanese karate is kihon centric self-improvement. Two very different arts.
    Susan Westlake

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    http://www.okinawabbtv.com/internati...ate/index.html

    I believe in the Symposium, one of the Sensei's actually discusses the difference between Traditional Karate and Modern Day Karate.


    - Harley Martin

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    You see, I think this is what causes the confusion. Different types of Traditional Karate!

    The link you've posted refers to Traditional OKINAWAN Karate. Now certainly that's traditional (a different martial art, but traditional all the same). This section of the forum is entitled Gendai Budo

    Okinawan Karate is not a Gendai Budo (modern budo) art. The phrase "Discuss kata and point-fighting" was specifically referring to the Japanese modern budo art "Karate-do".

    And sport (the point-sparring variety) is certainly traditional in the Japanese modern budo art called karate-do. In fact, sport is one of the key features that distinguished modern budo from classical budo. It was apparantly felt (by some) that reliance on repetition and kata made the classical budo arts too tame. It was thought that introducing combat in the form of sport would recapture at least some of the 'ruggedness' of combat.

    I think the thing that separates traditional karate-do from modern varieties is the importance placed upon sport. In traditional karate-do the goal is self-improvement through hard training. Competing (formally or informally) is part of that hard training - merely the vehicle. In modern sport karate competing is the goal.

    Okinawan karate is something different again. A different tradition.
    Susan Westlake

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    I don't see what is so far off from what they have to say considering they are masters at their respective Arts. And funny enough, what they say isn't too far away from what you've said in your original post before mine. In-fact they say something similar in your recent post as well.

    Instead of automatically condemning it, you should actually watch the video.

    -Harley Martin

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    I didn't condemn it - automatically or otherwise.

    I agree that they pretty much said the same thing as me (that Traditional Okinawan Karate is different from Traditional Japanese Karate and that Traditional Japanese karate places far more emphasis on sport).

    To clarify...

    I think Traditional Okinawan Karate is very different from Traditional Japanese Karate. Traditional Japanese Karate places far more emphasis on sport.

    In the context of this thread (on the Gendai Budo board) 'Traditional Karate' refers to karate-do (the Japanese Modern Budo art). It's fair to say that points sparring is part of Traditional Japanese Karate.

    My Conclusion: The link you posted supports what I said in my post. Thank you I'm sorry you thought I was condeming it. I wasn't. I was agreeing with it and simply pointing out that a lot of the confusion is caused by people not realising that Traditional Okinawan Karate (which doesn't have a sporting element) and Traditional Japanese Karate (which typically does) are entirely different arts with completely different goals, structures and teaching methodologies.
    Susan Westlake

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