"The Author, it must be remembered, writes from his own standpoint!"
My personal "Interpretive" Lens!
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"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider..." - Francis Bacon
Warning, Caveat and Note: The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books.
Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.
Why do we have to learn empty hand before weapons in karate?
This particular discussion has gone on for the entire span of martial arts in America. Everyone has their opinions with both the pro's and the con's which from my perspective is just an opinion - nothing more, nothing less.
So, how would I answer that from my system+viewpoint? I feel that karate and kobudo, although combined in most karate dojo, are totally and completely separate systems. Kobudo stands on its own merits. Karate stands on its own merits.
I also believe it depends on the goals of the practitioner. If their interest is in the Asian weapons systems then kobudo all by itself is perfectly doable and acceptable. The same goes for an interest in empty hand systems. Personally, I prefer leaning all and as much as I can of empty hand in my system with familiarity in others which comes at a mid point in training and practice of my system. The fundamental principles of martial systems transcends this differentiation yet it takes a good while to achieve proficiency in one discipline for principles than to create possible confusion by trying to learn and apply principles in two distinct/separate systems like karate and kobudo.
Lastly, I believe if your practice is for self-protection, not sport, then weapons serve no real purpose because to use them in a self-protection or self-defense situation is considered aggressive and fighting which is "illegal." Even karate traditional if not applied according to the laws, beliefs, and customs of a particular society can be viewed in the same light. It matters.
As to the statement that kobudo either does or does not enhance your empty hand ability is also up for debate and for me I feel it is poppy kosh. It can feel different especially in the beginning yet I feel once that initial feeling passes it is a moot point. Last, if your mind and body can differentiate and learn two systems at one time adequately then go for it, otherwise, make a decision which you want. Stick to that decision until you feel confident, you not someone else, you can move on.
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