"The Author, it must be remembered, writes from his own standpoint!"
My personal "Interpretive" Lens!
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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 are some styles "hard" and some "soft" and some "?"?
Systems, there is actually only one system of karate once referred to by the Okinawans as "Ti (pronounced tea)." It is the Okinawan dialect for Te or hand. It was also called Tou-di (not sure of correct English spelling). Touda maybe. Anyway, it was a indigenous fighting system that later became influenced by the Chinese systems of empty hand and weapons training.
The styles came into being when individuals began making Ti there own unique practice which is correct. Then they actually wanted to differentiate between one and the other so they named them after the three main villages, i.e. Shuri-ti, Tomari-ti and Naha-ti, as we know it here in the west. Then as the styles began to grow they branched off from these three main styles into Goju-ryu, Shorin-ryu and Uechi-ryu and so forth. Isshinryu was named and practiced officially in the mid to late fifties and is considered a branch of Shorin-ryu.
In my mind I often call the branches styles. I say that the system is Ti or Te and the styles are Goju, Shorin, etc. and branches are those practices considered children of the main styles, i.e. Isshinryu a branch of Shorin-ryu.
In my mind Isshinryu is actually a branch of both Shorin-ryu and Goju-ryu, i.e. the two most influential styles resulting in its creation. I agree that Shorin-ryu had the greatest influences on Isshinryu as evidenced by its greater status as to kata inclusion in the Isshinryu branch.
It gets convoluted because you can call any or all of them systems of those individuals who caused their creation and styles of karate as well as a branch of the indigenous system of Ti for Okinawa. Fun isn't it?
Now, this should answer why some are hard and some soft, a matter of personal preferences of the creator of the system, style or branch of karate where my practice of Isshinryu actually works the mean of hard and soft, and equilibrium or balance of both which is as it should be for all martial arts but that is another post/story.
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