"The Author, it must be remembered, writes from his own standpoint!"
My personal "Interpretive" Lens!

Do You Have A Question?

If you have a question not covered in this blog feel free to send it to me at my email address, i.e. "snow" dot here "covered" dot here "bamboo" AT symbol here "gmail" dot here "com"

"One thing has always been true: That book ... or ... that person who can give me an idea or a new slant on an old idea is my friend." - Louis L'Amour

"Ideally, your self-defense will never get physical. Avoiding the situation and running or talking you way out - either of these is a higher order of strategy than winning a physical battle." - Wise Words of Rory Miller, Facing Violence: Chapter 7: after, subparagraph 7.1:medical

"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.

Reader's of this Blog

Search This Blog

What are the differences between Okinawan karate and Japanese Karate?

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

“Okinawan Karate Vs. Japanese Karate. The differences and why … “ is the original question asked by Charles B. Stanley on the Ryukyu MA Research and Discussion Facebook group. It inspired this article.

These are my thoughts and mine alone. If you wish to see the research behind it simply review my bibliography but understand that those contributed to my personal feelings in this article.

First, understand the differences between the cultures because that is the very essence in the differences between Okinawa and Japan. In a nutshell the Okinawan culture is similar to Japanese only in the sense they both sought out and absorbed what they felt was beneficial to them from all the surrounding cultures over their history. You can say that the Chinese influences were one of the greatest for both but more so for Okinawa as can be understood by the study of Okinawan history.

Second, what was absorbed by each differed. In general the Okinawans although part of their culture involved militaristic philosophies and disciplines that took a back seat to other more socially and philosophically and peaceful oriented cultural influences. In general the Japanese focuses heavily on their militaristic oriented (think of bushido and samurai here) influences of which the concept of “Shikata” dominate even today. 

Third, when I look at Japanese culture in martial arts vs. Okinawan culture in martial arts - at least in what was taught late 1950’s and onward - I see differences such as Okinawans using sparring/fighting contests vs. an almost exclusive use of kata, forms that come from the shikata concepts in their society, as a means of learning how to defend, fight and apply combatives. There was also a much higher military like discipline in the practice hall in Japan vs. Okinawa where a very relaxed family like atmosphere existed. This will be hard to prove historically as well as disprove ergo why it is my theory, view and belief.

The differences have become harder to perceive simply because of the concerted effort by Okinawa to have their martial arts accepted and approved by the Japanese budo-like societies/organizations. Remember that the Japanese orgs changed drastically after the war ended simply because of requirements made by American leadership as a requirement/part of the surrender agreements. 

As to teaching a modified version to the Japanese I think that was a result of the Okinawan need and effort to gain acceptance and approval, nothing more and nothing less. It seems less about what was taught then how it was taught. The focus on kata become dominant vs. applying it in a fight contest and so on. As I stated earlier on in this thread the educational version effected both cultures and since it was driven by strong suggestions from the Japanese government both instances, Japan’s schools and Okinawan schools, the end result was pretty much the same except I would expect the Okinawan teachers to have a certain Okinawan flavor of an influence on their own. This also leads to the possibility that no matter what when said and done the end result was a more homogenous version of karate that encompassed the needs, wants and requirements of both societies making its cultural essence a mixture over either one being a dominant influence. Remember, both Japan and Okinawa have a history of absorbing what they wanted and needed into their way and that way differs between Japan and Okinawa only in general ways as far as I can tell.

In the end, it is not actually a matter of Japan vs. Okinawan karate but the study of the actual fundamental principles of those varying disciplines because in truth that is the real connection between them that levels the playing field. Principles actually transcend any societal cultural belief system since they are all the same since all human physiques, etc., are kind of identical, i.e., we all have blood, we all breathe, we all have a skeletal system and we all have muscular systems, etc. that need alignment, structure, etc. in order to work and in karate apply force and power to achieve our goals in self-defense. 

Bibliography (Click the link)

No comments:

Post a Comment