bruce lee's view on karate

Discussion in 'Karate' started by mani, Jun 27, 2003.

  1. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    You'll find the kanazawa thing is also in the beginner's guide. I didn't spend money on this book.
  2. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    Kanazawa's book is pretty good actually - if you like that sort of thing.

    On a side note: I make a note of when I buy my books - I bought both these in 1987.
  3. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    I was really talking about the beginner's guide, which I think is responsible for instilling a wide variety of guff into the sport.
  4. SoKKlab

    SoKKlab The Cwtch of Death!

    Seems to me, that the Okinawan Karate like Goju-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu etc, stick very close to their Chinese Ancestor styles, such as White Crane, Ng Cho Kun (Five Ancestors), Pak Mei (?) etc and are therefore pragmatic and a good solid basis for Self-Protection. It would also seem to me, that alot of the Japanese styles lost something in translation from their Okinawan chums and have gotten a lot bigger in their movements and have perhaps diluted their purpose during their development. I guess that if you could find a good school and a system that was suitable for your needs, then certain systems of Karate are well worth doing. I don't practice Karate, but if I didn't do what I do, then I'd definitely consider Goju-Ryu or something similar.
  5. Master J

    Master J Guest

    yoda, karate is extremely effective. I've fought against a good few people just using my karate, and won.

    Anyway, what do YOU do?
  6. mani

    mani Valued Member

    Thats right Master J!!

    Karate is extremely effective if known how to be used.
    A lot of people blame the art, when they should be blaming themeselves.
  7. stump

    stump Supersub

    <<<Karate is extremely effective if known how to be used.
    A lot of people blame the art, when they should be blaming themeselves.>>>

    Oh God, this again!
  8. stump

    stump Supersub

    If karate works for you ...fine.

    If you're looking for an art for self defence there are far better arts out there
  9. pgm316

    pgm316 lifting metal

    I feel like agreeing just for sake of a good argument :D

    Karate, like many TMA can easily be critised, their weaknesses will show up quite easily under certain fighting conditions, IF you don't make sure your competent in all areas of MA's.

    ps The Gracies did a good job with Judo, maybe they'll sort out Karate next! :D
  10. SoKKlab

    SoKKlab The Cwtch of Death!

    Gracie Karate-Lying down on the job?
  11. stump

    stump Supersub

    So what would it take to make karate an efficient martial art again?


    karate teaches in two tiers.......THIS is how you do it as a beginner (long stances, punching to centre of chestetc etc, ) and this is how you do it after 10 years training (normal upright stance, punching to somewhere there's a chance you'll hurt them).

    Lose the Gi's and train in runners.

    Incorporate real grappling (not the "its deep in the katas" stuff) into the syllabus and work locks and throws from the clinch.

    replace antiquated exercises with modern weights and proper CV training.

    these in my opinion would make karate a much better art. Before I get flamed I'm actually trying to be constructive. But just cos I post on forums doesn't mean I know what I'm talking about :)
  12. smee193

    smee193 New Member

    I suppose as with anything!

    You get out what you put in! im certain given the right moment and circumstances Karate can be devastating then also given a different set of circumstances it would be unusable!
    I would guess thats pretty much the same for all styles of martial arts!

    I believe training gives you the fortitude not to lose your cool in a fight! also the speed and stamina! I would also say that learning athletics could also be considered a martial art a man cant fight you if he cant bloody well catch you!

    All styles have merits! lets hope we never have to use them in a real life or death situation..

  13. Melanie

    Melanie Bend the rules somewhat.. Supporter

    This brings to mind Simon and Garfunkels "Bridge over Troubled Water".

    Humms stupidly and inanely....

    :) ;)
  14. Cain

    Cain New Member


  15. pgm316

    pgm316 lifting metal

    I'd hope Karate was a bit more usefull in a fight than athletics.

    Sure theres many things MA's teaches you, but the primary goal is to fight, no good being a confident fighter with a kicked ****.

    I don't think BL only meant to criticise Karate but picked that because it was a good example and most mainstream. I feel I've had to cross train to remove the same weaknesses from my Kung Fu training!
  16. Dan Anderson

    Dan Anderson New Member

    If you can find the original interviews with Bruce Lee in Black Belt magazine, you'll find he was criticizing classical kung fu and not karate. In a follow up article where he answered letters from irate fans, he stated he was talking about kung fu. Inadvertantly he was blasting karate as karate used the same type of training back in 1967 when the original article was written.

    Dan Anderson
  17. mani

    mani Valued Member

    Thanks Dan Anderson for some useful information on Bruce Lee's views.

    I remember seeing one of Bruce lee's programmes, where he is asked by someone - what is the difference between a Kung Fu punch and a Karate punch?

    bruce answers by saying something like this - a Karate punch is like a iron bar WHACK!! but a Kung Fu punch is a ball tied to a rope WHONG!! and does more internal damage.

    Does Bruce mean by this that Karate is broken and has no fluidty and is like a iron robot.
  18. stump

    stump Supersub

    Personally I think the Iron bar would do more damage.....:)
  19. mani

    mani Valued Member

    NO the iron bar would not do more damage. The ball tied on to a rope which do more internal damage and cause more serious injuries.
  20. Mike Flanagan

    Mike Flanagan Valued Member

    I'm coming in a bit late on this thread, but I'll see if I can catch up. Some of you probably know my views on this subject anyway.

    As a practitioner of karate I couldn't agree more that karate is stilted and 'broken', ie. not fluid. Or at least most styles of karate are. And then we get onto the subject of whether karate is any good for self-defence. Both things are inter-related.

    What is the purpose of karate? Well, most karate practiced in the world today is descended from (or at least heavily influenced by) that taught by Gichin Funakoshi in Japan in the 1920's and 30's. What did Funakoshi consider the aim of karate to be? He was quite clear that it was not about fighting, but about cultivation of mind and body - self-improvement using austere physical training. He simplified many of the movements and changed much about karate. This is the time when, I believe, karate became more stilted and certainly less effective as a self-defence tool. This was part of the process of it changing from a 'jutsu' art to a 'do' art.

    This is not to say that karate cannot be used for self-defence. But for all the karate descended from Funakoshi's teachings, self-defence was not its primary purpose. It is not the best tool for the job.

    Contrast this to Okinawan karate, which is generally more fluid and generally more oriented to practical self-defence. Even Kanazawa Sensei, one of the icons of Japanese karate, considers Okinawan karate more practical (I don't have the reference to the particular book which mentions this but I can get hold of it if any unbelieving soul asks me to).

    I remember training with some Kung Fu guys once who could not believe that I study karate rather than kung fu. My movements were too fluid to be karate as they recognised it.

    The stilted movements of most modern karate systems are well suited to the ritualised and stylised long-range combat used in competition. They are blatantly not well suited to the realities of up close no rules violent confrontation. I take my hat off to anyone who has made the techniques of modern karate work in that environment.

    Of course, there will be people who read this and say 'but my karate's not like that'. Fair enough, there is some karate from the Japanese source that has since become more 'jitsu' orientated and some from Okinawa that has become more 'do-ified'.

    Modern Japanese Karate is to old style Okinawan Karate what Kendo is to Ken-jutsu, and what Judo is to old style Ju-jitsu. The founders of modern karate quite clearly had this as their goal.

    So maybe Bruce was right to be critical, depending on what he wanted out of a martial art.


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