Discussion in 'Karate' started by Kobudo, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. Kobudo

    Kobudo Valued Member

    I probably need some correction in my understanding of the development of Karate as its not something I've really looked at beyond the surface, but I have a question I'm hoping some of the guys on here can answer;

    My understanding is that Karate developed in the common castes as an unarmed system due to the laws against non samurai carrying weapons.

    How is it then, that the katana ended up being a weapon used by Karateka? How does this fit into the history of the systems? Can anyone shed any light?
  2. bassai

    bassai onwards and upwards ! Moderator Supporter

    Because it looks "cool" , no other real reason.
    There's no connection between traditional Karate and swords.
  3. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    The answer is that it is not a weapon used by karateka per se, rather that there are Karateka who were proficient in its use (Funakoshi's teacher Azato and Matsumura for example). For all the talk of Karate's origins being amongst the lowest castes, a fair number of the famous late 19th early 20th century karateka did not fit into that category.

    In more modern times the Katana has, to an extent, become a symbol of Japanese martial arts and the related mindsets. This, combined with the use of the katana by some Japanese instructors, has led to the association.
  4. Count Duckula

    Count Duckula Valued Member

    Katana have a smuch to do with karate as dancing bananas with formula1 driving. But it is perfectly possible for a karateka to also study kenjutsu or iaido.
  5. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    It's not, as far as I know.

    I don't know of any traditional karate schools that have the sword as part of their syllabus.
  6. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    That's pretty much it.^^ My dojo (traditional dojo and member of the International ****o-Ryu Federation) teaches sword (I'm learning iaito at the moment) as a compliment to the karate. It's also not much more expensive than just taking karate, so why not? :D
  7. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member


    The initial equipment lay out for something like iai can be considerable.
  8. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    I meant the cost of the class. I get all classes on the schedule in karate, sword, and kobudo for 140/month USD. But I was able to get a quality iaido, hakama, and obi on the cheap by searching the interwebz. (My shihan was impressed with the quality) :cool:
  9. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Authors per Mark Bishop and Patrick McCarthy have some good reads

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