Styles of Karate.

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Andy Murray, Jul 11, 2002.

  1. RedDragon

    RedDragon New Member

    Most karate styles do not COME from Kung fu, but kung fu has lent to some of the techniques used in Karate.
  2. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    Main differences between Chinese styles (which is all kung fu means) and Karate:
    Lower stance
    More emphasis on attack
    Less acrobatic, more practical
    Or so I'm told.
  3. SoKKlab

    SoKKlab The Cwtch of Death!

    There's hundreds if not thousands of styles of Chinese Boxing (Kung Fu), so it becomes a bit of minefield when trying to sum up differences between it and Karate, because many Chinese systems are totally different from each other, in their feel, look, intention and use.

    What may be more appropriate is a direct comparison between the (mainly) Hokkien styles of Chinese Boxing that Karate comes from, Ie: Ng Cho Kun (5 Ancestors), White Crane, Go Ro Kun etc and the Karate that comes from them (Goju, Uechi etc).

    Example the Sanchin Kata in Goju-ryu and the Sanchin Form in Ng Chor Kun (5 Ancestors), as detailed in Alex Co's Book and videos on 5 Ancestors. The two are virtually the same, except the 5 Ancestors Sanchin is smaller in its movements. The book itself should be given a thorough going through by all Goju-ryu stylists.

    Most Chinese systems are immensely practical. The ones that are not, tend to be either modern inventions developed as Sport (Most of the Modern Wu-shu forms) or systems that have now become so flowery in their teaching and form, that they have lost touch with the reality of combat.

    An example of a Practical style is:
    Pak Mei (White Eyebrow) is bone-crunchingly practical, it's a close range full-on system, it just takes quite a while to learn it's true essence, because they have a certain way of breathing which aids power release in their strikes which is very different from the norm.

    The body is used as a Bellows to hit with amplified power through specialised breathing that is different to the Sanchin forms. Once learnt, practitioners can develop massively powerful strikes that ring you like a bell, from the inside out.
  4. bishu-ronin

    bishu-ronin New Member

    did everyone seem to forget uechi-ryu?

    btw- thomas vince- the money- i dont agree with that
  5. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Member

    Actually they do.

    Many of the kata are Chinese in origin.

    Miyagi, Goju ryu's founder studied in China, as did his instructor.
  6. SoKKlab

    SoKKlab The Cwtch of Death!

    Originally posted by RedDragon
    Most karate styles do not COME from Kung fu, but kung fu has lent to some of the techniques used in Karate.
    I can't believe that still in these days of enlightenment, some Karateka are still falling foul to these Instructor-led myths.

    (In)famous Goju-Kai Karateka Steve Morris did major research into Okinawan Karates origins in China and what particular styles Karate had appropriated techniques, Katas etc from. In order to develop his version of Toudi-Kempo.

    Now sadly defunct quality Martial Arts magazine Fighting Arts International ran many many articles about Karates Chinese origins.

    As mentioned in my above post: The main Hokkien Chinese systems that Karate assimilated techniques, katas and much much more from are Ng Cho Kun (5 Ancestors), Go Ro Kun (Hard/ Soft Style-see the connection?) and White Crane.

    There was also a massive amount of raw technique transmitted prior to these specific systems being assimiliated, directly from China to Okinawa by family settlement, trade, Political Missions etc

    Okinawa paid a monetary tribute to China for many years before it was invaded by Japan and the close historical links between Okinawa and China, particularly Hokkien province, ensured that major amounts of Chinese culture, traditions etc were assimilated by the Okinawan people.

    To suggest otherwise, is to do a major disservice to both the Chinese and the Okinawans and to continue to perpetuate the Japanese lie that was at the heart of Karate. It's wasn't called China hand for nothing, you know...
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2003
  7. Goju

    Goju Yellow Belt

    There are like over 50 styles of karate (many of which are very close too facing extinction) , Earliest forms of karate came from "ti" a form of chinese boxing and when it "okinawanized" it was first known as tode, I suggest the book "Okinawan Karate, styles and secret techniques, revised version"
  8. Mike Flanagan

    Mike Flanagan Valued Member

    As SoKKlab points out, there are still many unjustifiable myths floating about regarding the origins of karate. But there are some undisputable facts, which anyone who actually takes the time to look through the available literature can confirm for themselves.

    1. Most modern Karate developed from the Japanese Karate of the 1930's through to 1950's.
    2. Japanese Karate was developed from the Okinawan martial traditions of the late 19th and early 20th century.
    3. Nowadays some of the karate taught in Okinawa owes more to the Japanese rather than the Okinawan versions of the art.
    4. Okinawan martial traditions of the 19th century and earlier were influenced heavily by Chinese martial arts.

    Further it seems likely that Chinese martial arts had a significant influence over the Okinawan traditions for several hundred years at least. Some Okinawan authorities consider this impact to have been particularly heavy in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    It is also likely that Japanese arts have also had some influence. This may have begun as early as the 12th century according to some sources. There are also (unconfirmed) reports of 19th century Okinawan martial artists studying Japanese arts.

    So it seems that the Okinawan arts were influenced both by China and Japan, not just once or twice but many times over the last thousand years. Add to this the Okinawans' own creativity and you find that there is not just one 'karate' but many different Okinawan martial traditions each having a vast array of different influences which cannot easily be separated from one another.

  9. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    I kicked this thread off initially, because naively, I was interested in how something so seemingly rigid and linear as Karate could be derived from the fluid graceful movements I treasure in the CMA.

    I see now that it wasn't all a one way flow, and that Karate isn't all as straight forward as the Shuko Kai and Shotokan that I'd experienced.

    Anyone care to comment on the comparison between San Chin and Siu Nim Tao?
  10. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    You'd be better off comparing Sanchin's big brother - Tensho, with the Wing Chun form.
  11. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    Fire away.

    I just saw some similarities, and wondered where it all came from.



  12. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    I'll show you next time your here Andy :D

    Think of Tensho as an open handed Sanchin - complete with hand positions and wrist movements very similar to SLT's Tan-sao / Fook-sau / wu-sau roll.
  13. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    That's what I've seen then, but where did it come from?

    Some Okinawan seeing Wing chun or some Chinese guy seeing Tensho?

    What application is known for Tensho, as there's millions for the first WC form?
  14. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    Tensho was made by Chojun Miyagi in the 1940's containing much of the original open hand form of Sanchin and some ideas he'd read about in the bubishi text.

    As for applications - it's been 16 years - I can't remember :D
  15. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    Ah, the man who forgot more than most people know. :D

    Still, it's the history I'm interested in. Where did it come from........China or Japan?
  16. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    Chojun Miyagi was Okinawan - he was a student of the father of Goju Ryu Karate - Kanryo Higaonna.

    Kanryo Higaonna studied his native arts and also travelled and trained in China.
  17. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    So he could have learned it in Hokkien, or perhaps not?

    Need some research time on this one, unless anyone has a shortcut?
  18. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

  19. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    Seem to be many date anomalies with my own reference material.

    This'll take some time.

    Thanks for the links Yoda.
  20. paul paterson

    paul paterson Valued Member


    Sanchin Kata;
    This kata is the oldest kata in karate-do. Loosely sanchin means "three points", "three phases", or "three battles".

    Tensho Kata;
    This means "rolling hands" or "fluid hand" it has similar conitations to that of Sanchin's three points, again this too is an old kata and not from the war period. Take note that Tensho just like Sanchin did have open hand and fist virations, think on the line of Wing-Chun and then you will see what I mean both in method and history.

    There has been much debate about the origins of karate and the Okinawa people.

    The Japanese were the first to see the military importance Okinawa, they passed it and sometimes would enter the town of Naha due to its good anchorage. These contacts and those made by the Chinese led to the steady flow and sophistication of the Okinawan people. In the late 13th century Buddhism was introduced from Japan. Okinawa had become divided into three kingdoms that were at war with each other by 1340 and a decade later the largest kingdom entered into a formal relationship with China which was confirmed by the Chinese Emperor in 1372.

    Around the year 1470 the collapse of the Sho Dynasty had gave rise to a political upset. Seven years later the new Sho Dynasty was started and the new king called Sho Shin had to deal with the rebellious war lords. One of the first things the new king did was to ban the carraying of swords and other weapons, these were placed in the castle in Shuri.

    The Okinawan tradition of "te" - the martial way of the hand, is known but in fairness the true records of such were destroyed during WW2 thus the main and only way of research has been way of mouth through the fathers and sons of the masters. Karate as we know it today, is a product of a synthesis that took place in the 18th century between the native Okinawan art of "te" and the Chinese art of "Shaolin Temple Boxing" as well as the many other arts of the Southern "way" of Fukien Provence. "Te" is thought to be at least 1000 years old, those Okinawans of that time were not rich but were farmers, weapons were hard to come by and self-defence was a way that was drilled into them. By the 15th century the Okinawans were well travelled and began to see many styles of other fighting arts and then began to mix with their own. Okinawa's own style, however, is unique, and foreign influences have always been modified to conform with Okinawan fighting ways. Chief among them is the use of the hand (te) and that of the closed fist.

    When the king, Sho Shin, disarmed the nobles and gathered them into the castle of Shuri, it is belived that two movements were born. On one hand the nobles sought out and learned as well as develop the way of "te". On the other hand you had the poor, farmers and fishermen who began to develop the art of "Ryukyu" and "bujutsu" thus the flail, sickles and boat paddles came to be used.

    The first recorded show of Chinese martial arts in Okinawa took place in 1761 and by the 19th century the art of "te" was changed to "T ang-te" or Chinese hand.

    Paul Paterson.

    ps. the Bubishi's only non-oriental holder is that of Sensei Chris Clifford.

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