Karate originated on the island of Okinawa, yet most people think that Japanese Karate is the source of the art. The reason for this is that Japan was better known that Okinawa. Thus, most people just believe that Japan is the heart of the art.
The fact of the matter is that Japan has contributed greatly, but there are a few problems arisen because of that help. Things have happened to Karate that actually restrict an individual’s search for artistic expression. This piece of writing will go into that area.
The person most responsible for pushing Karate into the modern world is Gichin Funakoshi. In his writings one notes that he discourages Karate for competition. Unfortunately, this advice was not adhered to, and Karate became slanted for the tournament win.
Mind you, there is nothing wrong with the idea of testing oneself, but when the goal becomes win at any cost, got to get that gold, got to beat the other guy down, the art becomes skewed badly. The sport desire to destroy another human being goes against the more artistic desire to control oneself and discover one’s worth. Thus, Karate stops working as Art, and becomes human cockfighting.
The problem, sabung ayam online to be truthful, came about because Funakoshi was teaching college students. These students, young and proud, translated the art into their youthful excesses, and put aside the development of character as the prime purpose of the art. Thus, tournaments waxed, students became enthralled with brutality, and there was even one instance of a student being killed for not wishing to go down this dark path.
Because of this lust for power there was also a degradation of art. To this day a karate point won’t be awarded when in kumite unless the student charges in with a front stance. If one analyzes the Chinese arts from which the Japanese came, however, one will see that the front stance is an over commitment, and that the true fighting stance is usually the more balanced back stance.
When fighting from a balanced back stance one can use all weapons and still retain the ability to shuffle to the rear and out of the fray. To be able to stand apart from the action encourages the student to take a more balanced viewpoint to the fact of even engaging in combat. One observation of this author is that when students are trained in the back stance as the major stance of Karate, they become less aggressive and more understanding.
Funakoshi seems to have understood this point. He stated that he didn’t even recognize that Karate that was being taught, that it was drastically altered from the martial art which he had first learned. Also, his official paraphernalia, the chops and certificates and what have you, were not passed down to Shotokan Karate (his ‘official’ organization) upon his death, but rather were handed to the rather more gentle style of Karate called Shotokai.
Whether you have been influenced by the power pushing Japanese styles doesn’t matter in the long run. What matters is that you practice your art, and you seek personal balance. Thus, Japanese Karate can return to a more true style of Martial Arts.
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