Talk the Talk

When Sensei Gichin Funakoshi took karate to Japan in the 1920s with the intention of spreading the practice of the art, he changed much of the terminology including many of the names of the kata from Okinawan words to Japanese.

He did this because many of the original words and names had Chinese origins and as there had been a long history of animosity between China and Japan, he felt the new terminology would make karate more acceptable to the countrymen of his new adopted home.

While many of the new names introduced by Sensei Funakoshi took hold, some did not; the reason for this seems to be down to pure chance.

Walk the Walk

Seen by many as the very essence of karate, when practicing a kata one should always imaging using the moves to defend against a number of opponents or it becomes more akin to a dance than an aid to learning self-defence.

When possible, applications of the techniques within the kata should also be practiced with other karateka so that the execution of the moves becomes automatic should they ever be needed.

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Karate History Fact

As with many aspects of studying the past, distinguishing between karate historical fact and martial arts legend is very difficult when it comes to looking into the history of the Shotokan kata.

This is because unfortunately, the old Okinawan karate masters who handed down many of the early versions of these forms did not keep written records as the art was illegal and therefore practiced in secret.

Even well into the 20th century, we often have to rely on oral history or documentation that used oral history as its sources, meaning that much of the information we have on the Shotokan kata is hotly debated or largely speculation.
 

 The History of the Shotokan Kata – Part Two

 More Karate History

 Fighting Systems


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