Founding[ edit ] After formally establishing the Kyokushinkaikan in , Oyama directed the organization through a period of expansion. Oyama would choose an instructor to open a new dojo. The instructor would move to that town and demonstrate his karate skills in public places. After that, word of mouth would spread through the local area until the dojo had a dedicated core of students. All-Japan Championships have been held at every year. The will was proven to be invalid in the family Court of Tokyo in
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The Kata as we know and practice in Kyokushin Karate trace their origin back to the island of Okinawa. Okinawa is one of a chain of islands that are collectively known as the Ryukyu Islands.
Okinawa lies km miles east of mainland China, approximately halfway between China and Japan. The history of this is long and complicated, so I will try to abbreviate as much as possible. If you would like the complete history there are many sources available.
I will probably be adding or editing to this article over time. History During the 11th century, many Japanese warriors fled Japan, because of the Taira-Minamoto wars, and made their way to Okinawa. The bujitsu of the Minamoto samurai had a large influence upon the fighting methods employed by the Okinawan nobles. In the King of Okinawa formed an allegiance with the Chinese and a relationship between the two countries flourished, causing migration and cultural exchange between the two.
The towns of Shuri in the north and Naha in the south were well known trading centres. One of the things brought back to Okinawa was fighting styles picked up during these trips. This gave rise to two major styles from each area respectively. Shuri-te and Naha-te. In the King of Okinawa imposed a ban on the use and ownership of weapons. They were confiscated and the Okinawan Nobles were ordered to live near Shuri.
The Samurai prohibited the use of weapons and eradicated the practise of their local fighting arts. The Okinawans began training in secret with family and a few trusted students. During this time their empty hand developed and they practiced in the use of fighting with farming and fishing tools, which gave rise to the development of Kobudo.
It is also important to understand that the Okinawan fighting systems were closely guarded secrets. Therefore their Kata and its application, or bunkai , became secretive. By affording movement, multiple applications and great amounts of information could be contained in a kata of a manageable length. Deadly techniques were hidden in the Kata movements, which were only understood by a select few. They practised in small groups, or one-on-one with their teacher, and this was how the Ryu school was passed down.
There were no written records or books, so techniques were passed along in Kata, making it difficult therefore to trace their true origin. Many of the kata practised at this time were Chinese in origin, but they would have been influenced by the techniques and concepts collected from fighting traditions originating from other parts, like the Samurai of Japan.
The Okinawans also developed their own kata to record their fighting systems. The only purpose behind a kata at this point in history was to record, like a living encyclopaedia, highly effective and brutal methods of combat, and to provide a training method to help perfect those methods.
In , Japan went from feudalistic society to democracy. During this time the Japanese abandoned many of the aspects of the Okinawan culture that were attached to feudalism. In , during their medical for recruitment into the army, the exceptional physical condition of some karate exponents was noted. As a result, the military enquired as to whether karate could be of use to the Japanese army, as Jujitsu and Kenjitsu had been. This was abandoned due to the disorder of the karate community, the length of time it took to become competent and due to fears that the Japanese troops may use the new found skills in brawls.
Itosu Anko In , Anko Itosu , a teacher and practionor of Shuri-te Northern styles of Karate campaigned successfully to get karate onto the physical education program of an Okinawan elementary school. As it stood, Itosu believed karate to be too dangerous to be taught to children and set about disguising the more dangerous techniques.
As a result of these modifications, the children were taught the kata as mostly blocking and punching. It is also said that Itosu also changed many of the more dangerous strikes taisho, nukite etc.
This enabled the children to gain such benefits as improved health and discipline from their karate practice, without giving them knowledge of the highly effective and dangerous fighting techniques that the kata contain. Itosu was eventually appointed as karate teacher to an Okinawan college, and a few years later he wrote a letter to the education department that outlined his views on karate. In this letter, he asked that karate be introduced into the curriculum of all Okinawan schools.
Itosu was granted his wish and karate became part of the education of all Okinawan children. The emphasis was now placed firmly upon the development of physical fitness through the group practice of kat Karate at Shuri Castle a. The children would receive no instruction in the combative applications associated with the kata and deliberately misleading labels were adopted for the various techniques.
When studying bunkai be sure that the label does not mislead you. However, it now became the norm to teach the kata for its own sake and the applications may never be taught as is sadly still the case in the majority of karate schools today. Indeed Itosu himself encouraged us to be aware of this difference. He spent the rest of his life in Japan teaching his system, his students called Shotokan, until his death in Kanryo Higaonna students include Chojun Miyagi , the founder of Goju-ryu.
He became a disciple of Kanryo Higaonna, when he was He endured harsh ascetic practices and in went to Fujian Province in China to perfect his skills in the martial arts. As a result, he was able to take over and organize karate techniques and the principles of the martial arts that he had been taught. He consolidated modern karate do, incorporating effective elements of both athletics and the martial arts in addition t o the principles of reason and science.
Unlike their cousins to the north, the kata of Naha-te did not get incorporated into the school system and thus retained their original purpose, of passing along effective self-defense and combat applications.
This difference is quite noticeable when viewing both styles, particularly in any demonstration of the application, or bunkai. Styles from Naha-te, like Goju-ryu and Uechi-ryu can be very brutal in their training practices and application. Masutatsu Mas Oyama Mas Oyama, when creating his own stye, incorporated kata from both of the traditions.
Hence why the large number of kata found in Kyokushin. Sensei Darren Stringer Through the practice of kata, the traditional techniques used for fighting are learned. Balance, coordination, breathing and concentration are also developed. Done properly, kata are an excellent physical exercise and a very effective form of total mind and body conditioning.
The attention to detail that is necessary to perfect a kata cultivates self discipline. Through concentration, dedication and practice, a higher level of learning may be achieved, where the kata is so ingrained in the subconscious mind that no conscious attention is needed.
History of Kyokushin Kata
The Kata as we know and practice in Kyokushin Karate trace their origin back to the island of Okinawa. Okinawa is one of a chain of islands that are collectively known as the Ryukyu Islands. Okinawa lies km miles east of mainland China, approximately halfway between China and Japan. The history of this is long and complicated, so I will try to abbreviate as much as possible. If you would like the complete history there are many sources available. I will probably be adding or editing to this article over time.
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