Saturday, October 17, 2009

Traditional training today

JKA karate-do shotokan

"Spirit first, technique second". Gichin Funakoshi

Do traditional styles like karate, muay thai, tae kwon do, judo, kung fu, jujitsu, boxing etc, still have relevance today, you bet they do, all of these arts are based on solid fundamental laws and principles in relation to the movement and manipulation of the human body.

They have evolved & developed over many years, after being put together from a variety of different arts by a number of diferent martial artists, lets look at someone like Funakoshi who is generally credited with the development of shotokan karate.

He didn't create the style on his own and imo he just happened to be the last in the chain of a number of people that put a life time of work into the art of shotokan.

For example wing chun was derived from a host of other kung fu styles, karate was created from white crane, sho lin kung fu, okinawan-te, muay thai and wrestling.

Judo & Aikido from the myriad of jujitsu styles that existed at the time, filipino arts have Chinese Japanese and a host of other influences from the local region included and mixed with their indigenous methods, same with muay thai, western boxing and savate.

All these arts developed over a long period of time as history shows by more than one person.

Whether striking or grappling all these arts provide efficiency, mechanical advantage, optimum power, leverage, balance, mental focus etc. so whether they are in fad or not these principles & fundamentals will always be present in the traditional martial arts.

Kind of like buying a good suit doesn't matter what the order of the day is, when you wear it it still looks good.

Do they need evolving well it depends what sort of evolving your talking about, if they provide one of the best ways to strike or throw in accordance with human anatomy what more can be done in this area?

of course there is always room for improvemnt they aren't perfect but they dont need an overhaul either.

If on the other hand you are suggesting that karate be mixed with brazilian jujitsu, or that judoka incorporate boxing strikes into their randori, or that muay thai matches also use western wrestling in the ring, then i don’t see this as a progression of the traditional martial art in question but rather a dilution of sorts.

Thats what makes all the traditional martial arts (TMA) so special they all have their own character and fieid of development and its great to see that the options of studying different arts for the individual are alive and healthy in the martial arts community.

There is always the option of cross training for the individual, if he wants better throws then judo is the go, if he wants ground work then there's brazilian jujitsu, striking can be from karate to muay thai to boxing and so on.

1983 JKA World Championship: Team Kumite Japan vs Germany