Sunday, January 17, 2010

Karate a mystical martial art?


We have all heard of the ancient scroll that only the karate master of the style possessed making him the only person to posses all knowledge in that style e.g. death touch, secret techniques of kata, strange powers, disappearing acts etc.

Or what about the master text book that was only for the eyes of the master and his successor making the martial arts seem mystical and that not all was being shown to the average student that somehow you had to get on the good side of the master to be shown the real stuff.

To be honest this is the greatest nonsense and malarkey I have ever heard and is more akin to Hollywood type martial arts films, circus tricks and magicians than the reality.

If this was the case then why did most if not all the creators and or masters of karate publish books about their art, how can it be kept secret if books are written on the subject?

In the 1950's and 1960's Masatoshi Nakayama sensei, then Head of the Japan Karate Association (JKA) made it policy to spread the art of shotokan karate around the world, sending his best students to all corners of the earth to teach it.

Why would they wish to spread their art around the world if it was to remain a secret?

It would seem strange that for this art that had to be kept secret, a policy was developed that it should be showcased and taught all over the world.

Other traditional karate styles like Goju ryu, Shito ryu and Wado ryu also started to spread all over the world.

If you look at any renowned creators or masters of karate none of them talk about strange powers or secret techniques or disappearing acts, I have yet to find one, most of these innuendos seem to come from western martial arts practitioners.

Sometimes allot of this garbage comes from other martial artists who don’t have a clue about karate and simply don’t understand it.

There is nothing mystical about karate or the martial arts, and if some people have made them to be so it’s either intentional on their behalf to prey on the unsuspecting for money or maybe they just didn't quite understand the message or methods that were being passed down to them.

The martial arts are all about training and then a bit more training to be good at what you do, it takes plenty of effort mixed with allot of sweat and sometimes blood, its like anything else, running, math, language, chess, football, tennis etc.

You have to forge your mind or body or both to excel at any endeavor in life, the martial arts are no exception, without sweat and effort all the knowledge in the world will not help you in a time of need.

So next time you hear someone talking about the mysteries and powers associated with martial arts you can bet your bottom dollar that its one of three things.

Either he is an outright liar who is trying to capitalize on peoples hard earned dollars or he just hasn't got a clue about the martial arts, maybe a white belt who dreams of being Bruce Lee on celluloid and is yet to realize the truth of the matter, or he is simply taking the piss out of you.

Shotokan Karate Training Old Style 1

Shotokan Karate Training Old Style 3