29 April, 2011

Karate's connection to other arts? What affects what?

As a student of martial arts, with an interest in the history, there are often interesting little links between people, places, forms and styles that I find fascinating.  What follows are some cool ideas that I have searched for, read about, googled and just plain wondered about.  One interesting idea is that Karate and Bujutsu/Budo form mainland Japan have collided and produced unique results.

The first example is Wado Ryu Karate, the child of Otsuka Hironori.  His background is mainly two-fold - a solid background in Shotokan under Funakoshi Gichin and a menkyo kaiden (I believe) from Shindo Yoshin Ryu (the main branch if I recall correctly, not the Takamura branch).  I have not had the chance to look as much into this, but it provides me with some mental fodder for what the combination of jujutsu techniques into a karate curriculum would amount to.  What would the reverse create?


The next comes from a few different articles I had read, one recent and another further back.  The links are below.  Basically there is the theory that Takeda Sokaku visited Ryukyu at some point in his wandering training.  He went to search for and challenge teachers of the local martial arts.  While there is no direct evidence of such meetings, the idea is interesting and at least a fun mental exercise.  I have yet to look further into this as well, but the ideas I find most interesting are the addition or modification of striking techniques into the Daito Ryu curriculum, and the inclusion of some wrist or joint locks into the karate curriculum.


Another idea I find interesting is whether any of the above may have not occured with karate, but with Motobu Ryu Udundi.  It is a very different art (from what I have read and seen in video) than traditional karate styles, and perhaps some of the flow and suppleness of ju- or aiki-techniques have something to do with this.
This all comes back to the koryu I have been reading so much about recently, as well as Aikido and Daito Ryu.  To what extent have spear techniques influenced staff techniques?  Has kenjutsu affected the jujutsu techniques passed down by Takeda Sokaku?

Well, I think that is enough mental mashing around for now.  Everytime I type Takeda Sokaku I spell it differently. :P

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