15 July, 2012

History of Goju Ryu Kata?

There was a great collaborative article a while ago between a few well known (in the right circles) karateka about the history and formulation of goju kata.




It is one of the better explanations for some goju forms beyond those in common with similar systems.  My own research and experience is not sufficient to make a judgement call, but the idea is interesting and definitely plausible, if not correct.

It also makes me wonder what happened to those times...how many people can say they train with others in different arts/styles and learn from each other?  Cross training forms and techniques with others of a similar skill in another methodology is fun and fascinating.

I think many Sensei wouldn't or don't encourage this sort of training.  Passing around students to learn different skills and emphasis, as well as bring those back to their school.  Everyone benefits.  But the naive greedy algorithm of a McDojo tends to discourage this approach, as do many legitimate schools.  "What would you need outside of us?  We have it all."


  1. It is a combination of hubris and insecurity. Hubris that our style is closest to the ideal and insecurity of being proven wrong. Frankly, having done Chito-Ryu for 15 years, I can't help but be fascinated by the bunkai of Goju kata, Shotokan kata, Wado kata. I always wonder how Miyagi and Funakoshi and all those old guys saw little differences in what was the most important thing to train. But there is a legitimate problem to cross training. Simply put, it takes a lot of practice to start doing a martial art instinctively. If you cross train martial arts before some good habits have taken hold, you're more likely to develop bad habits like practising techniques that look better than they work.

    It's the beginner's disease - you don't have any context to what is useful, so you gravitate to what looks cool. Jumping from style to style, art to art, can sometimes result in not knowing anything particularly well.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Kamil. You make some good points.

      I have been waffling back and forth, personally, on the issue of cross training and when it should happen. I have recently read some articles that recommend it from an early stage for a variety of good reasons. But I tend to agree with you in that it is of greater benefit to get a solid foundation in one art first.

      But I think after a decade plus of training one will have a good grasp of the fundamentals in their art. At that point, it is time to start looking for what is lacking and train in that. For me, the interest lies in taking what I know and seeing how it can apply into non-traditional facets.

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