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diadicic's picture
Okinawan Karate Documentary

This was sent to me by a friend,  I tried not to watch it now but.......

I watched the whole thing.  I heard it said a few times that this was the old way and this was used to defend yourself.  In my opinion, I really didn't see how they were learning to defend a real attack. It was more like learning to fight another Karate person using only Basic Kicks and Punches. Am I wrong or did I miss the point of the video.  It was more about conditioning but no real concept of defence against real attacks.  Give it a look and tell me what you think.


Wastelander's picture

I liked the documentary, and I get what they were trying to do, but I also understand your sentiment. The thing you have to keep in mind is that there is still a problem with secrecy on Okinawa. This has caused even Okinawan instructors to have lost a great deal of knowledge regarding the practical side of karate, and they promote the more mental/spiritual aspects of karate instead. In addition, the ones that do know it don't usually teach it to many people--and they usually don't show it on video, either. For example, the head of my style refuses to have kata applications recorded, and only teaches them to his most trusted, highest level students. Conveniently, one of them happens to be my sensei's instructor.

All that said, I think that this documentary was trying to emphasize a certain concept of karate while keeping it a little mysterious. The idea of uke-waza, as described, is actually very good. They just didn't show it being used the way it's really meant to be used. I think that karate is starting to go through a sort of Rennaissance, and Okinawa itself is on the verge of joining in, though. Within the next decade, or so, I would expect to start seeing more practical material openly shared by Okinawan instructors. I know several senior practitioners who are working on convincing their instructors to do so, and I've seen some developments within my own organization that are promising. Only time will tell.