One of the questions for this month’s podcast (out in the next few days) was related to the evolution of Shotokan and the nature of Funakoshi’s original karate. As part of the discussion I mentioned that Funakoshi’s karate evolved quite a bit during his own lifetime; as it did for almost all the masters. It’s a myth the styles have been passed on unchanged. Change has been the only constant.
Funakoshi wrote in Karate-Do Kyohan, “Time change, the world changes, and obviously the martial arts must change too. The karate that high school students practise today is not the same karate that was practised even are recently as ten years ago, and it is a long way indeed from the karate I learned when I was a child in Okinawa”.
The two clips below provide a nice illustration of changes during Funakoshi’s time. The fist clip is an “animation” from stills of Funakoshi doing Tekki Shodan. The second clip is film of him performing the same kata. Notice the differences in stance etc. I hope this of interest and I’ll discuss it a little more in the podcast which will be out in a few days.
All the best,