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  1. #1

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    Bogu kumite: historical question

    Hello!

    I pratice Nippon Kempo, a sort of karate + judo. There are very few information on the net about Nippon Kempo in a language that I can read, and many of these informations appear to be copied and pasted from one site to the other, so I have some doubts about the history of NK.

    In particular:

    In NK competition, a very heavy protective gear ("bogu", literally armor I think) is used. This form of competition is known as "bogu kumite".
    NK is not the only form of karate that use "bogu", I've seen videos on youtube of "okinawan karate" guys doing bogu kumite.

    In the history of N.K., Muneomi Sawayama is credited as both the founder of Nippon Kempo and implicitly the inventor of the idea of "bogu kumite" in 1932;
    Wikipedia credits Shigeru Nakamura as the inventor of bogu kumite, however he founded his school in 1950:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seikichi_Odo#Bogu_Kumite

    does anybody knows something about the history of bogu kumite?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterMR View Post
    Hello!

    I pratice Nippon Kempo, a sort of karate + judo. There are very few information on the net about Nippon Kempo in a language that I can read, and many of these informations appear to be copied and pasted from one site to the other, so I have some doubts about the history of NK.

    In particular:

    In NK competition, a very heavy protective gear ("bogu", literally armor I think) is used. This form of competition is known as "bogu kumite".
    NK is not the only form of karate that use "bogu", I've seen videos on youtube of "okinawan karate" guys doing bogu kumite.

    In the history of N.K., Muneomi Sawayama is credited as both the founder of Nippon Kempo and implicitly the inventor of the idea of "bogu kumite" in 1932;
    Wikipedia credits Shigeru Nakamura as the inventor of bogu kumite, however he founded his school in 1950:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seikichi_Odo#Bogu_Kumite

    does anybody knows something about the history of bogu kumite?
    I have heard Kenwa Mabuni was the first person in karate to really experiment with bogu kumite in the early 1920's there are certainly pictures from that era with him in bogu. One thing I will mention some koryu jujutsu schools practice striking someone in a bogu (not as in battlefield armour but protective armour) not sure if they do kumite in it though. Most likely different people developed it independently around the early Showa era probably after watching kendo.

  3. #3
    1point2's Avatar
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    I was told that Tatsuo Shimabuku experimented with bogu kumite while developing Isshinryu (a variant of Shorin-ryu that incorporates some Goju-ryu).

    There's also Daido Juku with its space helmets. I remember another Okinawan/Japanese style that did bogu kumite with hockey gloves, a catcher's facemask type headgear, and chest protectors, but the name is five years lost.

    Remember also the parallel evolution of sanda/sanshou and TKD chest protectors.

    I'd also count modern Kyokushin schools that use boxing gloves and headgear occasionally as engaging in bogu kumite, but that's me being pedantic.

    Basically this is an idea that has been invented and reinvented continuously over the past 100 years at least.
    What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Xenophon's Socrates

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    For what it's worth, I read in a Black Belt magazine article that some of Funakoshi Gichin's early students in Japan also used Kendo Bogu for sparring. Funakoshi was reportedly against the idea.

    The Renbukan also used bogu, and I think the Chito Ryu school did as well.

    In the early 70's, the Asian Karate Do Championship held in the Philippines was conducted under Bogu Kumite Rules. That sparring format was very common in the Philippine Tournament scene at that time.

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    Thanks for the answers.

    Re: Kenwa Mabuni

    It seems that Sawayama studied tote (old name for karate) under Mabuni, however I got this from Sawayama's page on japanese wikipedia (using google translator):
    Sawayama Soumi was born in Nara Prefecture in 1906, will be adopted by young, known as the prestigious Sanin region, it is people of Sawayama who is Monryu of Mr. powerful families - Yamana. Doting the adoptive parents on top was a native sickly, and if you look at the danger even a little, because you did not even slight movement, because I was in elementary school was frail enough to get tired just by attending school.
    Is Ichinen suggestion the name of their fitness, 1919 (1919), and finished the extraordinary family of Kaikosha elementary school, including the bodybuilding and judo when you go on to Nissin Commercial School, later to become the prowess of five stages. However, it is disappointed that there is no Atemi in judo, later Itohigashi stream is studied with him opportunity of meeting with kenwa mabuni to founder karate the (at the time was called the "Tote") to learn, 1930 (1930) in June, the Kansai University, which has been passed through to launch the "Tote Study Group".
    But, in the type of training practice of Mabuni Metropolitan even if two people relative, it was far from a free battle obtained of Sawayama. So Sawayama is hard thought, research, and trial and error, to devise a "promise kumite" "free kumite," "seriously Kumite".
    1932 (1932) autumn, Sawayama who had graduated from Kansai University in the spring, was launched the "Dai Nippon Kempo Association". Sawayama was appointed the Chairman. It from the start of the practice of wearing the armor (1934 = 1934) [...]
    https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%BE...AE%97%E6%B5%B7

    The translation is terrible but it seems to imply that it was Sawayama, and not Mabuni, to come up with the idea of the armors (i stress SEEMS).

    It is true that many people may have come to the idea of using protections for sparring, but when you think of it, even boxing gloves are a comparatively recent creation.

  6. #6

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    While Kendo schools have used Boguu for over a century, many "Karate" and/or Jujutsu schools post Meiji Restoration not only did NOT emphasize Kumite (sparring), but also did not use protective equipment. "Master Funakoshi's Karate, Part II" establishes Muneomi Sawayama studied under Kenwa Mabuni. As explained in this article by Graham Noble, Mabuni's contemporaries also felt there was a lack of practical sparring. Most schools of the time were based on performing countless Kata and offered little combat. Sawayama modified the Kendo armour for sparring, which had not been done before. Today, the majority of Shito Ryu schools still only use mittens and a groin protector. Shorinji Kempo adopted the Do, chest protector, to enable strength and power conditioning. The Boguu's purpose was to enable full strikes to sensitive targets with minimal risk of injury. With some research, one can see that sparring equipment in Tae Kwon Do, Daido Juku, etc, did not use protective equipment until more modern times (post WWII).
    I hope you are still training.

  7. #7
    DCS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Budoseito View Post
    With some research, one can see that sparring equipment in Tae Kwon Do, Daido Juku, etc, did not use protective equipment until more modern times (post WWII).
    TKD and Daido Juku didn't exist before WWII.

  8. #8
    XmasSpiritedAway's Avatar
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    lol yet again more Judo !
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCS View Post
    TKD and Daido Juku didn't exist before WWII.
    Let's not let reality get in the way of his "research".
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    Violence is pretty uncommon in clubs in this area, and the dude didn't seem particularly hostile up until the moment he slapped me.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Budoseito View Post
    Sawayama modified the Kendo armour for sparring, which had not been done before.
    So even if the use of kendo "bogu" was somewhat common, in some sense Sawayama was the first to take the concept seriously as the base of his training system. Cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by XmasSpiritedAway
    Let's not let reality get in the way of his "research".
    Well in a strict sense he is right, let's not be picky.

  10. #10
    DCS's Avatar
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    I'm not sure they used modified Kendo bogu back in the day...



    looks modified baseball equipment to me.

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