History of Point Sparring
As part of some research I'm doing, I'm trying to track down the 20th Century history of point sparring. I've seen people make claims on numerous forums that it's an American innovation. It seems like Ed Parker's work to promote tournaments in the West might factor in. But at the same time I haven't found anyone who can actually say where it began (or cite early examples).
So, I was wondering if you all had some thoughts.
I've gotten a bit of feedback on this from another board:
Does this jive with other folk's knowledge/experience?
first ever point sparring tournaments were held by the Japan Karate-do Association. AKA: JKA Shotokan. They were Ippon Shobu and took place in the 50's.
Jhoon Rhee ( TKD guy ) takes credit for inventing the foam dipped in plastic shite we all know and love. That's gotta be a point in your timeline that matters.( I fucking hate point sparring).
That sounds about right. Bare knuckle clean controlled techniques. It started to get popular in the 60's. I believe it might have been Trias who held the first tournament. I know our organization has been holding its tournament for 41 years.
Originally Posted by Matt Bernius
Jeremy M. Talbott
Originally Posted by Phrost
Originally Posted by D.Murray
Originally Posted by hangooknamja88
Originally Posted by fubar
From my understanding it was Mike Stone who first developed the idea of mass produced padded gloves and kicks. He wasn't able to get the price down and get them manufactured. He eventually "gave" the idea to Rhee who in turn made it happen.
Thanks for weighing in. I've been interested in understanding if "point sparring" is an "Americanization" of the arts as many claim. What seems to have happened is that the "one hit, one kill" style form of bare knuckle sparring was imported from Japan. And then eventually evolved here (and in other locations) into the modern game of tag we all know and love.
If it interests you:
Tommy Morris, the WUKO's head referee, in his book on Karate competition, included a short chapter on the history & evolution of point sparring in Europe
He essentially wrote that early bouts were conducted in the "one-point" format. However, because it got boring, the "two point advantage" and later, the "three point" concepts were introduced.
Other rules evolved with the times.
(The source of this is Mr. Morris' book "Karate: The Complete Competition Course", published by Guiness)
Hope this Helps
Last edited by X_plosion; 1/03/2006 12:25pm at .
It does, thanks for the ref.
Could fencing have some influence as well? A sort of first blood -> first strike "evolution"?
More likely Kendo and Japanese Fencing. But conceptually you definitely seem to be on the right path.
Originally Posted by king of seals
This is a very interesting project, Matt. If you think about the inherent warrior culture behind Korean and Japanese societies, the idea of their martial stylings developing into "Tag, I WIN!" doesn't seem to match up.
I'll dig through some of my old Nakayama books and see if I can find anything for you.
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