No announcement yet.

Revisionist Okinawan Karate History

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    The date of transmission. Politically it made the Okinawans look "better" to the Japanese if they could claim that the Chinese influence on their arts occurred several hundred or more years in the past, rather then continuing through the 1800s. In the late 1800s Japan fought a war with the Chinese, seizing present day Taiwan. The Japanese also looked down upon the Chinese because of the weakness of their central government, and how European powers were seizing territory from the Manchu dynasty. For example the Shanghai concession.


      Sorry for the necro.

      This is pretty well established these days as well.

      For instance :

      Kanryo Higashionna (1840 - 1910) the "Fist of Naha", is known as the man behind the Goju-ryu karate style. Higashionna began his training in Okinawa it was actually in China that the true seeds of Goju-ryu were planted. Higashionna went to China and studied under a man named Master Woo (Ru in Japanese) who was a practitioner of Chinese boxing. Higashionna trained under Master Woo for aproximately 15 to 20 years.

      On his return to Okinawa he combined his native fighting system with the Chinese system and became the father of Naha-Te (Fist of Naha). It did not take long before his fame spread throughout the island and students started to come to him for tuition. Among them was a student named Chogun Miyagi.


        Okinawan Karate is beleived to have influences from 5 different traditions, one of them would have been Tigwa, an Okinawa plebeian form of percussive impact, also called Te or Di, written like this 手 [meaning hand/s]. Tigwa used clenched fists, as opposed to many Kartae techniques that clearly has the chinese preference of open hands, and also used elbows, knees and shins. Very similar to Siamese boxing. Given the proximity with Siam and the trading between both kingdoms, it is very probable that Siamese boxing was a strong influence also for Okinawan Karate. Most Kobudo weapons come from China, and probably Indian influence also, but look pretty plausible that the Tounfa comes from South East Asia, as it is present with variations in some Martial arts there, specially in Thai arts as Krabi Karbong. The Techniques with the Tounfa , if you take out the weapon are those of Muay Boran Styles.

        In George Kerr's book, we can read: boxing (Karate) in which both hands and feet are used had come from Indo-China or Siam.” p217

        A chinese influence can be also seen in some of the old Boxing styles in Thailand, specially in Muay Tha Sao, from the North of the country.

        Here I leave a video with some of my own conclusions in the matter

        Of course this is my opinion based on my own experiences.



        Edit this module to specify a template to display.