Okinawan Karate - The Original MMA

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by mikezismike, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. mikezismike

    mikezismike Black Belt

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  2. aries

    aries Silver Belt

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    I think Pankration has that in the bag by about 2500 years. I know, a minor detail....
     
  3. j123

    j123 Pro Sherdogger 500-0-1

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    I think all martial arts in their war time periods were MMA-like, along with weapons as well. Maybe not as advanced in ground grappling today, but they probably had some form of stand up grappling implemented.
     
  4. Inquisitus

    Inquisitus Blue Belt

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    Okinawan karate has always included jujutsu-like hold and strikes and trips, etc. Expansion and transmission to Japan caused the distinct separation between grappling and striking. This seems to have happened when it was introduced into the Okinawan school system in 1908-onwards. Sparring with strikes only started in the Japanese universities in the 20's and 30's as the "youngins" got bored of their teacher's insistence on learning kata. The teachers couldn't transmit the applications and drills to make use of techniques from kata.

    But original MMA? Aries is right, Pankration is the earliest recorded MMA although Okinawan history is mostly oral and not written.
     
  5. Replay19

    Replay19 Orange Belt

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    Pankration is considered the oldest sporting event for combat sports by some people, but you have to think about this for a second. Nobody knew what Pankration was, certaintly not Japan or America.

    Okinawan Karate might be the first original MMA for Japan.
    Bruce Lee was probably one of the pioneers of popularizing MMA in America.
    Vale Tudo was probably the few MMA events held in Brazil (?),
    Pankration was probably the first MMA 2500 years ago
    Shaolin Kung Fu was probably the first MMA in Ancient China.

    It is sort of silly to say Pankration deserves all credits as being the original MMA, I think the MMA ideology was bound to manifest itself in many fighting arts by natural course, rather than "deriving from one source of inspiration."

    Perhaps Pankration really did exist, it is still considered a myth rather than a fact. The pictures you see on vases aren't always evidence of real bouts that took place.

    I personally believe Pankration existed, but not as the original MMA to just discount the efforts of other influential MMA figures.
     
  6. Azam

    Azam Brown Belt

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    Just to add to what you said: Okinawa had it's own grappling system - called Tegumi. It was basically very similar to Kushti, Mongolian wrestling & Greco-Roman - basically wrestling with some submissions. This was the original martial art in Okinawa before Karate was exported from Southern China. When Karate arrived on the Island - a lot of the tools/techniques of Tegumi were absorbed by karate.

    Old traditional Okinawan Karate is a meld of wrestling & striking - a meld of Tegumi & Karate (before it absorbed aspects of Tegumi). The complete separation of the grappling aspects of Karate happened as you said when Karate was introduced to Japan - it evolved & got streamlined. Even today in Okinawa - Karate doesn't have the grappling it once did have. To some degree this is the fault of it's practitioners - as many of them streamlined & omitted the grappling aspects - also to some degree you can blame WW2 - as many senior karateka of that generation died in the war & in the aftermath of it - there's literally a big hole in Karate's lineage when you go back in time. Take for example shotokan - only 2 senior grades were left who learnt directly from Funakoshi.

    Some examples of the grappling:



    From what I've read - there was a lot more grappling involved & good degree of it existed in Naha derived styles.
     
  7. shinkyoku

    shinkyoku Brown Belt

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    “The karate that has been introduced to Tokyo is actually just a part of the whole. The fact that those who have learnt karate there feel it only consists of kicks & punches, and that throws & locks are only to be found in judo or jujutsu, can only be put down to a lack of understanding … Those who are thinking of the future of karate should have an open mind and strive to study the complete art” Kenwa Mabuni (sometimes pre-WW2)

    the fact that karate in japan was often practiced in kendo dojos with many cross-training student, and that these students influenced introduction of sparring rules cloned from kendo rules (with long ranges and "first touch wins" which makes much more sense for swords that fists ), was also a major factor in the change in karate after it was imported to the japanese mainland.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
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  8. number9dream

    number9dream Blue Belt

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    ? I don't think it's considered anymore a myth than boxing or wrestling. .
     
  9. Edison Carasio

    Edison Carasio Excellence of execution belt Platinum Member

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    So what would you guys suggest for someone who wanted to try and piece the old style back together? Especially a westerner? Some sort of cross training in a Karate style with cross training in a JJJ style, and then try and piece them together yourself? If so, what two styles of Karate or JJJ since there are many to choose from.
     
  10. BudoNoah

    BudoNoah Orange Belt

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    Most styles from Okinawa have at least a few teachers who still include that material, but they can be hard to find--they often aren't really interested in advertising themselves, or pushing their students to compete or become well known. From there, cross-training and researching other styles will help fill in a lot of the gaps. Honestly, not a lot has been "lost" in karate, but it's definitely been scattered. Goju-Ryu kept some material that Shorin-Ryu didn't, Uechi-Ryu kept some material that Goju-Ryu didn't, Shorin-Ryu kept some material that Uechi-Ryu didn't, etc. And, of course, it all varies by dojo. Even within the Shorin-Ryu system that I practice, there is a huge variance in the material studied between dojo. The people who made this video are actually members of the same organization I am, and we have a lot in common, but there are other people in the organization who don't see these connections, at all.
     
  11. Azam

    Azam Brown Belt

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    I think the issue starts earlier than that. Gichin Funakoshi's instructors were Itosu & Asato - out of the two it seems that Asato had a much greater influence on Funakoshi. If you read his biography & Funakoshi's thoughts on Karate - it is plain as day who had the greater influence on him.

    Asato was not only a karateka - he was a Kyudo & Kendo master. Asato's philosophy seems to have been a meld of all three and I don't think it's far fetched to think that his Kyudo/Kendo instruction influenced the way he taught Funakoshi Karate. I mean reading Funakoshi's philosophy on fighting - it comes across as very Kendo-ish & I don't think it's a coincidence that Shotokan developed into something that is very Kendo-ish also.

    Yes - many students of Shotokan on mainland Japan cross-trained & those students did influence the sparring rules - I mean Masatoshi Nakayama the JKA chief instructor/head practiced Kendo but I think it important to remember that at the end of the day his Karate instruction probably mirrored whatever he was taught by Funakoshi. The sparring was influenced by Kendo & his instruction from Funakoshi. The devolution of grappling from the style of Karate Funakoshi taught seems to have been a result of streamlining of shotokan over the years - to the point there's very little grappling left in it.





    I'm not sure I agree with you here either. The problem with Okinawan Karate instructors is that very few of them seem to have a solid basis in grappling - it's all good being well versed in Karate but that means nothing if you don't understand the fundamentals of grappling. While there might be a very very few that do - most from what I've seen don't really include that material - those that do have no business doing so because they haven't grappled.

    I mean I wouldn't teach basic grappling if I've only ever studied Karate. That's partially the problem. Not many in those circles are learning grappling to better understand those grappling aspects. The grappling aspects of Karate have been lost - to the extent that many of us don't know how much grappling existed in early Karate. I don't think it's a coincidence that many Karate teachers are clueless about kata or that there is very little consistency there among them. Could it be that they are clueless because many of those kata include grappling aspects - something many of them haven't studied - you won't spot what you haven't studied for.

    I had an interesting conversation with a Kyokushin karateka on the knockdownkarate forum (Meguro) who showed me a possible grappling application of sanchin dachi that seemed very plausible. I mean if we take that as an example - can any karate teacher explain the purpose of sanchin dachi? Is the explanation consistent among all teachers of Karate? We both know the answer to that. Therein lies the problem.





    Learn Tegumi or any other similar grappling style like Catch, Greco-Roman or Kushti.

    Acquire a solid base in Karate & one of the above grappling styles. Use your knowledge of both ways of fighting to better understand kata & go over older documented techniques that involved grappling in Karate.

    Originally (in my eyes) Karate was a cross of old school boxing with kicks & wrestling. The uncanny resemblance of hand fighting found in Karate to old school boxing technique is no coincidence.
     
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  12. BudoNoah

    BudoNoah Orange Belt

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    I actually completely agree with you--in order to understand grappling, you have to grapple and study grappling. These are things that previous masters did through tegumi, judo, sumo, etc., and which continue to be done by many. My comments were regarding Edison's comment, which was specifically talking about piecing together old style karate. I'm not saying that one shouldn't incorporate a grappling art into their study, just that much of the material from old style karate still exists, scattered around.
     
  13. Edison Carasio

    Edison Carasio Excellence of execution belt Platinum Member

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    I've personally never done Karate but wouldn't be opposed to it. All the Karate where I live is the normal strip mall baby sitter Mcdojo places. I've considered saving up and driving out to Enshin Honbu just for a weekend to see it in person since its in the Kyokushin family tree.
     
  14. Azam

    Azam Brown Belt

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    Enshin is a great style to learn. I'd say any karate style that teaches you parrying properly, with good instruction, padwork & realistic sparring - is a great place to learn. Finding dojos like that aren't easy.
     
  15. KBE6EKCTAH_CCP

    KBE6EKCTAH_CCP Arrow sash belt with papakhka

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    I also would like to try the knockdown karate styles, especially the ones that include some grappling like ashihara, shidokan, etc. But yes, they are very hard to find.

    Other karate styles IMO are not practical. Shotokan and especially all the okinawan styles are useless IMO.
     
  16. KBE6EKCTAH_CCP

    KBE6EKCTAH_CCP Arrow sash belt with papakhka

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    LOL what a joke. As if these katas remotely teach those MMA applications. Ridiculous.
     
  17. Edison Carasio

    Edison Carasio Excellence of execution belt Platinum Member

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    I figure since there's no Ashihara, Kyokushin or Enshin within the tri state area to me the only way would be making a road trip to do privates a weekend every 4 months or so and then start a sort of "study group" with training partners back home. I guess that's how people did it with BJJ before it was everywhere 20 years ago.
     
  18. KBE6EKCTAH_CCP

    KBE6EKCTAH_CCP Arrow sash belt with papakhka

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    Well, I would say that your best bet is to do some MT/KB at a legit club until you find a knockdown karate style dojo in your area.

    Most of the experience that you will gather will translate very well into the knockdown karate style after making some adjustments.

    IMHO a much better efficient use of your time.

    Using your example of BJJ, IMO legit judo training would be of more benefit than a bunch of noobs trying to roll in their garages watching vids.

    Why fixate on a poor solution when you have access to a good solution within another combat form with alot of cross-over ?
     
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  19. Edison Carasio

    Edison Carasio Excellence of execution belt Platinum Member

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    Well me personally, I've already been kickboxing, boxing and TKD over the past 8-10 years.

    And with BJJ that's what alot of early BJJ peopel in America did before there were BJJ places all over: learn in their garages/basement from various Gracie VHS tapes then travel to seminars or a Gracie school. Otherwise like you said there would have been an explosion of attendance at judo schools in the 90's and BJJ wouldn't be as big as it is today.
     
  20. KBE6EKCTAH_CCP

    KBE6EKCTAH_CCP Arrow sash belt with papakhka

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    Oh OK. Well you got the stand up fundamentals well covered then. I hope that you get what you are looking for with regards to knockdown karate.
     

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