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Kyokushin Philosophy

What is Karate

There is abundance of literature about the history and origins of Karate and Martial arts in general. The very beginning of the martial arts history and development is a mixture of legends and facts.

Since the time of martial arts being practised in Okinawa the historical lineage is more precise and clear.
It is not our intention to detail the passage of Martial arts though history or to repeat or rewrite these texts, but to provide a general overview and broad description.

The existence and life of a Buddhist monk by the name of Bodidharma is a grey area in the history of martial arts comparable to the legend of King Arthur a mixture of fact and fiction.

The most commonly accepted version is that over a thousand years ago, Bodidharma travelled from India to a monastery in Shaolin-si, China.
It was there that he modified his own regular exercise regimen OF strengthening mind and body, to create the basis of Chinese martial arts, what is now known as Kung Fu.

Two distinguished styles developed the Northern and the Southern Style of Kung Fu or Chinese Kempo.

Through trade and also military operations those fighting arts made their way to Korea, where the art of Hwra Wang Do and subsequently Tae Kwon Do evolved, Thailand, Indonesia and finally to the Japanese Island of Okinawa.

An independent feudal system existed in Okinawa but was strongly influenced by Chinese culture and trade The art form that developed on the island was known as Okinawa Te, or Okinawa hand.

Regional differences soon evolved and the “styles” named after the regions in which they were taught and practiced : Tomarii-te, Naha te (Kata Seipai originating from there) and Shuri-te (Kata Sushiho).

Okinawans lost their right to bear arms and the training in unarmed combat continued on in family or clan dojos mostly in secret and no records were ever kept.

This continued until the early 20th century, when Gichin Funakoshi, who is undoubtedly the founder of modern Karate demonstrated the Okinanwan art that he had been taught by his instructor Anko Otosu on the Japanese island of Kyoto. Gichin remained in Japan in order to teach and promote Karate.

He named his version of the fighting art using the kanji (chinese writing sympol) for “empty” (Kara)
Kara Te (empty hand)
Always evolving and continuously looking for its own progress Funakoshi’s artform has again
Produced the 4 main styles of Karate namely Goju Ryu, Wado Ryu, Shito Ryo and Shoto Kan.



related links

What is Kyokushin Karate  |   Sosai Masu Oyama

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