Saturday, January 16, 2016

History and Tradition

I read a lot of karate books and books about violence, because I'm essentially on my own. Books become my teachers. Almost all of the old karate books have a section on history. Patrick McCarthy's Bubishi has an entire section on the history of the work before it even starts for context. There are a few things that all of these books agree on.

  1. There is no orthodox karate
  2. No one really knows what the movements mean
  3. Old karateka practiced few kata
  4. There are many variations of kata and none are "correct"
  5. No one truly knows the history of karate 
  6. There were no styles in the traditional sense just local flavors
  7. Karate has evolved and changed
I find it troubling that it's almost the opposite of the modern karate paradigm. Uniformity, lineage, usually at least 15 kata, styles and tradition.

I believe economics is the answer to this, but who knows.