Conclusions and References to the History of Karate Series

The split of martial arts into a ‘modern version’ and a ‘classical version’ is inevitable. If the classical versions are to be preserved, it must be done independently, with a concerted effort.

Post By Alex Senson

Traditional martial arts are struggling to uphold their original traditions and values.

The evolution to a modern version is necessary to address the needs of people in the current societal environment we live in. Hard, diligent training is the key either way.

Traditional styles of martial arts like Goju-ryu karate-do are struggling to remain singular, unified arts which uphold their original traditions and values. It’s interesting to see how these arts evolve in the modern world, where things have changed so drastically. The selective pressures which caused the arts to form in the first place have been removed in much of the world (hand to hand combat). Therefore, there’s no longer a way for the ‘fitness’ of the art to be tested in a real world application on a large scale. If we look at this in the context of Darwinian evolution, there’s a danger that the arts will continue to degenerate – so we need to work hard to preserve them and/or modify them to best suit our current needs as a society.

In evolution, when there’s a selective pressure on any living system, that system adapts to the pressure, or accumulates so many nonsense mutations it gets weak and dies off. I can see this effect already occurring in the martial arts. The tell-tale sign is that the rate of change in the art appears to have accelerated drastically compared with historic account. Wherever a teacher passes knowledge to a student, that information transfer is never perfect, and ‘mutations’ occur. This has a cumulative effect that over time will continue to dilute and damage the art, unless a new selective pressure is applied to test and accept or reject these new variations.

The split of the art into a ‘modern version’ and a ‘classical version’ is inevitable. If the classical versions are to be preserved, it must be done independently, with a concerted effort. The evolution to a modern version is necessary to address the needs of people in the current societal environment we live in. Hard, diligent training is the key either way.

References

Black Belt (Jan 1983). The long and winding road: history of Goju-ryu from its origin in China to its demise in New York City – Part I. Retrieved Jan 28, 2017, from books.google.ca
Black Belt (Jan 1983). The long and winding road: history of Goju-ryu from its origin in China to its demise in New York City – Part II. Retrieved Jan 28, 2017, from books.google.ca
Clarke, C.M. (2012). Okinawan Karate: A History of Styles and Masters. Volume 2: Fujian Antecedents, Naha-te, Goju-ryu, and Other Styles. Create Space Independent Publishing
Goju-kai Australia. Grandmaster of Goju Kai : Yamaguchi Gogen. Retrieved Jan 28, 2017, from http://gojukai.com.au
Goju-kai USA. Yamaguchi Gogen. Retrieved Jan 28, 2017, from http://www.gojukai.com
Gogen Yamaguchi (2017). Retrieved Jan 28, 2017, from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org


Articles in this Series

Preface to the Karate History Series
Part 1: Roots of Goju Ryu
Part 2: Creation of Goju Ryu
Part 3: Evolution of Goju Ryu
❊ Conclusions and References

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