At my karate club people call me Sensei, and my friends just call me Richard.

2017/05/15

Daily karate vlog#53; where do YOU fit into karate's history??


Hi this is Richard Mosdell,  today is my daily karate vlog and today's topic is how do you fit in karate's history? That's right  you, you are part of karate's history, how do you fit into it?

Well there a bunch of stages to how karate went being in one small place to all over the world, and I want to show you those phases. Uh this is also what I did my masters on, um and it's fun because these phases are still continuing especially the most recent one. So let's go back to the beginning and I'm going to make this super quick.

The Germinal Phase (1), when things started, so at the Ryukyu Islands or in Okinawa right, at Okinawa what is really interesting is that everyone coming from China, Polynesia, Korea or Japan were going through Okinawa or those island, lots of information, technology, religion, martial arts was mixed together and that's where you've got the basis of different karate systems being created.

In 1868 Japan becomes a modern country and mainland Japan really starts structuring what's happening in Okinawa (Homogenization Phase 2), and they start taking some of the things like karate up to mainland Japan. What actually happens first you get modern judo and modern kendo, and those systems come 20-30 years before karate, karate actually copies the dan system, even some of the uniforms from judo, um it copies that system as it comes to Japan.

The other thing that happens at this time is karate gets its word 'kara-te', um whereas before it was called just 'te' or 'tode', now you've got a very clear Japanese idea, part of this comes from the militarization of Japan just before the war, before World War 2.

The war interrupts all martial arts in Japan so after the war you see things comes back, one of the interesting things is that karate isn't purely considered Japanese by the Americans, so they allow karate to keep growing, so it gets into the top universities and explodes around Japan, that's the Take-off Phase (3). We went from the Homogenization Phase to the Take-Off Phase.

What's interesting in the Take-Off Phase to the Hegemony Phase (4), meaning that karate actually becomes on the of the most popular martial arts, is here it this is it getting really popular in Japan (1945-1960s), here it is about karate getting really popular around the world (1960s-1990s), either Japanese instructors are going abroad, or people are coming are coming to learn karate and take it somewhere else, and this is kind of where I'm at, I was one of those people in this period who went to Japan and brought karate back.

Karate now is in the Globalization Phase (5), it means not only is it global, there are dojo's around the world, but it's really organized, it's in multi-sport organizations, there are national federations all over the world, and now we have karate in all the big multi-sport events, like Commonwealth Games and Pan-Am Games, and now from 2020 it goes into its Uncertainty Phase (6), it's in the Olympics.

Why is it an uncertainty phase?

Because we really don't know what's going to happen next. Does it stay in the Olympics, does it change the way that karate is looked at, will it grow even further, will something new come up, will something new innovate, ok. There other things too when we look back at Homogenization, Take-Off and Hegemony, there were very few martial arts that were popular, but now there are probably 20+ martial arts in any area that are growing, and karate has to deal with that, that's part of it's uncertainty phase.

So where do you fit in there, you have to decide, everybody in now is part of the globalization phase of karate by being part of a dojo, but remember karate has a history, and every karate style is somewhere in there. So for yourself try and use this to think back, how does my karate style fit in here, and where am I in this sort of chain.

I'm Richard Mosdell, this is my daily karate vlog, thanks a lot for listening, and I look forward to your comments and I'll talk to you later!

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