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In Search of the Origins of Te


Return to Traditional Techniques

In the pictures below we can see; 1) five fingers; 2) a fist; 3) an open hand with imaginary lines (red) connecting each finger, indicating the free movement of the fingers; and 4) a knife hand formed with the fingers coming together as one after the lines connecting the fingers have been cut. These pictures can help illustrate a point in advancing technical innovation of traditional Henshuho. Namely, the fact that the five fingers fold up to form a fist or come together as one to form a knife hand, entrapping their free independent movement.



In order to broadly disseminate karate to the general public, in Japan, as part of the physical fitness movement, promote it as a competitive sport , and change its form to make it suitable for the times, it seems that it was necessary to label traditional techniques as dangerous. It can also be conjectured that the implicit rule that these techniques not be taught outside of one’s own school went through the minds of more than few of the karate pioneers. Why then do we want to focus our attention on traditional techniques that are forbidden or illegal in karate matches which focus on the "fist"?

There are two reasons. One is that Karate, which emphasizes striking and hitting techniques using the “fist,” is unable to compete with a martial art that possess “cutting”and “thrusting/stabbing”techniques.

The second is that competitive sport karate is being mistakenly recognized as the “real thing.” Almost unnoticed, sport karate has established itself in society, and even worse, people have started to also mistakenly view it as a form of martial entertainment, such as kickboxing.



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