Comparison of karate styles

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The table contains a comparison of karate styles. Some of the distinguishing features are listed, such as lineage, general form of stances, and number of kata.

The four earliest karate styles developed in Japan are Shorin-ryu, Wado-ryu, Shito-ryu, and Goju-ryu.[1] The first three styles find their origins in the Shuri region of Okinawa whilst Goju-ryu finds its origins in the Naha province.

Shuri karate is rather different from Naha karate, drawing on different predecessor influences. Shito-ryu can be regarded as a blend of Shuri and Naha traditions as its kata incorporate both Shuri and Naha kata.[2]

When it comes to individual styles, Shotokan involves long, deep stances and powerful techniques. Shito-ryu, on the other hand, uses more upright stances and stresses speed rather than power in its techniques. Wado-ryu too employs shorter, more natural stances and the style is characterised by the emphasis on body shifting to avoid attacks. Kyokushin, a hard style, involves breaking and full contact, knockdown sparring as part of its training.[3] Goju-ryu places emphasis on Sanchin kata and its rooted Sanchin stance, and it features grappling and close-range techniques.[4]

Comparison[edit]

Origin Derived from Hard/soft Stances Representative kata No. of kata
Chitō-ryū Okinawa Shōrei-ryūor Naha-te, Shōrin-ryū 70 percent hard, 30 percent soft techniques natural stride (beginner), shorter/narrower (advanced) Shi Ho Hai, Seisan, Ro Hai Sho, Niseishi, Bassai, Chinto, Sochin, Tenshin, Ro Hai Dai, Sanshiryu, Ryushan, Kusanku, Sanchin 15 kata not including kihon and Bo kihon/kata
Gōjū-ryū Okinawa Fujian White Crane both deep/natural Sanchin, Tensho, Gekisai Dai, Seipai, Saifa 12
Gosoku-ryū Japan Gōjū-ryū, Shotokan 50 percent hard, 50 percent soft techniques deep (beginner), natural (advanced) Gosoku, Rikyu, Denko Getsu, Tamashi 46 including weapons kata
Isshin-ryū Okinawa Gōjū-ryū, Shōrin-ryū, Kobudō both, primarily hard natural Sunsu 15 including weapons kata
Kyokushin Japan Shotokan, Gōjū-ryū Hard techniques natural 5 Pinan, Kanku, Tensho, Garyu 23 (+ ura)
Shūkōkai Japan Gōjū-ryū & Shitō-ryū 70% hard and 30% soft natural Pinan, Bassai Dai, Seienchin, Saifa, Rōhai 44 +
Shindō jinen-ryū Japan and Okinawa primarily Shuri-te like Shitō-ryū, but also Naha-te and Tomari-te both deep/natural Shimpa, Taisabaki 1-3, Sunakake no Kon More than 60 counting all kobudo kata
Shitō-ryū Japan and Okinawa Shōrin-ryū, Naha-te, Shuri-te. both deep/natural Pinan, Bassai Dai, Seienchin, Saifa, Rōhai, Nipaipo more than 80
Shōrin-ryū Okinawa Shuri-te, Tomari-te, Chinese martial arts both, primarily soft natural Pinan, Naihanchi, Fukyu 21
Shotokan Japan and Okinawa Shōrei-ryū, Shōrin-ryū Primarily hard techniques as well as soft techniques deep (beginner), natural (advanced) 5 Heian, Jion, Kanku Dai, Bassai Dai, Sochin etc. 26 + additional
Shuri-ryū Okinawa Shuri-te, Hsing-yi both deep/natural Wunsu, O-Naihanchi, Sanchin 15
Uechi-ryū Okinawa Pangai-noon Kung Fu half hard, half soft mainly natural Sanchin, Seisan, Sanseirui 8
Wado-ryū Japan and Okinawa Yoshin-ryu Jujitsu and Shotokan both, primarily soft mainly natural Pinan, Kushanku, Seishan, Chintō, Wanshu, Jitte and Niseishi 15 (one hidden)
Yōshūkai Japan and Okinawa Chitō-ryū 60 percent hard, 40 percent soft techniques deep (beginner), natural (advanced) Seisan, Bassai, Yoshu, San Shi Ryu 18

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Corcoran, John and Farkas, Emil. Martial Arts. Traditions, History, People. Gallery Books, 1983, p. 49.
  2. ^ Clayton, Bruce D. Shotokan's Secret, The Hidden Truth Behind Karate's Fighting Origins. Black Belt Communications LLC, 2004, p. 97 & 153.
  3. ^ Kara-te Magazine. Special Collector's Edition - Kara-te, History, Masters, Traditions, Philosophy. Blitz Publications, p. 27, 45, 39 & 67.
  4. ^ Clayton, Bruce D. Shotokan's Secret, The Hidden Truth Behind Karate's Fighting Origins. Black Belt Communications LLC, 2004, p. 96 & 97.

Sources[edit]

  • Karate-do Kyohan, written by Gichin Funakoshi translated by Tsutomu Oshima

External links[edit]