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Thread: Gaijin Desu - American Martial Arts

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    Default Gaijin Desu - American Martial Arts

    At what point does the Japanese martial arts that we practice stop being Japanese?

    In one of the dojo wher I train, they use Japanese terminology, training uniforms, and weapons. They use proper dojo ettiquete and teach the histories of the system. Complimentary skills like shodo are taught to illustrate certain martial principles and every one trains their @$$ off.

    The system came to America by less than certain circumstances in the early 1900's (kosho ryu) and has been here for a long time. Would you consider such a system American (because it is taught to and trained by Americans) or would you consider it Japanese (because of its origins)?

    Regards,
    Walt


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    Default Re: Gaijin Desu - American Martial Arts

    If the system adheres closely to its traditional roots I'd say it was Japanese. If the system has been drastically altered since being introduced to America...I'd say it was American. My 0.02.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Gaijin Desu - American Martial Arts

    I study American Kenpo. All of our terms are in English. I guess it became Americanized when Ed Parker brought what he was learning to the mainland and began teaching Americans in a way that they could easily understand.

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    Default Re: Gaijin Desu - American Martial Arts

    So basically if the art stays true to its origins then it remains a Japanese Art? Much like a Chinese Restaurant. That's cool.

    What about an art like Shorinji Kempo? The founder specifically formulated it from Giwamon fist and merged it with some indigeonous fighting methods to create it. He claimed that the core of the system was inherantly Chinese yet it is now seen as a Japanese art.

    Regards,
    Walt

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    Default Re: Gaijin Desu - American Martial Arts

    Firstly, I'd say Kosho is a japanese art. Like you said.....it's more than the physical art, it's about passing on a bit of culture.

    The Japanese tend to japanify everything, such as the case with shorinji kempo.

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