|Castaneda Martial Arts Academy|
ABOUT DIFFERENT MARTIAL ARTS SYSTEMS & STYLES
Kosho Shorei Ryu
Kosho Ryu is an ancient art form founded in about 1245 AD by a monk. Legend has it that this stranger meditated under an old pine tree and discovered the meaning of true self-defense. Self-Defense with no body contact is the highest physical art. Kosho Ryu artists learn to move such that opponents cannot see, feel or hear them. By manipulating the attacker perception of their environment, they are able to control their movements, force and aggression. Today the temple still stands strong in Japan as it did centuries ago. However, there is no practice of Kosho Ryu at the temple at present, as the monks spend most of their time with their religious practices. The most apparent reminder of the past is an old plaque found on the temple grounds dedicated to the monk.
The direct translation of Kosho Ryu is "the study of natural laws", "the way of enlightenment" through motion and movement. There is no other art like Kosho Ryu. It is not a "style" or "system" but rather an understanding or process. It is a study of the natural law of motion and movement. The student learns that all the seemingly diversified art forms function by the same set of natural laws and principles. In doing so, the student learns to accept and deal with life as it is and not how they wish it to be. Kosho is about the process of study. Its combative arts are devastatingly effective but only represent a part of what Kosho Ryu is all about. The art form builds healthy character and allows the student to expand their abilities beyond expectations.
Kosho Ryu students learn to pay attention to their environment and to themselves. As a result of this natural law approach, the principles of Kosho can easily be integrated with any art. These principles will lend new insights and a quantum leap in understanding to even the advanced practitioners of martial arts.
Material taught in the Kosho Ryu curriculum include the understanding of prepratory arts, human body and its systems, restorative arts, escaping arts, healing arts, weaponry, philosophy, internal arts, weaponless forms of self defense.
Kosho Ryu is more than just a fighting art, it is a way of life complete with a socially significant philosophy that is capitalized in the term "self-defense". Only in the most extreme situations of life threading aggression are the fighting aspects of the art brought into play. The fighting arts themselves are designed to bring the opponent to the awareness of their wrong doing rather than to harm them. Kosho Ryu is the development of restraint, propriety, humbleness and integrity.
Arnis practitioners utilize empty hand techniques and weapons such as sticks and knives. There are different forms of combat which use different types of weapons such as a long wooden sword and a short wooden dagger. There is a single stick and double stick Arnis which uses one or two 2 foot long stick(s) made of wood or cane.
Arnis is a serious form of self defense but it is often seen as a sport. It uses almost all hand techniques, striking and parrying and depends strongly on strategy. Students train with drills, sparring and in free style practice and the training is very physical and strenuous.
Arnis practitioners also develop mental, emotional and spiritual qualities.
Kenpo is a mixture of five cultures (in historical order): Chinese, Japanese, Okinawan, Hawaiian (before Hawaii became a state) and American.
The word Kenpo is Japanese for "Fist Law" (Ken/fist, Po/Law) which in itself is confusing for this art started in China. Most people have heard of "Chinese Kenpo" or "American Kenpo." But Japanese? (For point of reference "Fist Law" in Chinese is CH'UAN FA.)
The name is the result of centuries of development and change. Despite it's birth in China, the art of "Kenpo" was passed down through the Mitose family who studied the original art in China in the 1600's and brought it back to Japan. The Mitose family were Japanese, so, naturally they used Japanese to describe their family system.
James M. Mitose moved from Japan to Hawaii and the style he taught there was called "Kenpo Jiu-Jitsu" (He wrote a book in 1953 called: "What is Self Defense? (Kenpo Jiu Jitsu).
James Mitose's second Shodan was William Chow. In 1949 Chow opened his own Kenpo club and he used the term "Kenpo Karate" to try and distinguish his system from "Kenpo Jiu Jitsu."
In the early 1950's Ed Parker (who was a Judo Shodan) started to take Kenpo Karate lessons with W. Chow. In 1956 Ed Parker moved to Pasadena, California where he opened his own Kenpo Karate school. Ed parker would later become the foremost pioneer of Kenpo to the American mainland. Ed Parker's 5th and 6th black belts were Al and Jim Tracy.
Through the years of 1956-1960, Parker's system of Kenpo was called "Original Kenpo" because it was identical to that Mitose and Chow taught. (Parker called his system simply, "Kenpo Karate.") In 1961, Ed parker and Chinese Gung Fu Master, James Wing Woo co-founded, "Traditional Kenpo."
So, Kenpo has had a lot added to it over the centuries. Please don't take this short summary as a suggestion that Kenpo is not a "set" art. On the contrary, after so many years of development the Kenpo system knows what does and doesn't work, because of the fact that the style has been handed down from one generation to another for hundreds of years. (They have had a lot of practice.)
Many people call Kenpo the "ultimate in self defense." Kenpo training emphasizes a scientific approach to combat. Kenpo disables an attacker with quick, efficient techniques. Kenpo has a counter for every kind of grab, punch, strike, charge or push. The counters range from simple escapes to joint locks, brakes, blocks, strikes and joint and nerve strikes. From Gecko K Martial Arts
Shootfighting might be the most all round martial art the world has ever seen. The best styles of the world have contributed with their specialties. Stand up fight from muay thai, clinch and take downs from judo and Wrestling and from sambo and ju-jutsu the ground fight. Stand up fight and ground fight is equally emphasized. There is always something new to learn as a result of the versatility. Since you can specialize on the training that suits you, it never becomes boring.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, among other styles, has during the recent years showed the importance of well working skills in grappling. However, the stand up fight can not be left in the background. Shootfighting is the style that combines stand up fight, clinch and ground fight the best. It has become a success. Fighters who train according to the shootfighting concept dominates within the NHB. Here you can find fighters as Bas Rutten, Frank Shamrock, Randy Couture, Maurice Smith and others.
Shootfighting was created when a German wrestler, Karl Gotch, was teaching "real Wrestling" or "shooting" to a group of Japanese elite fighters. Two of the fighters, Masami Soronaka (karate, judo and sumo) and Yoshiaki Fujiwara (muay thai/kickboxing and judo) created what was called UWF or "hard style" in Japan. Fights have been arranged during more than 10 years.
Bart Vale took the style to the west. He was the first champion who was not Japanese. Bart was also the person who came up with the term Shootfighting.
Shootfighting became well-known all over the world through UFC and other NHB arrangements. It is the third most popular "audience sport" in Japan and is continuing to grow fast.
It is important to emphasize that Shootfighting unlike UFC etc. is a sport with certain limits. This is to protect the fighters and improve the quality of the techniques.
In the old days, Asian men of Mongolian descent from China down to the Malaya peninsular fought their wars face to face, fist to fist, unlike their Caucasian counterparts in Europe, who concentrated on developing weapons with which to fight. For this reason personal capabilities played a major role in the art of fighting and an efficient martial art was extremely important. Muay Thai is one of the most efficient martial arts.
Since modern technology did not exist in ancient times, Thai children did not have mechanical toys to play with. Instead, they used their bodies to play games. Those simple games served as basic exercises for Muay Thai. They made parts of the bodies ready.
Muay Thai involves all parts of the body. The students of Muay Thai learn about the body's weak points and understood how to exercise one's physical parts.
'Nawa-attawut' or the 9 principal weapons in Muay Thai include head, two fists, two elbows, two knees, and two feet. In addition, there are combination weapons which are two shoulders, arms, bottom and the outer parts of the ankles: The practice of using both the principal weapons and the combination weapons in Muay Thai requires not only hard work, but the proper steps and great endurance.
The training involves rigorous physical training, similar to that practiced by Western boxers. It includes running, shadow-boxing, and heavy bag work. Much emphasis is also placed on various drills with the so-called "Thai pads". These pads weigh five to ten pounds, and cover the wearers forearms. In use, the trainer wears the pads, and may hold them to receive kicks, punches, and knee and elbow strikes, and may also use them to punch at the trainee. This training is vaguely similar to the way boxing trainers use focus mitts. The characteristic Muay Thai round kick is delivered with the shin, therefore, shin conditioning is also done.
Little or no free-sparring is done in training, due to the devastating nature of the techniques employed. Thai boxers may box, hands only, with ordinary boxing gloves. Another training drill is for two fighters to clinch, and practice a form of stand-up grappling, the goal of which is to try to land a knee strike. However, full-contact kicks, knees, and elbows are typically not used in training.
Upon closer examination, practitioners will find from Aikido what they are looking for, whether it is applicable self-defense technique, spiritual enlightenment, physical health or peace of mind. O Sensei emphasized the moral and spiritual aspects of this art, placing great weight on the development of harmony and peace. "The Way of Harmony of the Spirit" is one way that "Aikido" may be translated into English. This is still true of Aikido today, although different styles emphasize the more spiritual aspects to greater or lesser degrees. Although the idea of a martial discipline striving for peace and harmony may seem paradoxical, it is the most basic tenet of the art.