A technical analysis of Seiryoku zen'yo Kokumin taiiku-from a Karate and Chinese martial arts perspective as it affected Kano Jigoro

Chang Liu, Kyungwon Jung, Fumiaki Shishida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: There is frequent communication and a complex relationship between the martial arts in Eastern Asia, in particular between China and Japan. Nowadays Chinese martial arts are facing the issue of globalization following the wave of Chinese modernization. These authors believe is important to understand the core of martial arts through historical and comparative studies of the time before martial arts spread overseas. In fact, Kano Jigoro referred to Karate in his book Seiryoku zen'yo Kokumin taiiku written in 1924 as well to a set of movements or physical exercises that are now part of Judo. Karate has a close relationships with Chinese martial arts. Based on the analysis in this study, Kano must have known of the relationship between Karate and Chinese martial arts. What is more, Kano had direct contact with Chinese martial arts when he went to China and saw them being practiced. He even said that Chinese martial arts were similar to the Japanese martial art of Jujutsu. Based on these facts, this study will use Seiryoku zen'yo Kokumin taiiku as a clue to analyze the connection between Kano Jigoro and Chinese martial arts. Aims and objectives: To reveal the connections between Kano Jigoro and Chinese martial arts through Seiryoku zen'yo Kokumin taiiku, the study has to solve the following problems: 1. What kind of relationship do Karate and Seiryoku zen'yo Kokumin taiiku have? 2. Did Kano consider the relationship of Karate to Chinese martial arts when he created Seiryoku zen'yo Kokumin taiiku? 3. What kind of martial arts did Kano see when he went to China in 1902? Do similarities exist in the techniques or any other aspects of Seiryoku zen'yo Kokumin taiiku and the Chinese martial arts that Kano saw in China. Method: This is historical research combined with a phenomenological and technical approach. The study analyzes the technique of Seiryoku zen'yo Kokumin taiiku, and compares it with Karate and Chinese martial arts. The study also discovers what connections existed between Kano and Chinese martial arts based on related documents and materials. Results: The Tandoku movement and Karate do have a close relationship. Seiryoku zen'yo Kokumin taiiku, as a kind of kata of Judo, has striking techniques that used to be seen in Karate. It should also be borne in mind that Seiryoku zen'yo Kokumin taiiku was created two years after Gichin Funakoshi started spreading Karate to the Japanese mainland. Kano should also have known this history when he created Seiryoku zen'yo Kokumin taiiku. Kano was more likely referring to Shuaijiao when he said he was excited to find the Chinese martial arts were similar to Jujutsu. Furthermore, Shuaijiao shares similarities with Seiryoku zen'yo Kokumin taiiku in both techniques and training methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalIdo Movement for Culture
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • East asia
  • Gichin funakoshi
  • Judo
  • Jujutsu
  • Shuaijiao

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Philosophy

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