Karate is going through a sort of revival these days, and many places advertise that karate they teach is “traditional”. Few can actually explain what this implies. If we accept that traditional means that something is passed down through generations, then most karate forms qualify as such. However, for proper definition, specific criteria need to be determined beforehand, and only if this set of criteria is met can we call karate traditional. Most of the modern forms originate in the period following World War Two.
- Old-style karate was for use in self-defence in a civilian environment. For karate to be ‘traditional’ it should also be practiced for self-defence in a civilian environment.
- There can be little doubt that karate does not have the same status it did in the past. To the wider martial arts community, Traditional Karate is often viewed as an out-dated relic and a wholly ineff
- Both old and modern karate includes striking techniques. Hence in this regard the karate of today could be thought of as traditional. However, closer examination shows that the striking techniques of
“In truth, Japanese is the “new” language of karate, being only a slightly older addition than the gi and obi.”