WHAT ABOUT KATA?
The original martial arts contained
no formalized movements. This is a truth that no one wants to admit because nearly all modern martial arts use a pre-determined
series as forms training. Bruce Lee would not accept this and instead broke with "tradition" and trained in a free-form manner.
He did not know that the precedence was in his favor. In reality he had stumbled upon Jiyu Kata or Mukei (No
form). For Bruce it just made since. Any Adult who has been instructed in Mukei feels the same.
Set patterns for training did not occur in Japan until the above mentioned Edo period during the 17th century. In little Okinawa, Mukei was the sole method of training until 1880, after Sokon "Bushi" Matsumura returned from China.
When Yasutsune Itosu taught school children he modified the forms that Matsumura brought back from China. He wanted
a way to teach school-age kids without worrying how they would use what they had learned. Only being taught the movement and
not the applications, they would not be able to use it to cause mischief and violence. When Karate was transferred to mainland
Japan, it was this "institutional" version that went with Gichin Funakoshi As Well as Chojun Miyagi, Kenwa Mabuni,
Hironori Ohtsuka and Tatsuo Shimabukuro.
The older Adult version
does still exist here in America with the last people who have been taught the complete art of Uchinadi, the Motobu family's style of
Bushi Te. We still teach Mukei, and we teach Yakusoku Kata. It is common for a student to have been trained by another teacher
before coming to our system, We think that is Great!
This may well be the last Okinawan native system to be instructed in the truly ancient manner. Here
in America we are one KARATE School
Family that has chosen to continue the ancient tradition by
still teaching the original Chinese based forms and Jiyu Kata to Adults. All our
Yudansha (black belts) practice Mukei with all Waza (techniques). This allows the practicioner to react in a
spontaneous and natural manner.