Glossary Martial Arts / Term


An expression that usually refers to the type of martial arts one practices, e.g. judo, karate, aikido, etc. In karate, the word style refers to the system or school in which one practices. Since there are hundreds of different types of karate, each with different characteristics, the word "style" has become common among practitioners when referring to the specific kind of karate they are engaged in such as Shotokan, golu-ryu, tae kwon do, shorln-ryu, Chito-ryu, renbukan, etc. A growing number of styles are created each year, adding to the confusing array of martial systems. Today, as in the past, as a master perfects a style, he adds techniques of his liking and deletes those that are incompatible. In other cases, two or more styles are combined to give rise to yet another variety. There are also multitudinous styles built around weapons.
The earliest Okinawan karate styles were typically named after the masters who created them. Around 1830, Sokon Mateumura became the first Okinawan karate master to call his style by a name other than his own, Shurl-te. From that point, Okinawan karate styles were called Shuri-te, Naha-te, and Tomari-te, forms of te (hand), the early name for karate,which were named after the cities where they were created and practiced. Although minor variations exist, the most prominent Okinawan styles are shorin-ryu (which entails three primary subdivisions, shobayashi-ryu, kobayashi-ryu, and
matsubayashi-ryu, plus one secondary subdivision, matsumura orthodox); Okinawan golu-ryu; shorelryu; Uechl-ryu; and isshinryu.
In Japan, karate is divided into karate-lutsu (which focuses strictly on self-defense and combat) and the more popular karatedo (which embraces spirrtual and philosophical dimensions). According to the late martial scholar, Donn F. Draeger, there were more than 70 styles of karate-do extant in Japan by the early 1 970s. There are today four major styles of karate-do: Shotokan; Shito-ryu; wado-ryu; and golu-ryu. Other important styles include:
kyokushinkal; renbukal; Chito-ryu; sankukal; koei-kan; shukokal; and shudokan.
In Korea, the umbrella term tae kwon do is primarily representative of Korean karate, followed by tang soo do and hapkido. The term tae kwon do was coined in 1955 when an undetermined number of the eight existing kwans (schools) merged to form this art. Five kwans have remained within tae kwon do: chang moo kwan; chung do kwan; chi do kwan; ji do kwan; and oh do kwan.
Tang soo do, like tae kwon do, has spread prolifically throughout the world.

Permanent link Style - Modification date 2020-01-05 - Creation date 2020-01-05

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