American Martial Arts
Americans’ first contact with Japanese martial arts most likely came from Japanese immigrants, especially after 1853 and the “opening” of Japan to the West. In the 1880’s, Jigoro Kano, a longtime student of the martial art of jujutsu, noted the decline of Japan’s ancient warrior traditions. He feared the loss of vital parts of Japanese culture and learning, and took steps to preserve the martial arts. He created the Kodokan, the “hall for teaching the way,” and his own style of martial art, judo (“the gentle way”). Judo is a composite of many different styles of jujutsu but is more of a sport than a system of combat. Kano’s hope was to make the martial arts fit the needs of modern times and therefore keep them alive. To preserve the old, he had to create something new.
Even though Chinese martial arts were probably brought to America with the first Chinese immigrants, they were largely unnoticed or ignored for decades, even centuries. Perhaps the main reason for this is that Chinese immigrants were viewed as a “fringe group” by the dominant culture in America. Interaction and cultural exchange between Chinese and white Americans was minimal when compared to that of other groups, and the problem was made worse by segregation and the Chinese Exclusion Act. Chinese martial arts grew and evolved in America while remaining almost totally untouched by non-Chinese Americans, setting the stage for their explosive growth in the 1960s.
Shootfighting does not have a long history, even if the catch wrestling style that it was born from does. In the 1970’s, a catch wrestler by the name of Karl Gotch taught several Japanese professional wrestlers catch wrestling. This style of fighting was often termed “hooking” or “shooting”. Later, a rather famous professional wrestler by Read more
Secretly, in the dark of night, the ancient warriors practiced the deadly moves involved in the art of self defense called lua. It was a discipline that required balancing the practitioner’s spiritual and physical aspects in order to achieve victory in battle as well as harmony in everyday living. Two of several definitions for “lua” Read more
Danzan Ryu Ju Jitsu: Henry Okazaki was born in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan in 1890. In 1906, he immigrated to the island of Hawaii. Soon arfter, he was afflicted with a pulmonary condition which may have been tuberculosis. It was during this time, however, that young Okazaki began studying under Yoshin-Ry? jujutsu sensei by the name Read more
Wrestling has been popular throughout recorded history. Origins of the sport can be traced back 15,000 years to cave drawings in France. Early Egyptian and Babylonian reliefs depict wrestlers using most of the holds known to the present-day sport. In ancient Greece, wrestling occupied a prominent place in legend and literature; wrestling competition, brutal in Read more
Prior to the creation of American Kenpo by Edmund Parker, three significant events are always cited in the development of almost every style of Kenpo/Kempo practiced today… 1) Bodhidharma brings Kung Fu to Shaolin Temple in China, 520 AD. 2) A Shaolin monk named Bosatsu fled China and arrived in Kumamoto, Japan, around 1235, and Read more
The history of karate in America is very unique. Karate Mainly made its way to America Officially by US service men who learned their chosen art from first or second generation Okinawan or Japanese masters. Many of todays American Okinawan karate pioneers includes (but not limited to) John Roseberry Sensei, Frank Van Lenten Sensei, Peter Read more
Professor Henry Seishiro Okazaki, founder and Master of the Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu System and the American Jujitsu Institute of Hawaii, was born in the town of Kakeda, Fukushima Prefecture, on the island of Honshu, Japan, January 28, 1890. At the age of 16 he moved with his family to the island of Hawaii, Read more
The Japanese combat techniques of Jujutsu (also commonly known as Jujitsu and other spellings) date back at least 2000 years. The exact origins of jujutsu are unclear, as most of it’s history was only passed on in the oral tradition. The few early written references show that it’s origins date back to mythology. Jujutsu was Read more
JKD was created by the late Bruce Lee. Lee felt discontented with the traditional martial arts. He felt that the traditional styles were unrealistic and more ornate than pragmatic. One story has it that Bruce Lee was challenged by a member of the Chinese martial arts community because Lee was openly teaching caucasions his unique Read more
The origins of kickboxing can be found to date back two thousand years in Far East Asia. Kickboxing as we know it today developed under various influences. The first time anything resembling kickboxing was seen, was in the USA in the early 1970`s and was introduced as ‘Full Contact Karate’. A new generation of martial Read more
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