Karate in the Olympics Part 2 Karate and Apartheid

In part one we tried to explain the idealogical battles that were festering between the elite of the Japanese karate and the other members of the JKA. It is important to understand this as many of the expansion program for karate to the world outside Japanese started with this organisation.
In this quest to expand many senior instructors were sent as envoys to different parts of the world.
The Japanese karate group under the JKA also started forging relationship with many undesirable groups, like the Apartheid Government of South Africa, as Japan had a very favourable relationship with the Apartheid regime for economic and other reasons. Karate was an important sport for the Apartheid regime and it supported the JKA group very seriously and many South African JKA members were part of the Apartheid security structure. Many South African Karate-ka were allowed open access to the JKA headquarters and many South African karate-ka became prominent in the JKA because of this. In the meantime many indigenous South Africans that were not considered “White” we excluded from participation in this sport. A law was passed to exclude blacks from dojos and the government even went so far as stating ” That Karate was detrimental to be taught to Black people”, this was a statement made in 1968 by a serving Minister in the Apartheid Government. Dojos in South Africa were classified as White or Black dojos and the karate taught was different, advanced for whites and a form of rudimentary karate for Blacks,karate-ka could not mix, otherwise if they did they were prosecuted. Team that represented South Africa were reserved for White karate-ka ONLY, any black karate-ka was excluded an not allowed to earn National South African honours or colours, a case in point is Gen Popham, a person classified in the Apartheid South Africa as a coloured person, a person of mixed race, he was selected as he won the South African Nationals and beat all his opponents and was denied the selection or honours as he was considered black.
Many prominent Japanese instructors on they way to expanding karate to other parts of the world first stopped in South Africa before going on to other prominent locations. Many organisations also expanded from South Africa to other parts of the world. An example is the first group of instructor including prominent karate-ka such as Kanazawa, Shirai, Kaze, Enoeda travelled to Apartheid South Africa first before dispersing into Europe where they went on to become legends in their own right, they only taught white karate-ka and were denied teaching black karate-ka and all blacks were excluded by law from teaching the black majority. This is one of the reason that the white karate-ka where given technical preference and political preference in the JKA and other organisation. Secondly, example is the spread of Shukokai under Shigero Kumira, his first stop after Japan was South Africa and then to the United Kingdom and America. Today the prominent leaders in Shukokai are South African. Another example is the IOGKF of Morio Higashionna, first expaned into South Africa and then to Europe. Again only teaching white karate-ka. In the World Union of Karate Organization (WUKO) now World Karate Federation (WKF) the same practices prevailed and white Apartheid South Africa was given preference over the black majority. In 1982 in the WUKO World Championship in Taiwan the a South African white team entered to participate at this championship. WUKO wanted to allow this team to participate but after much pressure from the African members, the Anti Apartheid Movement and the United Nations. A vote was held and the vote was won by 4 votes against allowing a white Apartheid team to participate. All the socialist and communist country stood by Black South Africa against the Apartheid Government.
In 1976 in Long Beach a South African all white team was allowed to participate by WUKO and at the same time a IAKF tournament was held in the USA and the IAKF refused South Africa to participate. It was WUKO that turned this around and blamed the IAKF as allowing a team to participate when they were the perpetrators, it was at this Taiwan Congress that the Unification of karate was starting to take its position. A Confederation was created to try to get karate accepted by 1992 into the Olympic Movement and into the future Olympic Games. Unification was paramount and the WUKO and IAKF attempted to get this started. But WUKO was not interested in unification but rather usurping IAKF into the WUKO. I was very instrumental in lobbying Apartheid Karate’s exclusion as the United Nations had passed a resolution at its Gleneagles meeting that sanctions should be imposed on Apartheid South Africa in all areas including Sport. A black-list was created and those that had ties with South Africa were sanctioned. This did not stop the Japan and some elements within WUKO, they continued to have relationship with Apartheid South Africa. The team that was rejected by the WUKO in Taiwan in 1982, was invited by the JKA to come to Japan and participate in a created international friendly between South Africa and Japan. Taiwan also had very close and important ties with Apartheid South Africa and they allowed a rebel team to take part outside the world championship in another created international tournament between South Africa and Taiwan.
So one can conclude that this practice of underhandedness and impunity started in the 1970’s and the networks and relationship continues until today. This is part of the reason the World Karate Federation is viewed in such a bad light by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), its constitution is very close to a Nazi or fascist ideology.
White supremacist and non democratic practices and ideologies are encouraged to the detriment of democracy and karate unity and development have been a modus operandi since the formation of the World Union of Karate Organization and the other international organisations that started at this time. .
In part three we will outline the break in relationship between the IAKF and France and the Japanese backing of the European Agenda.

Karate and the Olympics Part 1

The situation that contributed to the karate division starts in the university system in Japan, as many have been constantly been brainwashed with that Funakoshi Gichin Sensei is the founder of modern karate, this is not correct. Funakoshi Sensei was given board and lodging at a university in Tokyo and for his he was given a janitors job so he could live. This is one of the reasons why Shotokan (Funoshi’s pen name) not the name of the karate ryuha, the students of Funakoshi who started this movement from the university were nationalist and wanted to have their own style, much diffrent and independent from all other Okinawan or other Japanese organisations at the time. The universities in Tokyo especially those students that founded the Japan Karate Federation (JKA). This group regarded themselves as an elite group was they had direct access to the nobility and high society in the Japanese system and most of these individuals were imperialist or nationalist. It is through this association that they had access to resources and also to decision makers.
The brainchild of the creation of the JKA was through Keio University and Shichi Tokudo, it is this high level contacts that got the JKA’s recognition by the Ministry of Education, which is a very powerful endorsement, which is still enjoys until today. The students of Funakoshi also were at loggerheads as their was a group calling themselves the Shotokai, then there was those that believed that the JKA was changing the original teaching and then the JKA which was changing the karate of Funakoshi to bring a more acceptable Japanese favour to the karate they were presenting to Japn and the world, this is attributed to the fact that the Japanese would not accept that they were adopting a Okinawan art, as Okinawa was regarded as not at their social level, and backward. This is also the reason that Funakoshi had to change the names of of the kata he brought from Okinawa and the kanji from chinese Hand to Empty Hand. Again, Japan was at war with China and anything Chinese was not acceptable to the Japanese. It was this university group that started experimenting with kumite matches, for two reason. One to introduce free fighting as a way to show their prowess and the other Japan was at war and needed to instil the Japanese fighting spirit into the karate practitioners. These were brutal times as many freshmen were treated under very harsh conditions for them to prove themselves.
One of the prominent karate leaders and the architect of the formation of the JKA was Masatoshi Nakayama and a very talented Hideki Nishiyama, many karate-ka or seniors were drated into the army and the training of the karate classes were still ongoing, but very unorganized and everyone tried teaching their own favour of what they thought was what JKA was. It was this that forced the JKA to systemise their teaching and instructors structure. The famous instructors program was developed for this purpose. It was always the interest of this group and their high level backers to expand their karate as the trues Japanese karate, and they needed envoy’s to expand this imperialist and nationalist agenda.
It is with this backdrop that we must understand that the division of karate started at this type, nit because of style difference but because of class differences. It is a known fact on Okinawa that Funakoshi was not a senior students of the system he train in with Ankoh Itosu, and all his other teachers. But he was a fairly educated person and this is what appealed to the Japanese. Most karate instructor in Okinawa were not highly educated and very few spoke proper Japanese at the time. So the class issue was a big issue and the Japanese needed a face for “their”karate and Funakoshi was the ideal candidate.
In the expansion of karate the JKA started teaching at the American Army camps during and after the war, this gave them great networks to expand their karate world-wide. But at this time the diffrence in approach between the JKA group and the Shotokai group and others that trained with Funakoshi was started to become a serious problem. Actually Funakoshi was against the introduction of sport karate as he believe karate was a martial arts and could be a sport.
Nakayama Sensei’s father was very prominent Kendo-ka and Kendo had already started developing a competition system, and a lots of the early karate rules came from Kendo, that is why the linear fighting approach and the long distance fighting emphasis, this was another influence in the current JKA system of maintaining and long distance between the fighting practitioners. The Shobu Ippon system or sundome system was what the JKA was developing from the Kendo influence of one cut one kill. .This transferred to karate as Ikken Hitatsu, one punch kill.

Shuri-Te Kata for March

The January and February training material will be revised over and over until we are able to use the techniques in our kumite, bunkai and goshindo. What is important is that we must we able to melt the Kihon, Kata and Kumite into one powerful defence system using every aspect of a technique to maximum effectiveness.
In March our emphysis will be on the Shuri-Te kata obviously the execution is slightly perculiar to the Shuri te way and the main working points is Maai – distance, the Kime – focus and Taisabaki – the body usage.
The Katas we will work on are all the Pinan Katas taking each technique and working on its proper execution and the stances that will be worked and re-worked will be zenkutsu dachi, kokustu dachi, sanchin dachi and neko ashi dachi. the transfer and body impact in every technique is also something we have to work on especilly the Kime and the focus on the area of impact.
In Karate-Do and Okinawan Budo the secrets are all in kata and this becomes the focal area of our foundation to explore all other areas.
In our organization the emphysis on Budo instead of Shiai is what we are most interested in. Shiai is practiced and allowed but it one of the many components we practice.
Kata is our foundation and strategy and technique and tactics is a normal part of our training.
So again training everyday and sweating everyday is what we are trying and not compromising on. You don’t train we don’t talk the ink is our sweat and the effort is the words we are writing our karate book everyday one sentence until we finish our book on a yearly basis. Going back and re-reading and recommiting ourslves every year is what is important to us.
Those that don’t train at least 3 times a year at honbu and with me, if you are from outside Johannesburg, and at least 3 times a month if your are inside Johannesburg, as a minimum, you will be taken off the database of members. If a black belt does not train for two years then he must return to be a white belt for as long as he has been out of training.
See you all on the dojo floor sweating and improving. Until next week. Keep up the effort and never give up.