Seems like a good place to place a piece I like from Jerry VanCook's book, Real World Self-Defense. He is also a practitioner of Okinawan Karate (I believe GoJu) for 30 plus years.
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By now you're undoubtedly wondering why I keep putting the word "tradtional" in quotes. The short version is that the word "traditional" is just flat incorrect as we use it pertaining to martial arts.
The long version begins with the fact that the maritial arts we refer to as "traditional," as they are taught in America today, are ancestral in techniques only, not in spirit. They were originally developed as practical means of self-defense for a specific time and place. Each system incorporated the weapons available at the time; the specific geographic terrain of the area; and the size, strength, physical condition, and social outlook of the people who would utilize it. The techniques that evolved were those deemed best for those people of that time and in that place.
The word evolved, in fact, is the operative word that separates "traditional" systems from today's practical defense. In the days when the "traditional" systems were used in actual combat rather than merely practiced as arts, they were constantly evolving. When practical new techniques were discovered, they were incorporated into the program. IF a technique proved useless in battle, it was discarded. As technology progressed and new weapons were developed, they too were added. It was not until these systems were no longer needed for "everyday" defense and began to be practiced as arts that they became static rather than active and evolutionary in nature. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Never heard this view better expressed.
[This message has been edited by david (edited December 08, 2000).]