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 Post subject: Zen in Your Karate?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:34 pm 
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Hi all. Can somebody point me to an objective historical look at the relationship of Buddhism and Karate? I've studied Zen Buddhism for several years and have several questions where they may or may not overlap. Thanks in advance.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:55 pm 
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Sorry, I don't know of any objective historical book, but I assume you are familiar with what Shoshin Nagamine has written about it. Easy to google that. Perhaps a bit more obscure is a comment he made to L.W.Preston, as recorded in her journal ( http://www.sczenkarate.org/ ):

Quote:
He further stated that hardly anyone or rather no one he knows has adopted zen, has married zen to karate as he has. He asked me if I knew of dojo in America that has done so and I said no. He went on to make me promise to teach zen as he had taught me.


So, this suggests that the connection with zen may not be a strong one in Okinawa, historically speaking. Nagamine himself was not taught by his masters to mix the two. What about Chinese martial arts, however?

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:02 pm 
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Thanks for your response. I got into Zen as a teenager and have spent plenty of hours sitting, reading and talking with the occasional monk. During this I've never come across references to martial arts. Yet during my brief study of Karate I've heard some say the Bodhidarma himself invented Sanchin. I find that hard to believe and would like to hear or read something from a trustworthy historian on the subject. It's an odd position, I greatly desire to marry my two favorite subjects but not in an untruthful or misunderstood way.

If the dojo was also the zendo I would never leave the building.

I'm just yapping, feel free to sharply correct my error. I'll order some literature by Nagamine. I did have one of his books but suspect I didn't read it closely enough. I'll try again. Thanks.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:56 am 
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Just a thought from a non-buddhist, if one is a buddhist, how can one's karate not be buddhist?

How is zen separate from karate? Or basket weaving, for that matter.

Also, why do you find it hard to believe that the Bhodidharma created sanchin? Personally I don't care who created it, but someone did. So who created sanchin, and why should I care?

If the patron saint of Chinese buddhism didn't create sanchin, does that make sanchin somehow less zen, or shall we say chan?

I find it hard to believe that Jesus Christ ever lived, but it doesn't seem to have any affect on the truth of what he taught.

What if the Buddha never existed? Would that have any impact on the validity of what he taught. :lol:

A rose is a rose is a rose. :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:05 pm 
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"Just a thought from a non-Buddhist, if one is a Buddhist, how can one's karate not be Buddhist?"

I must of course agree with you on that.

"Also, why do you find it hard to believe that the Bhodidharma created sanchin? Personally I don't care who created it, but someone did. So who created sanchin, and why should I care?"

It seems that it is best to attempt to be truthful with students. If they find out through independent investigation that you have been giving them inaccurate information you will lose their trust. And it seems that is not beneficial to anyone.

"What if the Buddha never existed? Would that have any impact on the validity of what he taught."

Are you sure you're not a Buddhist?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:23 am 
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"I find it hard to believe that Jesus Christ ever lived, but it doesn't seem to have any affect on the truth of what he taught."

I completely disagree with this. It is quite easy to believe that Jesus lived, as there's plenty of evidence to support this. It's just hard for a critical mind to accept that he was the son of God and could break the rules of physics. And as far as the truth of what he taught, that's up for debate. There are some statements in the new testament that don't ring true, to me. It may be different for you. So I think understanding the historical, probable, Jesus is useful. Just as understanding the historical Buddha is useful and not some later addition by a possibly less enlightened political group.

Questions can only help clarify, even if the answer is, we don't know. Saying I don't know is far better than saying something untrue.

So I'd like to do some research and try to answer some questions. It seemed asking here first would be a good place to start. I'm going to bug a Buddhist forum next.

Please feel free to disagree. I bet you'll say something I didn't know and help me learn.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:56 pm 
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Good luck with your search. I like to hear the history (or histories :wink: ) behind things too. It adds resonance or flavor to understanding.


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 Post subject: zen
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 3:26 am 
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Anybody ever read Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams? Interesting book.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:52 pm 
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I haven't yet. What did you think about it? Was it useful to you? This weekend I'm hoping to purchase a couple of books on the topic. Any tips welcome!

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 Post subject: zen
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 5:31 pm 
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I liked it a lot. An easy read that can be done in a day. the author has studied a lot of different arts and i found his take on the zen aspect interesting. I'd recommend it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 3:18 pm 
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Yes, that was an interesting and excellent book. My martial arts and philosophy books are packed away right now, otherwise I'd list a number of similar books for discussion.

Also, I apologize for being remiss in my duties and wish to welcome eric, fivedragons, and mhosea to this forum. Your contributions, opinions and thoughts can only help to educate us all...

Take care...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 8:05 pm 
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In the interest of synchronicity, this was just posted on Van's forum:


Quote:
"Goju Sanchin Article
Here are a few great references from Mike Clark's Sodokan Goju Ryu web page from England:

http://www.gojukarate.co.uk/sodokan005.htm

The philosophy of Hakkei or explosive power of Sanchin:

http://www.gojukarate.co.uk/sodokan015.htm

The 3 conflicts or 3 jewels of Sanchin:

http://www.gojukarate.co.uk/sodokan006.htm

Enjoy!!
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New England Budo Center


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:19 pm 
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wow good links man!

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 Post subject: Zen, and Karate.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:26 am 
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deletion by author


Last edited by Thomas Ferguson on Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:05 am 
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Thomas:
Very Interesting.

Thanks for your input.

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