Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Karate across the pond: “karate-do” vs “karate-jutsu”.

I'm driving for 3 hours on Thursday and back on Friday (Orlando for FETC).

I'd like to enjoy the drive so I've been hoping to understand how to download and listen to podcasts. Sadly, my newly repaired ipod still won't get recognized by the computer.

But, in preparing, I looked and round and listened to a podcast (online) from Iain Abernethy, a martial artist from across the pond. Let's start with the obvious. Great accent, hard work for us yanks to follow.

When I was in London (for 5 years before moving to Flordia), I would often turn to my colleagues during a meeting and ask them about an accent (actually, we would usually do this during a tea break or in the loo). My friends could tell me alot about someone based on the accent. eg - Upper crust pretensions, fancy schools, but not to the manor-born. Or, north country, school up there, notice the short sleeves and friendly attitude. Or, Scotsman thru and thru. He's not buying, let's not waste any time.

I was amazed and intrigued by the accent recognition game. I never made much progress in being able to recognize them myself. All this by way of saying that despite his conspicuous accent, I can't place him regionally or otherwise although I'm sure that I should be able to since it sounds very familiar (my only success in recognition was occassionally I could recognize an accent as identical to someone else's which effectively gave me the basics).

Iain's podcast was on “karate-do” vs “karate-jutsu”. He starts with:

The term “karate-do” has become associated with ineffective karate that makes little or no attempt to train in a realistic way....In contrast.... the practitioners of “karate-jutsu” are often viewed as dangerous psychotics who revel in violence and are base individuals unable to appreciate the higher aspects of the martial arts...

He ends by saying that they are two halves of the same coin which I find very diplomatic. Perhaps too diplomatic. I'm curious in more of a "take" as in: ....training to fight without the -do-training in patience and displine, is too dangerous and likely to lead to problems....Schools on the -jutsu side tend to foster....(this is an example, not a viewpoint)

It's definitely worth a listen especially if you like their use of a more interesting vocabulary than is in common-usage Stateside. Also, the discussion somewhat parallels the Great Kata debate. Do we use the -do and -jutsu terms in this country?

Undergoing MyBlogLog Verification

1 comment:

JohnE said...

I emailed Iain and he responded to my accent comments: My Grandfather, who had a very broad accent and would often "discuss" it with my Scottish Grandmother, was of the view that we Cumbrians did not have accents; it was the rest of the world that did :-) It's funny how your ears attune to these thing though. In this part of the world, I could tell you what town a person was from by the accent (many of which are only a few miles apart). However, aside from the Southern and New York accents, all American accents sound very similar to my English ears. Similarly all Scottish accents sound alike - aside from Glaswegian - and I'm unable to pick out the differences from place to place. All quite interesting I find.