MMA Upper East Side : The differences between Japanese and Okinawan karate?
MMA Upper East Side



MMA Upper East Side : Igor Dyachenko’s knowledge



MMA Upper East Side : Karate is an incredibly popular sport around the world. Karate originates from the Japanese island of Okinawa. As the practice spreads, elements of the techniques change as a result. As the sport changes, Japanese karate and Okinawan karate become different. You may recognize similarities in each, but there are some significant differences.


How does Japanese and Okinawan karate compare?


As different masters take the things they learn from Okinawan karate to other dojos, things begin to change. The evolution of the sport leads to some differences. Okinawan karate and Japanese karate become two different things. Here we explore the two styles:


StanceIn Japanese karate, the position focuses on competitiveness and fitness. A low, combative stance is the form, but in Okinawan karate, a higher stance is correct. The higher way is more effective for self-defense as you can quickly get into it. Lower positions help to build stronger legs, but higher ones can be easier for taller people.

Sport vs. lifestyleKarate is a sport with more Kumite and techniques, so it is easier for point-scoring. The methods and teachings evolve to make the activity more competitive. Okinawan karate is a lifestyle with those that practice it focussing on philosophy. The practice is part of the culture and everyday life. While there are some competitions, it is not the main aim of the training.

WeaponsJapanese karate you see in the dojo’s around the world will mainly be hand-to-hand techniques. There is very little practice using weapons, but Okinawan karate is different. The practice of Kobodu uses ancient combat methods with tools. It is not always a practice involving weapons, but it is part of the teaching.

Combat distanceIn Japanese karate, you will see that combat is a long-range fight. Keeping an opponent at a distance is essential teachings but not in Okinawan karate. The form uses short-range and close contact, so moves such as unbalancing, trapping hands, and throwing.


The sport continues to evolve, but the philosophies and principals of karate remain the same at the core. At a kid’s karate class, your child learns the full picture. Proper technique, humility, and control are all essentials in the world of karate. Attending a class at Karate City will give your child access to the positive influence of martial arts traditions. MMA Upper East Side