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The influence of French gymnastics and military French boxing on the creation of modern karate (1867-1914)

Authors:

Jean-François Loudcher ,

University of Bordeaux, FR
About Jean-François

Jean-François Loudcher is Professor in the Sport Faculty (STAPS) of Bordeaux University. He teaches the social sciences of sport and has several lines of work and research, many of which focus on the history of combat practices such as savate, boxing, judo, karate, la cane, and wrestling. His other research areas include the history of sports and physical education in France and abroad. More broadly, his research interests include violence, health, politics, coaching, cultural heritage and sports heritage.

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Christian Faurillon

Independent Researcher, JP
About Christian

Christian Faurillon is a budoka and an independent researcher living in Okinawa.

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Abstract

The birthplace of karate is Okinawa in southern Japan. During its national integration through the military and educational action of the imperial government during the Meiji era, the basic katas (型) or “forms” (series of defence and attack movements in space epitomizing combat against opponents) called pinans (ピンアン) or the quiet way, were created by Itosu (last name 糸洲) Ankō (first name 安恒). These laid the foundations of modern karate, at the crossroads of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. France played a major role in the organisation of the Japanese army in this period. This paper analyses the extent to which France influenced this process with specific attention to the model of French gymnastics and boxing associated with the influential Joinville School of physical education.

How to Cite: Loudcher, J.-F. and Faurillon, C., 2021. The influence of French gymnastics and military French boxing on the creation of modern karate (1867-1914). Martial Arts Studies, 11(11), pp.80–100. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/mas.135
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Published on 19 Jul 2021.
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