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Monday, September 13, 2010

Just Some Interesting Google Results for Oklahoma Martial Arts

Some time back, on a lark, I googled Oklahoma Shorei-kan (Shorei-kan being the name of Seikichi Toguchi's organization, and me just happening to be wondering about it) just to see if anything came up. Much to my surprise, there were hits in addition to Haggerty's Karate in Oklahoma City, which I already knew about. Here they are, if you're interested in Okinawan Goju Ryu, as opposed to Japanese Goju Ryu, which, thanks to Lou Angel's long-ago dominance in this state, is by far the most well-known flavor.

The difference between Okinawan Goju Ryu and Japanese Goju Ryu? Practitioners of these arts will no doubt differ with me, but if I had to pin down the differences, I'd say that the most notable one is that Japanese Goju Ryu doesn't make anywhere near the use of hojo undo that Okinawan Goju Ryu does. Other than that, they seem like substantially the same art to me, at least on the surface. But that's just my opinion. I don't practice either one. At any rate, here they are:

Stillwater Goju Ryu in Stillwater, Oklahoma

Shorei-Kan Goju-Ryu Karate in Enid, Oklahoma

There are multiple links to various Japanese Goju Ryu sites in my sidebar, if you're interested.

Would you believe that you can find Shorin Ryu, too? There's a club, mostly Baptist, from what I gather, in Oklahoma City.

Much to my shock, there appears to be a genuine American Kenpo school or club here in Tulsa. There used to be more of a kenpo presence here in Tulsa. A long time ago, we had a "Tracy's Karate" (Jim and Al Tracy were some of Ed Parker's most noted students) franchise here, and I am sure that there are a few of the black belts from that old school still practicing in their garages or something. Also, Roger Greene, if I'm not mistaken, teaches somewhere near Tahlequah. But if you're interested in Ed Parker's American Kenpo, that's what The Tulsa Academy of American Kenpo Karate claims to teach. They also claim to teach it with something of a "zen" perspective--whatever that means. In my experience, with most folks, it doesn't mean much! But you may want to probe the subject in more detail before enrolling.

As I've said elsewhere, I have a lot of respect for American Kenpo, if taught decently. Whatever you might think of its origins, and they are in hot, hot dispute, American Kenpo as Ed Parker left it seems to have become a pretty decent self-defense oriented system. If RyuTe instruction were not available to me (Thank God it is!), I would certainly consider American Kenpo.

I must also say one other thing about American Kenpo: there are a lot of charlatans, including one here in Tulsa, claiming high ranks in kenpo, or to have created their own systems (sometimes multiple systems!), out there. Be very suspicious when looking into kenpo. That's all I'm sayin'.

Speaking of RyuTe, there are, in fact, two instructors under whom you can learn RyuTe in Oklahoma. One of them, mine, is not in the best of health, and he has already told me that unless someone already in the association moves into the area, or someone who manages to demonstrate to him that he is likely to remain in the system and take it seriously asks to be taught, he is not likely to take any more students. The other gentleman is, as far as I know, taking students. If you're interested, you can probably contact him through the organization's website.

There are more martial arts-related links in my sidebar. Some of those organizations are in Oklahoma. Please be aware, also, that there are more than a few people teaching "martial arts" in Oklahoma that are so absolutely full of bovine by-products that it boggles the mind.

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