Let’s do a little time traveling. It is July 12, 2018 and let’s take a brief skip in time back 100 years and think about Okinawan karate.
Back in 1918 the only experts were adults. And they were of one class of the Okinawan people. Karate was theirs alone. Some efforts to teach a version of their art was happening in the Okinawan school system, but the effect of those efforts was not felt in the karate world. Not only was the art restricted to one those of one class of Okinawan people, there was not thought of sharing their art with Japan itself, or with the entire world.
It was not one art, there were several, and while having similar traditions. They also had distinct differences.
What the actuality of that training was is still open to discussion. But there are indications that a much wider range of training was followed by some traditions, too.
No one on Okinawa was writing books for other Okinawan’s about what those karate traditions were.
And the single reference we have of some documentation, was something called the Bubishi. It was a collection of loose leaf papers, not a book, one written in Chinese requiring a good level of Chinese education to make much sense of it.
Surely not even the most forward thinker with Okinawan karate would have thought of the incredible changes that would happen in 100 years.
So today we have dvd’s, youtube, magazines, books, 19,000,000 karate practitioners around the words. Karate competition, specific uniforms and so many other things,
Now we move our time machine 100 years forward from today, It then in July 12, 2118.
Again I am quite sure we have absolutely no idea what the world will be like on that day. No idea what karate organizations, practices, etc. of 2018 will pass the muster of time to remain at that future date.
Though I am sure there are plenty of people who extrapolate that what they do today, will continue to grow and survive. But no one really knows what is going to occur, nor how what occurs will shape karate over that time. That reality should be kept in mind.