Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology

Abstract - 40 Years of Zendo Karate Tao-Te-Tao and Idokan Karate (1975-2015)

Background. The Humanistic Theory of Martial Arts and the history of physical culture together constitute the theoretical framework for this research.
Aims and Objectives. The objective is an explanation of the educational and other values of the Zendo karate style (in terms of its technical structure, curriculum and humanistic content) and their role in its evolution.
Methods. A qualitative study of sources (by Peter K. Jahnke) and literature, and a longitudinal participant observation study were used. This has been ongoing in the Honbu (in Munich) and in some other martial arts’ organisations since 1993.
Results. The authors present a chronicle of the people practising today, the technical structure and programme, and the special humanistic values of this School and style. The unique values of Zendo karate Tai-te-tao include: 1) not succumbing to extreme commercialization; 2) rejection of competitive sports; 3) attention to teaching real self-defence techniques within the schools; 4) the requirement for theoretical knowledge and ethics; 5) simplified curriculum divided into 5 degrees of ‘kyu’, and 3 ‘dan’ degrees (only 2 student forms and 2 master forms).
Conclusions. In Zendo karate Tai-te-tao both educational and utilitarian values, in terms of its technical structure, curriculum and humanistic content, can be found. It is a School, style and direction in karate, established 40 years ago in Europe, but which has also gained recognition in Japan. At that time modifications in the technical sphere were made and the curriculum started to evolve.