Traditional Fudokan Karate - My Way The fundamental psychological and physical principles of Karate By Univ. Prof. Dr. Ilija Jorga MD. PhD., 10th Dan, Soke Publisher: Karl-Hans König This book on Karate, written by Prof. Dr. Ilija Jorga now appears for the first time in English. It describes the fundamental physical and psychological principles of Traditional Fudokan Karate. Fudokan is a concept developed from Shotokan Karate. It extends the traditional aspects of Karate as seen in Shotokan, Shito-Ryu, Gojo-Ryu and Okinawa-Te by adding knowledge gained from the modern fields of biomechanics and sport medicine. Fudokan means House on a stable foundation. The style was established in 1980 by Prof. Dr. Ilija Jorga, 10th Dan, Soke, one of the great Karate Masters of our time. Prof. Dr. Ilija Jorga is still today engaged in teaching and training in Europe and throughout the world. In this book he describes how to apply these principles in training and in combat, and explains their relationships and concepts. The book also lists all the Fudokan Kata, and describes and illustrates the Katas specific to Fudokan, such as Meikyo Nidan, Taiji Shodan, Heian Oi Kumi and Kaminari. Single volume: hard cover edition with protective jacket Format: 220 × 170 mm 236 pages, color ISBN 9783743127760 Euro 29.90 To order, please visit www.shotokan-karate-dojo.com or online book stores like www.amazon.de or www.amazon.com
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“The highest aim in Karate-Do isn´t to win or to lose, it is to perfect the human character.”
“If you want to step into the footprints of your master, don´t follow him. search, what he was searching for.”
Karl-Hans König, 7th Dan 2017
As a sign of respect for my Sensei
(Mountain of the east)
Prof. Dr. Ilija Jorga
All rights in this book are reserved, especially those relating to its copying and distribution. The use of the text and images, even as extracts, without the approval of the author, publisher and publishing company, represent a breach of copyright and are actionable. This also applies to copying, translations, microfiliming and every type of processing by means of electronic systems.
This book has also appeared in German and will shortly appear in the following languages: Serbian, Russian, Turkish, Greek, Polish, Swedish, Italian, Arabic, Japanese.
Gender-specific forms of address
For a better readability of the text we have throughout used the masculine forms of address. This of course is intended to include the feminine form as well.
With Japanese names we have used the European form, giving the first name followed by the surname. Japanese terms are shown in italics.
The techniques described in this book, as with all other Karate techniques, are by their very nature dangerous. Incorrect use of them can lead to serious damage to health, even resulting in death.
They should only be studied and trained under the guidance and supervision of an experienced Karate master. Neither the publisher, the author nor the publishing company is responsible for any harm, damage or loss which may arise as a result of inattention or through application of the techniques.
Dr. Vladimir Jorga
Part One - The Principles of
The Principles of
and Martial Arts
and different cultures
Myths and Japanese martial arts
Part Two - The Principles of
The psychophysical principles of
Training of the body
The significance of the target area for the attack
Basic techniques and the main principles of their execution
Evaluation of the maximum striking force in
Different measured values of the striking force in
Transmission of the blow power and its strengthening
The flexible blow
The inflexible blow
The principle of using the opponent’s strength
Part Three - Practical Application of the Principles
Control of one’s own response and that of the opponent
– Recognizing an opportunity
- the right distance
Strategy and tactics – bringing the opponent into
Going back to the starting point
An empty gourd on the water
The Be-Mind and the No-Mind
or perception without emotional involvement
or unceasing comprehensive attention
The moon on a clear night
Karate Ni Sente Nashi -
there is no first attack
Part Four -
Movement rules in
Summary of the principles of
Part Five -
Fudokan Karate Kata
Fudokan Karate Kata
Heian Oi Kumi Kata
Heian Oi Kumi Kata
Taiji Shodan Kata
Taiji Shodan Kata
or Rohai Kata
Meikyo Shodan Kata
Meikyo Shodan Kata
Meikyo Nidan Kata
Meikyo Nidan Kata
Part Six - Prof. Dr. Ilija Jorga
Prof. Dr. Ilija Jorga
National and International
successes in detail
in the world of the Internet
Prof. Dr. Ilija Jorga
in the world of the Internet
Copyright of Images und Figures
Images and Figures
Image 1: St. Prohpor Pcinjski: Monastery of the XI. Century and Fudokan training area
In the name of
all that I represent,
I appeal to everyone
who follows me in confidence
and with commitment:
Courage, Respectfulness and Loyalty
will we succeed in making
become that to which we all aspire!
Prof. Dr. Ilija Jorga, 10. Dan, Soke
I would like to thank Prof. Dr. Ilija Jorga for the trust he placed in me in asking me to prepare the English-language version of this book, following its publication in German. But a book of this type is difficult for one person to prepare alone. It is based on collaboration with many others, who like me have embraced Fudokan Karate, and I would here like to express my warm thanks to these “helpers”.
I first would like to thank Dana Ahlers and Robert Bartlett for help with the preparation of the English text. Martin Battke -the brain- merits a special word of thanks for his checks and corrections of the mathematical and physical formulas and content.
I would like to thank Martin Kiss who prepared and made available the watercolor drawings and reliefs.
My special thanks go to my family and especially my wife Antje Pfaff-König for her support and suggestions. All inaccuracies and errors which may still be in this book are my responsibility alone. I would be pleased to hear your suggestions and comments.
Image 2: Robert Bartlett, Prof. Dr. Ilija Jorga and Karl-Hans König
What is Fudokan Karate? Translated, the term means “House on a stable foundation”. But one can really only understand traditional Fudokan Karate if you have trained with the founder of the style, Prof. Dr. Ilija Jorga, 10. Dan, Soke, and follow his explanations and descriptions. The present book by Prof. Dr. Ilija Jorga, which is now finally available in German and English, gives a comprehensive overview of the Fudokan style of Karate, a style which can now be found throughout Germany.
From its beginnings in the 1980s to the structure which it has today, Fudokan Karate has been subject to constant modification and development. Today the style provides well-founded answers for the Karateka who is interested in the traditions of the sport. Fudokan Karate is a health-oriented style of Karate, since Prof. Dr. Ilija Jorga who is a sports doctor, has been able to combine in the martial art of Fudokan the knowledge he has gained from sports medicine and physiology with his experience in traditional Karate.
I am proud to be a part of the Fudokan family in Germany, Europe, indeed the whole world, and consider myself fortunate in that I am able to train with my Sensei Prof. Dr. Ilija Jorga several times a year, each time learning and deepening my understanding of the art.
This book is intended as a sign of recognition of his life work and to preserve it for future generations. It is a source of inspiration and a source of the “old” knowledge for every Karateka, who like me is on a search for answers.
Bad Krozingen, March 2017
7. Dan Fudokan Karate Do
President Fudokan Karate Academy Germany
Secretary General European Fudokan Confederation
The book “Traditional Fudokan Karate - My Way” not only represents the 50 years long experience and development of Dr. Ilija Jorga but in a very specific, scientific and popular way it represents the implementation and development of science in Karate skill and sport. As a young assistant of physiology in a medical faculty and as a young scientist, Dr. Ilija Jorga soon realized that there was a need for a scientific foundation of those Karate skills which have developed through centuries of practice and through the work of different karate masters in Okinawa, China and Japan.
By relating his knowledge of biochemistry and physiology to training he gradually established the foundations of the scientific research and development of Karate.
In his master’s and doctoral theses he introduced a method of Karate training which was based on scientific principles, the system of competition and the skills of top Karate champions. Through scientific experiment and modern scientific doctrines Dr. Ilija Jorga has, in a very unique way, kept the essence of traditional Karate through relating scientific experiments to the knowledge and skills developed by the ancient masters over years of practice.
In developing his system of scientific training Dr. Ilija Jorga has always respected the experience obtained through the method of trial and error, and from a lifelong experience of practicing the skill itself.
The book "My Way" can be called the scientific pathway to developing Karate skills. Its integration of science and experience leads to the building of a new system. The book also emphasizes the need for the personal development of the Karateka and for a better and more human relationship between individuals, and it opens out the possibility of unlimited research into man’s capabilities and personality.
Dr. Ilija Jorga has incorporated science into a new, objective, precise and sophisticated way of studying Karate, yet one which also follows the route set by the great masters Funakoshi Gichin, and Dr. Ilija Jorga´s teachers Tetsui Murakami, Taiji Kase and Hidetaka Nishiyama. Essentially Dr. Ilija Jorga has developed Fudokan into an expression of the combination of science and experience.
Fudokan combines all the traditional postulates of Karate but also sets the scientific principles of modern Karate training. It is the product and outcome of Dr. Ilija Jorga´s 50 years of work as a professor of physiology, as a specialist in sport medicine and as a Karate champion: the best student of the best teachers.
Belgrade October 2016
Dr. Vladimir Jorga
Dr. Ilija Jorga´s brother, teacher and mentor
9. Dan Shotokan
The Jorga Brothers Dr. Ilija and Dr. Valdimir Jorga
Fudokan Karate accepts the idea that a human being comprises both matter and spirit, and that by his nature he is a creature which aspires to perfection. This is the basis for the broadest definition of Karate training and methods. The methods are aimed at the highest possible level of psychophysical development – the physical, mental, spiritual, and ethical shaping of a personality - the ideal state which, from the beginning of time, people have aspired to achieve through a multitude of different ways. In the case of Karate, Gichin Funakoshi captured this unity in its totality, in his Golden Rules.
Nevertheless, this description of Fudokan Karate only covers a part of the whole. Deeper understanding requires an examination of all aspects of its training as well as continued search for these. Our present views and knowledge of Fudokan training are based on the empirical knowledge of the Japanese Karate Association (JKA), on Shotokan Karate, and especially on the teachings of Professors Yoshitaka Funakoshi, son of Gichin Funakoshi, Tetsui Murakami, Taiji Kase and Prof. Hidetaka Nishiyama, and also on the insights obtained in other Karate styles and methods.
Image 3: Ilija Jorga 1978
Image 4: Ilija Jorga 2011
One of the many, widely-accepted aspects of Fudokan Karate is that it is a style which is based on training in which every single movement is made with a striving to achieve the physical, psychic and spiritual unity of the person who is training. In this respect it is undeniably true that any result will depend on the individual’s personal and psychophysical abilities. Attaining the “ideal state” in training is possible only if the training is individually adapted to every practitioner. In other words, there are as many training methods as there are Karate practitioners. Even those who do not possess the desirable physical ability to the necessary degree can master Fudokan Karate, but only if they build up the psychic part of their personalities at the same time as they develop their physical fitness. The essence is this: the primary characteristic of a Fudokan fighter is a high degree of self-control and self-discipline. He or she is aggressive only in exceptional circumstances, and even then is still capable of overcoming not only the momentary urge to attack but also that latent aggressiveness which lies dormat in most people.
The power of self-control is a proof of self-confidence acquired through years of training. Every Fudokan training session, every lesson, has to be adapted to the psychological precepts on which the methods are based and which ensure the psychosomatic unity of the student’s development. The same applies to the moral and ethical codex, with its emphasis on a sense of duty and honorable conduct.
This book is primarily intended for Fudokan Karate instructors; but it is also addressed to readers interested in Fudokan, traditional Karate, or other martial arts which stem from the rich cultural heritage of the East. In this book I have sought, to the best of my ability, to summarize my own experience in Karate as a martial art and competitive sport. Here my roles have been as a physician and researcher, as a coach of several generations of Karate athletes, and as the coach of the Yugoslav national team (which at the time was among the world’s most successful).
Last but not least I have tried to present the essential ideas which guided me when I founded Fudokan almost three decades ago. In writing this book, I have called upon many and diverse documents from the literature, some of which are cited in the footnotes. I have also included excerpts from books published on Karate which I wrote in cooperation with Dr. Vladimir Jorga and Petar Đurić in Yugoslavia between 1966 and 1986.
At this point, I must express my deepest gratitude to all those who have provided support and assistance in my work. My special thanks go to my student and President of the Fudokan Karate Academy Germany, Karl-Hans König for the publication of the German and now English language version of this book and to Dana Ahlers and Robert Bartlett for their valuable support. Of course, the responsibility for any mistake remains entirely mine.
Prof. Dr. Ilija Jorga,
Soke, 10th Dan and founder of the Fudokan style of Karate
Image 5: Ilija Jorga, Milan 1976, Italy, winner of the European Kata championship
Image 6: Hidetaka Nishiyama, Belgrade, 1998
Image 7: Taiji Kase, Müllheim, Germany, 2002
Image 8: Tetsuji Murakami, 1974
Image 9: Fudokan stage 2016, Bad Krozingen-Tunsel, Germany
The principles on which Fudokan Karate is based are the principles of every Japanese martial art, modified through their contact with other world traditions.
In Fudokan Karate, special emphasis is placed upon the important aspects of moral values and certain philosophical approaches, whereby the achievements which are seen from a strictly scientific viewpoint are only aids for implementing the basic principles. It is therefore both unnecessary and impossible to reduce Fudokan Karate to a solely athletic conception, let alone to restrict it by the application of strict athletic rules. This has already happened in most Japanese martial arts, as well as in numerous forms of Karate which have been very much adapted to comply with the modern understanding of sport.
Although certain aspects of Fudokan Karate are described in detail using the language of modern science, its essentials cannot be grasped using scientific terms alone. This is because Fudokan, in addition to being a practical combat skill (as signified by the suffix -do in its name: Fudokan Karate-do) also incorporates the prefix jitsu, that is, art. Hence, when discussing Fudokan Karate, one must always bear in mind that it represents a combination of these two characteristics.
It should also be mentioned that use of the term “Karate” as a synonym for te (art), is a recent development. Its original meaning was “Chinese art of the hand”. Through a well thought out modification of the Japanese ideogram, and respecting the traditional forms of this style of writing, a new meaning has been derived; that of the stable house or the house on strong foundations (Fig. 10). The first ideogram means negation of the subsequent meaning, the second one means movement – construed together, they mean the absence of movement, that is, resting, immobility or, in a figurative sense, stability. The third is interpreted as house. The Fudokan ideogram is pronounced [foo-doh-kaan].
Image 10: Prof. Dr. Ilija Jorga
Okinawan martial arts include a separate group that developed almost independently from those of the Samurai warriors. It was in the Meiji period, in the mid-19th century, when the Samurai lost their privileges and were integrated into the class system of capitalist society.1 It was at this time that the spirit of Bushido (the way of the warrior) became a national myth and a moral archetype and took on a significant role in the social composition of the country. In the first half of the 20th century this spirit led to the primary aim of every citizen being the creation of a powerful Japanese empire.
In these circumstances, the spirit of Bushido also infiltrated the martial arts of Okinawa, especially since these no longer had the sense of being the defensive means of the ordinary people of the island. It must have been quite difficult to incorporate the aristocratic katana (Japanese sword) and the peasants’ tools into the same system.
In the case of Karate this problem did not exist – and particularly because Yawara, a form of unarmed combat which is little known today and which is somewhat similar to Karate, had also been practiced in Japan since ancient times.
The organization of the Okinawan martial system is made of the following disciplines:
(fighting with hands and legs),
(a farm implement used for threshing rice)
(metal implement resembling a fork)
(a staff, about 180 cm long)
(a type of a sickle)
tuifa or tonfa
(a handle used to turn a millstone)
From the description of Samurai duels, which were often the literary and artistic motif in Japanese popular art, it may be concluded that Yawara was one of the martial arts to which the warriors resorted when they found themselves without weapons in a fight. In earlier times some attempts had been made to relate it directly to Karate, but contemporary schools of Japanese traditional martial arts are unanimous in their opinion that no reciprocal influence between the two forms occurred.
The relation between Zen Buddhism and Japanese martial arts, and between Zen and Bushido, must be explained here. Daisetz T. Suzuki (1869-1966), a professor of philosophy at the University of Kyoto, who brought the philosophical thought of the East closer to the West, said about Bushido:
“It is, in fact, a product of three moral teachings of Japan – Shintoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. Each of these contributed to the formation of the Japanese code of chivalry. Depending on different critical points of view, the role of each of these contributing elements can be emphasized or diminished, but there is no impartial observation which could deny that Zen has played a large part in the religious and spiritual aspects of Bushido.
Inner calmness, even joy in the heart at the moment of death, is something which is very noticeable among the Japanese; the fearlessness of Japanese warriors, which is chiefly to be seen when faced with a stronger enemy as also the correct behavior2 toward their adversaries, are all very important principles of Bushido.
All this comes from the spirit acquired through the practice of Zen, rather than from the vague, fatalistic concept which is taken as the characteristic trait of the Eastern cultures...” (Studies in Zen, New York, 1955).
Much has been written about Zen; it may even be said that it is “in”, especially in the West, but the content of the term cannot be precisely defined since, to paraphrase Suzuki, Zen can be understood only if one studies it “within” rather than “outside” oneself.
Zen is the name given to a system of Buddhist meditation: to the most famous school of Mahayana Buddhism which is based on the teachings of the Veda. In China, it is thought that the founder of the school was the Indian missionary Bodhidharma, whose teachings reached Japan at the end of the 12th century and which reached their high point between the 16th and 18th centuries in the military nobility. The modern school of Zen in Japan was founded by Hakuin in the 18th century.
Through Zen, Buddhism has distanced itself most from its Indian concept. Instead of dealing with speculations for speculations’ sake, Zen is experienced through one’s own attitude toward reality. It can be also termed the “philosophy of practical living”. According to Čedomil Veljačić,3Zen is “extreme intuitional irrationalism based solely on direct experience and the perceptions gained from insight”.
After intense meditative effort and an intensification of the inner crises, which may well last for years, an insoluble life issue (that is, one which is insoluble by means of logic and reasoning) can be resolved through a momentary inspiration, through satori (enlightenment) - an irrational experience which liberates the person from all the troubles caused by the original insoluble issue. Naturally, this closing down of all logical thinking, together with all the problems this leads to, this key experience of “liberation”, has never been expressible by conventional narrative means, but only by poetic and artistic attempts to convey it in an expressionist and abstract form.
Concerning the role of Zen in the lives of the Samurai, D.T. Suzuki says: “In Japan, Zen from its very beginning was closely knit with the life of the Samurai. Although Zen never openly encouraged them to continue to follow their tough profession, it supported them when they began to practice Zen, whatever their reason for doing so.
Zen supported them in two ways: morally and philosophically. Morally, because Zen is a religion which teaches that one should not look back once a decision has been made; and philosophically, because Zen does not distinguish between life and death ...”
In his important book, “Zen, Buddhism
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