Today I want to know everyones thoughts on the "Secret Karate Thing".
Were martial arts banned or forbidden during the Satsuma Occupation and that is why Karate had to be practised in secrecy? Here are my arguments against this.
On March 24 in 1867 there was a huge festival in Okinawa held in Shuri. Over the term of several days demonstrations were held. Those demonstrations showed the whole profile of the okinawan culture. Hence Karate and Kobudo was demonstrated too. In these "10 Items of Bugei" three men by the names of Maeda, Tomura and Aragaki Seisho demonstrated Tode and Weapons, Kata (e.g. Seishan, Suparimpei) and Kumite with and without weapons.
After the Meiji Restauration all the bushi in the ryukyuan administration lost their jobs. So some of them went on and opened up dojos. That is why men like Itosu had such a number of outstanding disciples (not counting the average students and all the children after the introduction of Karate in the school system).
Asato Anko had a list of outstanding okinawan bushi with their specialties (in terms of technique).
Men like Matsumura and Matsumora learned the japanese sword style Jiggen Ryu from the Satsuma Overlords.
Ships were regularly send to China for paying the tribute tolls. Those ships where heavily guarded by well trained fighters to defend the cargo from pirates.
When Funakoshi was speaking about training from dawn to sunrise was that because of secrecy, training in the dark so nobody can sneak up?
My take on that is this: Maybe it is like Coca Cola. Everbody knows that Cola exists and maybe consumes it from time to time or on a regular basis. But the actual recipe is a hidden secret. Maybe it was the same with Tode (Karate) back then. Everybody knew that there is a thing like Karate but the individual methods each master had developed to train their students, were guarded jealously.