When Master Funakoshi arrived in Japan (from Okinawa) he was more than 50 years old and his students thought he executed his movements in a relaxed way due to his age. This relaxation is, in fact, fundamental. It is only nowadays that all is done with strength and this is actually a true contradiction.
Furthermore the evolution of competition in Karate is opposed to Karate-do ettiquette. Competition has resulted in the loss of many things in Karate-do.... but possibly, we may not have the right to criticize considering that we practiced it and now we have abandoned it! [Murakami Sensei originally trained in sports karate]. Competition, today, is not the result of practice, rather the result of practice for competition... and this is very different. A specific preparation is not pure practice!
Anyway, I believe that comparing Shotokai with other styles is not possible, because it truly is something completely different. It does not have competition as the objective, rather the liberation of body and spirit.
Tetsuji Murakami (1927 - 1987).
"In our physical movements, there are those that are natural and others that are not. Through the practice of Karate-do, we can learn to differentiate between the two and also learn to acquire natural movements. We also learn of the power that nature endowed us with and how to use it, for a man has a great deal of hidden power of which he is not aware."
Shigeru Egami (1912 - 1981).
Udklip af: Foreword of Karate-Do Nyumon (Bog: Karate-Do Nyumon af Gichin Funakoshi, Dec. 1943)
Often in practicing the advanced kata, students concentrate too much on the order and continuity of the movements, without considering the effectiveness of each technique. In extreme cases, they may have the illusion that they have mastered the kata by simply memorizing the order of the movements. It should be clear that, in reality, one must practice both basic techniques and advanced kata, and that the study of basics takes on a new and deeper meaning after one experiences more complex practice.
In traditional kata such as Bassai, the difference between simply executing the movements in the correct order and performing the kata while taking maai into account is immediately apparent. If one imagines a real opponent and performs the kata while thinking of maai, a blending of hard and soft, quick and slow elements appear quite naturally. Then each movement of the hands and feet takes the shortest possible route.
Genshin [Motonobu] Hironishi (1913 – 1999)