Something to kick around

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Bryson Keenan on Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:59 am

Nick Hughes wrote:I entered all the semi-contact Zen Do Kai fights we ran from time to time but only for laughs. I also went in the Nth Queensland games (Bryson who posts here was in the same division i.e. the Masters div, with me) and won the gold medal

I can confirm all of Nick's last, paricularly the above... Coz the lanky bastid beat me in the final! Wink

'84 was it? '82? It's all a bit of a blur!

Well over 20 years ago anyhoo, so old mate has been around a wee while... Wink
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  the spaniard on Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:13 am


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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Rob Mac on Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:29 am

Yes mate, my man's fighting bottom left guy, and he is the one to the right of him. Apologies as I say for slagging off the scene down here, but it is pretty shabby round these parts. Cheers Rob
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  the spaniard on Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:32 am

I would like to see it but don't know if i will be working.
MMA is pretty recent in Spain so you have the 2 extremes,the snake oil salesman who teaches crap and the ones that are improving step by step.
MAAP Spain Crazy Sevilla http://maapcrazy.wordpress.com/ are the main source for MMA in Sevilla (under Tito Beltran,former pupil of Robin Gracie in Barcelona).
There is another place called Fight Club Sevilla that my brother is going to check out to see if they are legitimate or not.Send me a PM if you have any questions (Muay Thai,BJJ,Boxing etc in Sevilla).
Take care.

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Rob Mac on Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:34 am

Spaniard give us a post to see how he gets on, cheers Rob Mac.
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Rob Mac on Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:39 am

Spaniard, are you Spanish or English?? You write too well if you are Spanish.
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  524526 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:42 am

I said I would only give 1 reply to dissenters , 1 means in absolute terms.

It seems some people are changing their minds about karate given the torrent of dissent .

The fact that karate grappling is completely inferior is a given , except to the denialist we see here.

Whoe cares about of medium contact this and that and KO'ing this guy and that is all irrelevant and /or hearsay .

A man who is 6 foot whatever and it seems full of anger/hatred in his soul and supposed total belief in karate and constantly tells us how he uses karate to beat numerous opponents , turns down the chance to show his
" superior " skill against smaller men.

Injuries ? Age ? The defacto HW champ is 45 . Get over it.

What do you call this ? the C word ?

20 men kicking someone when they are down ? where is this supposed to happen ? on Mars ?

I worked and lived in clubs for nearly 10 years and I knew Lenny M and saw him fighting live many times .

NEVER did I see doorman on the floor being kicked by 20 men , it was normally the reverse . And we are talking about doormen in general not punters so don't twist it around.

This is Steve's MMA forum it's not SP perse , is that being denied as well?

Who said I was anything special , I am a nobody but some people on the other hand are claiming themselves to be expert fighters and killers, and yet there is no evidence for such .When the chance came , it seems many excuses are made as to why they opted out . Simple as that .

Who do you all respect more:

Ettish a small man who fought his heart out with techniques 100% true to his karate or a giant who claims he never backs down except when there is a real challenge , due to numerous " reasons "

No contest for me.

And now we are supposed to be other people ? There 2 Simons on this thread alone . So now Rob Mac can be Rob Dick .

Fantastic , where does the karate denial end ?

Of course " whoever is not the person above " then an apology .

TMA fans : please don't reply or try to convince me of anything , if you like what you do then goody for you . I don't want your respect and I am not remotely interested in TMA . Leave it at that.

Kill the thread .

I'm leaving . Have fun

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  the spaniard on Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:48 am

Rob Mac,thanks. Embarassed
I'm a Sevillano,borned and raised here.
If you come to Sevilla give me a call and i'll get you a beer.

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Bryson Keenan on Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:09 am

Simon, not only are you beyond convincing, you are beyond talking to, it would appear... Take a pill champ... Wink

I can't see where Nick has changed his mind at all...

He even admitted the inferiority of the grappling, so I don't know where u r coming from there...(?)

As far as hearsay goes to his skills, like I said, I can confirm much of what he has said as I was either there personally or have had it confirmed from reliable sources who can confirm beyond reasonable doubt. The guy has sat me on my arse more than once; like I said, it aint hearsay...

I could go on, but it pains me to no end...

You say you are gone, but I reckon you won't be able to help yourself... Wink

Why can't we all just get along...Sad

Wink

Finally, I did TRY to take this out of Steve's part of the forum; sorry it's been hijacked, Steve!

SimonLau wrote:I said I would only give 1 reply to dissenters , 1 means in absolute terms.

It seems some people are changing their minds about karate given the torrent of dissent .

The fact that karate grappling is completely inferior is a given , except to the denialist we see here.

Whoe cares about of medium contact this and that and KO'ing this guy and that is all irrelevant and /or hearsay .

A man who is 6 foot whatever and it seems full of anger/hatred in his soul and supposed total belief in karate and constantly tells us how he uses karate to beat numerous opponents , turns down the chance to show his
" superior " skill against smaller men.

Injuries ? Age ? The defacto HW champ is 45 . Get over it.

What do you call this ? the C word ?

20 men kicking someone when they are down ? where is this supposed to happen ? on Mars ?

I worked and lived in clubs for nearly 10 years and I knew Lenny M and saw him fighting live many times .

NEVER did I see doorman on the floor being kicked by 20 men , it was normally the reverse . And we are talking about doormen in general not punters so don't twist it around.

This is Steve's MMA forum it's not SP perse , is that being denied as well?

Who said I was anything special , I am a nobody but some people on the other hand are claiming themselves to be expert fighters and killers, and yet there is no evidence for such .When the chance came , it seems many excuses are made as to why they opted out . Simple as that .

Who do you all respect more:

Ettish a small man who fought his heart out with techniques 100% true to his karate or a giant who claims he never backs down except when there is a real challenge , due to numerous " reasons "

No contest for me.

And now we are supposed to be other people ? There 2 Simons on this thread alone . So now Rob Mac can be Rob Dick .

Fantastic , where does the karate denial end ?

Of course " whoever is not the person above " then an apology .

TMA fans : please don't reply or try to convince me of anything , if you like what you do then goody for you . I don't want your respect and I am not remotely interested in TMA . Leave it at that.

Kill the thread .

I'm leaving . Have fun
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Bryson Keenan on Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:25 am

To get back on track about Steve's original question (yeah; remember THAT?!)...

I state again my thoughts that Socrates (ever the philosopher!) has hit the nail right on the head. I have appended the quote below to get us back on track...

Thanks, Rupert...

Slainte'

BK

Socrates wrote:
...so I find it more interesting about what makes a practitioner successful .

I think that´s a really important point.

Let´s take three of the people who have Q&A´s on this site: Steve Morris, Nick Hughes and Mick Coup. On the face of it, they are all very different: Nick does karate and combatives; Mick does combatives; and Steve does MMA.

The thing is if you look beneath the surface, you´ll find a lot of similarities:

- They´ve all trained for years and years;
- They're all really good;
- They´ve all tested themselves to the limit;
- They´ve all been in the army;
- They´ve all worked in professional security;
- At least two of them have fought in combat sports;
- They all have a wealth of real-world experience;
- They´ve all taken their strength and conditioning (S&C) seriously;
- They've all cross-trained;
- They´ve all thought deeply about what they do;
- They've all designed their own systems;
- Etc, etc, etc.

I´m sure that if you put the three of them in the same room, they´d disagree about many things, but each of them would know exactly where the others are coming from.

What you might find is that all of them have more in common with each other than with cowboys who claim to come from their own traditions.

For example, Nick has said on this site that he´s walked out of karate classes if the instructors let the students rest or drink water.

Mick had an argument on here with someone who wanted to set himself up as a combatives instructor, but had never had a fight.

And I´m sure that Steve would be completely horrified if he walked in on some of the so-called MMA classes that are popping up in Spain - no competition, no S&C, just a collection of techniques done compliantly.

Now, I haven´t met Nick, Mick or Steve, but I´ve read everything that they´ve put on this site. One thing I´ve noticed is that they all have a different attitude to their teachers.

Nick still gives massive respect to Bob Jones, his main teacher in his youth, so he still defines himself as a karate man.

Mick said that his biggest influences were his shooting instructors in the army, so he defines himself as a combatives man.

Steve has been disappointed by most of the teachers, so he himself as MMA, which is basically an individualistic style.

If you think about this, you might come to the conclusion that the tradition you identify with isn´t as important as how you train over a period of years.

For example, imagine that you enrolled in a TMA class. What would happen if you trained for years and years; got really good; tested yourself to the limit ; maybe joined the army; maybe worked in security; and then worked your way through the list above? Surely you´d become good, no matter where you started?

Maybe the most important thing is testing yourself?

Maybe Muay Thai is a higher percentage art than karate because most practitioners in Muay Thai test themselves regularly while a smaller percentage of karate people test themselves?

That doesn´t mean that someone becomes born-again hard just by joining a Muay Thai class and it doesn´t mean that someone else can´t fight sleep just because they´ve enrolled in karate.

What do you all think?

Regards,
Rupert
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Rob Mac on Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:43 am

Simon, I want to be Rob Dick, he has wicked suits that you can punch hard. Twisted Evil Also a multitude of people kicking you on the floor? Seen it and been on that floor. Also once had to jump in and stop aquantances from caving in a rival supporters head. Could list a good few stories. To train for that, not sure. Nick, I am a coward of the highest degree, I would always(nearly always) run from eight people, Have been run by less before. This is why I always keep in good shape. Also this is Steve Morris's part of the forum who trains in mma because (as i do) that it is the nearest to a real fight that you can get in a controlled situation. He has fought and studied for years in your world, can you say the same about ours? If so what is your final analysis of the merits of mma vs Karate? Lets keep this from being personal. Cheers Rob Mac

Also Spaniard, Tu tienes que pagar cojone!! nos vemos.
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Rob Mac on Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:47 am

Also Simon, can I get some idea of who you train with and what you train. I think I'm very honest about what I do and where I do it. I never know if I'm sitting here with a black eye and fat lip after a proper session, talking to like minded people or armchair warriors. That's not a pop at you Si, just want to know. Cheers Rob oh yeah can we talk some more about Judo. Wink
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Bryson Keenan on Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:54 am

Hey Rob; would love to talk about Judo... Maybe you can start a thread in 'General'...? Or maybe I can...!
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Rob Mac on Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:59 am

do it baby, I'm off training in hour but would love to hear more about my fav gi type thing. Rob
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Nick Hughes on Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:25 am

Rob,

I only get personal when they do. Very Happy

What is my final analysis of MMA v Karate? Hmmm, I wasn't aware it was a one versus the other argument. To be honest it's like asking me what is my analysis of the apple v the orange. They're two different animals (ok, fruits).

My whole life has been devoted to practical application of whatever I've studied...from standing on a door aged sixteen, security at rock concerts, military police work in the Legion, body guarding all over the world and now teaching people who use it in the same vein. For that reason I have very little interest in the sporting side of things (though, as previously mentioned I've boxed, done Judo and kick boxed) MMA is set up as a sport i.e. rules, an arena, weight classes, referees, doctors, no weapons and no multiples etc so why would I now opt to begin training in it?

I asked this question a long time ago on Geoff's when someone was trying to get me to go train MMA stuff. If they changed the rules of MMA and put a bunch of lager louts and soccer hooligans INSIDE the octagon with pints in hand and instructions to run in and kick the crap out of anyone on the floor would your training and the way the game is played change?

Serious questions...
If yes, how would it change?
What would you do differently?

I suspect it would begin to look a lot more like what I do.

What if before you went in the ring you had to draw a ticket from a hat and on that ticket might be things like "you get to enter the octagon with a baseball bat" or "you get to carry a knife" or "you can take four friends in the cage with you." The other side also got to do the same (now there's an idea for a tv show Very Happy )

How would that effect the game and the way you train?

I realize they're somewhat hypothetical questions but that is very akin to the environment I work in so why would anyone suggest I train the way they do in an entirely different environment? It's a bit like asking me to train with the cricket squad because I play Rugby every weekend.

That is not to denigrate cricket obviously, merely to point out they're different and, if you're going to play Rugby, I suggest you train for Rugby.

Nick

PS: Judo rocks by the way...been saying it for years.
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Nick Hughes on Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:44 am

Simon,

You can't be serious...where do fights occur with gangs kicking people when they're down? All over the world mate but, right here on our very own real world section we have the video from the fight in NZ...

However, he today recovered sufficiently to move from his ward to the maternity wing at Middlemore Hospital to be on hand when his partner gave birth.

"He was able to go from his ward to her ward, he's very lucky, Mr Cahill said.

Graphic images show up to eight men stomping on the victim's head, even after he had been knocked unconscious in the early hours of Sunday.

"It's pretty horrific," said Mr Cahill. "The beating goes on for a couple of minutes, even though he's unconscious.

The video clip is under "Man Gets Stomped By Gang" on page 2 of the real world section. In five minutes of googling I bet I can find you 40 more such clips.

Nick
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Socrates on Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:14 am

Brian S wrote:Karate and MMA are, indeed, apples and oranges.

However, when your working in an orange juice factory........

Brian:

Out of interest, imagine that a complete beginner said they were interested in taking up martial arts for self defence and fitness and asked for your advice. After talking to them, you find out that they live just down the road from Nick Hughes / Dennis Jones / Gavin Mulholland.

Would you tell them to go and train with that person? Or would you tell them to go and look for something completely different because karate is ALWAYS a crap way to train, no matter who the instructor is?

Rupert
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Socrates on Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:20 am

Go on, stick your neck out, mate...
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Socrates on Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:39 am

Have you considered a career in politics?
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Nick Hughes on Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:51 am

and 1 Australian living in the States lol! lol! lol!
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  BN on Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:50 am

Hi,

Just like to comment on a few things. I don't think everyone's blood pressure is high enough yet. Very Happy

The idea of making MMA competitors take a ticket from a hat with diffferent scenarios on them, is interesting. But, I would contend that there is no way to train for that. Before anyone thinks I am being defeatist, hear me out.

I train to be able to fight/defend myself, so I am not suggesting that learning "self protection" is a waste of time. What I am suggesting is that there are limits to what a single, unarmed, human being can do I say unarmed because I am unarmed. Lving in Europe, I can't legally carry a gun or knife.

We can train to better our chances, and defeating multiples, overcoming armed assailants are all possible. But it's also possible to end up on he deck getting the shit kicked out of you, or being stabbed. Depends which way the cookie crumbles on the day. And no one can say with certainty ahead of time, "it won't happen to me."

The point I am trying to make is that training enhances our chances, but there is still the possibility that things can tak a turn for the worst. When we start brining in moe extreme scenarios, our chances start to diminish the more severe/extreme/outlandish the scenatio becomes.

As to running away. I have no problem with running from multiple opponents. I wouldn't like to, but if it happend I would run if necessary. In my mind YOU are the coward if you won't fight me man to man. Why should I stick around and play your game? Fuck that. We can meet again when the odds are more equal. I really think jumping a person when you are with your mates is one of the most chickenshit things a person can do. So don't blame me if I run. You stacked the deck, I ain't gonna play unless I have to. Obviously that's if I am alone and not with a loved one or someone I need to protect.

p.s. Rob! Bullfighting? Come on dude Exclamation Real fighters fight. They don't engage in shite like that.

p.p.s. LOL at Gichin Funakoshi.
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Nick Hughes on Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:17 am

Bloody Nuisance,

The problem with running mate is I'm not paid to. Club owners don't expect their bouncers to run away when confronted with multiple attackers.

The Legion didn't expect us to run, nor do I suspect do most armies.

Cops aren't paid to run away, they're paid to run in.

Body guards aren't paid to run away, they're paid to protect the boss

Security guards aren't paid to run away either.

I've been confronted with odds like that on two occasions when I've been out with my girlfriend who was wearing heels...what am I supposed to do? Run?

It's every man for himself said the elephant, as he danced amongst the chickens Smile

Nick
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Guest on Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:00 pm

brian, i thought the only dumb question was the one you didnt ask,

if i can ask you a question without being ridiculed, when ive trained with mick coup, dennis martin, john skillen, steve morris, geoff, etc all there cards are on the table ,i know there history, theres no bullshit, nothing hidden, now please dont take this the wrong way, what is your history and background, im just interested so i know where you are coming from,

many thanks, mick.

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  BN on Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:15 pm

Nick,

That "every man for himself" point is totally unfair. Reread my post. I said if I had someone to protect I wouldn't run. I actually stipulated that in print. I take offense at that quote because it implies I would leave a vulnerable person in danger to save my own arse, and I would not. I think I clarified that in my post.

My point about running was coming from my perspective as a member of Joe Public. Obviously those paid to stand have to stand. Again, it's obvious. No one should be taking the money if they aren't going to do what they are paid to do when the shit hits the fan.

I have never done security, but I would only take a security job if I was sure in myself that I had the balls to do what I was being paid to do.

Another point to clarify, I "admitted" that I would perhaps run (depends on the situation) if the odds were against me because I am here to be honest.

I think that was a cheap shot and a bit below you. I have always tried to help people when I have seen them in some sort of trouble, and it's unfair to imply that I was promoting an "everyman for himself" mentality.
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Guest on Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:21 pm

Hold on to your hats....this is long! Very Happy


Just to clarify my position because I get the feeling I am being viewed as totally against karate. I’m not, not “all” karate. I spent close to 30 years in Shotokan and 10 years in Kyokushin. When I started in Shotokan we didn’t spar with the bouncing or the long distance. Then again we weren’t JKA we were Kenkojuku Shotokan. The Kenkojuku School was established by Tomosoburo Okano, a student of Funakoshi and Funakoshi’s son. The school was opened under the ok of Funakoshi and became very influenced by Funakoshi’s son. My instructor, a student of Okano, said that Okano would invite instructors from other styles to the dojo to teach their way. This exposed Kenkojuku Shotokan students to kicks and techniques not normally used in Shotokan. They were big on weapons also, something not part of JKA Shotokan.

Eventually our dojo started to look more JKA though and the fighting distance became farther. The contact was lessened also. I learned quickly that I preferred fighting on the inside. When I began training in Kyokushin it was an easy fit for me. I remained Shotokan due to a certain amount of obligation, teaching and seminars I was doing. But my heart was in my Kyokushin training which I continued. Kyokushin is the type of karate I can deal with and it “fights”. Shotokan is a bunch of snobs and pretty form types. They spend more time adjusting hands another ¼ inch than actually accomplishing anything to do with fighting. An instructor will adjust a block and explain that the elbow should be in tighter to protect the ribs but not really know exactly how. He only parrots what he has been told by “his” instructor, who was told this by his instructor before him. As far as applying it in action, well that is another story. They know only the outward form and not the inner workings or how to use it in motion. Most of what I write is directed at this type of karate which unfortunately I see as “most.”

Now, before Nick jumps down my throat and reads “most” as “all,” (I better insert a smiley here) Very Happy I’m not saying all. I have no idea what Zen Do Kai does and for all I know they may be another Kyokushin or Daido Juku and a hard fighting system. But I do know that there are a whole lot of schools just like Shotokan out there. I myself have always referred to what I do as karate but it was karate done my way. I have my views and interpretation of karate. I won’t explain because I have about 75 or 80 articles already out there on the subject and to be honest I’m getting tired or writing. But I referred to that as my karate done my way. About a year ago I dumped Shotokan all together and only practiced Kyokushin. As well, I was training in BJJ for awhile and at the same time I was delving into the Morris Method. My personal training looked nothing like traditional karate and for years looked more like kickboxing plus streetfighting. After the BJJ and Morris additions I started to move more toward MMA. Only problem was that it was separate. My standup was practiced separate from my groundwork (which isn’t good by the way). Five months ago I ran into some personal problems and my training suffered. I was able to squeeze in a few sessions here and there and get a few sparring matches in but I was heading down hill. Not long ago I found an MMA/Muay Thai place about 10 minutes from me and have been there since. My training experience is rounding out and it only enhanced/supported my thoughts on what does and doesn't work in traditional karate training. Note that I say training, I never say that "karate" is bad as far as techniques are concerened...I still use some. It is how a lot of schools "train' them. Karate is over for me and I haven’t done a kata or kihon in a long while. I won’t ever again either.

The reason is because I have been up and down the kata thing for years. I have trained kata bunkai (application) with a student of Higaonna of Okinawan Goju, I trained with an Okinawan who was a top student of Matsubayashi Ryu founder Nagamine, I have trained with other bunkai gurus as well as doing much research myself. I have applications and I have some good ones. But nothing really floats my boat after all these years. Even stuff I’ve seen from those who supposedly “know.” That is just my feeling based on “my experience” and what “I” would do rather than the bunkai they showed me. That leads to kihon. Kihon in my view is not connected to kata in a lot of schools and especially the Japanese versions of karate. Shotokan as well as Kyokushin and many others practice basic techniques out of context. For example inside and outside blocks might be practiced in place or while marching up and down the floor in various stances. They will be practiced in step sparring to block incoming lunge and reverse punching. Meanwhile in kata (at least to my knowledge and interpretations) the applications of such blocks would be used in a close environment more in a grappling/locking/controlling sense. I would apply my upper level blocks in more of a (I hesitate to use this term) flinch response. More of a natural “protection mode or cover in order to get me inside. But in kihon the connection isn’t made. So I see those schools practicing in opposite directions with the basics going in one direction while the sparring goes in another, usually sport based, and the kata moves in a completely separate direction addressing self defense. The basics have been extracted from the kata as individual techniques and practiced as such when in reality they are part of sequences. I have been told by a top Okinawan who is supposed to be the know all as far as old Okinawan karate and application that knife hand blocks in kata are done one way in kata but “this” way in application. Even Motobu Choki himself (supposedly a real Okinawan street brawler who tested his karate in bars) said that “in Naihanchi kata there is an elbow strike. That is for kata, in actual application it is a punch.” You se my problem? Then why practice it as an elbow? If it is a punch when you fight then practice it as a punch. There are many techniques like this in karate.

This is the karate I am referring to as wrong if they are claiming to be about “fighting.’
Kyokushin “is” fighting karate. There are probably other newer systems I am unaware of that also are, but not any traditional ones that I know of. I’m talking about name brand karate from Okinawa and Japan, not retooled western stuff. “BUT” as I said in an earlier post, even Kyokushin is way too burdened with its kihon and kata rather than just addressing fight training specifically. The classes are long so they can get all that stuff done and then get to the fighting. But during kihon the stances are low and all the kihon is done according to specific form rules. However when they fight it looks nothing like the basics they practice for hundreds of reps and the stances are short, high and mobile. That is why I say karate can’t modernize and still be “karate” by the traditional standards. Kyokushin minus the kihon and kata would be more or less Muay Thai. Other styles without the kihon and kata would be the version of karate of whoever changed it…a new style. Who needs a new style of karate? Just make it a new training method. “That” is where I have evolved to. I got tired of calling what I was doing “my karate” or my version or understanding of traditional karate. That makes it my style…Tommy P style karate. Many people want all the cultural additions that karate comes with and they want the focus and self improvement and all the Japanese stuff and that is how they view karate. To modernize and drop that stuff may leave a perspective student saying “Wait a minute, that isn’t karate!” I myself now have no style I only have a method of training. But it no longer contains kihon or kata or even a lot of the techniques I once practiced. In my MMA training my prior training (Kyokushin) helps me a lot but it also holds me back a little because of the lack of punching to the head in Kyokushin. But as far as contact, withstanding the hard training, hitting with meaning, being used to getting hit hard and generally falling into place with these guys who are more than half my age….no problem. I would bet my paycheck that a pure Shotokan stylist would never make it. Now don’t give me the Terry O’Neil example. I’m talking about the average student learning out of the box Shotokan. And I see “most” traditional systems of karate pretty much the same. There are those that are more focused on fighting and they are somewhat valid. But the others are the ones that I write about when I refer to what is wrong with karate.

So if I were asked if I would recommend a karate school to someone wanting to learn self defense or how to fight; it depends. I need to know exactly what they are looking for. Sport fighting ala the ring or cage? Then hell no. Basic self defense but kind of gun shy to fighting, then I would recommend a karate school that I think would fit that need based on what was around, kind of soft stuff. If they wanted more fighting but weren’t interested in going all the way as in MMA or ground work then Kyokushin or similar styles would be ok. But IMO I wouldn’t teach someone self defense without teaching them how to “fight” first. After you develop fighting skills and how to deal with the pressure and develop a mindset all the rest comes easy. Learning some tricks and defenses first before you can fight, can get you hurt when you finally see how things go in the really real world or once your nose starts bleeding. My “training” has evolved through the years. Karate was part of that training and I did learn a lot. However I outgrew it and moved on. It doesn’t work for me anymore and I have been vocal about why in writing. It is still within me but only as part of the whole. It was my basics for fighting.

So here’s the thing. Traditionally trained karate contains a lot of cultural baggage along with it that has no bearing on fighting (directly). Protocol, pecking order, we all know some of the ranking problems out there, self improvement through form and the journey to self perfection, character building etc. Many people want this stuff from their training along with exercise and discipline. That is fine, but for a pure fighting system that stuff isn’t necessary and at times detracts from the training. There are those who will read my words here as well as elsewhere and agree with me and there are those who won’t. That’s ok, it isn’t just in karate that this happens, and it’s the way of the world. There are those who might want to get into karate thinking they are buying a certain product only to find out that for their goals there may have been a better way. If questioned I give the good with the bad, I’m not one sided. I am like a magician that reveals secrets. I tell it like it is. From there one can make an intelligent and informed decision. Like I said, some will agree with me and some won’t. I don’t lose sleep over it; it will always be that way. I can only concern myself with what “I” do. Just like some others who have gone on to beef up their karate training and open a school or create a new style I have kind of done a similar thing. The only difference is I don’t call it karate anymore, it lost too much of the traditional aspects. It is just my way of training now. It’s just fight training and from there my self defense takes care of itself based on the rest of my knowledge.

And that is what I think about traditional karate training and more or less where I stand when I talk it down. For the fighter who wants to do some training in the realm of fighting it will probably work (he will make it work). For the non fighter who wants to become a fighter....there are better ways. If I had to do it over, I'd go a different route. When MMA came around I was already in my late 30's and those places just weren't around anyway, as far as finding a place to train. But I didn't let it stop me from researching and seeking out those in the know and then training on my own as best I could.

Tommy

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