Something to kick around

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  524526 on Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:38 am

Tommy_P wrote:
SimonLau wrote:
I would like to point out : very easy nowadays to aquire techniques that have proven success in MMA and then pass it off as ' real ' TMA mainly to save face amongst their own kind.

Excellent point. I have found it quite humorous how systems that only played lip service to kata bunkai/application in the past all of a sudden became experts in it claiming to have done it all along. This was only after grappling became all the rage due to MMA. All of a sudden kata was all about "hidden grappling techniques."
The same with ground fighting. I've been involved in martial arts for most of my life and Japanese/Okinawan karate for 30 years and it was only after the advent of MMA did these systems (mostly Okinawan) start to claim they have always been doing ground fighting. Funny...I must have missed that class Laughing

Let me head off the next post because I know what it will be. "Well Tommy I guess you trained in the wrong places with the wrong teachers..we were always doing it" Rolling Eyes

Any ground fighting that may have been done was very rudementary....soft Judo. Whatever it was it was in no way at the level of today's MMA.

Tommy

Yes , and some of them even gave up the " bunkai ghost " after they discovered BJJ and shall we say " incorporated " the techs into their system .

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Nick Hughes on Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:23 pm

Once again it's ALL of us is it Tommy?

If you read Terry O'Neill's "Fighting Arts International" there's a couple of my articles demonstrating kata breakdowns - with one series of pics showing - GASP - ground technique. I also wrote an article on the importance of ground fighting and all this way before any BJJ or MMA stuff anywhere.

When I wrote my Judo article for Terry's mag the Gracie name was just beginning to be mentioned in Judo circles and they were still in Brazil at the time. Some of the guys in the club I was in were mulling over the possibility of going to train with them down there because we'd heard they were good on the ground.

So, I guess you weren't being exposed to the right stuff were you mate.

Nick
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:27 pm

Nick Hughes wrote: If you read Terry O'Neill's "Fighting Arts International\" there\'s a couple of my articles demonstrating kata breakdowns - with one series of pics showing - GASP - ground technique. I also wrote an article on the importance of ground fighting and all this way before any BJJ or MMA stuff anywhere.

When I wrote my Judo article for Terry's mag the Gracie name was just beginning to be mentioned in Judo circles and they were still in Brazil at the time.

I guess you're a regular pioneer then. I bet you were even the first to come up with the idea for the twist off bottle cap...you must be pissed about that Smile



Nick Hughes wrote: So, I guess you weren't being exposed to the right stuff were you mate.

Nick

Guess not.

Tommy

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Rob Mac on Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:33 pm

much as I love mma I'm still not sure if Karate can be judged by it's lack of show in this field. It should be judged for it's performance in the street no? Or it's succeses in creating and shaping fighters who hitherto couldn't beat eggs. If as I believe it's meant to be a self-defence art, then really that's the field it should be judged in. Cheers Rob.
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:39 pm

Rob Mac wrote:much as I love mma I'm still not sure if Karate can be judged by it's lack of show in this field. It should be judged for it's performance in the street no? Or it's succeses in creating and shaping fighters who hitherto couldn't beat eggs. If as I believe it's meant to be a self-defence art, then really that's the field it should be judged in. Cheers Rob.

My Take:

I think that there is a common misunderstanding of what karate is and I think karate itself is to blame. Karate somehow got lumped together with “fighting” methods including sport. Karate is partly responsible for this because for years it was a mystery and remained unchallenged. During this time they ate up all the claims of “deadly fighting art” and “the karate master who can take on multiple opponents.” But that isn’t what karate is. At one time it may have been a tool for security purposes, self or family protection, possibly an addition to weapons use in the same vein; civil self defense. Eventually the artsy side overcame even that and began to tip the scale towards self improvement and aesthetics/exercise. Mild self defense was being taught but touted as the be all, end all.


Marines or special agents/security, Special Forces types are all schooled in deadly self defense and no one questions their validity. But they don’t have the conditioning to make it in an MMA event. Why would they? That’s not their thing; they are only training to defend themselves as did the original karate expert. Self protection, security or family/self or others, not to fight for 5 rounds or even 3. But they can fight…at what “they” do. Why then does karate get questioned all the time? Because they led the pack when it came to boasting about being about “fighting.” Not only self protection but also “deadly” and able to beat anything and anyone. That isn’t karate and especially the karate of today.

Sure there are those who will argue that their karate is about fighting and that they practice full contact with full gear and all the rest. Great! But what you have done was to take the tools or techniques of karate and reformat them to fit your needs. That isn’t traditional karate; at best it is your karate based on a traditional model. Karate is a whole package and it comes with all kinds of cultural baggage. Self defense is only part of it these days and most times it isn’t even good. At one time long, long ago it may have been more serious self defense but I don’t think it was ever able or meant to go into the ring.
Many times the problem these days is that the karate types don’t want to admit that, they still want to claim that there hands are tied in a sporting event. When they win they’re bad asses, when they lose suddenly it becomes “karate isn’t about fighting, it’s about self improvement.

Even my Kyokushin training, which was definately about fighting, still ws heavy with wasted movement ie. kihon and kata. And it was lacking in other areas able to keep up with modern methods.

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  524526 on Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:47 pm

I was in the midst of posting when Tommy came up with his great reply, enough said.

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Rob Mac on Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:27 pm

Just wondering Tommy. As I said I don't much about it, surely at some point it had it's uses though?
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  BN on Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:53 pm

The revisionist history aspect of retconning the art to include stuff that previously hadn't made an appearance is a good one.

My old "instructor" was pretty lucky as he didn't even need to bother with the retcon. He "taught" Wado Ryu. Interpret "taught" to mean, he turned up, delegated the warmup to a senior grade, or whoever was handiest, and then bloated about shouting orders like a beer bellied Marley's ghost. But I digress.

My instructor got away with teaching crap as very few of his students knew what grappling or UFC were. Or they had a very vague notion, and no desire for further enlightenment. Plus, he (instructor) just pretended that grappling, UFC ect weren't important/didn't exist. Oh..and he got aggressive if you tried to grapple during sparring.

As Tommy has pointed out karate has often tried to be all things to all men. This is quite disingenuous, and lots of arts sell themselves this way. However every karate dojo I have come across has sold karate as a method of fighting/self defense, and I really don't think that the majority of instructors give a fig if their students can fight or not. The majority just need "bums on seats" so they don't have to go back to working for a living.

I don't think karate is good for people who can't fight and who are coming in to learn how to fight. Simply put, why would it be? Plus the fact that karate tends to attract people who aren't fighters anyway. Boxing, BJJ et al tend to attract people who like to mix it up. Wheras karate often attracts people who "want" to fight so long as they don't have to be hit, engage in any real contact, or get dirty, or tired, or thirsty, or bored.

Not saying there aren't good karate clubs out there, but as has been pointed out previously, is what they are teaching actually karate? I don't know. I know I have never seen with my own eyes (or anyone else's) a karate club engaging in anything resembling MMA style training. The Daido Juku stuff is good, but it's not any karate I ever saw. It is MMA with modified rules, in a gi.

As Simon said, Ettish was a real karate ka using what he knew. That is an excellent example of a karate ka in MMA. Earlier I was mentioning Neil Grove and Lyoto Machida as karate ka. I shouldn't have. Ettish entered in a period when it was pure style vs. style. Machida et al have had years to modify their game. Modify it away from the stuff that doesn't work and more into the typical MMA model.
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 25, 2008 3:21 pm

I think you hit all the points nicely BN, very good post.


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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Nick Hughes on Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:07 pm

Brian, lay off the crack pipe...when have I ever avoided the issue?

As for Tommy's pioneer comment - sigh - I put something on here that is proof that what you and Simon had said about there being no ground techniques in karate until MMA came along was wrong i.e. there obviously was if I was demonstrating it in magazines in the late eighties early nineties.

I was here in the States for the first UFC and can be seen on UFC III in Roland Paynes corner (Payne asked me to work with him on gi chokes in case he got to face off against Gracie...instead he was beaten by the old Goju bouncer...despite being a muy thai fighter and wrestler himself)

If you can't accept the fact you're wrong fine...I just thought with all the posts about how big your balls were that you'd man up and admit when you're wrong...obviously not the case.

Once again, just in case you're having trouble grasping the plot, you claim there's no ground work in karate until MMA arives on scene. There is a magazine (in print...HELLOO) written before the first UFC, and before the Gracie's arrival on scene, with me demonstrating kata breakdown and ground and pound. There's another article, also by me, saying it would behoove the karate guys who think learning to ground fight isn't important, to reconsider that approach.

I'm sure there are guys on this forum who've seen the magazine in question...you may not have being you were in the States and it was published in England.

Nick
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  524526 on Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:42 pm

Nick ,

My only reply to you , as you will religiously follow karate , that's your choice but it's not mine and views are totally clear on this .

But if karate ground fighting is so great then why do top MMA fighters not seek out " karate " submission work ?

Why have NOT 1 single karate man won the mundials or ADCC ?

What about you ? if you claim karate grappling is so good - what are your tournament credentials ? Why didn't you enter UFC , since you were there , if you truly believed your karate could work ? You can't object to this - a very fair Q in light of your claims.


Most karate ' masters ' beat up people who are much smaller and much less skilled , totally different world when you have to prove techniques against a really skilled fighter of similar size - that's my defintion of what works.

Since when was Payne a top MT ot Wrestler ? He can't even make K-1 max , what a joke .

You really think Mo Smith can't beat Harold Howard ? Clutching at straws.

If Karate really is so great , then how come even as a standup art , there have been ZERO karate based Lumpinee Champs ( never mind K-1 , a karate backed organisation )?

And why do not any of the current UFC champions seek out any form of TMA ? surely if the techniques are so good , a champion would seek them out as they do with boxing , MT , wrestling , BJJ etc .


Please address the issues , but do it to the group as this is my last reply to you as I predicted.

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  melvinfferd on Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:04 am

"So the real Q is - if Karate really is so great , then how come even as a standup art , there have been ZERO karate based Lumpinee Champs ( never mind K-1 , a karate backed organisation )?"

i didnt realise that being a lumpinee champion was the hallmark of a great fighter?!? and k1, ever heard of semmy schilt? and what about kyokushin accepting the thai challenge back in the 60s ... winning 2 of the 3 bouts. with the loss coming from a doctors stoppage due to a cut. did the thais ever send their top guys to japan to compete in a bare knuckle karate tourny? no.

"What ? no foreigners allowed ? nonsense , Dekkers came there and conquered all with his boxing based MT."

conquered all? err no.

as for daido juku being mma with a gi. maybe, but i dont see it like that. it looks like karate plus judo to me with all its striking obviously from karate.

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:33 am

Nick, I made what I thought was a humorous comment, apparently you have a few insecurities and get very defensive about your credentials and "karate." Maybe I need to use more smilies? Very Happy I guess it is ok for you to rib me though by saying I didn't get proper training. I thought that was a poke at me in fun and I accepted it, I didn't fly off the rails. I'm a playful guy and I don't take myself or anything else that serious. I've never said my balls were "big" only that I have been through a lot. I've never mentioned anywhere that I was fearless or that I took on all comers. I only relate my experiences and what I have been through, win lose or draw.

As for posting, I think of it as a bunch of guys sitting around having a few brews and shooting the shit. When that happens it is in a friendly atmosphere and I don't see anyone as anything but an equal. Maybe you think you deserve special "sensei" treatment? In my warm, friendly and playful manner as if we were sitting around sucking down those beers, I would smack someones shoulder as I say " get the fuck out of here...I don't believe that bullshit." Then he may smack me back and tell me to go fuck myself. That is how I post here and if you can't take being disagreed with or just another point of view or can't take some joking around then maybe you need to take a look at your training. Loosing your cool or getting frazzled or "insecurity/ego" all go before the fall you know. I think someone into fighting should know that. Admit I am wrong? Wrong about what? I haven't made a definitive statement that I claim is law. I am only giving my "opinion" and my feelings about the subject. They are still my feelings no mater what anyone else says. I'm a big boy, I can make up my own mind. I've been around and I've done the leg work. I'm not just giving an opinion based on a brief overview of karate. I'm not trying to convince you of anything...you do what you do and I do what I do. Maybe you swear by McDonald's and I think Burger King is better....what's the big deal. I can live with it....why can't you?
Just be aware that I type everything in a friendly manner and with a smile. I don't argue I discuss. That is my only intention on these forums...discussion. I don't try to insult anyone and I certainly was trying to have a discussion with you, not attack you.



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Re: Something to kick around

Post  steve morris on Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:07 am

It’s a good discussion. I’ve been working on a reply but it’s getting so long that I’m going to have to put it on its own thread, and I’ll put it up a little at a time. But just for the moment, one thing I can contribute is with regard to this:

“and what about kyokushin accepting the thai challenge back in the 60s ... winning 2 of the 3 bouts. with the loss coming from a doctors stoppage due to a cut. did the thais ever send their top guys to japan to compete in a bare knuckle karate tourny? no.”

The reference you’re making Simon seems to be in 1966 when Nakamura Tadashi beat a Thai champion. .
[url]
http://www.fightingarts.com/reading/article.php?id=109[/url]


Nakamura Tadashi was part of a three man Kyokushin Kai team. The fact that they were all under Oyama (known as ‘Mr 10%’ for his Yakuza activities) makes it suspicious. Oyama was into fixing fights. Personally I’d have to see the fight against the Green Tiger to see whether it was kosher or not. (Interestingly, Nakamura was later shot in a New York car park, apparently on the orders of Oyama with regard to matters concerning tournament fixing, which seems ironic under the circumstances.) The whole thing with the Kyokushin Kai and Oyama’s Yakuza connections is somewhat suspect.

Simon, your reference to the fact that the Thais never sent any top fighters to Japan to fight in bare-knuckle might be true, but there were Thais in Japan when I was there (1969-70) who took part in Oyama’s first knockdown tournament. They were quickly eliminated in the first round on minor technicalities, but I suspect that because they were part of the kickboxing network in Japan, that they were plants to support the idea that karate could defeat Muay Thai. Most kickboxing in Japan at that time was fixed. Lloyd Williamson (Black Belt magazine) told me in advance the names of the first, second, and third place fighters. They were all lined up to open up kickboxing gyms after the competition in the Tokyo area, so the whole competition was rigged. Oyama interfered with the refereeing during the matches. After the winner had been announced, he went around reversing decisions. It was obvious. I was there. The crowd were booing, but he didn’t care. He had his agenda and he was going to stick to it.

There is also reference to another fight against the Thais in the early Sixties. This one involved karate experts in a number of challenges against the Thais, gloves or no gloves. The Japanese were decisively defeated. One of those who was defeated was Kurazaki Kenji, the meanest of the mean and highly feared within the Kyokushin Kai organization.

http://www.art-of-war.tv/Profiles/Profile%20Kenji%20Kurosaki.htm

Kurazaki had trained with Oyama at Yamaguchi’s Gojukai dojo in the 1950s and subsequently left with Oyama and helped him form the Kyokushin Kai organization. After his defeat at the hands of the Thais, he went to Thailand to learn Thai boxing, and when he returned he set up his Meijirogym, where he trained a number of top fighters, including Fujiwara Toshio—a great fighter by any standards.

It’s probably through Kurazaki’s influence that Kyokushin Kai took on the training methods and some of the skills of Muay Thai. The success of Kyokushin Kai within K-1 is a result more of the Muay Thai component than the karate one. Kyokushin Kai’s marriage of karate and Muay Thai can be seen in the karate kihon and kata coupled with Muay Thai-style fighting. The success of Kyokushin Kai fighters within the K-1 often creates the illusion of the effectiveness of the claimed ‘traditional’ aspects of Kyokushin Kai.

There’s a possibility that there could be some confusion over the chronology of these two challenge matches, one in the early 1960s and one in 1966. The Kuruzaki website states that the Japanese lost, but the Nakamura article claims that two of the three Japanese won. Therefore it seems likely that the two articles are referring to two separate occasions, and the competition in which Kuruzaki lost would appear to precede the Nakamura competition.

About Semmy Schilt—as far as I can make out, he’s got a Daido juku background. And even if he was Kyokushin Kai, we’ve just covered that.

So that’s my post for today, let’s keep this one going. I like it. I’ll be back...
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  melvinfferd on Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:21 am

and to cont. from my post above, before tommys ...

"And why do not any of the current UFC champions seek out any form of TMA ? surely if the techniques are so good , a champion would seek them out as they do with boxing , MT , wrestling , BJJ etc."

haha why the fixation on ufc champions? why not just pro mma fighters throughout the world. its generally those below the very very top that are seeking out instruction. i know here in japan some mma fighters do indeed seek out karate guys for instruction on leg kicks.

you guys consider cro cop a top fighter? i hope so. well not of late but hes had incredible success with that high kick of his over the yrs that have taken him to the very top of the sport. does that kick even remotely resemble a thai kick? nope. have other guys near the very top of the sport travelled to croatia to train with him? yes. and im guessing it wasnt to learn his bjj skills. Smile

steve,
here is one of the fights i was referring to ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zpMAVcvH5Q&feature=related

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  524526 on Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:53 am

If Schilt is great , how come in MMA he lost to every top fighter he met ? Fedor , Barnett , Nogeira , Kharitanov ?

never mind K-1 , a karate backed organisation

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  MikeB on Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:10 am

melvinfferd wrote:
you guys consider cro cop a top fighter?... hes had incredible success with that high kick of his over the yrs that have taken him to the very top of the sport. does that kick even remotely resemble a thai kick? nope.

Are we looking at the same kick?

In what way does that not 'remotely resemble' a Thai kick?

Do you think that Crocop's high kick is more representative of a karate round kick than a Muay Thai round kick?!

Must get my eyes tested lol!

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  steve morris on Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:35 am

Simon, when you read Kurosaki's website there's a definite statement about Thais stepping onto Japanese soil for the first time and Kurusaki subsequently going to Thailand to train. When he was in Thailand, we know he had the fight that you've just referred to. It also seems as though he fought Thais in Japan prior to this occasion, although I can't find confirmation of this, and then went to Thailand to train Muay Thai.

What's clear on the footage is that the fighter opens up with a low round kick, hands in good position, and if you hadn't told me that was a karate fighter I'd have assumed he was Muay Thai. It's only as you go later into the clip that you see that the main component of the guy's arsenal is takedowns. This was a strategy used by Kurosaki when Fujiwara Toshio fought the Thais.

Take for example the punch at 4:11 in the fight. That was no traditional gyaku zuki. It was a right cross. The shots that eventually KO'd the Thai were wild swings.

I don't think that that clip was representative of what you would call karate. I somehow feel that Kurosaki or somebody around him was involved in training the Japanese for Muay Thai prior to this fight. I'm only guessing, but because there were Thais fighting in Japan prior to this, it seems logical to assume that the Japanese drew on these Thais as their source of information. And this continued to happen right up until Kyokushin Kai was successful in K-1.

Just quickly: Apparently Cro Cop himself was inspired by Jean Claude Van Damme, but thankfully he only borrowed the kick!! And Cro Cop didn't need 36 takes to make it work...just shows that if you've got the talent you can make any move work if you really want it to. Great kick, but there ain't many fighters who could make it work.

One more thing: about MMA fighters going to karate guys to learn low kicks, what karate guys? Shotokan? Gojukai? Shukokai? Or Kyokushin kai? I'd be curious to know. It might shed some light. Or it might provoke some more discussion!
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:38 am

Nick Hughes wrote:
I put something on here that is proof that what you and Simon had said about there being no ground techniques in karate until MMA came along was wrong i.e. there obviously was if I was demonstrating it in magazines in the late eighties early nineties.

I forgot to address this before in my response to you above.

I don’t doubt you wrote about or were training this way all those years ago, there isn’t need for “proof.” But I’m not easily impressed and that has nothing to do with you personally. I myself have written many times about how I was looked at as strange back when I was preparing for my nidan test in 1989 or 90. I was preparing my bunkai to look like pro wrestling ala Hulk Hogan and friends because I believed fighting should be all that and more. But I sure wasn’t doing anything like the modern adaptation of ground fighting. And I don’t make claims that “I had that idea long ago.” It is just part and parcel with fighting. Your up and your down….that’s how it goes; it’s a messy affair. Gi chokes and such are common in Judo, and sure, karate dealt with some grappling in the past and there were also Judo and Jujitsu guys who combined there training with their karate but not at the same level as in later years. It was very elementary.

Mas Oyama addressed ground fighting as early as 1965 in his book “This is Karate.” In it he shows arm bars on the ground, rear naked chokes and a couple of other ground maneuvers and how to defend against them. Any fighter knows the danger of being on the ground thus any one with a brain would then also know that you should know how to survive that. So addressing it years ago doesn’t mean much since I wasn’t there to see it.
With that in mind I have to believe it was just like Oyama’s stuff. While he addressed it, (which would lead many to start screaming “see we had ground fighting in Kyokushin way back in 1965…years before Gracie”) it wasn’t the same. No way was it at the current level of chess playing that it is today and that is the point.

Now, as for myself; I’m a standup fighter. I come from a karate background and I would much rather knock someone out than submit them. While I am interested in the strategy of a ground game I like the knockout fights better. In the ring/cage I’d much rather knock someone down and out, in the street I’d rather beat the living snot out of ya. I learn ground fighting so I can get back up. But with that said of course there is the danger of hitting the pavement. So I want to be “familiar” with ground fighting. I doubt if I would need to be a champion BJJ fighter to survive on the ground in the street but you never know. Even if I did meet someone with such skills in the street, I don’t want to turn my streetfight into a ground game. I just want to get back up…on the ground is where I want my assailant so I can stomp his head in. I always want to be better at my standup than my opponent is at his ground fighting.

So did you prove anything? I haven’t read the article although I’d be interested in seeing it. But it only proves you were talking about it. You weren’t the only one. The difference is that when the Gracie’s came on the scene it changed how we thought of ground fighting. What some (maybe you included) were talking about and maybe doing back then wasn’t the same. Even the BJJ of today isn’t the same as it was 10 years ago. Progression is the key.

I have an old Judo book. The old Judo looked almost identical to BJJ and it is where I think BJJ has its roots. However even that is a far cry from today’s modern fighting methods.

Tommy

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Rob Mac on Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:03 am

It seems that Karate is damned if it does and damned if it doesn't. Don't get me wrong it's not my cup of tea and have never trained Karate. The thing is we're all talking about arts progressing etc yet when Karate trys to do so they get slaughtered. Maybe that's because of claims that this stuff was always a part of Karate I don't know. The thing is all arts either have to or have changed to survive and adapt, look at boxing, Savate, Muay Thai and see how different they are from say 30/40 years ago Savate and Muay Thai nicking lots from boxing for example. Nobody is shouting out 'That's not Muay Thai!'
Mother Teresa when asked whether she would go on an anti-war march replied 'no, but I'll go on a pro-peace march'. That's where I'm at, not anti-Karate just pro-good stuff, what ever form it comes in. And yes I did quote Mother Teresa, I have a feminine soft side too you know. Wink Cheers Rob.


Last edited by Rob Mac on Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Rob Mac on Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:27 am

Oh yeah, Melvin, that's very much a thai kick mate, as was the one that knocked him out. If you kick like that in Karate fair play, but that's a model thai roundhouse kick.
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Rob Mac on Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:36 am

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Rob Mac

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:50 am

Rob Mac wrote:It seems that Karate is damned if it does and damned if it doesn't. Don't get me wrong it's not my cup of tea and have never trained Karate. The thing is we're all talking about arts progressing etc yet when Karate trys to do so they get slaughtered. Maybe that's because of claims that this stuff was always a part of Karate I don't know. The thing is all arts either have to or have changed to survive and adapt, look at boxing, Savate, Muay Thai and see how different they are from say 30/40 years ago Savate and Muay Thai nicking lots from boxing for example. Nobody is shouting out 'That's not Muay Thai!'





Rob,

You make a good point but I think it may be a little more complicated than that. There are those who have made their karate more progressive, I myself did that, but only to a point. There is a point you reach that anymore change would take it outside the framework of karate. The other fighting methods you mentioned are just that; "fighting" methods. They have little else to weigh them down in their training. Traditionally trained karate however usually comes with half a class of doing basics while standing in place and/or marching back and forth across the dojo floor. Then reps of solo practice of kata then some sparring. Those who have modernized a bit have added extras but never let go of the other stuff that really doesn't relate to fighting. Many argue that if karate let go of all its form and aesthetics concerns and its kata and basics practice it wouldn't be "karate" anymore because that is what karate is; I tend to agree. Much of it is self improvement, character building and perfection of form.

Mind you I have been referring mostly to Japanese versions. Okinawan karate is a little different. There are some old style Okinawan dojo that don't do basics and marching but rather split into groups and pair up to go over defenses with a partner all taken from kata. This is what kata is for them, karate "is" kata and that is how they practice. They train specifically in defenses and it all revolves around kata application. The "solo" kata is only a mnemonic device to take home with you as homework on what you practiced in class. But even those more pure dojo still have a certain amount of rigidness to them and don't address the fight completely. Ever see old footage of Goju fighters? They would hop around on one foot dangling the lead leg poised to kick. Or they would use a cat stance....try a cat stance in a fight today as a fighting stance.

Some people have become more progressive but still cling to the traditional stuff and try to remain with a bit of "Asian-ness" to them. They even rename their new system with pretty sounding Japanese names. They retain all the basics practice all the kata practice and instead of adapting a more "gym" like atmosphere, they clutter it with tradition from another country. A tradition that puts way too much weight on "form" in everything they do; not just karate. But as I said, it's not so simple. take away all that stuff and it isn't "karate." Then it's only another fighting method like anything else. Actually it would probably become another form of MMA.

Even Kyokushin (which I'm a big fan of) with it's full contact bare knuckle fighting, 30, 50 and 100 man kumite, 30 fight black belt tests etc isn't progressed enough and it can't. It is still laden with endless kihon and its share of kata practice. It is very "Japanese" in its traditions and if it were any other way it just wouldn't be Japanese karate anymore. Actually as far as Kyokushin is concerned I think if it gave up kata and kihon it would then become Muay Thai. Kyokushin prides itself on it's karate spirit. That is a big part of traditional karate. If you want to only fight, ala Muay Thai, boxing or MMA then you have to gear training to that end only. Different strategies, footwork, mobility etc. The use of kata promotes staccato movement even among the most fluid of Okinawa/Japanese. Not even the oldest Okinawan kata are even close to the fluidity of Chinese forms and footwork. So even in the progressive karate dojo there is still a danger of becoming robotic or too straight line in attack and defense especially for the very average.

Tommy

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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Rob Mac on Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:17 pm

Tommy, can kata be free flowing like the shadow boxing we do? Do you think it was ever like that? I have seen Thai army clips where they practice Muay Boran in a very static fashion as well. So it's not just Karate that does this stuff.
Personally I just steal anything that I think works, see how it goes under a heavy sparring session and there you go. If it doesn't work chuck it out. Simple boxing combo's low thai kicks, knees, clinches, elbows and some simple judo throws are all I can manage to pull of in a live sparring match(apart from groundwork stuff) what name would you give that? I don't care, I just make sure it works. Cheers Rob.
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Re: Something to kick around

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:48 pm

Rob Mac wrote:Tommy, can kata be free flowing like the shadow boxing we do? Do you think it was ever like that?
I guess it can be but what's the point, the techniques are too vague and especially with claims of multiple applications for a single technique. I've seen Chinese free flowing forms but it still wasn't like shadow boxing. I think once it got to Okinawa they used postures in a more static way. I really don't know, it isn't something anyone can be sure of. At this point I'm more interested in the present rather than what "might have been" long ago. What does it matter now?
The Japanese have forms for everything, even making Tea, it's just their way. Even if kata is or was a treasure trove of defensive techniques and fighting strategies, who needs to transmit information that way in this day and age. As a device to help remember moves.....just give me a video...it's 2008 for god sake.

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