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Thread: Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective for Self-Defense

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    Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective for Self-Defense

    It is a little long... Here is an interesting article that was posted in another martial arts discussion website. It generated quite a bit of discussion and I think it will do the same here. There are some points mentioned I agree and some I disagree. Let's share our thoughts on this:

    - Ceicei

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    Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective For Self-Defense


    By WR Mann
    The underlining motivation in studying any type of martial activity is to protect ourselves (or others) in a real fighting situation. At first glance karate seems to provide a solution, until you look more closely at its underpinnings; then you realize it's not equipped to handle violence in the 21st Century. I often refer to karate (and other traditional Asian martial arts) as the Potemkim Village of the martial arts -- a grand facade offering significantly less in the way of substantive tactics and defensive measures than any of the reality-based defense systems.

    Recently, while speaking to friends visiting from Australia, the topic of self-defense came up for their daughters (age 9 and 11). They mentioned there was a karate school in their neighborhood and were considering enrolling them there. That sent chills up my spine, and with the same fervor as a surgeon desperately trying to save the life of a stroke victim; I informed them that karate would produce the least beneficial results.

    The reason I dissuade people from getting into karate (and other traditional martial arts) is because I don't want them misinformed like I was, studying retrograde theories and techniques that no longer have any relevance to the way we live and need to respond to. Let's be honest, all things being equal, some fighting styles are vastly superior to others. I'm not saying karate is completely ineffective (Bruce Lee did). Karate, like many other fighting styles, has the potential of stopping an attacker, however, the degree of efficiency is far less than muaythai, Brazilian jujitsu, boxing, and especially reality-based systems. Using a metaphor, the flintlock is certainly capable of stopping someone, but the M16 has a far greater degree of efficiency.

    "If you're up against someone who doesn't know how to fight -- yes, old-style karate can work, but if you fight an experienced streetfighter or a trained fighter, no way!" - Jon Bluming

    To properly put this question into perspective (why karate is not effective as a modern self-defense system) we must first discuss four topics:
    1) Conditions of violence in the world today
    2) Constituents of effective self-defense in the 21St-Century?
    3) What are people looking for [in their self-defense training]?
    4) A differentiation and clarification of fighting categories in 2003

    Conditions of violence in the world today
    Although terrorism has been around for years, its most dramatic impact was felt on September 11, 2001, after the destruction of the World Trade Center. From this point on, the world realized that there were no safe havens left. For the first time in history, Americans were scrambling for gas masks, anthrax remedies, survival and first-aid kits. Suddenly, self-defense was no longer only someone trying to rob or punch you, it now extended to potentially surviving large-scale violence, such as nuclear attacks, bombings, poison gas and snipers. Levels of common violence have also grown and laws against defending yourself have been initiated by several governments in the past few years.

    Constituents of effective self-defense in the 21St-Century?
    Nowadays, physical violence can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere and under any conditions. Therefore it's paramount that modern self-defense must encompass the whole gamut of possible situational and environmental scenarios. That includes surviving a bomb attack, gas and chemical attacks, a mob, snipers, muggings, and more. In general, no fighting style will totally prepare us for these scenarios; some reality-based schools at least provide awareness, avoidance and escape options.

    Karate (as well as other traditional styles) have been slow to add realistic elements to their training. They just go on about their business, ignoring the way today's criminals conduct themselves, or if they have, they are stuck in a time warp, as if they've never heard of home invasions, car jackings, firearms attacks and terrorists.

    Not only is it necessary to practice under a wide variety of conditions and circumstances but you need to be intimately familiar with all three phases of the attack cycle (pre-conflict, the conflict, and post conflict), adrenaline-dump, the use-of-force, self-triage and more. Unless this holistic approach is practiced in simulated environments, expect you or your loved ones to become potential victims.

    What are people looking for [in their self-defense training]?
    With the exception of individuals interested in martial endeavors, most people are busy with full time careers, school, family or other interests. They are disinclined to spend many years studying martial arts; the only time they seek out a protective-measures course is when something happens close to home.

    I can tell you for a fact, most people are not looking for "a way of life," a new religion, or grueling years of pushups and sit-ups interspersed with kata (a pattern of techniques). They "are" however looking for a set of effective and efficient techniques and tactics they can employ to escape a violent attack -- NOW! (not years from now).

    Not only do you need to train in the conflict stage of an attack but you need to add pre-and post-conflict training as well. Karate (as well as most traditional martial arts) ignores the pre and post conflict stages, and their methodology of teaching is of the "spoon-fed" variety. They don't even attempt to approach defensive tactics against firearms, hostage taking, store/bank robberies and multiple armed opponents; but these are very real potential situations today.

    A clarification and differentiation of fighting categories
    When you mention the term "martial arts," today, everyone immediately knows what you mean. The term has become the generic moniker for all fighting styles. What most people don't realize is there are three distinct categories. 1) Traditional-based, 2) Sports-based, and 3) Reality-based defense.

    Traditional-Based
    Traditional "arts" are historical styles originating in Asia. They include karate, jujitsu, aikido, taekwondo, numerous schools of kung fu, and much more. These styles are what the general public refers to when the term "martial art" is used; this is what we see in the movies. They incorporate the use of traditional-based costumes and employ some form of philosophical or pseudo-religious component. Although many of these systems claim to be a thousand years or older, truth be told, most of them have been around for only a hundred years or so, (with the exception of a few Chinese styles and Okinawan karate, which is about 250 years old). Generally traditional "martial arts" are the least street effective styles and take the longest time to learn.

    Sports-Based
    The second group, "sports-based fighting," originate from older styles but have been modified and updated to be effective in the ring and conform strictly to specific rules. They can be adapted for the street (in a weaponless environment). Wrestling and boxing are updated versions of their ancient Greek and Roman counterparts, Brazilian jujitsu is a western version of Japanese jujitsu and muaythai is the modernized style of Thailand's fighting systems from the 14th Century. It takes several years to become proficient in "sports-based fighting." In most cases, practitioners easily prevail over their traditional martial art cousins. This is due to "live-training" and realistic techniques.

    Reality-Based Defense
    Reality-based defense (an offshoot of police and military defensive tactics) are the most street realistic of the three groups, and emphasize simple but effective techniques for both weapons and unarmed attacks. This is also the only group that trains you in all three stages of an attack: the pre-conflict stage (threat assessment, conflict conditioning), the conflict stage (first strike, weapon awareness) and the post-conflict stage (do you run or wait for police, what do you say to the authorities, self medical triage and legal issues).

    Much of the reality-based "conflict stage" comes to us from combatives. Combatives originally came to us from 1930's Shanghai, and WWII; British commandos and US Marines developed it over the years to be a simple but effective method of fighting. Reality-based defense concepts such as fighting under stress, situational and environmental awareness and living an avoidance lifestyle, are more recent developments and came about as many individuals realized they couldn't solely depend on traditional arts.

    A good reality-defense program today incorporates not only defensive tactics against physical violence by individuals or groups but also incorporates defense for all types of modern attacks from conventional to unconventional weapons conducted in situational scenario form.

    Summary
    Karate (and similar traditional martial arts) look great in the movies; they take a very long time to learn but don't provide efficient solutions for violent confrontations in any form. They're centered on the conflict phase and ignore (if by fiat) situational and environmental circumstances. Sports-based fighting provides great skills, i.e., development of speed, power, timing etc., it takes several years to develop these skills; and -- they still may not work in real street circumstances, this is due to their sportive nature. Many reality-based systems train you in situational / environmental conditions and address all three stages of the attack stages (with and without weapons). Most important of all, reality systems provide practitioners with the proper aggressive mind-set. Basic defensive skills can be readily implemented after a short period of training (the same way police officers and combat military personnel are trained).

    A Brief look at Karate's Origins and Development
    Karate as we know it today originated in Okinawa circa 1750 AD, 141 years after Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered the Shimizu clan to invade and occupy it. Contrary to popular myth, karate had no effect whatsoever on Japan's occupation -- Okinawa still belongs to Japan after 394 years. There are two major but disparate approaches to karate, i.e., Okinawan and Japanese styles.

    Pre-WWII
    Karate was introduced into Japan in the 1920's and has evolved into additional sub-styles. Major contributors to Japanese karate were Gichen Funakoshi (Shotokan), considered to be the father of modern karate, and was the first to systematize karate with the purpose and intent of mass instruction. Gogen Yamaguchi (Goju Ryu) devised modern day free-style sparring in 1936 and recognized a link between ancient Yoga and karate. He was also responsible for the founding the All Japan Karate-do Federation.

    Post-WWII
    Modern breakthroughs in karate came with Mas Oyama (Kyokushinkai), and Kazuyoshi Ishii (Seidokan). Influenced by observing muaythai, Mas Oyama started incorporating hard contact during sparing sessions. I remember meeting him years ago Japan [as a teen], and he asked me where I was studying, I replied "with Gogen" (Yamaguchi), he laughed and said Goju practitioners were all ballerinas, and invited me to train at his school.

    Kazuyoshi Ishii is known as the creator of K-1, it's the extreme style of karate and one of the most popular fighting sports today. The "K" comes from the first letter of the various styles of martial arts that make up K-1. Karate, Kickboxing, kung fu, kakutogi, and taekwondo.

    The 12 Immutable Reasons Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective For Self-Defense

    1. The One-Strike Kill
    The biggest cliché of karate is the one-strike kill. This of course does not exist, but has fooled so many for years. Shigeru Egami (one of Funakoshi's top students) freely admitted there was no such thing. At one point in his career, Egami admits going into a deep depression after concluding a personal study about which martial style had the most powerful tsuki (punches). He found that karate had the least powerful tsuki, and boxing the strongest. Betting everything on one punch can get you killed.

    2. Waiting for The Attack
    Karate philosophy states, "wait for the attack." Remember Funakoshi's maxim, "Never attack first?" This is suicidal. In real situations, the first person to strike usually walks away. The untrained public, (influenced by Hollywood and martial arts mythology) erroneously thinks you have to eat the first punch, but you give up your lawful right to self-protection by letting anyone strike you first. Criminals take advantage of this civilized mindset. If you feel that violence is about to break out, strike first.

    3. On Stances
    Karate, (along with several hard Chinese styles) employs some of the most ineffective stances in martial arts. Deep, low karate stances make you completely immobile; they plant you in one spot, making quick movements extremely difficult. You may as well hang a sign around your neck saying "strike me at will, I can't move." If you recall early kickboxing, the first thing they got rid of were those limiting stances.

    4. Karate as a Way Of Life
    Years ago while in Japan, Gogen (Yamaguchi) once came up to me and asked, "I never see you practice kata, why?" I replied that I thought it was an exercise in futility, having no functional value. He grew upset and chastised me by saying, without kata, we're just animals, like boxers or wrestlers, I replied, "that's OK, I just want the skills." More than anything else, karate people have a fear about being labeled "killers." Their reply is always, "I follow the path, karate is a way of life." I guess they feel absolved from their inner conflicts or sociological guilt when they say that, sort of like what confession does for a Catholic.

    5. Spirituality and Meditation
    For many Japanese karateka, religion and martial arts are inseparably linked. Japanese spirituality and meditation are not a function of karate; they're emblematic of the culture that developed it. Westerners really buy into this big time. It's actually a direct affront to your personal beliefs. What if a Japanese boxer wanted to train in the U.S. with a Baptist coach, would he have to join the church, sing out loud, clap his hands, dance and get down? Changing your spiritual identity in order to learn self-defense is ludicrous! Mas Oyama once asked me how much time I meditate per day. I told him -- I don't, I have my own religion; I don't need to replace it with another.

    Meditation does not necessarily benefit any martial activity. For example, I recall, in the 1983 Olympics in Korea, the Koreans had the strongest archery team in the world. They attributed their secret of success to their late night meditation practices in cemeteries. Did it help the men's team win - no, an American walked away with the gold. Did he meditate? No, before each match he was listening to Van Halen!

    6. Breaking Objects can Break You!
    Karate, more than any other martial art is renowned for its breaking demonstrations; but anyone can break inanimate objects, it's easy and you don't have to study karate to do so. Do breaking boards and bricks translate into fighting ability? Again Egami comments that breaking objects is very different than striking a human body, humans are resilient. He goes farther, saying that even "makiwara" training is harmful to the body, and stopped doing it already in the late '50's. Robert Smith, in his book "Martial Musings" notes that Mas Oyama damaged his hands so much he couldn't even place a blanket on top of them when he went to sleep. Continued breaking over a period of years brings with it such delights as arthritis and other degenerative diseases.

    7. The Kata Crutch
    A major part of karate practice focuses on kata. I've never understood why so many people defend it so vehemently. There's almost a cult-like obsession with doing it. Perhaps karateka feel it grants them a special kind of spiritual dispensation, allowing them to indulge in the study of fighting. Kata however is nothing more than several techniques strung together; a tool to help beginners understand how techniques flow. For advanced practitioners, it constrains your progress and adds no functional value to your fighting skills. Jon Bluming said it best, something to the effect of, "it takes up time, and the money rolls in."

    8. Karate Doesn't Prepare You for the Street
    Unlike a sparring match, there are no rules on the street, no time-outs, no referees to separate you; there's no sanctity of life. Street fights don't start at sparring distance; many times they suddenly erupt chest-to-chest, many times from behind without warning. Your attacker won't necessarily stop if you scream in pain. Unlike the smooth floor of the dojo, the street and pavement can be uneven, broken and contain dangerous objects you can fall over.

    In all the years I spent in karate, there was never a word about fighting under adrenaline stress conditions, the use-of-force, gross motor skills, and absolutely no legal considerations. Karate is only concerned with the attack stage of the encounter; no mention is made about the pre and post-conflict stages. Environmental and situational awareness, preemptive strike, what to do if you're hurt, do you run away, or make a citizen's arrest?

    Many karate techniques employ fine motor skills; under stress these are the first skills that abandon you. To work under excited conditions, techniques must be simple and based on gross motor skills. If you've been in fights, you know that after a few seconds of wild striking, many people start grabbing each other and quite often fall to the ground. How is your ground game? Do you know how to fight in a parking lot at midnight, on sand, gravel, on ice on a winter's day? Training barefoot in a dojo doesn't prepare you for any of these scenarios.

    9. Karate Makes you Stiff and Rigid
    For years people have avoided weight training for fear that they would become stiff. If they only knew the truth -- weight training actually makes you flexible and supple; it's karate that makes you stiff! I've spoken at length to many boxing, kali, Brazilian Jujitsu and muaythai instructors and they all agree, karate produces a tenseness and rigidity that seems almost irreversible. I believe it's all those hard air punches and kicks, tense kata and deep immovable stances contributing to this condition. You see this state most pronounced when karate students take up reality-based defense.

    10. Karate is Ineffective Against Modern Weapons
    The term Empty-Hand says it all; the main focus of karate is on unarmed combat. They do practice traditional weapons however, but what use is sai, tonfa, sickle, and bo practice when you can't carry them. This is unrealistic in 2003, where attacks are mainly carried out with guns, knives and impact weapons. When you typically hear of karateka being hurt in an attack, it usually involves a knife or gun. Whenever we do seminars employing weapons scenarios, it's usually the most advanced karateka that get killed the quickest.

    11. Karate Takes Too Long to Learn, and You Still Can't Fight!
    In terms of effort spent, to proportion of effectiveness gained, traditional karate is one of the least efficient systems of any fighting style. Too much time is spent on the inanities of rituals and form. Most karate schools spend countless hours on kata or mindless sparring, as if this will prepare students for a real fight, but it doesn't. Free sparring in karate only teaches you to fight other (barefoot) karateka's in a dojo (school) environment. Kata practice is a primitive form of shadow boxing, nothing more. There usually is no counter-knife, counter-firearms training, if it is taught all, it's usually presented in a rigid step-by-step process, having no relation to what a real attack looks like.

    12. The Apotheosis of the Master
    I've always felt uncomfortable with the semi-deification of the so-called martial arts master. It just goes against the grain of my western upbringing. My goal in learning fighting was not to become a supplicant of an old man with a tough reputation. I believe that's another reason why mixed martial arts (i.e., BJJ, muaythai, boxing, and Filipino martial arts) have become so popular. There's no groveling involved just mutual respect. In the west, a coach doesn't demand a special status, over and beyond his normal duties. A coach guides athletes in their respective sports. His goal is to encourage, goad and train his charges to success. He is the father, the friend and the teacher; athletes trust him and his judgment.

    Bringing karate into the 21st-Century
    To modernize karate I suggest the following: 1) Take away the uniform, belts and add shoes (use the same clothes you normally wear to work or play) 2) remove the useless stances, 3) remove katas 4) instead of rigid air punching/kicking do drills with mitts 5) add some realistic gross motor based techniques, and take away more complicated moves 6) allow attacks on fallen opponents, and include some groundwork 7) Employ realistic tactics against knives and guns and most importantly start training in all three phases of the attack.

    Why study karate at all?
    I have no problem with people practicing traditional karate for the sake of art or culture. If that's the case, supplement it with a realistic modern fighting method. The problem I have with karate is that all too often it's represented to the public as an effective and efficient fighting system for the street -- which it is definitely NOT.
    * Studying martial arts is for life, not the color of the belt. * When we work at our highest level [of ability], the results can be breathtaking!

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    Re: Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective for Self-Defense

    For me, it's all about the Instructor, and the ability to think "outside the box. I also believe the individual has the responsibility to make it fit them the best way possible to make it work.

    Many in our society are soft, don't like to work hard, sacrifice, and forge their minds, and bodies to be the best they can be. One does what they can, but they must do something. There is no substittute for hard work, and preparation, but yet, the systems, and their concepts are still valueable.
    "You don't know, the power of the Dark Side."

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    Re: Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective for Self-Defense

    Well...besides some of what I think are innacurate details, I'd say the premise is basically wrong.

    First of all, self-defense is up to YOU, not the art. Most of what you need for self-defense you need to get outside of any martial art or sports or reality-based program. Having said that, almost any martial art teaches you attributes that will help you defend yourself...particularly movement, or what I call "the language of movement". All any martial system is, is the study of movement in a CQC situation... and learning that language can be done through Karate, or any viable system with a good instructor.

    So, if you know what it is FOR, karate can be a great system to be in, just like any other...

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    Cool Re: Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective for Self-Defense

    I have to say that I agree with it, and also dissagree with it.
    I feel that it depends on the person, the instructor, and how you train.
    If you mindlessly train in your Karate,and if you know the techniques and just assume that it will be affective in the street confrontation, then your wrong.

    But, if you take those techniques that you have been taught and train yourself to be quick and effeciant with them and use them correctly and always choose the correct one at the proper time, then I am sure they can be very efective.

    Think about it, some of these systems are centeries old. (Hmmm...Dont you think that if Karate was ineffective in a fight we would have figured this out long before now? and Karate would have never grown, It just would have died out and be no longer practiced?)
    My point is how you practice your Karate. (Be smart with what techniques you use at certain times, you have a brain so use it) Dont just throw a technique because you like it or are good at it, because it may be the wrong move to make.

    regards-
    Hwoarang_tkd26

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    Re: Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective for Self-Defense

    That was certainly an interesting article, and depending on who is reading it, of course, we'll get mixed views.

    I'll admit, RBSD, MMA/NHB, etc. have definately been put more in the spotlight today, than in years past. Grappling arts have been around for a while, but I really don't think that it was until 1993, when the UFC made its debut, that the crazy really started.

    Like some others here, I agree and disagree with some of the points made. Again, I'll say that depending whos reading this, that will determine the viewpoints given. Is there a right or wrong answer?? Who knows. As I've said many times before, we all train for different reasons, so therefore, the individual goals will be different.

    I started and still continue to train in arts that contain kata. Both the Kenpo and Arnis that I study have them. Unfortunately, when it comes to kata, there are many inst. out there, that can't provide the student with an explanation of whats being done. I'll give my example:

    Student: "Sir, why do we do this move in the kata? What is it used for?"

    Inst: "Well.....because thats the way its done!"

    Very poor explanation of the move huh!!! Someone like Dillman, as controversal as he is, can give many breakdowns of moves in kata.

    It pretty much all comes down to how the individual person does his/her training. I do feel though, that to not add that element of 'aliveness' in the training, is a mistake. To have your attacker throw a punch, and then stand there like a statue, while you execute your tech. without giving you any resistance, is a very bad way of training. In my BJJ class, we'll cover a move, say an armlock. We first, cover the fine points of the move. This of course, can only be done slowly. Doing the move over and over and over, until you feel more comfortable. We then start to add some movement and resistance on the 'attackers' part, while trying to apply the same move. Needless to say, it gets harder the more the person resists. However, it forces you to really understand the moves.

    Now as for the moves in kata. Self defense techs. contained in the kata, can be extracted and applied. Of course, nobody, at least I would hope, is going to fight someone in the same pattern of a kata. But like I said...moves can be isolated and applied. With a little imagination, you can come up with a wide variety of things. I never thought that there was much grappling in Kenpo, but after taking the time to talk to people out there that could provide a better explanation, I realized that there are a ton of Kenpo techs. that can be applied while laying on the ground. Again, it all comes back to the inst. and if you're inst. doesnt have it..well, you're pretty much out of luck.

    As for the RBSD arts out there...again, do they take away from the "art"? Not IMO. Again, its what the person is looking for in an art. If they are not looking for kata, but an art that does not take 25yrs worth of study before things can be applied, then something like Krav Maga would suit them best.

    Just my .02!!

    Mike

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    Re: Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective for Self-Defense

    I guess I would also have a issue with BJJ being agreat art for the street. In a world of weapons and improvised weapon, mulitple attackers wrestling isn't a great idea.

    RBSD is a quick fix solution to appeal to the "want it now crowd". Popular? Sure till the magazines push the next trend!
    Todd

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    Mushi Mushi Re: Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective for Self-Defense

    I have to agree with Tulisan.

    That being said I think one of the best martial arts in todays World is FMA.

    Good article though, thanks Ceicei...

    Regards, Gary

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    Re: Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective for Self-Defense

    Hello, Real fighting is fast, no rules, anything goes. Karate does not teach you to bite,scratch,spit in to the eyes, and karate is not set-up to fight a real street fight, who fights like the Katas?

    But it does teach you to beware, and not fight, this is the best self-defence!

    Did you ever see anyone punch like they train in Karate fist to side and straight long punch? Watch all the fighters of the world and see how they punch? Notice the best guys are the same! (like boxing)

    The top karate guys will hold there own,but the average karate black-belt students will most likly lose to the street fighter. They are not train to fight like the streets fights. Just my thoughts (from books and videos on street fights)...Aloha

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    Re: Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective for Self-Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by still learning
    Hello, Real fighting is fast, no rules, anything goes. Karate does not teach you to bite,scratch,spit in to the eyes, and karate is not set-up to fight a real street fight, who fights like the Katas?

    But it does teach you to beware, and not fight, this is the best self-defence!

    Did you ever see anyone punch like they train in Karate fist to side and straight long punch? Watch all the fighters of the world and see how they punch? Notice the best guys are the same! (like boxing)

    The top karate guys will hold there own,but the average karate black-belt students will most likly lose to the street fighter. They are not train to fight like the streets fights. Just my thoughts (from books and videos on street fights)...Aloha
    Good post! I think that this is where the 'Martial Artist" is separated from the RBSD guys. They have taken it a step further and have done the research on street fights. A good example of this, and someone who always seems to take a beating for doing it, is Jim Wagner. He has a spot in BB magazine, where he writes monthly columns regarding RBSD for LEO. However, his messages can also be applied to the average "Joe" as well. He dismisses kata, and seems to always take a beating for it. However, the people that are making these comments are most likely not LEOs and not into RBSD. Therefore they bash it. The thing that they are not doing though, is keeping an open mind and remembering that we all train for different reasons.

    Keeping an open mind is half the battle IMO. There is always someone out there that is better or has a different take on things. I'm not saying that you have to reinvent the wheel, but take a look at the wheel. You can't say that there have been no improvements on it since day 1!!!

    Mike

  10. #10
    Wikket Guest

    Re: Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective for Self-Defense

    What a load of rot, what I could read of it.
    Firstly the history is all wrong. The original art of te (of you want to get very traditional) was dying out, so was modified to make it 'safer' and introduced into the okinawan school system as a form of physical education. The katas were the repository of these techniques and were modified to mask their true intent in order to be safe for school students to be taught. However masters were taught the keys and techniques for discovering the true purpose and application, and passed these on to those they deemed able to learn. Trouble was that so many didnt learn, and went off to form their own schools teaching kata without any idea of application. What is being criticized here is not traditional karate, but sport karate.
    Traditional karate should contain aspects the grappling art of Tuite, and Kyusho Jitsu, the study of vital strike points. Sadly, these are all but passed from the art.

    Traditional karate - real traditional karate, is a most thorough self defence system. Alas, you would be hard pressed to find it.

  11. #11
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    Re: Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective for Self-Defense

    A "Traditional" Reverse punch is both a technique and a training tool. I was taught that it is easier to teach and practice big motions, also trains the full range of motion. Eventually, you should be able to throw a punch from the shoulder, or from your pocket for that matter with correct body mechanics.

    Todd

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    loki09789 is offline Banned User 1,000 Post Club
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    Re: Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective for Self-Defense

    Karate/Martial arts training is something you do - each school/system will have a philosophy/mission/goal to the training.

    Self defense is one of many 'goals' that Karate can be used to prepare you for throught training.

    I wouldn't expect a range master shooter to be a good 'soldier' anymore than I would expect a karate only trained martial artist/self defense artist to be able to fill out a police statement or know penal law 'just because he studied Karate.'

    You carry the tool box, Karate is only one of many tools that you might have in it.

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    Re: Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective for Self-Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by loki09789
    You carry the tool box, Karate is only one of many tools that you might have in it.
    Well said I think that if taught the right way, traditional karate is as effective as any other in self defence.
    Timo Saksholm

    Wrestling with a pig is like arguing with an engineer, everybody gets muddy but the pig enjoys it

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    Re: Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective for Self-Defense

    What gets me is the "9 and 11 year old daughters"???? So is he going to teach military combatives to gradeschool kids? I see nothing wrong with children starting up in a traditional system...it plants the seed, gives them confidence, and perhaps can give them an edge against the playground bully. A balance needs to be drawn and I don't think our society is ready for 9 year olds to be trained in knife fighting (other cultures may be).
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the face." - Mike Tyson

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  16. #15
    Patrick Skerry Guest

    Re: Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective for Self-Defense

    I have seen and used traditional karate successfully defeat a street attacker, it is still an effective method of self-defense. Traditional karate (not sport karate) has a very effective reverse punch, front kick, and spear hand to the throat, not to mention eye strikes. Plus traditional karate incorporates weapons training into its curriculum, which allows you to defend yourself effective with a weapon and against a weapon, and traditional karate teaches defenses against multiple attacks.

    It is things like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu which make me doubt the efficiency of that style in a street fight. I don't like what I see in BJJ.

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