about karate and shotokan

Manny

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Here is the thing. I am a tkd black belt that currently teaches in my master dojang, the classes my master teach are kidie-sport oriented so I feel there is no room for an special class for men about the martla art-self defense of TKD, in fact the men's class is the one I teach and I have three +40 students. I am not content with the fact I am not learning seomething else and this siometimes makes me feel a little sad. I want to do corsstraining again, I am not leaving the tkd classes I teach but I want to do karate do because: a) I love the kata, b) I love the bunkai and c) I love th ipon kumite that's what I want to study.

The only style or Ryu of karate in my city is Shotokan, some friends told me Shotokan is a very sport oriented karate and I will not gain a thing because is a little comparable with the TKD WTF style, I know a good shotokane sensei and maybe will do karate with him one day per week cause I can not do more because of bussiness, family and tkd classes.

What can you tell abou the shotokan karate is it good? what can I get from practice it?

Manny
 

Grenadier

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I want to do karate do because: a) I love the kata, b) I love the bunkai and c) I love th ipon kumite that's what I want to study.

The only style or Ryu of karate in my city is Shotokan, some friends told me Shotokan is a very sport oriented karate and I will not gain a thing because is a little comparable with the TKD WTF style, I know a good shotokane sensei and maybe will do karate with him one day per week cause I can not do more because of bussiness, family and tkd classes.

What can you tell abou the shotokan karate is it good? what can I get from practice it?

Manny

You'll find quite a few similarities between Tae Kwon Do and Shotokan Karate, that both are striking, linear styles that emphasize the "hard" aspect over the "soft."

As for sport Karate, it is true that Shotokan Karate is a very prominent factor in competition, that it's one of the four major systems, and that it has its own mandatory (shitei) kata at the national and world levels.

However, to say that Shotokan Karate is sport Karate is simply not the case, since most people who train in Shotokan Karate aren't going to be competitors anyways.

A good Shotokan school should emphasize the training of the fundamental techniques, constantly improving them, and as a result, your other areas, such as Kumite, Kata, etc., will all improve as a result. If there's a good Shotokan school in your area, then by all means go for it.
 

clfsean

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Here is the thing. I am a tkd black belt that currently teaches in my master dojang, the classes my master teach are kidie-sport oriented so I feel there is no room for an special class for men about the martla art-self defense of TKD, in fact the men's class is the one I teach and I have three +40 students. I am not content with the fact I am not learning seomething else and this siometimes makes me feel a little sad. I want to do corsstraining again, I am not leaving the tkd classes I teach but I want to do karate do because: a) I love the kata, b) I love the bunkai and c) I love th ipon kumite that's what I want to study.

The only style or Ryu of karate in my city is Shotokan, some friends told me Shotokan is a very sport oriented karate and I will not gain a thing because is a little comparable with the TKD WTF style, I know a good shotokane sensei and maybe will do karate with him one day per week cause I can not do more because of bussiness, family and tkd classes.

What can you tell abou the shotokan karate is it good? what can I get from practice it?

Manny

You'll find it very similar to TKD.
 

Bill Mattocks

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A good Shotokan school should emphasize the training of the fundamental techniques, constantly improving them, and as a result, your other areas, such as Kumite, Kata, etc., will all improve as a result. If there's a good Shotokan school in your area, then by all means go for it.

I agree. There is nothing wrong with the fundamentals of Shotokan that I can see that would make it less useful for any application. We (Isshin-Ryu) may not do things the way Shotokan karateka do it, but I don't think the differences are big enough to worry about in a practical sense. A good Shotokan karateka is a good karateka, period.
 

SahBumNimRush

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I agree. There is nothing wrong with the fundamentals of Shotokan that I can see that would make it less useful for any application. We (Isshin-Ryu) may not do things the way Shotokan karateka do it, but I don't think the differences are big enough to worry about in a practical sense. A good Shotokan karateka is a good karateka, period.

Yeah, what Bill said.
 
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Manny

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My mastre emphatize the high kicking drills and WTF Sparring however the self defense thing is at the end of the list and I dislike this, I think I can find a nice dojo where the master focus in the techs that really works for self defense matters and that's what I am looking for. For example I like the karate kata much more that the TKD Taeguk Poomsae, I like the poomsae but think the karate katas are super we don't see any bunkai in the dojang of my master but the kind of bunkai I invented for my students but I am not learning something new.

Manny
 

Makalakumu

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Shotokan will actually help you understand more about TKD. The art grew out of Japanese karate. For an advanced practicioner, it's a good step IMO.

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rframe

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I have limited experience to share, but do practice Shotokan. As Gichin Funakoshi was a student of both Shorin-Ryu and Shorei-Ryu, you'll obviously see the influence. Kicking is probably going to be more of a 'practical' focus compared to TKD, if that's the right word to use...? Shotokan Kihon is pretty linear.

As a traditional art, form, discipline, and respect are heavily emphasized.

While most Shotokan competition would be considered "sport", kumite contact levels will vary a bit and I think that the emphasis on bunkai in kata really helps one think (and perhaps practice) a lot of "real world" application as opposed to just doing a martial arts dance.

I expect the degree of "liveness" you'll encounter (or whatever term you want to use for physical contact and lively sparring) will vary a lot with different schools.

I have assembled a Shotokan playlist of videos I've enjoyed on Youtube, you might want to take a look at: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL40431885EC80084D
 

dancingalone

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While most Shotokan competition would be considered "sport", kumite contact levels will vary a bit and I think that the emphasis on bunkai in kata really helps one think (and perhaps practice) a lot of "real world" application as opposed to just doing a martial arts dance.

Although this is changing, I think it is still fair to state that good bunkai is not one of the stronger points of Shotokan karate in general, and I would not pick the art as an avenue for learning bunkai unless I had access to a sensei that specifically focuses on this aspect.

As Manny says he wants to practice kata, without a doubt he will get that opportunity in Shotokan with its strong lines and emphasis of chime.
 

chinto

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Shotokan is very linear compared to most Okinawan styles, but it is NOT strictly sport like some TKD schools teach. A good Shotokan Dojo will ask you if you are looking for competition or self defense often. Even if you are not asked there is no reason not to tell the instructor you are looking for Self Defense and not sport, and he/she should be able to help you with that easily.

I myself prefer the Okinawan styles, but I have seen many very formidable Shotakan Karateka as well.
 

Buka

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The Shotokan I know from around here (East Coast USA) is a hard hitting, hard fighting, straight line put a hole in you kind of style. I hated fighting Shotokan guys back in the day. Even if you beat them, you got your *** kicked. But I don't know if it's like that all over.

I think it will depend on the Dojo. I hope you find a great one.
 

chinto

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you get off line with circular movement and counter as they go by. till you learn to get out of the way, ya your going to get hammered. but, that is sparring. a real fight is different, and I know a couple shotokan fighters who would be very good in a real SD situation. Personally I prefer the Okinawan styles for SD as they have not had the throws and brakes and locks de-emphisized or even removed depending on the instructor. ( remember that hanshi Funikoshi did not teach normally the throws and locks to help differentiate Karate from Jujitsu in Japan.) but a good shotokan instructor will make sure you are competent in SD if you tell him that is what you are interested in training for.
 

Grenadier

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The other thing to consider is that when people compete in sport Karate, it's not the same thing as what is seen in Olympic style Tae Kwon Do.

Most of the points that are scored are from punches, and sweeps / throws are quite common. While sport kumite does place a strong emphasis on speed and explosiveness, you still have to maintain several categories in order to score, such as having sufficient power, focus, accuracy, vigor, etc. Even if more points are awarded for kicks to the head, the majority of points given are still punches.
 

Randy Strausbaugh

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Manny, if you get into Shotokan and don't learn much bunkai from your instructor, you might want to check out Iain Abernethy's "Karate Grappling" for starters. It is reasonably priced, and Abernethy seems to be using Shotokan katas for his bunkai.

Happy training!
 

OldKarateGuy

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As always, I'm a little late to the thread. Tournament sparring for Shotokan (JKA anyway) is generally like this: no padding or helmets, no shin guards or foot protectors. Gloves and a mouthpiece only (women can wear optional chest protector underneath uniform). The lack of safety gear and no Nerf fighters does encourage control and good defensive skills. There are very few restrictions in targeting and technique available for use. Only joint attacks and groin strikes are off limits. Sweeps, etc are OK. One may grab an opponent's arm or foot but may not hold it. As a result, big high kicks, spin kicks, etc, are a lot more liable to counter, and are not nearly as frequent as in Korean styles. Techniques must demonstrate an ability to extend and finish the strike for real, but hard contact will result in a DQ, so control is emphasized. If the opponent falls or is swept, the fight continues until a score. If the opponent can be turned to expose his/her back, a score will usually be ippon, or decisive. Limb strikes are allowed but generally do not score.
I've been at lots of (non-shotokan) tournaments that restrict attacks to chest only, to front of body only, above the waist only, and so on. Others may weight the scores to artificially favor feet over hands. I have seen Korean styles which stop the fight (and reset) when someone hits the mat, so the winning tactic may be attack and immediately fall down to avoid a counter, or do a spinning back kick, and then retreat with back still facing the opponent to avoid a counter, etc. There really are not too many of these tricks in Shotokan tournament fighting.
I agree with others that Shotokan generally emphasizes straight-ahead speed and power. However, I think Shotokan also rewards defensive skills, and most (many?) scores are probably from counters.
I'm biased. I like Shotokan a lot. There may be a focus on tournament karate, but the point sparring generally is pretty realistic, and won't teach you too many bad habits for the day when you really need it. Like looking at any other style, the instructor may be the most important consideration. BTW, and only in my personal experience, Goju Ryu fighters match up extremely well against Shotokan guys. They were always the toughest for me personally at Open events.
 

SuperFLY

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all i can tell you is the shotokan i practice is definitely NOT a sport. there is no focus of going in for competitions, no belt farming, none of it.

there is a competition (kumite/kata/kihon) a couple of times a year we can enter if we want but its something that was mentioned offhand rather than a driving force behind the class. in fact, it wasnt even mentioned this year (ones held in march i seem to recall)

the people who practice do it for fitness and/or love of the art. for latter more than the former for me but essentially the same.

our chief instructor is quite traditional and drums in good technique and spirit. i get the distinct impression he'd be truly against any kind of 'point sparring'

our sparring never has any pads on, the more serious stuff (for grading) we normally put on light mitts and a gum shield (and a box if you like your jewels intact) but a half inch bit of foam isnt going to dull the blow that much if you make decent contact. tbf i think its more just to try to prevent hand injury than anything else. as my sensei would say 'if you get hit its your fault for not blocking it' so you'd better block it :D
 

chinto

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in the end it will depend a lot on the sensei and the dojo. tell them you are looking for self defense and not sport and most Dojo's and Sensei's will be able to accommodate what you need I think.
 
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Manny

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As always, I'm a little late to the thread. Tournament sparring for Shotokan (JKA anyway) is generally like this: no padding or helmets, no shin guards or foot protectors. Gloves and a mouthpiece only (women can wear optional chest protector underneath uniform). The lack of safety gear and no Nerf fighters does encourage control and good defensive skills. There are very few restrictions in targeting and technique available for use. Only joint attacks and groin strikes are off limits. Sweeps, etc are OK. One may grab an opponent's arm or foot but may not hold it. As a result, big high kicks, spin kicks, etc, are a lot more liable to counter, and are not nearly as frequent as in Korean styles. Techniques must demonstrate an ability to extend and finish the strike for real, but hard contact will result in a DQ, so control is emphasized. If the opponent falls or is swept, the fight continues until a score. If the opponent can be turned to expose his/her back, a score will usually be ippon, or decisive. Limb strikes are allowed but generally do not score.
I've been at lots of (non-shotokan) tournaments that restrict attacks to chest only, to front of body only, above the waist only, and so on. Others may weight the scores to artificially favor feet over hands. I have seen Korean styles which stop the fight (and reset) when someone hits the mat, so the winning tactic may be attack and immediately fall down to avoid a counter, or do a spinning back kick, and then retreat with back still facing the opponent to avoid a counter, etc. There really are not too many of these tricks in Shotokan tournament fighting.
I agree with others that Shotokan generally emphasizes straight-ahead speed and power. However, I think Shotokan also rewards defensive skills, and most (many?) scores are probably from counters.
I'm biased. I like Shotokan a lot. There may be a focus on tournament karate, but the point sparring generally is pretty realistic, and won't teach you too many bad habits for the day when you really need it. Like looking at any other style, the instructor may be the most important consideration. BTW, and only in my personal experience, Goju Ryu fighters match up extremely well against Shotokan guys. They were always the toughest for me personally at Open events.

Thank you very much sir, your reply was enligten to me about the way shotokan scores in a sport fight.

I am a 2nd degree black belt in TKD however when I sparr I tend to be like a karateka, why? because of age and size my fighting footwork is not as fancy as the one young competitor use these days, I am not as aerial like the tkdoings competing today (I do not compete BTW, I only do sparring at dojang) I like to use my hands when I am to close and my fovorite kicks are the roundhouse, the side kick, the spining back kick all aimed to the torso cause frankly high kicks take to much time to perform and when landed the other guy simply is not there, I am a straight/linear fighter when I do sparring at dojang.

What I like karate is that his format of doing kumite is a little similar to the one I have adopted, offcourse my movements and displacements are not karate ones but I tend to rely more on power than in speed because at 44 years old and having some bacon you can see that speed it's no my thing.

The black Belt karate man (3) with whom I've trained a litte are very fast and acurated, one of them is a 4th dan sensei who has a lot of bagage the other guys are his students.

I want to do learn something new, maybe do crosstraining maybe in karate or aikido I am still thinking abou it.

Manny
 

dancingalone

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Hi, SPX. Been a while since I've seen you participate here. How has the Wado training been?
 
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