Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective for Self-Defense

TimoS

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Alright, it wasn't originally developed for that but I'm sure the need to defend daughters from oppressive samurai overlords forced karate to accomodate that and evolve.
:BSmeter:
Please read up on the actual history of karate before you make even more of a fool of yourself. Here's a helpful hint: check out the history of Bushi Matsumura
 

Curlykarateka

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:BSmeter:
Please read up on the actual history of karate before you make even more of a fool of yourself. Here's a helpful hint: check out the history of Bushi Matsumura
sigh, I'll admit defeat now. thank you.
 

K-man

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Karate was built to defend peasants from armed samurai, arguably knife fighters fight very differently but karate can adapt.

​What TimoS said!

I mean sure, a guy isn't gonna walk up and perform a lunging stab or clear cut slash. He's gonna get in close and stab me in short, quick movements. I have no idea how to deal with that kind of attack other than "can't see his hands, punch him in the throat"

Nothing to do with this thread but good luck with that theory.

BTW the one hit kill does exist.

Mmmm!

Ushirogeri to the solar-plexus, a powerful hand technique to the throat. any of those would end a fight.

Possibly.

Also, best self defense against an armed attacker, just give him the bleeding wallet.

Can't argue with that.

Kata is a training exercise to the best of my knowledge, a way of developing technique and breathing and showing us principles of fighting.

And, here you are demonstrating a total lack of knowledge. Go and read some history of the martial arts in China. Find out where the kata came from and what they mean.

You are right in saying they help develop technique and they do show us principles of fighting but they are much much more than that.

Also, it is not religion, but a common philosophy all TMA practitioners should share, one of perpetual self improvement and using Martial arts for the good.

Admirable sentiment.

Martial arts ought to teach us so much more than how to fight, but also how to not fight.

???? I can go with the first but try telling the second part to most MAs and their eyes will glaze.


Also, karate fighters are not stiff or rigid, and the stances are very effective at harnessing the power of the body, protecting vital areas and mobility.

That is not the purpose of stances.

I can doge from nikoashi dachi as quick if not quicker than I can from a standard boxing stance.

Only in 'sport' karate. I used it successfully in tournament sparring but it is totally different in a SD situation.

Some senseis may only stick to the traditional, in my dojo one the main things we do is develop our own self defense methods. "curlykarateka-ryu" rather than Goju-Ryu, developing and honing a natural response to any attack.

Natural response is good. Systema works on that principle. But 'curlykarateka-ryu"? I might respectfully suggest you look at some other Goju schools. (Check Tez's thread on English for the meaning.) I'll happily stick with 'traditional because it is well proven.

I could go on, but I'll finish by saying that you should not dismiss a way of fighting without having studied it deeply first, with a decent sensei.

That is exactly what I am saying!!! That is exactly why traditional karate needs to be studied deeply with a Sensei who understands 'traditional' karate.
I think you might have a lot of study ahead if these sentiments represent your understanding of Goju Ryu. :asian:
 

Curlykarateka

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I think you might have a lot of study ahead if these sentiments represent your understanding of Goju Ryu. :asian:
thank you for that. I think I should leave this forum and come back in a few years. I desire only to learn.
 

K-man

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thank you for that. I think I should leave this forum and come back in a few years. I desire only to learn.
Mate. Don't leave because people disagree with you. There are some really good folk on this forum. If you make a statement that people disagree with, you will attract spirited replies. If you raise the same topic as a genuine question you will get a fantastic range of responses from right across the martial art spectrum. :asian:
 

Cyriacus

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thank you for that. I think I should leave this forum and come back in a few years. I desire only to learn.

Did it never occur to you that you can only learn if you know what you need to learn about?
Being told your wrong is not a bad thing to be avoided, its an opportunity to refresh your information. Would you have questioned what you 'knew' if someone hadnt contradicted you? You came in declaring it as fact because you likely believed it was. Your willingness to acknowledge that you were wrong is more than alot of people can say. If you dont want to stick around you dont have to, but you can only stand to gain by doing so :)
 

mook jong man

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Hey Curly , don't worry about it mate.
Wait till you get married , you'll get told your wrong everyday by a bloody professional.
Just water off a ducks back mate , water off a ducks back.
 

sopraisso

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Hey Curly , don't worry about it mate.
Wait till you get married , you'll get told your wrong everyday by a bloody professional.
Just water off a ducks back mate , water off a ducks back.

Hehehe.
This is wisdom, forget the rest. :D
 

sopraisso

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Seriously, why is this thread still alive? I read the op just a few weeks ago and I feel sick only by remembering about it! The knowledgeable people that are in this forum deserve better. Die thread, die! :shooter:
 

K-man

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Seriously, why is this thread still alive? I read the op just a few weeks ago and I feel sick only by remembering about it! The knowledgeable people that are in this forum deserve better. Die thread, die! :shooter:
I suppose the thread is alive because W R Mann wrote articles, from his perspective as a reality based martial artist, arguing that the traditional martial arts were not effective for self defence. It is a view expressed by many people so the question has validity, now as much as ten years ago. Whether Mann actually saw 'traditional' martial arts let alone studied any of them comprehensively is open to conjecture. I have no question that Mann is teaching very sound reality based self defence and I have no doubt there he is right in asserting there are many martial arts schools that are not. The truth lies somewher in between. I have no doubt that a good 'traditional' school can teach RBSD. :asian:
 

sopraisso

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I suppose the thread is alive because W R Mann wrote articles, from his perspective as a reality based martial artist, arguing that the traditional martial arts were not effective for self defence. It is a view expressed by many people so the question has validity, now as much as ten years ago. Whether Mann actually saw 'traditional' martial arts let alone studied any of them comprehensively is open to conjecture. I have no question that Mann is teaching very sound reality based self defence and I have no doubt there he is right in asserting there are many martial arts schools that are not. The truth lies somewher in between. I have no doubt that a good 'traditional' school can teach RBSD. :asian:

There was a time when I even thought about giving up traditional martial arts (karate and taekwondo), because I didn't understand how they worked, and they just seemed worthless in a self-defense perspective (it was never my main reason for practising, but it always mattered to me). The point is really most practitioners don't understand karate (sadly). The art has been through a lot of changes and misinterpretations since it was introduced in Okinawa's education system and later when going to Japan, and this, added with other factors, has lead to a massive lack of comprehension of how it functions. The consequence is that today some people claim that karate "doesn't work for self-defense", just because in reality they don't have a clue on what's karate really like. It's a delicate situation because even senior practitioners sometimes don't comprehend applied karate.

At a certain point I was fortunate to begin to understand the relation between forms and actual fighting, and that formal movements in karate represented principles and templates of movements that should be applied in a fight according to the situation (loosely speaking, it's hard to describe completely what forms are with few words).

Today when I think of the most effective methods I could use in a fight, I just think of karate. But I don't think of things like using a full down block motion to "block" a kick or a "low punch" -- like many experienced practitioners I know would suggest. A full "down block" to me represents a great variety of movements that can be used in a fight, and every part of the "down block" means highly effective and practical techniques that are able to finish or achieve great advantage over an opponent. The sole turning to the side in the most basic Pinnan/Heian has important lessons in it (moving off line when the attacker goes towards you, and going to the side/back of the attacker, for example -- and this is not half of the lessons I know in that movement -- and other practitioners surely understand it better).

I've talked to krav maga practitioners who thought that karate was worthless as a fighting system. I showed them how I would use simple techniques and principles contained in karate forms, and they agreed that they were sound techniques -- those guys would never have a reason to talk down upon karate anymore.

What really has to be questioned is the way most schools teach karate today, and the consequences of such teaching to the art a whole -- what is absolutely not fault of the teachers: they have been teached just like that. This can be a delicate discussion because sometimes the pride of some instructors will prevent them from admiting they have not learned karate in a deeper and practical way (I've experienced this with a few taekwondo instructors), but I believe today we are in a very good moment for having a better understanding, because the internet has made it much easier to access good knowledge about it, and there are great works from Okinawa masters that are being translated to English -- some of those works show clearly how today's teaching of karate is full of misconceptions.

But as for the text highlighted in the OP... It's like a caveman saying a firearm is useless for hunting because he doesn't know how to use a firearm.

I know there'll be a time when this discussion will be pointless: knowledge is spreading fast, and soon most schools will have a reasonable grasp on practical applications of karate. I don't agree with every word said by Iain Abernethy (cited for other people here) in his works, but he's absolutely a great beginning for this process and he himself was partially responsible for my "awakening". Others are showing up, even in very different styles. I highly recommend Masaji Taira's studies on Goju-Ryu bunkai: he has a slightly different approach to bunkai and bases his works in different sets of kata compared to Mr. Abernethy, but he surely can absolutely kick *** with his karate. These guys are unveiling karate and showing that it is, indeed, a spectacular art of self-defense (not a war/combat art, by the way, as opposed to the various Japanese jujutsu styles, for example). :asian:
 

sopraisso

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I'd just like to say two things.

1. I wish he was Goju.

2. I wish he would visit Australia more often.

:asian:

K-man, I have already mentioned in my previous post, but have you heard of Masaji Taira's works on Goju-ryu bunkai? Maybe you'd enjoy his approach, although it's not exactly like Abernethy's.
Here's a small clip that shows some good illustration about his work:
 
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Omar B

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Sopa covered it prett well above, that whole post was full of win. Yeah I also doubted karate growing up doing Seido and Kyokushin I thought my view short and narrow, got into Choi Kwang Do, learned a lot. Got into Bujinkan for about a summer. Turns out, I am perfectly happy with karate and it works for me.
 

K-man

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K-man, I have already mentioned in my previous post, but have you heard of Masaji Taira's works on Goju-ryu bunkai? Maybe you'd enjoy his approach, although it's not exactly like Abernethy's.
Here's a small clip that shows some good illustration about his work:
I have had the privilege to train with Taira Sensei on numerous occasions. In fact he will be here again in a fortnight. I have been teaching his bunkai for the past three years. He is an outstanding martial artist and a humble man as well. :asian:

P.S. If you look carefully at some of his videos you'll see a guy with grey hair watching intently. That could well be me. ;)
 

chinto

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not sure why this thread even still exists. but its really simple. if Traditional Martial arts, that have literally Centuries of hard work, effort and experience involved in their development did not work then: one they would have died out many many years ago! Two: no one would have put that much time, effort and blood literally into developing them would they? and three: they would have never ever spread they way they did would they have??!

So please some one shut this stupid, ridiculous thread down......
 

sopraisso

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I have had the privilege to train with Taira Sensei on numerous occasions. In fact he will be here again in a fortnight. I have been teaching his bunkai for the past three years. He is an outstanding martial artist and a humble man as well. :asian:

P.S. If you look carefully at some of his videos you'll see a guy with grey hair watching intently. That could well be me. ;)

This... is... absolutely... awesome! :D
See... I'm pretty much a beginner in Goju-ryu (I practice both goju and shotokan), so I'm not completely in a rush to have a better understanding of its forms and methods... but Taira-sensei's method looks incredible, and I've been thinking a lot about finding a way to learn it -- but I could hardly do it with a live teacher, not in the place where I live (let's say here they teach the old regular Japanese goju classes -- the good stuff on karate I usually learn in forums, books, articles, videos and in bunkai studies by myself). So I've been looking for references on his work... but I don't find any! Doesn't he (or other good instructors on his method) have any books/instructional vids? Aren't there any books I could use to understand his method? You know, there are good vids on YouTube, but it'd be great to have more student-oriented sources. I've been planning to join his Okinawa Goju-ryu Karate-do Kenkyukai, but the fact that I'm a beginner at goju-ryu has made postpone that plan. Could you give me some ideas about this (maybe via PM)?
Thanks in advance!
 

Sensei Tom O'Brien

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There are tenniques in every style of martial arts that are useful in SD. MMA, MT, BJJ, ju-jitsu, boxing, kick-boxing, krav mega, reality based, Arnis & so on & so forth. No one method has all the answers all the time. Try to learn from as many of them as you can.
 

Jackthekarateguy

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Well obviously he went to a bleedin' useless karate school. Btw, he mentions legal considerations but then said "allow techniques on fallen opponents". If there's anything these reality based guys are notorious for it's over reacting and hospitalising a guy who was showing off in front of mates/trying to get money for food/drugs/clothing etc. (sweeping generalisation, don't pick me up on that)
 

chinto

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I have been taught bunkai from the start in both Shobayashi Shorin Ryu and Matsumura Seito Shorin Ryu. I think there was a time in the 1960's and part of the 70's that many Karate instructors were not taught about bunkai. that has changed. I have had to use Karate for self defense, and it worked very very well when to loose was to die.

So once again, why is this stupid thread still here??
 
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