Why Traditional Karate Is Not Effective for Self-Defense

Steve

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Competition may introduce an aspect of "quality control," but it also injects into live testing the desire to engage in, for lack of a better term, exploitation of those rules in a way that makes no sense outside of those rules. I mean stuff like the flick in modern fencing (which, as classical fencers point out, makes no sense with an actual blade instead of an electronic scoring tip), how Greco-Roman wrestlers will deliberately try to stay face down on the ground like at 4:25 here, etc.


I'm going to offer two examples of live karate training against a resistant opponent. One is based around competition rule-set. One is based around a "push each other but don't injure each other" informal approach. Which of these two examples do you think is better at building practical fighting skill? Competition is certainly not inherently bad, but it's not inherently better either, at least in my opinion.


I think the athletes in the second clip will be better prepared than the guys in the first. Nothing wrong with what the guys were doing, but thats good training, not good application. Id hope that the women in the second clip also train like the men in the first.
 

drop bear

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Competition may introduce an aspect of "quality control," but it also injects into live testing the desire to engage in, for lack of a better term, exploitation of those rules in a way that makes no sense outside of those rules. I mean stuff like the flick in modern fencing (which, as classical fencers point out, makes no sense with an actual blade instead of an electronic scoring tip), how Greco-Roman wrestlers will deliberately try to stay face down on the ground like at 4:25 here, etc.


I'm going to offer two examples of live karate training against a resistant opponent. One is based around competition rule-set. One is based around a "push each other but don't injure each other" informal approach. Which of these two examples do you think is better at building practical fighting skill? Competition is certainly not inherently bad, but it's not inherently better either, at least in my opinion.



You should be able to do both. Rule sets develop the ability to problem solve.
 

Mitlov

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I think the athletes in the second clip will be better prepared than the guys in the first. Nothing wrong with what the guys were doing, but thats good training, not good application. Id hope that the women in the second clip also train like the men in the first.

You should be able to do both. Rule sets develop the ability to problem solve.

There's technical sparring within a competitive rule set, and technical sparring not constrained by the competitive rule set. Every competitive club does the former, but the more focused on competition a club is, the less likely the latter is to ever occur. That's why you never see boxers at a boxing gym using kicks or takedowns during technical sparring, right?

If you're competing at an international level, you are obviously doing lots of technical sparring, but likely none outside of your competitive rule set. Jack of all trades is master of none, and all that This is true of boxing, it's true of Olympic style fencing, it's true of WKF karate (the clubs that also train in continuous sparring are not going to be at the top of the competitive circuit), and it's true of Kyokushin (the clubs that also train in head-punching and defense thereto are not going to be at the top of the competitive circuit).

Focusing your training on winning competition almost always means not diluting your training with stuff that isn't applicable to your competitive rule set. The people in the former video can complete in the latter, but likely won't dominate. The people who are focused on winning the latter are not going to dilute their training with the former.
 
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drop bear

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There's technical sparring within a competitive rule set, and technical sparring not constrained by the competitive rule set. Every competitive club does the former, but the more focused on competition a club is, the less likely the latter is to ever occur. That's why you never see boxers at a boxing gym using kicks or takedowns during technical sparring, right?

If you're competing at an international level, you are obviously doing lots of technical sparring, but likely none outside of your competitive rule set. Jack of all trades is master of none, and all that This is true of boxing, it's true of Olympic style fencing, it's true of WKF karate (the clubs that also train in continuous sparring are not going to be at the top of the competitive circuit), and it's true of Kyokushin (the clubs that also train in head-punching and defense thereto are not going to be at the top of the competitive circuit).

Focusing your training on winning competition almost always means not diluting your training with stuff that isn't applicable to your competitive rule set. The people in the former video can complete in the latter, but likely won't dominate. The people who are focused on winning the latter are not going to dilute their training with the former.

You don't find champion, boxers, kick boxers wrestlers, mmaers or jitsers at your local self defence sparring either.

So their self defence focused sparring validates its success on guys that can't fight.

Which means you get all these gifts you wouldn't get from a guy who knew how to box kickbox and so on.
 

drop bear

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Focusing your training on winning competition almost always means not diluting your training with stuff that isn't applicable to your competitive rule set. The people in the former video can complete in the latter, but likely won't dominate. The people who are focused on winning the latter are not going to dilute their training with the former.

And no. I haven't found that to be the case. I can't think of a sports club that doesn't also do self defence.

That is why schools like BJJ have the bully proof and cop systems.

Our local karate champion is also a pretty mean jitser.

One of our boxers single legged me the other day.

And one of our jitsers swung off a rope to pass guard.
 

Steve

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There's technical sparring within a competitive rule set, and technical sparring not constrained by the competitive rule set. Every competitive club does the former, but the more focused on competition a club is, the less likely the latter is to ever occur. That's why you never see boxers at a boxing gym using kicks or takedowns during technical sparring, right?

If you're competing at an international level, you are obviously doing lots of technical sparring, but likely none outside of your competitive rule set. Jack of all trades is master of none, and all that This is true of boxing, it's true of Olympic style fencing, it's true of WKF karate (the clubs that also train in continuous sparring are not going to be at the top of the competitive circuit), and it's true of Kyokushin (the clubs that also train in head-punching and defense thereto are not going to be at the top of the competitive circuit).

Focusing your training on winning competition almost always means not diluting your training with stuff that isn't applicable to your competitive rule set. The people in the former video can complete in the latter, but likely won't dominate. The people who are focused on winning the latter are not going to dilute their training with the former.
Thats true. If a boxer is interested in self defense, he or she would be well advised to expand the focus of his or her training. The key is that this person is building on well developed skills.

Youre missing my point, I think because youre focusing on what you think Im saying and not what Im actually saying. Im not talking about the quality of the training. Im talking about what happens after training.
 

gucia6

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Maybe so. I could have said rbsd, ninjutsu, karate, wing chun. I am a bit of a scamp. I said karate, because this is a thread about karate and self defense.

Edit. To be more clear, it could be any style. You cant teach self defense, because you cant practice it. You can teach karate. You can teach mma. Self defense is an abstract.
I think the most important is to realize what self defense is?

I was taught by my father (ex-policeman) since I was little girl, that in case I ever was assaulted I should run as a wind and if I was not able to do so, I should kick, scratch, bite, do anything that would let me free myself (and especially this scratching stays in my memory, so that there is piece of opponents body behind the fingernails for the DNA testing... jeez ).

At my school even thou we practice karate and jujitsu forms and have some light sparring it is just "for fun" and rather to practice limits of own body movements. But part of our curriculum is self defense teaching and the main point of it is "Run from danger if you can. Engage only if you have no choice and do anything you can to get away."

Two different sources told decades away, but having the same meaning. And maybe MA does not teach self-defense directly it gives you more chances for self defensing in real life situation thanks to improved flexibility, strength, reflexes, etc.
 
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You will find that its always pretty much the same individuals, regurgitating the same spill. Just avoid them...it will be far more pleasant.

Unfortunately, they have pretty much ran off most of the knowledgeable people...with their competition mantra.

Good luck to you.
 

Steve

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I think the most important is to realize what self defense is?

I was taught by my father (ex-policeman) since I was little girl, that in case I ever was assaulted I should run as a wind and if I was not able to do so, I should kick, scratch, bite, do anything that would let me free myself (and especially this scratching stays in my memory, so that there is piece of opponents body behind the fingernails for the DNA testing... jeez ).

At my school even thou we practice karate and jujitsu forms and have some light sparring it is just "for fun" and rather to practice limits of own body movements. But part of our curriculum is self defense teaching and the main point of it is "Run from danger if you can. Engage only if you have no choice and do anything you can to get away."

Two different sources told decades away, but having the same meaning. And maybe MA does not teach self-defense directly it gives you more chances for self defensing in real life situation thanks to improved flexibility, strength, reflexes, etc.
Thats a tough question. What is self defense? Really depends on who you ask and when. I dont disagree with the advise, though. :)
 

gpseymour

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You don't find champion, boxers, kick boxers wrestlers, mmaers or jitsers at your local self defence sparring either.

So their self defence focused sparring validates its success on guys that can't fight.

Which means you get all these gifts you wouldn't get from a guy who knew how to box kickbox and so on.
There's a HUGE gap between champion competitors and "guys that can't fight". Lots of people in that gap.
 

drop bear

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There's a HUGE gap between champion competitors and "guys that can't fight". Lots of people in that gap.

There is a trickle down effect in martial arts though. So the champions influence the guys who can fight who influence the guys who can't.

So then a person who can't fight is still at least moving in the right direction and being influenced by people wh have a working knowledge of their own artform.

I mean we get this on here all the time when someone comes in and says he is training his own made up system with his friends in the back yard.

And all the posters who argue these points about not needing this top down competency suddenly flip and say you can't progress effectively like that.

This Idea behind competition is the same as the idea than you can't train yourself in a vacuum. There has to be an external testing mechanism.

if I spar like this and even if i towel up everyone in the room. I wont get any good. I will just get better than these guys.


And yes there is a huge gap. And that is my point. Even getting a guy with some sort of functional fighting skill would do a class a world of wonders.

The dud from this class. Whould improve that krav class a thousand percent.
 
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gpseymour

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There is a trickle down effect in martial arts though. So the champions influence the guys who can fight who influence the guys who can't.

So then a person who can't fight is still at least moving in the right direction and being influenced by people wh have a working knowledge of their own artform.

I mean we get this on here all the time when someone comes in and says he is training his own made up system with his friends in the back yard.

And all the posters who argue these points about not needing this top down competency suddenly flip and say you can't progress effectively like that.

This Idea behind competition is the same as the idea than you can't train yourself in a vacuum. There has to be an external testing mechanism.

if I spar like this and even if i towel up everyone in the room. I wont get any good. I will just get better than these guys.


And yes there is a huge gap. And that is my point. Even getting a guy with some sort of functional fighting skill would do a class a world of wonders.

The dud from this class. Whould improve that krav class a thousand percent.
Agreed. But that doesnt change the fact that not having champions around doesnt mean people are training only with guys who cant fight, a binary proposition in your previous post.

Its a good idea to get around - even intermittently - folks who get more application time. Whether thats competitors or guys like the prison guard I got to train with last week.
 

Steve

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Agreed. But that doesnt change the fact that not having champions around doesnt mean people are training only with guys who cant fight, a binary proposition in your previous post.

Its a good idea to get around - even intermittently - folks who get more application time. Whether thats competitors or guys like the prison guard I got to train with last week.
Good idea, sure. Might expose some skill gaps, but you can't develop skill through osmosis. What you describe above could work if the exposire to these folks is frequent, regular, and competitive. In iother words, you won't get much benefit from a friendly sharing of ideas.
 

drop bear

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Agreed. But that doesnt change the fact that not having champions around doesnt mean people are training only with guys who cant fight, a binary proposition in your previous post.

Its a good idea to get around - even intermittently - folks who get more application time. Whether thats competitors or guys like the prison guard I got to train with last week.

honestly rule of thumb. it kind of does.
 

hoshin1600

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if I spar like this and even if i towel up everyone in the room. I wont get any good. I will just get better than these guys.
I think the difficult part for some people is having the experience. I feel many people will watch the clips you posted and not even recognize there is a difference and how that difference manifests itself. The shotokan/TKD thread and clip show an even greater gap.
 

gpseymour

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Good idea, sure. Might expose some skill gaps, but you can't develop skill through osmosis. What you describe above could work if the exposire to these folks is frequent, regular, and competitive. In iother words, you won't get much benefit from a friendly sharing of ideas.
Getting around them won't fix skill gaps, but can confirm or disconfirm where you think you are with your ability. If the standard of training is good, intermittent confirmation is useful. If the training isn't good, the intermittent disconfirmation won't do much good, except to suggest something needs changing. Friendly exchanges of ideas have a different value - agreed, though I'd argue with good training there's a lot to be gained from that friendly exchange from a distinctly different source.
 

Steve

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Getting around them won't fix skill gaps, but can confirm or disconfirm where you think you are with your ability. If the standard of training is good, intermittent confirmation is useful. If the training isn't good, the intermittent disconfirmation won't do much good, except to suggest something needs changing. Friendly exchanges of ideas have a different value - agreed, though I'd argue with good training there's a lot to be gained from that friendly exchange from a distinctly different source.
I think there's very limited value in this. Look at thr tkd vs karate video thread. They were sparring but it was very polite and civilized. That isn't application . it's fun and can be great from a relationship perspective. But it isn't all that useful.
 

gpseymour

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honestly rule of thumb. it kind of does.
Perhaps in your experience. I've run into a number of folks who were "good" but not champions, nor anything like it. Some had competed and did..okay. Others hadn't (or hadn't much, or not in a while). I'd agree that there's typically a gap between groups that train with and around champions and those that don't, but a lot of non-champions manage to be pretty good.
 

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There is a trickle down effect in martial arts though. So the champions influence the guys who can fight who influence the guys who can't.

So then a person who can't fight is still at least moving in the right direction and being influenced by people wh have a working knowledge of their own artform.

I mean we get this on here all the time when someone comes in and says he is training his own made up system with his friends in the back yard.

And all the posters who argue these points about not needing this top down competency suddenly flip and say you can't progress effectively like that.

This Idea behind competition is the same as the idea than you can't train yourself in a vacuum. There has to be an external testing mechanism.

if I spar like this and even if i towel up everyone in the room. I wont get any good. I will just get better than these guys.


And yes there is a huge gap. And that is my point. Even getting a guy with some sort of functional fighting skill would do a class a world of wonders.

The dud from this class. Whould improve that krav class a thousand percent.
The problem with criticizing videos like the first one is we have zero context. They could be guys gearing up for the first time ever. They could be following the directions of the teacher telling them 10% speed and power. Or this could be their best effort and best fighters. We have no idea.

Dont get me wrong, Im just as guilty of criticizing videos like that as the next guy.
 
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