Combat Philosophy of Shotokan

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Alexander, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. Alexander

    Alexander Possibly insane.

    Hello there everyone!

    I have been doing some research into the 'combat philosophies' of various martial art styles. By 'combat philosophy' I mean an underlying idea that is what the system is based around e.g. Wing Chun and 'the shortest distance between two points' or Hapkido and the 'theory of dynamics'. Although I have been searching for the 'combat philosophy' of Shotokan for quite a while now I have been unable to find it.

    So I was wondering if any here would know anything about it and if so could you please share it?

  2. Stick

    Stick New Member


    The first strike in Shotokan Karate is a block. The block should be powerful enough to stop the opponent: break a bone, knock the breath out of ones opponent, etc. This is why Shotokan Karate is considered a "hard style".
    This style pertains to the power associated with the style, not the difficulty of learning the techniques involved. Developing power and control over it is the ultimate goal of karate.

    "If you stand atop a high hill and look out over a thick forest below, the tree tops swaying with the breeze. An endless sea of green it would seem before you, ominous, powerful, and yet, at the same time quieting your soul. the waves of foliage keeping cadence with an unseen breeze, reminding you that man maybe at the top of the food chain, but as of yet he is still only a small part of mature. The invoked feeling, more so than what is seen is SHOTO".


    Shotokan is a hard style, it uses direct attacks to end conflicts. A shotokan karateka that has been traditionally train, should view his hands and feet as bladed weapons, meaning, he is to strike with all parts of the body at any moment using the shortest distance theory. In my dojo, our goal is to use direct blocking and attacking waza to open up a sweep, following up with a finishing blow, we try to cause as much damage (once a conflict can not be avoided) in the shortest time as possible. This means less pressure point work, less standing or ground grappling. (Most of us cross train in judo as well...)

    The above may not be true for all shotokan, but this is what I've been taught. Karate is just that, karate.
  3. Alexander

    Alexander Possibly insane.

    Many Thanks
  4. SparcZ

    SparcZ That's flexibility!

    I train under a sensei that came was taught in traditional JKA style before all of the politics. Our philosophy is the same: Never strike first, block or avoid and finish the opponent off in one or two shots. We do not do sport sparring and use the traditional system.

    Once you begin to learn how to develop power and understand just how difficult it is to master something as seemingly simple as a punch, then you begin to realize the tremendous amount of force a trained individual could deliver. "The punch of a highly trained karateka can travel at a speed of thirteen meters per second and generate power equivalent to seven hundred kilograms." Best Karate Series vol. 1

    That's why I love karate because you can always improve something. :)
  5. TheMightyMcClaw

    TheMightyMcClaw Dashing Space Pirate

    Here's my personal Shotokan Karate combat philosophy:
    There are two steps:
    1. To strike your opponent so fast that they are unable to react to it before the blow lands.
    2. To strike your opponent so hard that they are unable to react to it AFTER the blow lands.

    Of course, you always want to be prepared in case your strike isn't so hard or so fast.... but that's the ideal. :D
  6. madfrank

    madfrank Valued Member

    It is physically imposible to Block an attack in the street.

    It takes 4/10ths of a second to react to anything, I can hit you at least twice in that time.

    Nakayama never had a street fight in his life.

    He was taught only the school boys Karate of Okinawa off Funakoshi the elderly School teacher.

    He spent 2 years learning this

    Yet Nak graded himself up to 10th dan?????????

    Why would someone wait for someone to punch them in a street fight if you know it's going to kick off you hit first hit hard and keep hitting till they are no longer a threat.

    This karate ni senti nashi nonsense wil get you killed on the streets.


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