Karate as Infighting

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Oldi, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    My only issue with Iain Abernethy is that he's built like a brick outhouse. I think grappling and infighting gets a lot easier when you're as broad as you are tall.
  2. Oldi

    Oldi Valued Member

    Some fascinating info there, thanks so much everyone for sharing. I don't train karate but may well be starting in a few weeks time at a new place starting up nearby, so these insights are really interesting.

    The thought had occured to me. I'm a lanky 6'3 and 185lbs, so thoughts like that often occur to me in fact!
  3. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    I have no issues with it. It's all about tactile sensitivity, weight distribution and angles of attack. Iain tends to grapple from a Judo base approach to Karate grappling methods whereas I come at the same material from an Aikido base.
  4. PointyShinyBurn

    PointyShinyBurn Valued Member

    It depends on the kind of grappling/infighting you're talking about. Plum clinching up for face kneeing or dragging a guy into a front headlock are much easier for the taller fighter, for example.
  5. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Personally I think body type only comes into it up to a point.
    In a real altercation often you don't get to choose what sort of fight you want it to be. Or you have to turn the fight from something you aren't comfortable with to something you are.
    You don't fully control the range.
    No point saying you don't like clinch/infighting if some nugget grabs you by the lapel and starts to rearrange your face with his free hand.
    "Excuse me sir but as a taller chap I'd much prefer to fight at long range if that's OK with you?"
    You'll just be fighting and if you want the fight not to be an in-fight it's up to you to clear grabs, break holds, create distance (all things highly stressed in Iain's stuff) OR maitain a longer range from the get-go (not easy in a real go as we all know).
    A lot of Iain's stuff isn't about fighting in the range you prefer but in the range you are given for real. 2-3 foot away when it kicks off.
    And also...Iain also trains in the whole gamut of longer range punching, kicking and footwork other karateka train in.
    It's just not generally what he shows on seminars as far as I can see.
  6. bassai

    bassai onwards and upwards ! Moderator Supporter

    Roger Vickerman http://chubukarate.com/
    Really nice , and talented , guy.
  7. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired

    He's a Wado Academy fella ā€“ so chances are he knows his stuff.

    The Academy / Renmei also practice a rather esoteric set of exercises called Kumite Gata ā€“ which focus on Maai (Distance) Irimi (entering) and the affecting of the opponents Shisei (posture) resulting in Kuzushi (Balance breaking).

    So Iā€™m not surprised you experienced that Mark.

    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  8. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired

    Not another Wado guy...

    We are taking over the world!

    For simpicity - could you change your screen name to Wadokaratesloth?
  9. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    IMHO, the last part about boxers and Muay Thai fighters is a bit of biased point. Boxers and Muay Thai fighters also excel in infighting too. In fact, I would go further to say that all unarmed martial arts systems are designed to excel in infighting in their roots.

    If a martial artist is not developing clinch ranged fighting in their foundation, that is not the fault of the martial art, but more so their focus probably for a particular rule set.

    A theory to support this goes back to China a hundred years ago. The northern long fist styles generally performed better than the southern closer in styles in challenges and competitions. The northern long fist styles were considered superior for this reason. IMHO, it was not that long ranged fighting was superior to closer in fighting... the reason was that EVERYONE was developing good infighting (clinching range fighting) and for someone to develop longer ranged (long fist) or even much closer range (grappling and Tai Chi) was to be outside the norm and could be of an advantage.

    Karate was simply developed for the normal ranges for unarmed fighting (what you are calling infighting). Nothing special compared to other martial arts, but it is the area that HAD to be developed because it is where most of the damage in fights happens. The most practical range for fighting skills to be developed.

    If you were someone that in addition excelled in long fist, then that was a sign of superiority (hence the focus in competitions for longer ranged rule sets).

    Unfortunately, you get some specialization over time where the long ranged fighting is all that is developed and the heart of the martial arts (close in fighting) is neglected. I think it is that people just want to learn what they think is the "magic bullet" that will get them the win or whatever to defeat opponents (e.g. long fist and grappling) but they don't realize that it is the clinch ranged fighting that is the foundation for unarmed martial arts. IME.

    IMHO, what it should be is develop your clinch ranged fighting, excel in it, and in addition you must also have long fist and closer in grappling ranges developed to give you an advantage over those that just develop clinch ranged fighting.

    An untrained person is MOST likely to have infighting (clinch ranged) abilities but their long ranged striking and very close in grappling skills often are inferior.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  10. mattt

    mattt Valued Member

    I understand it is intended to be demonstrative, but some of the movements don't align with my understanding of what would happen.

    In the first technique, around 1:02 I could see a guy with training not being bothered by it, and a guy without training might be theoretically controlled, but if they were to start freaking out the control being lost as you are only holding onto the lock with the elbow hook and tension.

    Another move you focus on a lot, highlighted at 2:15 is the perfect position for him to take you down, why would you decide to kick across him, giving him your leg if his left arm actually worked?

    The arm lock you emphasize here seems to be open to the left arm of Uke to attack you throughout, and they can shrug out of the lock. Doesn't seem to be highly effective technique to me.

    Could you let me know why it is important technique to you?
  11. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    I was thinking something along the same lines as you mattt, but not so much that the opponent could counter the technique... I was thinking more of an apparent paradigm shift between the lock and the idea of brutality.

    I've used that arm lock to escort someone out of a room before, but that person decided not to fight back. After escorting him out and letting him go, there was quite a lot of threatening words from him, but he eventually backed down and cooled off. Had it been a fight from the beginning, there was no real lock there, just a break.

    The paradigm I'm going off of is that you always unbalance or stun before locking. However, you can go right into a break to stun. So the arm lock demonstrated would be more likely a break move... even if only a partial break, the idea would be to stun the opponent momentarily so that you could follow with a lock or takedown.

    So I was looking at the technique in the video as a breaking technique rather than a controlling lock. That might change the effectiveness of what comes after since the opponent should be stunned by the break.

    In some other cases, it could be a locking technique, but first, I would expect a strike to stun or unbalance to happen before the lock is attempted. This would be more in line with Aikido, rather than karate paradigm.

    Both have merits and can work, IMHO.
  12. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    Hi Mattt

    In the video I'm not keeping the hold on all the time, whether I'm doing the golgi tendon underhook or the higher shoulder hold - I'm only putting them both on lightly as they both cause a lot of pain - if I had them on tightly then greater resistance would cause a lot of damage.

    You aren't at all exposed to the left arm unless you mess up and they break out of the hold. When the hold is 'on' there is no biomechanical way they can turn towards you. I go into more detail about the two holds and put it on a bit more in the other video.

    The video shows the interpretation of the two opening positions of this Kata as two holds that I have found particularly effective in applying with ease under pressure in full contact scenarios, and which are on the syllabus of a number of other full contact groups who do alive resistance training. The rest of the Kata is then shown as redundancies for the hold slipping under pressure or failing for another reason (for example the initial golgi to shoulder transition can't be done on a taller person). I'm not doing all of this in sequence - this demo is showing possible options leading to the control and possible options if the control is lost. No control is fool proof but I teach these two positions because they work in a majority of situations the majority of the time and are gross motor controls which are good under pressure. That's why the hold is important to me. I don't theorise with the physical stuff I teach - I put stuff under pressure. If it doesn't work the majority of the time with very little training we don't keep it. :evil:

    The 2.15 kick is the alternative version to the earlier kick, in other words some systems to a side thrust kick there, others do a front kick there. What I'm showing is that if I feel that I've lost that shoulder pin, immediately crash into him to strike his chest with your right arm as head cover and weapon (we do this with and without armour and for some people it's a fight ender on its own - even with the armour on) - if that doesn't buy you the moment to reestablish control then flow straight away into a hard strike across his neck, potentially follow through with a knee to his chest, potentially follow through with a body or leg kick. I have no concerns about giving him anything here, he's going to be too busy reacting or dropping from a series of hard shots - I'm doing a slow demo of a series of close quarter strikes - all of which will be end game for all but a tiny proportion of people. If he did go for the leg then the same initial technique works as an attack to the base of the skull.:evil:

    If I appear vulnerable here it's because I'm walking and talking very slowly through responses that disable the other guy in an instant. This is not a nice Kata.
  13. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    The stun is shown there beforehand with the hit to the side of the head or neck with the forearm or hand in the variations shown of tackle/push/punch defences in that Kata. (note this is not a DART drill - this is me showing Kata bunkai)

    The stun is there in the demonstration when I move back to the control after a redundancy strike.

    I'm doing minimal talk through to cram the whole Kata into 5 minutes, but the stuff is there to see.
  14. robertmap

    robertmap Valued Member

    There are NO nice kata :evil:
  15. Oldi

    Oldi Valued Member

    This has been a fascinating conversation, it is fantastic how many knowledgeable people there are on here.
  16. PointyShinyBurn

    PointyShinyBurn Valued Member

    Kind of agree, in that if you really want to crank or secure his arm you need to grip your hands together. Disagree, in that you absolutely cannot just shrug out of that position.

    That's a horrible position for him to take you down, his posture is completely broken. Is there a reason to kick rather than just keep kneeing though, other than "it's in the kata"?

    How hard can you punch yourself in your own shoulder? The guy doing the lock can trade ten flailing slaps from the off hand for one solid knee and come off better every time.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  17. PointyShinyBurn

    PointyShinyBurn Valued Member

    P.S. The dicey question is whether the guy actually lets you lock his arm and break his posture like that, which he won't if he has any kind of base or is just strong. If you have knowledge of how to apply and fight from the under-hook this is fine, if you're just assuming the elbow shot is going to rock his world so hard you can just do whatever you like then it's a problem IMHO
  18. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    For the shoulder crank the hands are brought together, as per the second video I posted. In this one I'm being light in part because we're going in and out of the position a lot, in part because this is largely a video about failing to get the position, and in part because I'm talking and I tend to move my hands high in front of me when I talk. :)

    Reference the kick, it's all about the Kata. It's an option. At that range kneeing is my preferred choice, if Sampsi had pulled away from me with the failure or with the body/head/neck strikes then the kick would have been a better option. The whole idea was to show redundancies that are built in if you choose to look at the kata in this way.

    This is not a class from me on how to apply and underhook or shoulder crank. It's a short video demo on how the opening move of this Kata can be this and how the rest of the Kata can be redundancies for if you muck it up! :)

    The underhook, like any form of control, requires either distraction/softening techniques or lots of people in order to get it on. I think I show quite a few of the strikes that could lead into it in this video. The forearm to the chest is a fight stopper for a lot of people (we had a rare TKO from this recently through the armour), but I absolutely agree that like any technique you have to have a plan to continue and sustain the attack if there is still a threat. :)
  19. mattt

    mattt Valued Member

    Thanks for the reply jwt. I don't agree with this, but appreciate the explanation. I am fine with training slowly, and understand the pacing of training, it isn't that which concerned me as much as your position as I highlighted in my question. But, if you think it works that is fine with me.


  20. LemonSloth

    LemonSloth Laugh and grow fat!

    I'm not sure about that yet - I think we have more than a few Shotokan karateka to bump off before we can take over :D

    I'd be tempted to change my name, but the magic of technology that is this forum is too complex for my mind to comprehend :p

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