Sport Karate vs Traditional Karate

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Van Zandt, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    One thing I've noticed since moving to the States is that sport karate is massive out here. I'm referring to the NASKA point fighting style tournament circuit as in the video below:

    [ame=""]YouTube - Raymond Daniels vs Jason Bourelly[/ame]

    It seems however that sport karate isn't widely accepted as "real" karate by a large percentage of traditionalists. I thought it would be useful to create this thread so that we could all list the differences, pros and cons of each.
  2. tonyv107

    tonyv107 Valued Member

    Posted on the wrong one lol. As I was saying. This fighting is terrible. Those "punches" had absolutely no power, the guy had no guard and was off balance. That was a joke.
  3. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    Sorry, the fact that people call that "karate" makes me angry. It's just plain not karate as I know it.

    The techniques aren't karate, the stances aren't karate. It just looks impractical and amateurish. Like absolute beginner level ITF taekwondo. Since when do any schools of karate teach students to stand side-on with their arms splayed out or hopping on one leg?

    There's none of the efficiency of movement, hard, straight attacks, rooted stances that I'd expect from karate.

    Whether or not its good entertainment may be another matter - I wouldn't get any pleasure from watching it because it just looks slappy and undisciplined, but each to their own.

    Apologies if anyone likes this, but that's what I'd call "point fighting", and I wouldn't link it to any form of karate.
  4. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    I agree with Moosey. To me that's McDojo Karate.
  5. Killa_Gorillas

    Killa_Gorillas Banned Banned

    That's sport karate/point fighting baby - the most irritating 'combat' sport known to man.
  6. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    That's sport 'something', but I can't identify anything I'd regard as Karate.
  7. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    I don't see it as Karate, or TKD or anything else for that matter, but then I don't think arts are defined by their sparring rulesets...

    It is what it is. It's competition under a particular ruleset taken to its logical conclusion, just like WTF TKD. The competitors could come from any background, they just choose to tailor their training to that ruleset.

    Although it's not my cup of tea either, I think railing against it is misguided. Those people train hard, have a great level of athletic achievement and significant technical ability. If you think there is no skill in what they are doing you are wrong. If you think it is not technical, detailed and demanding you are wrong. The fact that they do pole vaulting instead of ditch jumping (or whatever metaphor you like) shouldn't bother us; horses for courses and all that :)

  8. robertmap

    robertmap Valued Member

    It's fun and it's karate-like - Years ago I did Lau Gar (did a little bit a couple of years ago - but no sparring) - anyway, back in the day we had competitions - was it 'Traditional Kung Fu' - No, but it was fun. For the last 18 months I've been doing Tae Kwon Do - very little is what I would call a martial art but as a martial sport (once again) it's fun.

    The main reason for the demise of classical martial arts are:
    - They are too hard to learn.
    - They take too long to learn.
    - They kill and maim attackers - not strictly legal these days :)
    - They don't look C00L
    - They can be very boring.
    - There are no trophies.

    And for the younger and more enthusiastic the big thing about competitions is ADRENALINE RUSH :)
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  9. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    Somebody sig this! :)
  10. Lorelei

    Lorelei Valued Member

    Spot on, Moosey.

    I train in a style that most would consider 'sport' karate when it comes to kumite. Nominally non-contact (aim to touch the gi, not the flesh behind it), light fabric mitts and pads, mouthguards, groin/chest guards for competitions. Our kumite looks nothing like the OP clip! I saw precious little guard or blocking by either competitor, and both of them seemed so focussed on scoring a point that if the other guy attacked, the only thing they could think of to do was to run away! Very little zanshin, too - again, too focussed on scoring a point to be aware of potential danger. In my style, both would be at risk of incurring a penalty for mubobi (reckless disregard for the safety of themselves or their opponent) - there were a few strikes delivered while flying through the air and completely unrooted in stance, which would be impossible to pull successfully had it been necessary. Uncontrolled, and (IMHO) unsafe. Yuk.
  11. Killa_Gorillas

    Killa_Gorillas Banned Banned

    Many are: BJJ, Judo, Boxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Kyokushin, WTF TKD etc...

    Agreed :cool:
  12. robertmap

    robertmap Valued Member

    I edited out the TAGB from my original post as I thought that naming names was a little unfair - I have only been to one TAGB club and with an organisation that large it's possible that clubs vary in what they teach and how they practice...
  13. Killa_Gorillas

    Killa_Gorillas Banned Banned

    Non-contact? For all the inherent flaws of the point fighting style of sparring displayed in the OP non-contact is just as bad in its own way. What style of Karate do you train GKR?

    EDIT - I just checked your profile and it appears you do, do GKR. Not to be harsh but I wouldn't have said you are in any position to be too critical of the undeniably flawed point sparring ruleset given that you spar non-contact GKR karate.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  14. slickoneuk

    slickoneuk Member Supporter

    That looks like a load of old Pish!

    Typical of American sports that have to be flashy and in your face

    Not Karate in my opinion, limited as it is!
  15. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Except that WTF TKD can be taught as something entirely different to Olympic Sparring; Judo can be taught with the original breadth of techniques including striking but rule them out for competition, Kyokushin is sometimes taught with strikes to the head in the dojo, just not in tournament sparring, etc etc.

    The point is that many arts have more than one set of sparring rules. Similarly you can train Self Defence as a distinct entity from tournament sparring.

    Whether any of this is ideal, most common, or whatever else is another matter. :)

    But that's almost a side issue. What I was trying to get at is that the video shows a method of competing which some people like and so seek to excel at. All they are doing is following that to its logical conclusion. It's not MMA, it's not SD, it's something else, but being offended by it is like being offended by triple jump because you like high jump.

  16. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    I can ban you from here :p ;)

    I think it's a reasonable assessment for some clubs. There are others out there that do things differently.

  17. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    I'm sure high jumpers do get offended if people say "your sport sucks, why do you have to do that silly hop and step before you jump?".

    Plus, regardless of how much you decide to abstract your sparring rules, you're still trying to practice an element of fighting. I'm not sure that hoppy-slap-a-thon necessarily trains fighting skills.
  18. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    Never pass one, never pass one. :)
  19. Killa_Gorillas

    Killa_Gorillas Banned Banned

    But by virtue of their sparring rulests and because sparring is a defining element of the arts practice you know that:

    a WTF tkdowin is going to be pretty tasty at kicking

    a judoka is going to be damn good at throwing and have some quick explosive groundwork,

    A kyokushinka is going to have a well conditioned set of legs and core and be very, very tasty with the hands and feet at a certain range

    A BJJ guy will have excellent groundwork and follow a strategy of positional dominance predicated on the BJJ scoring system.

    All these arts have a defined set of methods respectively in terms of their sparring. These methods are defining of the way an art is practiced. The things we commonly associate with the arts I mentioned are by virtue primarily of their sparring ruleset. Although there can be more to an art than what is contained within it's sparring criteria, such a method of practice is a defining feature of an art IMO.

    Yep, I completely agree with this point :)
  20. Lorelei

    Lorelei Valued Member

    At the risk of having every post I ever write flamed into the ground (I've read a few GKR-related threads on MAP and other forums.....), yes, I train in GKR.

    You're right, non-contact has its limitations. Because our kumite is non-contact (although in practice it becomes light contact, especially for higher grades, but don't quote me), I would class it as sport rather than traditional karate. We spar for points at tournament, which changes the dynamic of a bout - speed of delivery and retraction become more important for point-scoring rather than strength and focus, although techniques are judged for scoring on a range of criteria.

    These criteria are:
    Good form (correct, precise karate technique in an appropriate stance)
    Correct attitude (non-malicious attitude)
    Vigorous application (commitment, focus, kime, kiai)
    Zanshin (awareness of opponent's potential to counterattack, even after technique has landed)
    Proper timing (delivery when technique will have greatest potential effect)
    Correct distance (to score, technique must have the potential to penetrate the target. For example, a punch which arrives somewhere between skin touch and 2-3cm from the face, and where the punching arm is not fully extended has correct distance.)

    All above criteria must be met to score waza-ari. Ditto for ippon, but the technique must be one that would have totally incapacitated one's opponent and there are separate criteria for that.

    In practice, 'Correct distance' is probably the hardest of the criteria to judge correctly, and also the hardest to stick to as a competitor. It can be affected by one's opponent - a sudden lunge forward into an otherwise correctly delivered technique means no score and possibly a warning for contact, even if an attempt is made to pull the technique.

    If anyone has questions about GKR, I'm happy to answer them, but if the questions relate to issues other than sport vs traditional karate, please keep them out of this thread! I've seen how messy threads can get when people's issues with GKR take over.........

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