Sport Karate vs Traditional Karate

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

  1. Killa_Gorillas

    Killa_Gorillas Banned Banned

    That's not strictly true, I feel you are bending the facts a little.

    He's obviously a tremendous athelete and skilled in what he does so I'm not taking anything away from his achievment at all... however I think attempting to use him as a metonomy for 'point fighting' being an equally as valid means of fighter development as mauy thai is a little misleading.

    So as far as I know hes got titles in NBL, NASKA and WCL. The first two are sport karate/point fighting tournaments, the WCL is basically full contact 'American Kickboxing'.

    Heres the WCL rules:


    • no low line kicks.
    • no clinch work.
    • no counter fighting.
    • no elbows

    He's not competed against a thai boxer under thai rules or under a sufficiently open ruleset to say hes 'owned' anyone from that style. He's fought karate kumite, TKD and pro kickboxing but he's fighting under a limited striking paradigm which suits his own style.

    In light of this your post is a little misleading. It reads to me like " hey, 'point fighting' isn't a ridiculous game of tag because this guy has totally kicked the butts of thai boxers, boxers and everything." But that's not really the case.

    As an aside he seems like a totally cocky, showy, douchbag who gets away with a hell of a lot of arrogant showboating by virtue of the limiting ruleset he fights under and the quality of fighter it attracts.

    case in point...

    [ame=""]YouTube - Tribute to Raymond Daniels by Alex Romahn[/ame]

    Heres him in his only MMA fight (which he lost by submission)...


    ... not so flashy now eh?
  2. Kurtka Jerker

    Kurtka Jerker Valued Member

    The biggest problem with point-stop fighting, which this guy plays for all it's worth, is the fact that you can throw a completely harmless, strategically braindead technique with complete abandon so long as you fall down or turn your back afterwards.
    Dude gets blasted off the mats with a clean, solid straight kick and brushes his opponent with a flicky drop-kick, falls down outside the ring, then jumps up posing like a giant tool. That's the gist of the entire highlight, minus him using rudimentary boxing when he actually has to do some harm.

    For the record, he does have a slick spinning back kick, but what point guy with any degree of success doesn't?
  3. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    I should have placed extra emphasis on the word "from" in my statement regarding Daniels beating boxers, kickboxers etc. If he fought in a full contact Thai match the same way he does in point fighting then I have no doubt he would lose. But practitioners from those sports have fought Daniels under point fighting and WCL rules and lost. My point is that victory often depends on the training methodology being specific to the ruleset. It isn't simply a case of "full contact boxing/kickboxing/Muay Thai is the best form of sparring training" because there are rulesets where those ways of training aren't appropriate.

    A common theme in debates such as this is how relevant sparring is to self defence / fighting for "real." Personally I don't think many of the point fighters I know are under any illusions about the transference of skill (or lack thereof) from point fighting to street fighting. Many of them train like they do precisely because they want to participate in point fighting. And like I said, a light game of tag is ideal for bionic folk like me. It can be, and is, called a martial art because the definition of "what is a martial art" is so varied and entirely personal it's too difficult to say what is and what isn't.

    What seems obvious from this thread and others like it is that many traditionalists do not agree with the term "sport karate." I don't think it's any different to Tae Kwon-do and Olympic Taekwondo. I think some folks get too caught up in the meaning of a name to be honest. When I get back into competing again after I recover from my final surgery this year I'll most likely call what I do sport karate. And get a lifetime ban from Moosey. :)

    Hope this makes sense. It probably won't because I haven't slept in 28 hours and only just got back to the COLD (!) UK.
  4. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    But many sports have avoidance techniques that are ridiculous in a non-sporting context. Boxers and taekwondoin clinch, not to progress onto grappling, but to stop the fight. In MMA or the street, clinching when you have no intent to grapple or fight with knees/elbows is crazy, but in boxing and TKD it makes sense. Greco-Roman wrestlers will lay spread-eagled, belly-down on the mat to prevent a throw. That's suicide in any sport or real-world context outside of Greco-Roman wrestling, but in that context, they do it all the time.
  5. wayneshin

    wayneshin Valued Member

    None of these I guess. I coach athletes who compete at elite level in WKF style comp and I also have developed a very keen interest in applied karate (think the type of stuff Iain Abernethy and similar do) and I think thats closer to reality.
  6. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    definition of traditional karate? karate

    sport karate? aspects of karate or things derived from it adapted to create a competition ruleset open mostly to karateka, and which seeks to represent karate but far too often misses the point, sometimes massively, particularly as far as kata is concerned.
  7. Kurtka Jerker

    Kurtka Jerker Valued Member

    But I thought that was pretty much what we were talking about. Point-stop sparring is a poor testing ground and training method for training martial artists because it tends to slant practicioners towards gimmicky techniques that do not work outside of point-stop sparring. That's all I'm saying.

    For the record I enjoy it quite a bit. I prefer it to proper striking sparring, but if I had any real interest in being able to apply my striking in any substantial sense, it's not what I'd do. It's a fun sport in isolation but that's really about all.
  8. SenseiMattKlein

    SenseiMattKlein Engage, Maverick

    I disagree with the part about point sparring being a poor testing ground. I have competed and coached in martial arts tournaments for over 20 years, and one thing stands out. My best full-contact fighters were also excellent point fighters. The footwork, timing, and distance that they learned in point fighting carried over into full contact. I believe the biggest reason they have succeeded is that they are hard to hit, while at the same time having the ability to close the distance when needed. Yes, agreed it is a game of tag, and your goal is not to knock out your opponent. But beware, as knockouts do occur. I have had my share of black eyes, bloody noses, and such from point fighting, and have seen countless competitors have the wind knocked out of them.
  9. Kurtka Jerker

    Kurtka Jerker Valued Member

    The thing is, good fighters tend to do well in point fighting because they are able to fight successfully without the gimmicks that point fighting rules tend to engender. The problem is, without a full contact, nonstop medium to demand good body mechanics and the ability to fight without playing the ruleset, people tend to rely on the gimmicks and as a result suck really really bad. I cleanly won my first and only point sparring tournament so far because I had a passable base of techniques that I can actually fight with. I didn't play the tag game, I just slipped or weaved or covered and blasted one down the pipe or threw one of three very basic kicks. They couldn't cope with someone who could counterfight at all because everyone they trained with just wanted to flick the tag in and get away as fast as possible. I've got a ton of experience in a similar weapons-based ruleset, and it's the same. The guys who have decent fundamentals lay waste. They deal with the one or two hurried, reaching shots and then harpoon the guy before wandering off to the next round of whack-a-mole.
  10. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Good fighters are good fighters. They'll be good in semi-contact thumb wrestling.
    The real nugget of goodness in a format of competiton is whether it can help turn a non-fighter into a good fighter.
    And I don't see semi-contact doing that very well.
    That's not to say I'd never do it...I like the emphasis on being first, being fast, quickly bridging distance and all that. It's just not a good format for building a person that can really stand, take shots and give shots out IMHO.
    But then my personal philosophy has been for many years now that one format doesn't provide all training needs. Do them all.
    Make up for the deficiencies in one format by doing another that doesn't have them. They are all abstractions. Become versatile. Able to adapt your water...oh no...I've gone all Bruce Lee.
  11. Llamageddon

    Llamageddon MAP's weird cousin Supporter

    And to think I was agreeing with you until you turned off the 'hit stuff' button and turned on the 'phirosophy' button. Oh well... ;)
  12. wayneshin

    wayneshin Valued Member

    Don't you see the contradiction in what you are saying. On one hand you say that the ruleset encourges people to rely on crappy techniques and on the other hand someone (such as yourself) who has a "passable base of technique" and "decent fundamentals" can "lay waste."
  13. Martial novice

    Martial novice Valued Member

    I understood it to mean that if someone trains for full contact knockdown, they will develop the skills that will see them through quite nicely a point fighting setup, because they can slip and strike for example. From the way people talk about Machida, I take it avoidance is (or should be?) a staple of good karate in every medium.

    The contrast is that the fighter who competes only in point fighting has honed the techniques that score points, not necessarily those that win fights. As several people in this thread have suggested, point fighting is a fun sport and not designed to correspond directly to an all out rumble

    However, the suggestion appears to be that the trained full contact fighter is just as good in the point fighter's ruleset, which is impressive if true, simply because it's not the case in many other fighting arts. The usual rule is train the way you will be fighting.

    As a non karateka, could I ask the more knowledgeable people here if any style routinely encourages both point and full contact (in whatever guise, e.g. kyokushin no head punches format)? Or does it tend to depend on the school/instructor or even just the individual?
  14. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    I don't see a contradiction.

    It really depends a lot on the referees/judges. I've seen point-tournaments where a punch that missed by six inches counted as a point and incidental contact to the face was called a foul.

    I've also seen senior blackbelts (8th degree or above) referee point-tournaments and not allow anything to score except for a good clean shot with some contact. If the technique was even slightly out of range or was touched by the defender on the way in, striking the hands or arms, etc. it did not score.

    Why do you suppose the old timer 8th degrees or so I've seen hold the point system to such a high standard?
  15. SenseiMattKlein

    SenseiMattKlein Engage, Maverick

    I agree with most of this. I am by no means advocating point fighting as your only type of sparring. However, by doing it at the highest competitive level, not just tiny local tournaments, you are, like you say PASmith, learning how to bridge the gap, developing speed and quick reaction time. Does the great Benny Uriquidez ring a bell? He started as a point fighter and became one of the world's greatest kickboxers.

    Yes, giving and taking shots is a whole different matter, and there is no substitute for contact sparring in that regard. I agree, do them all. Becoming versatile means keeping an open mind about all possible modes of training and or competition.
  16. Lorelei

    Lorelei Valued Member

    EVERYTHING hinges on the referees. I'm still learning the ropes when it comes to refereeing and it is unbelievably hard to judge a call in a fast bout. A good, experienced judge is worth his weight in gold - I bet most Mappers have seen some bad decisions in tournaments, under a variety of rulesets, and as a general rule the less experienced the ref, the more likely they are to make a bad call.

    Having said that, the only way to get experience of tournament refereeing is to do it - a high degree blackbelt may not necessarily make a good referee, and there are some shodans who rarely make a bad call.

    Football comparison (just for the hell of it) - how many good footballers go on to become referees, and would they necessarily be any good at refereeing?
  17. wayneshin

    wayneshin Valued Member

    I can see the way you a looking at it. However I think there is NO chance somebody trained in full contact could be successful in points fighting at any decent level without a good deal of transitional training. Entry level events are a different matter altogether. It would however be fair to say the skills they have learned would stand them in good stead IF they received that transitional training but I think the same would be true in reverse. ie A points fighter into full contact.
  18. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    I would not agree with that understanding. Knockdown karate cultivates toughness like nothing else, but it doesn't cultivate the sort of evasion that good point-stop kumite does. There's not much point in sneaking in for one hit and sneaking out if you can't go for the head (and you can't in knockdown). Given the different rulesets, knockdown cultivates a type of sparring where you stay in range, trying to block the blows coming in and give two good licks for every one you receive. Compare:

    [ame=""]YouTube - IKO1 Lucian Gogonel VS Alexandro Navarro[/ame]

    [ame=""]YouTube - Abdoulaye Djida JKA kumite Caorle 2008[/ame]

    The Kyokushin guys spend 95% of their time in range, trading blows. The Shotokan guys spend 95% of their time just out of range, trying to draw their opponent in range to get one quick hit and get back out of range. Both would suck at the other's game if they just stepped in and tried to play.

    I wouldn't say that. There are a LOT of different ways to interpret karate and make it work, and if someone says the Machida way is the only way, they're being ridiculous.

    It's not true. As in any other context, people who train for a particular competition ruleset are the ones who do the best under that competition ruleset.

    I've never seen a style that encourages competition in both formats. Kyokushin, Enshin, and Ashihara prefer the knockdown ruleset (no head punches, full-contact continuous); Shotokan, ****o-Ryu, Goju-Ryu, etc all seen to prefer the point-stop competition format.

    But that's just for competition. The "point-stop" styles will sometimes do heavier-contact continuous sparring in a not-for-points, in-club format ("jiyu kumite"), whereas the knockdown guys will sometimes do kumite that allows head-punching in their in-club, not-for-points sparring. But it seems that pretty much each style of karate has one competition format that they adhere to.
  19. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    I am not a competition fighter AT ALL! But I do occasionally dabble for S & G's.

    I fought in point sparring last weekend and lost to a young pup who could play the rules a damn sight better than I could. No complaints, I entered for fun and lost to a better point fighter.

    I won the continuous (although again it is not my forte) because getting in the first shot was not helping them when I hit them back with three. However, the competition was not that stiff and I am sure against a fighter of any worth I would have had problems.

    Full-contact fighters have a big issue making the transition, but not as hard as doing it the other way round!
  20. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Good analogy and point, but I didn't say that the refs made a bad call, I was questioning the standard for which they made the call. It was my first Sensei who I was mainly referring to as 8th degree or higher. When he was center judge on the championship fight at one tournament, he specifically only called what I considered good clean hits as points. It resembled almost continous point fighting because each competitor had to work for a point, it was not simply first in first to score.

    Compare this to some of the other refs that called punches that missed by a half of foot as a point. I did not say these were bad calls, because frankly it was the same call every time.

    What I was addressing is that if you fight point tournament and it scores a point to miss by six inches, then after a while, you start to use techniques that score under that situation.

    Take an example of a home plate umpire at a baseball game. Say his strike zone is an expanded 2" off the plate to the right. A good pitcher figures this out and instead of going for the edge of the plate, the pitches start to creep more and more off the plate. After a few strikes on pitches that looked like balls, the batter is going to start swinging at stuff off the plate because they don't know if the ref is going to call it a strike or a ball.

    I once heard of a point tournament where no points scored to the back. One school came in and only used back kicks to score since the opponents had no legal targets they could hit.

    They, thankfully, didn't win the thing but they took second.

    When slop scores, people will use slop... anything to win... nothing really amazes me anymore to what can happen when standards do not reflect something reasonably close to reality.

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