Discussion in 'Karate' started by wado nasskc, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    We've gone over the technique aspect before. IME it is not the training that is as important in real situations as the experience and character (attitude).

    Most karateka simply put, lack real world experience in fighting. The only experience they get is from fooling around with friends, sports, and what they do in training.

    Training can provide experience, the more realistic the training and the more the resistance (movement and energy) then the more applicable the training is in gaining experience. If they train with progressive resistance and reach full contact training (with a real sense of danger) then their training will yield more real world experience than if they train only non-contact and with compliant partners.

    Some people have real world experience from on the job and from growing up, they can train in Tae Bo and they would still kick ass in a fight. Some people have trained for years in the most effective techniques, but they get wasted in a real world situation because they lack the experience to make smart, quick decisions and fail to control the situation.

    Character/attitude speaks for itself. For years people have complained that martial artists get cocky, get a false sense of security, etc. They get in a real fight with the attitude that it is play time, they pull punches subconsciously, they think the other will acknowledge and give up easily, but it turns out the other is like a tiger, never gives up, and the martial artist again gets a rude awakening.

    Now is it the problem of "karate" if students lack in real world experience? Is it the problem of "karate" if students don't have the character to "never give up" no matter how tough something is?

    When a martial arts school allows all people to train, this is like a recreational league in sports. When a martial arts school only allows the best (world class) to train, this is like professional sports. In professional sports, you know pretty well if you are ready or not for that level because you compete against others for those few positions available. Scouts will not only judge you on your abilities but they will look at your experience and your attitude.

    How many times has someone scouted a potential new athlete and decided not to make an offer BECAUSE that althlete doesn't appear to have the winning attitude (to do what it takes to win, no matter what)? How many times has an athlete with the most incredible natural talent been sent down to the minor leagues because they lack experience?

    I don't know the numbers, but I do know it has and will happen very often, if not all the time it happens.

    So when this topic of karate is crap comes up... if the karate school is LIKE the recreational or minor league sports of martial arts, is it just not odd to say it is crap because that's like stating a high school soccer team is crap because they can't win the World Cup?

    This again comes down to experience (and knowledge)... I would say most long time karateka have cross-trained because they have a good attitude that they are wanting and willing to learn.

    Those that have a foundation in karate and cross-train usually have a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses in their training. Note that I didn't say karate, I said training.
  2. Timmy Boy

    Timmy Boy Man on a Mission

    Rebel Wado, martial arts training (if it's designed for str33t effectiveness) can and should provide students with relevant experience. Sparring is the most obvious method. I doubt the average muay thai student has any more "real world experience" than the average karate student, but his training makes up for it with hard sparring.

    I agree that a club is not crap simply because it doesn't produce world class fighters; a TVR Tuscan would eat most cars for breakfast in a race, so you could hardly call it crap simply because a formula one car is faster. But with martial arts, to me this analogy is more like comparing Chute Box or Brazilian Top Team to my old MMA club back in England, the guys there aren't crap, but they're amateurs training at a different level. The only major difference is intensity and frequency of training, the basic concepts are still there.
  3. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    I can simplify the above. IMHO, the difference is in the QUALITY of training.

    Quality of training is relative to what is needed and wanted by the person learning. This means that the person themselves is ultimately responsible for what they get out of training, whether it be in the dojo or outside on their own.

    Most "recreational" martial artists get the majority of their training in the dojo so that is where they are learning. Most "lifetime" martial artists continue to train and make an effort to train outside the dojo with others, cross-train, and as well as learning from life time experiences (walking the walk).

    If you are looking for the answers in the dojo, you are asking the wrong questions. The dojo is where you should be coming up with the questions, but the answers are found inside yourself and in the real world.

    Hence, the problem is not "karate style", the problem is more that karate is treated as a recreational activity and people are comparing the value of a recreational activity to "self-defense", IMHO.
  4. bassai

    bassai onwards and upwards ! Moderator Supporter

    My feeling is that karate is considered useless because there is so much of it out there , so a much greater possibilty of a bad club exists , if you do a google search you'd get the following results

    Karate - 25400000 results

    Kungfu - 3020000 results

    Kickboxing - 5100000 results

    taekwondo - 7770000 results

    As you can see the sheer number of karate references to karate on google alone compared to any of the other well known martial arts (and how many of you non karateka have had your training refered to as "karate"?) points to the number of clubs out there , i'm not trying to say all karate is either good or bad (we have gkr to contend with for gods sake) only that good karate is as good as any other comparable martial art when taught well and the reason that people are able to say that the majority of karate they have seen is useless is that the majority of clubs out there aren't very good , but ,seeing as there are more karate clubs around than any other style imo that still leaves a good number of good clubs.
    This has been a long (and beer fueled :p ) post for me so sorry if it seems a bit of a ramble , but it was the only way i could think of putting what i feel across without it sounding like i'm saying karate is teh roxxor all other styles are teh suxxor :D
  5. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    I think my attitude to what Karate (and all martial arts that claim to be self protection based) should be is summed up in my signature (which is a paraphrase of Josephus' comment on the Roman Army).

    I think Bassai makes a very valid point about the sheer number of clubs and styles meaning a greater liklihood of clubs which are not so good.

    I'm not convinced that styles that do semi or full contact fighting prepare people for a real fight any better than many of the Karate styles simply because the mental mechanics of those and a street fight are very different. While a number of karate clubs may seem soft, for the people training in them they seem hard and so will still develop a degree of mental toughness and an unwillingness to quit.

    One thing that I don't think has been mentionned much on this thread (other than a dig at Shoto_can's stains and Moosey's lycra joke) is that costume may be one reason why Karate is derided. It is certainly a reason why lots of MMAers are laughed at.
  6. Jaae

    Jaae Valued Member

    Hi MAPster's
    I began my love affair with Karate and jujutsu in the late seventies, training at one of the top and toughest honbu dojo's in the country, at that time. Visiting black belts would visit and get worked over, few returned and that was only the brown belt class. If you was to stroll into that club and anounced Karate was crap, you'd get your ass handed to you on a platter, I kid you not, no matter what your credentials. Unfortunately, very, very few dojo's train that way any more.

    There are a few people still trying to burn the flame, people such as Sensei's Abernethy, Mullholland, Some of the KUGB, Kyokushinkai and Goju guys, ( But by no means all ) etc, etc. The emphasis has changed, not just in the UK, but everywhere. Very few people want to shed blood, sweat and tears and get bashed, several times a week in persuit of karate excellence. It is just so easy to go down the road join a lifestyle karate club and get your blackbelt in 1 - 2 years without facing and experiencing shugyo ( austere trainin), that was the norm, some twenty odd years ago.

    It is plausible that the ' karate ' athletes of today are superior to karate men of yesteryear, but as fighters or warriors ? Can you name the top players of today ? and does anyone care ? But the ' hard ' karate men of yesteryear Could fight in any arena, people such as Mean Eugene, Babbs,O'Neil, Spiers, Morris,Fitkin, Lundgren, et al. Their karate certainly worked, although it is interesting to note that nearly all, at some point in their careers, worked the doors, fought full contact or knockdown. They had to make their Karate work in varying scenarios ! By and large, outside of Japan / Okinawa and a few bastions of hard core training in the U.K. it rarely exists.

    I can remember in the early eighties feeling sick and hesitant before every training lesson because I Knew I was going to get bashed and I wasn't alone. I was the molten steel and the dojo was the forge and you can take my word for it that the tempering process was painful. That scenario rarely exists know. Instructors, coaches, today have to contend with high rental fees, insurance fees, for some it forms part or all of their income and because compitition is so fierce, they dilute their art and training to keep numbers.
    It's a personal view, but along with people like Mulholland, I agree that you shouldn't eat from Karate, well not completely anyway !? How can the standard not drop ?

    In the mid nineties after more than a dozen years of marching up and down honbu dojo's, school halls and leisure centers I had a moment of clarity and ultimately started the root of all evils......................cross training. I started training in knockdown, submission wrestling and Thai. I still train in traditional karate and jujutsu as I feel it has it's own strengths. ( I have always done weights ). The result after many years is, the grappling and knockdown gave me the confidence and applicability that for the most part, karate never did.

    To your average karateka I would say, either get on the mat and grapple and see how long your karate keeps you on your feet, ( Not long...... ) and box and see if your gedan barai, jodan uke prevents you from being popped on the chin or in the ribs.................... I think not. The real irony is that all this grappling, knockdown, contact and body / strength conditioning was once part of karate, ( perhaps some hundred years ago ), before it was first Japanized, then westernized, continually being watered down along the way. I say thank GOD for MMA, K1 and events like Pride, the Gracies, the Thai's for opening our eyes. The street type fight scenario has parallels with cage fighting except with no rules and no ref, so it's hardly suprising bouncing up and down looking to sink in a gykasuki is hardly going to cut the mustard. For good karate you need to take the blinkers off, but how many will ? That great MMA trainer Steve Morris was vilified by the Karate community for years, but he was right and they were all wrong, but then when large sums of money are involved, what would you expect, ( Karate England !??? ), someone made a lot of money out of it.........

    There was an article in MAI recently where one of it's contributors, A Mr Denis Jones, a doorman and martial artist made the statement ALL karate was was rubbish ! ). It brought howls of protest from the Karate fraternity and although I didn't agree with it completely, ostensibly, he was right, but he was only echoing the great Steve Morris. It's a bitter pill to swallow but most karate, today, IS crap and will fare badly against boxing, thai, grappling, wrestling, BJJ, MMA any day of the week.

    To see and understand why modern karate is just utter drivel, you only have to look at the latest issue of Martial Arts Illustrated and other martial publications. When I picked up my copy, my heart sank. Yet another tenth dan Soke Grandmaster proclaiming his greatness. ( You expose one and another one comes along................ ). This gentleman makes a lot of money marketing himself as the world's greatest kicker !!!? I think people like Mirko Crocop, Mark Weir, Buakaw Por Pramuk, Dekkers, O'Neil, Tony Sewell might beg to differ. Then we have a 5 Th dan in Teakwondo in his mid twenties, heading an association with a claimed 25,000 membership selling franchises !????
    If ever the term McDojo was applicable, that just has to be it ! Plus, now, very few clubs allow you to pay and go, people are tied into long term contracts with the guarantee of a ' blackbelt ' at the end of it !!!???

    Puleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease, and you say karate of today is as good as yesteryear ? on the whole, I think not. Most karate effective ? I don't think so !
    Most Karate today is nothing more than aerobic combat or taebo, but sadly, it's just not karate, it's nearly everything.

    Is it any wonder most serious martial and combat athletes have such a low opinion of karate ? ( Oh, and can someone explain ' freestyle karate ' to me !)
    Why not call it what it is, freestyle light / non contact kickboxing ? To conclude then, sadly, much of the karate practised today is complete rubbish and has a martial value akin to Taebo or aerobics and probably does not give the practioner a cardio workout that is on a par with the two activities above, anyway.The sad thing or conversely, the good thing is, with everyone having access to MMA, UFC, PRIDE, K1 via TV and satellite, even the general public can see, by and large most karate practised today is ineffective, cheap, shoddy and laughable.

  7. Llamageddon

    Llamageddon MAP's weird cousin Supporter

    It's definitely true that the more clubs there are, the more chance of stumbling in to a crap one. Even more so when you're new to the art, turn up not knowing what to expect, and having your ideas of karate formed by a black belt who can't kick higher than his knee...

    Just last night I was talking to the doorman at our pub, who's a black belt in Goju (and holds some belt in shotokan) discussing whether or not Shotokan was crap. Basically, no. It's just that alot of this modern stuff is so far removed from the traditional stuff, coupled with the sport element changing moves, and the amount of schools that teach you nothing but the basics (eg when you're an advanced belt, still using huge stances for kumite etc).

    And if you have a choice between 3 shotokan schools - one good one bad and one ugly, all about 15 miles apart, or the local goju school down the road, where they go for it straight away so to speak, which one will you choose?

  8. Llamageddon

    Llamageddon MAP's weird cousin Supporter

    I've decided - the karate men and women (this includes the ones who 'saw the light') need to get together and start a club. A kick ass, bone crushing club.
  9. bassai

    bassai onwards and upwards ! Moderator Supporter

    One thing about these arguments gets me , the internet is full of people who claim to be interested in hardcore training and mock the use of kata etc , but , out in the real world whenever my instructor has suggested getting together for an only kumite class with some hard contact at the end there are no takers , and if he just drops harder contact kumite on us in class half the class goes missing for the next few weeks!
    Now this isn't restricted to us i've heard similar stories from other instructors and students away from the ne as well.
    This isn't directed at anyone posting on this thread so please don't take offence but i do wonder what goes on when i see some of these threads , or is it that brummies are actualy a bunch of wimps who are scared of a fight? :D
  10. Llamageddon

    Llamageddon MAP's weird cousin Supporter

    it's definitely the brummies! ;)

    I suppose it depends on what people go training for. I can safely say now (and this isn't posturing or anything, so please don't take it that way!) that as a club we do train very hard. Every training session has a high intensity level (and my hat goes off to the beginners in our class who are still there!) in respect to conditioning and general workout. When it comes to sparring though, we do general shotokan kumite. All very fast and powerful, but controlled. Now, if our sensei offered us some fuller contact kumite one day I know there would definitely be a few people in the class who would be up for it.

    Personally, I love doing kata, I love doing structured (and definitely feeestyle!) kumite, and I love doing line work, regardless of if it's basic or not. From what I've read on here since summer, it's almost like kata is the antithesis to any kind of fighting. So lets have an example. In Heian Sandan, there are the 3 crescent kicks/stamps. I love that kata, but it doesn't make me think that if someone starts on me in the street I'm going to start doing moves as they are done in a kata.

    Of course I'll do techniques that are included in a kata; where kata is important is that if it is taught properly it shows you why you have a certain move and how to use it etc. Welcome to ancient Okinawan RBSD.

    If people want to train hard, they will, either in or out of class.
  11. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    But those knee strikes/crescent kicks/stamps are great for close up work, when you've got your hands on the other guy. So many of Karate's 'rubbish' techniques work fantastically once you close the range down to within an arm's length and stop trying to defend yourself against wierd and impractical Karate punches. :D So much that is bad in Karate comes from people not thinking and from treating kata, kihon and kumite as 3 separate styles! Solo Kata is the antithesis to fighting if you aren't actually visualising the attack you are dealing with (the precise body positions and facial expressions) and adjusting your movements slightly to that specific body form, going at your own pace and rythm - not some form of military beat.

    As Jaae suggests, there is so much karateka could learn from people like MMAists to get their art back on its feet again. MMA is by no means perfect, and has many street limitations on its effectiveness as Karate, but there is a great deal that is good there.

    I haven't been in anyone else's Karate Dojo (apart from in seminars) for about 8 years so I can't speak for the level of contact or commitment. I found it too hard to go back to being taught the Karate way after so many years of Aikido work. :rolleyes: Hard knocks to the arms, legs, ribs and abdomen and the occasional nasty head shot used to be the norm though - has that changed? I do recall in some clubs making sure I had an empty bladder before the start and having adrenal dumps on the drive there. I deliberately put myself in for lots of pain this week by Ukeing on an intro to pressure points dvd - and got knocked out on tape as well. I don't think guys like the 'old guard' are unique, it is just that there are so many more Karateka these days that certain trees get lost in the wood.
  12. bassai

    bassai onwards and upwards ! Moderator Supporter

    Don't get me wrong we do train hard in class , it's just that when you introduce the chance of anything more than the kind of contact you get in ippons people tend to shy away.
    When it comes to bunkai the way i look at it is there are no right answers (although there can be wrong ones ;) ) the best thing i can suggest is get out to seminars/courses and try to pick up a few decent books , john might be able to help there soon ;) and find the application that works best for you :Angel:
  13. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Well said Jaae in post #106.
  14. PlasmaShock

    PlasmaShock Valued Member

    because they come from a school with no discipline. thats especially true for arts like boxing and muay thai. no discipline at all when u see people criticizing and art for effectivness when they have never trained in it.
  15. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    I think the viewpoint that the majority of Karate is misunderstood and mis-practised has been voiced by almost everyone on this list. Karate, like all martial methods, should be available for all - but should not be suitable for all.

    It would be interesting to see a poll of whether the people on this list think that the Japanese or the westerners are most responsible for the declin eof karate into its current state.
  16. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    You are too kind. :eek:

    I'm doing my best but the book is out of my hands right now. It may be quicker to do a dvd even though that will mean sacrificing a great deal of information.
  17. bassai

    bassai onwards and upwards ! Moderator Supporter

    Praise where it's due mate i was greatly impressed at the map meet :D
  18. JSKdan

    JSKdan Valued Member

    Hi Shoto_can

    Have a look at This link and have a look at McCarthy which is about 1/3 in.
    He show the bunki from the crescent kicks and a few more bit :)
  19. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    How much video do you have to wade through to get to his stuff? :eek:

    I didn't see his demo at SENI as I was working on a stand most of the time, but he didn't shine. Cutting yourself in a weapons demo is not good practice - especially in front of such a large audience.

    BTW - he shows some bunkai, not the bunkai. There isn't really any such thing as 'the' bunkai unless you are showing a Kata that you've made up yourself out of your own personal moves (and even that will change over time even if the moves don't).
  20. JSKdan

    JSKdan Valued Member


    Fair point as it has been said that there is no right bunki and I do believe this to, it was just the way I put it :rolleyes: :)

    We also have times when the class will try to work out a bunki for a part of a kata we are working on at the time and a few come up.

    I have not seen him use weapons but we are all human and make mistakes :eek:

Share This Page