With Olympus, Karate Combat finds its legs

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Mitlov, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    The organizers have uploaded the full 75 minute event to YouTube:

    I know there was a previous thread about Karate Combat when it was first announced and they had their first event, but this is different enough and significant enough for it to deserve its own thread in my opinion.


    A lot of the silly stuff, like the exotic cars and the over-the-top trash talk, is gone. Same with the talk from the commentators about "real-time DNA monitoring" and other literal nonsense.

    It's very obvious people are coming from karate. If you're a karateka and know what you're looking at, you're definitely seeing karate technique and strategy. The allegation many people make that when karate folks do a full contact event, "all you get is bad boxing," definitely wasn't true here. For example...

    A lot of people will claim that Tebuev got his KO with a sloppy haymaker, but when you watch the replay, it was a textbook ridge-hand, striking with the forearm just above the wrist

    While it is full contact, the referees were much faster to stop a fight than in some recent UFC events. This is a personal preference thing, but I appreciated that this didn't end with blood smeared all over the canvas and both people looking like they'd gone through a car crash without a seat belt.

    The main event was profoundly anticlimactic (ah well, this sometimes happens in any athletic event), but several of the fights leading up to it were really good to watch.
    aikiMac likes this.
  2. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Yeah man it's pretty exciting stuff and I can't wait to see what it looks like in future.

    Some stoppages were a bit premature but ah well and better safe than not for sure.
  3. BohemianRapsody

    BohemianRapsody Valued Member


    I agree that the show is better without the 'bling' nonsense of the last show.

    I also agree that some of the fights were stopped prematurely. One in particular where the guy was covering up on the ground and it got stopped because he wasn't ;actively defending himself.' Can't remember the fighters' names and I'm too lazy too look it up. Sure, that call would make sense in an MMA match where the guy can sit in full mount and continue to drop bombs... but with 5 second stand ups, shelling up seems perfectly legitimate. Everything was landing on his arms. Seems like a smart play if you know the stand up is coming quickly.

    Maybe that one shot was a ridge hand, but the in fighting, or at least the in the pocket fighting still does look like terrible boxing. It's funny because in MMA you have guys like Machida, Thompson, Scoggins, Horiguchi, Even Michael 'Venom' Page (who I think is actually a kung fu fighter but used to fight in point karate tournaments) all of whom tend to employ a more tradition karate range and avoid slugging it out in the pocket (except occasionally Horiguchi) in a much more permissive rule set.

    Final thought, the event didn't really need its own thread. Might be helpful if they were merged.
  4. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    In the MMA section, each event gets its own thread; I didn't think that every single discussion related to Karate Combat should be in one single thread, especially when Olympus was so different from Inception. That said, it's the mods' call, and I'm fine with whatever they do.

    I was comfortable with the fight stoppages when people had a broken nose or seemed wobbly on their feet (even if that wouldn't result in a stoppage in the UFC or professional boxing), but agree with the fight stoppage for shelling up and waiting for the five seconds to expire. That one was premature.

    About the "traditional karate range," I think it's worth drawing a line between different styles of karate. The two older guys (too lazy to look up their names) fought much more similarly to Machida (and were constantly dogged by the referee for "lack of action" for doing so...the referees did that way too much in my opinion), and they were both Shotokan karateka, like Machida. But a lot of the other practitioners came from ****o-Ryu, and I think at least one was Wado-Ryu? I'd be curious if in general those styles emphasize closer range and circular strikes more than Shotokan does (at least looking at their kata; I have no first-hand experience in any Japanese karate style besides Shotokan).
  5. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    Poor ****o-Ryu...their style's very name is censored on MAP!
    BohemianRapsody likes this.
  6. BohemianRapsody

    BohemianRapsody Valued Member

    I think the style issue is kind of moot in that (excluding kyokushin or its offshoots) they all compete under the same ruleset.

    If you look at ****o Ryu vs Shotokan (or Goju or Wado or whatever) on YouTube, you really can’t tell which competitor is from which style. They all look the same in the tournament setting.

    What the styles look like traditionally and how they look competing are two different things.

    Honestly if they want to get away from the sloppy boxing, add elbows.
  7. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    Well if you look at point sparring, it's going to funnel people toward that sort of strategy because that's what works best in that rule-set. That doesn't mean that every style that currently participates in that rule-set is going to want to continue to operate in that manner when given a rule-set where closer-range or circular techniques are more valuable in competition. People adapt their style to a given rule-set when they're focused on winning that type of competition.

    My understanding is that the point-sparring rule set was originally built around Shotokan and its derivatives (Tang Soo Do and non-Olympic TKD). A different rule set may allow Goju karateka and the like to get back to what the original roots and intent of their style is, instead of learning to adapt to a Shotokan-centric rule set. My understanding is that when certain styles of karate, particularly Goju-Ryu, engage in sparring in a non-competitive format (often called randori), that there's a lot more closer-range and circular techniques thrown than you'd see amongst Shotokan karateka.
  8. BohemianRapsody

    BohemianRapsody Valued Member

    I completely agree that the ruleset defines the fighting style.

    My point is, at least up until now, karate combat has made a point of pulling its athletes from the point karate competition pool.

    Sure, the competitors will evolve if the competition sticks around and gains traction, but the rule set will have more influence of how people fight than the base style they come from.
  9. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    My hope is that the rule set is flexible enough that it doesn't force everyone to fight in exactly the same way (like point-sparring does), and that it will allow for Shotokan karateka and Goju karateka to both be successful while each fight in ways that reflect the core curriculum of their style. It would be a disappointment to me if it still forced everyone to fight in one specific manner, just a different manner than what's effectively required in competitive point-sparring.
  10. BohemianRapsody

    BohemianRapsody Valued Member

    Muay Thai is a more permissible ruleset than karate combat but everyone fights basically the same minus personal stylistic variations.

    I just don’t think you’re going to find what you think you’re going to find. Not to mention there has been more full contact style karate tournaments in the past... I mentioned this in the other thread. Maybe I will try to find and post a link.
  11. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    My point with the permissive rule set allowing multiple striking styles to coexist was based on MMA. While MT is the most common striking style, Shotokan-esque striking has repeatedly proven successful as well (Lyoto Machida being the classic example, but others like Chuck Liddell also standing out).
  12. BohemianRapsody

    BohemianRapsody Valued Member

    It’s been years since I watched the whole thing but...

    IIRC the level of competition was higher than what we’re currently seeing in karate combat. And the ruleset is more open.
  13. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    I've literally never heard of Karate Pro Fight before, so I can't comment on it. Maybe it failed due to lack of exposure? Looks like it was largely restricted to France, and didn't have any big names associated (Bas Rutten's involvement in Karate Combat helps a LOT from a promotional standpoint).

    I will say that I was very happy with this fight from Olympus, and with my karate background being Shotokan, this felt to me what I expect "full-contact Shotokan" to look like:

  14. BohemianRapsody

    BohemianRapsody Valued Member

    That was one of their better fights and the one that really got stopped early in my opinion.

    You should watch a few karate pro fights. I think they’re on YouTube.

    Karate Combat could stand to take a page or two from them.
  15. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    K1 started out as as a karate open format didn't it, and pretty much like the full contact events started in the 60s ended up with boxing hands and karate or thai kicks not because of any restrictions in the rule set but because well that's what works well in a full contact environment.

    Especially when you invite other styles to play in your play ground like the Thais or the Dutch.

    Likewise we don't see many traditional karate strikers doing well in mma you see a handful of standouts doing well and who also dominated in the karate tournaments simply because they were that gifted.

    For a style to be useful its got to work for the majority not just the few gifted athletes that take it up.

    Michael venom page is a classic example he is textbook lau gar point fighting in action, as a third degree black sash in that style I can see it a mile off

    Of course no one else has made that style work in mma because they aren't as gifted as he is. He was destroying adults in multiple weight categories as a 14 years old and doing up to 4/different events in a day.

    Some can make anything work for them
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  16. BohemianRapsody

    BohemianRapsody Valued Member

    I think the thing that successful karate strikers have made work for them in MMA is the distancing. And I would say the one disadvantage traditional boxing hands have in MMA is glove size. It was on full display in Gokhan Saki's last fight. He clearly attempted a traditional cover to parry the incoming punch but is slipped right past his guard. If they had both been wearing boxing gloves I think he would have been fine.

    Another example would be Cody Garbrant, who really has excellent boxing defense- mostly from head movement as he carries his hands a bit low- which usually allows him to safely stay in the pocket, but also worked against him in the Dillishaw fight. TJ's game plan was kind of classic kickboxing 101. If someone keeps slipping to the outside of your punch, follow with a head kick.

    I think my overall rambling point is that boxing hands and reflexes are superior, due in part to how much time they spend honing their skills in the pocket, but a lot of those defensive skills are negated by smaller glove size and head kicks. I think good use of distancing is a way to minimize the 'danger time' of trading in the pocket.

    Wonderboy vs Masvidal would be the textbook example of that.

    So, to bring it all back around, one big flaw I see in the Karate Combat fights is the amount of time the fighters spend trading in the pocket in a way that doesn't look like the elite karate guys and definitely doesn't look like an elite boxer either.
  17. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    So I googled Karate Pro Fight a bit more, and to clarify, it came from a very different place than Karate Combat does. It looks like it drew from Kyokushin karateka but added head punching and takedowns (very similar background to Daido Juku/Kudo). This is a totally different starting point than starting with Shotokan/Goju/Wado/etc karateka and adding full-contact continuous sparring, which is what Karate Combat is doing (grabbing upper-level competitors from the WKF competition scene). I know they're both "karate," yes, but they are very different starting points and backgrounds, which is why in practice Karate Pro Fight looked so different from, say, Sahinteken v. Barbosa, posted above. It's not just a matter of KPF had X specific rule and KC had Y specific rule; it's that they're drawing from two very different subsets of karate.

    I have zero desire to turn this thread into a discussion of whether boxing is "superior" to karate. There's enough of beating that dead horse elsewhere on MAP. I don't think every single thread about specific karate competition in the karate subforum needs to be all about why boxing is "superior" to karate.
    Travess likes this.
  18. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Agreed. This is a karate thread about combat sport karate. Nobody ever moans about Thai boxing and how terrible the boxing is in Thailand (except me).
    Travess likes this.
  19. BohemianRapsody

    BohemianRapsody Valued Member

    Terrible boxing in Thailand is almost the point. They have elbows and knees to work from close range and in the clinch, so while having good boxing is always a plus, it isn’t necessary.

    My point with karate combat is that right now, when they are in the pocket it looks a lot like terrible boxing. I’m hoping- probably beyond hope- that they open it up to elbows and knees, more traditional close range weapons for karate, or it’s going to evolve into kick boxing.
  20. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    The rules as I understand them do not promote or emphasis hooks that don't have a ridge hand. Also this sport is zero years old. Give it a bit of adaption time eh?
    Mitlov likes this.

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