What can be done to fix Karate?

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by The Technical, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. I was reading this thread on another forum where this exact question was asked. There were some good, realistic points made by practicioners, and knowing that there are some in here, I'm interested in reading your opinions on the subject. From what I could gather, the things those karateka wanted to change in their system the most were:

    1. Eliminate forms, or at least diminish their level of priority.
    2. Simplify the arsenal of techniques, leaving only those that can be applied to a wider array of situations.
    3. Spar (full-contact)
    4. Drilling and pad-work
    5. Self-defense applications with a resisting opponent.
    6. Emphasize chaining of techniques, no "one punch ends all" mindset.
    7. Train in the "on-guard" stance (traditional boxing or muay thai stance), instead of the more awkward stances.

    Thanks in advanced for your replies.
     
  2. Soulfly

    Soulfly Guest

    The people who do karate don't want to "fix it." They like it how it is.
     
  3. Gregster

    Gregster Black Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Messages:
    6,090
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    In front of my computer, it seems
    These are not problems with Karate (or TKD) per se, just problems with how it is presented and taught.

    I never stop being amazed at people talking about how all TKD sucks ass, is unrealistic, doesn't prepare people for combat, et al. and yet my training included:

    Forms were used to emphasis certain techniques, as the should. We also had boxing worked into the curriculum, and occasionally did drills such as facing multiple opponents (as one often may in a street fight).

    Some guys were either taught bad and pass it on, bad teaching following bad teaching, or deliberately water down the curriculum to keep the classes and the cash register full.

    If it's taught correctly, with an aim towards producing a fighter and not someone with great self-esteem, good aerobic fitness, and a tight butt, then it should work well.
     
  4. farmboy

    farmboy Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2005
    Messages:
    2,660
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Auburn, NY
    I have to say, as a practitioner of karate at a school that is semi-traditional, the instructor has addressed some of these very "problems." While we still do forms, they are not center-stage. They have been gone through and some have been removed, such as heian sandan, that have been deemed non-functional. Also, kata from other styles such as TKD and kung fu have been worked in, due to the fact that several black belts started in these other styles. Sparring is done in nearly every class, though not quite full-contact, as some of the students are fairly new and aren't ready for it. We do tons of drilling and bag work. Our fighting stance is similar to a traditional boxing stance. We still practice all of the traditional stances, though. We have never been taught to rely on one technique to end a fight/confrontation.

    I know that not everyine is going to be impressed with the ideas or opinions of a traditional karateka, but I feel that the starter of this thread has some good points that could help to make many schools karate more functional in today's fight game. I think my dojo and the instructors in it have done a pretty good job doing that.
     
  5. sambo fighter

    sambo fighter Green Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,385
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    st. louis
    Wouldnt it be muai thai then?
     
  6. loksxronin

    loksxronin Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cochrane, AB, Canada.
    kata are there so all the techniques are remembered through the ages. they also help perfect your technique. i deffinitely wouldn't deam them worthless. maybe not something you would put priority on, but useful nonetheless. most have been remembered since the conception of the arts and isn't that proof enough of how these set movements have proved their worth? we're still learning their techniques and applications of them when they're very old.
     
  7. I don't think so; the mechanics of some of the techniques are different; a muay thai fighter might prefer raising his/her heels to have a more mobile stance during the ring fight; however, balance plays a more important role in a self-defense scenario, so a karateka might go for a more versatile stance (eg: rear heel slightly raised for forward or diagonal explosiveness, and lowered heel in the front foot to have more equilibrium). On the other hand, the principle of "putting the whole body behind the punch ([...] or kick)" is something that wasn't invented by Thai kickboxers, so generating power through rotating oneself in a certain way is definitely useful to the karatekas and fighters in general.

    EDIT:

    I understand your point, but kata doesn't help you tune your ability to judge distance/reach, angles, etc. Attributes like these can only be perfected through full-contact sparring and/or drilling/pad-work, depending on the technique.
     
  8. BlackBeltNow

    BlackBeltNow Red Belt, but BlackBeltLastYear

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2001
    Messages:
    11,322
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    daly city/San francisco
    well, to fix karate, do what kyokushin guys like hug did to go from karate to kickboxing. it's a big transition, but its not impossible.
     
  9. thaiking

    thaiking Guest

    To eliminate it completely lol
     
  10. VampireMonk

    VampireMonk Black Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Messages:
    5,753
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Texas
    in response to your 7 in order
    1. create form orientated Karate and non form karate, the forms are misunderstood too
    much.
    2. no, they just need to develop core like K-1 techniques for those interested in K-1
    type fighting. separate TMA Karate and MMA Karate, goes with my #1.
    3. they do, but TMA Karate do it their way, MMA Karate with gloves.
    4. for MMA Karate
    5. for TMA karate
    6. maybe leave the one hit kill for TMA karate, but I think Crocop does a good job
    with this kind of style. Ironic that he is not a karate fighter lol
    7. awkward stances from forms? kyokushin karate stance I've seen looks like Thai to me.
    if your talking forms then TMA Karate & MMA karate.

    so I guess my solution is to make 2 types of Karate, like there are 2 types of
    Sambo, Combato Sambo and Pro-Sambo (sport)
     
  11. VampireMonk

    VampireMonk Black Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Messages:
    5,753
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Texas
    I just see too much benefit in TMA Karate to wipe it out completely, this way
    we keep both sides happy by dividing it into 2.

    wiping out forms is like farenheight 451, gove trying to wipe out books,
    its history, its culture, it philosophy
     
  12. BlackBeltNow

    BlackBeltNow Red Belt, but BlackBeltLastYear

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2001
    Messages:
    11,322
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    daly city/San francisco
    yea i agre. you can't wipe out forms. you should still teach it, but just tell students they're useless other than for tradition/cultural purposes.
     
  13. VampireMonk

    VampireMonk Black Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Messages:
    5,753
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Texas
    well, I think they have more use than that, I would just say, hey man,
    forms are for a different type of training, if you need stuff to work on
    the streets todsy, it aint it. hehehe

    so honesty and clarity are very important in TMA and much needed.
    there are many people confused as hell out there.
    confused is fine, but brainwashed or violent opinions???? come one people grow up.
     
  14. prodigy04

    prodigy04 Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,619
    Likes Received:
    0
    yep
     
  15. Sohei

    Sohei A Smocking gun

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Messages:
    27,878
    Likes Received:
    6,117
    Kyokushin works so I think other ryu should copy them.
     
  16. meng_mao

    meng_mao this belt has flava

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    1,877
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    A big aspect of CMA is having students study the forms once they're really advanced and try to extract application from them. If you were a super competent teacher, you might actually know what some of the apps of the forms you were teaching were.
     
  17. Evil Eye Gouger

    Evil Eye Gouger Gold Belt

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    19,583
    Likes Received:
    5
    The main difference between Kyokushin and other styles is sparring and conditioning.

    I keep saying it -- if you want to fight and train to be a fighter, you have to spar. A lot, and realistically. Add drills which help this (pads, bag, combos) and emphasise them.

    No need to remove forms or to remove techniques. A decent karateka should be both a good technician AND a good fighter. There's nothing wrong with Karate, but there's a lot wrong with how some people teach it, as Mas Oyama showed.
     
  18. Sohei

    Sohei A Smocking gun

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Messages:
    27,878
    Likes Received:
    6,117
    Agreed. I think also that in TMA-oriented schools they dont teach fighting strategy. Alot of times they teach students assloads of techniques but they dont teach them the apropriate strategies and contexts of those moves.
     
  19. scorcho

    scorcho Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Messages:
    4,844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Slovenia
    Forms were made as a form of meditation, and as such, are very useful.

    I agree that Karate-kas need to spar more Kyokushin-style.
     
  20. karateka666

    karateka666 Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Queens, New York
    The thing is most don't know the actual applications and probably most aren't even really good doing them at all. I remember going to a seminar on kata that was done by some pretty authoritative Japanese Instructors. While the old guys who were teaching the class were able to get down into the stances, most of the younger bb attendents weren't able to maintain the stance. Many of these guys taking the class were either head instructors or pretty high up there on the karate food chain and came from all over the us.

    The really impressive show was the shorin-ryu or shito ryu instructor who did bassai sho. When we did the actual kata it was pretty much the same as I was instructed. His bunkai was wildly different though, it was like he was doing aki-jujitsu or kung fu.

    --Karateka666
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.