Karate in MMA

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Renegade80, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. dandjurdjevic

    dandjurdjevic New Member

    I understand. The point I am making is that examining the potential of uke to avoid entanglement in that range is, to me, greatly preferable to using uke from within that range. The latter is certainly possible, but a focus on this aspect seems to largely ignore the former. Just because most people allow themselves to get into the grappling/clinch range all too easily doesn't mean it's inevitable. To me, uke give you a potent means of avoiding the range as far as possible. This means using them very differently from "standup grappling".
  2. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    well, that's two potential uses for uke-waza then. i don't see an issue :p

    also, getting into clinch range being avoidable doesn't mean that avoiding it is easy. usually that'd require something like pre-emptive striking (of course there's also de-escalation), and that brings with it a whole bunch of potential legal issues by itself. even more fundamentally than that, there's the psychological angle, both regarding deciding whether to pre-empt or not (which itself has fight or flight as its own more fundamental step), and regarding WHEN to pre-empt. and all of the processing and decision-making involved in this has to take place between the moment you perceive a threat (itself very variable), and the moment you are attacked and are consigned to have to react (but you may not end up being attacked in the first place). john's sim days tend to show this quite visibly, particularly as they make heavy use of the psychological elements involved, especially via verbal abuse. i haven't had the pleasure of doing one myself (although i've seen plenty of video footage), but several other mappers have, and i've done some simulation drills while doing a regular session with him, and people just freeze, because they don't know how to react, or they take so long to decide what to do that they can't effectively pre-empt the first move, and at best they have to react to the first move and/or act in relation to the second move (as for myself in quote-unquote "real life", the closest i've come to having to make such a series of decision ended up with me instantly doing a 180 and running away at full sprint round a corner in a crowded street as both instinct and brain more or less simultaneously decided that flight was more worth it).
  3. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    This is getting kind of silly, but that "light blow" you're doing - the one you've only done accidentally so far - if you poke someone in the eye when you don't want to make contact... what do you think might happen when you really want to stick your finger through their eye? Especially when their head is moving toward you?

    It struck me how quick you were to comment on what it is to compete. Have you ever entered a full-contact fighting competition? I never have, nor do I have any desire to, so I won't pretend to understand it.

    I give my apologies in advance for not having a blog or posting video, with the caveat that you are welcome to visit me, but when you talk about proprioception, all I see is how much you flinch and err when your students feed you slow attacks. Which makes me doubt your assertions concerning real violence.

    I hope it is obvious that I don't have any political agenda, as I have no horse to race in the Karate game. I'm just giving my opinion on your public blog.
  4. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    A question: who is best at closing distance to enter grappling range?

    And the obverse: who is best at staying out of grappling range?
  5. armanox

    armanox Kick this Ginger...

    You've caught my interest (I've been following this thread for the past couple of days). While I'm not personally a big fan of the grapple/clinch range, having done my share of sparring with Judo, BJJ, and Hapkido guys I've learned that they are pretty darn good at getting there. They will take a few blows to get close in on you. Also, quite a bit of street combat ends up at close range, regardless of who's doing it. I've seen some strikers (Krav Maga, MT, Karate) that do a lot of damage at very close range (I knocked out a wrestler with an elbow to the back of the head myself), and are very good at maintaining balance. I've also seen some down right impressive grapplers and found myself flat on my back quite a few times.

    Back to uke for a moment. As someone who has practiced Aikido I very much take uke as 'to recieve' - what you do next is situational. I saw a solid block end an aggressor on the first strike (done exactly like in a basic kata) and left the poor guy with a very bruised arm. For myself, I've almost always used my speech and reactions to end a situation, and the one that it didn't ended when I went for a weapon (happened to be my sai of all things that I got to first).

    TL, DR: training frequently at clinch range, and working with as many different scenarios as you can and finding out what you can apply will develop your philosophy on uke, whether you are going to block, deflect, escape, etc - that's the core of what uke is about. Applying what works for you.

    Side note: I think JWT has some of the best remarks on applying karate to SD that you'll find on the forums.
  6. dandjurdjevic

    dandjurdjevic New Member

    My answer is: he who can dominate the melee range.

    Sometimes its a grappler.

    Sometimes its a striker.

    Ultimately it's whoever knows how to receive an attack. Because as you enter the melee range, you will be facing some sort of attack. How you receive it determines whether you are repulsed or whether you repulse - whether you can shoot or be thwarted in your shoot - whether your blow lands or you get beaten to the punch.

    That's my view anyway.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  7. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    IMO, if a striker tries to punch a grappler, that grappler can force that striker to get into clinching range. It's very difficult for that striker to avoid it. The reason is simple. When a striker punches a grappler, that punch will be a gift to that grappler for "arm wrapping". When a fish tries to bite on an octopus, that fish also gives that octopus a chance to wrap on that fish.


    - anti-grappling exist? I don't think so.
    - anti-striking exist. I do think so.

    When you have committed yourself to move forward and try to knock your opponent's head off, it's very difficult for you to suddenly

    - jump back, and
    - remain the striking range.


    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  8. Renegade80

    Renegade80 Valued Member


    Have you any footage of your applications being applied in the sim days?
  9. Renegade80

    Renegade80 Valued Member

    John, even if I am unsuccessful changing your mind I appreciate and applaud your saying so. Most just slink off rather than answer or concede difficult counter arguments. It is refreshing talking to someone who knows how to debate.
  10. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    I might have some but not anything I can think of off the top of my head. The simple reasons for that are:

    1. The majority of the participants in Sim days aren't my students. The ones who end up successfully getting 'clinched' (though it's not really a clinch per se (in the professional sense), more one person grabbing and barging or tackling another or both people clinging to each other mid fight to avoid being hit or to attempt to use strength/weight to bring the other person down) tend to be visitors and so won't have tried these drills.
    2. These are applications for kata that I don't teach in DART Karate until 3rd Dan as a heritage exercise. There are some overlaps though (for example tackle drills). DART Karate has slightly different responses in most cases for worst case scenarios such as these and different avoidance strategies. I am planning on opening a Shotokan club again soon in addition to my DART club and these drills will be the bread and butter of training for those students alongside their kata and kihon.
    3. Generally speaking in Sim days my students manage to avoid being quite so compromised because they are used to the close quarter range and the nature of the attacks (see my blog post 'six things you should do in your training').

    These applications have been 'born' out of seeing where people fail in Sim Days (which in turn as a training method and event are based on thorough Violent Crime research and have been endorsed by very experienced martial artists, LEOs and security workers and have had participants from a diverse range of MA styles including grappling styles) and finding exit solutions for the worst case bits that work. I've not had opportunity yet to teach them as an integrated system to someone who's then drilled them and then done a Sim day. The methods though are based on more than a little experience of what does and doesn't work under realistic circumstances and have been tried against resisting people.

    The applications I'm demonstrating for the Pinan/Heian kata in the pictures I've shared here on this thread are posed static demonstration shots of what is a very dynamic event, over within a few seconds. As a result it is very difficult for them not to look artificial (and the dark haired Uke in these shots had never done the drills before the photo shoot and was literally being told where to put his hands and feet which is one of the reasons why I am redoing the shots and releasing a second edition). I think I've even been criticised (elsewhere) for using an arm bar in the pictures when I'm not actually using an arm bar in the pictures, it's simply the position in which we've ended up post the rib strike and rotation of my arm against his. When I do use an arm bar it looks rather different (and that is pressure tested). Other sequences in the book show how to apply an arm bar against a resisting person and how (as if by magic) the subsequent movement in the kata acts as a redundancy in case you can't manage it.

    He probably hasn't had time to look at this thread but as I recall Mushroom has a fair amount of grappling experience and practical experience and he tried a number of the closer range drills in January when Fish visited England. He might be able to give a good outsider's perspective. Sifu Ben was also present (and has done SimDays) and might give a CMA perspective on the applications. Bassai has also tried them (and Sim Days) and has a solid cross training background from which to comment.
  11. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    I will post a blog. Soon! I plan to start this afternoon.

    I don't agree with everyone on everything, but I always try to listen, think and learn. I've only been regularly training and studying in this field for 23 years and I'm conscious of my incompetencies as well as my competencies. I know there are people who've been training far longer than me with less knowledge and experience, but I'm also aware that there are people who've been training less than me with more or different (yet valuable to me) knowledge and experience. That's enough reason to come to forums like this where people disagree and come from many different systems with different perspectives,and of course another reason to watch and train with a broad range of people. I'm lucky enough to 'get my hands' on well over a hundred different people every year who aren't my students, and regularly in such courses experience someone trying to 'show' that what I do doesn't work, but I wouldn't feel comfortable doing such courses if i wasn't still open to ideas and still striving to be better.

    I find it bizarre that this thread seems to have become about me (as have other related discussions elsewhere on the internet) when I didn't even comment on the original blog, merely initially observed that an Uke technique could be pretty powerful and was more than just a rotator cuff movement!

    I don't want to make excuses but I'm a real person with other things going on. The finger is holding up for typing this morning, but I've a few jobs to do in the garden, I need to get back into my dojo to work on two of my own kata (I've only done a quick 'refresh and stretch run through of the Pinan, Tekki Shodan and Bassai Dai so far today), and my temperature is currently 1.5 degrees C above normal and rising which is either the first few days of the new 8 week antibiotic course taking effect, or a sign I'm doing too much, or both (I've had lingual tonsillitis (we have thankfully now had cancer ruled out) since 31 December and I haven't got a strong enough immune system to shake it).
  12. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

  13. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    When you use gadan barai in MMA class, do you also use the parry? IDK about all styles, but when I took krotty, the "right" way to do it was "parry hand catches the punch, blocking hand knocks it away".
  14. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    don't remember if i ended up using any. generally i'll use the motion when i react against low inward attacks, though, whereas the the full movement with the parry is more geared against attacks closer to the centerline
  15. Renegade80

    Renegade80 Valued Member

    I just wanted to answer this point because I think it was a key realization for my own study of Karate.

    When we look at kata, we all accept that we will never face a live opponent and walk straight through a whole kata doing precisely the movements as shown. Most even accept that we won't pull out a whole set piece sequence exactly as shown.

    The reason why is that fights are random: we don't know what position we will be in, what angle we will be attacked from the type or speed of attack, how the opponent will react to our counter or anything.

    So we accept that we can abbreviate and vary kata sequences in order to apply them in the chaos of real violence. Of course, anything else would just be stupid! No one would design something so rigid to be part of something so chaotic and formless as violence.
    But along with this high degree of uncertainty we have the wide variability of our own body posture.

    I fight with either a traditional karate guard or a non threatening fence, but if I've been surprised with a barrage of blows, chances are I'll be covered up under high tight boxing guard or something similar. Now if I see an opening to deflect a blow and counter strike, does that mean I have to drop my guard and fit the hole chamber and block motion of the basic uke? No, that would be just as stupid as trying to walk through a fight doing Hiean shodan.

    But what I can do is use the body alignment of my basic uke to translate power from my legs through my hips into my arm to twist out of my guard into a solid forearm block structure that can cope with the weight of heavy blow. All the arm will do is flinch out a few inches into position, the success or failure of the deflection depending on timing and skill. I have used the mechanical elements of the basic uke training to effect a block when I needed it despite the chaos of combat.

    This is similar to engaging zenkutsudachi that is only a slight lean away from natural stance, or throwing a gyakuzuki straight to the opponents face from a wedge against the inside upper arm of a haymaker.

    The macro techniques of basic training are just the mechanisms and alignment that your body ingraines to use from any position in any situation.

    That is why uke work, why kata works and why we can train anything at all in a structured fashion despite the unstructured nature of the endeavors for which we prepare.
  16. Simon

    Simon Back once again Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    As a non Karateka I find this strange.

    You say you fight with a traditional guard, but swap to a boxing guard under heavy pressure.

    Is that because you don't have faith in your Karate guard?

    If isolating movements from kata and testing them under pressure, wouldn't it make sense to start with the guard and test its effectiveness?

    Maybe I'm missing something, but my guard is my guard and I don't want to be changing it when under pressure.
  17. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    I think I addressed this in my blog post today.

    We're all going to have different definitions of how much of a movement or sequence of movements is required before you are 'doing' the uke technique. That does not necessarily mean starting from a hands at hip position, but for me does refer to combinations of gross motor movements.

    I find that there are a lot of close quarter tactics that do use (barring the hand at hip starting position (although some applications depend on it) whole sequences of moves as they are in the kata. These are the types of applications I illustrate in my books and videos.

    My abbreviated clarification of my views on uke is too long to post here, but can be read here:
  18. bassai

    bassai onwards and upwards ! Moderator Supporter

    I'll take a stab , though I suspect john will say it better.
    The" traditional guard " is pretty much dictated by karate sparring rules , so is pretty much ingrained into those of us who spar under that rule set.
    Once you start looking into kata there are many postures that can be used as a guard with suggested counters following, if you take a look at my sim day videos you'll see I tend to start out with the classic hands out kind of fence guard , but as the pressure increased it tended to change to the circumstances.
  19. hatsie

    hatsie Active Member Supporter

    Wouldn't applicable guard be range dependent, changing as change is required?
    Ie. sizing up the situation - normal guard, guy gets on top of you/ in your face - boxing type guard ( as direction of strikes has varied to possibly coming from above/ below)
    As Simon says though ( no pun) why not keep the boxing type guard all the time? To me though, the greater the distance the bigger the guard, just the way I've been taught I think ?
  20. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    re: guard: i think that a guard as traditionally defined is purely a sparring/combat sport artifact. a very important artifact, because it keeps your face more un-punched than it would otherwise be, but still something that directly arises from a single opponent controlled environment where both participants aim to "duel" each other, rather than one being an aggressor within an everyday context and the other one trying to come out as unscathed as possible. in the context of non-sparring, non-sport encounters, unless both guys are mma junkies and start kickboxing each other, a guard is useless at the very beginning, since if you spot a threat early enough, you should defuse, pre-empt or flee, and if you perceive a threat and raise your guard, but none is there, you just escalated and created one, making you the attacker. unless you successfully spotted and avoided/neutralized the threat, you instead have to react to what the opponent is already going to be doing, and then doing some things of your own, where a guard posture is inherently passive, because you're not doing anything. same deal as trying to use basic kihon blocks, really: 'hands down -> guard -> action' has a superfluous step in the middle that is liable to get you punched, where you could have just done the thing you were gonna do in the first place. on the other hand, guard postures are used to impede incoming strikes (blocks lol), and so the motion of one can be used itself as a defensive action (as opposed to assuming the position and studying the opponent)

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