So I tried kyokushin

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Timmy Boy, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. Timmy Boy

    Timmy Boy Man on a Mission

    These days I am more into weights than martial arts. However, I fancied something to do, so I checked out the local Kyokushin class. Here is what I found:

    * VERY cheap - £5 got me a 2.5 hour session
    * Fitness level pushed hard
    * They offer a separate sparring and conditioning class. I am told it is a bit of fun and they ease you in, but you can certainly build up to knockdown if that's your bag.
    * Good bunch of friendly guys who help with your technique.
    * Everyone can do proper sparring, whereas some boxing/Thai boxing gyms reserve sparring for their competition fighters who have time to train a guzillion times a week.

    * I have to admit I am still not a huge fan of kata and line work, but at least it was done with more intensity than other clubs I've tried.
    * The big one for me... No face punching.

    Now, I know that the face punching thing has been discussed before. Also, my town is not blessed with many decent martial arts clubs, and as lifting is my main thing at the moment I can't really divert too much time and attention from it, so I guess I can't be too picky. But I am still curious as to what kyokushin karateka on this board think about that rule and how it affects their training.

    See, not only am I concerned about the habit of letting your guard down, but during padwork I was actually told that my habit of ducking down to help protect my chin when punching the body was a "bad habit" from boxing/kickboxing that I would have to lose if I wanted to do well at kyokushin.

    I know some people say that no art is completely realistic, and I get that, but a face punch is probably the most likely attack I would face on the deadly street.

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the class and I would probably go back, but I wondered what you guys thought. Do you find it to be a disadvantage? Do you cross train in other styles to compensate?
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  2. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Where are you? Surely there must be a standard boxing club nearby to compensate for the "no-face" rule.

    One can't go wrong with Kyokushin, IMHO.

    You can always go back to weight training, but a Kyo outfit that is local to you is hard to find.
  3. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Personally I think the non-face punching has pros and cons.

    Pros -

    You can spar hard regularly and yet not show any outward damage (apart from the odd limp from leg kicks!).
    Not much head trauma.
    You get good at body punches. And who doesn't like a good body shot!
    It encourages you to stay in the pocket, wheather the storm and carry on.
    Builds up the "carry on" muscle without getting your face smasked up.

    Cons -

    Head punches are obviously the main tactic in a real fight and allowable in almost every other sparring format.
    It encourages you to stay in the pocket, wheather the storm and carry on. That's one that is in the pro column too. There are times to stay and fight and times footwork out of there, create angles etc. Knockdown can encourage a rock'em sock 'em approach.
    If no head punching is all you ever do you'll get a bit of a culture shock when you try some thai or boxing.

    I've always cross trained and my style of knockdown (Shidokan) also incorporates Thai and grappling so the disadvantage is partly offset.
    Like we tend to say on MAP...I'm a fan of triangulating a goal by using multiple approaches rather than trying to find one thing that does everything. But knockdown is certainly an approach with many benefits IMHO.
  4. Dan93

    Dan93 Valued Member

    OSU! I do train Kyokushin and as a competition format it is the hardest I have done personally. Conditioning is second to none as well.

    With regards to the head level rule, I train head level in my personal training and when doing pad work and within my Jujitsu training. Some dojo's also spar with head contact if not look to suplement with boxing or see if any fellow students are game.

    Always had a love hate relationship with Kata as well but have recently, but have grown a real appreciation of kata recently, in fact competing in my first kata tournament (Nationals 1st March) and have noticed a real refinement of my basics from it.
  5. Rhythmkiller

    Rhythmkiller Animo Non Astutia

    Am i correct in saying that Kyokushin guys don't wear pads? i can see why no head contact is enforced if this is the case. I have always thought Kyokushin guys are hard and have massive respect for them.

  6. Dan93

    Dan93 Valued Member

    No gloves or body protection in competition for knockdown, shin guards are required for some competitions especially amature level and mouth guards are required.
  7. Ros Montgomery

    Ros Montgomery Valued Member

    Don't worry, a few gentle kicks to the head will soon have you putting your guard back up! :)
  8. Dan93

    Dan93 Valued Member

  9. Timmy Boy

    Timmy Boy Man on a Mission

    I think that alone is a big plus for kyokushin, especially for self defence situations which are inevitably somewhat sloppy (I.e. a certain amount of rock 'em sock'em as opposed to fancy footwork may be unavoidable).
  10. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Yeah I think it's a double edged sword.
    It's a lot harder to stay in the pocket when your getting punched in the face, especially when you aren't used to getting punched in the face.
    IMHO getting punched in the face is one of the harder things to deal with for many people and is a pretty big omission from any sort of training to fight or defend yourself.
    I think the best thing to do is be very aware of what compromises you are making, why and to what end. I think you can train in a whole host of different ways so long as you have that awareness and are happy with things.
  11. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    If I remember correctly from some time back, you've trained in boxing for time, correct, Timmy Boy? If so, would supplementing your kk training with shadowboxing at home be enough--at least for the time being--to keep the habit of the high guard?
  12. Dan93

    Dan93 Valued Member

    Shame Kuma missed this.

    Kyokushin does promote a certain fighting spirit in its training and this is evident in the competition format, that alone is a massive plus.
    You also have to have a good deal of stamina and conditioning which again is important both on the tatami and for self protection.

    Plus tenderising people's livers is fun.
  13. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    You'd be surprised the number of kyok guys (and gals) who are decent boxers despite face punches being prohibited in sparring. They can also punch to the body better than most light contact stylists can punch to the body OR head. Think about asking some of your training partners if they fancy hanging back after class, gloving up and throwing head punches into the mix.

    Oh, and don't be surprised if you grow extra hairs on your chest by the morning. It is Kyokushin after all. :D
  14. robin101

    robin101 Working the always shift.

    Out of interest where do you train.

    When I trained I noticed a great fighting spirit, good training. Hard work and big sense of community.
  15. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    One thing I've never quite worked is it if training in something like Kyokushinkai makes people tougher or whether only tough people can take the training and so the less tough people gradually fall away.
    Maybe it's a mix of the two?
  16. Dan93

    Dan93 Valued Member

    Sorry Robin, Who is this aimed at? I train at the Staines Tigers Dojo althrough I am trying to get down to train with Hanshi in Wimbledon when time permits.
  17. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Depends how it's taught. I've seen some Kyok instructors run classes that more closely resembled SAS Selection than a karate class. I do think the style is guilty of promoting that "push 'em till they bleed" mentality when really, as with any fitness endeavour, coaches have a responsibility to start all beginners at a level they can handle and not demand inhuman feats from the more experienced members. I wouldn't be surprised if Kyok had one of the highest injury/drop out rates in martial arts (second only to Sambo, because they're Russian and crazy) but figures aren't available to verify this.
  18. robin101

    robin101 Working the always shift.

    Apologies that was directed at you. I was wondering as I used to train at a London branch.
  19. Timmy Boy

    Timmy Boy Man on a Mission

    I don't want to name the club as I think they are quite well known and I wouldn't want them thinking I am slagging off their art re: the face punching issue. I know that's not really what I am doing, but these things often get taken the wrong way.

    In fairness to the ducking and covering issue, this is probably due to getting kneed in the face as stated earlier.

    I am not crazy about kata and line work, but it's not a big deal to me as long as we do live training too and, ad I say, it is at least done with more intensity than it is at most karate clubs.

    In terms of the level of intensity, I would say that club has it right - it doesn't feed beginners to the lions, but at the same time it recognises that this is a martial art and fitness matters.

    The instructors are the real deal from what I have seen. They get involved in the training and sparring and they have competed in Japan.
  20. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    I remember sensei Gary shouting across the room, "Mitch, you are awakening the long lost pleasure I used to take in knocking people out - GET YOUR HANDS UP!!" :D


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