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: Pros: * 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. Cons: * 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?