Why Traditional Karate is Not Effective for Self Defence

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Stuart H, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    Where? I've never seen that kind of training in any karate class I've been in.
  2. Eero

    Eero Valued Member

    They do all those things in some karate schools. In used to attend such karate classes. It was mostly stand-up, but we all kinds of stuff. Wado-ryu was the style.

    And Patrick McCarthy is an example of a well known karate sensei who approaches all kinds of violent situations in his teaching.
  3. KarateFan

    KarateFan New Member

    "Where? I've never seen that kind of training in any karate class I've been in."

    Tiger Schulmann is an example of such a dojo. Their karatekas have won many NAGA grappling tournaments. In the northeast they have a reputation as good as Renzo Gracie for the excellent grapplers they train. Tiger Schulmann himself is a black belt karateka that won pretty much every north american full contact (kyokushinkai) tournament, and yet the karate he teaches covers ground fighting as good as any bjj school.

    In addition many traditional japanese karate dojos right now bring in a BJJ blue belt to teach ground fighting and grappling. It's becoming more and more common. This is one of the good things that the UFC and MMA brought about, they forced TMA's to evolve. Still, more change is needed in order for TMA's to be more realistic as I said in my previous post. Kata training should be either discontinued or at most 1 or 2 katas should be taught like it used to be in Okinawa. Free-style sparring and modern drills (such as hitting the pads and heavy bag) need to be at the core of karate training. Sports karate competitions where only kicks above the waist are allowed and after one strike you score and the fight is re-started, create very bad fighting habits and need to be discontinued by any serious karate school. The okinawans used to focus on low kicks (see Nagamine's book where he recommends kicks to be below the waist) that were practical and effective in a self defense situation. The okinawans made mistakes as well though, the grappling they taught (based on pressure points) is in contrast to modern randori created by Jigoro Kano (judo) and later perfected in a more free-style manner by the Gracies in Brazil. Karate needs to incorporate that type of realistic grappling and free-style fighting, unfortunately karate can not rely solely on okinawan kata for grappling. The good thing is many karate schools already have a bjj instructor that teaches grappling for karatekas as I said earlier.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2004
  4. GojuKJoe

    GojuKJoe Valued Member

    I'm totally in agreement with you Karatefan. Karate when done right, is one of the most complete arts there is. It does indeed have good grappling which i know because i recently started judo to go with my karate, and I found that my previous grappling experience from just 2 years of Goju ryu (which I'm still doing) prepared my very well for the judo. I do pretty well against the two people I grapple with, one is the instructor (who obviously kicks my ****, but I do ok) and the other was a lad who does BJJ (has done for a year) and now does judo, who I'm almost equal with (he's slightly better)
  5. KarateFan

    KarateFan New Member

    "Karate when done right, is one of the most complete arts there is. It does indeed have good grappling which i know because i recently started judo to go with my karate,"

    This is the key. And in a similar way to what you are doing many great karatekas in the past cross-trained in judo (Funakoshi and Mas Oyama are two examples). As I said many karate schools today (including the most traditional ones) have a grappling class (and a bjj blue belt teaching is not uncommon) and encourage their students to study grappling. Anybody that thinks a karateka believes that kick, punch and block is all there is to the martial arts does not have a good understanding of karate. Although there still are a few of those schools (where punch, block, and kick is all that's taught), they do not truly represent the spirit of karate. Funakoshi studied judo under Jigoro Kano, and mentions in his books that throws should be practiced in a karate school and are part of karate. Mas Oyama also had a strong background in judo. Otsuka (the founder of wado ryu) trained in jiu jitsu. The bunkai of goju ryu kata has plenty of situations where the fight goes to the ground. And in okinawa most karatekas also trained in a local form of wrestling, I think it was called tote-jutsu. This just goes to prove that karate was since its inception conceived as a complete martial art.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2004
  6. GojuKJoe

    GojuKJoe Valued Member

    I'm so glad there's someone else here now who can see sense! :D
  7. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    So if someone learns Karate & Judo - that means Karate has Judo throws in it?


    Does that also mean that Judo contains Karate kicks & punches?


    To me - A Karate guy who also does Judo - is doing errrr... Karate & Judo.

  8. GojuKJoe

    GojuKJoe Valued Member

    Karate and judo go hand in hand, there are a lot of judo style techniques in karate and there used to be some striking in judo aswell, but it's been lost over time.
  9. KarateFan

    KarateFan New Member

    "Karate and judo go hand in hand"

    Correct. Many black belts in karate also have a black belt in judo. Funakoshi learned judo from Kano, and Kano asked Funakoshi to teach him karate. They both had respect for each other. It is not karate or judo. Many japanese, as well as teachers in the west, have a black belt in both judo and karate.

    Cross-training was an essential element of karate even before it moved to Japan. Most okinawans practiced both karate and tote jutsu (a wrestling / grappling art).

    Mixed martial artists are not the first ones to cross train. Karatekas have been cross-training way before mixed martial artists discovered the benefits of cross training.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2004
  10. d33pthought

    d33pthought New Member

    Ah hah! I knew it! The phenomenon of TMA crosstraining isn't the sole province of the TKD/HKD teachers, but karate and judo guys do it too!
  11. Stuart H

    Stuart H On the Mandarin bandwagon

    You are not quite correct. It was kata at the heart of "old school" karate. It's not that kata is overemphasised nowadays, it's that people do not study katas in depth enough. If you trained as the old masters did, you would not have the need (nor the time) to learn the physical movements of each kata.

    There were four steps to learning and applying karate:
    1. Learning the physical movements to gain a knowledge of the basic tools, body mechanics etc.
    2. Understanding an application of the movements of each part of the kata, and what principles it demonstrates.
    3. Applying a different application of the kata movements (this allows for changes in the movements itself)
    4. Applying the tools and principles which have been practised in free-form sparring.
  12. Jayar

    Jayar New Member

    Oh look, the US Military is teaching its soldier traditional martial arts, and some subdivisions in the military have done so since the 1950's. If the US army 2nd Infantry Division sees some merit in it, then that say something positive at least.


    Even Chuck Liddel is a traditional martial artist in a sense. Whatever people say about him now, it was Kenpo Karate that got him into professional fighting (he started kickboxing in order to try his Kenpo in an unpredictable environment).

    Has anyone seen those videos of Mas Oyama fighting bulls. This master used his TMA to go to Spain and fight bulls with his bare hands. THe first fight was a disaster except that he won. His knife hand strike was his deadliest tool.
  13. NZ Ninja

    NZ Ninja Live wire.

    The Dojo where I learnt TMAs hold the NHB titles here in NZ.You could call it Maai Hyoshi Karate if you wanted. :D They do add BJJ to it.
  14. Punch-Kik-Choke

    Punch-Kik-Choke Banned Banned


    no way dude.

    First off, Tiger Schulmann's is not a karate school anymore. Just because it says so on the door is fairly meaningless.

    Tiger was smart, he checked out the boom in MMA, and the potential big bucks that went along with it. Then... added bits of wrestling, kickboxing, BJJ, muay thai, etc. and there ya go.

    But to call this "karate" is kinda flakey.

    seccond, just because they *seem* to do very well at NAGA does not put them any where close to some of the better BJJ schools.

    Name the last ADCC champ to come from Tigers' camp?
    MMA champ?

    they've got a lot of wins yeah, because they have more players than anyone else. Percentage wise they're not so good.
    I've also heard Tiger Schulmann has a habit of scouting out good up and coming talent and then offering them a sweet deal to train there. Heard they got nailed a few times for this actually.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2005
  15. mattnz

    mattnz Die or get rich tryin'!

    What?!?! But the author didn't tell us which martial arts will protect us against snpers and anthrax attacks! What should I do? I guess I should ditch the taekwondo and take up full bore rifle and biochemistry cross training.
  16. TraditionalTKD

    TraditionalTKD New Member

    Traditional Tae Kwon Do is useless for self defense? Then I guess the Korean police and military taught Tae Kwon Do Chung Do Kwan to their personnel because the Instructors were such nice people. Effectiveness had nothing to do with it.
  17. alienlovechild

    alienlovechild Valued Member

    I agree, your arts isn't complete unless you understand the fundamentals of biochemestry.
  18. karate P.belt 2

    karate P.belt 2 New Member

    the below post is based on the 1st page

    what karate useless?! how bout you guys come see me and see how useless it is it has defended me many times even before I learned the small amount of jujitsu and the smaller amount of TKD the stances are great I find I am able to move about freely and the katas are great they improve my techniques and give me a work out I can prove just about anything he said wrong
  19. No Life King

    No Life King New Member

    I disagree with this article

    While the article does has good points (the effect of stress on fighting and coordination, etc.) many of its arguments are half true or rely on deceptive assumptions.

    Regarding the low stances, i take long fist kung fu, and there are plenty of tiring stances that must be performed as low as possible, ex. horse stance, low stance, cat stance, bow stance etc. maybe its just me, but for me these stances have the purpose of strengthening your body, specially your legs, and lets not forget about improving basic footwork and coordination skills.

    Katas might seem silly, however before one criticizes with such pompousness, lets remember that katas actually have a purpose for those who understand his or her art(no you dont have to decipher some secret meaning or anything) you simply have to understand that katas are a way to engrave offensive and defensive moments into muscle memory, they provide theoretical usage for such movements, but it isnt necessarily written law that it is that way in which they must be used(therefore they are tools, and a way to practice the essence of his or her art).

    Regarding the comments about traditional asian martial arts not being street useful: lets not forget that that is what they were developed for(most of them), now maybe Im wrong, but humans have always been violent, brutal, and aggressive towards each other. I wasnt aware that 200 years ago, criminals were nicer and less dangerous. Regarding traditional ma's innefectiveness against weapons: this guy sort of makes reality based M.A's sound as if they were the only way for being prepared, and then he says open hand systems are useless against weapons, i wasnt aware reality-based MA's trained you to use a gun(they are open handed too). In reality, all martial arts prepare you for most situations, that is of course if the student actually tries to learn, in other words, martial arts give you the tools, they dont give you a solution, its up to you to make those tools work, effort and time is required.

    Maybe the guy who wrote the article wasnt satisfied because he wanted to effectively defend himself immediately and maybe he was half-assed on his study of karate and it yielded negative results. Or maybe he had a crappy teacher and obtained those results he crtiticizes, and then ignorantly assumed that all traditional martial arts have those flaws.

    In conclusion, time and effort are required to master things, there is no easy path, in my experience most martial arts are pretty useful for real life, but martial arts is one half the way, the other half iis up to the person, cant goo too far if the person is mediocre and uninvolving.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2005

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