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A lot of karateka do not know the feeling of hitting someone or something with maximum speed and force. This can be very dangerous. As I have said before, I do not practice karate solely for fighting, but karate is a fighting art, in particular, a striking art. There are exceptions, but as a general rule of thumb, If a black belt karate-ka goes to the ground with a ju jitsu black belt, I would expect the ju jitsu expert to quickly defeat the karateka, but if the fight stays standing, I would expect the karate-ka to out strike the grappler. But unfortunately this is not the case, the jujitsu expert will always defeat the karate expert on the ground, but the karateka will not always defeat the jujitsu fighter standing. Why is this? I believe it’s because of the lack of reality in a lot of karate practice, the jujitsu expert will fight fully on the ground, only stopping the fight, just before the arm breaks or the opponent passes out. The karate practitioners will fight, practicing sundome (stopping the attack just short of the target) with their techniques. Our karate dojo practice this controlled sparring, controlling our attacks to the head and attacking to the body with a certain amount of contact, depending on the level of the fighters sparring. Obviously, this type of sparring is not real, in reality people kick the c**p out of each other with no control. So how can a karate-ka become a force to be reckoned within the striking arena, deal with a street situation (hopefully) and still train safely?
Well, I believe it can be done, it boils down to the karateka’s training and more importantly, attitude when techniques are delivered at full speed. This applies to kata, kumite or kihon. 1. Each full speed technique should be delivered as if your life depended on it! 2. When training at speed, your attitude should be fierce and aggressive. 3. Never show signs of weakness. 4. Never let up, never quit! 5. Hit things! Punch bag, focus pads, kick shields, makiwara, etc. 6. Repeat 1 through 6. I encourage good control in the dojo, I also encourage strong attacks and counter attacks, attacks that reach and hit the target, with control, counter attacks that reach and touch the intended target, with excellent control. When we practice focus pads and kick shields, I encourage them to destroy the pads and whatever’s holding the pads. I am all for training safely, I do not want to see my students injured, but at the same time I want them to be able to defend themselves and carry themselves through life with the confidence that if something does happen they will be a force to be reckoned with. Control in traditional karate is very important, but some karate dojo (especially shotokan karate dojo), take it to the extreme. They train weakly, then when they have to use their karate in a real situation, they cannot understand why the people they hit (or don't hit) stay standing and carry on kicking the c**p out of them. Derrrrrrrrrr………………………………. Come on karate world; let’s show the rest of the martial arts world how strong we can be. Ossu Linden
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