Sports Karate vs. Traditional Fighting – Why They Evolved The Way They Did And Employing Both

Sports Karate vs. traditional fighting – is your Dojo’s curriculum working these synergistically? Why each evolved the way they did and why analysis makes them synergistic.

o Does your dojo have a check system (flow chart) for decision based training towards either dealing with an untrained attacker versus an elite karate athlete?

o Do you have a 1:1 link to your fighting training, kata form and bunkai in a way which also relates to tournament kumite performance?

o Do you engage in the correct tournament fighting approach, or street fighting approach when training?

The recent evolution in sports karate 토토사이트 and research into rejuvenating karate bunkai has required schools to change training curriculums in order to be correct and effective in their fighting. Embracing the old and the new Ways is a difficult but necessary challenge to make ones’ karate a complete and educated empty handed fighting art.
Understanding why modern day karate evolved (and realizing what was lost or gained) is a worthwhile journey. This article will overview some of the pros and cons of Dojo curriculum approaches for empty handed fighting. It will touch on: fighting practicality for a particular approach, diversity of knowledge base and training methods, a realistic check against why modern sport Karate differs compared to the traditional koryu & kata (bunkai) ways (such koryu styles include: various Okinawan arts, koryu-uchinadi, Daito-ryu, Matsushita Kushin Ryu, Araki-ryu).

Most of the world’s Japanese karate community has evolved to where it is because of:

o a sports approach with rules

o starting a fight at distance away from the opponent

o training methods that allow the masses to follow in a group class

o use of a very small range of techniques (as discussed below approx. only 12 techniques or so are drilled in high frequency).

The notion of keeping the curriculum to a small subset of fighting techniques represents some of the benefits of one of Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” strategic clauses, “avoid weakness by not dividing the troops” i.e. do not become a “Jack of all trades and master of none”. The upside of this approach is that mastering one sub category of fighting leads to understanding true core strength which is not possible if studying a broad diversity of techniques. Hence Japanese styles keep the technique diversity very small, often even up to the rank level 3rd dan, so that only once a true understanding of real strength is reached in one area the study of other techniques are explored. The difference between superficial and deep insight (“ura” and “omote” are the Japanese terms used for this in the martial arts) is a key attribute of any Zen art. Modern day Japanese karate dojo(s) who have revived their kata bunkai knowledge to encompass original applications now have the complication of technique diversity compared to modern approaches seeking excellence in just a core few techniques (given that karate was adapted to the masses by the Japanese one can begin to see why the simplifications in curriculum began).

Real world fighting is not restricted by rules and does not assume one starts at a distance from at an opponent. In the street one does not know the strategy or skill level an opponent may employ. Before karate entered Japan Kata revolved around these self defense scenarios and also included:

– fluid, round and open hand techniques rather than the rigid stiff bunkai often seen in Japan which assumes a linear “karate style” punch as the primary entry in to the application.

– kata motions are iconic representations of a scenario not complete moves or descriptors. Modern variants in particular often do not show the various loosening techniques (head buts, spits and open hand slaps) that may comprise the full application which are still practiced by certain Koryu (old time/traditional) styles.

One can easily create a flow chart describing the possible scenarios (and the required skill sets to deal with an opponent). For example, Figure 1 (also on in a free video form lecture) illustrates the initial questions in a thorough analysis of training approaches to focus on one sub-category of fighting or another to become an expert in that domain rather than becoming a generalist in all areas. Throughout this article an attempt is made to break down the needs to specialize in one area or another and then relate that to expanding your own training over time, or creating focused students.

Training philosophies that are” Jack of all trades” vs. “specialists in a subset of fighting” are often (but of course not always) seen more so in some styles than others. For example, grouping and comparing Kung-Fu, Koryu Okinawan Karate or Tae Kwon Do reveals a “Jack of all trades” approach compared to a modern Japanese Shotokan or Shito-Ryu approach which becomes highly proficient at a small set of techniques. Mainstream Japan’s karate approach is at the least related to the Japanese mainland mindset, its sports nature and Japanese Zen arts as they are practiced in Japan. Each of these variables influence any art/skill base and have pros and cons when it comes to critiquing a system.

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