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How effective is Karate?

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  • How effective is Karate?

    There are probably 1,000's of different styles of Karate and equally 1,000's of different reasons why people practice it. How effective is it in self-defense?

    An episode of cops showed some huge guy take off all his clothes, go crazy and start breaking stuff - they said they thought he was on PCP. Several police cars arrived and there was a lady cop allready there. She pulled out a can of mace and warned the guy, ofcourse he wasn't negotiating and she sprayed the guy in the face for a good 5 seconds hardly phased, then he charged at her.

    He starts throwing bombs at her face and she parries 2 of them to the inside while circling away, before two cops tackle the dude and wrestle him to the ground.

    IMHO I think it boils down to how you train. If you train with other stylists and non-MA people and knock up the intensity now and then, it will be alot more realistic than re-hearsed techniques against compliant partners.

  • #2
    I can remember being a white belt for a while. I was changing from tkd to shotokan for various reasons thus, I remained a white belt {in the two systems} for over a year. For some strange reason I got in several street fights while I was a white belt. Just with basic principles like side kicks and basic strikes and basic locks (i mean super basic locks) I was able to successfully defend myself over and over again. As, I moved through the ranks of jj the fights and challenges decreased.

    What I am saying is that YES, karate {generic term} is effective. The secret is to practice hard especially in-between Dojo visits. {solo training}


    • #3
      It does boil down to how you train. Here are a couple of things I think you need.

      1. Makiwara training to develop confidance in using your fists

      2. Focus pads to focus your strikes for accuracy

      3. Proper stretching to improve flexibility (not the stuff you normally see)

      4. Practice a technique. Often people will think they know a technique, but they don't, and when they execute it they are tight. This is especially important in punches. Tight linear punches are not effective.

      5. Sparring with a partner for long periods. Use different styles of sparring for different things (timing, distancing)

      6. Blocking realistic attacks, not attacks that are too far away and not aimed properly (a BIG problem)

      7. Practice Kata on your own, not Kihon. Kata teaches you the same moves, but for more situations. It's silly to practice Kata in groups, but that's what people do.

      8. As I said, tightness is never effective. Kime is the focusing of power to a single point on your body. It is not contracting everything to waste energy, and to destroy the power of a strike. That is the sport Karate method - all show and no power.