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Old November 11, 2001, 09:31 PM   #1
shy_man
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Traditional Karate

Greetings:

Is the traditional karate still effective weapon compared to the new bred of Martial Arts?

I seldom see people who discusses or interested in the traditional karate as an empty self defense.

Or I may say, the new kinds of martial arts have just modified the traditional Japanese Karate i.e. the Okinawan, Shotokan, Wado, and many other branches.

For all we know, it takes only few seconds/minutes for a real fight in empty hand to hand combat, and mostly in street fights very few wants to roll on the ground.

Thanks,
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Old November 11, 2001, 09:46 PM   #2
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You will need to learn several arts to be a well rounded fighter. You will need a striking art, a ground grappling art, weapons ect...
You can go with an integrated system like JKD or learn one art at a time. There are pros and cons to both approaches. Karate can be a good striking art if you learn at a good school.

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Old November 11, 2001, 10:45 PM   #3
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Dave3006 is right. The critical thing is to find the right instructor(s). If your interest is serious self defense, you generally want to avoid the people who promote their art primarily for exercise, sporting competition, spiritual enrichment, etc. I train in Filipino Martial Arts but have had experience in Tae Kwon Do and JKD. One of the guys with whom I train FMA is an 8th degree black belt whose longest martial arts lineage is in "karate" under the late Ed Parker. He also trains Shooto and BJJ. If you went to his "karate" studio, you would get everything you need.
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Old November 13, 2001, 10:44 AM   #4
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Traditional Karate

I agree also with the other two post, Traditional Karate (Japanese for Empty-Hand) is an excellent striking/kicking art if taught correctly as a self defense style, many schools nowadays simply do not teach it as a combat art.
But to be complete one MUST know what to do if taken to the ground, dealing with weapons, dealing with multiple attackers etc....one art most of the time will not give you all of that without spending your life at it, (note i am not saying that it is impossible) whereas some of the new "styles" condense those skills into one form and teach a limited amount of them to give the student a compact broad base skill set.
I personally have trained with a pretty fair gambit of styles and instructors and feel that my training is very well rounded, although i had very little "street" experiance, the ones i have had have been came out well for me. And i feel that is attributed to my broad experiance with differetn styles.
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Old November 13, 2001, 04:56 PM   #5
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Depends on the man

Any traditional martial arts is at least adequate, based on the effort you put behind it.

If you want strictly a combative art, you can take boxing, wrestling, judo...you still have to put a lot of effort in it, but it is more realistic in that if you put the time in, in a relatively short amount of time you should be able to handle some basic self-defense.

In traditional martial arts, you spend a lot of time in practicing the art, but not necessarily the direct combat portion. Usually, some years later, you could be skilled in the arts, but it doesn't make you a master in combat.

Hope this helps, not confuse.
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Old November 14, 2001, 06:07 AM   #6
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In my youthful age I was so very interested in many kinds of martial arts, like the TKD, Japase karate (Wado Style Master), Hapkido, Judo, Kendo, including the Modern Arnis. In seeing many martial arts school in the city, there were those offerings high kicks and enrolled in it but I found out that there is limit in all styles when it comes in real combat.

Okay, the kendo is good using a Samurai, but we are not walking in a city with a long blade. The arnis also, we are not carrying arnis (long stick) in city proper, thus I came to my mind that the pure empty hand martial arts like the traditional karate is necessary.

I admit, that purely karate is not enough, but then if well mastered and have a skilled (good training) of delivering 2 or 3 deadly blows like fist or chop or a front or round house kick that will stagger or stoped the BG is already good enough.

Against multiple opponent a mere karate has limit and have seen that Judo has a roll in it, for if being hold then there were techniques in it to throw the opponents. So, Traditional Karate Combat in common self defense is effective for my opinion and still good.
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Old November 14, 2001, 08:10 AM   #7
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I boxed for a long time. Then, all in one year it seemed, I got old, slow and porky. Not the way you want to be in the ring... If it came down to it I think I could still suprise some punk who felt like pushing this guy around . Having said that, I remember the advice of my old Tae Kwon Do instructor who always said the best way to get out of a bad situation is to not get into a bad situation...
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Old November 14, 2001, 09:59 PM   #8
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Sorry if this offends anyone. It is not meant to. But in my experience traditional martial arts are too confining. Too stuck in tradition. Most come from thought and theory. Not from practical application. The theory in most styles sound good and make sense when you think about them, but when it comes to applying them in a real situation, theory goes out the window. Traditional styles work well against someone else using the same style. Against someone using a different style and you are in trouble. I'm partial to more practical styles that come from trial and error. Boxing, Muay Thai, Various grappling styles. Cross training is great, but it is hard to find an instructor who is adept at all aspects of combat. I've trained with great kick boxing instructors who had no clue about grappling. Their theory is that it is not them who is going to the ground, but the other person after he is knocked down. And I've trained with grappling instructors who used linear, direct, striking methods. With the thought that every strike is full force, devastating, with total commitment. This is the problem that I have with Karate. Too linear and direct. Too many stances. And too wide of stances. Too forceful without strategy. Every block is a strike and every strike is meant to break. Every strike is meant to be blocked. Good in theory, but not good in application. Ask any boxer or kick boxer. You cannot block all strikes. You can slip, parry, or take it. Blocking is a waste of energy. Wide stances are no good, it limits mobility. Straight forward approaches keep you in your opponents line of fire. And all strikes do not have to devastate. They do not even have too make contact. That is why boxers use combinations. One strike can set up the opponent for another more devastating strike. OOOoooo! Man that opened up my thought process. Thanks for allowing me to ramble.
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Old November 14, 2001, 11:44 PM   #9
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traditional martial arts response (long)

Boris_01.........
In some ways i agree with you and others i do not. I agree that it is VERY hard to find an instructor that is able to teach several styles of fighting effectively (ie: grappling, striking, kicking, weapons etc...) That is why i have sought out several instructors.
As for most traditional martial arts coming from thought and theory, strictly speaking, i disagree, having studied history a bit and several styles of combat, i have found that most of these styles (true tradional styles) come from combat experiance, how do you think the okinawans fought off the armed Japanese or bandits, how did the monks fight off raiders or bandits,? it wasnt by thought and theory, now on the other hand, many of these styles have become dilluted to the extent that they seem to be as you have stated.
Ok, next, i fully agree that deep stances limit mobility, but spend any time training in them and you will learn that they have other uses and that they are primarily used at the beggining levels to teach certain things and to develop strength. And as for being linear, some styles of karate are and some are not, and some have both linear and circluar movements, remember you DO NOT have to be right in front of someone to deliver a linear attack, and the quickest way between two points is a straight line. If you look at true traditional styles from history or a good instructor they will tell you that it is almost always better to be "off the line of attack" to attack or counter attack, and every instructor i have had has emphasized that blocks are used as 1) to augmentation getting out of the way 2) to disrupt your opponent 3) to set up another technique or 4) last resort if you cant get out of the way.
Next.....yes some instructors teach that every strike/kick should be with TOTAL commitment, now if you are using an ATTACK TO SUBDUE and opponent would you want to do anything less?! An attack to subdue should be 100% focused on doing what it was intended to do, there are many ways to strike/kick and not all of them are meant to immediatly subdue your opponent, agian they may be used as distraction, set up, etc....as you stated.
The time it takes to learn these nuances and "secrets" of a stlye usally is more time than the average person is willing to commit. Thats why many of these "new styles" are becoming so popular, because they condense everything into a focused regime and they eliminate most of the other stuff in order to give the normal person a quick, "easy" and effective form of self defense.
Now IMOHO a person CAN spend a lot of time with an instructor and learn to be VERY effective in combat, because as i have stated most traditional styles were designed for combat, but to reach that level you must commit for a long time with a traditional instructor/style.
Cross training is a must IMOHO to be 100% READY for any situation. And as you can see a person can spend a lot of time to reach the state of a truley effective hand to hand combat competent person, and in spending that time they will attain not only the knowledge and skill but the physical conditioning to be the most effective that they can be, where-as in a short term self defense class they will not achieve that level of conditioning.
Sorry about the long reply but i wanted to state my response to your "rambling" I feel you had some valid points but not all of your points were IMOHO based on actuality of all styles, more of a generalitzation of the majority of commercialized martial arts training.
Thanks, and btw i did not intend to imply any flamming or bad feelings, just stating my opinion and experiance.
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Old November 15, 2001, 05:55 AM   #10
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Rotty. It was a good reply. And I did not expect everyone to agree with me completly. As with any subject, No one sees eye to eye on everything. And my opinion was pretty general. Not being in depth about each style. But in general I still hold to my opinion. Watching the early UFC's, I see that the ones whp come in the octagon with the traditional mentallity lost quickly. The others who claimed traditional styles, abandoned the strict form of the styles as the opponent closed in, and it turned into slapping bitch style. With the exception of Keith Hackney I believe. He is the only one who actually used his style to any degree.( Kenpo Karate I believe). Also having been a kickboxer and observing many bouts, I see that the traditional guys get a dose of reality once in the ring with a Muay Thai boxer.
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Old November 15, 2001, 09:09 AM   #11
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reply

Yup, agian in some ways i agree and some i dont, i am also a UFC fan (btw watch them on pay per view, to see them live sux unless your up close and we werent) and i have yet to see a traditional style represented well in the octagon.
Let me explain, all of the traditional fighters with the exception of the grappling stlyes did not use the techniques of a traditional style. They were more of the sport version of the traditional style, and again i agree with you with Keith Hackney also. I have trained with at least one person directly that was a UFC champion and Ultimate Ultimate champion who later did not fair so well, i believe this is because he did not vary his training to be able to deal with some of the hybrid training of the newer competitors.
Please understand i am not trying to argue or flame you, agian just my opinion and point of view.
I have also "worked" with some kickboxers and boxers and if you know enough about what your up against you can at least hold your own. That is another key, to be knowledgable about other stlyes and the strategies and techniques that they will use, if you dont know that you are opening yourself up to failure.
I am curious, what have you trained in? and how long, you seem to be knowledgable.
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Old November 15, 2001, 07:41 PM   #12
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Rottie. I agree that traditional styles were not well represented in the UFC. But I believe that is because they would not hold up. Most styles tend to take one or two aspects of fighting and dwell on them. Defining and refining to the point of being extremely good in that aspect. But totally lacking in other aspects. Case in point. Aikido. A style developed as totally self defense. Because the whole theory is to use the opponents own force and momentum against him using circular movements. Sounds good in theory. And they are quite good at this, but if they encounter a boxer who does not commit to every strike, but uses certain strikes to set up for a more devastating blow they will be lost. Because you cannot use ones own momentum against them if they do not commit.
In Karate they tend to use some open hand strikes. Again, Boxers know better. There are many small bones in the hand to be broken. In a real fight, I would not hit anyone with a clenched fist, much less an open hand. Elbows, knees, shins are much harder and less bones to be broken.
Kung Fu the same. Also they tend to use animals as inspiration for certain styles. Animals fight in certain manners because they are built certain ways. Humans are built differently. Why would we fight mimicking an animal?
And also traditional styles tend to blend mysticism and spirituality with fighting techniques. Nothing spiritual about fighting unless you are praying that you win. No Chi, Ki, Zen. All BS. It's all physics and ability. And as for the ancient battles that these styles developed from, I was not there but I bet that there were an awful lot of bad fighting techniques.
Now this is just my opinion. As I respect your opinion. I'm not saying that you are incorrect in anyway. But from my experience these are my opinions. I have trained in Isshinryu Karate, American Combat Jujitsu, Judo, Muay Thai, Boxing. Total accumulated time is around 6 years. My main things are Muay Thai and Jujitsu.
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Old November 15, 2001, 08:43 PM   #13
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I remember when I was told by one of my instructor that there are only two kinds of martial arts. One that is for ring competition (as amusement) and the other is for real self defense.

I have seen people including some showbiz personalities who made some style and themselves very popular all over the country but I am surprised when I read in the papers (martial arts circles)personalities that were winners in a free style fight that mostly uses traditional karate.

A true experience I had, I sparred with one of the brother of Presas (FMA) when I was a student and ask me to give all I've got. He uses purely karate with many blockings, I thought in the first place that blockings in karate is not that usable but then, correct blockings would hardly let any punch gets into from abdomen to your neck

I agree with some comments that wide stances in karate has good purpose that is to prepare and strengthen a student. At first, I ask my self that how lousy to practice kata's and penant's but I realize later that it will improve movements. How can one appreciate to learn martial arts if immediately get a punching bag to box and kick without knowing the philosophy and history of a certain martial arts. Every one can trained and kick a punching bag but not all can learn the true way of traditional karate.

Having a few true skills in traditional karate counts a lot and that makes one a true warrior in the world of hand to hand combat.

Just a personal opinion not making tradional karate glamorous.
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Old November 16, 2001, 08:21 PM   #14
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ACTUALLY SHY_MAN, NOT TO SOUND AS IF I AM A KNOW IT ALL BUT ALL MARTIAL ARTS CAME FROM CHINA. JAPANESE ARTS ARE TOO HARD AND NOT PRACTICAL. A TRUE FIGHTING STYLE IS A SOFT, FLOWING STYLE. THE BEST FIGHTING ARTS ARE KUNG FU DERIVITIVES. I HAVE STUDIED AN ANCIENT STYLE CALLED SHOU SHU SINCE I WAS ABOUT 8 AND I BELIEVE THAT IT IS ONE OF THE BEST FIGHTING ARTS THAT YOU COULD POSSIBLY FIND.

ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTED THINGS MY SHIFU EVER TOLD ME WAS THAT THERE ARE NO TECHNIQUES IN MARTIAL ARTS. TRUE MASTERY OF A MARTIAL ART IS WHEN YOU LEARN THE ART AND IT BECOMES A WAY OF MOVEMENT AND DEFENSE. THE TECHNIQUES ARE JUST A MEANS OF TEACHING THAT MASTERY. I THINK A GOOD WAY TO LEARN WOULD BE TO FIND AN INSTRUCTOR THAT FOLLOWS THAT SAME KIND OF BELIEF.

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Old November 16, 2001, 08:56 PM   #15
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I just wonder where all of these masters and great traditionalists are? How come they have not come into the UFC or Vale Tudo and wiped up the competition? UFC and Vale Tudo is competition and I understand. But it is the closest sports to reality that there is. And if these masters are so great, they should live up to the pretentious self important title of "Master" and prove themselves in competition. But I'm sure that they would not use their art for self gratification but only in real self defense. That's a cop out. If I called myself " Master", I would be ready and willing to prove it. Personally I would never call anyone Master except the " Lord Jesus Christ".
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Old November 16, 2001, 09:57 PM   #16
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Very little of traditional martial arts has to do with actual combat. For example, forms (kata) will not help you in actual combat.

The repetition of punches has little to do with combat too. It's a test of spirit but has little to do with combat.

Unfortunately in many modern martial arts the emphasis is making it a sport and not hard contact. that has little to do with reality.

In true combat the other person is probably moving and going to punch too. Being in a front stance and throwing a punch isn't going to help because the person will just walk around and drop you.

Most martial arts does have a portion that deals with actual self defense.

I think the most realistic martial arts you can learn for combat is jiujitsu.

Kickboxing is cool but once the person has you on the floor you are done in.

I studied Seido, which is a form of koyashinki, and did a lot of kickboxing.
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Old November 16, 2001, 10:37 PM   #17
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From the posts that I have read here I don't think that you guys truly understand real combat martial arts. UFC?? Please. Ridiculous. Not even worth me commenting on. In any sport where there are rules, and the UFC does have rules, then you cannot really test yourself in real combat. Let me ask you a question. How well do you think one of these UFC grapplers would be able to fight after he took it to the ground and had someone gouge out his eye or smash his windpipe? The answer is: not too well. True martial arts masters don't enter these kinds of sports because it is not real fighting. The art I studied taught me one thing, how to kill. Not how to win a UFC match. I get angry anytime I hear someone bring up the UFC as real fighting. IT ISN"T. The only real fighting is when you are involved in a true combat situation. That is when training pays off. Who cares about competition. That is not why I nor most true combat martial artists train.

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Old November 17, 2001, 04:25 AM   #18
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I believe that I stated that I understood that the UFC and Vale Tudo were competitions. But they are the closest things to realility there is out there. Especially the first UFC's where there were no weight classes and was in no time limits. And only rules were no bititng and no eye gouging. Groin strikes and hair pulling were permited. Now I agree, too many rules. I don't even watch any more. But I never saw any of these real Masters in any of them. And if they were real Masters, they should still be able to go in there and make fools of the others, even at the controlled competition level. After all they are Masters. Right?" He said sarcasticlly." Fact is that there are a lot of lies, pretention, urban legends in martial arts, that cover up the fact that a lot of them are BS. Martial arts IS about actual combat. Look at the term "MARTIAL arts". It's not about needle point. And those who ignore the competition aspect are those who are afraid to put any skills they think they have to the test. You cannot test skills using Katas or doing the techniques in air or agaisnt a willing partner. This only creates a false sense of security. Again, Yes I understand that competition is not reality. But it is necessary as a form of testing techniques and skills against a unwilling partner.
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Old November 17, 2001, 11:52 AM   #19
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My shifu always told me that competition made you slow and took away from your reflexis. That is why we as a school were not allowed to compete. Believe me, alot of us did go out together and we ended up getting into a lot of fights but that is as close to competition as we got. Any time there are any rules involved there is no reason to get involved
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Old November 17, 2001, 02:03 PM   #20
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Greetings all. The style wars have been around since the invention of martial art. It's kind of like the caliber wars we see here on the firing line all of the time. 9mm. vs. .45 cal. Kung fu vs. karate. Hard vs. soft. linear vs. circular. There are a lot of good teachers of martial art. There are also many poor teachers. As for "the new breed of martial arts" Many are the old ways with new names, reorganized to serve the users purpose. I will not say that one way is right, and another wrong. I will not say that one is less, or more effective. Many of the existing martial arts today have there merits. Much of the effectiveness of martial art is dependant on the skill of the teacher. Not just the technical ability, but the teaching abiltity of the instructor has much bearing on your martial arts effectiveness. Also the personal goals of the instructor for the student come into play. Then there is the ability of the student to consider. An instructor with much experience will try to enhance the natural abilities that already exist within the student, as well as develope new abilities. Sometimes this idea may not fit within the ridgid confines of "martial arts style," but the style has to exist. There has to be a place to start the learning. Learning the stances, the blocking, and striking techniques are a place to start, not an end. The effectivness of these techniques may not come to you for a long time, but it is there. Many of the things the instructor asks of us were never ment to be combat effective. So why do them? you will ask. Of course there are many reasons, but I will give only a couple.
Physical conditioning is a very important reason. The low stances, the large movements, all created to develope the endurance and strength of the practitioner. These are not practical fighting techniques, only things to strenghten the body. Much of the conditioning exersises are not favored now because they are hard to perform. There are those who believe that physical conditioning is unimportant, or that a lack of physical conditioning can be overcome by technical ability. This is disproven time after time by the big untrained fighter that crushes the exprienced martial artist with one poorly placed, but massive, blow.
Second is for the development of character. I have listed this second, but the importance of character development is paramount to martial art training. Those who would develope a skill, only to use it in an unholsome manner are evil, and should not be trained. The martial artist who trains diligently so that he may pick fights at the local tavern on the weekends is a poor representative of the art.
There is one other thing that I would like to mention here today. Many martial art instructors have left the learning process to take students of there own, when they are not yet ready. Not all martial artists can become an instructor. Many practitioners of martial art have been trained to use the big movements, and the low stances of the body conditioning exercises for combat because their teachers never learned beyond these things, and so passed on the art in that manner. They have taken what was only intended as a begining, and fashioned from it an incomplete art. A martial artist must never stop training to learn new things.
Whatever your method of training, or style of martial art, keeping the practical, or effective, in mind is important. Physical conditioning, and technical training are also important. Thinking a bit outside the box wouldn't hurt from time to time either.
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Old November 18, 2001, 09:43 PM   #21
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I've trained at a traditional type school. The weapons are traditional, I've always wanted to bring some common things like canes, short sticks, etc.., I've studied several years in Motobu-ha ****o Ryu Karate. The style is both attacking and counter attack. I have under the same Instructor studied Kuniba Ryu Goshin Do. This was developed by Shogo Kuniba. Its a combination of Karate, Judo, Jujitsu, and Aikido. This Goshin Do and the way it has been taught to me has helped me a great deal with the transition from striking at a distance to techniques that work well in close and on the ground. Now, I've definitely not been around the block when it comes to the Martial Arts but the style suits me and seems to cover all areas of attack and defense.

Did I understand someone said kata had little to do with combat. My thought are the following. You practice kata to strenghten mind, body, and spirt. You practice kata for the technique it teaches you. You practice kata so that technique become ingrained in you ( you know, muscle memory). If the technique does not become ingrained through repetition, if you have to think about that block, strike, lock, or throw, someone will put the hurt on you.

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Old November 18, 2001, 10:40 PM   #22
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Trimation: You are right, MA that is taught to us is not really for competition but for self defense.

Kimbglock: you have defined KATA very well of it's usage and philosophy.

Thanks to every one for their good explanations.
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Old November 18, 2001, 11:17 PM   #23
Trimation
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Shy_man. What do you study?

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Old November 19, 2001, 02:25 AM   #24
shy_man
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Trimation:

When I was in high school, i studied Wado Ryu, & Hapkido. A style that mostly on a counter defensive strike (usually you wait the opponent to strike before making a move), in most MA's I don't know if this is advisable.

When I migrated in the city, I encounter Aikido which has semblance to Hapkido where mostly are circular in motion. At my age 18 up to college graduate, I studied Judo, Arnis and Kendo (the way of the sword). But I concentrated in Karate, Judo and Arnis where I only got 1st dan black belt according to my club promotion category.

At youthful age, it is common to have inter-collegiate tournament but I feel that in tournament you cannot freely put what you've got for you are controlled with regulations.

Now that we are aging and have injury operations with steel implanted we still practice but unlike before. That is why I am starting to practice in Pistol handling, to augment my little knowhow of the above self defense style I have studied.

What I have learned is really Traditional martial arts for I am taught many Katas, Penants where there are so called T-Forms, H-Forms etc.
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Old November 19, 2001, 12:13 PM   #25
Trimation
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Shy_man,

Unlike the other people here I know that katas do teach you to fight. In my MA we were told to do everything as slow as possible. This way the movements would become almost instinctual. This is the same with katas and this is why they are used. Most people that discuss martial arts are martial arts ignorant. They believe what they see in the movies and they believe most of what they hear without experiencing for themselves. That is why we get comments like some of the ones that have been posted above.

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