As somebody that's competed with no face punches, WKF rules with controlled face punches scoring an "ippon," Muay Thai and Kickboxing rules I'll give my own opinion.
For me, I'm better at whatever I have been focusing on in sparring and pad work with for the last 1-2 months leading up to a match/fight.
I once did a knockdown tournament but only focused on knockdown kumite for 1-2 weeks which in hindsight was stupid. I was focusing more on K-1 rules for many months leading up to it.
Everybody is different...real life is a lot different than competition. I've been in real life situations and my mindset is to fight very dirty and end the conflict as quickly as possible in a very painful way.
As Meguro first said, it depends what you want to get out of it. What is your current reason for training? Osu!
Monty, did you already get up early in the morning or acclimate to the chicks waking you up?
I acclimated to getting up early because my youngest dog likes to get up around 5 am every day...I'm ordering a doggy door tomorrow because of this. I held off on doing so because my biggest dog Duke can jump up high enough to pull himself over the 6 foot backyard fence I spent thousands of dollars on over the summer *sigh* They were out of lumber for 7 foot fence and not sure if that would stop him. So now in the near future I'm going to have to spend probably another 500-1000 USD to install "coyote rollers" to keep him from being able to do this or just put 8+ foot trees all around the perimeter of the back yard fence lol which I'm sure will cost much more money.
The joys of being a home owner and having pets and/or children...it makes sure your bank account is constantly being depleted. Osu!
Watch the way Kazumi trains kata or better yet, Higaonna of Goju ryu. This is a much different way of practicing karate than what most to all knockdown styles do and what most Goju Ryu dojo do. I trained to shodan in Goju many years ago and I'll be honest to say the Goju that I did, did not do kata the way Higaonna and his black belts ("Dent") do their kata. However, many of Higaonna's students that reached various dan grades do much more than just train kata :). The way Higaonna and his students train in karate do train in kata much differently than most that do karate do...just youtube Higaonna goju ryu and you will see what I mean. Now train in the average shito ryu, shotokan, shorin ryu, Kyokushin, etc. dojo and kata is done more as memorizing series of movements...perhaps as a "dance." Very little drilling of conditioning, bunkai, oyo, etc. is done with the kata. There isn't a deep analysis and understanding of the kata but memorizing the kata all for the sake of doing it "just because" and to move up in rank.
Kata can be done the right way as a tool..but is done more often as a dance. Get the dance done and do it in a grading, perform all the dances and survive kumite you will probably get to 1st-2nd Dan in most karate styles. Easier said than done! However, there isn't a deeper study of kata done by most, and trained properly neither. Many that are firm believers in kata and every other ceremonial thing in karate being important will argue this :).
When I have graded my own students I care more about how they do in their kihon, renraku/ido geiko, and most importantly...their kumite over kata.
With that being said, I do believe kata can be very useful but isn't practiced properly by most.
As times moves on, the battlefield changes, and tools should also change along with the battlefield needs. However, that's just my opinion and one that I personally believe in. I'll stick to knife fighting, using my kubotan, pad work, hitting a heavy bag, hitting the makiwara and kumite as my focus of training. I personally find kihon more important than I find kata :).
Funny thing is I read this after posting it and it could come off as if I hate karate which is the furthest thing from the truth. I just believe it took me too many years to figure out how to focus on what's important and actually works. Karate is my foundation and always will be. Osu!
Last Edit: Nov 8, 2015 16:10:09 GMT -5 by powerof0ne
I found out I have diverticulitis this past Monday after going to urgent care at my nearby VA hospital believing it was a hernia from doing a lot of chores around the house the previous Sunday. After a battery of lab work and a CT scan I was diagnosed and on antibiotics for a few more days. With that being said I'm eagerly waiting for my home made chicken stew minus any noodles/rice as my first "real meal" since I found this out Monday. I never believe I'd have anything in common with Brock Lesnar :/. No, I'm not getting a phalanx shaped tatt on my chest neither, I'll leave that for Wullie!
The silver lining to this minus not being able to enjoy my one vice, food...is that I'm losing weight fast and I'm sure I'll lose much more. I believe I've had diverticulitis since '09 from my pelvic trauma & surgery (did a bit of research) because I had a couple of similar flare ups in '09 that I can remember and seeing a doctor for. The doctor didn't diagnose me right and assumed I just ate bad food, thankfully it wasn't that bad. This also means I'll be putting in to increase my VA disability rating again.
Other than that I'm in my house with one dog napping next to me while the other chews on a bone in front of the TV. I live an exciting life :).
Man and woman eventually believe "their way" of doing kata is the right way. Who am I to argue this? The issue lies in those who are NOT qualified and experienced enough are sadly often times delusional enough to believe they're qualified to make changes to kata. Unfortunately those that are inexperienced, non-qualified and delusional enough to believe this generally seem to have the most students that do so which leads to very watered down kata.
Each style and fraction often times has its own emphasis on specific oyo, bunkai, speed, power, rhythm, enbusei, etc. A lot of this is why I now HATE kata in competition; I placed first in nationals as a teen for kata and trained a specific kata many hours for months leading up to that tournament. However, kata for competition to me is the same as having competition for a baseball player at a batting cage, football/soccer player having competition for passing drills, and so forth...or for me, having a competition for how quick I can break down one of my firearms and put it back together.
Is there skill required in kata? Absolutely! World level kata competitors are very very skilled at what they do; take a look at WKF kata world champions and if you are at all experienced in karate it's hard to argue such. However, can the same individual fight at the world level? Kata is meant as a tool to develop good karateka.
Do you believe Mabuni, Funakoshi, and the pioneers to karate before it was called karate would have honestly liked to see kata in tournaments as a competition?
With that being said I mean no disrespect and you're entitled to your opinion just as I am entitled to mine. There was a time I thought kata had a place in competition; there was also a time that I believed boxing was a horribly inferior way of fighting due to a sensei that somehow had me believing everything RIGHT and WRONG that he said.
Now, with that being said many years ago when I was 14-15 I competed in an open tournament with all styles and did a specific kata. Well, every judge but one gave me very high marks. The one judge who didn't came up and told me that I did the kata "wrong." Guess what? He did a Korean style that still used the Okinawan name of said kata but they did it their own way with a completely different type of kick than the ones I did. I was 14-15, so who was I to argue to an adult judge. Years later I realized how close minded and wrong he was. However, that's the thing; Man and Woman can and will make changes to kata...eventually.
So, to go back to the question; is what you are doing in the kata effective? Will it work? Does it actually make sense and most importantly; are you really experienced and qualified to even make such an analysis? Have you fought non compliantly and used such techniques against non resisting opponents, suspects, uke, etc.? Do you practice such techniques on others who practically throw and trip themselves for you? Osu!
Last Edit: Nov 6, 2015 11:04:13 GMT -5 by powerof0ne
Coming back to this article later; after a couple cups of coffee I more or less feel like this about the "shihan" title.
If you are of a school that has very few students, and very few to no black belts (never had them to begin with) then the title of shihan is silly to me.
When somebody is a shihan, there should be no doubt that they're a shihan by any sane-legitimate black belt.
To be a shihan means you've had students get to black belt that have competed outside your dojo, had their own students, they've had students make it to black belt and so forth. If you're a shihan and nobody outside your "small world" closed dojo knows of you, it's very difficult for me to believe you're a legitimate shihan. Sure, there might be exceptions to this but EXCEPTIONS are rare.
I know of many fake instructors that have the title of shihan, renshi, and so forth. I would love nothing more but to do dojo yaburi on these schmucks but I would be in a lot of legal trouble. Even though, I'm practically half crippled with arthritis I can stay on my feet for more than enough time needed to deal with such garbage. My back usually doesn't start locking up until 25-40 minutes :). Osu!
Post by powerof0ne on Jul 18, 2015 13:21:44 GMT -5
The last few months I have focused on weight training. I have made some significant progress and keeping this somewhat secretive. I don't post on facebook about it but have been getting comments from coworkers about losing weight (I don't see it as much) and so forth.
I'm not where I want to be yet, but I will be.
My arthritis & joint issues, if anything, are only getting worst. I'll be doing something as simple as mowing the lawn (My lawnmower is 190CC and AWD meaning it doesn't take any effort from me to push it) and I have to lay on the ground on my back for a few minutes due to my back locking up. I did my best to push through this over the years, thinking it would get better but I've came to accept it won't. I can lift weights, and have very little issues because my upper body, legs, arms, etc. aren't that injured (have a few shoulder issues but not even half as bad as my back).
I was never huge into lifting weights but was into power lifting around 15-17 and excelled to breaking school records in a few lifts. I cut back a lot on weight lifting in my early 20s to focus more on being at "fighting weight" which I would have to always cut weight for in kickboxing & Muay Thai. I then fell off of weight lifting so it's fun to be starting something over again.
Post by powerof0ne on Jul 18, 2015 13:14:25 GMT -5
They had his consent! This was coincidentally planned and has been planned for many years.
I have some memories of him when I was a boy at various tournaments doing some of the best demonstrations I ever saw. He also was the most down to earth person I ever saw who was so widely respected. I won't name any names but many that "sat at the same table" as him expected the red carpet always rolled out for them, not Demura. Osu!
Post by powerof0ne on Jul 18, 2015 12:44:12 GMT -5
I do something similar to what Gary does except I only approach them to grade when I know they're ready to grade.
In the past, some years back I did typical scheduled gradings where people could sign up. I remember having a few parents of younger students asking why their kid didn't pass and I told them why. The students were never back at the following class. I even once coincidentally had one of the moms who was single try to get me to date her "coincidentally" before her son graded (I think I was 22-23 and seeing somebody my age, not 30-35). I don't know if it was because I was young and looked younger than I was but I had about a third of the parents question my judgement.
Probably around 9-10 years ago I decided to only grade those that I approached and asked to grade. I have slowly over the years reduced the amount of belts there is to shodan. I did all of this because I wanted students to focus on improvement instead of the color of the belt around their waist.
I do want to note I enjoy teaching children, teens, and all ages that are physically able to do karate. I don't necessarily enjoy some of the parents though ;). Osu!
p.s. realized how hypocritical I looked with my belt in my profile lol. I have no plans of ever grading or being graded for the rest of my life. I may at some time just wear a kuro obi with no gold dan bars.
Last Edit: Jul 18, 2015 12:47:18 GMT -5 by powerof0ne
Post by powerof0ne on Jul 18, 2015 12:32:38 GMT -5
A bit part of it is because of a different pace. A kickboxing or Muay Thai fight often is fought more defensive and slower because you typically have more time with an opponent. Knockdown is more of a sprint because you have less time. The posturing and defensive guard are usually held much higher for a kickboxing or Muay Thai stylist which also does affect how quick certain strikes will be done (quicker for face punches, not as much for body strikes).
Now, the biggest issue a kickboxer or Muay Thai stylist faces is preparing properly for knockdown. I have helped a few in my youth but they didn't take the knockdown kumite rules serious. Most others I have known that tried made the same mistake AND they didn't spar with anybody that has excelled in knockdown tournaments. I'm also leaving MMA out for now because I haven't personally seen too many 'real' MMA fighters try knockdown tournaments.
Now, those that have done well in knockdown that primarily have a kickboxing or Muay Thai background have almost always if not always spent time training with knockdown karate stylists with experience fighting in knockdown tournaments.
One thing I will say is every time I've seen a kickboxer or Muay Thai fighter that has had some fights and is a real kickboxer or Muay Thai stylist, they may not do well but they usually go the distance and if you asked them, are far less injured than they're used to be after a kickboxing or Muay Thai fight in the ring (again, those that aren't posers who actually have some real experience). I'm not putting down knockdown, there is a reason behind this too...it's the same for boxing. This is because if you go the distance in boxing, kickboxing, or Muay Thai and win you will have usually taken a lot of blunt force trauma over and over and over. Knockdown tournaments are shorter per match (yes, you can get knocked out, lose teeth, and all of that still) which usually means you're not taking 15+ minutes of damage over and over and over all at once (usually).
Something I've noticed in the last decade, possibly due to MMA being popular and less people being aware of knockdown karate? Is that I have seen a lot of posers enter knockdown tournaments saying they're "MMA," "kickboxing," Muay Thai, and so forth but in reality have never done any fights in MMA, kickboxing, Muay Thai, etc. Their "instructors" also don't have experience and are youtube taught for the most part. I guess they assume going to a knockdown karate tournament will be an easy way to "warm up" to prepare to do fights? I have no idea, it's pathetic to me.
I'll retract what I originally said about sono san but sono ni is necessary? Ura?
This isn't something I'm trying to convince anybody to change but just something I've been thinking about lately as I teach and watch my own students do kata. Osu!
It's refreshing, as a student, to know that there are instructors out there (including my own) who are open minded as you seem to be when it comes to training and what may or may not be practical. I am curious if, 2 years later, you have indeed implemented any change in your instruction or not and how it's coming along. Osu!
I'm very anti-kata now; which has been a long time coming. I wouldn't say I'm completely against kata, but I am against doing kata just to go through the motions. I'm not saying anybody is or isn't doing that on here neither.
I've had far too many kata crammed down my throat over the years. That and most of the students I train that are "fighters" coincidentally seem to usually be the worst at remembering kata I'll teach them. I know this isn't something that's unique to me neither. Nothing worst than spending weeks teaching students a new kata and there's maybe a little break to see that they were not practicing it in their free time...and they expect me to teach it again because they forgot.
However, I do think having spent time on certain kata has given me an advantage of having more tools in my tool box over those that have not. I modify parts from kata occasionally and apply it to kumite. It's sort of on the same page as doing a combination you have trained for a while. Osu!
Post by powerof0ne on May 13, 2015 10:03:09 GMT -5
Azam, Welcome! I never could get used to Sherdog myself but there are some good people there. However, I personally know somebody that's never trained a day in his life that lives on there and has asked me to let him help me corner fighters! LOL...nice person but very delusional. Again, nothing against Sherdog, because they do have legit people; just the wannabes I can't get over. I hope you like your stay on the forum here. Osu!
I'd second what Gary is saying; and not everybody is gifted with hip mobility neither. Unfortunately, the video didn't work when I clicked on it.
My question to you without watching the video is this; when you're pivoting on the ball of your foot (chosoku), is your heel sticking up? I only ask because in most kickboxing and Muay Thai schools of thought, this is a good habit. In karate, this can be a bad habit...can be (depends on school and instructor).
I prefer somewhere sort of in between. In regards to chambering; I'd rather a student practice proper chambering instead of worrying about speed. If you start skipping over chambering too much it can lead to sloppy habits & bad technique.
In regards to Kenji Midori....I believe most of us wish we could kick like him :). Osu!
I remember doing knuckle push ups as a kid and first time I ever did anything with mats was in Aikido. I can remember doing throws and take downs on nice polished hardwood floor...that we would always clean before and after each class by each holding a towl with bleach water...bent over while we walked back & forth along the dojo floor until we covered it all. However, I have done wrist push ups, diamond, wide push ups and "Judo" pushups since I can remember too. Osu!