Flimsy Self-Defense?

Would your Karate really work? Look at what Jon Bluming (a 10th dan in Kyokushinkai karate by Mas Oyama, and a 9th dan in judo from the Kodokan) has to say:

Karate (and similar traditional martial arts) look great in the movies; they take a very long time to learn but don’t provide efficient solutions for violent confrontations in the 21st century.

Food for thought I think. Sensei Bluming goes on to say that traditional martial arts aren’t addressing the situational and environmental factors that come along with street confrontations. He says that training your whole life in traditional karate techniques, i.e., attacking with and defending against traditional ‘karate’ skills won’t save your arse on the street. Take for instance a guy coming at you with a bottle or stick, or rapidly swinging huge hay-makers at your head or trying to bear-hug the daylights out of you and shove you into a wall.

mqdefaultIn my ‘traditional’ karate class Sensei Lee often presents us with such realistic scenarios. He often gets us in a ready stance and throws out the ‘what if’ scenarios. What if a guy is swinging a knife? What if a guy is looking for a brick or a rock? He then throws out the possible combative solutions. We do a lot of in-close, hand-to-hand training that makes out Karate real.

In one sense, Bluming is right. If you think your block, punch, block punch will get you through a real word confrontation you’ve got another thing coming. Real combat is dirty – there are no holds barred. In my karate my intention is to study and train in traditional basics relentlessly in order to make them effective, but it is also to study kata applications and to practice in-close combat where you learn to deal with the unexpected.

If you’re spending all of your time defending and countering against a staged, traditional attack from a fellow Karateka, you’re living an illusion in terms of your ability to get yourself out of a real jam.

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