For most traditional karate-ka, kata is the foundation of karate.

What is the purpose of kata in karate? For most traditional karate-ka, kata is the foundation of karate. But why is that? . The trouble with determining the purpose of kata, is that the purpose you find in kata is directly related to your understanding and your training focus. The key to the purpose of…

You have to factor in your opponents reaction.

The martial arts require demonstration to supplement the whole teaching process. I get it. I demonstrate to my students. However, I always incorporate some level of failure into my demonstrations. Why? Because a real life attack is unpredictable, chaotic, vicious, and brutal. Your techniques will probably not go as planned and you may have to…

You have to pressure test your application practices.

Most practitioners today do not have to face real violence which is unscripted and random. Any application practice, which is pragmatic in nature, should include many variations in technique and movement, using varying levels of resistance. . There HAS to be resistance, with unpredictability and failure demonstrated and practiced. You have to show what would…

“Do not pretend to know something you have not experienced.”

Open-mindedness involves being receptive to a wide variety of ideas, arguments, and information. This doesn’t mean that being open-minded is easy. Being open to new ideas and experiences can sometimes lead to confusion. . What you once practiced as a “block” or “punch” doesn’t seem to work the way you thought, and realizing is wasn’t…

It’s not the number of techniques you know, but how well you know them. 

Some instructors teach their students “just enough” and often these instructors believe that they themselves have been taught all there is. . Learning is often taken to mean memorization, and advancing from one grade to the next as education, and passing that grade to mean they are competent. . If instructors just follow the curriculum,…

A hands up guard may not be useful in self-defense.

In boxing we were taught the importance of a good, tight guard. When you put up a guard you’ve just consented to a fight. . Self-defense is different. In self-defense if you lift your hands and wait in your perfectly aligned tight guard, you’ve lost the initiative, the ability to surprise, and control the enemy’s…

Your Karate isn’t working!

“Karate doesn’t work”…… I hear this all the time. This is a meaningless statement without a qualifier. . Works for what? You have to define the goal and from there seek the solution. . For you, is it a martial art (culture, health, personal challenge, etc). Is it fighting, competition, tournaments (consensual). Or is it…

Karate is NOT only a striking art.

When karate began to move across the world in the early to mid 1950’s the training emphasis was almost exclusively on striking. Kata was not properly understood. . Even today you can still find karate dojo that teach kata without ‘bunkai’ (analysis/breakdown). Those first generation Western practitioners then went on to perpetuate the bias of…

Understand that your karate has some practices that are dysfunctional.

Mark Bishop(2) martial arts author and researcher, recounts that Shinpan Shiroma, a student of Anko Itosu, often admitted to not knowing the technical functions of some movements of kata, merely explaining that they were for show. . Itosu was in his 70’s when he finalized the Pinan kata and began teaching them within his school…