What is the best style of karate?
This is an age old question. Martial artists and desktop warriors have debated this question over and over, arguing their style of karate is the best and the strongest, while others state that mine, “works in the street”; MMA or BJJ is best for realism, ground and pound….. But really the question is inaccurate. Best for what exactly? Self-defense? Tournaments? Physical training? A good workout?
The answer will vary according to several factors; including your goals, your physical condition, your availability and mindset, which type of school is in your area, if you are willing to travel.
The real answer is there isn’t one system that is better than another. Everyone has a different interpretation of what karate is and what they want from karate.
Jesse Enkamp the self-confessed ‘Karate Nerd’ states that; “You will never fully learn everything there is to learn about Karate. The minute you open a proverbial door of knowledge, ten more doors appear. Although this can seem scary or daunting to some people, it’s the opposite for me: It makes me even thirstier for more knowledge about various old masters, concepts, Japanese words, philosophies and historical gems out there.”
I’m with Jesse on this. Personally I need more than just punching, kicking and the never ending push-ups, sit-ups and tire (tyre) kicking. These are important facets of karate of course, physical training is important too, but there is so much more……. “Nothing is more harmful to the world than a martial art that is not effective in actual self-defense.” – Choki Motobu (1870-1944)
Any martial art, or style of karate that fits you, is the best. Remember that the instructor is much more important than which style of karate is the best. If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. Remember that karate is not something to learn just for an hour a week. Learn about the culture, the language, the history, the philosophy and the people. Find the right instructor, find the deeper connection. Your karate. ??
With thanks to Jesse Enkamp
? Nakayama Masatoshi (1913 – 1987)