Will Real Karate Please Stand Up?

By Jesse | 32 Comments

So, I’m sitting on the plane right now, on my way home from spending yet another two awesome months in beautiful Okinawa – the birthplace of Karate.

During my stay I did a lot of stuff, as always, and some of it I wrote about here. But mostly I just trained. Because that’s why I go there.

To train.

Yes, yes, I know, some people go to Okinawa to take pictures of themselves training, while others go there without training at all – not even stepping their foot into a real dojo – but that’s not my steez. I hardly take any pictures, and I step my feet practically everywhere. Which turns out to be both good and bad.

As the Japanese saying goes, “you’ll never catch the tiger’s cub if you don’t enter its cave” (koketsu ni irazunba koji wo ezu).

One place where I spent a considerable amount of time was the Budokan. For those who don’t know, the Okinawa Kenritsu Budokan (as it’s officially named) is a public sports complex built specifically for the martial arts, which means you’ll see all kinds of groups practising there: MMA, Karate, Taekwondo, Kobudo, Kendo, Thai Boxing, Judo, Naginata, Tai Chi, BJJ… you name it.

A group I particularily liked to watch was the aikido people.

Aikido is cool. But I found it interesting that although they often got the “soft” stuff down really well (i.e. the rolling, throwing, taisabaki, circular/spiraling movements and such), their “hard” movements surprisingly often lacked any hint of power or strength.

I’m not trying to be disrespectful in any way, but they really looked like softies.

Seriously, these guys couldn’t even do push-ups. Not a single one. Sure, they were adults indeed, but they looked more like drunk college kids dry humping the ground on Spring Break every time it was time to do ten push-ups (which they did every class)!

Of course I found this difficult to watch, being the super strong and super handsome athlete you know me as (what? hey, don’t give me that look!)

I mean, you would imagine that being strong in the muscles of the core (which is what real push-ups is all about) should be considered important in a martial art that incorporate a lot of wide lateral movements, quick lifting, non-stop throwing, falling, rolling and flying action – like aikido.

Yes?

Apparently, no.

So, as you probably realize, the sloppy “karate-style” punches they were continually practicing defenses against (with their wide assortment of spectacular throws) could probably not even emergency-punch them out of a wet paper bag on a rainy day. They were basically just extending their arm in some lame attempt at copying what they believed constituted a real karate punch – something they had most likely never cared to properly investigate or study beforehand.

In other words, week after week, month after month, year after year – these guys are practicing their “defenses” to potentially life threatening situations purely based on assumptions about the nature of the attacks they are supposed to be defending against.

It’s tragic.

But…

So are we.

(Yeah. I said it.)

We’re JUST as tragic.

Question: When was the last time you “investigated” the haymaker? When was the last time you “studied” the sucker punch?

These aikido people might not be able to successfully defend themselves against a real, full force, straight on karate-style punch (since they never train against one) but can you defend yourself against a blurry shadow in the corner of your eye? Against a quick flash, a loud shout, and then a big “BANG”?

Because that’s all there is.

Then either you or your newly found enemy is KTFO’d.

Boom.

A split second.

Real life.

Self-defense.

No bs.

No time to put on a gi, tie a belt, take your shoes and sock off, remove your glasses, take your watch off, warm up, stretch a little, sip some water, get into a ready position and watch your equally prepared opponent in the eyes before you assume a perfect zenkutsu dachi ‘kamae’.

Forget it.

You know it’s not happening.

All you “get” is something blurry in the corner of your eye, and if you’re really lucky perhaps a glimpse of a furious face – before a flurry of fists comes flying your way. And hey, that’s not even the worst case scenario. You might be attacked without even noticing that much beforehand.

The thing is, in self-defense, or on the infamous ‘street’, only one person is ever prepared for what’s about to go down – and you’d better believe that’s never going to be you.

Never.

Because if you are, you won’t have to resort to fighting in the first place.

It’s like when this brown belt from our dojo once asked me why we never practice self defense from the usual kumite range he sees on YouTube (WKF Sport Karate style). So I said “please, let me demonstrate”. As soon as he got into the traditional ‘kamae’ ready position a couple of meters in front of me, I immediately turned around and ran out of the dojo in silence.

He stood there completely speechless.

(Sucker!)

Because that’s what you do.

It’s the only sensible thing.

In fact, if you have the luxury of facing your opponent square on, from the usual dojo kumite range, with your hands up, while being fully aware that something is going to happen any second now, then every moment you’re not running away to safety is another moment for somebody to get a first class ticket to the hospital.

Or, even worse: the mortuary.

Let’s pray that’s not you or your friends/family.

But of course, you already knew this. You know it, your sensei knows it, and his sensei’s sensei knew it. We all know that if somebody is going to attack you (again, on the mythical ‘street’), it’s probably never going to be straight punch trauma to the solar plexus (what we in Karate refer to as oi-zuki, or jun-zuki.). More likely, it’s going to be wild, swinging punch trauma to the left side of your face, somewhere in the triangle formed between your ear, chin and temple. After that, it’s grabbing time, and then it’s rolling time.

And I didn’t make this up.

When was the last time you practised defenses against throat grab (bottom left), shoulder grab (top left) and lapel grab (top right)?

Youtube taught me.

Police reports, crime witness databases, medical reports statistics… they all taught me.

It’s all there and it’s all public for everyone to read. Just Google ‘crime statistics’ and you’re on your way too.

It is a fact that if you are ever going to get attacked in real life, it’s going to be unlike anything you’ve ever encountered in the average Karate dojo anywhere on this planet.

Which is a problem.

(Unless… you’re not average).

Because, I mean, even though practicing endless 1-step, 2-step and 3-step combinations against straight punches (and kicks!) sure is a lot of fun (and great for coordination!) wouldn’t it be even more fun to know that in the case of a “shiitake-hit-the-fan” situation you could at least have some sense of confidence in your self-defense skills?

Huh?

Or, is teaching these kinds of skills simply too much to ask of all the Zenkutsu Sensei™ out there? I agree, it’s indeed hard to get full power in a haymaker when you need to have the back leg perfectly straight and the front leg bent in a 90 degree angle all the time!

But if you have time to come up with elaborate excuses why to not practice real life attacks (such as the haymaker) along with the various defenses against it, then you have plenty of time to STFU and train instead.

Show me a Karate-ka that encounters a perfectly clean straight punch to the chest (or face if you want to live on the wild side!) in the local pub/disco/bar/wherever-a-statistically-significant-amount-of-idiots-dwell and I’ll show you a Karate-ka that lives in LaLa land.

Because no such situation exists.

Unless you are  – and I find this highly unthinkable – actually attacked by another Karate-ka, skills honed to perfection by years of practising his deep, straight, stepping zenkutsu dachi punch against his mates in the dojo.

No comment.

Bottom line: Snap back to reality.

And no, I know, I know; your dojo might not train these types of things. In fact, most plain vanilla Karate dojo don’t. They surely don’t do in Okinawa. And certainly not in mainland Japan!

It’s sadly not a part of our (modern) tradition anymore.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t practise it.

You can do it both.

It has been said that the strength of the most robust thinkers is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in the head at the same time. Can you do that? The world is too nuanced for you not to. If you can’t think for yourself on different levels, what you take for granted will keep you running through other people’s mazes instead of making progress on your own goals, such as, you know, being awesome at Karate.

And I would like for you to be awesome, my friend.

Remember the aikido guys I wrote about in the beginning? Yeah. They were supposed to be a bad example. They had lost their connection to awesomeness a long time ago. We can’t let that happen to us. And just because you wear Karate pants instead of a black samurai skirt doesn’t make your situation any different.

At least that’s what I think.

Now go do some research.

You might owe it to the future health of yourself and your loved ones.

About the author

is a self-titled Karate Nerd™, best-selling martial arts writer, unreasonably handsome elite athlete, autodidact, karatepreneur and carrot cake aficionado. He really thinks you should become a Karate Nerd™ too.

32 Comments

  1. Dojorat

    August 2, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    I can truly appreciate this article. It proves that common sense and simplicity is better than complexity for effective defense. Effective and useful defense techniques should be aimed at the most common attacks an untrained person is likely to use. Less is also better than more. Just 2 simple defenses against haymakers and lapel/throat grabs are more than enough if drilled enough times. People already know how to fight by instinct, like all the other animals. Martial arts is just supposed to give an advantage by becoming better at it..at least that is the goal. If you train to respond to instinctive attacks, you will be prepared against 99% of people. What percentage of the population in your country are trained fighters or martial artists? Probably somewhere below 0.1%. Anyone who wants to test this idea can just ask an average person to throw a random punch.

  2. shane

    August 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    I believe Patrick Mccarthy calls it “Habitual Acts of Physical Violence”. Recommended reading “5 years one kata” by Bill Burgar, explains this very well.

  3. herrle 58

    August 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    True, so true.
    Especially the “ready position a couple of meters in front of me”-part.
    See this even from high ranking seneis a lot!
    I`m practising a different seldefense system, but karate is supposed to be all about self defense, isnt it?
    We ALWAYS practise real-life situations, self defense from simply avoiding dangerous situation to gently calm down aggression and lately deal with windmill-attacks!
    Dont get me wrong, i learned a lot from karate about control, power and balance and still love it, but i believe all martial artist (the poor aikido people you saw too) should keep reality in mind.
    Means: practise defense against common attacks, thrown full power within the proper distance!
    Hey, where`s the problem, after all you know whats coming while training.
    Of course i know you already do Jesse-san!

  4. David

    August 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I love your website, and I love the way you think.

    If I may suggest a better resource for real world fight videos, http://www.comegetyousome.com/ has an excellent selection of real world fights without having to filter through the high school kids re-enacting their favorite video game moves and posting them as ‘real street fights’ on youtube. It is a commercial site, and plagued with pop-ups and other questionable, not safe for work links, but as a clearinghouse for video reality it is pretty good.

    Also, as a self defense resource, I think you might find http://nononsenseselfdefense.com interesting. It is written and moderated by people who have experienced real violence.

    • Jesse

      August 2, 2011 at 7:46 pm

      Thanks for the link suggestions David!

    • Mike

      August 3, 2011 at 3:17 am

      Hey, I was going to suggest Marc MacYoung’s site!

      Thanks for the other link, though. I hadn’t seen that one.

  5. Noah L

    August 2, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    I have noticed this as well--karate for many is leaning more toward the “art” than the “martial” in regards to the strictness of stances and attacks. At both of the karate dojo I have trained at we have worked against haymakers and shirt-grab/punch combinations, as well as various other grabs and striking attacks. The funniest part is that my sensei is trying to get the younger advanced-kyu students to be more realistic and I have had to “correct” them when they punch “correctly” because I have watched how untrained people punch, and most of them seem to only have four types of punches--the haymaker, the cocked-back straight punch, the backhand and the hammerfist--and none of those look like “proper” karate punches :P

  6. Szilard

    August 2, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    “When was the last time you practised defenses against throat grab (bottom left), shoulder grab (top left) and lapel grab (top right)?”
    Last Thursday. The AC went out in our dojo, so Sensei said “lets not do anything serious today, because I don’t want you guys puking from heat stroke onto my tatami, lets do some self defense instead.” It was fun. I guess I will have to “fix” that AC as soon as they repair it. :)
    As far as I could recognize it was actually all Shisochin and Seisan. We used to do this far more often, once a week when I was green belt. Nowadays the training is more about tournament skills.

  7. Mike

    August 3, 2011 at 3:21 am

    I not only like what you have to say, I love the way you write, Jesse.

    “lost their connection to awesomeness” Heh. Awesome.

  8. John

    August 3, 2011 at 4:39 am

    Rory Millers 2 books “meditations on violence” and “facing violence” are a good start.

  9. Diego Romero

    August 3, 2011 at 4:59 am

    +1 for macyoung’s site!
    chiron training by rory miller is also an excellent one:
    http://chirontraining.blogspot.com/

    see, this is why i always insist that it’s one thing to train in a style and another to learn how to fight. nevermind the fact that “fighting” basically only means “actively participating in hostilities during a fight”, and a fight is an event. there isn’t anything that can make you good at “fighting”; you can only improve various tools that it’s up to you to use in a “fight”… if you can! cros-ref: fight vs. ambush. no defense against a sucker-punch or a surprise stabbing, no matter how much you eat and crap chi every morning.

    • herrle 58

      August 3, 2011 at 12:23 pm

      Haha, we real masters let the blade melt with our chi before it touches ;-)!
      No seriously: you talk about fighting, in case of karate or martial art we talk about self defense…difference is self defense starts long before physical contact is made!
      And there is a defense against a surprise stab: never let a stranger come close enough to stab you!
      In more than 30 years working as part-time security in the biker-scene (believe that every biker in our country has a knive at hand), i had not even one cut or on the other end a hit in my face.
      Have your eyes everywhere, never expose your back, don`t let unknown people come too close, interrupt before fists fly…thats the essence of martial arts.
      Sure, i know nobodys perfect and it could happen.

  10. John

    August 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    “difference is self defense starts long before physical contact is made!”

    I suspect a lot of martial artists just want to learn how to take someone out if they “get in their face,” ie win monkey dances.

    Really if you do everything else right you should never end up in a fight, which I think frustrates some martial artist. That’s why we have competitions, which is great as long as you recognize what it is.

  11. Joe

    August 4, 2011 at 3:03 am

    Just to be defensive…

    I studied Aikido while in college with an instructor who originally studied Shotokan, then began Kendo when he moved to japan and (oddly enough) couldn’t find a shotokan dojo, and then began his journey in Aikido. In general his favorite self-defense (besides not being there) was crowbar to the opponent, then run them over with truck, and finally, go home and eat a sandwich.

    Seriously though, I’ve witnessed (much) of what is described in the above article about “watered-down” Aikido. Apparently, this isn’t what the founder originally intended. I was taught that quite a few of the original students were asked to leave the Iwama dojo (O-Sensei’s home dojo) because they had a habit of seriously injuring other students. Also, one of the key “rules for training” in Aikido left by the founder was that, “Aikido decides life and death in a single strike”, and my Sensei in college did follow this sentiment.

    So there are some Aikidoka who still practice with kime and strength. Oh, he was also a track coach, so there was no problem with him doing 100+ push-ups, running miles, etc etc.

  12. James Pankiewicz

    August 4, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Jesse -- you have posted up some great posts in the past but this one I especially like. I wish we could have had this conversation before you left Okinawa and found some time to get up into the Budokan 3rd floor dojo to train together. And there was me thinking you were just all about kata competition!;) Seriously looking forward to seeing you in Okinawa again next time. Take care of yourself until and then and please, please keep posting (I know you will;)

    • Jesse

      August 5, 2011 at 6:56 pm

      James! Thanks for chiming in, and sorry for the rush before I left -- didn’t even get to properly dance on the tables at the DOJO (how does the kusarigama look btw?)! In any case, keep keepin’ it real, and I’ll see you in Oki ;)

  13. Diego romero

    August 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    the more violent aikidoka among the readers will probably enjoy this:

    http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102126&highlight=makotokai

    • Raymond

      August 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm

      I wouldn’t say “more violent” but perhaps “more realistic” is more appropriate. The Sensei does a good job of incorporating atemi in his response. I still believe uke should deliver a stronger attack.

  14. Greg

    August 4, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Some great points made very eloquently :) Thanks again for a great read and some interesting thoughts to chew over :)

    Take care

    Greg

  15. Michael

    August 7, 2011 at 5:58 am

    You’re on the money mate. I believe, back in the good ol days of feudal Japan, Aikido would have been really effective. Along with all the bunkai from our karate katas. All those wrist grabs we learn were relevant back then, because (correct me if I’m wrong) they used to keep valuables up their sleeves, like money. But times have changed. Now every revved up tough guy has spent a few months learning kickboxing or BJJ and can put a rear naked choke on. Martial arts must develop with the times and take this into consideration. MMA as much as I disagreed when it first came about, I believe, is the way of the future. I have been studying Goju ryu Karate for 22 years, and I’m tired of the fixed positions and the heart smashing straight punch. Yes it has still taught me the most valuable lessons of discipline and economical technique, but its not enough in this day and age. We must train for everything we can possibly that can happen in this day and age. I’ve also been learning Judo for the last few years. I recommend mixing it with your Karate and watch it open a whole new world of techniques!!

  16. Raymond

    August 9, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I very much enjoy your comments and observations. In defense of Aikido though, while there seems to be a growing number of Aikido dojos that practice the art as a form of exercise, art form, moving meditation with an emphasis on philosophy. There are also schools that practice the art as it was originally intended, as a martial art. This original form is very aware of the use of “atemi” (strikes) and executes with power without stiffness. This Aikido is relaxed until the moment of contact then explodes in its execution. The techniques are responsive to the actions of the attacker, teaches situational awareness, and will use strikes at any given point to hit, disrupt or distract. The art you see is a reflection of the perspective, philosophies and practice of the teacher. A good teacher would never limit the practice of an attack to the basic oi-zuki of Karate.

    • Leo

      September 14, 2011 at 4:54 am

      while there seems to be a growing number of Aikido dojos that practice the art as a form of exercise, art form, moving meditation with an emphasis on philosophy. There are also schools that practice the art as it was originally intended, as a martial art

      You made my day.
      In defense of Oizuki though, clearly it is fashionably to talk about self defense and realistic applications to read through the riot act. But what if Karate was surprisingly not devoted to kill the next robber? Let’s imagine the possibility of a different goal. Let’s get away from thinking Karate does (most definitely) train certain situations to master certain situations. What would be if Karate taught certain situations to master all situations and used all situations to master their certainty? Practically, acknowledge the oizuki’s most usable feature -it is far from anything one will most likely encounter in a combat. It represents an ideal which, of course, will never be achieved, but offers a clear direction. So the mistake of meaning it would be a super authentic situation reenacted doesn’t occur. Simple movements have simple advantages. A simple movement can more easily be controlled. A simple movement allows a more clear perception of the body. Simple movements can be coordinated in a binary pattern more easily. (A Binary pattern would be one situation -- another situation, attack -- counterattack, or say, realistic attack -- realistic counterattack) But all this is far from practising close combat. It means to learn how the own body operates in conjunction with another’s. Kihon lets one taste the possibilities in the movement of the own body. Kumite teaches distance and intercourse with others. Kata connects it to the whole rest of what Karate can mean. Close combat not excluded. Aikido is not so far from this. But instead of practising infight percussion distance, they practice a closer distance where it is about molesting the structure of the body more directly. This has to happen absolutely controlled, so the movements are preferably controlled and binary, clear to grasp. It is about serious injuries, so I find it rather undignified to await muscle-steering realistic streetfighters through the crowd. Nothing against muscle-steering realistic streetfigters, but martial arts is for everyone.

    • Leo

      September 14, 2011 at 5:19 am

      To add this, one past muscle-packed realistic streetfigter named Terry Dobson (who is known for his involvement in the Mythopoetic Men’s Movement) had a clear answer to kamae: “Cut that martial-art-bullshit.
      What whould he be telling about realistic self defense?

  17. herrle 58

    August 10, 2011 at 8:21 am

    “There are also schools that practice the art as it was originally intended, as a martial art.”
    Of course there are and this holds true for every martial art.
    All depends on the teacher…
    I understood this article as a reminder to ALL teachers out there, who forgot what their art is really about.
    The mentioned aikido group was just an example…it happens everywhere in every style. :-(

  18. Raddon

    August 10, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    This article has made me rethink my answer to the karatebyjesse facebook status a while back, asking what’s missing in the (online) karate world. I said respect, and indeed, that is missing. But I think the main thing thats missing is HONESTY. We have FAR too many instructors purporting to teach realistic self-defence when what they actually teach is anything but. What they teach may be indeed be excellent & they may be highly competent instructors, but not necessarily for the reasons they advertise. A cake makes a poor hammer no matter how well it is baked, after all.
    Equally though, I would say that people who openly criticise certain clubs/styles for not being ‘street-effective’ might be missing the point from another angle- a pleasent, friendly, family-oriented local wado-ryu club maight not have regular ‘animal day’-esque sessions, but could have a marvellous sensei who helps scores of children to learn some discipline, loads of overweight adults to become more healthy, and plenty of scared teenagers (show me one who isn’t in some way!) to become the confident young person they aspire to be.
    Martial arts are a force for good, but I think that until people are prepared to be a bit more honest about what they do and respectful of differing goals and viewpoints within the arts, a lot of that good will remain as untapped potential.

  19. Dojorat

    August 12, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Martial arts were devised to be martial. Physical conflict is the basis of martial arts and is what sets it apart from other physical activities. I did not start karate to get healthy or socialize. I consider those secondary benefits. A good martial art is one that is just as martial as it is art. Without the martial, all you have is art, which amounts to nothing more than a interpretive dance and gymnastics in a white pajama.

  20. Filius Rosadis

    August 15, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Dear Jesse-san,

    Let me say that I missed the humour of your example concerning Aikido. And I think it was irritatingly in bad taste when you used an image of Ueshiba sensei right next to your example of “sloppiness” in Aikido.

    As if it represented what you saw, you believed.

    It’s one thing to take pride in the way one chooses to assiduously walk, it’s another to accept one’s way as one among countless others on the basis of comparisons. It lowers your esteem, to yourself.

    There are various ways, many arts and philosophies, none superior, none inferior—each chronicling searches for the Way—the Way of choosing where we hope to place ourselves and our spirits in the world, and in the few moments we have in life. The way of “real” Karate is a way like “real” Aikido: it’s about listening to the sad voice that resides deep in our hearts that says that real opponent is only within.

    The spirit searches for peace and harmony with the universe. Musicians choose their own instruments, but all to make music. The search is for silence, for peace, and tranquility. Awesomeness is of secondary concern to any practitioner of the martial arts—unless they want to end up dying like Bruce Lee, or growing fat and meaningless like Steven Segal.

    My sincerest apologies for the offensive nature of my words.

    Filius

  21. ???

    December 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/409640_10150547893300329_507670328_11255350_1119997734_n.jpg

    Great article luckily there is a big trend in many dojos to start looking into the jutsu (skill) side of their arts. It is one of the few things we can thank Youtube and MMA for pushing alonf. I love both those things but they do sure cause a ruckus at times.

    As for Aikido I completely agree with you though I do not want to sway any one away from trying the Art. It can be a great complement to other training and because it is designed to be healthful practice it can keep you on your toes while giving you some time to heal from that hay-macker you accidentally did not block last class.

    Keep the articles coming

  22. Goran

    November 13, 2012 at 2:36 am

    That’s Andre Bertel on “No comment” picture, isn’t it?

  23. shankar

    November 15, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    O.K Today 7 hours back one kid in my school just tried to hit my head with a downwards strike closed fist and he’s the worst kid in class and he looks horrible :like he never had a bath in his life and drenched in sweat, he tried hitting me and I simply did an age uke with a counter-attack punch, the kid almost fell backwards. Now lets see any one of you guys give a bad comment on gohom-kumite, sampon-kumite and ippon-kumite

  24. Rodney

    February 24, 2014 at 2:07 am

    This is my favorite out of all your articles that I’ve read so far (maybe 10--12). I like your way of thinking and your use of logic. Some of your articles are basically karate apologetics (not a bad thing in the sense that there’s something to apologize for, but more of a legal defense). While I agree with you that there are a lot of effective movements in bunkai, I continually see even the most reality-focused karate teachers training one way in kata, another way in bunkai, and yet another way in sparring. If your goal is to keep the art as it’s always been (even though probably no teacher in your lineage left karate unmodified), it would take at least 15 hours per week to learn kata, bunkai, and kumite as basically 3 different systems. I no longer have the benefit of a direct karate teacher, although I receive some instruction in BJJ and MT, but I still enjoy training karate (uechi ryu). I’m gradually unifying my kata, bunkai, and kumite (not point kumite) to be almost identical. All it took was slightly modifying the stance, raising the hands 6 inches higher, eliminating hikite, and modifying a few moves (replaced ura uchi with agi zuki etc.). I know you defend hikite as it could be interpreted as a grab and pull, but sometimes it’s just a bad punch windup. Anytime people start sparring full contact, even when people can grab the dogi, hikite mysteriously disappears. I’m not knocking anyone’s skills, because I know some karate people can fight. I could fight even when I was training pure traditional katas, but I was spending tons of time on it, and I’d have to modify my techniques back and forth from kata to kumite. Sorry, got off on a tangent there. I loved this article. You absolutely need to train against realistic attacks. Gedan barai as crossface to stuff wrestling takedown anyone?

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