27 Kinds of Karate People That Annoy Me Greatly

I know, I know…

You probably think I write these articles lying naked on a bearskin rug, feather pen and glass of wine in hand, with no worries on the horizon.

Pretty much.

(Actually, replace the wine with carrot cake and milk).

However, even though my saint-like nature and ridiculously impressive character often seems to suggest that I’ve achieved inner peace to the point of Buddhahood, the truth is that wringing out these Karate articles, books, products, secret projects and videos eventually takes its toll even on humble Karate Nerds™ like me.

And I’m not talking about mouse elbow or writer’s cramp.

I’m talking deeper stuff.

You see, there are moments when even I get fed up.

Fed up with with things that happen in the Karate world. Things I see, things I read, things I hear, things I feel, things I notice…

In 9 times out of 10, these things are caused by certain people.

And the time has come for me to ventilate.

Today I’m presenting you with a list, in no special order, of 27 kinds of Karate people that annoy the heck out of me right now. People that, if they suddenly vanished from the face of the earth, would instantly make the Karate world a better place for the rest of us.

(I’m 101% convinced that you know exactly what kinds of people I’m talking about.)


Let’s examine them together:

#1: Senseis who believe their own hype.

They once began as humble students. Although they didn’t necessarily have “talent”, they still worked hard, trained every day and stayed passionately humble. Then “POOF!”, all gone. Today they have their own dojos, huge organizations and loads of students – but what once was a true feeling of humbleness and gratitude has shifted – to narcissistic worshipping of their own ego. They post big images of themselves with made-up quotes on social media. They print t-shirts with images of themselves. They build a cult around their own hype. And the saddest part? They’ll never realize it. On the outside they appear successful, but on the inside the fetischism for their own legend has strangled their Karate spirit. Out cold.

#2: People who believe in “ranks”.

The idea of belts and ranks in Karate sounds awesome. Just like communism, flying cars and jetpacks once did. Until you realize that nobody has a flying car, jetpacks only have fuel for 30 second flights and communism… well, let’s just not go there. Nonetheless: Belts, ranks, diplomas and credentials are the perfect marketing tool. Why? Because they work. They truly do. People are gullible. The widespread notion amongst the general population – that Karate degrees are standardized worldwide, like academic degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, Ph.D.) – is a big reason McDojos thrive.

#3: People who trash-talk certain Karate.

The fact that so many people talk trash about traditional Karate (“it’s too traditional and impractical”) is as stunning as the fact that so many people talk trash about modern Karate (“it’s too modern and impractical”). Folks… it’s two sides of the same coin. We just have different sets of goals. But the method remains the same: Train. Your. Ass. Off. Another man’s path isn’t less “worthy” than your path – especially not when those paths lead up the same mountain. At the end of the day, we have two arms, two legs and one head. Use them as wisely as possible to attain your goals in Karate. What you then choose to call your path is less important.

#4: People who believe they don’t deserve success.

This is especially obvious when it comes to gradings (belt tests). People simply don’t believe they deserve to succeed! They begin each training by excusing themselves from doing their best (“Sensei, my toe hurts a little today, so I think I’ll just go half speed.”), making things harder than they have to be. Don’t fight against yourself. Fight with yourself. Overcome those speed bumps and stop being friggin’ afraid of progress (remember The 10 Karate Nerd Commandments?). It baffles me that I constantly need to convince and remind grown-ups that a) not only are you capable of doing the techniques I teach you (otherwise I wouldn’t have shown it to you in the first place), and b) you owe it to yourself to train like you deserve nothing but the best results.

#5: People who take themselves too seriously.

My DNA is 96% chimpanzee. So is yours. In other words, we are basically nothing but monkeys flying through space on an organic spaceship (the earth) spinning around a huge ball of fire (the sun). Sounds ridiculous, right? Exactly. Still, some people insist on acting like their poop doesn’t smell. So please, do us all a favor and remind yourself that tomatoes have 7000 more genes than you the next time you put ketchup on your holier-than-thou sandwich. The tallest rice plant bows the lowest.

#6: People who never try grappling.

You thought Karate was strictly about punches and kicks? That’s cute. You’re just forgetting the simple fact that 99% of original Karate was based on the premise that your opponent is not only trying to beat you senseless with his fists, but also trying to wrestle you down and/or control you. That was the case hundreds of years ago, and that is still the case. I’m not saying people should learn ground techniques, grappling escapes, joint locks, throws and takedowns, but at least watch some YouTube clips so you know what to expect. Or, here’s an idea: Try a free class of Judo, Jiu-jitsu, Aikido or Wrestling. You’ll be humbled in roughly two seconds. Then go back to Karate and keep that feeling in mind.

#7: People who act like they’re the spiritual reincarnation of ancient Japanese samurai warlords, even when they’re clearly not.

You’re not fooling anybody: You eat soggy cereal for breakfast like the rest of us.

#8: Senseis who start meaningless organizations.

I get it. You want to feel like a boss. But here’s the deal: There are thousands of secret treehouse Karate clubs already. Why should we join your? And don’t tell us that you’re the spiritual reincarnation of an ancient Japanese samurai warrior. We need more than that. Show us what unique benefits your organization provides, what new knowledge we’ll have access too, what useful connections we’ll be able to make and what awesome events we’ll be able to attend. Otherwise, just stop it. We don’t need another membership card. We need the human connection.

#9: People who constantly display their medals.

You know when kids sometimes show you their cute, but horribly ugly, drawings? We smile, nod, pat them on their heads and say: “You must be really proud!”. Well, it’s the exact same with Karate people who love showing off their trophies and medals. If you are one of those, repeat after me: “The true measure of my skill is not attached to anything other than my own flesh and blood. I am the total sum of my own experience, pain and suffering in the dojo, and no medal or trophy can ever outweigh the magnitude of this realization.” When you understand this, you can finally feel free. That’s when you start putting the medals in the sock drawer. It’s not about not being proud of your achievements. It’s about not letting them limit you.

#10: People who are not Karate Nerds™.

Seriously. Just read my 7-day guide and make your life easier. You won’t regret it.

#11-27: Dude, I think your boss is looking over your shoulder. Let’s speed through the rest!

  • People who travel all the time. Fleeing themselves and the lives they’ve created. Or worse, they’re telling themselves they’re after “self-discovery”, “exploration” or “new perspectives” – when really they are running towards more distraction and self-indulgence. (Also, where do they get the friggin’ money?). As Seneca, the Stoic philosopher, once wrote about the restlessness of people who compelled to travel: “And so we must realize that our difficulty is not the fault of the places but of ourselves.”
  • People who do all their kata applications (bunkai) against Karate techniques (i.e. mae-geri, oi-zuki, yoko-geri etc.). I have just one question: Why would another Karate-ka attack you on the street?
  • People who claim to be “traditional Karate-ka”, but have never held a bo or sai. Okay, I get that there are various interpretations of the word “traditional”. But every, and I mean literally every, dojo in Okinawa has traditional weapons (bo, sai, tonfa, nunchaku etc.). Many masters insist that you practice both. Even George Kotaka, multiple-times World Champion in kumite (WKF), did loads of Kobudo (the art of using the aforementioned weapons) when I visited his dojo in Hawaii earlier this year. I’m just sayin.
  • People who hype bacon. It’s good, sure… but that good?
  • People who think a job, by definition, must be boring. And therefore Karate isn’t a “real” job. The entrepreneurial pursuit of putting food on the table through teaching Karate is just as much of a job as anything else. The part where you put on a gi is just the icing on the cake, though. Most of the real work happens behind the scenes.
  • People who don’t like carrot cake. (What’s wrong with you?)
  • People who think all Karate uniforms are the same. Just wait… you’ll see.
  • People who think they’re alone on the Earth. No you’re not. Everything you do affects other people. The whole earth is a living organism – and you are a part of its collective counsciousness (whether you like it or not). I’m not saying that you need to care about everybody else. I’m not even saying that a shitty decision from you will automatically have shitty consequences for someone else. But keep in mind that we’re in this thing together. Don’t be a douchebag. That’s all.
  • People who are hard on others, but easy on themselves.
  • People who make lists of other people who annoy them greatly.
  • People who don’t learn from their failures (or successes).
  • People who don’t use blinkers, who yell a lot, who fart in the dojo, who think other people should be responsible for raising their kids, and who put too little frosting on carrot cakes. Seriously. Bro. The frosting is half the experience.


Which ones did I miss?

Your turn.



  • Devi
    People who only show up in tournaments without due practices thinking that they can pull it off because they're 'good'. :/ discipline in Karate is shown though constant practice of the art.
    • Jake
      Also can I voice something can we just get rid of junior black belts too many kids think a junior black belts means they are an actual black belt people who don't deserve it are getting what the wider populace thinks is a black belt thus martial arts is starting to have a lack of respect towards it.
  • Alex
    The people who disrespect any art because they don't like it. For example the people who refuse to learn any submission because they claim that ground fighting is not martial arts.
    • alexandra Allred
      Do people seriously claim ground fighting isn't martial arts??
  • Fabian
    People/sensei who won't let you get your break. Srsly! Say you are muscle sore and decide to skip a certain exercise, those guys say stuff like: "On the street you won't get a break ether" yeah but, on "the street" I won't have to do push-ups, right?
    • Practice doesn't make perfect. The practice of perfection makes perfect. If more Karate teachers understood this we would have better students, with fewer injuries (and fewer blog rants) for sure, Fabian-san.
      • Alex Ngo
        That comment you made is exactly what my sense I teaches us I guess he reads your articles too huh?
      • Interesting...fifty years ago my piano teacher said, "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." I'd love a piece of my late aunt's carrot cake right now.
      • Jimmy Fogel
        Lol bow to the ketchup monkey !! i Agree with everything and it was amazingly put only thing i think practice doesnt make perfect and practicing perfection makes you perfectionist , perhaps practicing learning from mistakes and going through failures
    • Patrick Montone
      That weak attitude will in effect get you badly hurt in a real combat situation. The more MENTALLY/PHYSICALY fit you are during a fight, less chance you have of ending up in a coma. Unless you’ve been in combat or humped 60 pounds for 10 miles or went days with little sleep during patrols, you don’t know soreness. Evil knows your fear and weaknesses and will invade at last. Evil men don’t take breaks cuz they know only The Cause
  • saaleha
    I LOVE CARROT CAKE!! :D <3 LOL but for real i agree with everything you've said. Especially about the grappling. I believe theres more to karate than we are taught. A few years ago i remember learning sweeps and throws, but since my organisation changed its just so much more.. sport?? its now become about how many medals a club wins and which Sensei has their head so far up their ass they believe their shit don't stink. clubs don't even recite the Dojo Kun anymore, they dont know why they train they train because 'oh yeah, my dads making me do it i don't wna do it but i have to' so why the heck are you there wasting everyone else's time! Theres even a great deal lack of respect from younger graded students to higher graded students vice versa. You only gain respect if you give it on both sides. Not to mention newly graded shodans who believe they are Gods gift and all your years of training means shittall beczuse it took them 3 years to gain their black belt and too you longer. So therefore it must mean they are superior.. -___- ..wow that was a rant lol! (-_-')
  • HarryL
    (unless I miscounted) People who promise a list of 27 items but only provide 26.
    • Harry-san, the "learn from failure/success" counts as two! ;)
      • HarryL
        My sincerest apologies Sir. I will work my forms (TKD - I hope that's okay) tonight as a sign of punishment & atonement.
  • Jesse San, A very insightful ,and well presented article...helped while away some of the mind numbing hours at Munich airport....been traveling for 36 hours...Cape Town..Johannesburg, Frankfurt,Munich ....to get to Catania for IOGKF European Gasshuku....WHY DO THEY NOT PROVIDE DOJO FACILITIES .....the beer garden was adequate But?
    • Do some Sanchin in a restroom stall, Sandy-san! Stay strong!
  • Joël
    "People who make lists of other people who annoy them greatly." Bwahahahah!!! I love your sense of humour and the fact that you're willing to poke fun at yourself in the process. Other pet peeves about karate people : - People who don't ever practice outside of class. If you're only coming to class once or twice a week, you're not going to improve your karate. - People who talk too much. Seriously, less talking, more training. - Overly dramatic people. Yes, I know your out of shape and you're having trouble breathing. I don't need a Shakespearean act about it. Solution : see above.
    • Every dojo has its Hamlet, Joël-san!
  • eco
    People who make lists of other people who annoy them greatly That one made me laugh. Usually when I'm in that mood to hate the entire world, I have to realize that all those negative feelings are in real against my self. In most cases....
    • True, Erich-san. I generally shun negativity too (both as producer and consumer), but today I made an exception.
      • Jenny
        You call THAT negative? It was such a good laugh!!! Don't be too hard on yourself, Jesse-san
      • courtney ellis
        I was eating carrot cake today muuuhahahahahaa!! and it was good!!
  • Josep
    People who do kumite with you and stop the fight to yell "That's not allowed!"
    • Jack M
      ^My life
    • Scruit
      The exception to this is when the technique they throw is extremely dangerous. I don't call people on blind backfists or other mildy dangerous stuff - but I have called out a white belt on eye gouging and throwing a thrust kick against the front of my knee during 3-point sparring. My lifelong training won't last very long when you blind me and fold my knee up the wrong way.
      • Robert
        Holy cow, Scruit!!! Why are people without enough training to know how not to cripple their brothers and sisters being put on the mat to spar? Some control is warranted here!
  • Mark A
    I got your back on this one. I think venting./ranting now and then, is a healthy thing. As is calling people out for being so far up their own ass they need a map and flashlight to find their way out. Now, in my own defense- I will exit the dojo to fart whenever possible. But protein shakes have ramifications, one is flatulence. So, if one sneaks out while strenuously exerting myself, my bad! And it ain't nearly as bad as having someone rip ass on you while trying to sub you with sankaku jime! So let us keep some perspective here. Keeping the list going- Dojos with way too much air karate.. Makiwara, pads, bags, please use them. Pad holding is an art unto itself, so learn it. And spar more often. Consider this one a supplement to the impractical argument. Because the one thing both sides of that coin agree on, is that a lot of karate systems, as they are trained, are impractical. If your dojo is not guilty, this is not directed at you. (I think this makes me guilty of trash talking certain karate?) Fat sensei. Yeah, I just went there. You don't get to rest on your proverbial laurels. Try leading by example, would ya? Oh, and lose the ponytails and mullets while you are at it. I know, I am being an asshole. But hey, these are things I find mildly annoying. And this is an article that encourages venting.
    • Comment. Of. The. Month.
    • Shawn
      FAT SENSEI! Seriously: how can you teach Sanchin without actually displaying how the muscles work to pull the bones into place... I have seen some fat Uechi Sensei. STOP EATING ALL THAT BACON!
    • Daniel Handler
      I know an obviously overweight sensei and he was talking about "if you want to lose weight, there is no magic shake, similarly there is no magic shake to get better at karate, you just have to put in the effort and practice." So a student kid (8 yrs old or something) walking by asked why he hasn't lost weight and the sensei replied "Hey! It's all muscle! I hear you talking like that and you're gonna owe me pushups, ya hear?" Like seriously c'mon dude just admit it already and STOP EATING FRIGGIN BACON AND DORTIOS LIKE C"MON. Ok I'm done;)
  • Lib
    Dear all-ka People who stop practicing something because they think they have understood. But they have left their partnerts unfulfilled and wanting more...... People who say that they understand but don't show that they understand People who think research is not part of karate Teachers that have stopped researching and practicing themselves Teachers that assume that because they can do it, a technique is automatically simple Teachers that refer to the old times like they have been imported from 1890's Okinawa The sad thing is that one can forgive students that fall into some of these "mistakes" although it is much more difficult to forgive teachers who willingly fall into them. Mistakes are part of development in students but I would like to think that teachers should know better...
  • Charles James
    Ops, you forgot the 28th, people who make up lists of things annoy them about karate persons. hehehehheehehehehe ;-)
    • I didn't forget it, read again Charles-san! ;)
  • Point 2 made my day! so many people are stuck behind these stupid ranks/Certification like: "Hi, im mike. certified 2.Dan Black belt. nice to meet you!" or "You have to pay 200 Bucks for the trainees certification! Its Important to have one! Whitout you are not a real Trainee!"
  • Cesar Gonzalez
    People who prefer to be head of a mouse instead of a lion's tail (I do not know how the google translator translate what you just wrote). I'm talking about those people who create their own association but have no real reason, or to follow hundreds of people, just started a new organization to feel the BIG BOSS. People who train kumite and when I hit them shout that stroke is not legal, because it is forbidden in the competition ... but the fact is that the coup came to your body and it hurt People who teach bunkai taught him but never discussed or investigated other bunkai Instructors who teach Bunkai but Karate classes teach hitting just as if they could not train Karate techniques dislocation, etc. Instructors who talk about the Japanese of the 21st century like the 18th century Instructors who speak of the Japanese as perfect beings, as role models, as examples of life Well, if I continue my post will be longer than that of Jesse Greetings and Peace (excuse my English google translator)
  • Jim
    People who Compose lists of People they don't like in Karate..... ;) ...and as I "Believe" in Ranks I suppose I'd better disappear from this site never to darken your website again Jesse-San :( ...but before I go I'll just say "why" :) It's only - in my opinion - those NOT involved with the Martial Arts who fall into the Category of thinking that "A Black Belt is a Black Belt is a Black Belt" - irrespective of Style/Art/Gender/Age/Fitness-Level/Colour-of-Gi/Colour-of-Obi/Years-Training etc. Anyone who is or has been involved in the practice of a Martial Art Knows how a "Black Belt Really Hangs" with respect to Ability Knowledge and Understanding - but be that as it may I still believe that Rank warrants Respect so when I say that I "Believe" in Ranks - what I mean is that I think that in most cases (self awarded or even "bought" in some cases Ranks excluded) achieving a certain Rank equates to at least some level of commitments and effort on the recipients part and that in itself is worthy of Respect -at least on some level. ....and after all isn't Respect is a Key requirement for a Traditional Martial Artist? - and Oh Yes I also "Believe" in the Dojo Kun ;) Belief doesn't necessarily equate to Blind Acceptance or Subservience.... at least not in my "Book".... Ossu!
    • Rattus2025
      I think that you do more to actually prove Jesse's point than disprove it. Respect is gained through a demonstration of knowledge and a showing of respect to the student. I suppose what i am trying to say is that if a teacher is deserving of respect, it will be shown, and doesn't need to be forced because they happen to hold a hire rank. Experience is shown in knowledge and application, not by the color around your waist or the certificate you hold.
      • Jim
        Perhaps I've managed to confuse you or/and expressed myself badly ;) Firstly genuine Respect cannot be "forced" is can only be "given freely" IMO So given what Jesse actually said... #2: People who believe in “ranks”. The idea of belts and ranks in Karate sounds awesome. Just like communism, flying cars and jetpacks once did. Until you realize that nobody has a flying car, jetpacks only have fuel for 30 second flights and communism… well, let’s just not go there. Nonetheless: Belts, ranks, diplomas and credentials are the perfect marketing tool. Why? Because they work. They truly do. People are gullible. The widespread notion amongst the general population – that Karate degrees are standardized worldwide, like academic degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, Ph.D.) – is a big reason McDojos thrive. I'm not actually saying that the words he uses are not true/accurate - I'm saying that those statement alone are not enough justification for "hating" People who believe in the value of "Rank" - all Jesse is doing is stating examples of how a "worthless rank" can be gained and that in itself surely isn't enough reason to simple assume that ALL Rank is worthless ? As an example you could say that "Age" is a version of "Rank" in some societies - sure it's possible that if you are sitting on a bus that has all seats occupied and an elderly person gets on that this person is actually 25 and it and healthy but wearing a disguise - and shock-horror maybe even in disguise just to get someone to give them a seat EEK! - or maybe worse they are a murderer !!! But does that "possibility" mean that you should just sit there and ignore them ?
        • Ignore ranks, ignore age, ignore training time - learn from everybody. (More: https://www.karatebyjesse.com/choosing-the-right-path-towards-the-ultimate-aim-of-karate/)
          • Jim
            Nope ;) Already seen it - enjoyed it at the time - doesn't change my opinion now either :)
  • Jim
    .....BTW I'm also a bit of a Joker - so I will of course not be "Leaving" ;)
  • People who bash Taekwondo. People who don't think that Taekwondo practitioners can learn from Karate practitioners and visa versa. People who get mad when I point out how Taekwondo owes a lot to Karate and other martial arts, so it's ok to read and learn about karate, and even study it!
    • This is such a good comment! Many KbJ readers only practice Taekwondo, but are still open minded enough to realize that we have much to learn from each other. As a side note, check out my writings in the upcoming issue of TKD Times Magazine, where I have my "The Karate Nerd" monthly column... for this exact purpose.
  • Ron
    People who Talk and write in very public forums (Web Sites, Magazine features etc) about "Karatedo's Innermost Message" and how "Commercialsim has destroyed Karate" and how "Ego has no Place withiun the Arts" and then who go on to trash talk others swearing in a manner that would make an army private blush, who then go on to sell their books, DVD's, T-Shirts, Membership and who promote themselves as Hanshi this or that, large images of themselves in many poses .. this list go one. Then they start up their own Koryu aligning it to an Okinawan Master even though their are already several traditional styles out there within which they could practice and develop their theories (so why create yet another "style"). Making up Kata and then assigning it the names of long-dead Karateka who they have never had a connection to .................... sound familar???
    • Haha! Say no more, Ron-san... But you forgot an important detail: If you don't pay the membership fee, they block you on facebook :)
  • James Mowrey
    Jesse-san, I'd say between you and the readers comments you pretty much covered it. Quite well actually. The only things I would add to the comments are in reference to Numbers 2 and 3. #2 When I first started back in "63" I heard another student asking about belts and ranks. My Sensei politely told the man, that he didn't give rank, that if that was all he was here for he was in the wrong place and if he wanted a belt he could purchase one at Montgomery Wards. #3 I learned a long time ago NO Martial Art is superior to any other! What makes it appear so, is the man or woman using it and how much they love what they are practicing. They can make it appear great or they can make it appear dismal. You and I have both been around enough to know when we watch a fight who has that love in his soul. The arts themselves are just tools to use along the path each of us has chosen. Shamus
  • Matt
    The "corrector" who may be graded just lower or higher than you, who in pairs drill, kata, bunki, anything, will 'identify' a minuscule "error" in your karate. They will then spend the next period of time condescendingly running through every single step, half step and half half step of the technique so you can "understand it better". When you do it again after their 'correction' they tell you how much better you are and smile with that smug, smug smuggy face. This is all despite the fact that you have been doing the technique for longer than them, are considered better at the technique and could in fact help them more than they could help you. Even the Sensai is not immune from their "assistance"! Mawashi-geri to the head!
    • Or shuto to the neck!
  • Josep
    People who stops your bunkai yelling that you can't do kicks because "There are no kicks in this kata!"
  • JP Nettles
    Let me preface this statement with the fact that I am "old school" celebrating 40 yrs of training this July 27th. With that said I am guilty guilty guilty as charged with trash talking certain types of karate-do. No, let me stop, I can not in good conscience call it karate-do but rather karate-like athletic endeavor. Yes I am talking about "sport/modern/extreme/tricking/tournament" karate. I am a retired Army guy, been training since 7 and have been blessed by many outstanding Sensei in my life. I just can't get past the total lack of martial application in any of the aforementioned entities. I mean, sure they train hard and are extremely good at what they do and great athletes...but that does not make it karate. I know, I must suck in the eyes of Jesse-san Sensei, humanitarian and all around good guy, but c'mon!!!??? tricking? 12 year old blackbelts? Dr.Professor, Hanshi, Renshi, Kyoshi super kung-fu fighting karateman at 25? Say it aint so Jesse! say it aint so! I risked my life for my country for 27 years and am rewarded with a bombardment of mcdojo's? I am of the firm belief that even if not humbly accepting of others, sometimes wrong is just well, you know....wrong! Isn't it? Signed 1stSgt Retired Old karate-dude from the 70's
    • No worries, sensei! Tricking, XMA and McDojos don't qualify as Karate in my book either. So, technically, we're allowed to say whatever we want about those. :) Keep keepin' it real and let's never give up on true Karate-do!
      • Having been on the receiving end of an acrobatic kick way back in the day, I can say that I respectfully disagree that there are no martial application to the more flowery and flashy techniques. I just would not want those techniques to be my first choice. You can still beat a more gymnastic martial artist by keeping your feet on the ground and using your wits (which is what I did). That said, I would eventually like to get around to learning some of that stuff just for the challenge of it. And that said, there is STILL a lot of things that I know I need to learn that do not involve attempts at defying gravity. Also, more acrobatic moves make for cool demos, and I see them as part of the ART of martial ARTS. Why be 100% martial? 99% martial, or less, yes.
    I cannot stand those Sensei's who cannot demonstrate a technique which they expect their students to do. Sensei's speaking English like a 'japanese' by training in 'okinawa/Japan for just a fortnight though they have been speaking 'English' since their childhood. Sensei's wearing designer gi's in lieu of traditional one's and claim they are teaching 'ko-ryu' or 'old school'. Senses who change their schools like they change their under-garments. Sennsei's who acquire their dans by jumping organizations. Dr.T.Mohan Raja
  • Dod
    #6 re grappling is especially important, but I think you should have gone a step further and said we definitely do need to learn throws and arm-locks etc (at least as secondary skills) not just be aware of them. This is because they are in the Kata that we all practice and practicing kata without practicing the applications is only half the story
  • Sabine
    Karateka who only own one decade old uniform which will within five minutes of training reveal yellow spots and emit a horrible odor :( Perhaps it's meant as a deterrent? And, what's wrong with bacon, Jesse-san? You've probably haven't had the right kind yet! :)
    • Sabine-san, there is nothing wrong with bacon - I even had some yesterday! But... why do people hype it so much? It has literally become a cult! :O
    • AlexN
      - People who complain about smells ( that's just juvenile - ever smelled a cook after after a long day of hard work in the kitchen ?) - Also people who complain about people who can't afford more than one "uniform" - as you call it. You know, most of the REAL training is done in shorts so you don't have anything to grab on to when doing those moves other than flesh, eye sockets and genitals. Try, just for kicks, to do EVERY bunkai with a sweaty, over 2 metres 135 kg dude after sanchin and hojo undo.
      • Sabine
        Sorry, for being "juvenile", Alex N, but we seem to like some form of etiquette in the dojo - wearing a clean dogi is part of it - IMHO. I do NOT mind sweat ... I dislike people with lack of personal hygiene.
        • AlexN
          Yes, people like to cling to their precious etiquette. Makes them feel less ape. And how do you know that person doesn't wash their clothes after every session? Or themselves, before and after every session, for that matter? The smell? The sweat? Well... who could have known physical effort made you smell?
          • AlexN
            Pardon my english. I rarely use it.
          • Scruit
            If your gi smells like onions, don't be surprised when I find another partner to roll with...
  • Andrew
    People who obsess with gradings. My belt just holds my gi together, its colour is no reflection upon my competence
    • Jesse
      Ugh... Don't I know this one. I'm training in a new dojo due to location problems and my teacher segregates people into different classes based on belt rank. (IE Advanced class on sunday etc.) I can understand his desire to keep people from getting the wrong idea or learning a dangerous technique without building on the basics to the point where you can perform it without injury to you or your partner, but one shouldn't spurn the quest for knowledge just because of a lesser belt rank. We've got some really talented lower belts who would benefit from advanced teachings due to their maturity and willingness to learn. That can't be bad, right?
      • Juan Alfred Rodriguez
        Due to priorities, had to take a hiatus from Karate for 11-years (been doing Karate in Japan for 6-years)... I moved to the States 3-months back, and after several weeks of searching, I found a dojo that I may like. In talking to the Sensei over the phone, he invites me to try out the classes FREE for a week, and decide whether to join or not... So, last night - I showed up in t-shirt and gym pants (no, I havent told him that I was a JKF Sandan). But when we started Kihon, did he realize that I had prior experience commenting that I had good Kihon - he then allowed me to practice along with the Black Belts. After class he asked about my background, I gave him a summary, but held off in telling my rank (he wasnt asking and I wasnt expecting - c'mon, I have been gone for a decade). Then he invited me to try the Elite Class (that trains extra for WKF Kata Competitions), thinking that I may like it... Then instead of a week's FREE training - go ahead for a week or two. Once Im serious in joining then that is when we would discuss details (I didnt bother asking - all I was interested was whether I could afford the classes). Would see how it goes as I show up tomorrow evening...
  • Ian
    Parents who sit at the back of the dojo and talk ... loudly ... during instruction ... during seiza ... yeesh!! Black-belts who won't step out of the way when the kyu-belt students are cleaning the floor. Okay, dude, I get it that you have already paid your floor-cleaning dues, I get it that you want to chat with your Nidan buddy you haven't seen in a while, I don't *really* mind you not helping out clean the place ... but hey if you could turn on the "awareness" thing that your belt says you have and manage to take two steps to the left when the kid comes by with the broom or washcloth, that'd be ... great. People who won't volunteer help and constructive criticism to their fellow karate-ka. People who won't accept help and constructive criticism from karate-ka who are not anointed with the title of "sensei" or "senpai" or some such thing. . . . ... and lastly ... . . . ... people who don't tell us more about their super-secret and super-fantastic karate gi project. (j/k ... but dude, spill the beans already!!)
    • AlexN
      Uhm, from what I know, being a black bealt means more floor cleaning than everyone (being humble and all that). You might be in the company of lazy people with a stick up their ass.
  • Ian
    Hey, can you do an "opposite article" to this one? Sort of a "thank goodness for people like this in Karate" so we can all give some extra props to the sort of people we like and respect in karate ... and highlight some traits we'd like to see more of??
    • Great idea, Ian-san! :)
      • Josep
        Maybe an "It would be great if all karateka ..."
  • Josep
    People who hit you with all their power and then complain when you touch them...
    • alexandra Allred
  • yajmah
    Grappling point - agree Bacon point - disagree
  • Jack M
    Bad sparring partners. We all know one, most of us have been one (guilty). either they hit too hard, aren't able to adjust to sparring with people of a different skill level and over power people, putting them off. some go the other direction and run away, which helps neither party learn anything. Whilst less despicable than McDojo pillocks, they/we aren't half irritating.
  • AlexN
    To Mister Jesse, Although I agree with most of your points there on your rant, I feel that you diss people who travell "too much" because... why ? I wish I would travell all the time. I only live once and there's not enough time in ONE life too see just your own country ( I mean really know it not just driving by and looking at it, but on foot ). You say they flee from the lives they created... what if they have really crappy lives or a really shitty family (guilty!) ? What if they weren't blessed with a good financial situation like others ? Or what if they realized money = bullshit and travelling on your own two feet is free and more satisfying than living in the sterile, abstract man-made environment ? Is it really that important to spend that much time trying to live up to the standards of these absurd "societies" to the point of compromising yourself when you have so much to see and learn and so little time ? It all ends in the grave, Mister Jesse so....why are you annoyed if other people do what they like ?
    • It's fine to travel, Alex-san. But do it for the right reason.
      • AlexN
        Well, yeah... but who decides what right is ? Someone's wrong is someone else's right.
        • Exactly! And if you check the URL (address) of this website, you will find it contains a name (hint: it begins with "J" and ends with "esse"). This website is based solely on his opinions. And in this case, he believes more people would benefit from traveling "inwards", not "outwards". Simple as that. :D
  • Jesse (Not Jesse)
    My turn! 1: Sensei who meet with other sensei to discuss what is 'right' and what is 'wrong.' Don't get me wrong, discussing kata etc isn't a bad thing, but thinking what is 'right' and 'wrong' is being closed-minded. 2: People who learn how to punch someone's kidneys out their nose, then go out and brag about how they can punch someone's kidneys out their nose. That's not cool. That's scary, especially when it comes from someone who takes their karate seriously; IE Physically fit guy. 3: People who learn how to punch someone's kidneys out their nose, then don't realize that they're learning how NOT to punch someone's kidneys out their nose instead. Half of technique is learning what not to do. Listen to what your sensei says. There may be a reason why he's teaching you something. 4: People who assume that they know karate, therefore they are better than others. 5: People who learned little, and talk lots. IE People with that dangerous little knowledge that makes them think that they know what they're talking about. (Includes a fair number of sensei I'm ashamed to admit.) 6: People who blow your eardrums out with Kiai. Ok, sure you could out-scream a howler monkey and your lungs may consist of a third of your body, but you don't have to scream at the top of your lungs EVERY SINGLE COUNT!!! Learn to breathe from your bellybutton like in Sanchin and pipe down a bit. I think the dogs one block down are barking in agony. 7: Bigots: If you think that 90 pound girl can't throw you across the room because you're 17 stone 100'th dan black belt, a foot taller, and have pecs on your abs and fists for nipples, let me teach her a little about center of gravity and we'll see if she's still unworthy of your respect. 8: Sensei who single someone out for boorish reasons. Ok, so he can't properly perform Tekki. So what? Instead of pointing it out repeatedly and openly, do a little one-on-one and find out what the problem is. Maybe he benefits from personal teaching, or is anxious in a group. I have LOTS more to go, though I think I'm going to stop for now. :P
    • AlexN
      No. 6 - met some of those people. I really don't understand why they think it helps them to scream that much. Sure, screaming, supposedly, is said to excite you and get the adrenaline flowing. That's not true for everyone. No. 7 - yep, throws are not based on pure strength. Hell, most of the stuff we learn are not based on pure strength.
    • That Bastard
      About the 7:Bigots.... There are the opposite annoying people too you know. Those that when they see a huge and largely built practitioner do not lose a moment to go on about how ''big lummoxes like him'' will totally go down when punched/kicked/thrown by the resident dojo's tiny asian girl/lightning fast midget/whatever. Do they really think that just because the guy is huge, he will be completely tactless or that he will not have any shred of dexterity or balance and he'll just swipe away like a bull on roid rage? One of the most immature and inexperienced ways of thinking in my opinion.
    • Keith
      Regarding 7: "Bigots: If you think that 90 pound girl can’t throw you across the room because you’re 17 stone 100’th dan black belt, a foot taller, and have pecs on your abs and fists for nipples, let me teach her a little about center of gravity and we’ll see if she’s still unworthy of your respect." I don't think Number 7, Bigots, is accurate. I think 'Bigot' has been overused today, so I will move on from that term quickly. But the 'bigotry' issue isn't really about the issue of someone being a woman. It is an issue about size and the perceived strength and assumptions made about strength based on that size. Granted, men generally have much more strength than women as a rule. It's genetic. But, again this isn’t about being male or female and it’s not really about strength either - most Okinawan masters (who are male by the way) are like 5'1" tall and 110 lbs. and their size “matters not” as Yoda would say. Technique will always beat size and strength. If you put size vs. size or strength vs. strength and you are not 6'5" tall and 325 lbs of sheer muscle, you stand a chance of losing. If you are 5'1" tall and 110 lbs. and jab your index finger up to the second knuckle into the eye of your opponent (a well-placed technique to an appropriate target) it won't matter if they are 4 times your size and strength. They will be nothing but an eyeball in agony consumed in an inferno of searing pain. Maybe if people could perceive a person’s technique and skill simply by looking at them then the 17 stone, 100th Dan black belt, etc. wouldn’t disrespect the 90 lb. female Karateka to begin with.
      • Keith
        Addendum: I understand that the Masters have developed incredible strength after decades of practice, and success in combat is more than just employing appropriate technique. But, once again ignorance of a Master's amazing strength and stopping power could happen very easily when looking at someone who is 5'1" and 110 lbs. Of course, until they move on you in self-defense... ;-)
  • Clark
    People who fart in the dojo... nailed that one on the head. One time I had to leave the dojo and practice in the hallway...
  • Drew
    Okay, so here are my biggest pet peeves: 1.) People who run dojos that don't don't have a dojo kun or any meaningful creed at all, and don't teach the humble, meek nature of a true martial character. I see FAR too many martial arts schools whose students are absorbed with fighting and show little or no respect. 2.) People who insist that karate is ONLY a striking art that is devoid of grabs, joint locks, submission techniques, and throws. These same people seem to be completely unaware that Karate is a comprehensive and complete martial art which is not lacking, and that the katas that they've practiced have many, many layers of applications including tuidi (aka:tuite or torite). Hardly anybody even teaches tuidi these days 9if they even know what it is), and it is a fundamental part of Karate-Do, just like kyusho and kiko (which are also scarecely taught or practiced). Karate is not just a product of the Chinese Kenpo (chuan fa) that came to the Ryukyu islands, but is HEAVILY influenced be the indigenous martial arts of the Ryukyuans, most of which were arts that focused primarily on grabbing (the opponent's limbs or body, not their gi as the karate gi didn't exist in Okinawa yet), joint manipulations, locks, throws, and yes, ground fighting. These techniqes were crucial elements of early Tode (early name for Karate) or Ti, and they have sadly been lost to much of the modern Karate world. I'm not saying that we should never cross train in another style, say Jujitsu for example; but what I am saying is that if we learn all that Karate has to offer us, the same Karate will work for us whether we're standing up or on the ground. 3.) Instructors who run dojos that don't teach the true history of the art alongside the techniques of the art. Karate Do has a beautiful, rich, and fascinating history. It is something that is worth studying and preserving. 4.) People who "Karate" schools that are only concerned with what my Karate master always referred to as "showboat-ryu." These are those styles that are only concerned with learning flashy acrobatics for impressive demonstrations. I'm sure most of you know what i'm talking about. They don't teach any formal Karate forms and may not even have any roots in an actual Japanese or Okinawan Karate. Some are just based on a mix of TKD or kickboxing, and learn how to swing their weapons around in a way that looks really cool. I know it's not my place to say whether or not such styles have value, because they do to those who practice them. However, it doesn't promote the humble and meek nature of Karate Do or the true virtues of bushido. Even though they are often presented as such, these styles don't always have any real efficacy as far as self defense is concerned, which concerns me greatly. It also really bugs me when these schools use the name "Karate" and then people see their demonstrations thinking that that is what karate is all about, which it is most certainly NOT. I am glad the people who practice these styles have fun though.
    • Drew
      I also get really frustrated when I accidentally submit something with glaring typographical errors before I had the opportunity to edit them. Lol :-P
  • David
    People who think blocks are not blocks. They can be other things as well but there still blocks. People who think blocks are meant to be hard. When you block hard you loss control of there arm or leg making it hard for you to counter.
    • Juan Alfred Rodriguez
      Believe it or not, but there are schools/ryuha/etc. that blocks are meant to be hard. Ever trained in hardcore Okinawan Karate in Okinawa?
  • I disagree, the icing is at least three quarters of the experience! Seriously, great article. See many of these characters on a daily basis.
  • greetings Jesse San My wife , makes arguably the very best carrot cake in the known universe, and various sentient beings have attested to this fact...so if you ever decide to visit the best land based whale viewing site on earth...Hermanus.. ,as our quest, you can judge for yourself my addition to the list: 1 senior Dan grades who forgot that only an empty cup can be filled...one can repeat one years learning 20 times or gain 20 years experience 2 The back stabbing amongst karate people...especially heads of organisations? 3 airports without Dojos Furthermore, i have just started on the Bo and Sai...and what a learning curve...hips play a big part....so pay off in karate makes this a no brainer warmest Sandy
  • Craig
    How about those that you beat in a Kumite competition. After which point every time you pair up in training they try and 'win' against you even in basic exercises. Ego.
  • Kohai Carter
    Those really old blackbelts that have a ton of belly hanging over and just come to tournaments so they can criticize people or show off their belts And it turns out that they haven't been training in like 25 years AND WHEN YOU'RE GRAPPLING those people that end up being confused when they forgot the technique and just lay on you like a blanket.
  • "but what if you go to the ground?" the student asked, "I never get taken to the ground." the Karate instructor quips back. No kidding, I heard this once at a martial arts function called "October-Fist" that used to be held up here in Western Canada. Great information, and entertaining writing style. Why have I only found your website now? Thanks, I am subscribing.
  • My list: -People who think you never fail at a grading exam (especially the parents of fat/spoiled/noisy kids). Believe me. -People who don't wanna involve themselves in their own karate - going the extra mile thing... -People running after the belts/grade rather -Sensei's who think of their uke as punching bag (always easier to punch someone who's supposed to not defend himself... -People who dont' kiai -_- -Experts in finding excuses to avoid sparring... Btw, very nice and fun article ;)
    • That Bastard
      What's with people who do not kiai being annoying? I never kiai and that's okay with everyone.
  • Jesse. Be honest: You never farted during karate exercise? It's natural. It's your body! It's Not nice, of course. But Nobody does that by intention. Sometimes this just happens. I just want to prevent people from taking medicines against there natural body functions. Or is Carrot-cake protective? By the way: Could You post your favourite recipe, please?
  • Peter G.N. GRIFFIN
    Hilarious !, laughing already - all in a days routine : get up, Sh#t, shave, shower, and shine, dress to the nine, Breakfast, two eggs, toast, milk, MMA training, Lunch, sandwiches fruit, milk, siesta, MMA training, Dinner, omelette, mushrooms, cheese, vegetables, peppers, chicken, Desert, carrot cake, intermission, gas, bed !, Night all !
  • Morrigan Rossa
    Mid-stretch when the guy infront of you farts.... worst..thing..ever... haha
  • Martin
    I've just got to comment on something that happened to me. It's about your #1 type of person that annoys you. I used to do Kung Fu. At this tournament that my teacher did, the medals had him on it, a picture of him doing a pose right in the middle of the medal. I unfortunately was rewarded one. I've never in my life been disappointed at winning something. Or one of the instructors who hyped himself so much when talking about how he made up new katas and how they would just come to him and they would be so awesome (along with that weird twinkle in the eye). Gladly I left that world and have been doing (and loving) Aikido for almost 2 months and will soon start Goju-Ryu Karate.
  • Moondog
    Something I find more silly than annoying - karateka barely in their 20s sporting frayed, gray belts. What a waste of bleach!
    • Mokita
      Ironically all the Japanese masters from our association wear brand new black belts. They consider it unsightly wearing a tatty old belt. I know guys that have taken sandpaper to their black belts in the first year to try and make it look older. It's easy to spot as parts of the belt are still brand new.
  • We all have people that we have crossed paths or hands with in the arts that annoy us greatly, there is no problem in stating your opinion, good, bad or indifferent. There is also no problem to call someone out when you see a problem, like giving (selling) rank or claiming they studied with someone because they had a picture taken at a seminar, the list is vast. We are not politically correct rice eating sensei, we are supposed to be gaining strength and yes temperance... the temperance is not slapping some of them up side the head.
  • maja
    I got one! people who refuse to admit that there are things, good things! happening outside their box. why do you want to live in a box? don't you ever get bored? have you ever considered that when someone thinks the opposite of what you think that maybe you should listen to their argument and at least pretend to be thinking about it? especially when these are people who are otherwise lovely
  • Gary
    People who don't respect their belt or gi drive me crazy. When I see food stains on a gi or cuffs that look like they've been dragged through the mud or people who have been practicing for a year or more and their pants are still 3 inches too long it makes me want to scream.
  • 1. Guys who refuse to spar me properly because I'm a girl 2. Guys who won't hit me with half decent strength in ude tanden (conditioning) becauese I'm a girl 3. Girls who expect not to be hit properly in class because they're girls 4. Guys who do bunkai involving a chest push directly on-boob 5. yellow/orange/green/purple/blue belts who have zero control and go to sparring class, not even bothering to learn ANY control whatsoever before they start to spar with their classmates, and assume it's okay to throw full-force punches at someone's face 6. People who expect I can't lift the Kongoken because I'm a girl (even the women expect I can't lift it, what?!?) (I can lift it, though) 7. Girls who throw around the "because I'm a girl card" (lol) 8. People who don't understand why I show off the bruises I worked so hard for 9. People who don't understand why I don't try to get rid of my knuckle scars 10. People who don't get why I can't go out with them "because of karate" 11. Younger girl students with long hair who don't pull their hair bacj 12. teenagers/tweens who try out their first class for the first time and ask why they're not allowed in the adults-only orange-belts-and-up sparring class 13. People who think they're god's gift to karate... and they're not 14. Brown belts who honestly have no idea what they're doing and then try to tell me what to do. (It's only the brown belts. Wth.) 15. The fact that my dojo has no guys my age who haven't quit in the first year 16. Older Adults who assume they outrank me because I look younger than them. (I swear, how young can 22 look??) 17. People who are adamant that they're doing a bunkai/application correctly even when they're not, and won't listen to me when I try to correct them 18. Younger students who think they don't have to listen to me because I'm the younger, relatable senpai.
    • Bucksmallsy
      Dear Silverroses, Osu ! I read your posting and must say I'm sorry to hear your frustrations / concerns. Given the number of issues you list - I would LEAVE the Dojo you are at and seriously find a Legitimate Kyokushin Karate School that's genuinely affiliated with either IKO 1 (Matsui Kancho Japan), or IKO 3 (Matsushima Kancho Japan). There are very few schools in the western world that are: (a) genuine, and, (b) registered with a legitimate Honbu in JAPAN. Thus all Yudansha Gradings are conducted at Honbu Japan, or a registered Annual National Training Camp in your country. Either way, this IS how it is run in Shotokan Karate International Federation (SKIF, under KANAZAWA Kancho JAPAN), and the aforementioned Kyokushin Karate Schools under MATSUI KANCHO, and MATSUSHIMA KANCHO. Standards are absolutely non negotiable in such Martial Arts Organisations, as is the case in all Militaries the world over. Hence Martial Arts translate as 'Miltary Science' and therefore MUST be run and adhered to as such ! Otherwise those running their Dojo's are doing a great disservice to those who maintain THE standards and truths necessary to be privileged to be awarded the Kuro Obi ! To grade Shodan in Kyokushin is brutal to say the very least; however IT IS NECESSARY in order to weed out the one's (1st Kyu Grades) who are NOT Spiritual enough to be TRUSTED to become a part of a very select few world wide ! Shorin Ryu under Fumio DEMURA Kancho is run the exact same way however it is fast become evident that there are more and more western Yudansha whose skills sets are without a doubt, highly suspect, and therefore non-genuine ! In addition to have a Dojo with so many issues as you have mentioned falls squarely on the Sensei / Shihan running your Dojo. For your fellow peers / students to behave with such disrespect would result in OUR Dojo with serious consequences (eg. significant injuries as passed down by our Sempai's DURING class Kumite) . Remembering Kyokushin IS Bare Knuckle Full Contact - just watch on YOUTUBE in order to educate yourself IF you're not familiar with OUR fighting style; it is the foundation of what K-1 Kickboxing was built on). So such peoples, and incidents are very rare given the hierarchy and behaviours omitted by the Kyokushin Yudansha's themselves. One lovely young lady who I hold as a dear friend, and who has always shown me nothing but genuine kindness, love, and respect is Sensei Naomi Ali (Wood). Naomi IS the only female in the World to attempt, and complete successfully the 100 man Kumite in Kyokushin Karate (under John TAYLOR Hanshi, whom also is my long time teacher (20 years) / father figure). Naomi is an absolute inspiration and delight to train with and be around socially - an overall true ambassador to the Arts in general. Just because you are a young woman should not be looked down upon in any way shape or form. I pity those who treat you as you've mentioned. A grave shame, a grave shame indeed ! Again, look to another Dojo/ School; but I assure you that Kyokushin Karate whether you register with IKO1 or IKO3 - you will be welcomed with open arms, and witness a very different structure that does not and will not tolerate anything short of absolute respect and compassion for one's fellow man / fellow woman ! Hope this helps ! ??? ! Osu ! Bucksmallsy Sempai IKO3
      • Silverrosess
        Oh! Thank you for your concern, but my dojo is very legitimate, trust me - I know a McDojo when I see one! I'm just easily annoyed with people and things. I'm not looked down upon by anyone, and love most of my peers at karate - they just tend to be careful/cautious if they don't really know me or how I train. There's a LOT of respect in my dojo, but the few people who lack it usually exibit the traits I mentioned above. And those people are very few, but they are there, and are usually lower ranking belts, meaning they still have a lot more to learn about dojo respect than someone who has been in karate for 10+ years, so it is somewhat excusable - but the things they sometimes do still annoy me! Lol. Mostly the things I mentioned are trivial, but still kind of irking. I love my dojo, and even if they DO exibit the traits I mentioned, I respect everyone I train with. Again, I don't look at the things I mentioned as serious disrecpect, just slight annoyances I see because I'm so easily bugged by things.
    • That Bastard
      About 4 : Well now, this might be just an honest mistake. and about 9: Just out of curiosity, why do you choose to not get rid of the knuckle scars? Nice post overall.
      • n10sRed
        My question would be: How do you even get rid of knuckle scars?
        • Silverrosess
          There is some kind of scar cream you can get that will fade scars, and it works too. I chose not to use it because I worked hard to split those knuckles! They're like little tiny battle scars from working hard in class. Lol!
          • Bucksmallsy
            Dear Silverroses, Osu ! Do NOT get rid of your KNUCKLE SCARS EVER !, embrace the fact that you even have them, and remember that by having them, will act as a deterrent to foolish, arrogant males when you are AT THE BAR (NightClub), or even at the Dojo during Kumite. Men / boys, notice females hands, especially their knuckles, and this will either deter a Sh@tbag male, OR attract them with their respect for you, knowing NOT to toy with you ! After all - YOUR knuckles ARE a weapon, and ONE HIT in the right place of someone (idiot male) always results in either serious concussion, or even permanent blindness). Either way, its your hard earned tool to use should you feel it at all necessary ! Again, be proud you've worked toward having robust knuckles, as most males in any fighting discipline, are pathetic , and cut corners when it comes time for knuckle push-ups, and also using the Maki-wara ! Well done, and keep up the 'PUSH'(Osu) ! Osu !
  • That Bastard
    ''Do NOT get rid of your KNUCKLE SCARS EVER !, embrace the fact that you even have them, and remember that by having them, will act as a deterrent to foolish, arrogant males when you are AT THE BAR (NightClub), or even at the Dojo during Kumite. Men / boys, notice females hands, especially their knuckles, and this will either deter a Sh@tbag male, OR attract them with their respect for you, knowing NOT to toy with you ! After all -- YOUR knuckles ARE a weapon, and ONE HIT in the right place of someone (idiot male) always results in either serious concussion, or even permanent blindness). Either way, its your hard earned tool to use should you feel it at all necessary ! Again, be proud you’ve worked toward having robust knuckles, as most males in any fighting discipline, are pathetic , and cut corners when it comes time for knuckle push-ups, and also using the Maki-wara !'' What is it with the overly zealous male bashing here? Not every man is out to abuse and degrade women you know. Also, people other than males can be malicious too.
  • Bucksmallsy
    To 'That Bastard', Pull Your Head In ! My comments ARE NOT OVER ZEALOUS and were replies specific to SILVERRROSES -NOT you ! The mere fact you think it your right to pass judgement on my comments intended ONLY TO Silverrroses just highlights YOUR arrogance ! Most disapointing comments from you indeed ! Osu !
    • That Bastard
      The content of your comment encompassed a large group of society which I deemed you were too judgmental on in an unnecessary, one sided, and perhaps even borderline slanderous way. Since you posted this in public and not on a private message I considered it fine to give my own personal opinion on the matter. Where is the arrogance in that?
      • Guys, take a chill pill. This discussion ends now.
  • Gary
    Now lets all remember that Karate always begins and ends with respect.
  • People who think training must be boring. No enjoyement allowed."karate is a serious matter, we're not here to have fun". Like its a sin to take pleasure in doing karate...I really pity them. I noted that most of those I Know tend to start their own "meaningless organization" ou to prove that their truth is THE truth. They recentely had a major argument and split their organisation in two... Buy one, get one free ;-) Another one: People who stop training to stare at you when they "sense" you round them. They like "can we help you?", or "something's wrong?"
    • Bucksmallsy
      Dear Junior, Osu ! I hope you are NOT a member within Kyokushin (IKO1 / IKO3); however, if you are a member of either organisation I've mentioned; I wonder if you are a registered Yudansha ??? Kyokushin translates AS 'Society of Ultimate Truth', and those WHO do train, and follow THE WAY under people like Matsui Kancho, and Matsushima Kancho and grade SHODAN or above, ARE the REAL DEAL when it comes to fighting ! Which IS the whole point to any martial art - it is to have such a unique skill should the worst case scenario ever rear its ugly head ! There is NO substitute for FULL CONTACT / KNOCK DOWN KARATE ! I was a member of another significantly large organisation (SKIF) over twenty years ago and realised Kyokushin Yudansha dominate full stop against ALL OTHER STYLES WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO BEING IN THE RING (i.e. K-1, MMA, UFC, Knockdown Karate Tournaments etc). This IS a black and white statistical fact ! Not an opinion ! I also admire those whom study in Goju-Ryu, Kempo-Ryu Karate, Shorin-Ryu, provided they are training THE OLD WAYS ! Again, NO substitute for FULL CONTACT ANYTHING ! Osu !
      • Hi Bucksmallsy-san, Nope, I'm not a member of one of the schools you mentionned. Btw, i don't think you've got my point. I wasn't talking about who's a better fighter than who, grades, etc... I'm not in that kind of debate. But I totally respect your opinion, though. Have a great day!
      • Warren
        How does any of that relate to the post you were replying to? "There is NO substitute for FULL CONTACT / KNOCK DOWN KARATE ! I was a member of another significantly large organisation (SKIF) over twenty years ago and realised Kyokushin Yudansha dominate full stop against ALL OTHER STYLES WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO BEING IN THE RING (i.e. K-1, MMA, UFC, Knockdown Karate Tournaments etc). This IS a black and white statistical fact ! Not an opinion !" Seriously? Hilarious! I think there's something wrong with your caps lock button.
  • Byron
    Self-proclaimed Masters - 10th Degree Black belts; I attended a friend's grading a few years ago and I was surprised to find out that his Sensei was a man whom I had known through my earlier years (as a teen) when I was first introduced to karate. This same man at that time was a blue belt in Renbukai and was vicious in class - he would strike the younger students repeatedly in the face if their blocks weren't fast enough. I recall watching my friend (an orange belt) at the time doing kumite with this man in the dojo. My friend was punched in the face several times and had a bloody nose (might have even been broken) by this savage brute. I was not interested at all in this type of karate, and years later found Sensei David Jones (then with the JKA, now ISKF) and began training under his tutelage. Flash forward to my other friend's grading - here is this same man now teaching "Family Karate," but what had me rolling in the aisle laughing was the fact that he sat there (in a gi) with running shoes on, instructing students on punching technique, from a seated position. Not once did he ever stand up to demonstrate any technique! I asked my friend what rank he is and I was told that he is a Master - a 10th Degree Black Belt! At the time I think I was 4th or 3rd Kyu - learning Bassai Dai, and this friend of mine was going for his "second grade black belt" Nidan? I asked. No, second grade black. Oh, ok . . . ?? What kata will you do, I asked? BassaiDai, he replied. Ok, great - show me, I'm just learning that one myself. He couldn't get all the way through it. I had to help him remember all the moves. And get this - he passed his exam. I hate to say it, but it was the worst demonstration of karate I've ever seen. Another self=proclaimed Master is Olaf Simon (Simon Kung-fu). If you've ever seen his television commercials you'll see what I mean. As phoney as a three dollar bill! And one more I encountered when looking into Wing Chun. First of all the monthly fee was $120, but the clincher was when i asked when Sifu taught - as to get the best bang for my buck - I was told that he doesn't. Well, who teaches the class, I asked? I do, said the guy showing me around - he did have a golden sash, however. When I watched a video on YouTube of a grading at this school, I saw the Sifu (and I use that term loosely - very loosely) sitting in a chair in a corner, in the dark, critiquing the student's exam. It too was a horrible display. Then I thought to myself; is that . . . ? No, it's just another self-proclaimed Master collecting an easy paycheque. My other "Dojo No-Nos" are: - Students who do not wash their gis - Students who do not wash themselves, especially their feet! - Students who do not cut their toe nails - Student who have not mastered self-control, and - Students who think all kata is one speed - fast. And not just fast, but as fast as humanly possible. I recall one kid who would fly through Empi in 15 seconds, and then would just beam because he thought it was perfect. I know everyone thinks they have the world's best Sensei, but I really do. Sensei Jones (7th Dan) is a true Master, even though he will never proclaim this himself. I also want to pay homage to Shihan (Master) Yutaka Yaguchi (9th Dan). I have had the honour of training under his tutelage, and I wish to get back to training asap, so that I can see him again. Shihan Yaguchi is now in his early 80s and I truly miss his seminars. Osu!
    • Bucksmallsy
      Dear Byron, Osu ! your email rings true ! That's WHY I stay in Kyokushin after 20 years ! It IS one of only a handful genuine styles where passing your SHODAN grading is HELL !, are are all one's Dan testings after your SHODAN. Full Contact Bare Knuckle Kumite IS the only way to WEED OUT those who are fakes / frauds in ever reaching their Shodan. REAL Martial Arts ARE meant to be next to impossible to reach one's Kuro Obi otherwise the true essence of being a Yudansha is nothing more than an exchange of money and loss of authenticity ! I still to this day maintain my own integrity by being very careful who I train with and or under. I always investigate those I am planning on training with in order to avoid being associated with someone whom isn't whom they claim to be, or isn't the level of Dan grade they claim to be. Credibility IS EVERYTHING in anything in life ! It is HOW we know those we surround ourselves with are THE REAL DEAL !, and it reflects our own judgement of knowing Bullsh#$ ! Osu ! Bucksmallsy Sempai IKO3
  • Keith
    I didn't read all the responses, so maybe I am repeating someone, but I hate people who actually actively practice Karate routinely - and they have an ego. It's not necessarily that they have an ego because they practice Karate (because we're supposed to be humble, right?) but somehow they never shed their ego during the journey of their training. An even bigger thing I detest is any Sensei who do not address this 'ego' issue when it occurs in their dojo. Maybe that ego person feels insecure, or they are jealous - probably both. But let's be honest, respect is earned, and if you have a higher rank (simply meaning that you've put in your time and have great Karate skill and are near to or have achieved a Black Belt) it is grossly inappropriate for you to be, for lack of a better word - a douche. It is even sadder when a senior Black Belt allows that person to be a douche. It is an insult to the true spirit of Karate. I have known some real douches in my time in Karate, and somehow their douchery isn't addressed by those in charge. Why is that? There is no good excuse for this.
  • Brian Green
    People that will elect to take a fre medal than leave their empty division for a similar division when given the opportunity.
  • David
    Jesse, seriously... Bacon-Ryu Karate-do!!! THAT would be awesome ;) How about another annoying type : the ones who consider Ju-Kumite being the "end-of-training-free-for-all-lets-butcher-everyone". Kumite training looks so neglected to me now. I love kata (a lot!) but several dojos I went to gave such poor interest in Kumite training...
  • Warren
    1. People who think their style/sensei/club/own abilities are superior to all others when they know nothing outside of their little circle of experience. 2. Delusional martial artists ho think their club doesn't encourage their students to participate in competitions because "the moves we teach are deadly" when really it's because those students would get their arses handed to them due to the ineptitude of their instructors. 3. 'Martial artists' (I use that term very loosely) who think that martial arts is nothing more than an elaborate self-defence system and have no understanding of practising martial arts for its own sake. 4. People who get jealous rather than inspired when they see someone more skilled at something than themselves. 5. People who think that full contact sparring is in some way superior to light/semi contact sparring that teaches control, and actually try to use this as a justification that their style/club should be considered superior. 6. Instructors who give up on the struggling students and just let them get on with it because they're either too lazy to help them or don't have the knowledge and/or teaching skills to help them improve. 7. Self-deluded martial artists who think they're far better than they really are (really common). 8. Martial artists who don't like being taught by someone younger than they are or by someone below a certain age. 9. Instructors who openly disrespect rival clubs and/or other styles. 10. People who make no effort to control the power of their strikes when their supposed to be doing light sparring. 11. People who just go through the motions with no conviction when they strike when practising partner one step drills. 12. People who don't even acknowledge that they've been hit cleanly in continuous sparring and just carry on with their strike and think it's okay because it's continuous sparring. 13. People who slag off flashy moves because their 'impractical' (see point 3). 14. People who slag off other martial artists that use their skills gained from martial arts to branch out into other fun hobbies like tricking. 15. Crap senseis who make it up when they don't know the bunkai and out out with some really ridiculous and hilarious applications. 16. People who think hard work and effort are the most important attributes needed for progression rather than focus and relaxation. 17. People who think training shouldn't be fun. 18. Sexism from men who think that women are in some way inferior. 19. Sexism from women who have a huge chip on their shoulder and are clearly out to prove a point as if they somehow represent all of woman kind. 20. People who scoff at things that they have no understanding of, like chi. 21. Bad losers. 22. Bad winners. 23. Kids who just muck about. 24. Senseis who let kids just muck about. 25. Overly competitive martial artists that judge themselves by comparisons with other martial artists. 27. Traditional martial artists that slag off more modern styles. 28. Modern martial artists that slag off more traditional styles. 28. People who take the time to list everything that annoys them when that time would be better spent doing something useful, like training. 29. People who don't consider blocking with my face a legitimate reason to discount the point. :)
  • Jack
    “People who do all their kata applications (bunkai) against Karate techniques” I've thought about this a lot over many years, Two things that have consistently seemed important to me. First -- I deliberately forced myself to watch (with the sound turned off) some of those really trashy TV shows where disfunctional persons are goaded into attacking each other on stage. Invariably, they windmill their arms vertically and punch downward toward the head. We should be paying some attention to that, it seems to me. Also, I've seen very few fights, or even disagreements, between persons who are walking around barefoot. I have become convinced that karate for defense purposes should take that fact into account, and devise some new or modified training and techniques for persons who are wearing shoes. “People who think blocks are not blocks. They can be other things as well but they're still blocks.” Sensei Toguchi in his second book – “Advanced Techniques of Shorei-Kan Karate” -- stated of kata: 1. Don't be deceived by the Enbusen Rule. 2. Techniques executed while advancing imply attacking techniques. Those executed while retreating imply defensive or blocking techniques. 3. There is only one enemy and he/she is in front of you. Then he expanded on those ideas. I think that his second comment (above) especially, is worth doing a lot of thinking about.
  • Loriane
    What annoys me the most is people who don't commit themselves. Karate is a commitment. If your heart isn't in it, you won't achieve anything. When I first began Kyokushinkai, my sensei was dedicated and respected the dojo kun but then she started to come less and less until she abandoned her class. I understand that her schedule didn't allow her to come often, but she could have decided to do something before abandoning her dojo. If I commit, I commit with everything I am. When I fight, I fight with my life.
  • Ant
    Most annoying things about karate are; 1. People who quit training as soon as they get their black belt, thinking thats the job done. 2. People who think in sparring the idea is to just hit everyone hard to hurt them a little so that they will fight scared in future 3. People who turn up to train and put in as little effort as they can get away with thinking that in 3 or 4 months they will be awarded their next belt because they can remember the new kata
  • Eliza G.
    I don't know if this is a problem for others, but when I was a kid there were always people who would just scream. They wouldn't yell for the kicks or say "Yes sir" to the instructor, they would ONLY scream ( They would also brag about it , too. They would always talk about how they're so amazing and better than everybody in every way..)
    • Jacob
      I had a kid like that too! They would always just seem very angry for no reason! They would just scream in people's faces! They were quite rude, too.
  • Must say I agree with all these points. regarding Mc Dojos I have to say one thing that really really annoys me is seeing people wearing their belts over a t-shirt. even worse when the instructors do it. total disregard for etiquette and tradition.
  • Casey
    I recently asked a local dojo ((Moy Martial arts in Vancouver Wa) if I could come by an get a demo before I commit to classes with them. I even said I'd sign a waiver to be thier punching bag for the afternoon. I wanted to see if they were what I was looking for and wanted to see if they could pair me with an intermediate practioner who in theory should be able to put me on the ground with out either of us getting hurt... I got curt 'no thanks' answer with no real explanation why. I remember doing demos as a kid in taekwondo and judo and they were more than happy to show off thier skill. I was a little disgusted by this brush off answer and I feel it may be because they doubt thier skills. To be honest, imma big guy and could probably trounce half of their students.... just sad....
  • Clubs that do line work only nothing gets duller than walking up and down a dojo doing linework. Ok it is great for honing shills and techniques but nothing beats a good bit of pad work or a good sparring session for getting your speed and power up. I also have found that I really like kicking, punching, grappling and throwing people. (in a controlled manner)
  • It's in fact very difficult in this busy life to listen news on Television, so I just use web for that purpose, and obtain the newest information.
  • Yuukyou
    People who don’t use control (who should know better) and injure people during training, or bring their anger to the dojo and take it out on people.
  • Cameron
    I train traditional karate and I hate it how in the karate I do we have like 94 kata yet most modern karate only teachs like 9 kata and win tournaments useing only the same 3 kata and how they only train for tournaments in the first place I watch as there feet and stances are wrong and when asked to do a new kata they are all like wtf I only know the same 3 kata I have nothing against modern styles but why do most only train to basically do tournaments and Kumate then they act like they are bad asses and snub traditional karate as if they are better thought guys piss me off the most if you train for tournaments only you don’t understand karate at all in my opinion like you said it’s a way of life not just medals
    • Cameron
      My dad is an instructor and he brings the best out of his students for them selves he wants them to learn to not be afraid have confidence within yourself and to protect yourself and others if necessary but to only use karate as a last resort to have and give respect and be humble he doesn’t rip he’s students off making a loss almost sometimes when kids or adults can’t pay to train and he’s always giving freebies away to dedicate students that are less fortunate as a karate family we help out the community across the world with charity and locals the only thing my dad/sensei asks is that his students must take from what he teaches and they give back one day so that others can learn that doesn’t mean he wants them all to open dojos and also he teaches only hard work pays off if you aren’t gonna put in the time and effort then you won’t just gain a belt he makes you try so you can really earn it and that way you can really feel proud of yourself this is what karate means to me
  • Kime
    I don't know how I wound up finding this post, but as old school Aikido student, recently new to karate, having to undo everything I thought I knew, to relearn the art of peace and harmony in another fashion, I was surprised at the ilk of this post. It could put new students off. Recently my Sensei asked me to go away and research the Dojo-kun (he loves giving homework), and what I learnt is that respect and honour, integrity and etiquette are vital components of developing the spiritual aspect of martial arts. Without the spiritual side, there is no true kime. It has to come from the heart. How do you foster love and loyalty in someone? Encouragement! Giving students a sense that they are more than capable, that they have potential. An important aspect of the ki of martial arts, is to not condemn, nor judge. We are in a symbiotic dance with the Universe and as such, the energy we give out must return to us. In truth, what we see outside of us, exists within. If we see something displeasing outside of us, do we need that to feel superior, more powerful, or to develop a narcissism that gives us a feeling of self-importance? I mean no disrespect. I just believe we should put more energy into telling people what we love about an artform that we are so passionate about, to explain to others why it's a way of life and applies to every little thing we do, inside and outside the dojo. Everything begins and ends in rei.
  • Geoff
    People who diss Kata because it isn't fighting People who tell you they could clean up in knockdown matches because of the razor sharp technique they have gained from doing Kata - but they don't because that's not what karate is all about
  • When your 11 year old has worked very hard to earn his black belt, then moved to a new state, started at a new dojo and the sensei constantly corrects him in front of everyone and slowly destroys any and all self confidence he had to the point he no longer wants to go. And yes, in the past month I have spent almost 1000.00 which I think is ridiculous!!
  • Hanshi Ådne
    People who have forgotten or never understood that Karate means empty hand,not a dead hand. A dead hand is not empty,its full of coldness that no body needs. An alarm bell should go off in your head,when you shake a dead hand. Too many spooks out there man. Gotta keep your guard. :)
  • Alexa Adams-Iguchi
    People who seduce me (by using pretty Ludvig's) into subscribing to them on Youtube and then don't produce weekly videos...?????
  • Anna
    People who talk far too much and are far too loud in the dojo. Especially when they begin to splain the different aspects of karate to other people. Related to #4: people who underestimate themselves. This annoys me, because it used to be me. Also, people who have never eaten carrot cake (also me).
  • Anna
    What also annoys me are people annoyed by fat people. I understand that a lot of people believe fat==lazy, but unfortunately it isn't that simple. Unfortunately you can get fat because of an illness, like happened to a friend of mine who became fat because of the treatment against cancer. So what annoys you is laziness, but fatness is a symptom of it, better rant about laziness ;)
  • Pat Whaley
    First, I do agree with all that you have said. Here are some of my bigger pet peeves: 1.) People who talk a lot and train very little -Especially the ones that proudly and loudly list the pros and cons of each technique down to the last minute detail and in a public setting oblivious to all around them. They are extremely smug in their use of Japanese terminology concerning karate techniques (especially to the uninitiated who have never taken karate). Yet these same people cannot even ask where the bathroom is in Japanese. 2.) Old practitioners that have become sloppy over time who just go thru the motions of a kata and never question it's effectiveness. For the record I am an old traditional practitioner who still works hard at maintaining sharp, powerful techniques and am still not and never will be 100% confident that all is perfect and I think this is a good thing................. 3.) Belt chasers 4.) Instructors who always have a list of who's who in their style - yet have never spent any appreciable amount of time around any of the named names. These are the ones who spent a week with a named person, go out of their way to have a photo session with the "Master". Now that they have a photo they take the liberty of letting the world know that they are a "direct student" of the master. This bothers me a lot because I saw this a lot while on the island of Okinawa. As an old guy in his 60s I really like your web site. Keep up the good work....
  • ki
    People who make the sound you tend to hear in old or awful fims when punching air that sounds like wood breaking. Has made me cry laughing once. Didnt happen again.
  • Morne
    Hello Jesse San...The only people that grind me are the ones who think they know better than the sensei,and always arguing,taking up class time...mind you,there's nothing wrong with asking the sensei questions,but arguing with you're teacher who is only trying to help you become you're best self, just eats me up...luckily a bit of kumite shuts those people up...Great article...I agree with everything...Except the carrot cake...??
  • bryan
    people that claim you can earn your black belt within a certain amount of time rather than earning it through merit. One of my senseis is on the spectrum and he earned his Sandan (in their system) by inventing new exercises combing techniques into one sequence. thats something you can't teach in a mcdojo.
  • A.M.
    Let's add some more: Karateka who justify every nonsensical bit of minutiae with 'karate is a lifetime endeavor' when photos of the Okinawan masters show them not doing those things and there is no evidence they required their students to do them. Even better, when not only the Okinawans didn't do it, but the Chinese cousin arts don't do it. Karateka that denigrate other martial arts because they supposedly lack philosophy, spirituality, Many martial artists don't need their philosophy or spirituality spoon fed to them. Karateka that confuse the terms 'budo' and 'martial art'. One is a Japanese concept the other is a European concept. Similar in some ways, but very different. Karateka that say things like "MMA is the easy route". I've seen that on this website without people calling it out. Go to an MMA gym and tell them that.

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