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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2435
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
conrad665 wrote:
My new Sensei is a retired judo instructor who teaches us for his own enjoyment. Now this is the kind of spirit I would like to see in an instructor We do not even pay for the sessions. He told us we can take the belt exams if we wished to, but I haven't applied for a licence yet. I think I am not interested much with belts and rankings at this stage, but sooner or later I will apply for one. And I have never heard a prerequisite such as entering a competition for the belt exams o.o I think it may be dangerous, as having to compete without enough experience may cause injuries or loss of enthusiasm for the art, or too much enthusiasm for competitions and nothing else.


Things may have changed but while I was studying the art the gradings where based on a point system to get to Yudansha and above.

I can't remember the exact point required as I do not have my manual handy but I do recall that you recieved points for class attendance, attending seminar's, camps and clinic's, for local tournaments, state tournaments, national tournaments and international tournaments. As far as the tournament points went you'd receive points for wins based on their grade (so many points for two ranks below, one rank below, equal rank, one above and two or more above). You'd also receive points for winning the tournament and that varied on local, state, national and international. You even received points for coming in 2nd or 3rd. We received points for Kata as well. Then you had service to Judo, assisting in tournaments, coaching, putting on seminars, for being the head coach of a club, etc, etc.

Point being you had to accumulate "x" number of points to be promoted. I guess you could collect points outside of competing but I think it would take a huge amount of time to achieve your next grade.

However I am like you in that I care less about what color belt I wear or if I even wear an Obi. When I was young this was not so much the case.

If he is willing to teach you the art, who cares if you wear a white belt or a black. The attainment of knowledge and skill is the only thing that matters in the end.

Which would you rather be - a white belt that can defeat black belts or a black belt that gets defeated by white belts? That literally is the difference in what some arts/schools teach. You can win all of the tournaments you want but the real proof of what you are is when it gets real.



conrad665 wrote:
Once in a seminar, a Japanese Sensei told us scornfully about a world champion who was robbed on his way home. This is what I don't like about today's karate. As competitions have become the sole purpose for many people to train, everything about karate circulates around competitions and nothing else. For example, l have never been taught a technique against a person with a knife. We only work out with hand and foot guards. Competition techniques are limited to a few, like kizami dzuki, mawashi geri and ura mawashi geri. We never tried an empi or a hiza geri against each other. Or never a grappling technique, as if they do not exist in karate. I am not enthusiastic about hitting people and getting hit, but what we do is mock fight. What we do is amputated karate. And I share the same opinion, I am not able to hit people although I am faster than them (I experienced this with one judoka and one boxer). I have never got into trouble before, maybe I just didn't want to hit those people not to hurt them for no particular reason. But anyway, muscle memory is a dangerous thing.

I don't believe competitions are totally useless. After all, one can never know if his/her technique is useful without trying them out on people with different strategies, right? But the way the competitions are conducted is the whole problem about karate and partially the reason why I quit karate.



I speak of personal experience. Of course this is my experience and mine alone so others may vary.

When I first started studying the arts I joined a traditional school and a friend joined another not so traditional school. My teacher was a task master and drilled us and almost every class I would leave with bruises, a busted lip or the like. We did not participate in tournaments. On the other hand my friend was already competing and had been promoted in grade after only two months. After 5 months I decided to check out his school and ended up joining. After a few months I had learned a few tricks and started placing higher in tournaments. After 6 months I was winning in Kumite and Kata. My speed, reach and a few tricks allowed me to dominate my competition.

I thought I was pretty bad and had already been promoted twice more. The problem came when I ran into a known bully (just a mean spirited kid that liked to fight) and he started picking on a friend that was with me. I stood up to him and for the first few minutes I danced around this rather large and slow bully. I tagged him at will but my strikes had almost no effect, then it happened, he connected and it went down hill from there. I lost and I mean I lost bad.

The next day I talked to my new teacher and explained what had happened. He listened to me whine how many times I hit this guy and how I had gotten beaten almost to death by this sloth. His comment changed my life. He admitted that what he was teaching me was for competition and to win points not to actually fight.

I left and rejoined my other teacher and never looked back. Funny thing was that about two years later that same mean spirited kid started a fight with me again. This time the outcome was not in his favor. I knew I had made the right decision for me.

Everyone does what's best for them. I am not condemning these schools for doing what their students want. However I personally feel that they should change the name of the art to something a bit more honest and stop making claims about teaching self defense.

I take nothing away from the athleticism of those that compete in what I call patty cakes or fake Kata. They do possess skills. It's just not skills that translate to actual combat.

To the bold above; forget about it. 98% of the stuff they teach for knife defense is worthless. If I have a knife and they try that worthless junk on me they get carved like a turkey.

If you wish to learn knife defense do not look to Karate to teach it. Go train in a knife fighting system so you can get realistic techniques that do not endanger your life.

I'm sure some here that teach this junk would disagree but again, if I am holding the knife and they are trying to defend using these techniques, it ain't going to be pretty. And I have only medium proficiency compared to others that devote large amounts of their life to the study.

The point is a novice with a knife is going to cut an expert of so called knife defense. It's just a fact.

To the underlined above; I never said that competition was necessarily bad. Its "a" way to test yourself. However if your training like you would fight you get tested every class.

It's a shame you quit Karate because of this. If taught in the old ways the art is quite efficient. Maybe you'll meet a good teacher one day and be able to regain your confidence in the art.

If not I hope you find what your looking for.


One thing I think we should keep in mind is that IMO thereís a big difference between karate point fighting competition and judo competition. Judo awards points and/or victory for throws, chokes, submissions and pins. These are all real world fighting skills and theyíre not ďpulledĒ like a patty-cake hit in karate competition. I donít think Judo competition is the most realistic form of competition out there, but itís light years ahead of point fighting. From what Iíve seen, the transition from competition to actual self defense isnít a ridiculous gap. Execute an ippon throw on concrete, and your opponent is going to be hurting. Perhaps not a death blow, ko, or true fight ender, but itíll definitely be easy enough to transition to an effective joint lock or choke.

Iím far more of a judo competition fan then a point fighting fan, and Iím not a judoka.
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couldn't agree more JR137. There is definitely a difference. Good points.
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conrad665
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Posts: 158

Styles: Shotokan Karate, Ashihara Karate, Judo, Iaido

PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:

If he is willing to teach you the art, who cares if you wear a white belt or a black. The attainment of knowledge and skill is the only thing that matters in the end.

Which would you rather be - a white belt that can defeat black belts or a black belt that gets defeated by white belts? That literally is the difference in what some arts/schools teach. You can win all of the tournaments you want but the real proof of what you are is when it gets real.


This is exactly how I feel. My technique in karate may look ultra-super fast and strong, but I highly doubt if I could take someone down with a single blow-it is the main idea of karate, after all.

MatsuShinshii wrote:
To the bold above; forget about it. 98% of the stuff they teach for knife defense is worthless. If I have a knife and they try that worthless junk on me they get carved like a turkey.

If you wish to learn knife defense do not look to Karate to teach it. Go train in a knife fighting system so you can get realistic techniques that do not endanger your life.

I'm sure some here that teach this junk would disagree but again, if I am holding the knife and they are trying to defend using these techniques, it ain't going to be pretty. And I have only medium proficiency compared to others that devote large amounts of their life to the study.

The point is a novice with a knife is going to cut an expert of so called knife defense. It's just a fact.


Sorry if my point is misunderstood. I just gave it as an example of how karate is limited to studying certain techniques. If karate is thought as a lake, what we train is just a cup of water. Karate is much richer than that, but I even doubt whether my karate instructor knows traditional ways of sparring in depth.
I have never been taught how to react against a weapon rather than a bare-handed person, so I cannot comment on the efficiency of those techniques in real life. I do not know if such techniques exist in Judo, either.

MatsuShinshii wrote:
To the underlined above; I never said that competition was necessarily bad. Its "a" way to test yourself. However if your training like you would fight you get tested every class.

It's a shame you quit Karate because of this. If taught in the old ways the art is quite efficient. Maybe you'll meet a good teacher one day and be able to regain your confidence in the art.

If not I hope you find what your looking for.


When I think over things, I have many reasons to quit karate and the way competitions take over karate is one of them. I really hope to find a Sensei that could teach me what I really would like to learn, not just some flashy movements and stuff. But I can tell the odds are against me in this pursuit...

Thank you very much for your good wish. No matter what style or what martial art I choose, I will try my best to learn and internalize it.
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish you luck.

Ps. there are instructors and schools that emphasis the art over modern ways. Don't give up all hope.

Sorry if I missed this but what part of the world do you live? I know many organizations/schools/instructors that teach the art for self defense vs. tournament. I or others here may be able to at least point you in the right direction if you also want to continue your study of Karate.
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OneKickWonder
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've trained in several styles since childhood. But I stopped for a number of years before restarting in my current main style of tang soo do.

One thing I've noticed is that if you practice anything well, it never really leaves you. It becomes integrated into you. In fact isn't that the point?

So if you leave shotokan after 9 years and practice something else entirely, I believe you will find that the new style (judo in your case) will compliment your old style (shotokan).

Judo was my first style. It's been years and years and years since I practiced it, and I thought I'd forgotten it all. But in tang soo do, I realised I instinctively knew how to fall and roll out from a takedown, or close the gap and take the opponents balance etc. Specific technical moves have gone but the core essence is in there still. I'm sure you'll find similar.

Your Shotokan won't go away. You might forget a few kata but you'll keep all the techniques and principles, and assimilate them into your other training. Then, in future, if you decide Shotokan was right for you all along, you'll come back to it with fresh insight. You'll probably see additional applications and have a deeper understanding of things you'd missed first time round, and while you might not be allowed to use your new Judo in sparring for example, you'll be able to use the footwork and positioning and balance principles and escapes from take downs etc.

Good luck in your ongoing quest.
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conrad665
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Posts: 158

Styles: Shotokan Karate, Ashihara Karate, Judo, Iaido

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
I wish you luck.

Ps. there are instructors and schools that emphasis the art over modern ways. Don't give up all hope.

Sorry if I missed this but what part of the world do you live? I know many organizations/schools/instructors that teach the art for self defense vs. tournament. I or others here may be able to at least point you in the right direction if you also want to continue your study of Karate.


In the last few weeks, I did a thorough research on possible instructors I can follow and asked a few senpai in the club. but unfortunately, I couldn't find any dojo that I could willingly join. Either they were too far from my home or totally kumite-oriented, without kihon and kata training o.o Just incredible... Thanks anyway for your kindness

OneKickWonder wrote:
I've trained in several styles since childhood. But I stopped for a number of years before restarting in my current main style of tang soo do.

One thing I've noticed is that if you practice anything well, it never really leaves you. It becomes integrated into you. In fact isn't that the point?


This is sometimes how I feel about certain karate techniques. Although I am far from perfection, the techniques feel more... natural, I guess. This makes me fear more about losing this feeling.

OneKickWonder wrote:

So if you leave shotokan after 9 years and practice something else entirely, I believe you will find that the new style (judo in your case) will compliment your old style (shotokan).

Actually, I started judo because we never practiced grappling techniques in karate, although they are a part of karate. Once I heard that if it saves you, even biting your opponent is legit Then why should you just not enrich your repertoire and limit yourself by kicks and punches, just because competition rules expect you to? Therefore, I thought there would be no harm in getting to know more about grappling.

OneKickWonder wrote:

Judo was my first style. It's been years and years and years since I practiced it, and I thought I'd forgotten it all. But in tang soo do, I realised I instinctively knew how to fall and roll out from a takedown, or close the gap and take the opponents balance etc. Specific technical moves have gone but the core essence is in there still. I'm sure you'll find similar.

It is great that you could internalize the essence and still make use of it. Well, so far, karate helped me a lot in terms of fitness and flexibility needed for judo (and toughness, I should say!), but sometimes I can confuse the two arts. I do not bend forward enough or get close to my opponent, or I find it hard not to look into my opponent's eyes in judo. For example, I still feel insecure when I try to perform a seoi nage, because I turn my back to my opponent. On the other hand, if you are fast enough in seoi nage or hide your technique well enough, the risk of being taken down instead is greatly reduced The logic is the same in karate. This is also a nice way to improve your mental flexibility, trying to figure out what is similar to the other art or not. I am sure, after a while, my body will get used to these new set of techniques.

OneKickWonder wrote:

Your Shotokan won't go away. You might forget a few kata but you'll keep all the techniques and principles, and assimilate them into your other training. Then, in future, if you decide Shotokan was right for you all along, you'll come back to it with fresh insight. You'll probably see additional applications and have a deeper understanding of things you'd missed first time round, and while you might not be allowed to use your new Judo in sparring for example, you'll be able to use the footwork and positioning and balance principles and escapes from take downs etc.


This sounds great. Karate is not just a few flashy kata, and forgetting them should not be a major problem. If you know the alphabet well, you can still write what you want to write, can't you (I think this metaphor fits the occasion )? After all, in my club, even yellow belt kids are taught multiple kata (many more than they can digest at their technical and mental level) in the aim of preparing them for competitions as soon as possible, while what matters should be the way they perform them.
I would love to obtain a deeper understanding of what I have been practicing for years. Sometimes, you need to gain a new perspective to really understand the true essence and meaning of a thing. It is as if breathing your all life without being aware of it. You only realize how important it is when you stop breathing. Maybe quitting karate for even a few months will help me understand these things better.

However, getting used to judo training is not an easy task. I find it tougher compared to the early stages of karate training, although I immensely enjoy the sessions. I think a former injury in my lower back returned last week, after an intense judo session. Therefore, I decided to let my body get used to the new training regimen in a slower pace. I will keep doing karate once or twice a week for a while, and try to adapt my body to judo. I have already obtained an uchikomi band and started doing strengthening exercises I guess it is too early yet for practicing judo techniques on it.

OneKickWonder wrote:

Good luck in your ongoing quest.

Thanks!
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LastKing
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 07 May 2015
Posts: 75

Styles: Freestyle karate, kickboxing, tai chi

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find karate a bit of a poisoned chalice. I've been at it five years now, and save for boxing which I did when younger, it is my sole martial art. I find it a poisoned chalice because I am never as good as I want to be and it is never as good as I want it to be. I'm 1st Kyu, but due to club difficulties will have to almost certainly change clubs to reach black. Ordinarily, colour of belt doesn't bother me, but I'd like to run a club one day, and I'm pragmatic enough to know that colour of belt is important to potential members.
I don't really like Shotokan, find point sparring pointless (pardon the pun), and don't think anything we learn would be overly practical in a street fight (well, that's not really the case, as we learn self defence as a strand which is separated out from karate. Kata is a great frustration to me as I never feel myself particularly effective. What I do karate for, I don't know, somedays, and yet I keep coming back because there is something about it I love.
Maybe it's the poise I see in others, the discipline, the knowledge. I love seeing the likes of Rick Hotton on Youtube, who seems effortless in his technique, and genuinely humble about his ability. Maybe it's the striving to be a tenth, a hundredth of him which keeps me in there.
But anyway, all I know is that hopefully my journey hasn't ended. but if I had to start again, would I start again with karate? I don't know. I sparred once with a black belt in wing chun, and man, was he effective. I had to revert to boxing to score off him.
Sometimes I think I'd just go back to boxing. Who knows.
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OneKickWonder
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LastKing wrote:
I find karate a bit of a poisoned chalice. I've been at it five years now, and save for boxing which I did when younger, it is my sole martial art. I find it a poisoned chalice because I am never as good as I want to be and it is never as good as I want it to be. I'm 1st Kyu, but due to club difficulties will have to almost certainly change clubs to reach black. Ordinarily, colour of belt doesn't bother me, but I'd like to run a club one day, and I'm pragmatic enough to know that colour of belt is important to potential members.



I'm same. I never bothered with grading in previous styles I've done. Kung fu didn't even have formal grades. So although I believe I have a lot to offer, I have yet to attain black belt in anything. I'm quite aware that that means in the eyes of others, I'm not a black belt and therefore not worthy of being a teacher.

Quote:

I don't really like Shotokan, find point sparring pointless (pardon the pun),


I used to share this view. But more lately I've come to see it differently. If you have the confidence to spar and really get into the game, then I'd agree, point sparring is pointless. But some people, especially kids, lack the confidence to get stuck in. They often play a defensive game. You can't block forever, so they get knacked. By making it point sparring, it's competitive. There's no points for defending, so I think this might encourage the less confident player to press forward for the strike. That's just a theory. We don't do point sparring, only free sparring, so I'm kind of limited as to how much I can study this where I am at the moment.
Quote:

and don't think anything we learn would be overly practical in a street fight (well, that's not really the case, as we learn self defence as a strand which is separated out from karate. Kata is a great frustration to me as I never feel myself particularly effective.


There are effective karate clubs. I know because I used to attend one. But I think from my own more recent experience and observations, and things I've seen or heard from some others at other clubs, I'm starting to reach the conclusion that if it's fitness and agility and fun you want, you can't go too far wrong with karate. But if you want effective self defence skills, perhaps save your time and money, and sign up for a door supervisor/registered security guard course, making sure it includes the 'physical intervention' module.

Quote:

What I do karate for, I don't know, somedays, and yet I keep coming back because there is something about it I love.
Maybe it's the poise I see in others, the discipline, the knowledge. I love seeing the likes of Rick Hotton on Youtube, who seems effortless in his technique, and genuinely humble about his ability. Maybe it's the striving to be a tenth, a hundredth of him which keeps me in there.
But anyway, all I know is that hopefully my journey hasn't ended. but if I had to start again, would I start again with karate? I don't know. I sparred once with a black belt in wing chun, and man, was he effective. I had to revert to boxing to score off him.
Sometimes I think I'd just go back to boxing. Who knows.


Wing chun and indeed many styles of kung fu are so effective against the karate practitioner because they learn to use their hands properly. The two systems are perfectly compatible. After all, karate takes a lot from Chinese kung fu. But whereas the kung fu dudes learn to relax and move fluidly from the outset, karate often starts off very rigid and robotic and doesn't loosen up until a certain level of proficiency is gained. I personally think that a few weeks in about any kung fu class would be worthwhile for any karate student. They'll teach you how to relax, breath and move. Then you just take those principles and apply them in your karate.
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conrad665
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Posts: 158

Styles: Shotokan Karate, Ashihara Karate, Judo, Iaido

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LastKing wrote:
I find karate a bit of a poisoned chalice. I've been at it five years now, and save for boxing which I did when younger, it is my sole martial art. I find it a poisoned chalice because I am never as good as I want to be and it is never as good as I want it to be. I'm 1st Kyu, but due to club difficulties will have to almost certainly change clubs to reach black. Ordinarily, colour of belt doesn't bother me, but I'd like to run a club one day, and I'm pragmatic enough to know that colour of belt is important to potential members.
I don't really like Shotokan, find point sparring pointless (pardon the pun), and don't think anything we learn would be overly practical in a street fight (well, that's not really the case, as we learn self defence as a strand which is separated out from karate. Kata is a great frustration to me as I never feel myself particularly effective. What I do karate for, I don't know, somedays, and yet I keep coming back because there is something about it I love.
Maybe it's the poise I see in others, the discipline, the knowledge. I love seeing the likes of Rick Hotton on Youtube, who seems effortless in his technique, and genuinely humble about his ability. Maybe it's the striving to be a tenth, a hundredth of him which keeps me in there.


I feel similar about karate, I mean, although it keeps me frustrated however I try to learn and improve my technique and understanding. But still, I simply can't quit it. Actually, I have no intention of gaining skills to defend myself on the street (learning some street-fighting techniques wouldn't hurt, though-pardon the pun ). I visited a self-defence class once, and at the end, I decided karate would do more harm than good in actual fight. Even the first thing, our kamae position, has many weak points that the opponent can easily take advantage of.
Then I realized that other things I perform now all build up on karate. Body coordination and flexibility (which is usually ignored in our judo classes and in iaido) are two assets I think I have learned over the years I practiced karate. Focusing on techniques, patience to practice them over and over, and other things I am not aware of yet.

LastKing wrote:
But anyway, all I know is that hopefully my journey hasn't ended. but if I had to start again, would I start again with karate? I don't know. I sparred once with a black belt in wing chun, and man, was he effective. I had to revert to boxing to score off him. Sometimes I think I'd just go back to boxing. Who knows.


I don't know whether I would start with karate, either. It was just a random choice at first, but I could never quit it. Maybe it is because the real karate I want to learn is somewhere, and I'm still looking for it. I attended one seminar of Kanazawa Sensei and two seminars of Kasuya Sensei. Each time I loved karate much better and realized that I still have a long way to go. But now, what I feel is stagnation. I only attend classes because I don't want to lose my flexibility. It feels like an unhappy marriage that you can't quit because it has become a dull but comfortable routine.
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LLLEARNER
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 687
Location: Central Maine

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"For me to be able to go to somewhere else, I need to take a reference letter kind of thing from him. "

Why do you need a letter?

Also, you may not have to give up on karate. You can still attend seminars or maybe do some drop-ins a couple times a month with Sensei's who focus on the art itself and self-defense. You can still work your katas at home. Karate and Judo complement each other very well, in my opinion at least. Even in the few katas I know I have been able to see applications into Judo throws.
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