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Himokiri Karate
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Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 310


PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2021 7:58 pm    Post subject: Is Karate making a comeback!? Reply with quote

I remember in the mid 2000s, many karate dojos went out of business because MMA's rise to the main stream. The attitude revolved around being ultra tough, brawling and being aggressive. Everyone thought Karate and traditional martial arts was ineffective.

Meanwhile as of recent times, the MMA stars of mid 2000s are not doing well. Bad health problems and they seem to want to distance themselves with the term "MMA" because they don't want their students to venture in to that world since it takes much out of you and leaves you broken. They prefer the term martial arts academy.

Now this brings us to karate. An MMA gym in my hometown is slowly introducing gi and the karate culture to their Thai Kickboxing classes. They seem to want to incorporate the culture of traditional martial arts. I am curios to know... are we seeing the resurgence of Karate and the fall of MMA?
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The Pred
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 385

Styles: Goju Ryu

PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2021 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do Karate, would I ever do full contact MMA, no only because I can't afford the potential brain damage. Personally I believe there is a Martial art for everyone. I started karate when I was a kid, now if I started as a teenager then yes MMA would have been my thing.
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Himokiri Karate
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Joined: 13 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2021 8:21 pm    Post subject: Here is the thing... Reply with quote

The Pred wrote:
I do Karate, would I ever do full contact MMA, no only because I can't afford the potential brain damage. Personally I believe there is a Martial art for everyone. I started karate when I was a kid, now if I started as a teenager then yes MMA would have been my thing.


Its not just brain damage, I mean combat karate is on the rise. We are also seeing lots of celebrities getting in to boxing fights. But regards to karate, it seems like more and more fighters in the MMA are incorporating karate or some form of Taekwondo/Tang Soo Do ( many call it Korean Karate) as a way to empower their striking abilities.

Its not like two decades ago with fighters standing stationary and trading leg kicks. We are seeing spins, pivots, bouncing and shifting on top of flashing kicks and creative feints. These moves can be found with in Karate.
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Zaine
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Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1783
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be awesome to see it! I stopped following MMA in the late 2000s so I can't speak towards what older star fighters are doing. I know, however, that Bas Rutten has gotten involved in Karate Combat, which seems less MMA focused. All in all, if people like Bas are doing this, I can imagine that Karate will see a "comeback," as you put it. I remember the boom of BJJ in the 2000s with schools popping up all over my area. Few survived after riding the fad, but the point remains. I hope we can start to see more traditional Martial Arts schools coming back, I would love more options.
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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28973
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Karate, along with other "traditional" styles, are making a comeback. I don't know if it has more to do with the "downfall" of MMA, or the rise of Karate in popular culture with the likes of shows like Cobra Kai. Either way, it is welcomed.

As an aside, I don't think MMA is losing popularity or is falling by the wayside. By and large, MMA is the avenue that Martial Artists that want to compete professionally take. MMA has evolved so much, and the athletes competing there are truly elite athletes. Not everyone who gets into Martial Arts is going to be an elite athlete, nor do they all want to train that way. So, I believe styles like Karate and Taekwondo will always have students ready to step into their ranks. I also believe that as more pro MMA athletes step aside and retire, they may look to the more "traditional" styles (or look back to them) in order to fill that void in their world.
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RW
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Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 407


PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think things in general are cyclical by nature. We even see it in clothing, when a decades-old trend suddenly makes a comeback.

MMA fighters are too used to Muay Thai right now, so adding an extra layer of unpredictability and variety pays off. This doesn't mean traditional arts will substitute MT as the fundamental MMA striking base, though.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't know Karate needed a comeback. MMA didn't bother me in one iota whatsoever. My Student Body stayed strong, and many of my students were turned off by some of the pre-fight antics.

Many of my friends that own Karate dojo's weren't effected by the MMA surge of the past and present. Operating and owning a dojo requires skills beyond MA skills.

Karate dojo's that offer any ground fighting more than likely lost their Student Body to MMA schools for ground fighting training.



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Miick 11
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Joined: 01 Jan 2021
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It doesnt appear to be making a comeback here . There are an abundance of 'schools' with few students and nearly all have a bunch of old guys ( or one or two ) from the 'past era' and a class of kids . And, of course, with kids its a high intake and drop off rate .

I cant see more kids getting into it ... unless they can get off computer screens . A friend has two enrolled; the lad dropped out just as he was getting good at it ( " I am standing there for ages, frozen in this kata position while the instructor goes around and corrects all the other frozen kids in the class. Then we do one more move ... and freeze ." ) for a young lad that enjoys the constant thrill and concentration of motocross, or the slow meditation of fishing , it just didnt do it for him. The daughter has stuch at it ... she wants her black belt , then , I suspect, she will leave .

A couple of guys from my club went to a nearby city to train with some instructor one of knew . Big dojo, full of equipment and a heap of kids . About 3 seniors instructing . One of them, who didnt know much about us said to me " We are all in this for the same reason; to help kids grow up into good adults . "

I had never heard that before , as a reason to practice , I mean, when you DO have kids training, that is entirely valid, but it certainly isnt the focus of our club or the reason one practices .

Anyway, time will tell ..... it would be great to see a resurgence ... especially if it was an interest in 'old style traditional karate ' ... and not just 'school kids karate ' .
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RW
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Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 407


PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
I didn't know Karate needed a comeback. MMA didn't bother me in one iota whatsoever. My Student Body stayed strong, and many of my students were turned off by some of the pre-fight antics.

Many of my friends that own Karate dojo's weren't effected by the MMA surge of the past and present. Operating and owning a dojo requires skills beyond MA skills.

Karate dojo's that offer any ground fighting more than likely lost their Student Body to MMA schools for ground fighting training.




What's the general profile of your typical class attendant?

I've found out karate has made a niche with the following groups:

- Holdovers from the past, people who began training in the 80s or 90s, maybe early 2000s, these are the most serious students and the ones who truly care about the martial art aspect of karate

- kids: their parents take them to karate so they have some sort of after-school activity.

- more recent studies who see martial arts as a workout mainly, they tend to dislike sparring and they are not really interested in the nuances of technique.
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Himokiri Karate
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Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 310


PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RW wrote:
sensei8 wrote:
I didn't know Karate needed a comeback. MMA didn't bother me in one iota whatsoever. My Student Body stayed strong, and many of my students were turned off by some of the pre-fight antics.

Many of my friends that own Karate dojo's weren't effected by the MMA surge of the past and present. Operating and owning a dojo requires skills beyond MA skills.

Karate dojo's that offer any ground fighting more than likely lost their Student Body to MMA schools for ground fighting training.




What's the general profile of your typical class attendant?

I've found out karate has made a niche with the following groups:

- Holdovers from the past, people who began training in the 80s or 90s, maybe early 2000s, these are the most serious students and the ones who truly care about the martial art aspect of karate

- kids: their parents take them to karate so they have some sort of after-school activity.

- more recent studies who see martial arts as a workout mainly, they tend to dislike sparring and they are not really interested in the nuances of technique.


Also:

- Cobra Kai series making Karate cool again

More seriously, what I noticed when I made this thread that I forgot to mention is, with all the damage and health problems from excessive sparing. The MMA community is beginning to see the importance of safer training and now some decent places are trying to change the training towards safer sparring. It might take longer to get good because you have to go slow and steady. But you end up making better progress long term because the focus is on superb technique which is more everlasting than cardio and aggression.

Also its worthy to mention that many top level MMA fighters tend to incorporate traditional martial arts techniques to keep their style unpredictable.
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