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Age-Uke
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 11 Feb 2019
Posts: 18

Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:44 am    Post subject: Karate Combat League Reply with quote

What do you think?

My opinion: (I'm biased due to being a Karate-ka) I like it. Being burnt out on the UFC and turned off by the thug behavior, Karate Combat league seems to spark a lot of interest in me (I always liked K-1 kickboxing)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ0Dg0C7fkQ

Buried way down in the comments someone brought up " I'd like to see more Karate techniques and less Kick Boxing"


I agree. And that's where the Karate as a sport suffers to separate itself from other sports disciplines. Every time they start a league like this it ends up de-evolving into a form of kickboxing.

Leave the gi top on and allow grabs, pulls etc. ( Hiki te )
And I'd even be ok with some form of Bogo equipment if it allowed open hand striking like Shuto Jodan Uchi or some form Uchi Waza and Empi waza.

Make the ruleset to promote Karate Kihon waza. Kendo is a great example of this. To win a match not only do you have to fence well, but you also have to Kendo well. It's not all about just hitting your opponent with a shinai, but executing legit Kendo techniques.

Force the Karate competitors out of the boxing stances by designing a rule set that awards execution for Kihon waza.

All that said: Huge accolades to Rafael Aghayev. For years I've watched the WKF and was always on the fence. I saw serious skill, but the point system I always questioned. I now stand corrected!

Rafael Aghayev "That's a Karate-ka" He reminds me of Chuck Norris
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Alan Armstrong
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Karate Combat looks like a more all round classy version than most; I like it!

The bouts look like authentic karate and not kickboxing or mma which is refreshing to see.

They utilize over hand punches alot (gaining extra reach while in motion than the usual standard karate reverse punches) by closing the gap quickly and are noticably difficult to defend against also landing blows incredibly hard with knock out power.
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Alan Armstrong
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2146


PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alan Armstrong wrote:
Karate Combat looks like a more all round classy version than most; I like it!

The bouts look like authentic karate and not kickboxing or mma which is refreshing to see.

They utilize over hand punches alot (gaining extra reach while in motion than the usual standard karate reverse punches) by closing the gap quickly and are noticably difficult to defend against also landing blows incredibly hard with knock out power.
Karate Combat has an App on Google Play if interested.
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
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Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2413
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find that it tends to be sloppy kickboxing, at that--a lot of those competitors are coming from WKF-style competition, and so they are not used to the range difference for full-contact fighting. You even see Rafael Ahgayev overcommit because of it, although there are some who are much worse about it. Regardless, OF COURSE it looks like kickboxing, because they have done nothing to actually encourage fighters to utilize the curriculum that actually differentiates karate from kickboxing--all the close-range fighting, locks, chokes, etc. that are part of the kata. Karate Combat does allow for a small amount of grappling, but they are really just trying to get people to throw lots of punches and kicks, so there is no incentive to use the ugly stuff. I'm hoping to start working with some people to put together a competition circuit that is more reflective of old-style karate methods, but I don't have anywhere near the funding or star-power that Karate Combat has, so it's not like I'll be able to put it on TV--I'll just have to get various tournament organizers to sign on the host it as time goes on.
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GojuRyu Bahrain
Orange Belt
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Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 121

Styles: Goju Ryu, Shotokan, Kobudo, Uechi Ryu

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:48 am    Post subject: Re: Karate Combat League Reply with quote

Age-Uke wrote:
What do you think?

..And that's where the Karate as a sport suffers to separate itself from other sports disciplines. Every time they start a league like this it ends up de-evolving into a form of kickboxing.

..


Maybe its time to look at our art skeptically for once? Ask ourselves: If Karate, especially the clinically clean 3K Karate and the sports kumite under full contact pressure consistently degrades into a form of kickboxing...even when done by the best athletes it degrades into wild swinging punches (like the fighters in the video)? could the simple reason be that maybe, just maybe, this form of Karate... is not practical?

Not to be mistaken here: I believe Karate to be greatly effective in a self defenses situation, and consequently my Karate classes are based on a pragmatic self defense approach; I put great care and emphasize to include as much pressure testing of any technique/anything we train. For this reason I like clinch work (Kata-based), because it can be trained with a resisting partner with some (if not full) intensity. Of course there is much less classical Kihon line-work....

There is no softer way of putting this (and after nearly 3 decades of Karate training I type this slowly and thoughtfully here): If Karate is simply not that suitable for fighting purposes, then what's the purpose of continuing endless drilling of straight Zukis into air or even makiwara, what is the purpose of solo Katas without testing against a resisting partner?
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Wado Heretic
Green Belt
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Joined: 23 May 2014
Posts: 387
Location: United Kingdom, England, Shropshire
Styles: Wado-Ryu , Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Kodokan), RyuKyu Kobojutsu

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be a pedant, if we acknowledge Wittgenstein and the concept of family relations, karate combat is a form of kick-boxing. It fills all the criteria of being part of the family of combat sports covered by the umbrella term kick-boxing. 1. You can strike with more than your hands, 2. You cannot engage in submission fighting, and 3. You achieve victory through knock-out, technical knock-out, submission, or a judge’s decisions based on points awarded on effective strikes.

With the above said, Karate Combat has unique nuances which are worth acknowledging. Its rules allow throws and sweeps, which outside of Lethwei, Muay Thai, San Shou, and Shoot-Boxing are illegal in most kickboxing rule sets. They also allow single-leg takedowns which you will not find in kick-boxing outside Shoot-Boxing and Karate Combat. You are also allowed five seconds to strike a downed opponent from the top position, which you find in nothing else except MMA. Meaning that a strong wrestling game has the potential to be a winning edge in Karate Combat, unlike most forms of Kick-Boxing.

The wearing of the much lighter MMA style glove which is close to bear-knuckle in terms of how you use your hands. Most forms of kick-boxing use boxing gloves: which allow you to catch punches in the air, takes the edge off using your hands to deal with kicks and allows you to use covering up as a practical defence. In contrast, with a lighter glove, the hand speed and size of the glove makes catching punches difficult if not impossible: you must rely on movement, distancing, parrying, and aggression to undermine your opponent’s hand attacks. You also cannot hope to take a kick with the lighter glove as, although I do not recommend it, you can use a boxing glove to cushion a kick to a limited extent compared to the MMA glove, meaning you can try to tank some kicks with a solid guard. Lastly, because of the size of boxing gloves, if you cover up your opponent will struggle to slip punches past your cover due to the size of the gloves: getting punched while covering up still hurts, but unlike the Lighter gloves which slip through, you are not getting hit in the face and ribs which is where the damage is done. As such, the punching range is much closer to MMA and Bear-Knuckle boxing than conventional boxing or kick-boxing.

You also can kick the leg, but unlike most rule sets which dictate between the knee and the hip (essentially the thighs and quadriceps) in Karate Combat, it must be between the ankle and the knee, thus the shin and calves. I believe this is to encourage sweep attempts, but it does open the possibility of downward cutting kicks and oblique kicks we do not otherwise see. It also encourages the use of the leg-kick to engage in attacks, rather than as a distance controlling method (The Leg-Kick is akin to the Jab of boxing or the tackle of wrestling), or an attack to control your opponent’s movement. Similarly, with all other kicks having to be above the belt the use of head movement as a tactic of evasion becomes more workable than in most forms of kickboxing. Excessive head-movement in most rules of Low-Kick will just get you knocked down by low-kicks.

In many ways, all the above means a miai like American Kick-Boxing, but with certain nuances which create a different fight game altogether. Going for the high-kick knock-out or moving aggressively forward with punches could lead to one getting caught in a take-down like in Free-Fighting. The low kick to below the knee also changes the distance of attacking: if you whiff a kick that low you are at once in your opponent’s punching range, compared to kicking the thigh where you still maintain a distance from your opponent’s extended punch.

The bottom line is that Karate Combat is what you get when you take the rule of WKF Point-Fighting, make it a continuous format, and make it full-contact. In that regard, I feel it does more than aptly. However, I do wish to see the emergence of competitors who train for Karate Combat from scratch and aim to be good under these rules. Develop a good boxing and wrestling game and getting good at the Fight Science will then allow competitors to bring the character of karate to Karate Combat as Machida did to the UFC. Right now, it reminds me of Savate, but with take-downs to remind me it is not Savate.

With all the above said, I would also like to point out other competitive venues which I think fit the desires brought up here.

Ganryujima is a form of Budo Shin-Kakutogi where competitors wear keikogi. It also fought on platform and throws and ring-outs are awarded points and can be a means of victory. It is a venue for seeing Sumo and Judo techniques you will not see elsewhere. Like Karate Combat, the emphasis is on striking and aggression, and the ground fighting is limited to 15 Seconds, and only striking on the ground is allowed. As such, there is no submission fighting. Similarly, there are several accomplished karateka on the roster demonstrating their skills.

There was, and possibly is, the Combudo format run by the famous Lee Hasdell. He is still involved in running Fighting events, but I have not heard much since 2017 about Combudo itself. The few professional events I am aware of also took place back all the way in 2009. Combudo is a form of free-fighting done in Keikogi and it does allow techniques done using the jacket. It also allows simulated ground-and-pound, which brings it closer to Unified Rules than most other Free-Fighting formats.

You then have the long-running Kakutogi rule-set promoted by Daido Juku, which is now better known as the sport of Kudo. Although it disallows striking on the ground and makes use of protective helmets, it is an excellent free-fighting format grounded in Kyokushin-Ryu and Kodokan Judo.

Then you have Nippon Kempo, and Combat SOMBO, and karate rule-sets such as Irikumi Go that fit the bill of allowing a range of techniques, without being a variation of Unified Rules or neglecting the use of the Jacket in Traditional Japanese Bujutsu. Basically, it is out there if you look for it. However, much of it is enjoyed only by those involved in said sports or people who are combat fans in general and not restricted to something such as boxing or MMA alone. The reason it has remained at the amateur level or at most of the national interest is because of limited appeal.

I do use a variation of Unyo-Ho for sparring which is what I like to call kata based. Unyo-Ho comes from Shorinji Kenpo and is a form of Bogu Kumite where one is a designated attacker and the other the defender, and you swap roles. However, we focus on movements and principles from a specific kata for that specific session. In this way, we get to practice taking the initiative and retaking the initiative and explore the limitations of the kata movements in these contexts. Part of this approach is starting in different positions: sometimes we start in the clinch, sometimes a jacket grip, sometimes in bridging hand, or even at conventional sparring range. Now, I find this form of sparring fun and informative to training for effective kata application. To anyone who does not understand what it was about it would be as boring as sin.

This is also where I would like to discuss the lack of a number of Karate’s characteristic open hand techniques in competition and why they are often banned or not apparent:

1. The open-hand techniques in kata represent body-checks, limb-control or distance control (a shove) and so they are present in competition, but they appear in body-to-body combat or clashes and are thus difficult to see.

2. The open hand techniques which exist as strikes are designed to perform maximum damage. The sticking of the finger into the eye or an orifice, or into soft-tissue such as the neck. Exerting maximum force on a weak point such as the jaw below the ear. The open hand-techniques are within the realm of what would be called “Purposefully Injurious” within the context of friendly competition.

Now, I do allow the use of these techniques to a limited extent during semi-free sparring and the type of sparring I mentioned above. However, we do use protective equipment and what I would say is that it makes moot in their effectiveness. Where there is protection in the way, using a fist often makes more sense.

I believe I would enjoy a competition circuit designed to show-case Kata-based and application orientated karate. However, I think I would be in the fringe, and I would admit to being sceptical that it would be any more successful, or more useful, than Daido Juku in the pursuit of a practical karate competition format. I fear kata-based-sparring is firmly within the domain of the dojo floor. With that said though, I would sign up right now to even a small circle of dojo that just took turns hosting a joint kata-based-sparring session or competition every couple of months. Combined with the technology of streaming, it might not become a popular sport, but it might be a way to promote practical karate.

With all that said, I prefer a world where Karate Combat is a thing rather than a world where it is not. I believe it could be a gateway to good things, and even if it is not reflective of the karate of those of us who favour application-based karate framed by a reality-based mindset, it is reflective of the karate of those doing it. The great thing about karate is that it is for everyone, and as long as you are doing it sincerely that is what matters.
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Age-Uke
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 11 Feb 2019
Posts: 18

Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GojuRyu Bahrain wrote:


There is no softer way of putting this (and after nearly 3 decades of Karate training I type this slowly and thoughtfully here): If Karate is simply not that suitable for fighting purposes, then what's the purpose of continuing endless drilling of straight Zukis into air or even makiwara, what is the purpose of solo Katas without testing against a resisting partner?



Or maybe we start looking at Karate without the Western MA goggles.

IMO We (Karate-ka) keep trying to pigeon hole Karate into Boxing Maai & Hyosh (distancing and timing) Anyone who has boxed knows the distance is much closer, one is not looking to block or shield, the distance is closer, it's slipping, parring while vying for control over the Maai and Hyosh.

The majority of Karate-ka I see are fencers attempting to knife fight with a rapier because the only people they have effectively seen fight are knife fighters. The distancing and the timing not to mention the tactics and strategies are indeed different.

I always point to Uke waza to demonstrate the difference between western boxing and Karate.

I see on the internet people say traditional Uke waza is not practical or effective and then they go on to demonstrate why they believe 99% of traditional Uke doesn't work.

IMO

Their Maai and Hyosh are usually grounded in Western boxing. The second issue I see is that 99% of these people only have a kihon understanding of Uke Waza. (My guess is.... having a boxer's understanding of the dynamics of kumite they do two things: I) Only look at an Uke application from a position related to the distance and timing needed to be effective at boxing. & II) based in that premise... disregard the technique assuming its a flowery hold over of antiquity and never invest in it, believing its a low percentage application at best.

I'd love to see a sport that promoted karate's tactics and strategies.
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Mitlov
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Styles: Currently Chun Kuk Do. Formerly fencing, TKD, Shotokan

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well if course full contact karate can end up looking like kickboxing sometimes! That's literally how the sport of American kickboxing was born. The first kickboxing league in the USA was called the Professional Karate Association. Bill Superfoot Wallace came from Shorin-Ryu Karate, Joe Corley from Tang Soo Do, etc.

Bill Wallace versus Joe Corley (starts at 6:20): https://youtu.be/t0UWJ69595U
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kenpo4life
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the idea, but it is very clear that many of the fighters come from WKF rule sets. Too many low hands and raised chins. I would like to see the girls tops on and more kyokusin, enshin, and Kenpo stylists involved
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Mitlov
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Joined: 12 Dec 2018
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Styles: Currently Chun Kuk Do. Formerly fencing, TKD, Shotokan

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenpo4life wrote:
I love the idea, but it is very clear that many of the fighters come from WKF rule sets. Too many low hands and raised chins. I would like to see the girls tops on and more kyokusin, enshin, and Kenpo stylists involved


I think the reason we don't see more Kyokushin folks in Karate Combat is because they're focused on Kyokushin competition or K-1 kickboxing. I'm not sure what Karate Combat would offer them that those two established competition venues wouldn't. WKF didn't have a full-contact division or anything like that, and so Karate Combat is basically filling that void.
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