Karate is not for Everybody!
Here’s the truth about Karate, so you can choose what direction to go in.
Karate was not meant for fisticuffs.
It was designed for Okinawa Imperial bodyguards to defend their emperor against samurais and other warriors…WITH THEIR BARE HANDS!
Thus, a karate trained to be able to crack armor with a punch, to take weapons away, and to throw people on the ground with authority.
When did it become known for bare handed fighting? When did the other elements fall out of usage, and even knowledge?
As stated, the Imperial Bodyguards trained to defeat people with weapons, so you can be pretty sure Karate was used in all its variety.
Gichin Funakoshi, however, changed the name from ‘China Hand’ to ‘Empty Hand.’ This may mean that the focus of Karate was changing.
To support this viewpoint one should consider that Karate became popular in Japan because of a ‘boxing match’ in which a Karate one punched a boxer.
Funakoshi was sought out to teach the Japanese soldiers and royalty.
Would royalty like being thrown on the ground? Better to alter the teachings, emphasize punches and kicks.
As Karate became more and more renowned, it was taught to college students. These college students, as young turks everywhere, would definitely have a predilection for punching as a form of dominance.
And of course, one can’t forget America, where money was made by tournaments, so instructors everywhere slanted their teachings for tournament techniques, which were heavy on punches and kicks.
So Karate became known for its ‘fisticuffs,’ the all the other stuff became forgotten.
Come forward to America of today, and you have people who teach Karate for tournaments, with the emphasis on fists and feet.
The transformation, at this point, would seem to be complete except for one point.
Karate, as fisticuffs, doesn’t work well.
Proof for this last statement can be found in the fact that boxing has risen to the fore. The training methods are more focused, and MMA has overshadowed Karate (and other classical arts).
There are two points here, however, that people don’t understand.
Point one: Karate includes lots of other weapons. This causes a diversity in training that weakens the focus of Karate.
Point two: Karate has never been formulated specifically for fisticuffs.
So, that’s the story behind Karate, and you can now understand why it is sometimes considered weak, or just for kids.
The truth, however, once you understand the shortcomings, is that Karate can be quite superior. It not only conditions the whole body, it creates a zen frame of mind that boxing and MMA never even approach.
Yeah, yeah, I know: you want to fight.
Never said we wouldn’t do that.
So here are the directions you can go in.
Learn Classical Karate with all it’s shortcomings. There is a depth of zen here that is unparalleled. This is the original Kang Duk Won Classical Karate course I learned in the sixties. It bypasses the Japanese version, and was taught not by Funakoshi, but by Kanken Toyama, a classmate of Funakoshi’s.(Bookmark this page, you will be leaving this site)
Learn ‘fixed’ Karate on the Temple Karate course. Which course includes a complete method for understanding Karate as it was originally taught, with the emphasis on such things as disarming weapons, throwing people to the ground, and cracking armor with one punch. This method is designed to handle people who wore the ancient leather armor, and carried swords and other weapons.(Bookmark this page, you will be leaving this site)
And, third, my favorite, learn Matrix Karate. Matrix Karate completes the journey Karate began when it put aside disarms and began focusing on fisticuffs. Matrix Karate has only the throws that one would effect when fighting modern folk (without armor and long swords and such), and develops punches in the narrow vein necessary for the ‘zen’ training methods to replace such sports as boxing and MMA.
Okay, so there you have it:
Ancient Kang Duk Won ~ for self defense against samurai. (Bookmark this page, you will be leaving this site)
Old Temple Karate ~ between ancient and modern, but designed to develop the zen frame of mind. (Bookmark this page, you will be leaving this site)
Modern Matrix Karate ~ for streetwise combat better than boxing and MMA.