Kumite

BunkaiBasics

Bunkai Basics

Learning the Basics When we start training in traditional karate, we typically start learning kihon (basics). A stance, a punch, a kick, and a block to start things off are very common, and they are all practiced for hundreds of…
Oblique Kick

The Oblique Kick

Oblique Kick An effective, but relatively obscure technique of traditional Okinawan karate and Chinese martial arts, the oblique kick (also called the shovel kick) is slowly beginning to gain popularity. One would expect this popularity to be in the dojo,…
modernmakiwari

Makiwara in the Modern World

Impact Conditioning Gear A friend of mine brought up an interesting point the other day.  As a forty-something year old martial artist, and an individual who makes his living as a writer, he questioned the wisdom of continuing his daily…
trianglechoke

Triangle Choke

Options from the Ground Last week we talked about the option of performing a kimora from the ground. To add to our arsenal of techniques that we can  perform from the ground, this week we will be looking at the triangle choke.…
KimoraFromGround

Kimora from Ground

Fighting from Your Back One of the worst places to be in a fist fight is on the ground, on your back, with your opponent on top of you striking down at you. It is incredibly hard to generate the…
ArmBar

Arm Bar from Front Mount

Dominant Position The four main positions in grappling are: front mount, rear mount, side mount, and closed guard. Today’s technique is performed from the most dominant position, front mount. By being on top of your opponent, you have a better…
Simple Rotation Toss

Simple Rotation Toss

Fluid Movements Today’s technique is a simple rotation toss (there may be a better name out there for this) that can be used as a defense against a single leg takedown, double leg takedown, or a football style tackle. The…
HipToss

Hip Toss

Putting Your Opponent Down While fighting an opponent who is also standing up and throwing punches back can be a great way to relax, it is far from the ideal way to fight a serious attacker. If the attacker is…
TypesofSparringpartI

Different Types of Sparring – Part I

Traditional Types of Sparring For most of us who practice a traditional martial art, there are two main types of sparring. The first is type is prearranged sparring (Yakosoku Kumite), but I have heard it referred to as Gohan Kumite.…
Scissor Sweep Reversal

Scissor Sweep Reversal

Neck Wrench From the Ground In our last article on grappling we discussed how to take an opponent who is on top of you and flip them over using a neck wrench. This is was a useful technique for getting…
Neck Wrench From Ground

Neck Wrench From Ground

Neck Wrench Takedown If you haven’t seen our recent post on using a neck wrench to take an opponent to the ground, check it out over here to give you an idea of how to take someone down first. This…
Neck Wrench Takedown

Neck Wrench Takedown

Karate as a Combative Art As I have talked about in the past, I frequently train people here for their mandatory combatives classes. Few weeks ago a few of us went down and practiced a mix of striking techniques and…
Sparring Without Pads

Sparring Without Pads

[sc:q5ad] Milestone with Your Training Partner One of the milestones in a relationship with a training partner in karate is the first time you realize you can safely spar with them without the need for pads. In an ideal world,…
Various Types of Conditioning

Various Types of Conditioning

Introduction to Conditioning In karate, the word “conditioning” tends to be used in two ways–as it relates to fitness and as it relates to toughness.  Each aspect is more or less important depending on why you train, but both have…
Kyusho-jutsu

Kyusho-jutsu

Translation Kyosho is translated as the vital points of the body. Jutsu is an art with the absence of philosophy. Kyoshu-jutsu then is translated as the art of the vital points of the body. This is an art that teaches…
Kumite and Goshin

Kumite and Goshin

Related but Different Kumite (sparring/fighting) and goshin (self protection) are not the same, but despite this seemingly obvious truth, many people constantly equate effectiveness in one with effectiveness in the other.  In some ways, the two are certainly related to…
Receiving Award

Using the Hips

Introduction to Koshi The word koshi is simply the Japanese word for the area from your navel to your hip sockets, but when discussing martial arts it specifically refers to how to generate power with your hips, and it is…
Kihon Fukazatsu

Kihon Fukazatsu

Complexes Fukazatsu is a word that means complex. Complexes are patterns, always done with a partner, that are extremely flexible and adaptable. They do not stem from a specific kata, but rather combine many concepts into realistic practice. There are a…
A Call to Return to the Way

A Call to Return to the Way

Commercialization Karate-do as we know it today, is a highly commercialized sporting endeavor. Whenever you see it in magazine publications or on television and movies, many times you see tournaments, or chain’s of commercial schools and cash cow brand names. Only recently…
Getting Into Fighting Condition

Getting Into Fighting Condition

[sc:q5ad] The Problem This morning I was looking around Google and stumbled upon this “question” on Yahoo and thought it was worth talking about. “I am 43 and have been strength training for four straight years, but have never trained…
Deep Stances

Deep Stances

You Don’t Do Deep Stances? Recently I got a lot of comments on my YouTube channel because I have higher stances than many karate schools. These were called “bad” and “incorrect”, so I would like to talk about it. I do…
Takedowns in Karate

Takedowns in Karate

Karate contains sweeps, throws and other types of takedown techniques within the movements of kata. Many of these are obvious to those who practice grappling arts, but some techniques are disguised within kata due to changes in how they have…
Marine Corps Martial Arts Program

Joint Locks in Karate

An introduction to joint locks in Karate. Despite many people referring to Karate as a striking art without any grappling, this is only evidence of the watering down of Karate since it became a popular sport among kids. Karate contains…
Blocking

Blocking

A look into the theory that, "There are no blocks in karate, only attacks." The attacks are divided into passive and active attacks. In both cases, the end goal is to strike the opponent and make them not want to…
UnrealisticConcepts

“Unrealistic” Concepts in Karate

Traditional martial arts--karate included--often receive criticism for concepts being taught that are seen as unrealistic and poor form by those who do not understand what they are seeing. Chief among these seem to be "chambered" hands (hikite), low stances and…
Shuto-Uchi/Uke (Knife Hand)

Shuto-Uchi/Uke (Knife Hand)

Shuto (Sword Hand or Knife Hand) is a staple of karate technique and form.  This technique can be applied in a number of scenarios and in a number of ways–you will not see it often in sparring beyond its use…
Kuzushi

Kuzushi

Kuzushi The term “Kuzushi” tends to confuse a few students at our club. I hear a few people talk about how you have to “break your opponents kuzushi before you can complete the technique.”. Let’s get the definition of kuzushi…
Juju Undo

Juju Undo

Juju Undo: The Karateka’s Shadowboxing Shadowboxing is a fantastic tool that boxers use to work technique, timing, speed, movement and cardiovascular fitness.  Karateka have the a similar tool called juju undo, which is literally translated as “give-and-receive exercise” or, more…
Empty Hands - Part III

Empty Hands – Part III

Less Common Strikes While striking with fists and open hands is the most commonly seen aspect of empty handed striking it is also important to train the less commonly seen strikes with the arms.  The back of the wrist, the…
Empty Hands - Part II

Empty Hands – Part II

In my “Empty Hands – Part 1″ post we discussed striking methods using a closed fist.  In this post, however, I would like to discuss striking methods using an open hand.  There are a great many of these methods and…
Yoko Geri

Yoko Geri

Side Kick The Yoko Geri (Side Kick) is one of the strongest kicks in the karateka’s arsenal. Unlike the mae geri and the mawashi geri, the yoko geri (as taught here) is a thrusting kick that generates a great amount of power…
Empty Hands - Part I

Empty Hands – Part I

Karate is literally translated as “empty hand” (unless you go by the original wording which translates to “China hand”) and striking with the hands is a large part of it, but have you stopped to think about the diversity of…
The Makiwara

The Makiwara

The makiwara (literally “wrapped straw”) post is an iconic piece of karate training equipment that has a little bit of mystery behind it.  Most often you will hear people talking about using it to toughen their knuckles, but that is…
978

Mawashi Geri

Mawashi Geri (Roundhouse Kick) is one of the more common kicks used in all martial arts. It is similar to a volley kick in football (soccer) and can cause a significant amount of damage if done correctly. While in many…
Mae Geri

Mae Geri

The topic of how to do a good Mae Geri (front kick) came up in my class the other week, so I thought I would share my instruction with everyone on the topic. Every good front kick has four parts…
Introduction to Conditioning

Introduction to Conditioning

“Your fingers and the tips of your toes must be like arrows, your arms must be like iron.” – Chosin Chibana Most karateka these days, though not all, certainly, will not be training their fingers and toes to be like…
Japanese Go

Kumite and the Game of Go

Today I had an extended amount of time to think and surf the internet as I desperately hoped time would speed up. I decided to make use of my time by accomplishing a long time goal – I learned to…
Abusive Training

Abusive Training

In serious martial arts schools we train hard. We punch, kick and block with intensity and purpose. We sweat and we pant by the end of class and often leave with bruises and sore muscles. Every now and then there…
Kodokan

Floor Mats in the Dojo – Good or Bad

It is a regular trend for me to use topics from my own training for posts on here. Today is no exception. We have recently been looking into purchasing the somewhat standard interlocking mats that you see in many Karate…
Specialty Technique

Tokui Waza – Your Specialty

Tokui-waza is a concept that I was first introduced to in Judo, and it simply means “the technique that is your specialty”.  My Judo instructor here in Arizona called the throw uchi-mata his “tokui-waza” and that started me looking into…
Martial Arts Shoes

Martial Arts Shoes

I have previously discussed the wearing or not wearing of a traditional karate gi inside of the dojo. Tonight I wanted to throw out my thoughts on Martial Arts shoes. As I was going through the ranks, I was always…
Fighting from the Ground - Part II

Fighting from the Ground – Part II

In “Fighting from the Ground – Part 1″ I discussed some methods you can use to prevent a fight from going to the ground.  Those methods have been tested and proven to work, but even if you train those methods…
Tactical Fighting

Tactical Fighting

Martial artists often like to discuss (and sometimes argue) about whether it is more important to develop control or power.  This argument usually stems from discussing the merits of full-contact sparring versus point sparring, where people will usually claim that…
Yakusoku Kumite - Part III

Yakusoku Kumite – Part III

This article is the third in the series on Yakusoku Kumite (Prearranged Sparring). I will continue elaborating on my personal sets of Kihon Kumite Waza (Basic Fighting Techniques). I have talked about the first two sets, Kihon Kumite Waza Dai…
Fighting from the Ground - Part I

Fighting from the Ground – Part I

This is a topic that I feel very strongly about and I have found that it is a topic that non-martial artists tend to focus on more often than most martial artists.  Before we delve into this article on ground-fighting,…
Mike Oliveri

Sparring Other Styles

Sparring is, in my opinion, a vital part of martial arts training.  Kata gives you a foundation in your art and develops muscle memory and conditioning, but there are some things that you really need to work against a live…
Yakusoku Kumite - Part II

Yakusoku Kumite – Part II

In my first article on Yakusoku Kumite (Prearranged Sparring), I talked about my personal set of Kihon Kumite Waza (Basic Fighting Techniques). I covered the first set, Kihon Kumite Waza Dai Ichi. In this article I will be covering the…
Yakusoku Kumite - Part I

Yakusoku Kumite – Part I

This post was done as a thank you to Noah Legel for being my first active reader and always offering commentary on my posts. If you would like to request a topic contact me. Tonight’s topic is on Yakusoku Kumite,…
Feats

Karate Feats

First Experience I remember my first time watching Jean-Claude Van Damme in Bloodsport and thinking that martial arts was about breaking bricks and kicking people off platforms. Then I grew up and learned that it is all a bunch of…
The External Techniques of Karate

The External Techniques of Karate

Bunkai Bunkai is far more important than kata, but they tend to run hand in hand. To learn all of the bunkai you typically need to evaluate the kata repeatedly to find all of the hidden meanings in it. If…
Contact – Part II

Contact – Part II

Kata is the foundation to karate, but you cannot move up without understanding what it feels like to do actually defend yourself.
Contact – Part I

Contact – Part I

I think there is a lot to gain from actually making contact starting at about 5th Kyu, or earlier if working with a sensei.
The Importance of Contact

The Importance of Contact

As student progress through the ranks, they should become more comfortable with making contact when working with other students.