Under: karate
16 Mar 2009

7 Responses to “Point Karate versus Kickboxing! Who has the Edge?”

  1. Markstraining.com Says:

    Great post. My background is in Karate. When I started training Mauy Thai I was asked the same sort of questions. “Do you fancy doing REAL fighting”. “Do you spar realistically in karate” etc. Just becuase the sparring is not always full contact, it was perceived as being bad and unpractical. Obviously they are wrong. Just becuase full contact sparring is not always done doe not mean it is unpractical.

  2. Blake Says:

    Interesting post. I remember a NASKA event called Battle of Atlanta, I believe it was 2006 although I may be wrong. They brought out one of the top point sparrers in the country, and put him up against a Brazilian MMA fighter.

    The Brazilian got dropped with a nasty hook kick in the first round. However, I’m not sure how good the MMA fighter was. I remember being unimpressed at the time.

    Self Defense Videos

  3. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hi Blake,

    There is a lot of crossover between point and full contact, MMA, especially nowadays. I think it depends on the training and individual more so than what style or type of competition.

  4. Senseimike Says:

    It’s interesting that you used a video of joe lewis for point fighting. Joe was also one of the greatest kickboxers of all time. In the time of Joe Lewis and chuck norris point fighting was much different than it is now. That’s why Joe’s black belts are pivotal figures in the kickboxing and MMA world, and why mr norris involved himself with the WCL. Today if you see a point match it’s two guys bouncing around on one foot trying to graze the head gear of the other for a quick 2-3 points. It is disgusting. The worst thing karate ever did was divorce themselves from kickboxing (which they created). Kickboxing is about who is a better fighter, not who can tap the other guy the fastest. All the speed in the world ain’t worth a damn without power. Also, it’s not about full contact either. As a practioner of an okinawan martial art I’m the odd ball out amongst my instructor friends who all teach Muay Thai, very rarely they go full contact. Full contact sparring on a regular basis leads to too many injuries. Most kickboxers spar with moderate contact, they hit, and it’s hard, but not full. Semi contact kickboxing is also gaining in popularity, look at one of those matches and compare it to a point match. The difference is clear, the kickboxers still look like fighters. In closing I’d like to also say that any black belt in any style that can’t fight doesn’t deserve that belt. Yes I know that there is much more to karate than just fighting, but come on, we punch and kick things. If you want the benefits of karate without fighting, learn yoga instead.

  5. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hi Sensi Mike,
    I gather you think point fighting in the era of Joe Lewis and Chuck Norris was better than today? I hope that is not the case as I have found fighting is continually evolving.
    In Joe Lewis’s day there were not as many skilled fighters in what he and Bruce Lee taught about initial movement and critical distance. Nowadays with the how many current and former Tracy’s karate (and branches) schools as well as the Lewis Fighting System and his (Joe’s) seminars out there – critical distance and initial movement are more common.
    I would not be quick to label today’s point fighting poorly… if as you say a graze constitutes a point (rather than the clear demonstration of potential power) – that is more a statement of the quality of judging I would say.
    I come from point fighting roots and found the mantra of “be first” has helped me in my many street fights I got in as a bouncer. I found if I hit the guy first, most were unable to respond. I should mention that me hitting first was more of a function of the other guy’s inability to bridge the gap and not a preemptive attack on my part.
    I have also trained in kick boxing and found I like that too. I have not done MMA as that was after my tournament days.
    The school I trained in endorsed semi-contact sparring, meaning as hard as you want to the body (also the tournament rules in the late 70’s) but kiss contact to the head. What ended up happening is the head contact was a little harder but doable. At the time I did not train with head gear.
    I found that point karate training put me in perfect position for street fighting (As I experienced working as a doorman at a low-life club).
    I tend to believe as you do that if a black belt cannot hold his or her own with other black belts – what was the point. That being said – all instructors did not and do not think that and allow some that are good at just kata to advance to black belt.
    Anyway Sensei Mike, That’s my 2 cents… by the way I did not think much of Chuck Norris’s WKL… I don’t think you could tell who the better fighter was by who won the match because they had to go for broke – all out the whole time or lose points.
    Thanks for your comments.

  6. Punch Bag Says:

    Totally agree that some intructors of Karate don`t train on pads, heavy bag etc to condition the fighter for real world situations, some just train kicking/punching thin air. Muai thai prepares the student for real world situations from regular sparring etc.
    .-= Punch Bag´s last blog ..Why workout on the punch bag? =-.

  7. t-bone Says:

    Appreciate the article and fair comparisons given sans judgement. Personally I will never be able to make sense of the questions “how a fighter with what contact-preference would dominate a fight in real life”, “which rules would come handy in a life scenario”, “is this a real fight?”, “is that a true warrior?” etc etc. To judge a highly stylized athletic movement, or the set of delimitations pertaining to its execution or evaluation on the basis of real-life applicability is plain redundant to me. Schools, styles, contact or combat techniques of any martial art or of a particular fight-organization are all matters that get shaped through time, tradition and cultures of sportsmanship, as well as of spectatorship. True that self-defense or combat in real life situations is part of the historical reality of the oldest forms of martial arts, but for all fighters amateur and professional, it is a matter of performance to be evaluated and refereed as well as to be realized mostly in the presence of spectators. As such, impact or force is not all there is to it- there are also focus, tactic, auto-command, management of one’s own energy as well as of the opponent’s to be considered as well. Ridiculous how ‘point-fighting’ is being used among some fans of kickboxing today, in the sense of
    ‘little or no KO, just plain boring fight to be determined by decision’. Anybody training hours and hours everyday, teaching his body how to handle his mind and his mind how to handle his body is a fighter, whether he be doing fencing, muay thai, or point karate. The fight is about one-self, with one-self. The training is the path, the fight the opportunity.