20 Dec 2014
One of the questions you get as a karate instructor is does this really work? It is a strange question because you spend a lot of time teaching a student the basics, how to kick, punch, stay out of striking range until they are ready to strike and then they pounce! What do you mean does this really work? I should say it is a strange question to me because I have had the experience of it really working.
A bit of back ground is in order. As a fledgling karate student (before much formal training) I use to break boards, read books, watch TV shows and movies and tried all of the stuff… most of it worked but I had no idea of how to pull it off in a confrontation. I got lucky a lot – stuff that should not have worked – did because I was a young – fast – strong buck.
So the question is more how one teaches the techniques and if taught correctly – can the students pull it off. Here is a funny satire on self-defense moves that in my opinion should not work (at least the way they are demonstrated). Enjoy this and will dive into this subject.
Way back when I first started in the Hawaiian Martial Arts, the first one I tried was Lima Lama (I later transitioned to Kenpo). That was a really cool – flowing martial art where I was first exposed to self-defense techniques. One would learn how to defend against a right cross or a club attack. The attacks and defenses seemed to go on forever from my beginning karate mind.
I recall telling my instructors that these techniques were really complex and when would I ever use one? I mean after you blocked – you then counter punched, kicked out the leg and dropped a knee and punch. That was a lot to remember and even back then – I did not believe if someone threw a right cross – I was going to do all of that.
In this post we will ask and hopefully answer the question of why we learn complex self defense techniques and are they relevant. But first watch this example of one such technique.
You’ve started to take karate lessons from your local school for some reason. Perhaps you have had a run in at the local pub or you have been mugged. Whatever the reason you have decided to learn how to defend yourself. You want to become the next Ninja Warrior! You do not want to be a MMA star but you just want that highly respected Black Belt.
You went with a reputable school that has been recommended by one of your buddies and have had your introductory lessons. The school is one of many that teach basics, self-defense techniques, katas and sparring. If you are really motivated you can do some semi or full contact sport karate tournaments later.
In this post I will focus on self-defense techniques, what they are, how long it takes to learn them well and do they work. I will also speak about beginning students with the goal of self defense and how realistic that is learning a traditional martial art. Here is a demonstration of some American Kenpo and Tracy’s Kenpo Karate techniques.