KARATE STUDIES Feed

Novices concentrate on the "how" of something - Masters concentrate on the "why". You see it martial arts training all the time. Students in lines executing one movement or another, emulating the instructor. The same thing is seen in the firearms world. Lots of guys know "how" to - for example - reload the handgun, and they are spitting images of their instructor. But unless they understand "why" it is important to do it that way, they don't really know anything other than to mimic what somebody else has taught them. And it gets worse when that instructor didn't know either. Just as Karate's moves have applications that must be learned and understood, the same must be said about the far simpler martial science of pistol fighting. Often we will see somebody emulating a competition technique, or a technique that is workable only when you are a member of a team. The reasons for this usually end up with - "it looks cool". If that is the sum total of your goal in training - looking cool - or winning... Read more →


SHOOTING WITH YOUR MOUTH OPEN

One other aspect of why we are against the often seen "shooting while yelling PC commands" is that it prevents you from shooting well. Gunfighting is a martial art and rather than minimize the study, we go the other way. Like athletic performance, we want to do everything possible to insure the surgical shooting we want to accomplish. Any visual study of top athletes reveals that they keep mouths closed when exerting. Either explosions of power, speed, or strength are made easier with a closed mouth. Moreover, watching Olympic archers, or athletes that require exactness, position their jaws and mouths the same way. Partly it has to do with clearing the airway, and partly has to do with optimizing muscular-skeletal positioning. Here is a great article on Charles Poliquin's blog - Strength Sensei Keep Your Mouth Shut to Improve Your Performance Read more →


Any field of study is based upon the traditions of its founders. The world of the gun is no different. And the generation of men who founded the art of American Gunfighting, did not hold physical fitness in high esteem. It is not to castigate them, but simply to point out that we are a product of our parents and they of their grandparents. Nobody gives birth to themselves. All that said, we certainly do not live in the world of our parents and grandparents. And we are also not limited to the information of their day. We have far more data than they did, and thus after the head start we received, we can now drive the art forward into the future. And that is true as we are making far better technical shooters today than was possible in the 1930s, or 1960s. And while men like Jordan and Bryce may have had much more experience at killing, I doubt they were better shots than the students we produce today. As well, I suspect, if Fairbairn and Applegate, and... Read more →


THE VALUE OF KATA There are guys that will roll their eyes and mumble about "dead patterns" when someone brings up Kata, as if they sprang from their mother's nether regions with a full and complete understanding of all things martial. Just as successful point shooting (real world close range handgun killing not range masturbation) comes from a thorough education in the use of the sights and accurate shooting, so does mindlessness, comes from mindfulness, and patternless movement - you guessed right - comes from patterns and paradigms of movement. And Kata provide that. I suppose I could go into a long dissertation on that but I will not now. Maybe later. Definitely later. I will need to discuss this because modern people think everything that came before their own birth is irrelevant. In my early years I trained with guys that had killed more people than action heroes in the movies...and they studied Karate Katas. My parent system is Kyokushin and that has its roots in Goju Ryu, so I tend to favor that type of movement pattern. I... Read more →


I was at Starbucks, getting the a quadruple espresso. I was watching a man buy four of those blended drinks. He skips the cardboard carrier they offer and walks out balancing one cup atop another in each hand. It is interesting to watch and so I keep an eye on him as I sip my high octane. He walks up to the passenger side of an SUV and hands one stack to the female passenger. It is at that point that he loses control of the other stack and one Frappucino begins to topple toward the pavement. But very quickly, the man lowers his body and hand, reaches down and catches the falling cup before it spills of hits the deck. Fantastic! What a save! I did not stop to interview him, but I suspect he did not think too much about what he would do, nor is it a move that he has practiced countless times either. Yet there it was...perfect execution and timing. Action without thought. Later in the day, I was driving home with the "Shield Maiden".... Read more →


Most students of personal combat today have some understanding of ground fighting and the mechanics of taking down an adversary. Its not a hard thing to learn, and anyone who has a little athletic ability and a partner to work some basic moves can develop some pretty serious skill sets in short order. Most shooters already have a disdain for physical combat of any sort, but bring up the notion of wrestling around on the ground with someone and you will probably be asked to leave. Ignorance is bliss and few people want their bliss upset. These blissful shooters may not like the idea of fighting on the ground, but ignoring the situation is as silly as pretending that knife assaults won’t happen either. Any gun guys who think they are so fast and alert that they can never be taken down to the ground, please send me an email. I have some Brazilian gents I’d like to introduce you to and I will bet you $1000 they will put you down before you can clear leather. I will begin... Read more →


I got back to the station and my uniform was in shreds. My knees and elbows looked like I was some little kid that fell off his bike. In short, I looked like crap. I had just concluded a nice little ground fight with an MS-13 gang member. In retrospect, I should have simply stabbed him in the neck...but we learn and live…thankfully. He was brought in beaten up bad, and choked out...but very much alive. In my experience, fights do not always go to the ground. They do if you lose your balance, or if you go to a clinch and both guys lose their balance (or one decides to lose the other guy's balance). The big problem with all of this is that you will never be fighting just one guy. There will be others waiting to kick you in the face when you are tied up with their "carnal"...their homie. So my focus on learning to fight on the ground is not to apply arm bars, or submit people, but rather to get the f*ck back up... Read more →


In a recent discussion at warriortalk a point was brought up that one did not need to have a "physique" in order to be able to fight. I countered that fitness and fighting were two separate matters and showed images of the UFC fighter Tank Abbott. Abbott is a huge man and can fight, nobody can deny that. But he is fat and not "fit" in the sense of what we want fitness to be. I then showed an image of Clarence Bass, a 75 year old bodybuilder who looks better and is probably healthier at 75 than most men at 25. If all we wanted to do was to "be able to hit hard and fight", we would be emulating the Sumo wrestler...getting as big and fat as we could, so we could bowl over lighter men. A sumotori would able to break a smaller man's wrist by simply taking his punch. But I will bet a health profile for a Sumo is hardly one promising of a long life. I will also bet a sumotori could not run... Read more →