5 dogmas that you must give up if you aim deep in Karate Do
Do you want to advance and deepen the art of Karate Do? Then you must sacrifice some of modern karate’s sacred cows...
Over the years each generation of karateka has contributed to the development of karate as a martial art. In each generation, there have been teachers who have deepened and opened new avenues of study, work and training.
Each generation has had its handful of innovators who have renewed, modified and deepened our martial art.
It is also true that after the popularization that Karate has undergone in the last 60 years, a lot of knowledge has been lost.
Much of Karate's negative development is caused by the lack of understanding by many masters of the theoretical roots of Karate and the subsequent development of training methodologies based on the ignorance and lack of martial maturity of many who participated in the export and popularization of karate.
The devaluation of karate has reached such heights, that for most of its practitioners today, karate has ceased to be a martial system of self-defense and has become a sports pastime, with its rules and tactics and strategies, and a methodology of specific training. All this in order to win competitions and achieve medals.
Even within the so-called traditional styles, sports competition is taken as a natural extension ...
Within this framework it is possible to identify several "dogmas" that govern the training of many modern karateka and stand in the way of anyone who wants to delve into the martial art of Karate Do.
Milimetric precision is necessary for the development of a correct basic technique.
Like all dogmas, this one has a gram of truth. The problem lies not in the accuracy, but in the technical parameters that are used to determine what to value as correct and what to rate as incorrect.
The basic technique (kihon) of Karate, should not be governed by external geometric or aesthetic concepts. Karate kihon should aim to gradually teach the pupil to create the internal structures necessary to create as long energy chains as possible, and maximize the transmission of energy.
Karate is composed of Kihon, Kata and Kumite.
These types of statements represent, at its root, the lack of knowledge and misunderstanding of Karate Do as a martial system that we inherited from many of our teachers.
This is a methodological and intellectual limitation of Karate as a system.
Karate Do is in its conception, a holistic martial system that encompasses all the training areas necessary to mold a complete practitioner. In its correct context, there are a myriad of methods and disciplines that add to the practice of Karate Do as a martial system, that don’t fall into the categories of kihon, Kata and Kumite.
Past masters were better and generally the Karate Do of before was better than the one of today.
There is a general trend in karate’s micro world, to always be looking back. Idolizing and idealizing the practitioners who preceded us on the path ...
There is empirically nothing to support this theory, but there is enough graphic documentation to support the contrary: Many of today's practitioners have a more refined and effective technique than teachers from 3 generations ago.
This is not a bad thing, nor does it place the teachers of yesteryear in a bad light.
If it had been the case, then we would have grounds for criticism, as it would mean that our teachers would have been bad teachers.
But everything indicates that in reality it is not so.
Several of the classic masters of Karate Do can be seen demonstrating their technique on YouTube. In them it is evident to anyone who is willing to see them with a sincere and critical mind, that there has been a technical evolution.
This is a natural and necessary process.
The work and contributions of Isaac Newton are no less important or less impressive, nor are they eclipsed by the arrival of Albert Einstein to the world of physics, right?
The transmission and continuous progression of knowledge is a law of the human condition.
Einstein would never have reached his general theory of relativity if Newton had not done the work he did.
We must remember that we are on the shoulders of giants, but it is necessary to take responsibility for our time, our development and our students.
It is up to us to ensure that the development curve of Karate continues to rise. That is the only acceptable way to honor the legacy and heritage of the masters who transcended the path before us.
Without Bunkai there is no Kata.
These days, it is fashionable among those who are interested in the study of functional Karate Do (it is unfortunate to have to refer to our art in this way, it is indicative of the total pauperization that Karate Do has suffered), to regard Bunkai as the main method of study of Kata.
While it is true that the study of Bunkai is essential for the martial nature of our art, it is necessary to understand that Kata is much more than its analysis from the perspective of the martial application of its movements.
The levels of information enclosed in Kata are of enormous depth and anyone who limits himself to the study of the martial application of the techniques of Kata, will be very shallow in his evolution as karateka.
Kata gives us an ecosystem of study and development that will govern the training of mature karateka. It is inside that micro cosmos, that we will discover the internal connections and relationships that will allow us to identify and separate the different energy sources of the body, the study of the structures necessary for its use and its application within a technical martial context.
Bunkai without Kata is simply a game of "if he attacks you like this, you do this." In turn, Bunkai is just one area of all facets of study that Kata provides us with.
Muscular contraction as technique’s main energy source.
It is necessary to forget about the muscular force as the main source of power generation when striking.
This is a vast subject that is generally misunderstood and misused by the mass of Karate Do practitioners.
This type of information is impossible to convey in writing and it is necessary to study with a sensei who understands these areas of study, if you want access to genuine and functional information.
Suffice it to say that, muscle strength is a lower level parameter in energy generation and very often is used in a counterproductive way. Internal coordination has a much stronger impact on your punching power, than your physical strength.
Any muscle contraction involves the relaxation of the opposing muscles. Consequently, every technical study should make the same emphasis on the relaxation of antagonistic muscles as on the contraction of the muscles involved in the generation of energy.