When discussing practical applications and training, we don't typically discuss karate competition, because the standard competitive formats for karate simply don't fit our idea of what karate is. That's why I was quite intrigued when this video came up in my Facebook feed today:
When I watched it, I was skeptical of the "random attacks" claim, since the competitors seemed to be teammates, so I checked out the website. Apparently, there are 40 "approved" attacks that this organization uses, and the referee picks one at random for the attacker to execute, which the defender then needs to deal with (without knowing what attack was chosen). Reaction time and technique effectiveness seem to be the key criteria for judging. I, personally, think this seems like a fun/interesting competitive format. Even more importantly, though, it will promote the practice of effective, practical karate, because if people want to win (and, let's face it, people like winning) they will have to explore and drill practical self defense techniques. It certainly has its flaws, as all things do, but from the looks of it, I think it's much better than the competitive formats we currently have in karate! What do you all think?