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Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture
End of year podcast

CHRISTMAS PODCAST QUESTIONS! Yep, it’s that time of year again! Please put your questions / topics in the comments, or email me at iain@iainabernethy.com. I’m happy to do my best to answer any questions you have on kata, bunkai, training, teaching, self-defence, just about anything really!

Bob is going to co-host this year too! That’s right! The inanimate and mute Bob is going to be with me in an audio only format! I have no idea how that’s going to work either!

All the best,


Frazatto's picture

Those are the best podcasts, the infomercials are priceless!

I was wandering Iain, how did you start all this?

I mean, the "practical karate" vision and methodology you teach today, what were your earlier influences? What helped you connect the dots?

I share many of the issues you comment about 3K karate and it lead me here, but on your first videos and in the older podcasts you were already quite confident about what you were doing. Although you polished every detail of it through the years, the principles and overall approach remained, so it got me curious.

Adam_E's picture

The end of the year podcasts are always great, very informative and entertaining! I am wondering if there are any methods that you use, or recommend, for practicing solo kata and breaking it down in order to see/ envision the bunkai when a training partner is not available? I know tweaking the timing and intentionally trying to "apply" the kata movements has helped me personally. Still, I am curious if you have any other recommendations or ideas regarding the pursuit of developing bunkai when one can not practice with a partner frequently.

Frazatto's picture

If I could get two questions :D

Have you seen Lyoto Machida's YouTube channel?


I always felt a little annoyed that karate "didn't work" in the ring and this is the first time I see an adaptation that is actually being pressure tested successfully while keeping the esthetics and principles of karate. The fact that they are brasilian, like me, is also very cool!

I think he summarizes it better on this interview with Sensei Seth:


In the spirit of changing with the times, is there value to us martial artists to incorporate those developments that prove to be functional, even if not exactly used for self defense?

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Hi All,

These are all great! Thank you! If anyone has any more, please post them below.

All the best,


Kiwikarateka's picture

Hi Iain,

Two questions:

1. From what little I've seen, your kata is pretty sharp, so I wonder how much time you devote in class to actually teaching/practicing kata, and what level of "nit picking" you get to with form? If you're not spending much time on it in-class, do you get students to do their own self practice? Or have you found that spending time on other things (bunkai, mitt work, general partner work, etc) has the side effect of improving student's kata performance?

2. Have you ever considered republishing any of your books? For example doing a limited print run or using an on-demand print service like lulu? Ebooks are great and I own a few but, I do enjoy having something physical I can pick up off the shelf and flick through, write notes in, or gift to people.

Looking forward to hearing yours and Bob's thoughts!

Happy Holidays from NZ,


Pierre's picture

Hello Iain,

I'd have a lot of questions...but they would more or less revolve around these two themes:

1/ Cross-training: How to do it well? How to integrate it to our karate? What is your experience?

2/ The challenges we face when transitionning to practical karate: The difficulty of finding a like-minded dojo. How to train alone. Self-doubt ("Who am I to put into question what I've been taught?", etc.