More Articles by Iain Abernethy

In Defence of Combat Sports

One of the never-ending controversies in martial arts is the role and influence of the combat sports. Some are ardent supporters and some see the sporting side of the martial arts as a heresy that should be challenged and slighted at every opportunity.

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Pressure Points: A Sceptical Examination

In this article I want to discuss the always controversial subject of pressure points. Before we go any further, I should make it clear that my articles are always 100% focused on my personal views. It would make little sense for me to try to explain the views of others (I’ll leave that up to them) or to arbitrarily give “the other side of the story”.

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The problems with "street fighting"

In this article I want to look at the term “street fight” and what connotations, both intentional and unintentional, that term can have.

In recent years I’ve been making a concerted effort to get stricter and stricter with my terminology when teaching. I feel this is important because loose terminology can lead to confusion and errors in training.

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Occam's Hurdled Katana: The logic of kata application

In this article I want to look at the logical basis for the various approaches to kata application. I’m of the view that analysing things from a logical perspective makes a compelling case for the best way to approach kata. From there, the article then looks at how the discussion about kata and bunkai needs to change. And it does need to change!

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What TMA can learn from MMA

MMA (mixed martial arts) is without a doubt the biggest thing to happen to the martial arts in the last few decades. It has seen the martial arts become mainstream as a spectator sport for the very first time and it has had a very big influence on the martial arts generally.

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Practical Karate?

I’ve been thinking about the term “practical” and its relationship to the martial arts. What is practical karate and how is that different from standard karate? Shouldn’t all takes on karate be practical? What would be the point of “impractical karate”?

The Google online dictionary has “practical” defined as:

1, Suitable for a particular purpose

2, Likely to succeed or be effective in real circumstances

3, Concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theory and ideas

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My Stance on Stances

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Grandmaster Haruyoshi Yamada Interview

On the 4th of November 2005 I had the privilege of interviewing Grand Master Haruyoshi Yamada when he visited the UK. This interview was on the old website and it has been a total oversight that it has not been posted here until now. Yamada was a joy to talk to (through an interpreter) and I felt that a lot of fascinating information was shared in the interview. I was particularly interested in his descriptions of his training with Chojiro Tani and the naming of the jujutsu style Kenwa Mabuni is said to have taught Tani along with karate and kobudo.

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History: is it a thing of the past?

Is an understanding of the history of karate important?  Or is it an irrelevant distraction from the pursuit of combative efficiency? Perhaps it can be both? As I see it “history” can be a force for either progress or stagnation and in this article I would like to talk about a number of issues relating to karate’s history and how that may effect our approach to the art today.

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Styles: Are They Killing Karate?

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