More Articles by Iain Abernethy

Kata: Why Bother?

There are many differing views on the value of kata. Kata is regarded by some to be the very 'soul' of the martial arts. By others, it's regarded as a complete waste of time. To my mind, both views have merit depending upon what is meant by 'kata' and how it is approached.

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The use of the 'Karate Guard' in Kata and Combat

The term 'guard' refers to the position in which the hands are held when fighting. There are many differing opinions on which is the 'correct' or 'best' guard position. So where should we hold our hands in order to effectively fight and defend ourselves? Should the hands be held high, as in boxing? Or should they be held lower, as in modern karate? Why all the variations? In this article I'd like to explore these questions, and in particular look at the use and evolution of the guard in karate.

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Karate: The Next Big Thing?

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Karate: A Complete Fighting System? (The first article I ever wrote)

Introduction:

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Mental Strength

In his book 'Wado-Ryu' karate, Hironori Otsuka tells us that there are three kinds of strength - Physical Strength, Technical Strength and Mental Strength - and if any of those is deficient it will be " the downfall of the individual ". It's a common misconception throughout the martial arts that 'technique' is the key; if we have good technique then we will be effective in combat.

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Kata: a Lock or a Key?

In this article I'd like to briefly discuss some of the ways in which we can view kata, and how, if we adopt a restrictive view, this can severely limit our progress in the martial arts.

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Kata: Closing the Skill Gap

Karate is most commonly practised as a mid- to long-range kicking and punching system. And whilst karate practitioners tend to be very skilled at impacting at this range, they are often found wanting should the fight go to close-range. This is because most modern dojos do not include close-range striking and fundamental grappling skills in their training. A chain is only ever as strong as its weakest link and it is this lack of close-range skills that could be the karateka's undoing in a live situation.

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Kicking: Below the Belt?

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Kushanku / Kanku / Kosokun

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The Four Stages of Kata Practise

Practically all karateka practise kata; however, most only practise the initial stage and therefore they do not develop a rounded and more complete understanding of what kata has to offer. In this article we shall discuss all four stages of kata practise.

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