209 posts / 0 new
Last post
Wastelander's picture

Hello everyone,

My name is Noah and I have been a fan of Iain for a couple years and following the site for about a year but never bothered to introduce myself on the old forum or the new one because I tend to be a lurker.

I just turned 24 years old and I have been training in karate since 2006, first in Shuri-Ryu in central Illinois, as well as judo.  I was at the dojo about 14 hours every week and practicing at home (and at work :P) constantly during that time--I was completely addicted.  In 2008 I moved to Arizona and continued training judo two hours at a time, two nights a week, but had to practice karate on my own because there wasn't a dojo I could train at that worked with my location and schedule.  In 2010 I moved to a slightly different location in Arizona and my work schedule changed, which is when I found a great Shorin-Ryu dojo and have been there ever since.  I am only at the dojo about 8-9 hours a week, now, and I find that I mostly run through kata sequences (not as many haard workouts as I used to do) and do research while I am at home to ask questions about or practice in the dojo.

I first learned "block-punch-kick karate" as far as bunkai goes, with the occasional joint lock or throw included every now and then.  It honestly wasn't until I started training judo more and had to do my own karate training that I started realizing how much more there might be, and it wasn't until I started training at my current Shorin-Ryu dojo that I really started learning more of what bunkai was and could be.  I am a martial arts nerd, through-and-through, and love studying different ways of applying techniques and concepts, as well as working with people from other styles to see what I can use from that to improve my karate.  My current dojo is open to cross-training and integrating techniques and concepts from other styles, so it's a great learning and sharing environment for martial arts and I really like bringing up things I've seen from Iain or seen discussed on line to see what we can make of them.  If anybody wants to stop by the dojo, just shoot me a message!


DarrenH's picture

Hi All,

I'm Darren, 2nd Dan Wado Ryu Karate, and I'm lucky enough to run my own club here in sunny Colchester. I used to patrol this area whilst in the Police, and when I Ieft opened a small, non-profit club for the local youths (God bless 'em!) to get them off the streets and maybe give them a path instead. The practical application of Kata fascinates me, and I love Iains work and have introduced some into the syllabus already. It's nice to be here with like-minded people, and I look forward to learning from you!

Georgios Kalomiros
Georgios Kalomiros's picture


I've been practicing Shotokan at De Anza College in Cupertino, California since 1995. I'm one of the instructor's TAs. We've been an independant dojo until last year when we joined WTKO. I've had the good fortune to participate in many seminars with many various karate instructors such as Kanazawa, Nishiyama, Asai, Toshihiro Oshiro, Harry Cook, Richard Amos, and Steve Ubl. I'm also lucky in that our dojo is friendly with several other karate local martial arts studios, not all Shotokan; so, I've dabbled in varying amounts with cross-training in Shito-ryu, Renshinkan Shorinji-ryu Karate, Aikido, Jiujitsu, Western Boxing, Yamani-ryu Bojitsu, Chen Tai Chi, and Krav Maga.

Karate is a favorite pastime and passion of mine. I had the misfortune of having been in violent fights in my youth, so I have a great appreciation for a pragmatic approach towards the martial arts. I find it also grants me a great appreciation for the avoidance of violence promoted by that same approach towards the martial arts. My constant search for effective meaning behind kata lead me to Mr. Abernethy's Youtube channel, which lead me to pick up a couple of his books, which lead me here.

So, Hi!


James Ellen
James Ellen's picture

Thought I'd better introduce myself - I registered here a while back but neglected to post!  I got my 1st dan last year and have been thinking a lot about my own karate, what it means to train and all that stuff, so I've found myself coming here more and more to read all the knowledge you guys have. Hope to post more.

karate10's picture

Good Morning.

My name is Jerry Linares and I live in Southern California (Los Angeles).....I'm 30 years of age and and I'm currently studying Kyokushin Karate(san kyu) for the last 3 years in Little Tokyo U.S.A. I'm not  into winning trophies.My job is Armed Security guard and I train for not only for self defense, but to become a better citizen to help others in society.......Prior to my Karate training, I'm also 1st degree black belt in TKD and studied 3 years in Hakko Ryu Jujutsu.

I discovered this site by observing countless classic Kata Bunkais from Iain's videos on YouTube and one of my dreams is once I get vacation time from work is to visit Mr. Iain dojo in the UK.....Love your videos Sr. =)

Osu =)

stephen's picture

Hi all,

Stephen here, was a member a loooong time ago, just got my account reactivated.

Oh, the other stuff.... I'm in Cumbria, t'other end of the county to most other Cumbrians. which makes me even more isolated.

Sofia's picture

Hello everyone!

My name is Sofia, am from Sweden but lives in Norway. I've trained Wado Ryu karate in my youth, quit and started Shorin Ryu Shobayashi Karate when I moved to Norway in 2008. Took 1st kyu winter 2011, just after participating at the Iain Abernethy seminar training weekend just a few weeks before in Kristiansand.

I have a blog that I started January this year to share my training and progress for my black belt exam next summer:


Would very much appreciate if you guys would take a looksie and comment on my posts if you feel like it.

As you might have understood by now I'm quite "fresh" in the karate world, but am enjoying it very much and am one of the instructors for our clubs youth classes. And I must say it's very rewarding to see them progress in their training!

If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a PM :)

Jon Jepson
Jon Jepson's picture

Hi everyone .

Im Jon . My background is in fighting , both formally and , in my earlier years informally ! , I started training in Judo at a early age due to my Father being a 3rd Dan Instructor . Ive also studied Wado and am currently a 2nd Dan . I have my own practical Karate club in my home town , and i also train myself for fun and fitness at my friends Jusitsu/MMA School .

Hope to learn and contribute to this site , and look forward to soaking up as much knowlage as i can .

Bye for now

Jon .  

Dod's picture

Hi,  I only recently came across the modern analysis of realistic bunkai,  which I think is great work.

At the wrong side of 40 I recently looking at karate again as my two youngest sons are old enough to start,  and I started kata again as part of my exercise routine.

I had studied Shotokan in two stints.  At 11 years old:  endless very dry basics,  but engrained in me for life.  Again in mid-twenties:   the Heian kata,  tekki shodan and bassai Dai.

I started Kata again just for the leg exercise (could really feel  the improved strength), and it felt good. With regards fighting/ self-defense it would maybe improve my balance,  and possibly ensure I wouldn’t pull a muscle throwing the first punch or kick!  I had no illusions that the kata as I had learned was practical.  Bunkai for Nukite  for example was that the ancients toughened fingers to break through wooden chest armour!?

The stint in my 20’s I enjoyed any self-defense drills including throws,  but they were not linked to the Karate techniques and really just an added bit of fun. 

The “new” material fills the gap you hoped was there and gives real meaning to the Kata that I had started practicing again for exercise anyway.

It spurred me to check out the Shotokan clubs where we now live for me as well as my boys.  Unfortunately,   on asking about realistic bunkai,  like throws,  I was told one Sensei “there is no touching in Karate”.  So,  I will probably start my sons on Judo unless or until I can find a Karate dojo that is more enlightened in realistic bunkai.  


BigAl's picture

Hi all I am BigAl.  Some of you may know me from some other MA forums.  Not much to know about me really.  Just a regular guy who works and has a family and enjoys the martial arts.  My chosen system is Kyokushin in which I have been training in for almost 8 years now.  I am currently a green belt.

Mark Cook
Mark Cook's picture

Hi Folks,

I'm writing from America's "Heartland". I'm looking forward to the weekend as I will be spending it training with Mr. Abernethy. I enjoyed training with him last year and I'm looking forward to reuniting with people I met at the previous seminar.

About me? 

I have been practicing "Korean Karate" for 18 years. Outside of my regular work as a multimedia designer I teach 8 classes a week. I teach in the fitness center at my workplace, the YMCA in our town and in a small dojo in my home. 

tonyb's picture


Im Tony been training in Shotakan  Karate in Renfrewshire on and off for good few years now. Got fed up with same kind of training and not learning anything like the proper bunkai that I have watched in the excellent DVDs Iain has been doing for years. Would love to know if anyone from Paisley area knows of any local clubs which practices practicle Karate.

Thanks in advance


AndyS's picture

Hi Everyone

My name is Andy Sharpe though am alos know to some as muppet and live up in South Cumbria not far from Sensei Abernethy.

Used to be a member of the old site and posted under the name of hairybuddah, long story.

Well after the best part of a 4 year exile from the dojo and matts have decided to get the gi out and train again.

Train in shotokan previously under Sensei Trimble and Sensei McGloughlin of FSK though now due to training times alone train under Sensei Sheilds and the new world kata champion Sensei Dixon.

Have been fortunate to train on one occasion with Sensei Abbernethy a lot of years ago though now have found a rekindled enthusiamsm to explore and ask the stupid questions to find answers.

I look forward to making new freinds and re establishing frienships that i have neglected.

Good look to everyone on their own special journeys.

dfallen's picture

Hi everyone from Sydney, Australia

I began my martial arts training in 1987 under Sensei Tony Hails, a student of Sensei Ticky Donovan (Ishinryu Karate-do). I also travelled to the U.K. to train in 1994 and spent about 2 weeks training quite intensively. I was a 1st Kyu at that time.

I competed in a good number of tournaments and was pretty pleased with myself until i went to do some security work on the door of a large, popular country pub...I soon learnt what i didnt know...ironically it was the liimtations of tournament karate in a self defence context.

Back then I couldnt really articulate what it was that didnt seem to fit right, but given that I originally started training for the self defence aspect of the art, it was time to look around. I started training in Goju, which promised to be much more what i was looking for but unfortunately the local instructor had to wind back his schedule because of work, whilst my own work schedule precluded me from training on a regular basis.

Frustrated, I stopped completely and was out for about 12 years when I started again about 18 months ago, with my original instructor.

My burning passion is developing a working knowledge and high level functional capacity with regards the kata in our syllabus. I very much like and subscribe to the idea that the kata are blueprints outlining the combative principles of the systems/schools/styles that gave rise to them. My goal is to develop my kata understanding to the point where it becomes my kumite if that makes sense.

I read a fair bit, currently it's Kane and Wilder's "The Way of Kata", not to mention listening to Sensei Abernethy's podcasts, reading articles and forum posts.

I look forward to further discussions and hope to learn a lot from all the very experienced people here.

I hope to grade for shodan next year sometime (or whenever Sensei thinks I'm good for it)


Dave Allen




Sebastian B.
Sebastian B.'s picture

Hi everyone!

I´m Sebastian from Germany and I´m happy that I found this forum. I´ve trained Shotokan for several years and I hope to learn some new aspects of my martial art.


Sebastian B.

kemuel's picture

Hello Everyone,

       My name is Kemuel and I live in Pennsylvania, USA.  I began training when I was 19 in Matsubayshi- Shorin-ryu under Sensei Lohrding in affiliation with Master Shoshin Nagamine in Okinawa. (Both he and his son Sensei Takioshi Nagamine have passed-)   I am currently 52 and hold the rank of Roku-Dan Renshi.  I owned and operated a couple of schools for 15 years and currently function as a sensei and martial art consultant for several of my students who run their own schools in Georgia. 

      Although I love the traditions and training associated with being a traditional martial artist, I always felt our sparring, kumite, and bunkai were not realistic for combat purposes.  I began studying and going to Sensei Patrick McCarthy's seminars in 2004 and have been training in that system-Koryu-Uchinadi in addition to keeping up with my original art.  A martial art friend steered me towards Ian's information and I read one of his books recently and was extremely impressed.


daveh's picture

Good Morning, and Merry Xmas.

My name is Dave, 46 as I type and I'm in Australia.

I am training in Shori Ryu, have been doing so for 12 months, before that I got to 4th kyu with GKR.

A minor knee injury led to me changing styles as the long stance that is the basis for GKR was doing me no good.

My new club is much different,  a fighting club for a start, that is taking some getting used too.

I'm looking forward to getting back to class after the xmas break, and also to finding my way around here.


simonb's picture


I've been training in Shotokan for close to 7 years now, but starting late at the age of 45 meant that flexibility has always been an issue. I train twice a week with my Sensei (Malcolm Bates 6th Dan) as well as trying to fit in a private lesson as well.

I've long been an admirer or Iain's bunkai/oyo work and his podcasts, DVD's and books have added a lot to my understanding of the real meaning and use of kata in Karate. 

Hoping to get my 1st Kyu this year.


Kokoro's picture

Hi Everyone

I'm from new york, been training for just over 30 years. I started out in kempo for a very short time. My main style is shotokan which I have been doing for about that long, I have been training shito ryu for almost 15 years now, as well as ryukyu kobudo, yamanni ryu kobudo, several styles of iaido and jodo. I have also dabbled in several other styles over the years


gatta.cld's picture

Hi All! This is Claudio Gattavari from Italy. My nick name is Il Gatta and you can also find me on Facebook.

Iain, thank you so much to accept me on board.

My Martial experience is in Sotokan Karate-Do and Silat Sera(k). Since I know that Funakoshi Sensei said in Karate there are no styles, I would say my expereince is in Karate-Do. Anyway I also study the basic 18 Jurus of Silat Ser(k) since I am convinced of a strict relation between th two arts.




Kravate101's picture

Hi, I'm Andrew Kellighan, I run self defence seminars, talks, workshops and run a small dojo for applied Karate (principally of the Shotokan Tradition). I also work in nightclub security.

Can people please look up my "Real Life Protection" page on Facebook and if you think it merits it give me a like. Its good to have "likes": the halo effect! Pass on some comments/ideas/videos...help educate us here in County Kerry. 

I post up our own videos regularly and Iain Abernethy's and my own Sensei John Burke-who is to my mind the best Ive seen in practical Shotokan Karate: the man brings the katas to life...as does Iain of course!

bowlie's picture

Hey guys, im josh. Im a student currently doing taekwondo and boxing

ChrisKwan's picture

Hello everybody

My names Chris I'm from Ashburton, New Zealand and I'm training in Tang Soo Do/Tae Kwon Do.

I really enjoy Martial Arts be it in Film (Jet Li's Fearless), Books(A Killing Art by Alex Gillis was good), or Gaming (Sleeping Dogs is a top game) also a fan of quotes,

'I hope martial artists are more interested in the root of martial arts and not the different decorative branches, flowers, or leaves. It is futile to argue as to which leaf, which design of branches, or which attractive flower you like; when you understand the root, you understand all its blossoming.' 

-Bruce Lee


Simon ONeill
Simon ONeill's picture


I was a member of the old forum and for a number of reasons didn’t get round to signing on to the new forum until now.

My background is mainly in Kukki Tae Kwon Do, and I teach a self-defence syllabus based on my own understanding and experience of traditional TKD/TSD, incorporating some use of bunseok.

I hope to be in a position to make occasional contributions.

Best regards,


Gareth's picture

Hi all,

Apologies! I've already made a couple of comments, should have introduced myself first.

I train in Shotokan and am 3rd Dan having started about 30 years ago but had a 10 year lay-off due to work/family etc. I've been back about 7 years now. When I was younger I enjoyed the competition circuit but now in my 40's, whilst I still 'play' in the vet's every so often, I am more and more interested in reality based training. Both my sons train and I am keen for them to have some self-protection understanding as they grow up and enter what is becoming a more dangerous world out in pubs and clubs.

I am getting a lot of food for thought looking through Iain's brilliant site and reading the forum. I have just come off a weekend course with Sensei Dave Hazard who, if you have trained with him, you will know makes his karate training very reality based, if he does it he does it to make it effective. It has confirmed to me the fact that I need to do more personal training to make what I learn work for me. I hope I can tap into the wealth of experience here from time to time for some advice on things I can do on my bag etc. and with a training partner to improve.

Many thanks

davidb14's picture

Hi All,

hope everyone is fit and well.

I have been training in martial arts for just over 10 years, mainly under the guidance of Master Tony Johnson 6th dan Kong Sudo( Tang Soo Do ). I am now an full time instructor for Ak Karate in yorkshire.I have reached the grade of 3rd Dan and currently working towards my 4th Dan master grade. In our club to reach 4th Dan you have go through all the belts test again starting at yellow and working your way up to dan grade.

I am interested in all aspects of karate, especially forms or kata and how they relate to real self defence situations, I look forward to reading other peoples ideas on this and may even contribute myself.

Good luck to everyone and may your training bring you many rewards.


jeffc's picture

Hi everyone

I am Jeff Capstick.  I am 33 years old and have trained in martial arts since I was 7.  I have trained in Karate, Hung Gar Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing and JuJitsu, always looking for the similarities between the styles in order to understand the principles of effectiveness in the various combat ranges. 

I am very much an eternal student and am always looking to learn from everyone I train with so that I can be the very best martial artist that I can be.  I now train principally in Karate at the Goshin Jitsu Karate club in Oxfordshire and love analysing kata to learn effective combat moves and then drilling these moves to become second-nature.

I also work as a police officer and have done for over 12 years now, so I have a good understanding of real world violence and also what works in the heat of battle, and what techniques don't.  I obviously enjoy the teachings of Iain, but also Rory Miller, Vince Morris and Kris Wilder to name but a few. 

I hate the politics in martial arts and I always switch off when people discuss which style is best and who has the best lineage.  I care about how good the person is who is standing in front of me, not how great they think their style is or how good their teacher was.  I love making new friends at different clubs and training together to learn from each other, in what I believe is the true spirit of the martial arts.

I hope everyone is well.


julio's picture

Hi all,

My name is Julio. 36 years old. I'm from Madrid (Spain). I started practicing karate (shito ryu) some years ago just to do some physical activity. I got 1st Dan grade last December.

Some time ago, I was looking for information about katas and bunkai. I felt something was not quite right, since some bunkais were not realistic at all. I found this website, I found very interesting the approach to bunkai. 

So, after some time reading Iain's articles, and reading the forum, i thought it would be good to register and comment from time to time.



Kuro1979's picture

Stephen from Belfast, 

Started training 1996 Wado Ryu for a couple of years then took a break, returning in 2005 to Shotokan.  Thoroughly enjoying it and trying to get as much training in as possible with different Sensei including Sensei Abernethy on 2nd November this year in Ballymena - very good course.  I'm very interested in making karate work for practical application, and kata/kumite for competition.


Holgersen (not verified)
Visitor's picture

My name is Brandon Holgersen and I'm from North Carolina in the United States.

I've sat down several times in the last couple days to try and write something about myself. Each time I start writing and each time I delete everything and start all over. I like to choose my words carefully, because I'm always afraid that I might communicate something that I did not mean to communicate. It seems to be a danger with the written word. I've also found that sharing ideas about the martial arts, or civil fighting systems, can be very tricky. People can be sensitive to certain ideas. So I've decided to settle on the following.

Me and my wife practice a version of Seisan.