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Mikio Yahara: His Way of Traditional Karate

The picture shows Mikio Yahara aka the Leopard.

The life and practice of 10th Dan, Mikio Yahara, is an inspirational story worth knowing for any serious karateka. By Patrick Donkor and Dr. Jeff Christian

Mikio Yahara is one of the most dynamic practitioners of Shotokan Karate to come out of the Japan Karate Association. Early on, Masatoshi Nakayama described him as the best fighter of his generation. To this day, traditional Karate is his passion, a former JKA Grand Champion. As a result, he is first and foremost a martial artist, a practitioner of traditional karate obsessed with returning Karate back to its budo roots. Yahara has a no-nonsense approach to his Karate.

Early Life of Mikio Yahara

Yahara was born on 4 April 1947 in the fishing village Namikata-Machi, Ehime Prefecture. He was the fourth son of a prominent family with samurai roots on his father’s side. His mother’s family were descended from pirates.

Growing up, he was a boisterous child who loved to fight. Therefore, at an early age, he became interested in Karate as his older brother practiced it. In an effort to calm him down, his brother taught him Karate, from the age of seven.

A few years later in 1954 Yahara went to junior school. However, he had a heart attack and was diagnosed with a heart condition. As a result, doctors thought he would not live past the age of twenty.

Almost ten years later, while a high school student, Yahara joined the school’s Judo club in 1963, refusing to be limited by his condition. Even in his youth he displayed what would come to be known as his characteristic strong will. He wanted to get stronger, which he did. Eventually, he reached the rank of second Dan in Judo.

How Mikio Yahara Discovered Karate

While excelling in Judo, Yahara joined a local Karate club affiliated with the Japan Karate Association. His teacher was Yagi Sensei, an instructor who came from the JKA Honbu in Tokyo. As with his earlier life in Judo, Yahara advanced quickly in karate. By 1964 he had been promoted to first dan. It was not long before he soon dreamed of becoming an instructor.

At that time, JKA instructors were normally selected from the best university graduates. Knowing this and wanting to be near the JKA Honbu, Yahara enrolled at Kokushikan University, Tokyo, in 1966. He soon joined the university’s Karate club.

By this time, his childhood condition was no longer an issue, and he had grown into a strong young man. Yahara’s instructor at the club was Kenji Yano. Training sessions were hard, and in some cases frightening. Many students left the club. Yahara was one of the few students to remain.

Through his dedication, Yahara became one of the best Karateka at the club. For example, he practised at the JKA Hombu, which helped develop his approach to traditional Karate. He sometimes practised at the Karate clubs at Komazawa, Nodai, and Nihon Taiku Daigaku universities. But, his seniors at the Kokushikan University Club soon avoided him due to his toughness.

From Student to Instructor

By 1971 Yahara had graduated from Kokushikan University and joined the JKA Instructors Course. Masatoshi Nakayama, Hirokazu Kanazawa, and Hideo Ochi were his main instructors on the course, while Kenji Yano was his Sempai (Senior).

As previously stated, Yano had been Yahara’s instructor at University. Nicknamed the “Destroyer,” Yano took sadistic pleasure in intimidating and beating up students. Moreover, he looked for ways to hurt his opponent during sparring sessions, especially grades below him.

As his kohai (junior), Yahara usually faced the worst of Yano’s aggressiveness. But he frequently had to go to hospital because of injuries he sustained. However, his pride would not let him quit. He would attend the next training session even though he was injured. In time he earned Yano’s respect for never backing down. By his own admission, he hated Yano. However, he respected is aggressiveness and strength.

During this time, another instructor who had a profound influence on Yahara was Keigo Abe. Abe was known for his exceptional technical ability.

Yahara tried to model himself on Abe’s technique and Yano’s spirit. Even from these early days of his training, Budo was at the forefront of his training, even in kata. For him, kata based in traditional karate was not for competition or grading but for making his kumite stronger.

Life of Competition

In 1972 Yahara’s international competitive career began in Paris, France. Two years later he graduated from the Instructors Course and started actively competing and teaching.

Subsequently, Yahara taught at the JKA Honbu. He had achieved his goal of becoming a JKA Instructor. But, he also taught at several dojo is on the outskirts of Tokyo. Teaching at these dojos sometimes meant he was involved in “dojo-yaburi,” dojo challenges between different Karate styles.

At the JKA All Japan Karate Championships, Yahara was a phenomenal competitor in both kata and kumite. He always featured in the top three positions in each event. During these years from 1975 to 1984, he faced some of the top competitors of the time, that included Masahiko Tanaka, Yoshiharu Osaka, and Toshihiro Mori.

In 1984 Yahara became JKA Grand Champion. He won the kata event defeating Masao Kagawa in the final. He came third in the kumite event won by Hideo Yamamoto.

Yahara also competed in three IAKF World Championships. At the 1977 Championships held in Tokyo, Japan, he finished second behind Yoshiharu Osaka in the kata event. At the 1980 Championships held in Bremen, Germany, he lost to Osaka in the final. He faced Osaka again in the final of the 4th IAKF Championships, losing to him.

Mikio Yahara: From Competitor to Teacher

In 1984 Yahara retired from competing. As a kumite competitor he was known for his dynamic and innovative techniques. He was a fan favourite and had many memorable matches. As a kata competitor his main kata was Unsu. He always performed the kata as if he was in a life or death situation. His major tournament successes include:

  • IAKF World Championships, Individual Kata – 2nd place (1977, 1980, 1983)
  • JKA All Japan Karate Championships, Grand Champion (1984)
  • JKA All Japan Karate Championships, Individual Kata – 1st place (1984)
  • JKA All Japan Karate Championships, Individual Kata – 2nd place (1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983)
  • JKA All Japan Karate Championships, Individual Kumite – 2nd place (1975, 1998)
  • JKA All Japan Karate Championships, Individual Kumite – 3rd place (1976, 1979, 1982, 1984)

Yahara featured in Masatoshi Nakayama’s Best Karate series published in 1979. He appeared in the following books:

In 1987 the Chief Instructor of the JKA, Masatoshi Nakayama, died. His death led to rival factions vying for control over the JKA. The Nakahara Faction was led by businessman Nobuyuki Nakahara. This faction included Masaaki Ueki, Yoshiharu Osaka, and Masahiko Tanaka. The rival Matsuno faction was led by Tetsuhiko Asai, and included Keigo Abe, Akihito Isaka, Yahara, and Masao Kagawa. What followed was a 10-year legal battle between the two factions.

Mikio Yahara’s Personal Life

By the 1990’s Yahara had established a personal security company. As a part of his business he had many run-ins with the Yakuza. He had to regularly move house to avoid being killed. These encounters made in value the importance of the Budo approach to traditional Karate. The core principle of Ikken Hisatsu, “one killing blow” became a fundamental part of his training.

Over time the Yakuza came to have a healthy respect for Yahara. There is a famous story in Japan of Yahara fighting 34 Yakuza members, who had targeted him and his company. He survived the encounter.

From JKA to KWF

In 1999 the Nakahara Faction of the JKA won the legal battle between them and the Matsuno Faction. A Japanese High Court ruling awarded them the sole rights to the JKA name.

Following the court ruling, the Asai Faction left the JKA. The Faction split to form the following groups:

  • Japan Karate Shotokai (JKS) led by Tatsuhiko Asai
  • Japan Shotokan Karate Association (JSKA) led by Keigo Abe
  • Karatenomichi World Federation (KWF) led by Yahara

Eventually, the KWF was established in April 2000. ” Karatenomichi” means “the way of Karate.” Yahara had not been happy with the direction Karate was taking. He wanted Karate to be more Budo-orientated. His teachings were based on the principle of “Ichigeki Hissatsu” – “one strike.” Much emphasis was placed on perfecting basic techniques through repetition. He was not against Sport Karate. However, his criticism is that everyone moves in the same way to win a point. Sport Karate lacks variety or uniqueness in fighters.

In 2006 Yahara was promoted to 8th Dan, aged 59. During his grading he broke three ribs of an opponent with a single punch.

The last several years has seen Yahara build the KWF into one of the biggest Shotokan associations in the world. Apart from running his business, he travels the world giving training courses and seminars in traditional karate. Away from Karate he practices Iaido. He is a fan of classical music, especially that of Russian composer, Tchaikovsky. Mikio Yahara is one of the most dynamic fighters to come out of the JKA. His unique fighting style made him a fan favourite. However, it is his exploration of Budo Karate that has made him one of the most important Karate Masters today.

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Practical Karate and the Limits of Modern Shotokan

Gichin Funakoshi doing some Shotokan techniques during kumite

So much of modern Karate is far from practical like the traditional masters taught, especially the Karate of Gichin Funakoshi. Self-defense skills are of minor importance in many schools, and rank codes have become too important. That endangers karate students and leads to delusions. By Jeff M. Christian (Instagram: @jeffshotokan)

“A path is made by walking on it.”

Zhuang Zhou

I believe in Karate. Real karate. Practical Karate. Traditional Karate. I want to practice the Karate that Funakoshi Sensei practiced in Okinawa for practical self-defense.

The picture shows Jeff Christian the author of practical karate article.
Jeff M. Christian analyzes the limits of modern Shotokan Karate

For the most part, I love my training. I am in the dojo four-to-five times a week. I train hard, and take Karate seriously as a discipline of mind, body, and spirit. But the way many dojos operate set people up for disappointment, and even danger. Therefore, I will make four observations, and offer four solutions.

1. Practical Karate Requires Full Contact

Too much of our training in contemporary Karate lacks one key ingredient: Full contact. We punch at the air. We kick at imaginary opponents in front of us, beside us, and sometimes behind us. In kumite drills, we make some contact, but we have to be careful. We are instructed to exercise “control.” Unfortunately, “control” often means, “pull your punches.”

I had this realization recently when my son and I decided to take an introductory Krav Maga class. Krav Maga is a combatives based fighting system. Not so much a martial art as it is a way of defending by attacking. I told my son when we were finished that I would describe the experience as “Full Contact Crossfit.” Trust me when I say that I mean no disrespect in that statement; actually, I mean quite the opposite.

It was a great workout, involving full force punches into a thick pad held firmly by your partner. Knees to the pad. Punches to the pad. Full contact. Hard as you can hit. 

The Lack of Pad Training in Modern Shotokan

Now keep in mind that I have practiced some form of Karate or martial art since I was nine years old. I have grown children now, so let’s just say that I have been at this a while. But because many of my punches and kicks have been directed at my imaginary friend instead of an opponent with a thick pad, my wrists and arms were incredibly sore the next day. Despite some training with a Makiwara and a heavy bag, nothing prepared me for punching a pad a hundred times at full force.

I mentioned my sore arms and wrists to a Karate friend of mine. He suggested, “Well, you were punching the bag wrong.” I suppose that is possible, but I do not think so. I am usually careful to punch with good form the majority of the time. I think instead that I am not training enough with full contact. My suspicion is that I am not alone in this. 

Practical Karate Requires Full Force

Furthermore, we need opportunities in training with opponents attacking at full force and full speed. Obviously we cannot train at such intensity, or people are going to get injured. We have to be realistic. With gloves and pads, along with using handheld bags and pads, we can simulate the need punch with greater force. Still, the occasional bruise is to be expected. 

What if we train a couple of times a week outside the dojo to punch a Makiwara? We need to practice our kicks and punches on a heavy bag. Otherwise, we may believe that we will be able to use Karate in a self-defense situation if the need arises.

2. The Super Hero Delusion

We imagine street fights in the dojo. Our senseis show us techniques to counter punches to the face, kicks to the groin, and multiple opponents. It looks great. But in a real world situation, will these training sessions actually work?

Practical Karate is not Choreography

Rory Miller in his book, Meditations on Violence, offers the most realistic answer to that question. Unless we understand the way the mind and body freezes under stress, a thousand kumite drills will be of no use to us whatsoever. You know the drill. A training partner comes at you at medium speed, and you know exactly what he is going to do. Step forward, punch to the chin. You, in your carefully choreographed kumite technique, step back with the correctly corresponding foot. Cross your arm in front of your body while you raise it just over your head. Open your torso forty-five degrees. If you open it fifty-five degrees, that will probably work, but you should strive for forty-five.

Granted. If you practice this technique for twenty years with multiple opponents at least three times a week, it will probably work in an emergency. I want to make clear that I make this observation as someone who practices such techniques multiple times a week. My criticism is not from the outside, but from deep inside the dojo. But my concern is simple: Will it work?

The picture shows three books which were highlighted in this article. The foster a practical karate approach.
The three books highlighted in this article.

Shotokan Karateka are not Invincible

Our delusions of invincibility complicate this. We are led to believe that if you just practice enough, that you will be able to disable your opponent and walk away unscathed. We fantasize about being Bruce Lee or Yip Man, when in reality, even on our best days, we are more like Jackie Chan’s outtakes. People bump their heads, get hit by opening doors, and slip in the rain. Have you ever been in a street fight? No one walks away without getting hurt.

Even in a controlled dojo setting you are going to get bruised, perhaps cut. You may get a broken toe from time-to-time, even when you know what is coming. No one is invincible 100% of the time. I was doing sparring drills with one of my senseis recently. This sensei emphasized to me just a few months earlier the importance of deepening and extending my front kicks. While we sparred, I landed a few kicks to his midsection, even though he was supposed to be blocking me. We were not applying full force, but we were moving at pretty decent speed. He said, “Man, you are kicking deep today.” I replied, “It’s what you taught me.”

Practical Karate Knows No Delusions

I hope this illustration makes the point that even a fantastic Karate teacher has his limits. We all have off days, and we cannot possibly think that we will block every punch or kick that comes our way. Thus, the solution to the super hero delusion is to forget about it. Give it up. No amount of training is ever going to make you totally invincible. In fact, by not giving into such a delusion you are protecting yourself from future harm, and hopefully avoiding a fight that probably should have never happened in the first place. 

If, however, you find yourself in a fight, your training is going to serve you better if you have been hit, if you have been kicked, and if you have trained under stressful conditions. Unfortunately, most of us do not engage in this kind of training until we are adults. Just because you are a brown belt or a black belt does not mean you can handle every situation.

3. The Rank Delusion

A green belt has finally gained a decent understanding of kata and kihon. She is getting fairly good at the choreography of introductory kumite drills. Practices are becoming more natural for her, which is a big motivation. She keeps training for a couple more years, and finally gets her brown belt. She is on the way to her goal of becoming a black belt. But she is twelve years old, and some of the kids at school hear her talking about her karate skills. They start picking on her in the locker room after gym class. A few minutes later she walks to the nurse’s office while pinching her bloody nose after taking a solid punch from one of the other girls. “What happened to all of those drills that were supposed to keep me from getting hit? I am a brown belt, after all,” she thinks to herself. 

Rank According to Self-Defense Skills

Part of this is our fault in our dojos. Rank used to be a sign of years of dedication and training, strength and agility, athleticism and artistry. It still is in some circles. In my own dojo, you will devote five-to-ten years to get to the point where you are ready to test for black belt. But even so, many dojos no longer emphasize the self-defense side of Karate. And unfortunately, many dojos give rank according to the number of years a student has been coming to class, but not always according to true skill level. This is especially true when it comes to self-defense. We may allude to such things as street fighting techniques at times, but it is not the main focus in many dojos.

Students Want Practical Karate

Which is odd. Ask most Karate students across the levels of experience and they will usually answer the same way when asked why they take Karate: fitness and self-defense.

When I trained in Kyokushin back in the early 1990s, we had four belts: white, green, brown, black. If you wanted a green belt, you had to commit about two or three years to serious training. A green belt was a sign that you had put in your time to learn the fundamentals. You knew your basic kata, and could free spar without getting beaten to death. I think about my green belt in Kyokushin back then when I see many black belts today. Some of them do not have to go through what we went through in the 90s to get a green belt.

If you were a brown belt in Kyokushin in the early 1990s, at least in my dojo in West Texas, you were solid. Only a few brown belts populated our training sessions, most of whom you did not want to spar with because they still had something to prove. And black belts? We had three, and all three were our senseis.

Ranks vs. Traditional Karate?

I am not necessarily suggesting that we go back to such a rigorous ranking code. But I will suggest that we need to be stricter than current norms about our guidelines for rank if we expect rank to mean anything. After all, rank and belt colors are a new phenomenon when it comes to the traditional way of Karate. 

Although probably not the best business model, in order to preserve the true way of Karate-do, we should not give brown and black belts to children and young teens. That is not going to be a popular belief among many dojos, especially with so many small businesses struggling to stay in business these days. But since this is a martial art and not a mere sport, we need to take seriously the implications of Karate for the future by respecting the past. We will enhance Karate as we hold to a more challenging set of standards so that a black belt is not something guaranteed, whether by a two year contract or by the promise of merely showing up to class for a set number of years. 

The picture shows Jeff Christian during Karate class doing a Mae Geri. Jeff promotes a practical Karate approach.
Jeff Christian doing a Mae Geri.

Practical Karate Means Self-Defense

Furthermore, we need to teach more self-defense applications. Our students should be accustomed to fighting under stressful situations, no matter the rank. For children, we need to teach these things, but also the character necessary to be able to avoid fights completely. Anything we can do to stop the kind of bullying described in the opening story of this section will be a good thing. And again, that has nothing to do with rank.

In what is often called “The Master Text” in the evolution of Karate from hidden path to the way available to everyone, Gichin Funakoshi’s work, Karate-Do Kyohan, is a good place to start in order to understand the importance of the full way of Karate that includes athleticism, artistry, and a path of the spirit. And it is just that: A path, a way. “Karate-do” means, “The Way of the Empty Hand.” 

4. Karate As More Than Exercise

Along with self-defense, fitness is often named as one of the primary reasons individuals practice Karate. I am among those who give that reason. Out of all the athletic endeavors I have done, including marathon running, triathlons, hiking, and open water swimming, nothing gives me a better workout than Karate.

That said, Karate is more than exercise, more than sport. It is a way. It is a path of mind, body, and spirit.

Practical Karate Requires Understanding

Can you execute a perfect Yoko Geri? Good. 

Do you understand the Yoko Geri? Is it clear why it is not important that you can kick much higher than your torso, and why you should not lean back during the kick, regardless of how great you may look in the picture? Understanding is more than physical practice. 

Have you spent years disciplining your spirit, clearing your soul, cultivating the virtues of bushido like courage, honor, and respect? This is another matter altogether. As children in the dojo, we bow at the threshold because our senseis tell us to bow. As more seasoned karateka, we bow at the threshold because we hold in our hearts all those before us who have walked the path of Karate-do.

The True meaning of a Black Belt

A black belt is not a sign of mere physical ability after an allotted number of training sessions. A black belt is a symbol of years of dedication an individual devotes to shaping their whole person, the whole karateka. If you ever meet a black belt who is pompous, arrogant, and rude, then you have not met a true karateka. Instead, you met a person whose training derailed somewhere along the way. Status overtook the most important factor in his or her journey: Character. They forgot the first principle of Karate-do as stated by Funakoshi Sensei: “Karate begins and ends with character.” They learned to ignore the truth of the first thing we say in the Dojo Kun: “Seek perfection of character.”

In Joe Hyams’ book, Zen in the Martial Arts, he explores many topics related to Karate as more than mere exercise. His chapter “Anger without Action” makes the point far better than I can. Training in the martial arts is a process of learning self-control, of not acting out of frustration or anger. This progression takes years, even decades of practice simply to understand. Even those of us who have basic understanding of self-control admit to ourselves daily that it is an ongoing struggle. 

Practical Karate and Traditional Karate

As much as I appreciate contemporary approaches to self-defense, this devotion to the virtues and “Spirit of Karate” is a key missing ingredient in many combatives systems that are so popular. We karatekas can learn from their emphasis on practical applications. However, we must let that motivate us to preserve our roots. And while contemporary Karate has more to offer than self-defense, we admittedly may need a reawakening in a area of virtues starting with character formation.

Most of us will never be in a real street fight. That is a good thing. If we never have to “use” Karate, then what is the point of all the training? The point is the process. We enter the long journey of the whole person, and the ways we are shaped as people of Karate-do. We train our physical bodies. Our minds expand as we memorize and focus. We practice virtues in and out of the dojo. The karateka is a karateka whether he or she is in the dojo or not, whether he or she is with a sensei or not, wherever one happens to be on this ongoing path, the authentic way of Karate-do.

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Karate Combat: Why I Compete in it!

Jonas during his debute fight in Karate Combat.

Karate Combat has been criticized by many traditional karateka and even The Shotokan Times. However, I have good reasons to compete in it! By Jonas Correia

Last year we were introduced to a professional Karate league where renowned semi-contact karate athletes fought in full contact rules in a competition quite different from what we are used to see. The peculiarity of the event, known as Karate Combat, began with the format of the competition area which became known as “The Pit” and all the production and climate of the 80’s martial arts movies that still inspire martial artists today.

With all the professionalism of a big event, it did not take long to Karate Combat gain the visibility it deserved. You can find the previous fights an Karate Combat.

The event, divided the opinion of Karate practitioners. Some said that it was no longer Karate. Others said that this would be the watershed to rescue the name of Karate that find itself in the darkness.

Karate Has Lost Its Efficiency

omThat karate has lost much of its efficiency due to the constant rules limiting combativeness is not something new. But we know that competition is part of the development of a fighter, too. Even if it is in points rules. However, what would have been wrong in the creation of a full contact rule which had been carefully planned so that art would not be miss-characterized? If we observe well, the absence of knee techniques, elbows, kicks in the thigh and uppercut shows how much the organizers have tried to maintain fidelity to the competitive characteristics of the art, or at least the common rules which we are accustomed to and not letting the event become another Kickboxing event or mma event.

Watching all this, I was enchanted by the possibility of entering the event. In less than an hour that I had discovered about KC on Facebook, I filled the inbox of Karate Combat with my emails to show my interest.

Jonas first entrance in the Karate Combat arena.

I needed to fight there. But why? Some even asked me why, but I honestly can not quite understand the reason.

Karate Combat Is a New Challenge

If there is something that every martial arts practitioner that competes a lot have in common, is the taste for new challenges. Besides this factor which only a deep Freudian explanation would make the reader understand, I thought to myself, how would I not let myself participate in an event which had already entered into the contemporary history of karate? Why not give myself the chance to be part of this important chapter?

I had done 3 Chinese Kickboxing fights (Sanshou / Sanda) in 2007. One of the Amador mma in 2009, and had competed countless times in karate tournaments. It was time for something else before my routine of father of 4 children at my 33’s made my competitive career even more difficult. I thought that was my last chance to do something really meaningful to myself before ending (or slowing down) my competitive career in karate.

Karate Combat Requires Different Training Than Shobu Ippon

When there was the fourth Combat Karate event in New York (30 minutes away from where I live) I found a way to be around and see how it worked. This also gave me the opportunity to meet several people at the event. It was there that I was able to demonstrate my interest. The following month I was invited to fight. I had 3 months to prepare myself.

Full contact rule training is very different from traditional karate training. Since there will be no stop for point marking and the fight will continue after a well-executed technique, high intensity training based on mma training, and other contact sports became necessary. Three months seemed not to be enough time for this. Besides I have scheduled a trip to train at JKA’s Hombu Dojo for a week.

Jonas did fight in the WUKF World Championships. Thus, he fights in traditional formats and Karate Combat.
Jonas did fight in the WUKF World Championships in Slovakia this year. Thus, he fights in traditional formats and Karate Combat.

My First Fight in the “Pit”

The week of the event had arrived. We had to be in Hollywood a week before to do a series of medical examinations among other things required for the marketing and advertising of the event.

While all the fighters were already in position and keeping the form together with their coaches, I did not have the same luck. My coach could only come one day before the fight.

The day of the event arrived. I was confident. And I won the victory over my opponent Luiz Diogo from Portugal. However, I wasn’t 100% satisfied with my performance for particular reasons.

The feeling of ending a contact fight is very good, especially with a positive result. But the truth is that the adrenaline makes you to miss the fight. If someone asked me if I would fight again at that moment, I would certainly say yes.

Karate Combat Is Worth the Experience

I believe that all karatekas should experience full contact fights regardless of their idea of what karate should be. The truth is that in a full contact match, it is about You against your Lungs! Your opponent is just a detail.

In a real combat, often the breath outweighs the technique and many people overlook this factor of extreme importance. For those who believe in the effectiveness of karate as an art of self-defense, they must experience something of this kind in their life. Even though KC is a competition of limited rules, full contact rules teaches a lot about fighting under pressure.

Makiwara and Ikken Hisatsu as Foundation for Strong Karate

If you believe that Karate is enough, I advise you then, to hit makiwara every single day. I truly believe and practice the idea of Ikken Hisatsu. If you ever need to use your karate in real combat and do not have enough breath, be precise and straightforward. Because if you need to take more than 5 minutes to solve a real combat situation, it will be very difficult to succeed.

Jonas succeded in his debute fight in Karate Combat.

The truth is that a martial artist should not be close minded to just one idea. I believe that the practitioner must faithfully follow one path which he believes. However, he must be ready not to be surprised. Experiencing something different will not cause you to discredit what you have practiced. But it may help you to understand it better.

The Necessity of Karate Combat for Traditional Karate

I hope Karate Combat has come to stay. Not every karateka needs the KC, but Karate needed such an event.

Even though it does not please everyone, Karate Combat came at an opportune moment. Our art falls into oblivion of a world that has only eyes for mma, Muay Thai, Kickboxing and so on.

When was the last time you filled your classes with adult only? Why is karate nowadays limited or attracted only to children?

We can not wait for another Lyoto Machida to soften the wounded ego.

The truth hurts, but Karate has lost a lot of credibility as self-defense.

Save Karate Combat and / or any other attempt to do something bolder.

With your permission, I’m going to hit my makiwara! Oss!