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TMA UnderGround >> experiences in using trad karate in self defense


9/1/11 2:33 PM
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jrrrrr
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anyone use trad karate in self defense?

I have a 2nd dan in Shotokan and also have crossed trained in JKD and aggressive internal arts. The JKD and internal guys always question trad karate. When I mention that the combination of heavy sparring, knuckle push up, makiwara and breaking that I did can create a person capable of doing much damage, they accept it but are still skeptical.

Any stories..?
9/1/11 7:15 PM
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BshMstr
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Yoshida4Life - Breaking is underrated.

Yeah, yeah, we all know the movie line "Boards don't hit back!"

To which the reply is "Neither do people who are hit by fists that can break boards!"

Breaking is very important to make one confident about doing damage with bare knuckles, without getting injured.



i'm a firm beliver in knuckle pushups. also a very good point you have about bare knuckle striking....hitting with gloves/wraps is much different
9/1/11 9:37 PM
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jrrrrr
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Any experience in actual use in a self defense situation?
9/2/11 9:52 PM
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Skpotamus
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I've used my "traditional" TKD before. I put traditional in quotes because our school was a lot more progressive than most TMA dojos. We did our self defense work with sparring gear and tried to hit each other, had a lot of contact (not necessarily always hard, but often).

Set the wayback machine for 1994. I'm a 13 year old kid who's been studying TKD for a solid 8 months or so (I'm thinking I was a green belt around this time, which is the second belt rank we had). I got into a verbal situation with another kid my age in the cafeteria after he started in on one of my friends. Lunch ends, we walk out seperate doors, I think the whole thing is done. I was heading towards the other building that contained the art and shop classes. I step through the door, one of my friends yells at me, I look up just in time to see the punk I was arguing with throwing a haymaker at me. I responded with One Step #1, block the incoming punch with a left knife hand block while stepping to 45 degree angle towards my front right while throwing a right punch (supposed to be to the little diamond just under the sternum, but I punched him in the eye instead). After that, it was on, he kept throwing the big haymaker with a crow hop, I kept blocking and punching, doing the exact same thing. I think he threw 5 or 6 punches, all of which landed on my arm (I actually blocked too fast on a couple punches, so instead of "chopping" them away, they landed on my forearm), and he took the same amount of punches to his face. The last punch kinda stunned him I think, he stepped back and dropped his hands, I stepped forward with my own haymaker and landed it right on his jaw, knocked him into the wall and down he went. He got right back up, but there was no fight left in him and we both went into our classes. My hand was black and blue and swollen like a mother by the end of my stupid art class. Even after a solid 8 months of doing knuckle pushups on a concrete floor and punching the heavy bag/makiwara, and breaking boards and even a some patio blocks, they still bruised up pretty bad when hitting a skull and swelled a little bit (especially when he tuned his head and I hit with the pinky and ring finger knuckles, the first two knuckles didn't swell too much).
The entire left side of his head was a swollen, bruised mess after class, his eye was actually swollen shut. The sad thing was he was still talking smack with his eye shut and wanted to fight again after school.

Thing seem like it lasted forever, but probably only about 15-20 seconds at the most and probably more like 10-15. I know it's not the blood and guts one man versus a dozen drugged up bikers that most people hope to hear/read about, but it was me using traditional MA in a non ring fight against a guy a little bit bigger than me. It worked well then although it did make me change some things about how I trained. We started adding in more haymakers and "real" punches when we trained instead of step through karate punches and crosses (he almost hit me with the slowest punch he threw, a hay maker with a crow hop because I block too fast). Started changing how I hit too, instead of punching to the head, I starting used palm heels more, or tried to while training.

I've had some more fights where I used my martial arts, but by then I'd started doing a lot more cross training with muay thai, jiu jitsu, etc.


ttt for more.
9/10/11 6:10 PM
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Palmala Handerson
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So did you end up fighting the guy again?
9/10/11 10:34 PM
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Skpotamus
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Palmala Handerson - So did you end up fighting the guy again?


Lol, no. He kept on talking smack about kicking my ass, so we set it up for after school one day about a week later. He never showed up at the lot he wanted to fight at. Had about 60-70 people there to watch it (who doesn't want to see a fight in Jr High?). I waited around for about a half hour, nothing, never showed. He showed up the next day for school and everybody gave him so much crap for not showing up that he got pissed and threw a trashcan through a window at the school. Got booted from school and I never saw him again.
9/13/11 4:45 PM
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shen
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Edited: 09/13/11 4:51 PM
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If you set the Way Back Machine even further back, another decade, I once had to bust out the Hapkido, with spectacular results! (Our school called it "Hapkido Karate" which made little sense but it was the '80s).

I had won 2nd place in the Yellow Belt division of an open tournament probably 6 weeks before this incident.

Short version:, I was in 7th grade and a 9th grader had been picking on me since school had started. One day he shoved me into some lockers and I said to myself: It's go time! It is finally time to bust out the Hapkido! --And I did...

I threw a fast Front Snap Sick to his stomach. I hit him exactly as hard as we were allow to hit in sparring; with about the same force you would use to kill a larger mosquito. He looked at where he had just been kicked, with some confusion.

Then there was a giant, full-force overhead right to my nose. Both nostrils shot blood like a faucet.

That was the fight.

I had two black eyes and a seriously crooked nose by that evening.




(BTW, I saw that "bully" 8-9 years later and he was literally 6 inches shorter than me, very thin and walked with a limp from a serious moped accident he had been in.)
10/28/11 8:54 AM
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Kumite4
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My brother was a student of mine when he was a teen. He was always a scrapper. Anyhow when he was in his early 20s he was at a bar with a group of guys. long story short... Some fat gut biker looking dude thought he was hitting on his girlfriend and tried to come at my brother with a pool que. He came from behind, someone yelled to my bro who spun and dropped low hitting the guy in the belly with a deep deep reverse punch. Dropped the guy right there.
10/28/11 3:35 PM
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BshMstr
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jrrrrr - anyone use trad karate in self defense?

I have a 2nd dan in Shotokan and also have crossed trained in JKD and aggressive internal arts. The JKD and internal guys always question trad karate. When I mention that the combination of heavy sparring, knuckle push up, makiwara and breaking that I did can create a person capable of doing much damage, they accept it but are still skeptical.

Any stories..?



i've been thinking about this a lot lately. i'm not a karate BB, but have some training in Tang So Do, muay thai, BJJ, boxing and military/police combatives...

when i was younger, i was a pretty solid kickboxer. in all the fights i've been in, both as a dumb kid and as a cop/soldier, i've never, ever kicked anyone. never kneed anyone while standing. in fact, the most common techniques i've used are the akido-style wrist lock, hip toss/sweep, and duck under haymaker to counter hook. i've KO'd people in the ring/dojo, and could do "speed=breaks" with multiple kicks...but for someone with decent kicking form, it just hasn't come up for me in real life.

granted, i haven't trained in one discipline 4 hours a day for 30 years, but i do prolly train 2-3 hours a week, for about 15 years. i do think a lot of techniques are worth training and learning in the rare chance you might need it (and partially to keep you intertested in learning/training), but most fights are solved by very simple solutions.
11/19/11 6:46 PM
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PoundforPound
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I've used American kenpo karate many times successfully.

Delayed Sword in particular works like a charm. Pissed of asshole at a party threw a right cross at my head, I stepped back with my left foot/did an inward block with my right arm/kicked him in the nuts with my right foot. Fight over.

While roughhousing with friends I used a variation on Gift of Destruction. Against a right cross I stepped back with my right foot/did an inward block with my left arm/grabbed his arm with both of my hands and pulled while doing a jumping right knee to his chest.

He got the breath knocked out of him, "fight" over. And he ended up having to go to the doctor as a result....diagnosed with bruised ribs.
11/22/11 11:02 AM
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Outkaster
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Back in the day I was learning TKD at night after school band practice. Being a musician at a suburb school was not cool even though we were associated with winning all kinds of competition. Anyway one of the kids in my sophomore year (83,84) was picking me. We had planned to meet at the City bus stop after school. I walked out there and there was a ton of people so I could not back down. Seeing that I was a red belt in TKD my hands were not has good as my feet and I was worried because the ground had snow covered Ice. I also had a light sweat jacket with a hood and flat bottomed shoes. The kid was like 6 foot tall and as soon as he came at me I hook kicked him hard. The principle came out and I got on the city bus to go home.

The next morning before homeroom people told me he was looking for me. Our school was run by the Christian Brothers and a lot of these guys were old school from tough neighborhoods from the Bronx and Brooklyn. I was really worried about getting into trouble. So the kid comes in and says “hey I heard you told people you kicked my ass” I said no and tried to walk away. When I turned my hack he tried to hit me and I jump back kicked him. Some kids yelled the “teacher is coming” and we got into our seats real quick. I think we were more scarred of the teachers than anything. It was the first time instincts really took over for me because I was pretty religious about training and was in good shape even though I was smaller.
1/12/12 8:30 AM
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WidespreadPanic
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I have a couple stories:

Back in 10th grade I tried to use a 'Judo Throw' on a playmate who was always harassing me. I was also a better wrestler. Problem was I did an 'inside' turning throw and not an outside throw (tenken/irimi).

SOMEHOW he got me in a cross face from behind that had the forearm RIGHT across the nose. Now I was a TOUGH little kid, but I was powerless to even move. I don't know what he did but I had to tap out (Uncle! was our convention).
-----
I used boxing to beat a much bigger guy, but I do NOT REMEMBER the fight. Just the beginning, and the ending. i was not hit ONCE. When it was over I was sitting in the car being driven home by my gf's mom, in the back seat and I looked down and my knuckles had a 'spit take' of fine blood droplets all over the backs of my hands, equally. I mean, it was surreal. It looked like someone had carefully spit grapejuice or something on the backs of my clenched fists. So I know I hit him, drew blood (probably out the nose) and with both hands.

Funny, huh?

1/13/12 12:11 PM
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John Frankl
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Edited: 01/13/12 12:11 PM
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There was this one time, at at band camp....

Oh, wait, wrong movie.

As for the fourth post, I know the guy is lying. There is no way in tarnation that the dude didn't go down and stay down after the first punch.
1/13/12 4:40 PM
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PoundforPound
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The people who developed traditional karate wouldn't waste their time on something that wasn't effective. They couldn't afford to in that time and place.

Karatekas may be totally clueless when it comes to pajama wrestling on the ground but that doesn't mean their art doesn't have it's uses in the self defense realm.
1/13/12 5:54 PM
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WidespreadPanic
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PoundforPound - The people who developed traditional karate wouldn't waste their time on something that wasn't effective. They couldn't afford to in that time and place.

Karatekas may be totally clueless when it comes to pajama wrestling on the ground but that doesn't mean their art doesn't have it's uses in the self defense realm.
Here's two problems and a thought on that.

1. Karate was often secretive - so I think there was a tendency to dilute things out as masters withheld information;
2. Some forms of fighting were good at the time they were developed. Wing Chun was designed to fight against Choy Le Fut, a long fist style.

It's the method of training. If you look at Machida and examine the types of training he was doing, that he was putting his 'Karate' through it's totally different than traditional stuff. It's highly individualized and performance-based. So change up and make your Shotokan/Traditional Karate performance-based training and you can revitalize it, perhaps.

1/13/12 8:26 PM
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PoundforPound
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You're looking at it from an MMA/BJJ/ring sports paradigm.

Traditional wing Chun and karate work fine in the street. (although there are other arts I prefer.)
1/14/12 7:58 AM
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WidespreadPanic
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PoundforPound - You're looking at it from an MMA/BJJ/ring sports paradigm.

Traditional wing Chun and karate work fine in the street. (although there are other arts I prefer.)

I'd suggest you're BS-ing here. You're talking about 'fighting' and I was talking about performing those 'arts' in the dojo. There's literally no correlation between ancient fighting arts and fighting a serious threat in the real world. It's not sterile like may people think.

Why?
1. I doubt you've ever finger-jabbed anyone in the street (Bil Jee) to win an encounter;
2. BJJ leaves no tell-tale bathtub ring (in teh street);
3. There will be Blood (CSI-fans take note);
4. It's messy and chaotic and you do not want to go there;
...and most importantly,
5. If you're not doing performance-based training and stuff you're deluding yourself.

You're basically saying 'WC and Karate' work only against untrained opponents like Uncle Joe, the drunken bum on the corner - who you should never be fighting H-2-H anyway.

No? Elucidate, plz.
1/14/12 8:32 PM
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PoundforPound
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I'm talking about using those arts to defend yourself in the street. My point is that it can be done, and done well.

The weakness that the early UFCs exposed in karate is not that it doesn't work at all or that it doesn't train for "performance"......it's simply that it doesn't work well for rolling around on the ground.
1/16/12 8:42 PM
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BshMstr
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PoundforPound - You're looking at it from an MMA/BJJ/ring sports paradigm.

Traditional wing Chun and karate work fine in the street. (although there are other arts I prefer.)


what are the arts you prefer?


when i took karate as a kid, every other saturday was a 2-3 hour block of self-defense stuff, generally involving throw, etc. in retrospect, i think my school was much better than the average school...

but like i said before, i'm pretty good at kicking, both in the sport and training realm, and i don't kick people for real. i really think most H2H and self defense techniques are substantially simpler than the average MA instructor would lead people to believe...
1/17/12 3:29 AM
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PoundforPound
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Edited: 01/17/12 4:08 AM
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BshMstr - what are the arts you prefer?


I like Tony Blauer's material for the street. Kelly McCann's combatives too. Also the ISR Matrix from Luis Gutierrez. And some bare bones silat for the foot traps....those are surprisingly effective and devestating.
1/17/12 9:32 PM
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Skpotamus
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John Frankl - There was this one time, at at band camp....

Oh, wait, wrong movie.

As for the fourth post, I know the guy is lying. There is no way in tarnation that the dude didn't go down and stay down after the first punch.


It wasn't my fault, a rare planetary alignment caused a disruption in my chi resulting in my punches being weak..... if you believe that, I have a bridge I'm willing to let go cheap.... :o)



Kelly McCann's combatives? I remember someone posted his "how to beat a mma fighter" vid in the BJJ forum. It was complete utter trash. I hope his other material is better.
1/19/12 12:48 PM
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gundoguy
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In jr.high(79,15yrs.old), I side-kicked "Jr"(he wanted my pencil holder thingey) in the midsection and he keeled over. I was the coolest dude till after school when "Jr's" sister chased me all the way home(bout a half mile). I locked the doors and there was a big crowd of kids in front of my house calling me chicken! From badass to chicken...But the traditional side kick worked on that day!!!

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