Karate is a self defense system from the Okinawan islands that is primarily a striking art. Karate uses Kicks combined with various punches and hand strikes, blocks and strong stances.

Original versions of Karate are very simple, using a lot of linear striking techniques and kicks. Most of the original karate systems are what we call “hard style“ as opposed to the softer martial arts that use parrying and re-directions, Hard style Karate uses a lot of explosive striking techniques.

For instance, when blocking a punch a karate block is actually a strike, blasting the punching arm aside. The advantages of these type of techniques are they are very simple, usually very easy to learn. Karate techniques can also be effective even if they are not done 100{2d7cfcbd02091a2de33b0d246281e180e19ad6391713b3e7834388ccbe77a07d} correctly.

Some martial arts styles because of the nature of the techniques they use need to be done extremely exactly, for instance some “soft style“ kung fu system use redirections and parrying That need to be done very precisely if they are to be effective. These kinds of skills will give you significant advantages versus an attacker but they will take longer to perfect.
Karate uses relatively easy and easy to learn striking techniques. Punches, back fists, Palm heels, knife hands, front kicks, sidekicks, roundhouse Kicks, elbow strikes, knee strikes etc. Because of this you can gain functional self-defense abilities fairly quickly. It’s easier to just strike and opponent with your fist, elbow or foot and stand them or do them some damage. That’s why military based martial arts systems such as Krav Maga use karate as the foundation of their striking techniques. These techniques are easy to learn and can be used almost immediately to make the defender functional.

The downside to this is that while you are striking an opponent your own power might cause you injury. If you use a closed fist to punch and opponent in the head your hand may take as much or more damage. (We will teach you how to strike effectively without injury to yourself with slight modifications your striking technique). Additionally, if all you have in your arsenal are striking techniques you will not have the ability to control somebody, take them down, disarm them, and generally have the option of using less damaging technique.

The strength of karate techniques is that they have mastered striking and kicking. Karate teaches you to take the entire force of your body, your stance, your momentum, your rotation, “gravitational marriage“ and focus all of this into extremely powerful and effective strikes.

Karate does this extremely well. On the other hand karate is not functional at joint locks, holds, Throws, take downs, trapping, grappling or Weapons fighting and defense (outside of their own more specialized “Kobudo” weapons -Nunchuku, Sai, Tonfa, Kama and BO staff)

That’s why you want to do what Bruce Lee recommended and “absorb what’s useful“ and incorporate skills from Other arts such as the wing Chun kung fu, jujitsu, Filipino weapons arts – Kali & Arnis de Mano, Krav Maga etc.

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