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Karate and self defense


karate-projectionIs karate self-defense?

Do you practice self defense?

Have you ever taken a specific course of self-defense?

I am speaking first of all to those who have already seen or practiced self-defense sessions. You did not notice anything?

If you read this blog, you probably practice karate.
Do not you think karate and self defense are very similar?

If you've never watched or self-defended, watch videos on the internet and have fun finding techniques you know. You should find a lot.

It annoys me when I hear a karate teacher say:
"Today, we will do self-defense" by implying that it is exceptional and different from the usual karate classes.
It bothers me when, in a karate class, we practice self-defense unrelated to our sport. I find it really unfortunate that a professor does not use karate on this occasion and does not show enough the links between the two practices.

Karate is a method of self-defense.

It is a method of self-defense that includes many techniques that serve to defend themselves.
Use your karate to do self defense. It's done for that.
Let's be precise. What karate techniques to use for self-defense?
In the Katas, you basically have all the self defense techniques.
You have keys, you have projections, you have keystrokes. There is everything.
Look well in the Katas and you will find the same techniques as what you will learn in self defense.
The link between the two practices, it is there.

You will then, perhaps, tell me:
"For self-defense, we only have to look for the techniques in kata and then we work only those"

It's a good start, but it's not enough.

Why do you make Katas, Bunkais, Kihons?
Why do you learn karate?
To master your techniques!
But for these techniques to be effective, you need this "learning" part of the basics.

When you do the Kihons, the Katas, you learn to master:

  • your center of gravity
  • your placement in space
  • the energy you send

When you make applications of your Bunkais and Katas to make self-defense techniques, it's still karate. And karate is the mastery of your actions.

Self-defense is good but ...

By doing only self-defense, you will learn things, but the day you are attacked if you do not control energy, you will be less effective.
I find it unfortunate that Karatekas make a difference between karate and self defense.
Karate is a method of self-defense. That's it above all; it is used to defend oneself with bare hands.
In Karate, the empty hand, it serves to defend itself.
I'm not saying that you should not do specific courses of self-defense.
But when one is Karateka, there must be a link with Karate.
Judokas for example, they make Jujitsu. When they make Jujitsu, it's really to learn to defend themselves. They make the connection with Judo.

A name for a recognized practice:

For us, karatekas, we already have a name for it: "Karate-Jutsu".
But above all, what is needed is that finally, we apply Karate to do self-defense.
We must not separate the two. Karate is a method of defense.
It really serves to defend you.

Here are the friends, I wish you a good day and I await your comments and the story of your experiences in self-defense.

See you soon,

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  1. I think it is very well written I practice since 40 years Karate and I share the opinion given thank you for this publication Oss Alain 5 and Dan SKIF

  2. Hello
    I practiced karate from the age of 9 years until 20 years, then today in 2016 I 68 years and a great desire to get back to karate, do you think that it is possible, while being in fine fettle ??

    Sincere sir Greetings


    • As I am not far from your age (61 and I have just ironed all the belts),
      I will allow myself to give the following advice:
      - in outerwear, in shorts or pajamas, draw the curtain, and execute movements to warm up,
      - start small series of kihon (roundtrip) 3,4 kick of feet or fists,
      - watch videos and try to do a kata,
      - choose a club or not the factory or club competi-do,
      If it's a long time to find, in the meantime try to increase the intensity ...
      Avoid clubs or people do everything very low, but higher, not to stress the joints (hips, knees) ... arrive before the course if the warm-up is baclé ...

    • of course it is not too late. I have 64 years and I started karate 4 years ago when I retired.
      I am now a brown belt and am determined to wear my black belt.
      you have to start and believe it.

  3. I think that karate can be a part of self-defense training but that it is a sports activity within limits. I remember a rank in judo that catches a guy by the clothes as in competition, the other ignorant of the rules of the judo, to give him a blow of ball. That is the example, certain type jujitsu were for People in armor..The most important point and this could make an article is the legal aspect, the strategies, the way to descaling the conflict, the stuff (like throwing something on the floor, counting down , etc ..) ... .especially detect signals (we do not know everything about the operating rules of an offender, for example)

    • Thinking about it, in the defense of the teachers who make the salt-defense asides, which often consist of learning keys, it is that karate is ... blows.
      Besides, there is a book of kiujitsu written for the police, which specifies that it acts to contain an individual without hurting him (in 1906).
      The techniques are described in a small book;
      These are two types of defenses for distinguishing cases
      Maybe both are complementary?

  4. Yahia Brahim MRAIN at

    Hello Mr BRUNO B.
    I read carefully the text karate and self-defense because it is interesting in more than one way (do well karate to better defend himself in case and for good health).
    I have already attended self defense classes but too much practice, I find that there is indeed a lot of links between karate and self defense is actually two in one except that in self defense we will to the point.

  5. Good day Bruno.

    It's a good idea to talk about self-defense and karate. But it is important to make this first approach: We know that the current Karate is practical with the cooperation (80%) of the partner and the reality of the street is diferente.
    Raul Cerveira

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