Basic Sabaki and Tenshin – An Evasion Primer

Sport karate has long been known for its fast in-and-out approach to fighting, largely because of the way points are assessed–you want to get in and touch your opponent, and get away before they can touch you. Lately, though, the kumite used in the increasingly popular World Karate Federation (WKF) competitions seems to involve the “in” component, but not so […]

A spherical diagram of happo no kuzushi


Karate Kicks (Keri-Waza)

Keri-waza (kicking techniques) Keri-waza (kicking techniques) are great, but sometimes they are over-emphasized, or under-emphasized, depending on the art, style, and school. As with any technique, context is important, and determines how and when a technique should be used. In the case of kicking techniques, there are typically three categories–kicks for self defense, kicks for sport fighting, and kicks for […]

Competition in Training

A childrens’ BJJ competition In many martial arts schools, gyms, and dojo, there is a competitive environment. This is seen as a way to promote self-improvement through “healthy competition.” In particular, this idea manifests itself in whatever form of “sparring” that school/gym/dojo participates in–every (or almost every) sparring session is set up exactly like it would be for a competition, […]

Susumu Nagao's Photograph

TMA and MMA 2

Royce Gracie vs Matt Hughes – one of the first UFC events I ever watched I have been a fan of MMA for a while, now–since some time in 2006 when I watched a UFC event and saw two young fighters battling it out with good technique, and having push-up contests between rounds and high-fiving and hugging each other afterward. […]

Olympic Karate 8

The logo for the campaign to get karate into the 2020 Olympic Games As most karateka already know, the WKF (World Karate Federation) is making a push to get karate into the 2020 Olympic Games. Specifics haven’t been ironed out, yet, but the marketing campaign is already underway. I am not particularly fond of the idea of Olympic karate for […]



Karate Padwork 2

A valuable training tool that many traditional karateka choose to abstain from is the punching mitts, or focus mitts. These come in many different styles, from very basic to high-tech, but all of them facilitate the same thing–a way to turn a training partner into a mobile, modular platform for practicing full-speed striking combinations to various targets without injuring that […]

Kumite as a Training Method vs. Kumite as a Goal 3

There are many different ways to spar, but almost everyone who spars does so to become better at sparring.  When sparring is the goal of a person’s training, then what you are training is a combat sport, but not necessarily a martial art.  MMA fighters, boxers, submission grapplers–all of them train and spar to get better at sparring so that […]