point sparring

Why Doesn’t Kata Look Like Fighting?

This question comes up, often, with new karateka, disillusioned karateka, and people who practice (or at least closely follow) combat sports, and they have a fair point–kata does not look much like what most people consider “fighting.” Really, it doesn’t even look like what most karateka consider fighting, which is competition-style kumite (sparring). Kata teach you to use strong, rooted […]

nagamine kusanku

A spherical diagram of happo no kuzushi

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 […]

Orthodox vs. Southpaw

If you frequent many online martial arts forums, then you will be familiar with the “Orthodox vs. Southpaw” discussion. It usually begins with someone who is relatively new to the martial arts, or someone who has a boxing background. The question can vary, a bit, but it always has the same general theme–trying to figure out what the benefits are […]



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 […]