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More on Vicious Techniques

This is a follow-up to my post, Vicious Techniques. My friend, Sensei Jim Alexander, also posted a Guest Post on this subject.

I do not believe that Karate is for fighting -- it is for defense only. Karate does not make you a good fighter, it makes you a good defender, hopefully.

As Sensei Alexander pointed out, attackers do not follow any rules. And some of them are very good at fighting/beating people up because they get a lot of practice.

In Karate, we should learn to defend against the types of attacks we might experience. I am afraid that attackers are not going to use a chudan zuki. And if the attack ends up on the ground, they are not going to call time out so that you can both stand up. NO RULES. NO TIME OUT. NO TROPHIES.

As Karate students we should avoid conflict unless it is the last resort -- to defend your life or the life of a loved one. Talk your way out of it if you can, walk away if that does not work, run away if you have to. AVOID, AVOID, AVOID. I would rather give up my wallet than risk my life.

But if there is no other way, and you have to defend yourself -- and this is the key point -- you need to be prepared to defend against real attacks. The techniques that might receive points in a tournament are probably not going to work. And, in fact, the techniques that will probably work best are also probably illegal in tournaments (most of the techniques I would use certainly are).

That is why I wrote about vicious techniques -- you need to know what dirty is in order to defend against dirty.

And if you do have to defend against a vicious technique, you are probably going to have to be more vicious, not to win, but to survive and get away.

Winning and losing are for sports. My good friend, Professor Kimo Ferreira, likes to say that in self defense, it is not who is first but who is last (as in the last one standing).

Please do not get me wrong. I am one of the most peaceful people you could meet. I am not a fighter at all and will always try my best to avoid conflict unless self defense becomes the last resort. But I do realize that as Karate students we have to keep it real. We have to learn to defend against the types of real attacks we might experience. You cannot hope to defend against something you have never even seen.


Charles C. Goodin