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More Articles by Iain Abernethy

Where is the Catch? The Forgotten Throw of Gichin Funakoshi

In this brief article, I want to discuss the “forgotten throw” of Gichin Funakoshi i.e. Nodo-Osae (“throat press” or “pressing the throat”). While a growing number of karateka are familiar with the nine karate throws Gichin Funkaoshi shows in his 1935 book Karate-Do: Kyohan, fewer are aware that they are not the only throws Funakoshi recorded in his written works. In his earlier 1925 book, Rentan Goshin Karate Jutsu, Gichin Funakoshi showed six throws. One of those throws – which is not included in the nine of Karate-Do: Kyohan – is Nodo-Osae.

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It Depends and Other Scary Things

It’s hard to think of anything more chaotic than conflict. There are so many variables with everything changing from one split second to the next. Until safety or victory is assured, we are always a hairsbreadth away from disaster. That’s scary! I can therefore understand why people want to tame the “big bad wolf” by projecting certainty onto conflict i.e.

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Two things criminals know about violence that you should know too

I recently put out a podcast which discussed the need to be able to think like criminals if we are to be able to effectively protect ourselves from them. That podcast focussed on wider self-protection issues, whereas in this short article I want to focus on the physical side of things. In particular, I want to quickly discuss two key elements of the criminal’s approach to violence that make them more effective than most martial artists.

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The Case for Kihon

In this article we will be discussing kihon training. For practitioners of non-Japanese systems, ‘kihon’ generally refers to the practice of techniques without a partner or equipment. Typically it’s done in lines where the karateka goes up and down the room.

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Understanding Kata: Textbooks and Tactics

In this short article I would like to discuss the following quotation:

 “Like textbooks to a student or tactical exercises to a solider, kata are the most important element of karate” - Gichin Funakoshi (The Essence of Karate).

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Geophagy and the need for live bunkai practise

Here is an interesting section from Gichin Funakoshi’s Karate-Do: My Way of Life in which he describes his clandestine training with Anko Azato:

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10 things the martial arts should have taught you about life!

I’m a great believer in the ability of the martial arts to enhance life as well as preserve life. Gichin Funakoshi’s tenth precept is “Put Karate into your everyday life and you will find its subtle secrets.”

There are lessons that are learnt in the microcosm of the dojo that we can apply to the macrocosm of everyday life. So in this article I thought we’d look at ten lessons that you SHOULD have learnt from your time in the dojo that apply to everyday life. If you take them to heart, they can help make life more productive and enjoyable.

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In Defence of Combat Sports

One of the never-ending controversies in martial arts is the role and influence of the combat sports. Some are ardent supporters and some see the sporting side of the martial arts as a heresy that should be challenged and slighted at every opportunity.

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Pressure Points: A Sceptical Examination

In this article I want to discuss the always controversial subject of pressure points. Before we go any further, I should make it clear that my articles are always 100% focused on my personal views. It would make little sense for me to try to explain the views of others (I’ll leave that up to them) or to arbitrarily give “the other side of the story”.

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The problems with "street fighting"

In this article I want to look at the term “street fight” and what connotations, both intentional and unintentional, that term can have.

In recent years I’ve been making a concerted effort to get stricter and stricter with my terminology when teaching. I feel this is important because loose terminology can lead to confusion and errors in training.

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