More Articles by Iain Abernethy

What TMA can learn from MMA

MMA (mixed martial arts) is without a doubt the biggest thing to happen to the martial arts in the last few decades. It has seen the martial arts become mainstream as a spectator sport for the very first time and it has had a very big influence on the martial arts generally.

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Practical Karate?

I’ve been thinking about the term “practical” and its relationship to the martial arts. What is practical karate and how is that different from standard karate? Shouldn’t all takes on karate be practical? What would be the point of “impractical karate”?

The Google online dictionary has “practical” defined as:

1, Suitable for a particular purpose

2, Likely to succeed or be effective in real circumstances

3, Concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theory and ideas

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My Stance on Stances

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Grandmaster Haruyoshi Yamada Interview

On the 4th of November 2005 I had the privilege of interviewing Grand Master Haruyoshi Yamada when he visited the UK. This interview was on the old website and it has been a total oversight that it has not been posted here until now. Yamada was a joy to talk to (through an interpreter) and I felt that a lot of fascinating information was shared in the interview. I was particularly interested in his descriptions of his training with Chojiro Tani and the naming of the jujutsu style Kenwa Mabuni is said to have taught Tani along with karate and kobudo.

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History: is it a thing of the past?

Is an understanding of the history of karate important?  Or is it an irrelevant distraction from the pursuit of combative efficiency? Perhaps it can be both? As I see it “history” can be a force for either progress or stagnation and in this article I would like to talk about a number of issues relating to karate’s history and how that may effect our approach to the art today.

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Styles: Are They Killing Karate?

Tell another martial artist that you practise karate and it is very likely that they will immediately then ask you, “what style?”. From this it would seem that the notion of style is felt to be important. However, this raises many questions: How did all these various styles come into existence? Are they really that important? Should the existing styles be preserved? Or perhaps we should be looking to create new styles?

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Karate's Three Biggest Mistakes

Although I’ve trained in a few different arts, it is karate that remains my central passion. I love the art of karate and I am a great believer in it. However, I believe that we do the art a great disservice if we deny it has any faults and take the view that the art has reached a state of perfection.

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What is Kata?

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Chinto / Gankaku Kata: History & Application

Chinto kata has a fascinating history and it is necessary to have some understanding of that history if we are to understand the kata itself. The creator of the kata was Sokon “Bushi” Matsumura (1809—1902) who played a huge role in the development of karate and who was also the chief bodyguard to three Okinawan kings. Matsumura is believed to have studied under Tode Sakugawa, Iwah, Ason, Kushanku and, crucially for the purposes of this article, he also studied under a shipwrecked Chinese martial artist who went by the name Chinto.

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Power and Impact

In this article we will be covering the basic principles of power generation and the use of impact equipment. In order to fight effectively it is vital that you can deliver powerful strikes. The ability to hit hard is by far the most important skill when it comes to the physical side of self-protection.

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