More Articles by Iain Abernethy

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?

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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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Karate Grappling: Did It Really Exist?

In this article I'd like to ask if karate really does contain any grappling? This is a potentially controversial subject as I found out when I wrote my book on the subject in the year 2000. The passing of the years has done little to diminish that controversy. Certainly there is a now a solid interest in this area of study within parts of the traditional community. However, there are many martial artists, from both the traditional and modern fraternity, that believe that such methods have never existed within karate.

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There is nothing "Peaceful" about the Pinans!

In this article I want to challenge some of the commonly held beliefs about the Pinan / Heian series. Although frequently viewed as kata for children or beginners, it is my belief that the Pinan series represent a holistic and frequently brutal combat system. To establish why I believe that to be true, the first thing I want to call into question is the commonly accepted meaning of “Pinan”.

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