I am looking for practical karate groups in Berlin or a dojo, where there are people, who have similar knowledge backgrounds and training goals. I am currently residing in Berlin, Germany and watched several videos and books from Iain Abernethy, Patrick McCarthy, Kris Wilder and translations of books of the old masters e.g. Mabuni Kenwa by Mario McKenna. Simply put, I like to avoid the form over function approach and find like-minded people to train with.
Alternatively I stay in my current dojo and continue reading and practicing by myself to learn more about practical karate or how I would also describe it "close range traditional karate". If I stay I would continue advancing in rank in the organisation, hoping someday I have more knowledge and confidence to try to talk my current fellow karateka and even to my sensei about things I found out in books and on the internet (like the articles from Iain Abernethy). At least in this way I would learn more kata and associated bunkai, although that kind of bunkai to this date was often blocking long range tsuki or maegeri. I did not experience systematic kata training similar how Iain Abernethy describes it in his work "An Introduction to Applied Karate" in which one goes beyond bunkai and alter the applications (I think it was called henka) and not mention the step after that, namely kata-based sparring.
One important detail, which I also like to mention: I am only a green belt in my current style (Shito Ryu), had a brown belt in Goju Ryu some years ago, before I moved to Berlin, I am kind of not a very self confident person and most importantly I am a family father. So I have multiple things going around and reasons to spend my little free training time wisely. According to the shuhari principle from a general view I would definitely put myself in the "shu" phase of shuhari (as I am not a black belt), in which I go to training, do as my sensei told and try to advance in rank. But I like to copy or "shu" other things than I currently do, so to speak, which is mostly just learning the sequence of many different kata (as Shito Ryu is the style with the most kata in any karate style). I remember there are quotes of Gichin Funakoshi and even Mabuni Kenwa, they say (just my words here but something along the lines) that there is no use in knowing only the sequence of kata, one should study the essence and applications of kata and so it is much better to know one or a few kata very well than to know many "dances" and therefore to be a jack of all trades regarding kata and karate.
I remember there is a thread with the title "saying bye bye to karate", in which Iain Abernethy states that he knows many practical karate groups in Berlin:
Iain Abernethy wrote:
...but I certainly know of plenty of practical groups in London (2nd largest European city) and Berlin (4th largest European city). Can’t speak to Moscow (biggest) or St. Petersburg (3rd biggest).
Anyway any input is much appreciated, thanks in advance,