More Articles by Iain Abernethy

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 any 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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Occam's Hurdled Katana: The logic of kata application

In this article I want to look at the logical basis for the various approaches to kata application. I’m of the view that analysing things from a logical perspective makes a compelling case for the best way to approach kata. From there, the article then looks at how the discussion about kata and bunkai needs to change. And it does need to change!

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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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