In my 20+ years martial art career, where I mainly practiced traditional Shotokan Karate, I’ve always been struck by the indefectible faith the Sensei’s and Teachers put in the Block – Kick - Punch approach!
Indeed, I had the opportunity to attend seminars held by renowned masters such as Sensei Kase and Sensei Kanazawa, both native Japanese born around 1930, and I’ve never seen them demonstrating anything else than the famous Block – Kick – Punch approach.
It goes very far as they had (obviously) spent a huge amount of time in imagining all kind of more or less complex Block – Kick – Punch bunkais for each existing Shotokan kata, and had spent an even huger amount of time in teaching these to students all over the world !
The two things that strike me the most are:
- These masters are really “evangelists” of the Block – Kick – Punch approach; by evangelist I mean that they really believe it’s the one and only approach, and it’s the most useful one, even in real confrontations; But knowing they were born in Japan in the 30’s, I’ve got some difficulties to imagine they’ve never been taught the real practical karate …!? Why do they believe ?
- Karateka’s all over the world, including myself for a quite long time, really believe what they say ! We all encounter problems when trying to apply that approach in some realistic way, but the masters are always there to say that it’s a question of training, and that by training it again and again it will in the end be working … and we believe it ! Why do we believe it ?
But for the point 1, ancient masters, (if?) they really do believe … then why ?