Have Gi will travel
Just got back from the IFK Kyokushin, US Open. I have been working with a Kyokushin fighter named Kamil Maras. We are not the same style but fighting is fighting so who cares? I don’t. If I can help an athlete become better and the athlete respects what we do, we are good to go.
Kamil took on a IFK World Champ out of Russia. They went 3 hard rounds which had Kamil losing to a judges decision, but he did and fought better than he ever has in the past. Its all good :)
This is not an article to talk about fighting so much as it is about why some of us still train in Karate. I have to specify that we do not train in a style of Karate that is well known in the US either. We compete in Knockdown tournaments. Yes, there are points, but the points are only scored for damaging blows that stun or drop an opponent for under a 3 count. Drop them twice and you win. Drop them for more than a 3 count, you just scored a KO. This is not the Karate most people in the US know of. This is full contact, bare knuckle, bare shin, KO Karate.
To fight in Knockdown you have to be dedicated. You won’t make any money doing this. You won’t become famous doing this. You will train just as hard as any other athlete, incur damage like all combat sport athletes do, and you will get little more than the respect of your peers and possibly a trophy. In today’s world of MMA and Kickboxing with big paydays and publicity, why still compete in Karate?
I am no better or worse than anyone else because I put on a gi (uniform). I am just another person doing combat sports and martial arts. What appeals to me and many others is the sense of tradition Karate brings with it. We are connected to a long tradition of people who have struggled and fought to improve themselves and protect the things they hold dear. They passed knowledge down to another, who in turn passed it on down, etc…. I am part of that chain of experience.
Knowledge is always transmitted from one to another. Karate is a term that is used to collect knowledge and transmit it more effectively than most can do on their own. Within Karate there are numerous style and organizations. Some are stronger than others when it comes to preserving information. All these styles are simply collections of experience.
I appreciate my place in the flow of history when it comes to Karate. I am no giant or game changer like the masters that came before me. I am a grain of sand in the history of it all but I am still a part of this beach. I appreciate that and enjoy the comfort of belonging to something greater than myself.
Killer B and Takemichikaikan