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More On Kumite

Let us assume that Karate techniques are defenses or counters against a street attack -- by that I mean they are designed for civilian use. Karate techniques are generally not designed as defenses or counters against Karate techniques.

So how do most of practice -- by attacking each other with Karate-type punches and kicks.

In modern kumite matches, two Karate students try to score points on each other, without being scored on themselves. They attack each other using Karate-type punches and kicks. The first to score usually wins.

But Karate is not an offensive art -- it is defensive. So to attack using Karate-type punches and kicks is a bit out of place. And to defend against such an attack is also problematic.

My point is that there is a big difference between defending against a street attack and defending against an attack by a Karate student or expert, or an expert of another martial art. I am not suggesting that a street attack is weaker, slower, or less deadly than a martial arts attack -- simply that they are different. For self defense, we need to practice defending against the types of attacks we are most likely to encounter.

So how would a Karate expert defend against an attack by another Karate expert? In my opinion, he would react as if the other expert were armed. In other words, there would be no holding back. It would be treated as a life and death situation. This is one reason why the masters of old did not fight with each other idly. A match was taken very seriously with the recognition that it could easily result in serious injury or death.

Was there a form of Karate or certain techniques designed for use against other Karate experts? That is an interesting question.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin