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July 15, 2007


I've been practicing shotokan karate for close to nine years and while you do make some good points here, I have to dissagree. I'm not going to be the one to say that shotokan is the best style of karate out there because really it is an individual choice to be made based on your physical ability. I myself am built bigger than most people my age (I'm 16 years old and im 6'0 240lbs of muscle), so because of this shotokan fits me almost like a glove. I can easily develop my power in my moves and throughout my years of training i have developed immensely in the areas of speed, flexability and explosiveness. I understand there are some who try shotokan but simply cannot attain the level of power required to advance to high levels, Ive seen many students leave my dojo because of this and because of the rigourous and rigid style of the art. I dont agree with what you said about Shotokan not being big on individuality. The form is the basis of the technique, obviously you need to have the right form or your move wont be effective. But pertaining to what you said about the situation with your shoulder, that isnt what every dojo is like. It may only be my sensei who is like this, I wouldnt know, but he trains every one of us on a personal level. Sure he trains us to do the same kata and has us all do the same moves, but he lets us add our own tweak to it as long as the base form is still present. Ive never seen this "cookie cutter" mentality that you describe.
Next, when you say that most of what is taught in shotokan isnt effective on the streets, you are mistaken. Shotokan is one of the most effective styles for self defense. Like the man who commented before me said, you can't compare traditional martial arts to UFC or MMA sport fighting in a ring. If a trained Shotokan black belt, or even a lower belt if theyre trained enough, ends up in a confrontation with one or multiple attackers, they will win. Assuming they have been properly trained. Shotokan trains you to defend yourself against single or multiple armed and un-armed attackers. The same can't be said for someone trained to take their opponent to the ground.

You are still getting comments on this blog 7 years after you wrote it! That's fantastic! I am glad you found something of value in the quotes. I think my position on shotokan enthusiasts and how some of them are overly nutty is fairly reflected in a couple of your comments above.

You got to the heart of it: Karate isn't a thing, it's just an instruction set. The person make the karate. Karate isn't a way of life for everyone. Karate is a phase of life for most, and that's ok and healthy.

The people telling you things like "you don't understand karate" are just frightened because they for some reason are afraid what you wrote is true.

If it rings true for you, it probably is. Follow your heart. And best of luck.

-Rob Redmond

If you are talking about effective Martial Arts then Traditional Shotokan Karate is the more effective martial arts. There is nothing better then learning martial arts and achieving a first class black belt. I am from India and achieved black belt. Now i am sharing my experience to train the next generation. Started karate class with name called http://www.right2fight.in On your topic of concern, i must say every martial artist has the same goal. One should respect it and take further with their mastery.

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