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#103981 - 05/19/04 04:13 PM Re: Do tournaments hurt martial arts?
Salek Offline

Registered: 06/09/04
Posts: 475
Loc: Minnesota
I am not quite sure... I know that the "activities" (they dont deserve the title of tournament) on ESPN are a bunch of Americanized bull. But at my dojo we are not allowed to add any thing to Kata or we will get a lower score, and the in sparring tournaments we get disqualified for repeating the same motion to much or making a sloppy motion. So I guess in some ways it hurts them, but in other ways it keeps it real.

Thank you

#103982 - 06/11/04 07:47 AM Re: Do tournaments hurt martial arts?
ken harding Offline

Registered: 04/21/04
Posts: 721
Loc: UK
Tournaments are a fun sideline for younger folkfs imho. Thoroughly enjoyed them when I did them but don't have the desire any more and besides I am too decrepit these days [IMG][/IMG]

#103983 - 07/26/04 03:23 AM Re: Do tournaments hurt martial arts?

Tournaments are moneymaking events, advertising venues, a gathering of friends and families and a stage for exhibitionists. At least that's what I observe from many of the tournaments televised in America. I've also competed in point-fighting tournaments as well as traditional kata.

I now live and train in Japan and the differences between martial arts in Japan and America are stark. In America, much of the sparring training I undertook was under point-competition rules. As a result I was fast, I could launch multiple attacks and counters, I had good "ring" sense and timing. I was a competent and confident point-fighter, but I was not prepared for knock-down style karate in Japan, which I now perceive as the closest thing to a real-life street confrontation, the ultimate test of one's MA training. (Muay Thai is also pretty close to a street whuppin)

In Japan, not all, but a majority of karate tournaments are full contact, ie. no pads, gloves or headgear, and hard, devastating technique. You're allowed a groin cup and mouth guard for protection. (Children are allowed more protection.) No hand techniques to the head, but anywhere else is pretty much ok: gedan mawashi geri to legs, hiza geri to chin. A mawashi-geri to your opponents head, no matter how fast, won't mean much unless you follow through and knock him down.

Sparring in the dojo now is a real education in the value of defense, keeping up your guard, pressing your attack, and following through. In the beginning, I'd throw my trusty high-kick, wait for the imaginary ref to acknowledge my "point" and then get hammered by my opponent intent on knocking my on my but. Also, forget about keeping your hands low like a prancing Bruce Lee wannabe's. Point fighters don't last long in Japan. I've since adapted.

Kata competition, is all traditional. If you want music and back flips, be a rhythmic gymnast or take your act to Vegas. As for your kiai, save it for the select moments in the kata, otherwise a kiai every other breath makes you appear like a raving looney.

So do tournaments hurt martial arts in Japan? Tournaments keep karate "real." Many dojos expect their students to participate in tournaments in order to get promoted, certainly to black. As a result there is no belt inflation, like I witnessed in America, where you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a 3rd, 4th, 5th degree black belt.

Incidently, the knock-down style I've described is not limited to Japan. Around the world, and yes even in America, it is known as Kyokushin Karate, and variouly by its many derivative styles.


#103984 - 07/26/04 01:09 PM Re: Do tournaments hurt martial arts?
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Dixon:

People like the circus and clownish entertainment foolishness. What you describe was only missing the tent and the elephants...

Were there three or six rings at the one you attenced (: 9 ???


#103985 - 10/08/04 03:43 PM Re: Do tournaments hurt martial arts?

During my earnest practice of traditional-style Shotokan and open-style Kajukenbo, as well as more recently Aikido, it has been my consistent observation that those practitioners of martial arts that do not have the discipline to train daily, to jog, stretch, and practice on their own outside of the dojo setting, like a true, determined, well-rounded athlete, are the ones that have a "sour-grapes" negative view of karate point-sparring or the more self-expressive, stylistic tournament kata. On the other hand, the great senseis, seifus and masters I have studied under have all survived the trials and tribulations of the "tournament circuit" for years and years and they all have performed spectacularly, both from a "showmanship" or entertainment perspective as well as from a Traditional (with a capital T) and honorable Bushido or Budo perspective.

So in my humble opinion, tournament fighting and tournament kata is simply an additional dimension of display or test (not the ONLY test mind you) of spirit, speed, power, targeting, body control and physical conditioning, stamina and psychological willpower to perform, execute and win under pressure, in a safer more controlled environment than a late night bar or the unforgiving streets.

Again, this is only my humble opinion at this point in time.

Peace and OS!

[This message has been edited by shepherdandrew (edited 10-08-2004).]

#103986 - 10/11/04 09:26 PM Re: Do tournaments hurt martial arts?
Christiancadet Offline

Registered: 06/08/04
Posts: 553
One quick note, though the side kick is overused it is powerful, and if used correctly can be devastating. Have a video where to guys are sparring Kyokushin karate style and when one of the two stood square to the other one he was nailed in the face with a sidekick. the vid is at

#103987 - 12/04/04 09:54 PM Re: Do tournaments hurt martial arts?

i just want to say that i totally agree with you wado
I take sholin karate that has been passed down from direct lineage. we do old style okenawan and its not fancy like u guys are talkin about in the tournaments( very affective though ^_^) and ive seen other schools butcher good katas for those tournaments and it is very disheartening to know that schools disrespect a kata thats been passed down from sensai to student over so many years but, i also think that if judges would score low for butchering a kata that it would stop the showy katas all together and people would get back to the real katas.

#103988 - 12/06/04 11:20 AM Re: Do tournaments hurt martial arts?

To be fair to the sport karate tournaments, the stuff they show on tv is the stuff that will appeal to the widest audience, namely NON-practitioners. Most tournaments have, if not specific traditional Japanese/Korean/Chinese/ forms divisions, then at least a Traditional forms division wherein the kata has to be an actual kata, and is judged accordingly. (e.g. If you throw an au batido, or some other personal modification into Koryo or Unsu or whatever you will be penalized.)

What they show on TV are the open/creative divisions which, while we can look at and say "I pray somebody tries to hit me with a 1080 spin hook kick someday", does have the ability to make the average non-MA go "Oooh, Ahhhh." And since TV aims for the lowest common denominator, that's what gets televised.

In a nutshell, I don't know if they really hurts martial arts in general but they definitely creates better athletes.

#103989 - 12/09/04 09:03 PM Re: Do tournaments hurt martial arts?

[QUOTE]Originally posted by sholinsfinest:

I take sholin karate that has been passed down from direct lineage. we do old style okenawan and its not fancy like u guys are talkin about in the tournaments( very affective though ^_^).

Sholin? I've never heard of that style of Karate. Is there any lineage to Shaolin? Their names are awfully similar.

#103990 - 12/26/04 09:00 AM Re: Do tournaments hurt martial arts?

I practiced martial for many years for self defense.When I competed in tounments I looked at each fight as self defense situation eventhough they were in controlled enviornments.The point is touns.are not just about winning plastic metal metal objects, although it feels good to win. It is a test of skill against people you don't know,helps build confidense,and opportunties to make friends and visit other schools. Know matter if your in mixed martial arts or point-fighting if you can hold your own you will have the awareness,confidense,and the ability to protect yourself if the need arises.
thank you.

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