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#360918 - 09/14/07 04:05 PM Are the snap technique of old Karate useless?
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
Are the snap technique of old Karate useless? When I was training these technqiues were as popular as the Komi, now with the use of padded sparring mitts you don't see them much. Here in the USA we want to knock or push things away rather then drop them right there. Techniques like the snap punches, strikes, back kick done close or even the mae-age-geri and others. Even the riken-uchi in mitts is done most/sometimes clubbing instead of snapping. These close in techniques use to be part of training now looking at some of the competition dojos they are fading, striking difference (forgive my pun) in the Combat schools/dojos they still are trained and used properly, being alot of the kumite is ungloved and continuous.

Have anybody noticed this? Can you give an explaination of why? Or do you think its a good change?? Or is it just me being too cricitcal of some tourney techiniques again? You haven't noticed it?

#360919 - 09/14/07 04:09 PM Re: Are the snap technique of old Karate useless? [Re: Neko456]
Spade Offline

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 255
Loc: Auburn, Al.
In Isshinryu I train in snap kicks/punches.

The use of gloves/padding really diminish the effects of snap punches, since they rely on minimum surface area.
"always paddle your own canoe." - Cord

#360920 - 09/14/07 04:23 PM Re: Are the snap technique of old Karate useless? [Re: Neko456]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
I think the real question is whether any old technique is worthless?

Of course the answers is if you can make it work it's fine.

The rise of sport karate, while having its own positive values, does diminish the original use of many techniques.

I'm not sure snap is the correct terminology for I think its more you strike and release your elbow which allows rapid retraction of the strike. This is used in several Okinawan systems, which use turning and vertical strikes.

While I use an entire range of striking from many systems, I prefer my original vertical Isshinryu striking. BTW it can be done a number of different ways including thrusting with the strike.

As for what 'modern' schools do I really don't spend my time cataloging them.

victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#360921 - 09/14/07 05:06 PM Re: Are the snap technique of old Karate useless? [Re: Neko456]
Ironfoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 2682
Loc: St. Clair Shores, MI USA
I hope not, because after this many years I can't get used to punching any other way!

#360922 - 09/14/07 05:26 PM Re: Are the snap technique of old Karate useless? [Re: Neko456]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5835
Loc: USA

I think you already called it--the padded sparring mits and the prevelence of "open tournament" style sparring has seriously effected the training and techinques in many schools.

Its not that they are "useless" its they don't have much in common with winning open tournaments that has become the focus of many people and schools.

Its weird really---once the most common reason for taking martial arts was because you had been beaten up and wanted to learn how to protect yourself better.
Now many of the people taking martial arts have never been in a fistfight in their lives--so they have almost no personal experince to compare their training with.
So they all to often equate "open tournament" to "real world" skills.

NOT saying that you need to go out and get into fights---just pointing out that if you have never been in one and "open tournaments" are the only venue you have to gauge the effectivness of your training---then you might just be making/coming to some seriously erronous conclusions.

(my use of the term "you" DOES NOT mean "YOU" personally of course--just a figure of speech. )

Then you add that to the every decreasing age of the "average" martial arts student----teaching little kids to really focus hard penetrating blows is kinda dangerous.
And the point with them often much less real world skills and much more "day care karate" so again, there is less precieved need for devlopeing really good skills.

Like I said, I think you already hit the nail on thhe head in your first post----the "Combat" schools still use and teach them and find them valuable.
The "open tournament" bunch does not.

Pretty much enough said as far as I'm concerned.

Edited by cxt (09/14/07 05:28 PM)
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#360923 - 09/14/07 07:37 PM Re: Are the snap technique of old Karate useless? [Re: Neko456]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Neko, my man, you have asked an intelligent question...

The answer lies in what you're trying to accomplish with your technique, and in what venue you're using them. I have to agree with Victor on that.

"Snap" techniques in karate are used to deliver both force and vibration (if they're done right). They are markedly faster than "thrust" techniques, and used for entirely different purposes. Speed and accuracy combine to make many of the old Dim Mak techniques what they are, and the vibration of a snap technique is what "develops the effect" of the strike. Like a boxing jab at the "sweet spot" on the jaw will knock somebody out, there are places all over the body that are affected by snap techniques, with just as debilitating an effect as the boxer's jab. A thrust kick or "driving punch" on the same place would hurt like hell, but not have the same effect... much like a "whiplash" occurring in a car accident. It might take a moment to develop, but it's definitely damaging.

I was once attacked by a guy with a claw hammer. I front snap kicked him in the solar plexus, and dropped him like a stone. I've kicked other people with thrusts in the same area, and while it knocked them backward, they came right back for more... so I trust the "snap" techniques to protect me.

As a mechanical designer (by training), I deal with force all the time. Force is mass (essentially, weight) multiplied by it's acceleration, which is defined as the speed from rest to "full speed". The formula is F=ma, and the shock power generated depends on the "residence time" the "hitting device" (fist or foot) stays in contact with the target (at full force delivery). That "contact time" also generates a vibration wave that either works to dissipate the force, or amplify it, depending on how it's contained.

In breaking, snap techniques might not break the entire stack of wood or tiles, but it would break the ones on the bottom, with less force applied (from vibration). The thrust techniques would deliver more force, and break things from the contact point "through" the objects.

"Padding" up to do kumite erases a lot of the effect of snapping techniques, although not entirely, and most of the kumite I've seen and done with pads on depend on something that is more "medium speed" types of techniques than high speed ones, which the "snap" techniques are.

Since karate is a "force delivery art", padding up to do your sparring is an open invitation to use more thrusting types of techniques so you deliver force more effectively through the pads. As both Victor and I have said, it depends on what you're trying to accomplish with your technique, and the actual venue you're in using your technique. My snap kick was being used to keep me from getting killed...


What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

#360924 - 09/14/07 08:24 PM Re: Are the snap technique of old Karate useless? [Re: wristtwister]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA

In breaking, snap techniques might not break the entire stack of wood or tiles, but it would break the ones on the bottom, with less force applied (from vibration). The thrust techniques would deliver more force, and break things from the contact point "through" the objects.

Reminds me of my test for green belt over 15 years ago. I had to break two boards. The one on top did not break bu the second one did. I thought I had messed up so I punched a second time and broke the first. My holder said I should have turned to the judges and said, "Oh, did you want me to break them both?"
Dulaney Dojo

#360925 - 09/14/07 09:21 PM Re: Are the snap technique of old Karate useless? [Re: Neko456]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772

Are the snap technique of old Karate useless?

it's not a question of 'old' karate or's a question of doing them correctly or not. if you do them incorrectly, then they aren't any better than someone with no training.

first, the reason why it comes off as a push instead of shock, in physics, is because people use the wrong formula.

Force = mass x acceleration is a 'push' formula.

the formula for shock, is Impulse:
Impulse = Force with respect to time.

(the time interval over which the force is applied -or- how fast the momentum of an object changes)

to understand the difference in practice, next time you are in front of a heavy bag - instead of front kicking it to see how far you can make it swing, try this instead:

swing the bag away from you, then stop it dead with a front snap kick. thats Impulse: changing the momentum of the bag (from swing to stop) in as short a time as possible.

If you apply that same principle to a bag not swinging, the effect is not a push...instead the bag jumps. thats the result of delivering the shock.

(incidently, delivering shock is what chi-based striking Arts strive that should give a hint into further research as well. )

nothing wrong with a push strike or kick either - just a different tool.
someone with a kick that can deliver shock tends to drop the opponent where they are. the push kick throws the opponent backwards.

for the mechanics of the actual kick that produces that, check out Peter Consterdine's videos/seminars or look for some of the seniors of Kimura Shukokai. also, different technique, but same effect, is some Ashihara schools. or ask Brad and hedkikr here on this forum to explain the mechanics....they kick harder than me.

so it's all about the technique...not the criteria of if it's 'old' or not. I've seen some 'old school' TMAists folk that couldn't kick thru a shoji door.

hope that helps.

#360926 - 09/14/07 09:30 PM Re: Are the snap technique of old Karate useless? [Re: Neko456]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Agreed with Grady, et al. Snap techniques are very useful, but much less so with gloves on. As long as you are getting proper weight transfer, target penetration, etc, the snap technique will work very well.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#360927 - 09/14/07 09:32 PM Re: Are the snap technique of old Karate useless? [Re: Ed_Morris]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Actually Ed, that didn't help at all. You made me think. . .

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