However from the original question: "Who has the best strikes Karate or Boxing?" we must look at the keyword, i.e. strikes. Just plain striking techniques.

You'll have to define what you mean precisely by "Just plain striking techniques."

Because it seems that you are suggesting that we need to isolate the actual technique away from its intended use. The question clearly asks who has the 'better' strikes, not who has 'more' of them. 'Better' implies more of an ability to actually use the strikes for their intended purpose. The very definition of striking states:

to aim and usually deliver a blow , stroke, or thrust (as with the hand, a weapon, or a tool)


If you want to discuss footwork and so on and relate it back to strikes, the question most appropriate would be something like: "Who has the best APPROACH or STYLE to/for striking?" Then you can add in factors such as footwork, training methods, sparring, supplementary training, etc.

I disagree. The original poster qualified his question, and made it clear that he wasn't only talking about amount of strikes. Going back to that original post, it is clear that he is indeed talking about who has the ability to best deliver the strike to the target (which, after all, is the purpose of striking to begin with). So, it is really quite clear that we have to look at striking inclusive of the training method that each style uses. It is through the training method and sparring that we can best ascertain who actually has the ability to perform 'striking'; not as a abstract gesture of hitting air, or a myriad of hypothetical techniques, but rather as 'who has the best ability to strike', i.e. who can actually perform the strikes best in the way intended.


In this case, versatility of strikes and the form of these strikes (not usage, as that is approach/style) are the main factors to compare.

To suggest that the question would best be answered by strikes being abstracted from their purpose, is faulty. As I've said before, the best method of striking is the one that teaches the student to deliver the most amount of strikes the most amount of times to the intended target.

Reducing strikes to abstract 'versitility', gets us no closer to answering the original question.

Again, a strike is (see definition) is not the abstract movement of the arm, leg, etc., but the actual delivering of blows. So, the "main factors to compare" is not mere versitility, but the ability to actually pragmatically use this perceived versitility.


If you want a fair comparison, simply get a Karate practitioner who trains, spars and develops like a Boxer, only that the striking techniques are from a Karate curriculum, then chances are the Karate practitioner would have the better strikes.

But then you are only arbitraily calling it 'karate' aren't you? The art you speak of has just as much boxing as karate in it. As a matter of fact, something like what you suggest has already been done, and the art which resulted is called kickBOXING.


On the equipment debate, it should be noted that funakoshi writes in karatedo kyohan, that any affordable striking target could be used and makiwara are only recommended because of the availability of the materials.

There is no magic or behind the use of either makiwara (of which there are hanging varieties) or heavy bags, and while [...]the aim behind them was just to have something to hit.

As I've said, I agree that karate uses it's own objects to practice striking. But, as I've said, there is a definite difference in the intended learning outcome between, say, a makiwara and a heavy bag, just as there is difference in the hoped for learning outcome of the boxers heavy bag training and his speed bag practice. Each 'striking object' gives way to a different manner of practice, and thus a different skill set developed.


For the most part Ames we agree, but boxing really isn't the progenitor of all things logical in MA

I certainly agree with you. Indeed the modern ruleset of boxing has made some aspects illogical for the purpose of self defence; the rules regarding the clinch being an example.


It only makes sense for there to have been free sparring in karate originally as karate is a fighting art and you can't learn fighting without fighting

I agree very much with the last part of this statement ("you can't learn fighting without fighting"). But I don't think that it "only makes sense for there to have been free sparring" in karate. The evidence for this assumption just isn't there. Given the time period, it makes a lot more sense for there NOT to be sparring, due to the inavailibility of medical services and protective gear. If you look at mainland Japan, you'll see a similar situation with Koryu jujutsu: an art intended for real combat, but, largely for the reasons I've stated, didn't spar.


In an interview Hohan Soken noted that karate training was risky in the old days because a broken leg or arm could cost someone their livelyhood, implying that such things could occur from karate practice. I've never known someone to break a leg doing a kata.

This is interesting, and does certainly imply that there was more than just kata going on, of which I am certain. But, again, I see no evidence that it was free sparring being practiced. I'm sure injuries did happen, but that doesn't necessarily mean that free sparring was involved. As an example, I've seen people sustain pretty major injury during compliant Aikido practice.


Also no one mentioned knockdown sparring, don't go moving the goal posts.

I did. If you look back at my prior posts I made it clear that this is the only type of sparring I was talking about, as this is the type of sparring that is practiced in boxing.


knockdown sparring without gloves is a fight.

Definately! That's why I doubt that it was practiced on Okinawa before proper gear could be had. Again, I feel that the only reason this type of sparring was practiced in boxing before decent gear became availible, was due to the monetary gain possible in such practice. That was really the only reason to risk the major, often fatal, injuries that could occur.


Since karateka of old belived their strikes could kill it is highly unlikely they engaged in full contact matches for training.


As I've said, that karate had its own sparring methods, there can be no doubt...but as to that being full contact free sparring, I'm doubtful, mostly for the reasons you gave. If you look back at my posts, you'll see that that is precisely all I have been saying.


If karate did not spar on Okinawa it most certainly did on Japan, and there is no reason to believe that boxing played any part.

Well, now we really aren't talking about tradional karate. Which is fine of course, but remember that this was all I was initially speaking to in my early posts on this thread.

Also, Ohtsuka, an early Shotokan practioner, and one of the pioneers of the free sparring, was influenced partially by boxing.


Far more likely youthful exuberance and testosterone, perhaps even Judo, but not likely boxing.

I agree that Judo and Kendo most likely had a significantly larger effect on the kumite methods that were developed for Japanese karate, which is one of the reasons that it is so diffirent.

Do keep in mind though, that in a roundabout way a Western influence can still be established. The pedagogy of Judo was developed with a strong Western combat sport influence, and this influece was felt on most subsequent modern Japanese arts. This pedagogy was the major change Kano made to tradional Japanese arts.


Edited by Ames (11/23/08 01:38 PM)
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."