How do you know if what you are learning will work? It has to be tested. In science class you go to lectures to learn theories and then you get the practical from the lab. The same is the case in martial arts and in most things you learn in life. Theory has to be applied in some form or fashion. Trials can be controlled and uncontrolled. They can be moderate or extreme. For example, you can try a technique on a training partner in light sparring, moderate sparring, or full contact sparring. You can even go to the extreme of competing against an opponent you are completely unfamiliar with. Through trial and error, you learn what works best for you in certain situations. When you learn something new, you practice it in a controlled environment and then you test it. Many times, people get stuck in theory and never get the chance to apply it. So, be sure to get in the lab in and test what you learn. Be able to apply it under pressure.
In 1994, I was selected to be a part of Team USA in an international competition. I was one of 5 on a US team against Team Russia. This event was hosted by World Champ, Steve Shepherd in West Palm Beach, FL. Here's a video of my fight against Russian Middleweight Kickboxing Champion, Alexander Veronin.
I was in Japan a couple of weeks ago for the Annual Shidokan International Championships and 70th birthday of Shidokan founder Kancho Yoshiji Soeno. In addition to seeing some great fights of bare knuckle Karate and Gloved Karate, I had an opportunity to meet the Kyokushin's 1st World Champion, Katsuaki Sato. If you've ever seen the documentary, "Fighting Black Kings", you will remember him as the guy who wins the tournament. If you haven't seen it, be sure to check it out so that you can see how full contact Karate developed. Looking at the fighters from the early 70s, you can see that many of the Karate fighters come from the Shotokan point system by their stance and use of the reverse punch. The low kicks were snap round kicks with the foot. When you see a fighter like Sato, you see a fighter who is well conditioned and who has already adopted clinch and knee techniques from kickboxing. He uses Judo, spin back kicks, etc. Check him out.
World Champion Richard Trammell shares his experiences, views and thoughts on fitness, martial arts and fighting.