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.
In fighting a lot of techniques is not always best. Many times people look for flash and flare over substance. There is a simplicity to fighting. The most effective combat athletes use 2 to 3 techniques. Should you fear the man who has 1000 different techniques or fear the man who has practice 1 technique 1000 times. You better not let the later apply that technique. There is nothing wrong with learning a lot but make sure you have your basics down.
When I was coming up, all my instructors and coaches were men of experience. In todays time, I see a lot of younger coaches. Not saying a young instructor can't teach. But I see guys with little experience trying to teach. I always figured one hand to have a lot more experience than me to show me anything. If you were choosing a surgeon, you would ask to be referred to someone with experience over the doctor who is doing it for the first time. You should treat your training the same way. Now, I'm not saying that you can' learn from a young instructor. They just need to a really good and unique if they don't have years of experience.
The Floyd Mayweather Vs. Conor McGregor fight was one of the most publicized fights in combat sports history. A lot of fans were hoping that Conor would win. This was mainly MMA fans. Not one boxing fan I know thought that he would. Back in the 1980s, American Kickboxing was really big. Promoters would market it as the sport to replace boxing. I know of many kickboxers who also boxed (boxing paid more money) and they set out to chase boxing titles. They had a better chance of being successful because American Kickboxing was basically boxing with karate kicks. If you couldn't box you couldn't do the sport. Even with this, to match the hand skills of a boxer was still a difficult task because most kick boxers (MMA fighters) who delve into boxing start a lot later than most boxers (who start as kids). The talent pool for boxers is much deeper. I went to an amateur boxing tournament early in the day before watch the Floyd and Conor fight. This was a 2 day tournament running over 40 matches a day with some good talent from kids up to adults. Kids start boxing at 8 years of age. By the time they are teenagers, they've had a lot of fights. Floyd started a s kid, was an Olympian at 17, a World Champion at 20, etc. Conor supposed started with boxing as youth and then got into MMA. He fights floyd with Zero pro boxing fights. He has the advantages of size, youth, and reach. Even though he is an MMA fighter, he has finished almost all of his fights with striking skills. To expect him to been a quality boxer in boxing with less than a year of serious boxing training is unlikely. Floyd cover up and let Conor expend his energy and then pressure him until he folded from exhaustion. I knew he would tire because a 12 round boxing match is hard feat when one has never done a 4 round, 6 round, 8 round, and 10 round bout to develop into a 12 round fighter. Sure he made through most of the fight, but he has a 20 pound weight advantage, youth and height. Sure Floyd has been retired for 2 years and is 40 years old, but it doesn't matter when you are one of the best in the business. It was easy money for Floyd (and Conor too).
The advantage with fighting single bouts is that you can focus on one person. You google and Youtube your opponent and get fixated on him. Tournament fighters show up and fight multiple matches not knowing who they are going to fight. They might think that they are going to fight a specific opponent and then that guy might lose to someone they've never seen or heard of. Tournament are better for the development of a fighter. You adapt to the situation and you don't focus on one person.
The unique thing about Shidokan Karate as a style is that it is a mixed system. It incorporates techniques from several styles to make one well rounded. Shidokan was started in 1981 and continues to evolve. It is where traditional martial arts meets mixed martial arts. Here is a clip of Shidokan Atlanta's senior members competing in a mixed arena (MMA, Triathlon, etc.). Through years of competing and exploration, we continue to grow and expand.
In learning the martial arts, you will be guided by your instructor. After you learn the basics you will have look within to further improve. As a fighter, the best teacher is experience. After you have years of training and competing you know what you need to do to get better. You can't depend on your coach and training partners for success. You have to make it happen. You can't rely on others to motivate and inspire you, you have to be the motivation and inspiration in your life. You have to accept nothing but the best in how you approach your goals. In today's time, I see a lot of young people looking for outside guidance in everything they do. Many years ago, when I walked in a gym I simply had to watch the veterans in the place train and I saw what was necessary. They didn't wait for anybody to tell them what to do. They came in and got to it and worked hard. These days, students are not as focussed or self-driven. In a time of instant gratification they want things with out paying their dues. They want it to be laid out for them. The haven't been forced to learn from inside. Because they have come up in a time where the mind has not be creatively challenged to do so. For you to be a champion in whatever you do, you will need to study and practice hard. You will need to look within yourself and push your past your limits to improve. Study champions and the process to accomplishing things not the end result. Get to work!
What is a fighter's most important weapon? I would say his conditioning. In a match where you have 2 trained athletes, who both have a foundation of techniques, usually the victory is determined by who is in better shape. Once a fighter is tired, nothing works like it should. Defense is difficult, reaction is slow, and power is depleted. Being able to apply techniques under stress takes conditioning and experience. The first thing to go in fight is usually the legs. They get heavy and movement becomes difficult. The will usually get tired before the lungs. There are many theories on the best way to get in shape. I am of the believe that you must do your particular activity as the primary form of conditioning. Everything is is supplementary. If given a chance to spar extra rounds or do more reps on the bench press, I recommend the extra rounds. Sticking with the theory of specificity, one must practice what one is going to do. Everything is should be worked around the activity you are going to do.
How would you fight an opponent who is 100 plus pounds heavier than you? Do you go toe to toe? Well here is an MMA fight of Shidokan Atlanta's Vinny Balsamello fighting a man that weighs over 340 lbs. This fight took place June 10, 2017 in Metzingen Germany on the Shooto IV MMA fight show which aired on fite.TV. Vinny weighed in under 230 lbs for this bout. He gives up several inches in height too. You will see how to use low kicks, movement and the clinch to keep his larger opponent from being on top of him should the fight go to the ground. Watch and learn.
Gloved Karate Gloved Karate is a style of kickboxing that features your standard kickboxing techniques (punches, kicks, knees, clinch, and throws). This is a clip with up and coming Karate and Kickboxing fighter Adrian Weathersby. You will a blend of several martial martial arts displayed in this video.
World Champion Richard Trammell shares his experiences, views and thoughts on fitness, martial arts and fighting.