The techniques of Shidokan Karate have been adopted from various systems (those considered most effective). With techniques from traditional Karate, Muay Thai, Judo, etc., this style is constantly modified and the efficiency of its techniques are constantly verified in various full contact arenas. The Shidokan is best known for the Triathlon, "Karate, Kickboxing, and Grappling". A champion must defeat three opponents under all three rules in one night. This is a grueling test of one's mental and physical strengths. Shidokan tournaments show us that there is something substantial in Karate. They highlight the powerful techniques that often get lost in the intricacies of kata. Shidokan is Karate's most complete answer to critics of Karate. The skill it takes to develop expertise in Karate, Kickboxing and Grappling cannot be argued.
If you train to be defensive, you are already behind your aggressor. You have to be offensive. My belief is hit hard, hit fast and hit first. When sense danger, act first. Be proactive no reactive.
The fitness business is big these days with all kinds of workouts to do. There is yoga, spin, cross-fit, rock climbing, etc. People will mix up there workouts where one day they do cardio, the next strength, the next flexibility and so on. For me, my primary way of staying in shape is through martial arts training. I train in several styles of martial arts that have different fitness requirements and develop different attributes. The aspects of power, endurance, flexibility, coordination, reaction, and many more more are met through these different martial arts. For example, with Judo I have to be explosive and have the constant resistance of another body along with isometric strength development in grappling. With kickboxing and boxing, I get an all around body workout developing explosive power, reaction, eye/hand coordination, and a lot of cardio. Through karate and taekwondo, I am working on flexibility, fluidity, focus, and precision. From time to time, I will squeeze in some Kendo and Kobudo (weapons) training which help with focus, grip strength, timing and distancing. I spar, grapple, skip rope, etc. So, through the martial arts, I am able to train myself mentally, physically and spiritually in what I consider the best way to do it.
In today's time we have a lot of resources to learn from. You can go online and find out how to do a lot of things. In martial arts we look for exciting things to do and want to the impressive moves we see other fighter and martial artists do. When do so we see the end result of years of practice that the person we are looking at has done and we want to be able to do what they do right now.
When I started kickboxing and boxing, there were no classes for it. You went into a boxing gym and a trainer would show you the basics (how to stance, move, basic punches) and initially he would give you a routine to follow. He didn't stand over you. He would check on you and see how well you worked on the given task. Once you got it, he would show you something else. You would watch the gym veterans and see how they trained and learn from watching. Once you started sparring you would learn what works for you and what doesn't.
Nowadays people sign up for classes and want instructors to prescribe their entire training. As I said, back in the day the coach would get you started. Then you would develop your method of training and learn what worked for you. After a few months, you should be able to do a workout and motivate yourself. You shouldn't have to be told to focus and do the work. Despite all the resources available through books, media, etc., I find that some people are unable to think for themselves. If a kid only plays with video games and never goes outside and uses his or her imagination, the won't know how to play without the game. The same is for the fighter who doesn't discovery their own path.
I had a quick ride through memory lane and just decided to jot down some of the many great people I had the opportunity to meet and train with. I started training in 1974 as a kid in Ft. Bragg NC. My first instructor was the late Grand Master Jimmie Brown (one of the founding members of the House of Discipline) and the school was the first martial arts program at Ft. Bragg. Upon returning to Atlanta in the late 70s, I trained under my big brother, Charles Trammell. In the mid 80s I started training with Master Issac Thomas (who has one of the longest running Taekwondo schools in Atlanta). Through Teakwood I had the opportunity to see some of the best kickers in 80s and 90s. In 1985 I went to a martial arts demonstration by Atlanta's first World Kickboxing Champion, Jeff Gripper. Afterwards I asked him a lot of questions and he referred me to the late James Asa Gordon, who was the premier trainer of Kickboxers in the hey day of PKA. I had the opportunity to train with the top in the sport at that time (Jerry Rhome, Jerry Trimble, Eddie Jones, Tony Reed, etc.). I got to see Evander Hollyfield, Don Wilson, Bob Thurman and Bill Superfoot Wallace train at Asa's. I even ran with Bad Brad Hefton. I fought my first amateur and first pro fights on Joe Corley promotions. Gripper took under his wing and contemplated coming out of retirement, thus making me a sparring partner. In boxing I had the opportunity to train with some of the best local fighters and some high level fighters (Sam Garr, Ebo Elder, Romalis Ellis, Robert Allen, David Taylor, JC Candello. O'neil Bell). In the 90s I met and became pals with Kelly Leo and Pedro Solona we got to see Muay Thai become popular. We saw NHB become MMA and American kickboxing give way to K-1 Kickboxing. I trained Judo with Master Nak Jun Kim (former Korean National Team Member), Bob Byrd, Dr. Gary Berliner. I would later train with Olympian Leo White and top international Judokas Josh White and Ernesto Serano. Upon seeing the Shidokan Triathlon (Karate, Kickboxing and MMA) on TV I set out to pursue the sport. After competing in the 2000 Shidokan Team USA, I learn more about the organization and art of Shidokan and in 2001 established Shidokan Atlanta. I have trained un Shihan Eddie Yoshimura and in Shidokan and Urban Combatives. So I end this rant of the past to say that I've had a fun ride over the years.
There are many styles of Karate. There are those that focus on the aesthetics, philosophy, and spiritual side of the martial arts. Then there are the few that focus primarily on the practical, physical and functional side, followed by the other qualities. I look at full contact Karate as the the answer to those who question whether Karate is practical or not. Because the sport is full contact and bare knuckle, it gives it's practitioners are realistic format to train. Of the full contact Karate styles out there, I consider Shidokan one of the top systems, because it incorporates grabbing, throwing and quick submissions. The focus in knockdown Karate is to incapacitate your opponent. Here's is a classic Shidokan video clip of multiple time Lightweight Shidokan Champion, Pat Smith. You will see effective Karate applied in such a way that you can't argue if it can be used outside of sport.
My lost post was about basic Kihon (basic) techniques. It is important to master the basics and build a foundation. Once you've done that then you can add a little spice. There are many out there who feel that flashy techniques (jumping, spinning, etc.) are impractical and useless. In full contact fighting, the basics are stressed. Basic boxing with the the good old front and round kick and some clinch knees and you have a solid game. I've always incorporated techniques from a few disciplines (karate, taekwondo) to kickboxing and muay thai to change things up. How do you defend what you don't know. Here's a clip from one of our fighters where he lands an incredible spinning hook kick knockout. Now this technique was set up with good punches and timing. Some will argue that it is not a high percentage technique, but when it lands it is unlike any other technique.
Kihon are basic techniques of Karate. In Shidokan we practice traditional and fighting Kihon. The basics are key to any fighting system and in Karate, class starts with a warm up followed by basic techniques. Here is a clip from a couple of years ago, where we had the opportunity of having a stop by visit from Kancho Yoshiji Soeno, the "Kyokushin Tiger" and founder of Shidokan Karate. Over the years, every I time I've trained with him, the basics are always emphasized.
Here's a great match between multiple time Shidokan World Champion, Marco London and Arne Solwedel. This fight is from the mid 90s, and shows the shift of the Shidokan World Open from bare knuckle karate tournament to the Triathlon (Karate, Kickboxing, and Grappling).
In the martial arts world, there are traditional, mixed and reality/tactical based martial arts. I consider myself to be a student of all 3. Today's post I will talk tell you my thoughts on traditional martial arts training. In my style of Karate, we practice in a Gi (uniform), bow, and use Japanese terminology. Some of the culture from that arts country of origin is adopted. The practice of traditional techniques are done in a way to teach perfection of technique, precision and focus. I have used these concepts in other aspects of my martial arts training over the years. Even though I teach an eclectic style (karate, kickboxing, and grappling), I integrate some of the principles I've learned from traditional martial arts training. It's like music. I enjoy listening to classical, rap and metal. Combat sports are more physical and favor the younger athlete. Tactical martial art training, require you to shoot guns (so if you are anti-gun, this is not for you). All can benefit from traditional martial arts training. Young and old, fighter or not, one is able to focus and get centered in traditional training.
World Champion Richard Trammell shares his experiences, views and thoughts on fitness, martial arts and fighting.