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.
World Champion Richard Trammell shares his experiences, views and thoughts on fitness, martial arts and fighting.