Over the past decade or so there has been a shift or desire by many Karate Ka to spend a lot of their Karate practise time on the ground, to the point that they are actually taking their Karate more and more to the ground.
I do wonder and ask why this is for so many reasons? In truth I already know the many answers that will be given so I don’t really need to ask, as in most cases answers given will be along the lines of these I put forward below. Oh and by the way these are not my answers!!
1, if a Karate exponent with acquired ground work skills takes you to the ground and you don’t practise ground work, then you will be given a lesson in real fighting and what Karate is all about, a lesson that you will never forget. Many Karate Ka were previously poorly prepared for this eventuality. So a Karate Ka with say 50 / 50 stand up to ground skills is more proficient than one that is say 90 / 10 stand up to ground skills.
2, around 80 to 90 % of fights will end up going to the ground at some stage; just watch MMA as this proves this. So going to the ground will then of course become imminent once a fight commences.
3, ground work fighting and grappling is an integral part of both Okinawan and Japanese Karate, so this area should be practised alongside our stand up skills, as is proven by old photographs of the likes of Chojun Miyagi Sensei teaching ground work skills to his students. And proven by the groundwork skills now being openly taught by many senior Sensei.
4, Karate has the ground work skills of arts like Wrestling, Judo and Ju Jutsu, and we are just as capable and effective in this area, if not more so because our ability to strike.
So then…Is all of this actually as true as some senior Karate Ka would like to make us believe? It all sounds reasonable and logical enough I suppose. Well No! It doesn’t actually… But I can certainly see why many Karate Ka are taken in by these words of guidance or advice.
In most parts I would have to strongly disagree with all of the answers presented and this is nothing to do with just being argumentative, my reasoning is based off a firm training base of many years experience training at both the stand and on the ground, together with thorough research. My father as some of you will know was a Judo Ka, so of course my grounding in Budo was or is based off these ground work skills that I speak of here.
I will reveal all and explain things in detail by way of my next blog posting in a few days time. Glyn…