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5 Reasons Karate is Useless



*Before anyone freaks out…again…about this article, know that I only hurt the ones I love.  I never regret taking karate, but I also have no fun poking fun at it.  Please accept this in the spirit that was intended.  Thank you.

Almost 15 years. That’s how much of my life was spent pursuing the perfect front kick.  The perfect punch.  Honor, loyalty, and everything that Mutant Turtles and Canadian Maple Syrup stood for.  Karate was my past-time that grew to overtake all else.  So what happened?  In short a lightbulb went off, I had a walk in the snow, and I finally knew it was time to get out of Dodge.

To give some background, I trained nearly fifteen years in Shotokan karate under the watchful eye of the infamous Yutaka Yaguchi Sensei, so to say my training was traditional would be the understatement of the century.  Even to this day I hold the highest respect for the man who is one of the last of a dying breed of true karate-ka.  But sometimes things that start off so fantastic, well…fizzle out and walking away becomes the best option.

Thinking back, I suppose I can trace the flash point for my joining the dojo life down to one man:  Mr. Miyagi.  That’s what you get for being an 80’s kid I suppose, but I guess you have to start somewhere.  So for your pleasure here’s 5 Reasons why Karate is Useless, all in good humor of course.

#1. Karate Teach You Not To Fight

You have no idea how true this is.

It is possible you have the impression that by taking karate you will radiate such confidence that everyone would be afraid to mess with such a highly trained killing machine.  In truth karate taught me as much about fighting as home economics would teach about kayaking.

Karate is broken down into two parts: kumite and kataKata is a pattern of moves to give you the illusion of fighting multiple attackers who apparently have no problem coming at you one at a time, and with the speed of the slower-than-frozen-syrup lizard monster Captain Kirk fought.

Is that a phaser in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

Kumite on the other hand is basically putting up your dukes and seeing who can lightly tap the other guy first when the Sensei says “go!”.  Ever wonder why karate is often mentioned but never actually used in UFC?  Because traditional karate practitioners have one style of fighting…playing tag.  Sadly, that doesn’t stop every sad karate practitioner from trying to use some big name to justify their art.

Taking out a karate practitioner is fairly easy.  Get him off his feet.  After that he’s more cooked than a chicken fried alligator.  Without the sparring stance, he’s useless.  That’s why no karate expert would survive MMA without also taking Ju-Jitsu, which seems to be the fighting art of the conscientious consumer these days.  On the ground a trained grappler can still easily fold his attacker like a paper airplane.  But just to be clear, I’m not a fan of ridiculous MMA mini-mall dojo’s either.

#2. Sooner or Later, squish.  Like Grape.

Karate is for life.  Thus sayeth Sensei.  No conflict of interest there I’m sure.  But eventually you will grow up, get married, and have kids.  When that happens the dojo will treat you like the traitorous dog you are for having the audacity to put anything above karate.  It’s a total cult mentality, I swear.  And this is rampant in practically every dojo I have been in which at last count has been around six.  Mr. Miyagi had it backwards.  It’s not the world squishing out karate, it’s karate squishing out the things that truly matter…which I guess is anything besides karate.

This became strangely clear when I had my first child.  Naturally I had to miss a class or two due to the chaos that always follows a newborn.  Yet the attitude was veiled silence at my lack of attendance and when I tried to mention the little bundle of joy nobody seemed to have any sense of understanding.  As far as Karate is concerned, your family and friends can fend for themselves.  Honor dictates that you must prioritize practicing your horse stance above them.  I’ll leave you to decide how rational that is.

Leaving karate generally means several other things will happen.  Like most cult organizations, you will be accused of having no honor.  Or a bad Sensei.  Or your “style” was inferior.  Or you obviously went to a McDojo.  Or your training stunk like the inside of the dead gaigin dog that you now are.  Literally everything and anything will be blamed except karate itself.    As someone who deals with religious cults on a semi-regular basis, I’ve noticed the tactics are often the same albeit on a smaller scale.  Therefore if you plan to leave, don’t announce it.  Just stop showing up.  Trust me on this one.

#3.  Karate Breeds Discipline.

Discipline is probably not the right word.  Tolerance would be best.  As a junior belt you will be afforded some leniency as fresh meat is needed to pay the bills and you don’t want to scare the little money-bags away.  But once you get about 5 belts up you will start to look like fresh brains to a starving zombie.  In short, welcome to the world of politics.  Are you now a black belt?  Prepare to drown in it.

Politics in martial arts is as prevalent as it would be in any other sport, only in karate is is veiled with the tagline “honor”.  In involves having fishing trips with the Sensei and suddenly wow…you’re getting more points noticed in a tournament ( I kid you not ).  As a senior belt I could never do this without feeling like a sellout.  It was dirty, it was despicable, and it was cheap.  It never taught discipline, it merely demonstrated ass-kissing.  That’s why TaeKwonDo is so monetarily ahead of Karate.  It pushes a “family” mentality that makes for happy parents willing to fork over more cash.  That having been said, I’ve seen little old ladies fight better over a Bingo card than TKD fighters.  Compared to Karate, TKD has horrifically sloppy technique but that’s another article.

#4. Real World Application

It probably goes without saying that the original reason many start martial arts is to become a good fighter ( a questionable life goal, but whatever ).   The idea of slicing through the air like Jet Li and levelling a crowd of ninjas who are threatening you and your hot date is pretty much every guys fantasy.

Truth is that if you attempt to use karate the results will not be everyone looking at you standing victorious over your aggressor.  Gorgeous young women will not fall into your arms and the unruly gang of teens will not stop, give a polite Japanese bow and allow you to carry on with your new found honor as the sound of oriental pipe music whistles in the background.

Most likely you will assume the fighting stance, and a Georges St. Pierre clone will dive-bomb you in the midsection so hard that you will literally fly through the air onto the concrete in two separate pieces.

#5. If Done Right, No Can Defense

Ok, we all know this assumption is baloney right from the start, but nonetheless there is a misconception with many karateka that their art is the King of the Hill.  Everyone else style sucks but yours, right?

When I first started I wanted this to be true as I had a dream to walk up to the school bully and punch him so hard his organs would liquify.  To round kick him in the gut with so much raw intensity that he would literally excrete his kidneys out.  And the solution was obvious…the crane maneuver!!  If done right, there’s no defence.  Damn you to Hell Mr. Miyagi.

But that of course, was just a movie.  What about reality?

Although every karateka will readily admit that there is no such thing as a “no can defence” set of moves that gives you an invisible shield of invulnerability, you’d never know it judging how they talk about how their style is so much better than everyone else’s.  Trash talking other styles is practically a requirement.

I’ve been in karate tournaments.  I’ve even won a few.  But one thing you can never, ever train into someone is that natural fighting instinct.  Daniel can wax the car and sand the floor until his arms are instinctive blocking machines, it just doesn’t matter.  The second an experienced fighter gives you the poker face and proceeds to fold you in half it’s game over.

There are guys who train all their lives and who are extremely good, yet never win a tournament.  Ever.  If you’re not born with the natural instinct of a fighter then experience shows one rarely can attain such skills outside of a hardcore military environment.

Maybe they should have just painted fences instead.

John Paul Parrot ( aka. The Dysfunctional Parrot ) is a disgruntled Systems Analyst who wanders the Canadian wastelands saving small villages with the power of Kung Fu.  His chair is also a little too close to the twenty year old microwave.  As you can well imagine, this has had certain side effects.



  1. Pasta Pastacelli

    August 20, 2023 at

    I love how so many commenters are trying to justify their wasted lives. Lives wasted on karate.

    Boxing is exponentially superior to karate. Karate doesn’t teach a damn thing about head movement.

    Boxing and Muay Thai is all you need. Some grappling training is good too but you don’t have to get a black belt in BJJ. Just make it to Blue belt. In a real life fight, you won’t need black belt BJJ skills. But you will need excellent boxing ability.

  2. Alexander Rose

    September 13, 2022 at

    What’s funny about stuff like this is always how they talk about the sport, and then try to act as if that’s al there is.

    Like the whole tapping thing. I grew up with Kung Fu learning Kung Fu and I resented Karate because the fighting always stopped after you made a point. But that’s only in tournaments and sport competition.

    The entirely other hilarious thing is the way it’s used as an insult to Karate and a reason why it’s not in UFC.. LOL like UFC is actual fighting.. UFC started out as actual combat and then got reigned in by dozens of rules because people didn’t like stuff as silly as using gis.

    UFC is not combat. And many would say that BJJ has become a watered down art because of its use in sport competition.

    Karate and other martial arts have their origins in true combat arts and every single one of them has been corrupted by sport competitions and rules and such. It does not mean that the martial art is ineffective.

    “Ohh.. look! They only tap each other lightly in tournaments so that means the entire art is worthless in a fight because when you lightly tap your attacker they’ll just pulverize you.”

    This sounds insane but this is literally the type of arguments I see all over the Internet. It’s absurd. You’re not gonna lightly tap someone you’re fighting in real life, and you’re not gonna stop attacking them after you land a blow. Because it’s not a tournament.

    You like to quote Karate Kid in this, how about this one: “This not tournament, this real life.”

    • Muay Thai guy

      October 15, 2022 at

      Thank you for the great article. I trained Muay Thai for a few years then wanted to “spice things up” by adding some karate techniques to my style. I unfortunately got wrapped up in the politics from day one.

      One of their senior BB’s took a liking to me and got the entire dojo to pressure me into asking her out. I didn’t want to date her so they decided to retaliate by keeping me at white belt for two years before moving me to yellow. By the end I was embarrassing purple and brown belts.

      After too much time I finally realized karate is absolutely positively toxic and corrupt.
      Lol they inadvertently found out I was leaving and boy were you right about that point. I will definitely trust you on anything going forward.

  3. M17EL

    August 29, 2022 at

    Nice Article. As they say and you were told Karate is a journey. Everyone’s journey in life is different. Ultimately karate is an art and those of us that have and still do are all different and and unique with our technique.

    Let’s be realistic 90 percent of persons practicing karate would lose in a fight as it’s not about the fight but about the mentality.

    However karate is about yourself and own study perfecting your character and hence family should always come first as it is your family and children that make you a balanced human being. Karate isnt about kicking and punching but about perfection of character becoming a better stronger self. That means learning from those all around you in all aspects of life and sharing what you have learnt.

    There is truth in the article however perhaps it is understanding more of what you want to achieve in life then simply being drilled.

    When you train for so long its about adapting the karate yourself. Exploring the bunkai.add some other martial techniques to your applications and be open minded.

    Thank you for your article

    From an apparent 3rd Dan

  4. Josh

    May 2, 2021 at

    Shotokan is about self perfection not so much about self defence as other styles. So do not say Karate is useless. That is like saying cars are shit because a Ferrari can not drive in Jungle. My friend, you have simply chosen a wrong tool for your needs.

    • John

      April 7, 2022 at

      15 years? and didn’t understand the basics. it’s up to the individual to take their training to the next level.

      • Juan J.

        January 19, 2023 at

        Nice article. Thank you very much. Well said.
        My dojo is in Spain. My sensei teaches karate and ju jutsu, which I think is fine. Also, I have 2 children and it’s OK if I can’t train. Different places, different ways, different people.

    • jc

      July 16, 2022 at

      i think he is indeed a troll.

  5. SneakerHead ToToes

    July 20, 2015 at

    Your conception of karate is so far off, it’s funny. What a stereotype people put on karate! We don’t learn fricken weak stuff (i.e. the crane maneuver). National Karate is a joke. But, then again, I am a second-degree black belt at one of the top studios in America. We drill our butts off, and have learned a ton. Our balance, athleticism, discipline, focus, etc., has increased in a terrific amount since we began. YOU NEED TO WITNESS REAL KARATE BEFORE YOU MAKE THIS KIND OF ANALYSIS.

  6. Ashkaun Adib

    May 11, 2015 at

    Is this guy aware of all the UFC fighters who use karate techniques? He just mentioned GSP. Does this guy know GSP is a black belt in Kyokushin karate and says his karate skills help him fight? Does he also know the Machida knocked out couture with a crane kick?
    I’m not saying karate is best, but it has a lot of uses.

    • C Foster

      July 18, 2015 at

      You missed every point he made. You should try reading the article again or go back to your coloring book.

    • Jose

      March 27, 2022 at

      I think he nothing of what he says cause clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
      Just search more my dear friend, why where u failed others succeeded and learn more about karate fighters in UFc that have even made the transition without too much effort….I could mention several of them, but I ll let u do homework….besides almost every fighters have to learn grappling for MMA ..
      .just do homework before speaking please

  7. batboy999

    March 21, 2015 at

    My only problem with the UFC people who hate karate is that they expect every bone-headed drunk in the street looking for a fight is a “GSP clone.” Truth is, most MMA practitioners, unless seasoned with much competition and not just in “MMA class” at the local gym, are not that good at any particular thing. Are traditional arts pretentious? At times, yes. Are the techniques always street effective? No. But it is impossible to train for REAL street fights without injuring yourself constantly. There is nothing wrong with learning an “art.” People have been training martial arts like karate for a long time, and have successfully used them in self-defense situations time and time again. Why do you think MMA fighters retire in their 30s? Because there is only so much “real” training the body can handle. I’ll take my chances with karate. I’ll worry about cage fighting effectiveness when I find a time machine and can travel back to my early 20s.

  8. judochop

    December 5, 2014 at

    You had poor training dude, and probably not even enuff, which might not be such a bad thing. Against a properly trained highly skilled opponent, especially Karateka, grappling is virtually suicidal.
    That’s not even considering that a real fight isn’t likely to be one on one, you give up your footing for more than a second or so and your head is probably getting punted for a field goal, or stomped on. Do it, it might make you smarter, anything is possible.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      December 5, 2014 at

      Had great training from one of the best in the business. And fifteen years is long enough. As with all things in life, nothing lasts forever! Besides, statistically speaking, everyone leaves eventually. Life has too many opportunities to spend doing one thing.

      • John

        March 27, 2015 at

        Dear Parrot, I see your frustration when it comes to having trained for 15 years and dreams and hopes of becoming a front-kick specialist have fallen in later life, yet it seems your view of karate is somewhat distorted. I train under a great master in the Netherlands, and as far as “fighting” goes, depends a lot on your master, and yourself. My master does not conform easily to the traditional style, and it’s kind of disturbing to know you look at karate as excisting from Kata and Kumite… Do these teach you how to fight? Ofcourse not! These aspects teach you discipline and form your body and teach you to strive perfection. Because really, if you want karate to work on the street, or even the MMA ring, you will have to add another segment next to kata and kumite, wich is adaptable fighting. It’s not about the frontkick my friend, it’s about how you will use it. And don’t get me started on karate tournaments, in my oppinion, has nothing to do with the warrior spirit. I dont’t do them.
        If you are a fan of MMA, maybe you might like Lyoto Machida, a very succesful allround MMA fighter with actual genuine karate techniques. To me, and my master, THAT is karate. My master is also a former doorman, his master a bodyguard, and his master before him Suzuki. These men will also teach us not to be violent, but have indeed a mean and badass edge to it, and there is nothing wrong with that! To me, karate IS about violence, not to use it, but if it happens, being very much prepared. It’s not about wether 15 years is “long enough”, it’s about what you want to accomplish, and with the right attitude, you train everyday, even with a wife and kids.
        So my point is, yes, karate is indeed a dangerous weapon, in every situation, it’s just a matter of how you feel about it.
        If you pick karate for it’s stature and frontkicks, maybe karate.. or fighting in general, just isn’t your thing.

        -J. from the Netherlands, 3d kyu Wadoryu karate

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          March 27, 2015 at

          Do you people all have the same damn speech prepared?


            November 7, 2015 at

            Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson vs Bruce Lee. 1V1. Your next article.

          • Dysfunctional Parrot

            November 7, 2015 at

            Bruce Lee takes all. :)


            November 9, 2015 at

            In what imaginary world?

          • Dysfunctional Parrot

            November 9, 2015 at

            Well, given that one of them is dead, another has severe Parkinsons and the third is a washed out ex-con past his prime, I’d say a very imaginary world!

      • andrew

        August 17, 2021 at

        try west wind karate it will change your whole view

    • Jim

      March 14, 2023 at

      Well put..

  9. Bucksmallsy

    November 16, 2014 at

    Dear Mat,
    Osu !
    Reading IN BETWEEN THE LINES in your response above, if OYAMA Sosai was “so full of sh%$” – which is basically what you are saying – although not a direct quote from your good self.
    WHY is it then , that every single student that OYAMA Sosai accepted and trained in his Uchi-deshi Program (3yrs live in Student Program, with NO outside communication , outside of the Dojo) – all ended up doing amazing things in the world of REAL fighting ??
    Here are some names you ought to seriously look into – Judd REID Shihan, Francisco FILHO Shihan, Nicholas PETTAS Sensei, Claube FEITOSA Sensei, Just to name a few.
    Either way OYAMA Sosai “WAS” the real deal – all his live in students still punch and kick like a Sledgehammer at 100 km/h – literally ! I’m speaking from experience of having sparred these people. I truly admire, love, and respect these people who maintain Karate’s TRUE sense of skill in the world as a striking art.
    However, lets not forget, OYAMA Sosai also a 4th degree in Daito-Ryu. The TRUE teachings of Aiki-jutsu, under YOSHIDA Sensei. And OYAMA Sosai’s best friend was a JAPANESE and Olympic JUDO Champion also.
    OAYAM Sosai from one of my friends grandparents (when he was alive), stated that during his time with OYAMA back in the early 50s, OYAMA was always scrapping in the street with YAKUZA, and other street gangs whom were armed generally with knives, even firearms.
    I think you’ll find that , in order for OYAMA Sosai to have such accomplished students whom now are the ambassadors to the world for the art form he created (Kyokushinkaikan), was no accident, or blind luck, but sheer skill, and ability having lived it himself.
    The world of Kyokushin is now so fragmented since OYAMA Sosai passed away, Hence there is very much a void / hole since his death.
    I must admit though, that K-1 has gone down the toilet with a significantly lesser number of high end Yudansha from Kyokushin because the standard of teaching (OYAMA Sosai himself) is no longer there; nor is it policed the way it once was in the 60s, 70s, 80s, early 90s. As Kyokushin used to be pure in heart, pure in self, OYAMA Sosai’s death has resulted in its compromise of the Ultimate Truth (Kyokushin) !
    Kyokushin didn’t outgrow OYAMA Sosai – it died the day he died – it died with him !
    Osu !

    • Mat

      November 16, 2014 at

      You are merely doing what all Oyama nut huggers do-saying he was this amazing fighter with no way to back any of that up. You are just repeating the nonsense Oyama brainwashed into people that followed him, which is why most had broken away long before Oyama died. Any serious knock down karate school is going to produce top notch fighters, especially if it is a live in full time school for years at at time. That had nothing to do with Oyama, other than he set it up. If those fighters had other schools to train at like that they would have done just as well, if not better. I would again refer you to this link in case you missed it the first time:

  10. Monty

    November 13, 2014 at

    If we speak about striking only, when I watch UFC fighters like machida, gsp, liddel, I don’t see karate but something like kick boxing. I don’t see anything from bunkai or kata. So it seems spending more time on the bag, learning how to strike a moving target, learning how to work under pressure/being hit, and total body conditioning/hardening would be time better spent than learning kata or “x” step kumites. Personally those fighters probably would have done fine if they were based in kick boxing instead.

    I personally think the metric for styles would be time spent training vs unarmed combat effectiveness – at the end of the day martial arts *are* about combat. There I think karate would fall pretty short. I think of kata like the bible/bible codes, many interpretations and people constantly “making discoveries of the hidden meaning of kata”. Also, people seem to argue over interpretation, stances, etc. Personally, I don’t think it a wise use of time trying to unfold riddles in kata.

    I think a system that can present a broad set of effective techniques that can be practiced (transitioning smoothly between applied techniques) is more efficient use of time. If the practictioner can find embellishments and newer techniques that’s a plus.

    Probably another observation is that when it comes to style, a fair number of people who would say a person lost a match because of poor technique. It could very well be that the style just isn’t suited for a particular situation. Rather than making a style work – fit square peg thru round hole, it may mean using tools from a different style that has addressed the situation.

    All in all, I think traditional martial arts has a lot of baggage.

    • batboy999

      March 21, 2015 at

      I’ve trained karate for 20 years. Between then and now, I’ve also done BJJ, Kali, Boxing, you name it. The common theme in all of them? Basics. Just because an art doesn’t call it “kata” doesn’t mean the style doesn’t do “kata.” They ALL begin learning deliberate, step by step basic techniques and EVERYONE sucks at them as a beginner. Karate gets a bum rap, but I think that’s only IF the practitioner ONLY does kata with no application practice. Otherwise, there really is no difference with all is said and done.

      • Gerardo

        October 8, 2022 at

        It’s because they seldom explain what the last is and why it’s done. It gets much discredit because there can be a cult like aura about the way things are done. Today karate has become a business first and everything else second.

  11. twleo

    November 7, 2014 at

    Karate is not the end, it is the beginning. Most styles are series of techiques and movements to give you a firm foundation of the martial arts and are not an end unto themselves. The problems is most people that study martial arts study and practice up until they get their blackbelt or maybe not even that far, and then they get stuck. They freeze in place never going any farther. They think oh I have a black belt, and that all there is to learn. A blackbelt is not the end, it is not the beginning of the end, it is the end of the beginning. Any school you go to is merely elementary school, it isn’t until you get into real life that you start to develop real fighting skill through experiance. You start to hone your skill, develop their own personal style, critque your skill and it becomes something that one would call fighting, or at least resemble what you imagined it would look like. Honor, respect, tradition, are heavy in these schools to help develop self discipline, integrity, and the hard work ethic needed to become a great fighter. If you came to the point that you felt you needed to move on, you most likely made the right choice, you probably out grew it a long time ago. There is nothing wrong with Karate but there comes a point when the Kindergartener needs to move to first grade.
    1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      November 7, 2014 at

      As someone who has done 15 years of karate AND has been to Bible College, I can promise you that 1 Corinthians has absolutely no application for martial arts.

      If anything, ceasing to act like a child involves putting family, not martial arts, first. There is nothing wrong with karate, very true. Just everything wrong with a philosophy that thinks martial arts membership is for life and actually teaches you how to be honorable and enlightened. That’s just wishful thinking and dare I say, talk indicative of a cultist.

      • twleo

        November 7, 2014 at

        Sigh, I made the good long reply and a lost it and I don’t feel like rewriting it so Ill summerize.1. I was refering to people who choose the life style, if you choose different thats your choice. 2. Many bible versus touch on many things not just the current subject. The Bible is written in such a way that the simple man can understand it, but there is a great deal of hidden wisdom on many different things that can be found if you are lead by the spirit. 3. Morals are morals, I dont believe in the mysticism that revolves around many martial arts, but if you define honor as honesty , respect, and courtesy to your fellow man then yes. It depends on the school though. Some philosophies are universal regardlesss what religion you profess to. 4. Musilims consider Christianity to be a cult, so I guess it depends on your point of view. And yes I am Christian raised in a pastoral family and educated the same. Not foriegn ground for me.

      • Vu

        June 12, 2022 at

        Machida is a former point karate champion and uses the same point karate techniques in mma to become a former UFC champion. Lol

  12. Harm

    November 3, 2014 at

    Unless you are fighting an expert mma practioner, you only need to know, jiu jitsu or wrestling/

    • batboy999

      March 21, 2015 at

      True story. People have this belief that anyone who takes an MMA class for a few weeks or watches enough TUF they must be great, conditioned fighters. I consider most MMA to be the “get rich quick” scheme of martial arts. The years of dedication and focus it takes to get proficient in the real arts of muay thai, BJJ and even karate are thrown away as long as you have a freshly shaved head and tattoos and visit enough sports bars on Saturday night.

  13. Dan

    October 20, 2014 at

    I think that in terms of “fighting”, it’s good to be well rounded in all aspects. I love Karate, but I also feel that it’s ignorant to think that your one step is so effective that it works every time. Fighting is ugly, and it always be, that’s why it’s so important to incorporate the things that work from all martial arts and not rely solely on one form. Same goes for Ju-Jitsu, it may be on point but what happens if you get knocked out before you get a chance to get your opponent in a clinch? Boxing is excellent, but what happens if you can’t defend a kick and your legs get taken out? Taekwondo is awesome but what happens when your opponent closes the gap? Bottom line is that you must be well-rounded and one of the things I like about the ufc is that it really shed light on that fact. I do however disagree with the blanket statement “Karate is Useless”, it should be “5 things I don’t like about a lot of Karate dojos”, however to the authors credit, the first title will certainly get more clicks. :)

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      October 20, 2014 at

      Well, in all fairness the title is “5 Reasons Karate is Useless.” is not actually a blanket statement when you consider proper English. Hence the follow up article, “5 Reasons Karate is NOT Useless.”

      I think the problem is that our culture deals in absolutes, and is all too often incapable of seeing two opposing sides at the same time…which certainly explains the comment section!

    • Bucksmallsy

      November 16, 2014 at

      Dear Dan,
      Just accessed this website and read some of the responses along with yours. BINGO !,…you are absolutely BANG ON with your response.
      Osu !

  14. Monty

    October 13, 2014 at

    I absolutely agree with what you’ve said. Don’t scold me, but I’m going to start back up because well… it’s just something to do. I reached brown some time back but am hoping to wrap up my shodan within the year. After that, it’s cooking, piano, tennis, and golf lessons.

    After watching some of the first UFC’s 20 years ago, the mystical veil of eastern martial arts was brutally ripped away. Fighting is a nasty business and karate totally useless. High ranking karate guys were usually the first to get eliminated. The current dojo I’m in, I get a kick out of the fat masters that hide behind their belts.

    I’d like to think I’m the male counterpart of jane goodall, infiltrating a group of apes (the technical term is ‘shrewdness’ – just found that out) to learn of the psychology, dynamics, and mating habits of of incredibly dysfunctional people :P.

    • Monty

      October 13, 2014 at

      The hell with it. I’ve dropped MA altogether. Going to take cooking lessons and just pick up sport shooting. At least I can entertain friends and family – the food part that is.. Sheesh, now I’ll have to deal with gun nuts. Seems like anything that I find interesting has a cult attached to it :P

      Thanks for saving me time and money.


      • Guyman Seven

        October 16, 2014 at

        You will never be worthy of a strong woman.

  15. Zad Datu

    October 9, 2014 at

    I’m a karateka. Although I disagree with your points in general, I can tell you know what you’re talking about. Although some of your points are true, I can say “you’re missing the point” in some instances, and some I’ll say you’re just wrong (which I’m guessing sure you’d say that you’ve though trough enough to be certain of what you wrote).

    Although many karateka might take offence, I say “good one!”
    It was an entertaining read, and I love to come across argumentative article which gets my mind running where I happen to agree or disagree, and if disagree, it is so I can attempt to counter the argument with reason and honesty (I don’t do ‘twisty’ responses just to sound on top even though I might not completely agree with what I’m saying… hate that.).

    I’ll not go into the details my opinions yet. I’ll construct an article of my own sometime in the future (not too soon) which may touch on this. In the mean time checkout and read some less critical and serious-toned articles on martial arts, and some day you might come across my response.

    I see you have many more mind-provoking articles, and I’m looking forward to read them. Cheers.

  16. Gary

    October 4, 2014 at

    WOW!! This was like a mirror story of my life in the dojo. My teachers loved me as long as I was teaching there classes so they could leave early 5 days a week. And certainly favored you in all kinds of things as long as you were there to do there bidding.
    But WATCH OUT! As soon as you have a life and can’t teach those late night classes or help work those weekend tournaments and help setup and take down all those chairs and cleanup.
    Your nothing but a second thought. Or if your not giving them that monthly cash. WHAT COME IN FOR FREE!? ” I DON’T KNOW??”
    So when I opened my own school I had paying students without contracts and I let some people who I knew couldn’t afford it train for free.
    Now I will disagree with one thing in the article.
    If your not born with natural instinct.
    Anyone can learn to be a proficient fighter. Maybe not an excellent point fighter. But a good street fighter yes.
    I sucked in point tournaments. i did win some but I was NEVER a good point fighter.
    HOWEVER all those people that could beat me in the point tournament I would literally destroy in a full contact match.
    They couldn’t understand why I couldn’t win in a point tournament. I think it was nerves personally. To me point tournaments was like being in front of your parents and singing solo in your underwear. :)
    But street fighting or full contact was serious to me. I just could never take point tournaments serious I guess.
    And where I didn’t have that natural gift as the author says, I worked twice as hard and OR HARDER in some cases. to be able to do what came easy to someone else.
    I think your drive and determination speaks for a lot of how you handle anything in live.
    I only had one student ever lose a full contact match.. And that was because he wanted to fight a guy 50ibs over his weight limit and won’t listen to my instructions in the ring.
    And also the other guy was so scared of my guy he just kept swinging wildly like a crazy guy.
    The crowd actually booed him after the fight. I was told after the fight that’s why he swung like that. All my other students never lost. Full contact or point fighting.. That was 15 years.
    Anyway I think everyone can learn how to fight in and out of the dojo. I taught A LOT of street fighting and real street fighting scenarios.
    I will agree if that just teaching traditional martial arts, it will NOT prepare you for a real life situation.
    If you train for real life you can handle real life. Of course their are no guarantee’s in a real life conflict.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      October 4, 2014 at

      As I grew older, I found that training to “fight” was kind of a dumb way to spend my off hours. It’s not like we live in medieval Scotland and have to storm the castle every second Thursday.

      If being a true fighter is ones goal then join the military. Dojos merely give the illusion of combat competency and teach nothing about life.

      Want to be effective for life? Throw yourself into your family and maybe go fishing every now and then. You’ll be light years ahead of that lost soul still trying to perfect his reverse punch.

      • Bucksmallsy

        November 16, 2014 at

        Dear ‘Dysfunctional Parrot’,
        Thank you for posting this article in particular. Having served my country your mentioning “if being a true fighter is one’s goal then join the military” is bang on !
        Just speak to Itay GIL and or Roy ELGHANAYAN – both accomplished high end ex-servicemen in the IDF and both walk the walk in terms of teaching functional armed and unarmed combat. Unless one has taken human life in the heat of battle (which 99.99% of all Martial Arts instructors HAVE NOT !) – any training IS A COMPLETE WAIST OF TIME – cult or not !
        Being an accomplished Yudansha in Shotokan, Kyokushin, and Judo, only created a platform for technique which required significant brushing up when faced in the REAL world against an armed opponent. Either way – REAL fighting is DIRTY DIRTY DIRTY, and Steven Seagal is one of a handful WHOM not only understands this ugly reality but also mandates it in his own Dojo’s world wide.
        One must fully expect to get seriously injured , if not killed when faced with any threat – this accepting you’re already dead, is the only mindset to have if you truly want to come out the other end so as to see the sun rise another day.
        Again, I’m glad someone (yourself) has opened up this unspoken topic – the world is becoming far too full of Bullshit artists !
        The best advice for those who aren’t in the high end areas of the Military Elite – stick to miniature golf, or badminton; and in short, “Don’t be in the Wrong place at the Wrong Time !” Karate Schools have a habit of carrying on the Bullshit of this move does this etc,..kind of like Ian Abernathy from the UK (supposed Bunkai Specialist).
        Next, one should try working with Mental Health Patients and see where their Karate is then !?! ,..this is an environment where one can’t assault nor harm such a mental health patient whose in extreme meta-physical pain / anguish …but their are ways to restrain them without harm; thus protecting them and yourself and others.
        If someone can do this – then they are on their way to better dealing with an adversary on the street whose soul intention ‘is’ to harm you.
        But again, expect to get injured, even killed. And for the love of God, don’t ever go to ground in a street fight; this is a cardinal mistake – especially if you want to stay alive.
        Osu !

      • Ken

        September 5, 2022 at

        Probably the best response on here….you’re absolutely right we’re not training to overthrow some inherent evil regime. Personally I like kata and bunkai but would probably get my ass kicked in a fight but you’re so right living a life has to be more rewarding and beneficial.

  17. Dreamer

    September 24, 2014 at

    Actually, Karate is used plenty in MMA. True, you’ll never see a successful MMA fighter in a Karate Gi using only his badass Karate to beat opponents, but individual techniques from Karate are used all the time. And they work too. Madda fact, same goes for Taekwondo. Traditional martial arts may be useless by themselves, but aspects of them are certainly useful at least in an MMA setting. And since so, perhaps in “real life” too if applied and trained accordingly? A man can dream.

  18. Jumbo

    September 12, 2014 at

    Unfortunately I haven’t got enough time to read through the 400 comments, and I’m sure what I’m about to say has been said many times already. Sorry about that.

    I think the problem is 1. your dojo 2. your style. Not that there’s a problem with Shotokan per se, just the way it’s taught in the west, and especially in american McDojos.

    These days I train in Shorin Ryu karate, I find it to be a lot more effective and “reality-based”. We do a good deal of hardening and conditioning exercises, movements are shorter and more compact, stances are natural. I don’t see how all of this could not translate into better fighting ability and increased confidence.

    Although I do agree that karate is not the ultimate fighting art for self defense, I think it is an excellent place to start. So many people get into self-defense without any prior experience in martial arts, and can’t punch, kick, block or even stand properly.

    • Bucksmallsy

      November 16, 2014 at

      If you want INCREASED confidence – get in the ring and fight Muay Thai, in Pattaya or any other city in Thailand and or K-1. Including incorporating Wrestling into your regime. Bottom line – IF YOU AIN’T SCRAPPING , and SCRAPPING dirty in training, don’t matter what you claim or do in any Dojo – one day you gonna come against a scrapper in the street who WILL clean the pavement with you”.
      Talking from experience – Shorin Ryu IS a solid form of Karate as commanded in the US by Fumio DEMURA Hanshi. However even DEMURA Hanshi will tell warn anyone against a street fight for fear of having their arse handed to them. Unless, you have the Military experience of snatching the life out of your enemy ! Either way, Krav Maga is one of only a handful of systems that actually gets it ! So long as IT is taught by those whom have the credibility of having served in the High end military elite !
      There’s an old saying , “Never get a Plumber to do a Builders job”…
      If you want to learn reality based skill sets for the real world – I strongly suggest learning from someone whom has (a) been in the military, (b) taken human life, and (c) survived being assaulted with an edged weapon and firearm. If anyone doesn’t understand this last paragraph, read the aforementioned line …”there’s an old saying….”
      Osu !

  19. Anono12

    August 25, 2014 at

    I don’t see enough research on the web about Funakoshi, his life and why he invented Shotokan. Too much is taken for granted, including that man’s benevolence. It needs a much closer look at post-War Japan and the motivations of the karate masters of Funakoshi’s generation. Many GIs wanted to learn Japanese martial arts after the war. Not everyone was happy about it. Shotokan may be the best way ever to ruin your back and joints and take your striking power away from you with bad striking techniques.

  20. hahahaha

    August 22, 2014 at

    Your description of kumite is funny. As a black belt in Kyokushin, I too use to ridicule the type of kumite you describe. This is not the kind of kumite we had. One of those people visiting our class got their arm broken from blocking a part power kick. Oyama won most of his matches with a single blow. He fought all comers trained in judo or anything. One mixed martial arts guy he fought got seven ribs broken with three quick punches.
    You use the little you have experienced to cast a shadow over a much bigger area than you have experienced.

    • Alex

      September 7, 2014 at

      I think the folks on this Blog really don’t know what kyokushin is especially the author. What I really suggest is that the author visit a kyokushin school during kumite night… and ask to be paired up with a blue belt – mind you he is a 2nd degree BB. I would love to hear he’s comments then..

      • Dysfunctional Parrot

        September 7, 2014 at

        I’d put visiting a Kyokushin ryu dojo right on the same level with visiting a Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall.

        What I’m trying to say is, it’s hard to be in the mood to visit a cult of whack-jobs.

        • Bucksmallsy

          November 16, 2014 at

          Dear Dysfunctional Parrot,
          Osu !
          Being a Yudansha in Kyokushinkaikan, I must admit that most of the people I’ve met in the Kyokushin world are brain dead meat heads, bordering on being sociopathic !
          I only hold a handful in high esteem (Judd REID, Francisco FILHO, Nicholas PETTAS, Gary O’NEILL, to name a few).
          Either way – the global majority of those involved in Kyokushin today appear to the most Cult like; and brainwashed to believe that Kyokushin is indestructible in the REAL world, however I’m fortunate to still get asked by high end Kyokushin Yudansha asking how to deal with an immediate threat on the street etc.
          Although I wouldn’t put Kyokushin on the “same level of visiting as the Jehovah’s Witness”. Unlike Jehovah’s Witnesses; Kyokushin members DO NOT go door knocking to convert you ! Coversion only ever happens when another Yudansha from another style swings by Kumite night and has their arse handed to them by a Kyokushin Blue Belt !
          I know – my youngest brother slammed a Shotokan 3rd Degree Yudansha (ex- National Open Men’s Champion, and WKF Men’s Open Kumite Champion), breaking three of his ribs after hammering his thinghs ! The Shotokan Yudansha didn’t like that he was having rings run round him by my brother (a blue belt), and eventually it all turned serious , so the Door was locked and the Shotokan Yudansha literally got his arse handed to him ! A true Story !
          Again, Cult or not – this Shotokan fellow never ever came back !
          It wasn’t because the Dojo we trained at , at the time, is a Cult; it was because this Shotokan practitioner got destroyed by a much younger (12 years difference) , fitter, and skilled striker (my youngest brother) who weighed almost twenty kilo’s less !
          However , on your note, I tolerate the “whack jobs” in Kyokushin by taking them to ground, and folding a knee, or an elbow 20 degrees a little the wrong way – this remedies their Cult mentality somewhat and allows me to set a very clear and present boundary never to be crossed !
          Life’s about choices, and tolerance IS the only way to get through our day without making it personal.
          I do hear and accept what you are saying, but I must maintain the skill set I have acquired all these years ; or face these “whack jobs” yearning to hand my arse to ME !
          Osu !

    • Bucksmallsy

      November 16, 2014 at

      Dear Hahahaha,
      Osu !
      I too train in Kyokushinkaikan. And YES, the punches and kicks are solid – infact, the best K-1 fighters have ALL come from Kyokushin or its break offs. However please remember that Francesco FILHO Shihan had to learn BOXING as he kept dropping his hands (old Karate habit); resulting in a few early KO’s.
      Either way, Kyokushin does have one major flaw – and that IS, the dropping of their hands. Hence any K-1 fighter with solid leg conditioning from Kyokushin, or its break offs, along with Muay Thai, and whom has solid boxing skills – have and will continue to CLEAN UP all and any Kyokushin fighters sent their way. This being large in part due to there being NO hand strikes to the face in Kyokushin.
      Again, don’t get me wrong, I have been a Yudansha in Kyokushinkaikan for almost twenty years and Shotokan (10 years before that) ; along with being a Yudansha in JUDO (for 17 years).
      In conclusion, holding a Yudansha Kyoksuhin, + Boxing experience in the ring, + any wrestling experience (ground grappling fighting) = A formidable practitioner of fighting hand to hand combat.
      However these discipline only lay the foundation of being a competent fighter as all these paradigms are full contact ! But they do not by any means nor should have someone think that they know what they are doing when it comes down the wire on the street !
      Osu !

  21. Can

    August 14, 2014 at

    Trust me not being real hard but someone tried to take my mate down and he ate a knee in the face. Nothing’s useless……

  22. Phil

    August 7, 2014 at

    Could you elaborate more on the whole “politics” thing? I have some idea of what you mean, but I’m not sure. I posted here before that I reached Sandan in Goju and then left. In your response you said I likely wouldn’t learn more than politics past sandan anyway. I have heard of stories from some other karateka where after brown belt they would have to do lots of fundraising and other stuff for sensei in order to get promoted. Is that kind of stuff what you’re referring to, because I would agree. I think past a certain point belt promotion has less to do with skill and knowledge and more with kissing up.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      August 7, 2014 at

      Regretfully politics are not easy to define. If it was, it would also be easy to avoid.

      To distill it down to its base, politics in karate as in all things stem from the conflict in personalities. If you are high enough in rank and do not feel this then congratulations…you’re among the lucky few. However, almost universally when someone gets to higher ranks such as Nidan and beyond, it is not what you know but rather who you know.

      I am working on an article regarding this very issue. Due to the energy needed to be detailed enough it may have to wait a few months until I’ve finished a novel which needs to be done by months end come Hell or high-water.

  23. TeeCee

    August 3, 2014 at

    I’ve read what the OP has said a number of times as well as numerous comments and it always amazes me what people will read into what is written. I’ve actively studied martial art for over 15 years and hold a black belt in Tang Soo Do (which in my opinion is the Korean version of Shotokan).
    I for one agree with some of the OP statements and not so much with others. I think trying to compare styles is a waste of times as there is no one way! Some people who would excel in one style might well suck in another….body type, physical limitations, etc.. so to say this is better than that is an empty argument. In addition I’ve often said and continue to believe when it comes to fighting it more about the size of the fight in the dog than it is the size of the dog in the fight. Some people are just naturally good at fighting…these are people who (being martial artist or not) have within them a “warrior’s spirit or mentality”
    Someone did mention in a post about the use of various “deadly strikes” that are not used in the ring and that is a valid point. I won’t say that karate or any other fighting art will teach a person how to execute a deadly strike but I will say it may teach you where you can deliver a blow or blows that may be more effective than if you had struck elsewhere on a person.
    All that said will karate teach you to be a good fighter…….your willingness to fight comes from within….you either have it or your don’t. Also, lets keep in mind….that to fight and fight well is to survive so if that means delivering a perfectly execute reverse punch to someone’s sternum or a well timed smack in the head with a 2×4 gets you in the position where you can walk away unhurt and have dinner with the family then that is a fight that has gone in your favor because the bottom is again to survive and you do that by any means necessary!

    • Thelmar Baker

      May 25, 2015 at

      My thoughts on this subject is one way this guy is right,because there is many schools that teach martial arts,but do not teach any kind of street fighting,ground fighting,or full contact fighting,I spent 20 plus years taking and teaching martial arts,and realized that if someone took me to the ground a was done for,so I added judo to me game,that made me a better all around fighter.I was lucky to get a teacher who was also a full contact teacher,and got to do some full contact fighting,such as boxing,but through all those years we didn’t practice any ground fighting skills,So to say karate is a waste of time is a little much,if you find a school that teaches full contact fighting,and learn what it is like to really hit someone ,and get hit by someone,it will give you an ideal of what will happen on the street,most fights aren’t going to be like TV,a real fight will only last a few seconds.

  24. Lugh

    July 31, 2014 at

    A great post (although I’m getting to the party rather late) all-around. I think you tackled a very important issue with humor but also solid reasoning.

    Yes, Karate has its uses. It can help people with self-esteem issues, it can be a great physical activity for kids that are otherwise glued to technology, or it can simply be a hobby that provides an important diversion in an otherwise hectic life. But as far as the notion of karate as self-defense, I think you hit the nail on the head– it’s pretty much useless.

    Granted, a lot of MMA guys STARTED in karate dojos, they quickly realized that they weren’t going to learn anything other than basic techniques there. I recall that in college, I experimented with Kenpo. Having been a high school and D1 collegiate wrestler, I thought it might be fun. But then I challenged a third-degree blackbelt to a more realistic, ahem “sparring” session after class and proceeded to whoop his ever-lovin’ butt. Yes, I ate a punch on my way in, but in about 10 seconds I had him on the ground and in a choke hold.

    I also tried a Korean form called Shim Gum Do, which was equally useless. They had a grappling form that I couldn’t try until I was a red belt, then when I finally got there, I choked out the instructor on the first day. Not to mention, of course, the entire belt system which is a moneymaking racket. True, the black belt carries with it some work, but the “testing fees” and various other money-extracting fees that each dojo whacks you with are pretty steep. If I had wanted to be a black belt in Shim Gum Do, I calculated that it would cost at least $3,000 in membership and testing fees alone, and at the end, I’d still not really have learned anything important in terms of knowing how to fight.

    You’ve hit the nail on the head in terms of true fighting forms. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the gold standard, and normal olympic wrestling is a decent second. As far as all of the dojos out there and all the different forms, they’ll give you what you put into them in terms of exercise and confidence, but they won’t teach you how to be worth a damn in a fight.

    • Lugh

      July 31, 2014 at

      Oh, and I forgot Muay Thai. If you want to learn a real striking style that will teach you how to fight effectively, Muay Thai is the one. Loads of professional MMA fighters have a background in MT and it is an order of magnitude more effective than any Karate style out there, period.

      • marcus

        August 30, 2014 at

        actually mua champs lost 2 to 1 against oyama’s kyokushin karate students at lumpinee stadium in 1953. oyama himself defeated the mua thai champion ‘the black cobra’. dont talk about karate like its all the same, kyokushin is in a whole other league.

        • Bubba Jenkins

          October 27, 2014 at

          I doubt the fights allowed knees or throwing from the clinch. Besides you can look at mma and see how kyokushin fails.

    • Cam

      August 14, 2014 at

      I disagree the ground is the worst place to be…… Sure once your they’re you’ll kill them but getting someone to the ground is the problem…….. Like I just posted at the top someone tried to take my mate down and my mate didn’t do anything special just teakwondo and the other guy he was a kid from a different school I think but still our age he got kneed in the face than when he was down lucky my mate wasn’t a dog and beat the sh*t out of him

    • marcus

      August 30, 2014 at

      good article and probably relevant to mcdojos but you shouldnt lump all karate in together. kyokushin karate is very effective and uses full contact continuous bare knuckle kumite unlike the point sparring you described. the quality of fighters in shinkyokushin is as good as anything in muay thai and kickboxing.

  25. Random

    July 27, 2014 at

    Facepalm* some very biased points you have made in this article that is more along the lines of difficulties you’ve faced with your own dojo and plastered it on to the entire karate population.

    Seems like for the fifteen years you supposedly trained you missed alot.
    You say they play tag in sparring, That’s called point sparring which beginners usually take part in to develop speed and explosiveness, continuous sparring is part of all karate schools where its usually 3×3 rounds (unless you’ve trained in some sort of after school facility).
    You go on to say it’s mentioned in UFC but never actually seen, guess you never saw any Lyoto Machida , Uriah Hall, Bas Rutten, Shogun Rua just to name a few.. These guys display their karate background in every motion and strike.

    It definitely doesn’t seem like you’ve trained for 15yrs+ like you claim, because when you train that long you realize it’s all about the fighter and less about the style. We have open sparring days at Gracie Barra where anyone from any school and background can come spar and we have seen some amazing people from all backgrounds.

    While I believe MMA is the way to go because you are opening yourself up to any and every technique that works for you and can incorporate it into your own style. With that being said it’s almost always better to build a foundation in one art form first.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      July 27, 2014 at

      When you’ve seen what I’ve seen and trained as long as I’ve had, I guarantee you’ll see things with clearer vision. When you train that long it has nothing to do with martial arts, or the style. It’s all about the politics baby. By the time you hit Sandan politics will either consume you or you’ll be smart enough to get on with your life doing something normal.

      Until then, let the rage continue!

      Oh…and this is for everyone…enough with the Lyoto Machida man-crushes. The dudes training has gone so far beyond karate that it is just plain pathetic how many people want to use him as a means of validating their training at the YMCA. I’ve always said that any successful fighter can come from karate but cannot remain there to be truly successful.

      • capcom

        July 31, 2014 at

        “enough with the Lyoto Machida man-crushes”

        Let’s take Andersson Silva then! 20 of his 39 wins are knockouts:) I wonder if, at that (highest level), it matters as much. He seemed to decide for himself what to do, really. It’s not like he’s an olympic wrestler.

        • Bubba Jenkins

          October 27, 2014 at

          Silva trains muay thai and jujitsu primarily… Your point is moot.

  26. Scott Myers

    July 22, 2014 at

    I started doing karate 2 years ago. I’m 56, 180 lbs, 5’11”. I beat my first black belt in sparring while I was still a yellow belt, ( one of our teenage senseis) I lost my first tournament match,(jitters, I guess) but I haven’t lost another match since. I guess I just know how to fight. Always have. So, watch out for old guys, cause we will whip your ass. I’m a green belt now, hope to test for brown as soon as I learn these stupid weapons Kata.

  27. capcom

    July 21, 2014 at

    I once talked to a guy who was both a boxer and karateka. In fact a rather well-known karateka, who introduced full-contact karate to his country. He remarked, without hesitation, that karate is fundamentally flawed, when opposed to western boxning. He said: Karatekas don’t really hit anything ( at least not to the extent a boxer does daily) and pointed to his own fist, and how it would simply put a karateka out… I will never forget this . how even a high graded black belt in karate, could be so blunt.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      July 21, 2014 at

      I find that the most vehement defenders of karate are Kyu belts. Many black belts have taken the time to look into their art and realize that yes, it has some very huge flaws that are worth admitting. I often find that by the time someone hits Sandan they usually dispense with such childish expectations of perfection.

      • capcom

        July 31, 2014 at

        How about the joint manipulation taught in Shotokan and ITF-TKD. Are they any good against close range/groundgame styles such as BJJ, and wrestling? Or is it simply impossible against a person rushing forward? What if he doesn’t get you on the ground, say, but is trying to do so.. couldn’t you implement some of those techniques. (This is referencing Karate facing wrestling styles.)

        • Bubba Jenkins

          October 27, 2014 at

          We had a powerlifter in my jujitsu class who also used to train aikido, his name was jeff. He was a big guy at 220lbs and arms bigger than my calf. If anyone could make a wrist lock work it would have been him. He was never able to secure a wrist hold on anyone. Not to say it can’t be done. But, while he was looking to secure my wrist I was hitting a double leg on him or passing his guard.

          • John Krakov

            August 21, 2022 at

            don’t let any style fool you. even BJJ which is ground effective can be neutralized by biting, eye gouging, hair pulling and clawing.

  28. drbill

    July 20, 2014 at

    everyone has a point, karate in itself is very effective. i am here,and without karate training, i would be dead. it works if you do it right. martial arts are not for fighting other martial artist- its for reality . it is ALSO a sport now and they are different animals. one will feed the other, however. point fighting has value for reflexes, distancing, timing, getting over the butterflies, etc. most of us are never going to get into a real fight, if you know you will, you need to train harder contact and some ground fighting. i love kata, but it is only valuable if you train the applications under full speed. other wise, its just another aerobic workout. i would no longer fight in MMA as i would play golf- just not going to happen. are they tough- yes. not everyone can do that. i’m 68, pudgy and i ‘m pretty sure i’m helpless against MMA fighters, but there are precious few 68 years old that will last 2 seconds with me and that’s a fact. karate works and i can prove it.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      July 20, 2014 at

      I think I see the common misunderstanding here with many people.

      Because the article is named 5 reasons karate is useless, that seems to falsely place the idea in many a cranium that I must therefore mean it is COMPLETELY useless.

      This all-or-nothing mentality is very Western it seems ( apologies to non-Westerners ). The fact that there is a follow up article about the positive aspects of karate…

      …demonstrates that I do not feel karate is entirely without merit. I really tried to make the link to that article BIG to head off the misconceptions. Should I try harder? Animated GIF’s? I’m really trying to be a good sport about this.

  29. Billy J

    July 17, 2014 at

    Btw the kind of fighting you participated in I believe was point fighting. My school fights in 2 minute rounds without stopping. We also do a lot more than lightly tap.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      July 17, 2014 at

      If you are truly 115 lbs and 5’6″, they your dojo is ABSOLUTELY doing light taps. Nothing against you personally as I’m sure you’re a nice kid, but at that weight a small adult woman would put a hole in you with minimal effort.

      Given your level of self-delusion, I would place you at a mid to low-level Kyu belt. Come back when you have some real experience under that uniform.

  30. Billy J

    July 17, 2014 at

    I have taken shito Ryu karate for 8 years since I was 7 years old, and I have only been in one fight at school. I am 5′ 6″ and weigh 115 pounds. The kid I fought was 5′ 10′ and weighed 170 pounds. After it was over he was picking his ass up off the floor. Don’t even begin to tell me that my karate didn’t swing things in my favor. Ps. If your school doesn’t teach you street fighting techniques than I’m sorry but you were throwing your money away.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      July 17, 2014 at

      Can someone define a “street fight”? Are we talking about a couple of idiots outside a bar or an actual no-holds-barred bring out your knives and guns kind of fight?

      Sorry, every time I hear “street fight” I only see a couple of over-testosteroned idiots trying to be tough guys. If you’re getting into street fights, you’re not a martial artist. You’re a moron.

      And don’t mistake a schoolyard adolescent slap-fest as a real street fight. The adults in the audience find that rather humorous and an insult to the term.

    • Grant Newsham

      August 30, 2014 at

      At 5′ 6” and 115lbs – you are going to very quickly run into someone in a street fight who is going to truly f–k you up. Anyone in physical shape and not clueless if they are 6′ 3″ 240lbs is going to seriously hurt you or even kill you. Your karate nonsense in such a situation is truly nonsense. Real life kid is NOT the movies (either Bruce Lee silliness or Karate Kid) – you aren’t going to disarm someone with a knife either. Your best street technique is to run away or talk yourself out of a situation.

      • Omar

        September 6, 2014 at

        There are plenty of formal martial arts moves where you use an oppents on going monentum or even their own weight against them with minimal effort so thats not true grant newsham my instructor once told me yes its true ur first weapon in a fight is ur words second is ur attempt to flee and third is ur martial arts

        • Bubba Jenkins

          October 27, 2014 at

          Size helps. Biggest guy I ever wrestled was 6 ft and 250lbs of gym muscle. I was 5’9″ and 150lbs. I couldn’t do anything to him, he just threw me around . Luckily this was a jujitsu match and not a fight, he would have killed me.

  31. Goju

    July 15, 2014 at

    If you consider katas useless and karate usless then you must not be that good. People train in karate for generations but if your training a watered down karate that has no roots then it really doesnt matter because you learned garbage. You train katas over and over for repetition of blocks and strikes and moves that you can use in a real fight. If your fighting in your dojo and your taping each other then your dojo was just someones way of making money. If you have done karate for more than ten years and your not breaking concrete then you did it wrong, why dont you go to Okinawa and have a real master teach you something or go train in takeyour do. I bet you never even conditioned your hands or learned any real bankais to any forms. You learning karate from a watered down karate master is like trying to learn surgery from a stundent who just graduated college. MMA is a joke compared to styles like Goju, when you can speed break a brick in your hands then maybe you can write an article on karate but it seems your not as good as you thought.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      July 15, 2014 at

      Sure. Yutaka Yaguchi is a watered down master. Whatever you say junior.

      All of your erroneous assumptions are based merely on your inability to accept that your art has faults. Typical cult mentality.

      And breaking concrete? That is bar none the stupidest thing I have ever heard come out of a karate-ka. You my friend, are a complete fraud.

      • Goju

        July 15, 2014 at

        I just dont think he taught you real karate, maybe cause he thought you were a joke, who knows. But Yaguchi taught shotokan that is based on shurite from okinawa which is much more of a soft art. It seems you like you were looking for a different art, not to mention that Mr. miyagi was not a coincidental name as Chojun Miyagi was the founder of Goju Ryu, an art that was passed down from southern shoalin boxing and nahate from okinawa. They trained to break through the wood armor of the japanese that oppressed them, the same way that judo was used by samurais to fight other samurias that had no weapons because the wood armor they used made it impossible to strike powerfully. There is no real faults except the lack of ground work but if your on the ground and theres more than one opponent then you lost anyways, now didnt you. All those training years and it seems that your the junior.

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          July 15, 2014 at

          I suppose Yaguchi might have considered me a joke I guess. Took him until Sandan to figure that out so I find that conclusion highly unlikely.

          And while I have nothing against Goju ( took a bit of it. Liked it. ), your accusations are somewhat repetitive of any cult follower. What I mean it that you think your version of karate is something special. Sorry to disappoint but it is not. Hell, I get e-mails daily from Kyokushin saying their karate is the best. Likewise from Goju, Uechi-Ryu and even the deluded masses from TaeKwonDo. What I find interesting is that these people think I or anyone for that matter actually care.

          Personally, I think you’re all deluded. Every last crazy one of you.

          • Nisei Goju Ryu

            July 15, 2014 at

            Maybe your right because I do believe my art is the best but maybe thats becaue i havnt seen anything better and that probably goes for everyone. But when I see a sensei that breaks arms with nothing more than a punch I dont see why I should think otherwise. The trick to finding good karate is like anything else, you have to sort through the bullshit. Personally learning from someone who is 4th genereation from the original creator of goju helps for a better understanding of tradition instead of what is now just a bunch of fight clubs. But when it comes down to it the guy standing 20 feet away from you with the gun really wins so I dont see a real argument but non the less i cant resist a good troll. The funny thing about all these arts is they all came from the same place, were made to teach people how to fight and then all watered down to make cash so whos to really compare

        • John Krakov

          August 21, 2022 at

          One thing is sure is that nowadays martial arts schools are just commercial feel good schools for basic fitness.

          When I was 6 and trained ITF (which has its downsides of course), the training was hardcore. Push ups were done on the fists on wooden floor (no tatami etc…), if anyone did not touch his nose on the floor during counting or your ass was high the master would slap you with a board.

          We sparred from white belt (no gloves), if your hands were down and sparred with the master or higher belts you got huge slaps on your face.

          If your nose bled during fighting, the match continued until the time was up. Basically the mentality was very strict, very military.

          Techniques were mastered, you were not taught other techniques until you displayed perfection. Horse stance until your tighs were burning, punches until your shoulder dropped.

          If you dropped your stance before the end you were in for punishment, bare knuckle push ups, horse stance or cardio around the practice floor.

          Now ma schools are just playgrounds, I saw that when my kids took classes. Basketball was more hardcore.

      • Goju

        July 15, 2014 at

        oh and as for breaking concrete lets try marble, here in America the Guinness world record is 10 marble slabs maybe you should do some youtube research because that record is held by no other than a…..Karate sensei, but i mean if that sounds stupid to you then how could you really know about the art of breaking and karate.

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          July 15, 2014 at

          That’s nice. Can he do a Caber toss too?

          • goju

            July 15, 2014 at

            maybe the guy curls 90 pounds in one hand and hes 68

          • Dysfunctional Parrot

            July 15, 2014 at

            So is this what one can expect when they train in karate or is this some one-off exception to the rule you are trying to use as the norm?

          • Nisei goju ryu

            July 15, 2014 at

            well i bet your teachers never really taught you how to train your tendons, training you muscles without good tendon training is like power to your fuse box. There might be 2000 volts coming to the box but the fuse in your house only lets in 60. The same is for your muscles, then tendons being the fuse so train ur tendons and you get more power

          • Dysfunctional Parrot

            July 15, 2014 at

            If total body fitness is your goal then might I recommend P90X? Easier on the joints and you can at least grow old with it without abandoning the family to go to the dojo.

            Hell, worked for me.

            Nothing personal, as I’m sure you mean well…but you really are not saying anything I haven’t seen or heard a million times on my own. I was hip deep in this for 15 years, my brother is a Pan-Am champion and two of my sisters are also black belts in various arts. Trust me…I get it!!

  32. Karate Kid

    July 12, 2014 at

    you will not judge karate, you must have no personal experience. It is for the health of your physical and mental body. Please try Karate and don’t judge it based on OPIONINS

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      July 12, 2014 at

      Get lost junior. Also, try actually reading the article. I’ve no doubt done karate longer than you’ve been alive.

      Really, the nerve of some people.

    • Guyman Seven

      October 16, 2014 at

      Can it help you become a math master?

  33. capcom

    July 11, 2014 at

    “No karate practitioner would survive MMA” Well, how is that relevant to real life fights? The UFC is still rule based. You can’t excecute deadly moves, even if you had them in your arsenal (which karatekas blackbelts supposedly have). How would you respond to that? Is there any difference between facing a BJJ in real life, as opposed to in a ring, with rules? Say an MMA fighter attemped to kill a karateka in real life. Could the karateka kill him when going for the dive – attempting to get him on the ground.

    I agree that the kata is useless. How in the world is that helpful to your self defence? I would take the “useless” taekwondo kick training over KATA, every day of the week. But of course you still concider (even) ITF Taekwondo to be worse than Karate shotokan, despite it’s harder training style from the get go, for no good reason. Please explain how training with so little contact in shotokan, is better (more effective) than TKD.

  34. Dysfunctional Parrot

    July 8, 2014 at

    All I see is Karate minus the ability to control your attacks. This is not impressive, this is crap any reputable dojo would never tolerate.

    Punching someone in the face is easy. Being able to control that punch to within millimeters is skill. Yes, many people like this style of training but they’re not anyone a well-adjusted person would want to hang around with.

  35. Guest

    June 28, 2014 at

    Firstly I agree with ‘KarateNKobudo’ 100%.
    Secondly the whole ‘cult’ mentality thing is ridiculous to me. My teaches have two very young children and I admire the amount of time they dedicate to all their students. They don’t make money off of teaching, they do it because they love it. Which of course means they still work full time, as well as continuously further their own training. I’ve been training with them for a decade and help them out as much as possible. They are equally supportive when I need to take time off to study or work. Karate is supposed to be a way of life, obviously other things will often take priority but it just means your training will progress at a different rate than others.
    Aside from the self defense aspect, I have seen amazing behavioral changes in problematic kids, and have received great testimonials from parents. They learn about a different culture, gain responsibilities and benefit from working hard. Old students from even before my time still visit as the things they’ve learned and the friendships they’ve made, have had a huge impact on their life.
    Bottom line is, I’m sorry you’ve had such a bad experience. There are truly great styles and dojos out there.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      June 28, 2014 at

      The cult mentality means nothing to you because you (A ) haven’t hit the big time yet or ( B ) are too invested in the art to see it. The children you refer to would have no idea because they’re not senior ranks. Wait until 1 Kyu or Shodan and it will become crystal clear. Beyond that it will become painfully clear.

      And once again I must repeat ( sigh…again ), my martial arts experience was not “bad”. I just now have the luxury of seeing it for what it really is…something that has good qualities and also has terribly bad ones.

    • Guest

      July 4, 2014 at

      My now ex-wife joined a local Karate franchise with our son because he needed a little more help and she knew other moms who’s kids went there and it did seem to help. Its seems like its more child therapy and for out of shape parents. I never saw someone between the ages of 20 and 35 taking classes there.

      It was not long until she was signing up for extra classes, going 4 nights a week and Saturdays while I was home with the kids. Next thing I knew there where multiple checks to them for over 20 shirts and articles of clothing. It was also not long after joining that our marriage got rocky and she said she wanted a divorce. I later found out she was being influenced by other divorced moms there whispering in her ear. Just for the record she did not meet another guy there… instead she ended up meeting back up with a high school friend on Facebook.

      Anyway… lets see… everyone wears the same clothes and the same shoes… they constantly try to get more money out of you…. they get free labor out of you…. they will NEVER tell you “you really need to spend more time with your family right now” and instead just encourage you to be THERE more more more. Yep, its a cult and not a good one. And if its not a cult then its at least a business out to make money.

  36. KarateNKobudo

    June 25, 2014 at

    All depends on the school, the style of karate I practice (Okinawan modified shotokan) is based around self defense. Incapacitate your assailant long enough to make a getaway. There’s no sparring in my dojo because it serves no purpose. We drill the most likely attacks an attacker would present at full speed. Some of the counters involve bone breaking, joint spraining, and so forth, basically just to pile on the pain until the intent behind the attack is diminished and an escape can be made. It isn’t pretty, but it does the job. The Kata are all demonstrated as both a solo sequence, and with each part of the sequence demonstrated as a response to an attack or ‘bunkai’. It’s karate as i believe it should be, ‘Defending against an untrained assailant effectively.’ None of this ‘sport’ mumbo jumbo.

  37. Steve

    June 21, 2014 at

    While i feel the general you are correct and its one of the reasons I’ve always stayed clear of karate (particually Shotokan).I have to admit that, i have had to revise my opinion somewhat over the last few years
    I now feel it’s fair to say, that there are lot of good karate sensei that have been trying to turn that around. With the firm belief that contained within the katas.There are multiple applications/options applicable for each technique (Bunkai) of which includes realistic distance fighting at close range,locks, trapping,and throws etc and say that It was never supposed to be fixed/rigid martial art in nature, but it was mean it to be innovative and evolving. ( I suppose Just got lost somewhere along the way).
    One example of a such a Teacher here in the Uk is Iain Abernethy
    I have no affiliation to him or any of his Dojo’s Just find what he has to say interesting.
    MMA is like any sport if you want to do well in, you train the techniques that work in that enviroment. All techniques from martial arts can work.It just depends on their context they are used in.
    And lasty for anyone who’s interested in i have a Ju jitsu ,Western boxing, Muay thai, and Wing chun, background.

  38. Joe

    June 20, 2014 at

    I learned kung fu as a kid and I have been in street fights. Looking back as an adult I wish I walked away but in one case I could not. I won the fight while showing mercy to my bully.

  39. Darren Sharrocks

    June 20, 2014 at

    there is a difference in static punching in a formal stance to actually fighting with the punch,, everything is broken down as if there is a freeze frame, to see what and how the punch travels. the reverse punch has a long travel point, as if to thrown a spear, the move distance the faster it can travel when it hits the point. there are jabs, round house punches, upper cuts etc, its all there,again its all context.

  40. Dysfunctional Parrot

    June 20, 2014 at

    You’re being rude and insulting to other commenters so clean up the language. Exercise some restraint and be the person online you want to be in real life.

  41. Theguywhoalsotookkarate

    June 20, 2014 at

    It’s funny how, you seem to have to be an analyst to not be sucked up by the cult mentality that follows martial arts. There’s a few well trained people but even they didn’t learn what everyone else did and they defend it with their “proof”. Proof that singularly they were successful. But the fact in the 80’s and 90’s there were a lot of law suits on schools. Many schools just say, we don’t teach fighting when….ya know….maybe they need to learn what isn’t fighting or something. Call it, they don’t want to take a blow to the nose. Because of all the law suits, these schools have rules now where they are not even allowed to teach a kid how to not get his nose broken. They can only teach kata, excusesparring and aerobics. Well, original martial arts had drugs to condition people to be crazy, modern weapons and gangs you became a part of. Like the military. The fact you don’t get any kind of real conditioning is evidence enough were not learning real martial arts.

  42. Darren Sharrocks

    June 19, 2014 at

    so be effective you have to go the mma rouet and fight on the ground 99% of the time. That is no more effective than a woman with a hangdbag, oops even that is more effective. you miss point though. The punches in karate, also kicks are effective, if they are hit at full force, would you agree or disagree, if you disagree, let some one punch you in the head with punch, or a kick. i have watched mma fights and i have seen punches thrown, kicks thrown, all the same as karate techniques. now if you are saying its not the techniques that are a problem then its the way of training, For MMA i agree, but thats a different context, its a different fighting style. To say karate is useless is missing the point, modern karate is not made for mma, its made as a sport, just like boxing and mma is with its own rule etc. Now if you go to mma club with just some karate background, sure the kicks and blocks and punches will help, but the context of the club u have past trained will ,not. karate like all other forms of fighting have throws in them see katas etc. The early practitioners of karate were men of all trades that jumped from on art to the other, and incorporated it into their arts and once it moved on from there it evolved to what we are. most people do not want to train for mma, do not want train for fighting in the real world against a skilled fighter,, even if they come out against some one who is skilled, just because you do karate does it mean you will loose, no way that is silly. You cannot have people fighting in the dojo going full pelt and smacking people over the head, getting injuries, broken teeth etc, its not just practical and realistic and it become a brawl.. You can be taught effective techniques and still come home after and be in good health. all i say at the end of the day if you want to learn to fight in the real work forget mma or karate go to your local bar every night and see what happened or go to war. May people in ufc etc mma have judo and karate backgrounds, and use these techniques effectively. i have seen boxers beat mma guys. its not the art its the person. Oh you do not want to end up on the ground in street fight. .You need complience to learn a technque and then some fighting in context later on to see if it works.

    • Ting

      June 20, 2014 at

      To be effective in STRIKING you must learn an effective striking art like Boxing or Muay Thai. Shut up if you don’t even know your martial arts.

      The punches in karate are the weakest impractical shit I have ever witnessed, especially the reverse punch. A boxing jab is faster, efficient and delivers more power than any karate punch without having to do any of the unnecessary krotty stance/pose.

      • Ting

        June 20, 2014 at

        Also forgot to mention the reverse punch exposes your —— face. Hell the art Karate and TKD themselves don’t have their guards up making their faces prone to getting KO’d. It should be easy in 2014 to determine which striking art to avoid when they don’t defend their head or have defense at all (head movement & forearm blocks in boxing, elbow, shin & forearm blocks in muay thai)

        Heck an art doesn’t even deserve to be labelled as a self DEFENSE if they don’t have proper defense.

  43. John L. Sullivan

    June 19, 2014 at

    “so when a person who throws a round house punch, a jab, a elbow, hook or upper cut punch, or a roundhouse, side kick or spinning back kick in the ring is not really karate but really mma or jujitsu”

    You’re completely missing the point. The only way to make the majority of Karate, Japanese Ju Jitsu, or many/most traditional arts effective in or out of the cage or ring is to train them in a realistic manner which mma training does and which 99% of the traditional schools out there Karate or otherwise do not so.

    The unrealistic non contact manner of training that most schools follow allows for a lot of unrealistic fantasy techniques to creep in. When you start training in a realistic way with a non compliant partner you will have a much better understanding of what techniques that you can really execute and what is better left for demonstrations.

    The problem with realistic training (contact) training is that is NOT what the general audience wants to do. They want to have fun, break a sweat, learn the “art” and kid themselves into thinking that they are “deadly” because they have a colored belt.

    When someone who originally came from a traditional or Karate background starts training and competing in mma, and their training is so far removed from anything that looks even remotely like what you’ll see in 99% of the karate schools out there then I think that it’s fair to say that they are doing is not really “Karate” anymore as most people understand it.

  44. BeLikeMike

    June 18, 2014 at

    Karate is effective, but only for certain types of people, it’s the practitioner, not the art. You may spend 90% of your lifespan doing martial arts, but if you don’t have the right mentality when the need comes, your training will be pretty useless. Same as every sport in the world.

    Karate gave me confidence – confidence that’s good enough to assess the situation and avoid confrontation. Before I took karate, I was the type of person you’ll avoid having a street argument else you get punch in the face. I was fidgety, always assessing another man’s physical ability whenever he looks my way. I am an aggressive person, like a dog ready to bite because of the lack of training and social exposure. But after a few years of training, I am now level headed, avoiding fights at all cost knowing I have basic skill to take a man down and apply grappling and striking skills.

    I get your point. I understand where you’re coming from. I too, have stopped going to the dojo, but still trains my kicks and punches at home with a bag. I stopped mainly due to the reason I hate the expectation of the school that you should get into competition. I hate competition, or specifically, when the focus is on me. We can bash each other in the dojo during kumite until our last drop of sweat, and it would be perfectly okay with me, even with full contact punching and kicks. But to take those kumite into competition, that’s the part I hate, so I stopped attending classes.

    We don’t have your ‘politics’ though. We train, we have great camaraderie, we have get together after grading, and we hang out, laugh at all our bruises, injuries, blood and sweat, unlike what you’ve been through.

    Your view that every karate type is a cult, train for life, something that must be a top priority over anything even family and job, must be just in those dojos that you have attended and trained with. You see, that’s the difference between a McDojo that’s focusing on soccer moms, and a very legit dojo which unfortunately you failed to find in your 10+ years of karate quest.

    I’m not bashing your article, I kinda liked it honestly, and taking your writing as a grain of salt, like listening to a spurned suitor how he talks endlessly about the many negative qualities of the girl who rejected him.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      June 18, 2014 at

      I appreciate the articulate comment. Clearly you put much thought into it and I appreciate that. True, you make some false assumptions but we don’t know each other personally and such errors in judgement are inevitable. The McDojo assumption has been answered to death and I just don’t feel like repeating myself. Karate isn’t a vision quest, it’s a trip to the YMCA. I’ve yet to meet any martial artist who impressed anyone with their “enlightenment”.

      I like many things you have to say though, even the last part which although may have been a veiled insult ( scorned suitor ) is actually closer to the truth with just a few twists to the analogy. It’s more like me kicking a high maintenance broad to the curb.

      When I started, karate played a very important role in my life. Think of it as infatuation at the beginning of a relationship. Then the relationship grew and it grew to become a dysfunctional relationship where it demanded more and more but gave less in return. Finally for the greater good ( family and well…life ) the relationship had to end. And end it did. As such I found proper balance once I quit karate.

      Keep in mind, there are follow up articles such as why karate is NOT useless. I’ve even putting the finishing touches on why TaeKwonDo is awesome. I just carry a very pragmatic view of the martial arts. If a part of it sucks, I have no problem in saying so.

    • Richard

      June 18, 2014 at

      I do have to say that I don’t know any Kyokushin exponents, Muay Thai fighters, or boxers who are still training beyond 45 and don’t have a list of cumulative injuries as long as my arm. I did Muay Thai for 9 years, from 17 to 26, my wrists are ruined, my elbows are shot, my knees are ground to powder, my neck clicks and my lower back is mangled. That came from years of cumulative damage from training an sparring and fighting. I’m 27 now and feel like a 50 year old.
      Muay Thai training and conditioning techniques were developed to make the human body into a killing machine ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE for warriors with a short life expectancy. I have my spear, my sword, my shield, my dagger. I lose them all killing people then I have only my bare hands and feet which need to be strong to deal damage. Conditioning techniques do make limbs stronger for a short period of time but they don’t take into account still needing that limb when you’re 40, 50, 70, 90 etc.

  45. Dysfunctional Parrot

    June 18, 2014 at

    Wholeheartedly agree. Looking for fights is the height of foolishness. The people who practice because they want to be good “street fighters” are the epitome of fools.

    • Darren Sharrocks

      June 19, 2014 at

      i agree forget mma etc and go to the bar every night if u want to be a street fighter.

    • Luther Unleashed

      July 6, 2014 at

      I have an opinion about this article, but also the discussion as it has become an interactive extension of the article topic. I practice a mixture of traditional martial arts with boxing/kickboxing! We do forms a great deal but also self defense and sparring. I feel that people are into martial arts for different reasons and I’m glad that people can be free to enjoy it for those reasons like… Health, focus and so on. Striking arts like boxing and kickboxing cut through the complicated technique and make the strikes direct and effective. Styles like tang soo do/shotokan, Hun gar Kung fu, and so on can have a nice artistic appeal in the forms, aside from fighting.

      I am curious as to what the writer (and others) think about this aspect of karate, fighting aside, can you see the artistic appeal, or even other benefits like flexibility or overall health? If so what is your opinion about it in this way? In a fight I’d never use a reverse punch I don’t think, I’d use my strikes from boxing, but 50 reverse punches in a row is a great warm up, I think it’s more to what can be taken away then fighting,

      • Dysfunctional Parrot

        July 8, 2014 at

        The health issue is an interesting point. On one hand karate is indeed a physically demanding activity that has high cardio and plyometrics.

        However, it also has inferior muscle training as one would expect. There are also terrible training practices that are still in use such as punching a makiwara…a practice I compare to smashing ones head against a brick wall.

        While karate can be good, I simply have found so much out there to be far superior. Any circuit training regimen will accomplish greater physical results in spades over karate. This is especially true as you get older. One year of doing P90X ( a video workout ) made me so impressed I quit martial arts for good.

    • Hellsing Ivranesises

      July 20, 2014 at

      Hey, I’d just like to know how wanting to be a good street fighter makes you a fool? I live in a town that is decaying, and I would like to walk around with the confidence and ability to handle myself, so I’ve always street sparred/done martial arts in order to avoid becoming someone’s victim.

  46. Dan

    June 18, 2014 at

    WOW! A lot of Kyokushin karatekas are surely sorry that you’ve spent 15 years of your life jumping from one dancing karate style to the next until you’ve counted how many…? 6? That’s right. I feel your pain, the wasted time, money and youth, tsk! tsk! tsk! And you’re bragging you know so much about anything and everything about karate that you’re downplaying all the previous comments disagreeing with your view?
    Let me ask you one thing. Have you ever tried a Kyokushin kumite class without padded gloves and shin protector, much less head protector? I’ve seen all the variants of Shotokan, that one that you call “tagging” each other while competitors seem to bounce. Yes, that’s what you practice, and your biased karate article blankets ALL types, not just the one you’ve tried and failed to appreciate.

    Again, you can label me as a keyboard warrior hiding behind the anonymity of the net, for all I care. But reading all your comments, I could honestly say you’re the one pretending to know-it-all just because you’ve spent 15 years bouncing in your dojos (6 of them, right? right.), BUT TRY KYOKUSHIN kumite, not just the kata class, in our dojo we almost offer it for free if you just talk to the sensei, free to try for a month, and you can even attend even without paying, because we only do it in a community centre seminar room. I’m sure THERE ARE so many of kyokushin dojos like that. Then when you have sparred using your 15 years of karate experience against the 2 year experienced 8th kyu bare-knuckled and say it is still pretty useless on the streets, then I rest my case.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      June 18, 2014 at

      No, I’ve never practiced Kyokushin because quite honestly, you guys weird me out and appear to be the least capable of having a laugh at yourselves and the first to try and challenge someone to a fight. That sounds like the exact kind of group a well adjusted person should avoid at all costs.

      Just my experience mind you.

      But finally, no…I will not walk into another dojo for the foreseeable future. I see it as a waste of time and money and I can get more physically fit doing what I’m doing now without all the political games or crazy “martial artists”. Sometimes the most sensible thing is moving on, not clinging to the past.

    • Richard

      June 18, 2014 at

      A story that circulates here in Australia is that of the ‘Ninjitsu’ practicioner who walked into a well-respected Kempo Ju Jutsu school in Perth and challenged the Sensei to a fight. The Sensei took a mobile phone, held it in his right hand, approached the intruder in front of the whole class……and calmly called the police to attend and remove the crazy psychopath who came in making threats of bodily harm.

  47. Richard

    June 17, 2014 at

    I agree with the majority of this article. However the main thing people overlook here is not what style you are fighting with (karate, TKD, kung fu), but who you are fighting, and why are you fighting them? It takes a special kind of idiot to even get into a fight with another human being, ie, talking yoursel into a consensual combat between citizens, and it takes an unaware person to get mugged in a predatory situation.
    I know some karate black belts, TKD black belts, kung fu black belts who couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag, and I know some who could fold me in half, but for the most part they aren’t violent people an won’t do it.
    More what matters in any ‘real fight’ with ‘no rules’ is WHAT YOUR OPPONENT IS WILLING TO DO YOU. I have a friend who has never trained a day in his life, but because of his terrible childhood, he is a fighter and arcs up at the slightest provocation. Having witnessed him in action, he is a terrifying fighter but I’ve lost count of the times after I’ve dragged him away of a pub fight and he’s had broken thumbs, fingers, lost teeth etc and we’ve driven straight to hospital, regardless of whether or not he ‘won’ the fight.
    Fighting in general is not worth it.

  48. Mooms

    June 16, 2014 at

    Hi, I started looking for someone else that was inspired in any way by the Karate Kid and I came across this. I have to say I wholeheartedly agree with you and while my period of training does not equal yours I have a senior student who has been doing it all his life and he is in his early 40s now. He is very easy to beat sparring but his moves are like watching van damme fight. I am going right out to blame the school though as mine is all about the money now but they have just given up on getting things right. I am fortunate enough though to have tried a few other places for months to see just how much better other teachers (and worse) can be. I like your analogy of someone taking you down on the street and cutting you in half. There is a felony fight video where a chap is giving it loads about his martial art background and winning tournaments. Guess what – he got sparked, badly to after a takedown. No MMA/Ring this was just a straight fight and the winner looked like he was a plain out right thug who was physically stronger and had enough experience in real fights. I plan to leave my school this year and start up elsewhere as the whole purpose of doing this was to learn to defend myself. Interestingly our place teaches both MMA and traditional art and even our main sensi cant be bothered any more with the martial art class and homes in on the mma. They dont do the poncy warm up or patterns the actually fight and have an ellement of weight lifting to enhance their strength. They also seem more motivated and can be seen in the gym getting stronger to be ready for their next fight. They also don’t have ego’s and are hurting each other but then picking each other up off the floor. Good luck with your journey.

    • Darren Sharrocks

      June 19, 2014 at

      if u are not willing to fire the gun, then the gun is useless

      • Bujutsu

        July 6, 2014 at

        “if u are not willing to fire the gun, then the gun is useless” – That means every martial artist should use his skills completely without control even if his opponent gets killed. I have seen people with broken jaws, fractures, torn intestines and even death in sports events with Karate blows. I feel you want to test a bullet by hitting at ownself or others and if the person dies then the bullet or gun is effective.

        Why dont people in muay thai or MMA attack throat, groin, eyes and tear off the opponent using traditional martial arts techniques. The one who is alive is effective.

        So my dear friend Human life is precious. We need to train in martial arts properly with faith in own-self and technique then its becomes effective the art and person. Without faith in ourself or technique you same like a person with gun but no bullet.

        To see the real karate click the link below

  49. John McVirgo

    May 30, 2014 at

    I agree with you on all of this.

    The best strategy is to avoid fights and trouble, to develop diplomacy etc. Even if you win a fight, you’ve made an enemy for life so you’d better watch your back and house.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 30, 2014 at

      Time is better spent on swimming lessons. You have more chance of drowning than using karate in a fight. For those situations just buy some mace.

    • Richard

      June 18, 2014 at

      I totally agree John

    • Darren Sharrocks

      June 19, 2014 at

      or u could of hurt him or even killed him etc

  50. Syed Ahmed

    May 27, 2014 at

    This is very biased, the article should be named why shotokan is useless. Styles like wado-ryu and kyokushin are useful and are used in sports like MMA.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 27, 2014 at

      Yes, it is biased as are all articles here. This is an editorial site, not a news service. I make no apologies for this.

      As for Wado-Ryu, I am giving serious consideration of joining a local dojo. The article here is based on Shotokan, Uechi-ryu, and Gojo-ryu experience, although my bulk experience is heavy in Shotokan.

  51. Dysfunctional Parrot

    May 18, 2014 at

    The fighters should be disqualified for hideously tacky uniforms!

  52. swimbob

    May 18, 2014 at

    Check this out and you can see that some forms of karate are much more than a game of tag

  53. Guest

    May 17, 2014 at

    Based on this article I can tell that you do not know much about Karate.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 17, 2014 at

      No, I know plenty and almost certainly more than you can ever hope to aspire to know. Problem is all you wing-nut karate cultists get all fired up when someone talks smack about your true love.

      Karate is not the meaning of life nor is it a religion. It is recreation. Get over it.

      • Guest

        May 30, 2014 at

        Like I said, you don’t really know much.

      • Guest

        May 30, 2014 at

        To you 15 years seems long, but in the martial arts world 15 years is just the beginning in the journey. I am not fired up about anything. I have seen first-hand how dangerous Karate can be, not talking about stupid tournaments where there are rules. But in the real world where there are no rules and anything goes. It all depends on the person training and the type of training that person gets. If they train in Karate as a sport, then in a karate tournament they would do well, but not so much on the street. However, training in Karate as self-defense when in a life or death situation is a lot different. I have seen Karate that has both failed and succeeded. It’s not so much the style but the person who trains in that style, and what they hope to achieve. If the person tries to relate T.V. with real life, or expects that he can train for a short amount of time and be a master then he is just delusional.

        • Guest

          May 30, 2014 at

          Having said that, a gun would be a lot more effective

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          May 30, 2014 at

          To me, I would say 15 years is “long enough”.

          To anyone who loves martial arts, there is no timeframe long enough. I could say I have 50 years and someone would still say “not long enough”. Such thinking fails to take into account of the average human lifespan!

  54. Liam

    May 13, 2014 at

    L0L Try Kyokushin then say this.

  55. Billy Thanos

    May 11, 2014 at

    Well i broke 4 peoples ribs with right round house kicks. Knocked people out of championship matches with side kicks thrown under hard right hands.. Then came the leg kicks.. I tore someones quadricep, and never had one person be able too stand after i threw that kick soccer style to the back of the hamstring. ( my best kick) And how many shorter people i kicked to the head and taller people whose feet i kicked out from under them gave me a ridiculously unfair advantage because I started as a boxer . Then it took me 2 yrs to do a Chinese split after thaf i tweeked my karate with Muay Thai … If you both know how to box and the. Other guy knows how to kick well. It will be mismatch bc i was taught my technique but i loved stopping fights with leg kicks in the opening sequence of the fight. I threw my kicks as hard as i could.

  56. I and Myself

    May 7, 2014 at

    You seem not to understand how Karate schools are different from one to another. Every sensei teaches also his own way of practicing which may be really different.
    Your article is useless or senseless.
    Nice to see anaybody can write and publish junk articles on the Internet!

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 7, 2014 at

      Yes, last I checked anybody certainly can write “junk” articles just as uninformed religious karate fanatics can respond to them. The free marketplace of ideas is truly grand!

  57. Zee

    May 7, 2014 at

    You were attracted to the wrong schools, picked up resentments.. Nothing wrong with karate, just the people and places you were exposed to..

  58. Ironthumb

    May 5, 2014 at

    BTW I can see that you always mention ESKRIMA
    Actually part of which is always a required subjetc in high school here in the philippines.
    Every kid here knows Arnis de mano.

  59. Bunky

    May 3, 2014 at

    Funny I found this site. I have done Karate for 10 years in a dojo, and then I left. The male instructor started hitting on me. And because he’s a higher rank I am supposed to respect that? That’s just abuse!

  60. ilikepie

    May 2, 2014 at

    Hey Jean,

    I agree with most of your points; there are far better methods for increasing physical strength and endurance than Karate. Specialized exercise routines will achieve that goal much more efficiently. Though karate can aid in increased physical health that isn’t the main objective.

    However, I disagree that it’s sub par for physical self defense. The best self defense is obviously your brain, don’t frequent bars, lock your doors, train to be more aware, don’t steel sensei’s parking spot..etc.

    When we get into physical skills though karate has some great techniques. Kicks, punches, locks, throws, strangles, it’s all there.

    I believe physical self defense has 3 basic stages; learn the technique, use the technique on solid objects to increase power such as bags and pads, and finally spar with the techniques in a free flowing manner till they are instinctive.

    Training method is very important, doing techniques in the air is great to learn and refine technique, but they must be applied to targets to be made effective. Shadow sparring is a legitimate training tool though. ( throwing reverse punches in straddle stance doesn’t count)

    Sparring is without a doubt the best tool we have to prepare us for physical violence. As real world confrontations are brutal affairs with no rules our sparring should mirror that to a degree. Point sparring is fairly useless but fight club style would be dangerous. It doesn’t make sense training to avoid a potential physical confrontation if sempi frank beats the hell out of you thrice a week. However we should make our sparring as realistic as possible by allowing up to around 80% contact with areas such as the face and legs being allowed. Things such as eye gouges and groin attacks can be simulated by aiming above the eyes, and either the belt knot or inside upper thigh. Chomping the teeth close to our opponents let’s them know they’ve been bitten. Sparring should always be as realistic as possible with safety in mind.

    As far as kata goes, I agree its useless to practise on its own. Even Funakoshi agrees with his 18th precept. Improving leg strength, coordination, focus, etc. Is all bull in my opinion, there are much better ways to achieve those goals than a “dance”

    Kata does however give us a record of combative techniques. Punches/kicks are obvious examples. Yonda shows us a knee strike; Godan elbow strikes; Nidans “box block” Is a figure four arm lock that can be applied standing or or the ground; Basai dais opening salutation is an arm bar that can be applied on the ground, the double hammer fist to the sides is a double leg take down. Tekki shows us how to sweep our opponent with the crescent kicks; the final move of sandan is a rear naked strangle. There are numerous examples. However for them to be useful we have to drill the individual techniques outside of kata and progress to using it in sparring for it to be affective. Doing the moves by themselves is kata is useless. Kata is simply a physical method for recording information, we need to apply the techniques it contains not simply practise the “directions”

    Saying all I’ve said it probably only takes around 6 months of smart training in order to be adequately prepared for a physical altercation. So if your goals were fitness and self defense 15 years of karate training was probably more than you wanted or needed. If you feel comfortable in your ability to defend yourself the only reason to continue martial arts training is because it’s become your favorite hobby. Some people watch football, some people play poker, others like to wear white scrubs and train karate, to each their own.

    • Darren Sharrocks

      June 19, 2014 at

      kata has throws and many other applications, i just do not understand terese people who want to train full on even 80% smacking to the face is not good. what if i hit a 16 year old girl in the face at that speed. u have to be smart. all the above is good stuff.

  61. Eric Rupp

    April 27, 2014 at

    Dude. Seriously. There is no defense against a good crain kick, ok? I know. I got my black belt in 1 year so I’m an expert.

    Ok, seriously, I started when I was a kid and practiced karate up until my 20s. The result? A screwed up left leg and joints that pop worse than an 80 year old’s. Yes, I too am a recovering karateka. I’ve since moved onto jujitsu, but even those systems (BJJ or Japanese) have flaws, IMO. (I do it because it because I enjoy it more than anything, I guess. No other reason needed.) The largest issue I have with martial arts today has nothing to do with any technique or system and everything to do with the fact that people are simply unprepared to deal with the share brutality of a physical assault. I work in law enforcement. I see it daily. Physical assaults are vicious. Brutal. Bestial. Even trained professionals with significant military combat training have trouble coping with the magnitude of violence, let alone that civilian soccer mom who goes to her two hours of weekly black belt class. It’s all just a false sense of security. Maybe she’ll get lucky. Maybe her instinct and adrenalin will carry the day, but 97% of the time, all that black belt did was arm her with a false sense of security.

    So what works? The stuff that formal martial arts training views as “dirty,” “barbaric” and “sloppy.” It’s also stuff that you will not learn in your MMA fly-by-night or BJJ sports club. Too many rules. Flick your attacker in the nose (eyes water) as you grab his ear and yank it viciously (rupture ear drum, taking balance and ability to walk / pursue). Then kick the knee out (taking mobility). Stuff like that. The stuff martial arts abhors. Do I have what it takes? Realistically, probably not; most likely neither do you. But if it’s the difference between going home and going to the morgue, well, I think I’ll pass on that jumping reverse crescent kick…

    • John McVirgo

      May 30, 2014 at

      Absolutely spot on. Real world violence is dreadful

    • Darren Sharrocks

      June 15, 2014 at

      we do all that in judo and karate

  62. StEwPiD_MoNkEy

    April 24, 2014 at

    Interesting take. I also wonder why you are relating sports martial arts to self defense. For instance. The BJJ that people use for the octagon is watered down. Can it be useful? Sure. But I’ve also stomped out BJJers on and off the ground. What’s your point? Lol. Every one acts like there is one master art that will defeat them all. It almost ALWAS about the practioner.
    My Sempai studies Okinawan Karate. Rui-te. He is also a Federal Air Marshall. He has used his MA in many occasions. It worked quite well. Yet in certain instances, I’ve beat him. My Shidoshi even invited him to teach for a week. There are very similar movements that are “combat tested”.
    What you’ve done is compared something watered down like Muy Thai to Muy Boran. One is for the ring, the other for combat. You can’t compare the two. must have went to a MCDojo. I left my Shidoshi’s dojo in S. FLA back in 2006. I still go there to train once in awhile, no one had problems with me moving 3 hours away.

  63. NoCanDefend

    April 22, 2014 at

    praying mantis
    no fists, just use fingers to hit vital points

  64. shihonage

    April 21, 2014 at

    Some people learn for 15 years. Others learn for 1 year, 15 times in a row.

    Ancient wisdom.

  65. James Black

    April 14, 2014 at

    Do you Prefer instead of taping each other to full speed and power thrust to each other? I recently had an unfortunate contact with a gloved punch that had broken 2 ribs… Cost me 3 months off the dojo and made me wonder What happened and why!

    You can’t train full contact in Karate without getting to hospital… It definitely should not drive you to the hospital!!!

    Every martial art could be efficient if you have decided to hit to vital points.
    At the end it’s not up to IF TKD or Shotokan or anything is good enough, but how good are you and how determined you are to use it in life and death situations.

    Self-Defense and Martial Arts are two different things…

    • Darren Sharrocks

      June 15, 2014 at

      i agree with that karate or other strikings can be dangerous very dangerous, imagine the the man hitting a persons leg like that.So do you get here is wannabee who say karate is crap because they play tagg. what u want to do? close the club down because all of broken arm or a leg or a hand? Just to prove you can do it. Kano the founder of judo said the same thing, whats te point of doing it if you are hurt badly? answer no point. The people here who mouth off and say this art is crap or that art is crap, never go to their clubs and beat the hell out of each other, to the point of hospital treatment, if you did you are stupid and if the club was coming out with most of the members hurt badly it would not be open for long the police, council and members of the public, family members would want to see it closed down.

  66. John L. Sullivan

    April 9, 2014 at

    For all of the people who like to throw out all of the names of successful mma fighters who originally came from a Karate background (as if that validates Karate’s effectiveness), everyone of those guys would get destroyed in an mma match if they tried to get in there trained only in Karate. The first five years of ufc/mma matches back in the late 90’s established that beyond a reasonable doubt.

    The reason that they are able to make some of their Karate techniques work is because they’ve learned grappling, takedowns, takedown defenses, and have been specifically training for mma competitions, things that 99% of the Karate schools out there do not do.

    • Darren Sharrocks

      June 15, 2014 at

      so when a person who throws a round house punch, a jab, a elbow, hook or upper cut punch, or a roundhouse, side kick or spinning back kick in the ring is not really karate but really mma or jujitsu. Well jujitsu has the same techniques as karate, its the same punches, same hand strikes ec, same throws as judo and and locks, strangle etc

  67. 罗宾汉

    April 8, 2014 at

    I have never once met a karateka who knew how to fight. Never. And I have met hundreds. And yet most of them would proudly brag about how superior their art was to taekwondo. Lame.

    • Darren Sharrocks

      June 15, 2014 at

      just like ur doing now eh ?

  68. Noah N. Bershatsky

    March 26, 2014 at

    It’s true there is always going to be someone better, faster, stronger, more skill, etc. That’s true in everything, not just martial arts. Still, life is about balance. It’s possible to have a family, a career, a successful marriage, and train in the martial arts. I know this because I have all of those things. Would you rather go to the gym, go running, or go to the dojo? For me, I’d rather go to a class and learn something. I’ve seen it bring families closer together as something parents and kids can do together. Also, not all schools focus on killing each other. We’re there to learn and get in better shape.

  69. John V.

    March 19, 2014 at

    Wow you went to a BAD dojo.

    Almost all of your points are easily argued.

    Google “karate in MMA”…..several of the major fighters have Karate backgrounds…..Machida…GSP…etc…

    Our school strikes. We have sparring classes…there is no “tapping on the head” nonsense.

    Go to Okinawa. Go to a Karate dojo. Pick a fight. See how “useless” it is.

    Sounds like you’re just bitter that you figured out your school was bad and felt like you wasted time in “show” Karate….

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      March 19, 2014 at

      All of your counterpoints have been answered in triplicate in both the comments section and the follow up article: 5 Reasons Karate is NOT Useless.

      As for going to Okinawa and picking fights, that just seems like a rather Philistine thing to do.

      • Raiden

        March 27, 2014 at

        You’re going to need more convincing arguments before you come to the (wrong) assumption that karate is useless. Martial arts still teaches you useful fighting techniques, and even with only a few months of experience, I could clobber your father when he was age 20-30 despite being lighter, as well as 90% of all dumb and worthless street fighters. Go to a real academy that does not just promote people for no reason. Then talk like you know a thing or two.

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          March 27, 2014 at

          Unlikely. My Dad was a badass in his younger days and didn’t have the luxury of trolling forums under the cover of internet anonymity. Plus he played Canadian farm hockey. You’d never get the first punch in before he took you to the boards.

          Sorry you hate the article, but the lineup forms to the left. I guess you can’t please everyone though right? You should probably check out the follow up article on why karate is NOT useless. The link is up there, big as can be.

    • Richard

      June 18, 2014 at

      I had forgotten about Lyoto Machida, in his early UFC fights he was like a chess player, waiting and striking at the right moment. He wasn’t especially exciting but he left most of his fights relatively unscathed, win or lose.

  70. Mr. G

    March 2, 2014 at

    This is great! I was looking for an article on how to get better at karate and stumbled upon this. I completely agree that its high priority, can be extremely money driven (tournaments, dojo’s, etc), and ground fighting skills are close to non-existent.
    I’ve been doing it for 14 years but through Chuck Norris’ Kickstart program, which replaces PE in middle and high school offering martial arts as an alternative. I may actually share all of your woes if the program wasnt free or pretty darn close to free, so we end up with instructors who legitimately love what they do and want to pass on what they know without looking at me as a dollar sign. As we get to advanced rank we’re encouraged to branch out to become well rounded and to gain experience through competition and whatnot.
    Good writing and great read!

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      March 2, 2014 at

      Well, given what I’ve seen with America’s physical education programs, I would absolutely say karate is a good way to go given that the alternative seems to be poking at smartphone glass.

      So no…karate is not entirely useless!

  71. mysterymaninabox

    March 2, 2014 at

    The writer of this article clearly knows nothing about real karate. Your arguments are all invalid. First, the karate kid is a movie… not real. Secondly, the style of karate practiced in the movie is called Goju-ryu. Much different style and overall philosophy than shotokan. Third, we don’t play tag. When sparring in karate, we do tap or make light contact with our opponents. That’s for 2 reasons. We demonstrate both respect for our training partners and self control. When practiced in a legitimate organization, karate is one of the best and most effective martial arts. Keep in mind again that there are different styles with different philosophies behind their development. Not all styles are equal. And not all practitioners are equal. I’m guessing the writer found that out the hard way.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      March 2, 2014 at

      Thank you. You may now rest with your forefathers knowing you have restored honor to karate.

      Now that I have my morning sarcasm out of the way…I’m sure every person’s dojo is different. But after 15 years and over half a dozen of them a person has to one day ask himself…”why the hell am I doing this again?” So yes, I found out the hard way. The slow and expensive hard way. So while it may damage your worldview to accept this, I do in fact know more about karate than practically any of my accusers who have enjoyed their nice clubs paid for by their nice parents.

      Now I just train WITHOUT a dojo. I think that after 15 years I don’t need anyone telling me how to do a kick and to be honest it’s a little goofy for a full grown adult to be doing this stuff in a club when so many better fitness options are out there for the taking.

      But I also have just the article for you…5 Reasons Karate is NOT Useless which was my follow up.

  72. Crimson

    February 9, 2014 at

    I know this is an old discussion and that any further information I can provide will likely be discarded for redundancy, but apparently I’m going to keep typing anyway; mainly in the hopes that it will add understanding to any explanation or advice you give to some young folk looking to take up Karate, rather than just your horror stories. I’ll try to keep it short though, unlike my disclaimer.

    1. (and 4.) Any martial art that boasts about teaching self-defense and doesn’t have full-contact sparring, is lying. You’re not going to react to a situation where pain and aggression is involved if you never practice with those things involved. I’ve done kumite in Karate and it was by no means gentle. But I’m sure you could just go to youtube and type in “Kyokushin” for evidence of that.

    2.You need drive to continue any activity “for life.” And crap schools aren’t the best motivator. Things will always pop up in life that deter you from your well organized bingo night karate every monday and thursday, nature of life and all that jazz.

    3. I don’t really disagree with #3. Discipline is subjective and for the most part, many martial arts schools don’t provide much innovation in variety so it can definitely lack in stimulation. But it is still a habitual activity that requires commitment and working through pain.
    Any school that promises you a belt by a certain time is selling you a program, rather than spending time evaluating students to determine when each individual is ready to progress to new techniques.

    5. Going to assume the crane-thing was a joke since his opponent in the movie actually looked to be intentionally headbutting his foot. As for natural ability, there is some, but there are far too many variables in an actual fight for it to account for much and it’s a lazy excuse not to take care of what you actually have control over: the training. Being the best version of yourself. Humans aren’t really that durable. An naturally-athletic, martial arts genius who trains all of his life and is committed 100% can still get knocked out by your common-variety street punk with a stray hay-maker. There’s no such thing as an offensive maneuver that is immune to defense. But then again, it was cleverly/poorly worded. “If done right” it should connect, making it too late to defend against it. Like saying, “if it works it works.”

    Guess I lied about keeping it short.

  73. Shawn

    February 4, 2014 at

    Just because you went to a terrible watered down sport oriented Karate school does not mean Karate itself is terrible it is certainly not the strongest martial art but it is better than Europe and America’s let me pummel you with my fist and not throw you down or use my legs Boxing.

  74. my98rk

    February 2, 2014 at

    Not sure I agree with everything you wrote but some points are absolutely valid. (we might have even trained together at some point in time since I have trained in a lot of JKA affiliated dojos in Canada while travelling on business. I was with the ISKF before the broke off..and then remained with the JKA. I’ve even popped into Yaguchi Sensei’s dojo when I was in Colorado for work…but I digress..).

    First of all: the politics. YES YES and YES. Nuff said about that topic….however it only matters if you care. I don’t. It means that it has taken me long to get to Godan than some of my counterparts but so what? At the end of the day, their belt colour is the same as mine but our techniques clearly differentiate us.

    Breeds discipline: it did…at least for me and I make sure I instill that sense of discipline to anyone I have every taught. Call me old school but I enjoyed…nay…NEEDED that discipline. I have always said that if it weren’t for karate, I would either be dead…or in jail. I didn’t need karate to learn how to fight…I needed a place to be able to fight under controlled conditions where someone could moderate and ultimately terminate the aggression if need be. I can also tell you as someone who studied Kyokushinkai, TKD, Thai Boxing, and Boxed at various stages of my 48 years (also did Aikibudo for 4 years)…the hardest thing to do is throw a technique and stop within millimeters of someone’s face as we do in the JKA world. So much easier to follow through..but I digress..

    As for real life applications, I’m not sure how not having quick reaction times and reflexes, along with flexibility and strong muscles cannot be an asset in any real fight. I can tell you that in every instance of “play fighting” with friends who wanted to test me (you know…the big tough karate guy as they would call all 5’6″ of me….), most of those “fights” ended when I would sweep their leading front foot out from under them and they wound up on their behinds. Nothing more was required but a simple show that I was faster than them to end all question of my so called “toughness”. It doesn’t mean that they couldn’t kick my butt…just meant that for now..they were thoroughly impressed enough to stop questioning my abilities. (Side comment: I love P90X…but there is no way anyone will get the same speed and reflex training as karate. That’s like saying that you’ll be able to bench 300lbs by doing enough push-ups…P90X and good karate training = different workouts giving different results. If fitness is your sole objective..then either will do but P90X doesn’t equal karate training.

    Karate (and other martial arts) does instill a confidence in its practitioners; sometimes just enough to ward off those that may threaten you (which ultimately is what one would want…the flip side to that is that you may be overconfident, get into a fight you can’t really win…and get your ass whooped!) are correct in that a sheep will never be a wolf regardless of how hard they train. That “killer” instinct is either in you or not. If it isn’t in you…all the training in the world won’t make you a fighter.

    Due to my schedule and place of residence, most of my personal karate training is done in an aerobics room at my local LA Fitness. I teach my own children individually on the wood floors of my front foyer. Once a week I try to go to a friend’s dojo so that they can still have the true dojo experience with others (and have a different instructor… they always do their grading at that dojo since I want them to go through the formal process, even though I am certified to examine).

    In conclusion (isn’t everyone happy??) …I can appreciate that karate didn’t work for you and you are definitely entitled to your opinion but useless is a very strong word. it may have been useless to you, but millions of practitioners around the world would probably disagree with you (at least on some of your points anyway). Gotta go now…Super Bowl is starting!! LOL

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      February 5, 2014 at

      Wow…we very well might have crossed paths!

      Karate is indeed a funny thing. For a time, it did indeed “work” for me quite well as a young man. But the older I got it just seemed to get in the way of a well balanced life until it became as I mentioned, useless.

      However, as nothing is completely useless, I followed up with an article 5 reasons why karate is not useless.

      Thing is, I still do karate. I just do it without a dojo and in the comfort of my own home. After 15 years I don’t need anyone telling me my foot should be in a different position and if I want a sparring match ( ie: play tag ) I’ll have fun with my kids. I think most karateka would do well to leave the nest and embrace adulthood.

      Anyway, thanks for weighing in. Your opinion is well articulated and most appreciated!

  75. Verga Negra

    February 1, 2014 at

    The problem is not the art, it is the instructors. I have trained Karate for 5 years and I find it it works, I havent been in a real fight but I have asked other team mates to attack me hard like a real fight and it works. Now, what I find is that many senseis are useless and their schools become money making machines and they do not teach well.

    It is hard to find a school that specializes in teaching black belts, I train brazilean jiu jitsu too and I find it that many schools cant teach black belts since they focus more where the majority of people are and they are at the lower-to-mid levels.

    With every sport after 4 or 5 years of training, it is hard to learn something new. With karate for example, you can learn and incorporate a taekwondo kick to your arsenal.

    Does karate work? ask machida and george st pierre.

  76. Wayne

    January 31, 2014 at

    Ive been in various arts for 40 years (since I was 5 yrs old) and I would generally agree with what he is saying. The politics, the belts (the egos and titles), the money.
    There is always the other side of the coin also…that is in order to survive a school has to have some sort of model in place that works. And what works, financially, has been proven and tested. There is idealism and then there is reality.
    As far as stand up arts being ineffective in a self defense situation…I disagree. Some knowledge is better than no knowledge, universally. I can understand how one would take that position given the commercialization of so many arts…to the point that the “martial” has been taken out and all they are is “art”. None the less; something is better in nothing. Lastly, as it pertains to street situations, learning stand up without learning ground is like having a football team that has an offense but no defense. Literally. To be modestly capable of self defense on the street you must get moderately acquainted with both.

  77. swalsh

    January 26, 2014 at

    I have also noticed that for some unknown reason Martial Artists also think they are councillors and spiritual leaders … they give life advice based on nothing more than an opinion and an ability to arm block … I simply do not get it …

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      January 26, 2014 at

      If anyone truly wants useful life advice, talk to a farmer. Martial arts instructors are more useless than Yoda.

      • Noagi

        January 26, 2014 at

        I think it depends. Some martial art instructors are highly educated in fields like psychology, social work, and other professional fields.

  78. Noagi

    January 23, 2014 at

    Karate is the first MMA style. When taught right it is very effective. Japanese originally just had te which means hand. It was a lot like boxing. Then Japanese master learned Kung fu and adapted to Japanese use. Japanese jujutsu was learned and karate people added some jujutsu into karate. Karate is a mixed art that has been formalized much like MMA schools are becoming formalized.

  79. Rich Wootten

    January 21, 2014 at

    An absolute brilliant article – I hope you don’t mind but I am going to share this on my blog site, I will fully reference your site and not claim this to be my own work!

    Many of these reasons I left Karate too. Now I practice Kickboxing (full and semi contact) and BJJ.

  80. Nico

    January 16, 2014 at

    I agree with the part of the natural born fighter. Many black belt karateka are not fighters. My point of karate is Nr. 1 It was made long before most of the arts. It was made to defend yourself against people who have no art at all. Nr. 2 If you are not a fighter, no matter how hard you train in boxing, wrestling, ju-jitsu… you will also not be able to stand up to a good fighter. Nr. 3 Anybody can be caught off guard.
    The thing of karate is how you get trained in it. If a person who does not expect you to have karate attacks and you are a fighter… he’s ass will be handed to him.
    Nr.4 Conditioning of the body. Training in karate and the other arts, makes your punches/kicks faster, gives better reaction time. Makes you kick punch harder. Give you more stamina.
    So according to me… Karate is not useless. I have used it in real fights before, and I have never been punched. Won all my fights which amounts to about 7. All started by the other person. Not me. Never been punched in the face. So please tell me with all this Karate is useless… and I will call you a liar.

  81. Phil

    January 8, 2014 at

    I agree with some of the things you said here. I still practice karate but I left the dojo a long time ago. You see even after I became a Sandan and starting teaching the classes, I still have to pay the monthly fees, even if I’m the one doing the teaching! Karate makes a slave out of you. You pay sensei to teach his classes and clean the dojo along with the other students. I started when I was 5 and left when I was around 21. I got my Sandan when I was 21 and left shortly after.

    The other funny thing, most people who practice assume that everyone is dumber than a sack of bricks. Apparently you can’t practice karate on your own like I do. No, you need a sensei to teach you all the “hidden bunkai” in the kata. As if you can’t figure them out for yourself after 16 years of practicing.

    So it’s goodbye to the dojo and all their craziness. I’ll practice techniques on the heavy bag and lift weights on my own time. There’s no need to pay somebody for something I can do at home for free now. I’m actually faster and stronger now than I ever was. Plus rank is really only important if you plan on opening your own dojo, which I don’t.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      January 8, 2014 at

      I understand completely. I had my best training when I quit the dojo life. I figured if dojo’s couldn’t agree on things like foot positions or other random junk, I had no problem making up my own rules.

      Plus I too am a heck of a lot fitter without a dojo holding me back. I think a lot of people don’t understand that much like a baby bird, maturity demands leaving the dojo nest in order to truly grow. Dojo’s are great for kids. But for adults it’s really kind of sad to get stuck in such monotony.

      I think you get to a point in your training where you should just instinctively know how to punch and kick. Speaking from experience, I doubt you’ll learn anything more past a Sandan except politics. And life is just too short for that garbage.

      • Phil

        January 8, 2014 at

        Yes, when you get to a certain point it’s time to “graduate” from the dojo so to speak. Imagine if univerities required you to study your major for a lifetime and only gave posthumous degrees. There would be no scientific progress if people weren’t allowed to go and experiment on their own. I love biology and my university but I don’t know if I would want to stay there forever.
        Dojos and the sensei are very helpful in the begining when you know nothing, but staying past a certain point restricts progress and creativity.

  82. Helena

    January 1, 2014 at

    No martial art is useless. But a lot of teachers are- and many exponents do degrade their martial arts..

  83. Paul

    December 28, 2013 at

    Sounds like you’ve been at the wrong dojo and haven’t been taught properly.

    Kata is not the only thing that’s part of Karate. There are other techniques that were taught outside of Kata.

    I’ll be honest with you….Funakoshi screwed everyone. Yes, he did. He only taught some of his techniques, not all (some students got to learn them). People say that Karate is the best joke that has ever been played on the Japanese by the Okinawans. Japanese invaded what is called now Okinawa. Okinawans have their own language and culture and many Japanese still look down on them.

    If you think that Karatekas think that their style is “king of the hill”…I’ll tell you 3 letters…BJJ. Those guy are fanatical..and are dissing the Japanese (a Japanese man founded BJJ and the Gracies aren’t the only lineage).

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      December 28, 2013 at

      I think I need to go back and give this article some clarity. The main point being that I attended ONE dojo. I attended many across the country and for a short time was a co-sensei myself. I’ve also been in other styles besides karate. Perhaps I’ll get around to doing some revisions soon.

      As for Funakoshi…he was just another man. Just like every other martial arts master, he put his pants on one leg at a time too.

      And yes…BJJ and most MMA people think their style is king. Personally, I’m not impressed with those styles in the slightest and see them more as a passing fad.

  84. Thefunnyfish

    December 27, 2013 at

    Shotokun is BS, it was taken from Chinese Karate. THAT’S real Karate.

  85. marcomundo

    December 25, 2013 at

    There are many different styles of martial arts and a lot of different teachers in each style. You may not find that you have a good match with your school. So, easy, find another. I live in Los Angeles but train in Okinawa. The don’ t charge fees. And they put their videos on-line and tell you to practice at home until you come back next time. It works fine with me. I love going to the gym and use martial arts to keep me in shape. I am older now, and when I last went to the doctor for a physical he said every thing was fine. Maybe good genes, or maybe the exercise helps. But, I’ll tell you – I can still do the same things I did when in my tweenties. In fact, my front split is even lower. My side splits not as low because I don’t practice them as much. I tend to believe that stretching to much can cause some problems. But all in all, martial arts keeps me in shape and looking fit. great. I hope others can find the same joy in staying physically fit as I have. Best. Of Luck. And yes the article was pretty funny.

  86. Stuart W. Mirsky

    December 24, 2013 at

    Pretty funny stuff. Enjoyed the whole thing though most of the comments are pretty predictable. In sum, you’ve seen through all the nonsense that finds its way into anything that gets institutionalized and becomes a source of income for the institutionalizers. The truth is karate and most martial arts are only as good as you make them. Some styles/systems have more to offer than others, but the only way to get anything out of them is to put yourself into it and do it and forget about the baloney. Belts, certificates, tests are all ancillary. Fighting is fighting and the only way to learn is to do it. Having a certificate or a black belt are poor substitutes. But there’s a lot you can get from the basics and they are markers of your progress in those basics. Some approaches in the martial arts are better than others though. There’s the dichotomy between hard and soft styles, internal and external, for instance. What they represent are different approaches to fighting: either banging away at the other guy to break bones faster than he can do that to you or managing the other guy’s movements to keep him from breaking yours while keeping your options open for damaging him.

    Karate and martial arts styles in general aren’t all the same but they can all become rife with bullshit. The real martial artist cuts through the bullshit and just develops his or her own abilities. Belts and certificates and all the other accoutrements don’t substitute for that. The cult of the martial arts is unfortunate. In my day, back in the nineteen sixties and early seventies, karate and the other martial arts weren’t mainstream and I think that was to the good. Once they became franchises with a cachet of invincibility and cultural superiority, a great deal changed. But I guess it was inevitable with films and stars like Bruce Lee and so forth. Still, I think the best route to good martial arts remains off the beaten path though it may be hard to find that kind of martial arts today.

    And by the way, it’s only the rare child who can learn martial arts in any serious way. In my day it was mostly adults who trained; kids were a rarity. Perhaps that, too, is a sign of the times.

  87. bianca tonche

    December 15, 2013 at

    I think it would of been much better if the title was “5 reasons why karate was useless for ME” , “Me” being the one who wrote it. Just saying :p

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      December 15, 2013 at

      Sure. Why not. Although in all fairness, I did give karate an olive branch with the follow-up article of why it is NOT useless.

      Nonetheless, for grown adults it is pretty much useless as it is a rather silly way to spend ones precious time. Leave it for the kids.

  88. Asc

    December 14, 2013 at

    Fell sorry for you in the sense that either your martial arts instruction/intructor, or education was bad and caused you to not have the persistance to continue.

    Considering you text and discarding false affirmations, Karate was not the problem.

    If you entered a Karate dojo because you saw Karate Kid and wanted to beat up people or feel superior, you should have bought a baseball bat or a gun… 15 years of practice and for some reason you missed the whole point of joy and benefits of practicing martial arts. A shame in all ended in “blame everything and everyone but yourself” rant.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      December 14, 2013 at

      Thank you. And I feel sorry that you have elevated your recreational activity to the status of a religion.

      Although karate served it’s purpose, I knew when its time was up. I don’t “blame” it for anything and to be honest, I barely give it a second thought until people like you come to defend it like a bunch of Jedi Knight wannabe’s.

      I guess if I can go on without karate, the question is can you? If not, clearly I’m not the one with the problem.

  89. Sharky

    December 13, 2013 at

    I go at a dojo where there are two sensei with different styles. So I learn Karate, Kempo, Jujustu and Judo at once. I’m not a very good student but I stay in shape, learn a few neat techniques and in a real fight I would be 4% percent more efficient than without training. It’s good enough for me. I don’t ask much in life.

  90. Christoffer Kaae Simonsen

    December 11, 2013 at

    If you had fun you did not waste your time :) It is a cheesy quote but that doesn’t make it any less applicable: The journey is the reward :) Personally, i would never use any of my TMA in a self defense situation, i have trained different “arts” for that, mainly jogging! “Get the hell out of dodge” is the most efficient kata if you’re planning to not get hurt or prosecuted. It is extremely fun to do the jumps and kicks of taekwondo and it probably has some ancient roots and stories of korean ninjas kicking the head of warhorses and that is funny to listen to and all, but some teachers and students of styles are taking life to seriously and sincerely believe that there’s always someone around the next corner waiting to stab the shit out of them. I even heard a krav maga practicioner talk about how he had a close call at a party because someone bumped in to him by accident and he almost ripped his head of by sheer reflex… what… the… f–k…

  91. Tracy's Student

    December 7, 2013 at

    My friend. Your mind has been hijacked, by bad teachers and bad dojo’s, away from the pure purpose of martial arts which is namely self defense and practical hand to hand combat. Find a Tracy’s Karate Studio to learn a traditional integrated Kenpo/JiuJitsu. Tracy’s is for the common family man (no cult), who needs to defend himself and if need be kill an aggressor very quickly.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      December 7, 2013 at

      My friend, after 15 years of doing martial arts what do you want me to do? Devote myself to a recreation I no longer enjoy? It has nothing to do with instructors. That’s a just a copout excuse everyone falls back on to justify their own experience. Fact is I have been in many schools and the fundamentals remain the same.

      I’m far more fit now than I ever was in karate because I branched out rather than commit my life to a fitness regimen that was vastly inferior. To conclude, my time is much better spent elsewhere. So is yours. To go back would be like a dog returning to his vomit. There is no dishonour in growing up and moving on.

  92. someone

    December 6, 2013 at

    The Karate I study has three elements: Kata, Self-Defense (full physical contact, usually done in sets with an uki assailant), and Sparring (full physical contact, and not like a game of a tag at all, since you only stop at the sound of a bell or when blood is pouring out of one or both participants). Maybe it’s just the style I study.

    That being said, I still agree with 90% of this article. In real life, I wouldn’t bother with a jumping back leg side kick to the chest when I could just poke someone in the eye or take our a knee with a low heel kick. Karate teaches you “honorable” fighting. Maybe if I was a 6’4″ tall man, I would be concerned about “honorable” fighting in real life. But I’m not; in fact, I’m a 5’1″ tall woman, and if I am attacked — especially by someone who is larger and/or stronger than me — to hell with honor. I don’t care if a move is “dirty” or illegitimate or lacks honor. If the threat is real, then my response will be in kind.

    Karate didn’t make me more disciplined; just the opposite, I worked at karate hard because I was disciplined. This is not a chicken/egg instance. Discipline is needed to study karate. If you don’t have it, you stop working at it… that’s weeding, not teaching. Then again, I started Karate electively as an adult (age 25). Maybe if I was forced to study it as a child it would be different.

  93. Bharath

    December 5, 2013 at

    Dude you have a crazy sense of Humour btw. Karate is more like an art, than a science. In my opinion(not worth a dam) MMA and Jeet Kune do are scientific fighting methods. There`s a lot of truth in what you have said here.

  94. GojuRyuDan

    December 5, 2013 at

    Not everybody that ever went inside a dojo is a karateka, neither has learnt everything as it is meant to be learnt.

    Also, in the US, karate is like fast-food, one dojo in every corner, but the quality, scary!

  95. Senseisake

    December 1, 2013 at

    You know nothing of real kempo karate. Deep stances and hands back are nothing of what you think. A block is a lock and a blow is a throw.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      December 1, 2013 at

      I actually like Kempo karate. My uncle is an instructor in that style and he naturally speaks very highly of it. Do you like it? Great! Just don’t get so defensive about it o’tay?

  96. PSD

    November 30, 2013 at

    5 reasons because karate is useless… I have infinite reasons to tell you why this article is as you said useless… but the one that is perfect for this article is IGNORANCE, unless you are a frustrated karateka of course.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      November 30, 2013 at

      That’s it? Instead of debating a single point you’re just going to throw a one word comeback? I doubt you have a single rebuttal to any point at all. Amazing the thin skin of karateka.

      Come back when you can communicate like a grown up.

  97. ichi

    November 22, 2013 at

    Goju and Benjamin K. Don’t waste your time explaining! You can’t put brains in Statues! 15 years hey….yeah right. One would have known how pear shaped things were going to be after 12 months (max). Today’s society doesn’t want discipline. They want to FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT. They are kids! They can’t settle. If they looked deep enough into their styles (instead of into a mirror) they would find a mixture of ALL styles in all Martial Arts. JKD, Krav, they are all just a mix of bits of this and that from other Martial Arts. You seriously can’t be that misinformed. You say “I still practice Kata, but it’s useless” You say “I’m not here to tell you who to train with” but Karate sucks. You made the poor decision to pay this guy for 15 years! It’s your fault not his if you just couldn’t get it!

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      November 22, 2013 at

      Actually, I’m really not into the “fight” mentality. I think MMA is a fad and I personally despise it.

      Considering my experience in this field, I simply cannot subscribe to your baseless accusations of being misinformed just because I came down hard on your sacred cow. Such thinking is only meant to insult anyone who has anything bad to say about karate. Well you know what?…karate has a lot of problems that are systematic. Chief of which are the countless lunatic followers who think it is a “way of life”. That’s truly a waste ( giving you a long. awkward stare ).

      After so many years and so many dojos, I like to think I have the benefit of looking back without a sense of fanatical devotion. Is that so wrong?

      The truth is, in a few years you’ll probably feel the same way I do…that it is a recreation. Not a religion. Stop treating it as such.

  98. BritKarateka

    November 20, 2013 at

    I think perhaps you didn’t learn to take what you wanted and need from Karate. There is a lot of crap that comes with it such as politics. You have to learn to take what you want and discard what you don’t want as in life generally. I turn up and train, I strive to improve and then I leave the Dojo and practice at home. I try not to get mixed up in any of the other nonsense and won’t be pushed into doing anything I don’t want to do (Not even for the club). I refuse to put a club badge on my Gi not out of disrespect but because it’s the first step into sucking you into all the other nonsense. I love the training, it keeps me fit, I’m quite passive and in control of myself but if I was attacked I’m sure I’d be able to come out on top in most situations. You call Karate a sport but it’s supposed to be more of an art. There are differences between Sport Karate and the Martial Art of Karate. The tag fighting helps reaction speed etc but a real fight doesn’t stop after you tag someone and have a referee to stop you getting marmalized. You’re on your own in a real fight so you have to get real. You have to put them out of action with one strike or punch before they put you out of action which is the way of Shotokan. That’s what you train for and you have to believe in your abilities and training which is something I feel you lacked from what you have written. If you don’t believe in something then of course it’s not going to work for you. Karate / MMA it’s horses for courses. One thing I’ve found about Karate is that in our Western Society we all have to be careful not to get sued. Karate clubs are very conscious of this which is why they don’t encourage the use of techniques and aggression in their raw forms to full effect. It’s bad for business!! Personally I’d prefer to train with raw techniques and to full effect, it makes me sharper and is a more real experience. I have trained like this and you both toughen up and sharpen up. After all the thug in the street isn’t going to go easy on you one little bit. Your club mates owe it to you to give you their best and if you can’t handle it perhaps you’re in the wrong place or you need to get upto speed. I hope you have a break from Karate and decide one day to give it another go with a different perspective. Find a good Dojo and Sensei and the 15 years of learning wouldn’t have been in vain. You’ve obviously learned a lot (good and bad) but you have to think independently (Don’t get brainwashed) and make it work for you. It’s not just about Kata, kumite and Kihon it’s about life generally and how you approach it. I fear that you may spend another 15 years on something different and come away feeling disillusioned. Go back and own the Karate don’t let it own you!

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      November 20, 2013 at

      Thank you for your perspective. The problem is I never attended just one dojo and the problem is systematic. My brother attended many dojos on the other side of the country. No difference. Karate is just broken.

      Truth is, the idea of going back gives me hives. I got what I needed at the time I needed it. But then I knew when to walk away and it was absolutely the right thing to do.

      Returning would just be like a dog returning to his vomit. There is no sensible reason to do it when I’m a better man for leaving. Some things have to be left in the past.

  99. Blackbelt0610

    November 19, 2013 at

    my guess is you had a inexp sensei or some who thought karate kid was a pro in a wrong kind of way

    deep stance and return the hand demonstrate control and help you focus on the target and the deep stance is to help you be came more flexible it would fail in fight if trying that but that is only training routine

    all those saying they use in the movie are a way of getting you technique right and the crane kick is use to increase balance

    we learn to fight from the ground and we also learn to guard when fighting aka sparing any one who say otherwise don’t know what their on about

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      November 19, 2013 at

      As expected, blame anything besides karate. Must be the sensei right? Or the style? Sorry, but you are quite incorrect. My instructors were great ( most of them ). The problem with karate is the art itself.

      And despite your protests, I most certainly do know what I’m talking about as I’ve been in karate 15 years, several dojo’s, 2 styles and even a comical run with Taekwondo. This is my opinion and I am certainly entitled to share my experiences even if it bruises the egos of many. Which apparently it does.

      • jon

        November 26, 2013 at

        Ive just recently found a new respect for Karate, though I don’t haven’t trained in it for years. Most of the stuff learned and taught in norm America is taught in-correctly. Teachers don’t even know why they are teaching template based kata or what those moves are truly for. They teach it because they were taught it, and they often teach them incorrectly. I went to martial arts sem not long ago with many different arts, including BJJ and the Karate piece was both enlightening and practical. In fact I would say it was more impressive then the BJJ stuff just because with BJJ it’s all ground, and that can really be an issue in RL situation. That is why you don’t often see military being trained in BJJ but instead they use various mid range trapping range stuff more akin to philpinio or JKD or Systema.

  100. Norbs

    November 18, 2013 at

    Wow, because of your experiences ( good or bad) I find it crazy to summarize all karate, teachers, students, or dojos in the way you have. You are certainly entitled to your opinions given what you took and gave from your efforts, but to classify it all together as useless is a bit much. Good luck to you. GAMBATE!!

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      November 18, 2013 at

      Wait…did you just conclude your comment by saying “gambate”? You’re not even Japanese are you?

      Speaking as one who has had a lot of experience in the matter, Japanese karateka find it amusing when others butcher their language. I say this because actual japanese people do not end their messages with “gambate”. At least not well adjusted ones. It’s like a Mexican ending an otherwise completely english letter with “Adios Senor” or a Canadian with “Take off eh?” It’s out of place.

      However, you did wish me luck so that was kind of sweet. Thank you. I think.

  101. Me76

    November 14, 2013 at

    Well, then, what is a good martial art to use, that is not useless- that DOES work well?

    I took some of a martial art called Chin_na, which is actually a grappling subset of Kung-fu, once you get the person in a hold, the fight is pretty much over, because you can break the limb/tear the tendons off the bone (but don’t actually go that far!) but it has weaknesses, in that it only really works on one person, for multiple attackers you’d need some kind of striking art.

  102. me

    November 13, 2013 at

    It seems to me what you are talking about in point #1 is instinct not experience. You can’t train instinct into a person, no. But experience you can. As far as I know experience is your skill level that you’ve gaining through practice. You can train that into a person.

  103. Shotokan believer

    November 12, 2013 at

    I think maybe you are mad because you don’t have the talent to be a good fighter. Not everybody who trains in Martial Arts has the talent to be a good fighter. There are many other reasons for learning Karate. A person with good physical ability and trains hard for at least 4 years can become a very skilled fighter with the help of a good instructor. I have trained in Shotokan for 30 years and I have to tell you that you proved to me that you are a very ignorant person when it comes to Shotokan. I won’t waste my time trying to prove it you have already done a great job.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      November 13, 2013 at

      I’m not sure anyone could be more wrong. Being a “good fighter” is hardly an admirable goal in a well adjusted adult life.

      Far more honorable is being a good husband, father, and contributor to the community. If you enjoy your karate then have a ball, but don’t delude yourself into thinking it is somehow a “way of life” and that it makes you this magical fighter you dream yourself to be. How do you quantify that anyway? Am I a good fighter if I take down a ninja or merely an adequate one? Now I simply must know.

      And should it distract from the more important things in life, kill it without mercy. It is not a religion so stop treating it as such.

  104. Okinawan Karateman

    November 11, 2013 at

    I have been doing Okinawan Shorinryu Matsumura Seito karate (1 of the original and purest forms of karate)…You did Shotokan? That is a bastardized/watered down/school boy version of the kaarte I did….Gichin Funokoshi had to water it down to allow it to be taught in the public school systems.1st of all your 1st comment is wrong…In my opinion because you probably had a bad instructor…Karate is more then kumite and kata…A LOT MORE!! for 1 kata even teaches a lot more then what you think…But to understand that you have to look at the Bonkai (hidden techniques) that are within the kata then study how to apply those techniques in various situations…..also it is that Bonkai that comes from your Tuite Self Defense (Control Techniques and joint manipulation) which is another thing that is taught….2nd on Kumite…Not all dojos fight that way…My dojo and my sensei’s has 1 rule “KEEP IT DIRTY” we look more like girls in a cat fight then karate practitioners, because we fight using street fight rules (i.e you can never hit too much, never underestimate your opponent, anything goes pinch, bite, pull hair…whatever works use it)…ALSO in cage fighting there are rules….In my dojo, my sensei’s, my Grandmaster’s and any other school in my Federation we live by 1 rule, THERE ARE NO RULES…We are also street practical…for example you can do certain things in the cage that you can’t do in the street so you have to be mindful of your surroundings and change and adapt your techniques to the surrounding to avoid short circuiting yourself in the fight….Also while Jujitsu is also good to know, it is the last thing you want to do in a street or bar fight. Because if you go to the ground you will probably have a group of their friend jump you and kick your ass so staying mobile is best. If anything you can always run, and there is no shame in running if you are outnumbered and out gunned….3rd sounds like you had a bad instructor(S) we are not that way we understand people have lives and may not always be available…We have an instructor who is actually a cop and he does WWE type wrestling on the side, plus he teaches when he can, if he can’t someone else volunteers to help. My federation is empathetic…As a matter of fact. My Grandmaster and Sensei closed their schools and came to my school to train and HUNT deer for an entire week. We take time to enjoy ourselves and have fun…We have even taken our students on field trips to 6 flags over Texas….4 I agree somewhat with what you said on your #3 but that is because obviously you had a sensei who was a show boat and liked to show off and look all bad. If you push around your students and do cheap shots, etc. they will leave no one wants to train with a jerk. I son’t do that, even when sparring. If I were to spar a yellow belt on my level (4th Degree black) I would go to jail for murder and would loose all my students do to being too rough. So I fight 1-2 levels above them, that way they are still challenged, but not overwhelmed and they can occassionally hit me which gives them confidence and they are not emberrassed…Again if I fought on my level they would be very very lucky to hit me. And I did do Tae Kwon Do or should I say “Tae Kwon Joke” or like many styles like ATA styles “Take Yer Doe”…..They are good for tournament but not very practical in a street fight, also they are very egotistical, especially the ATA styles like Songham. Any style that says,” sure you can join but you have to compete in so many tournaments a year.” Is egotistical. For one tournaments are expensive. I knew a guy who competed in the ATA World Championships and won, but the ATA officials would not allow him to claim his title because according to ATA rules at the time you had to compete in so many tournaments and have so many points. He did not becuase he was out 1/2 the year do to injury. I am sorry even if its yer 1st tournament if you won you are the champ….5. what you should have said in #2 is karate is glamouratized and yes it is but so is every other martial art including MMA…Fact is not every fight will go as planned there is always someone better, but if you gain the upper hand the moment of conflict and then if you do what you can to keep it, your odds will improve. But fancy is not better…Shotokan Karate, Gojuryu, T.K.D., etc. those styles are fancy and fancy will get you hurt, unless you happen to be very very good and very very quick. My style is very natural and thus very practical. Let’s face it the deep stances of Shotokan and Gojuryu are good for strengthening your legs and kicks, but what good is that when you need to kick? You are better off in a natural stance where your kicks will reach their target a lot quicker then if in a deep stance. Also you will be able to move around a lot more freely….Plus you have the element of surprise. If you assume a deep karate stance someone will automatically assume you know something, but if you stay natural they will be surprised when you attack and/or defend………6). lol as for the crane technique…Well again that was fancy in the movie, but if done right you can defend…It is called Hakutsuru (White Crane) in certain kata and self defense techniques we do the crane but not quit like Mr. Miyagi…Our hands are out yes, but that is because say they grabbed our throat. Well we did the “wings of the bird” and knocked both hands away from our throat then WHILE STILL HOLDING ON TO BOTH ARMS we do a crane type whip kick to their knee caps…………Also I have seen crane style kung fu and they can do amazing things while balancing on just 1 foot. But it takes years of practice to attain that level of which if attained it is very hard to be moved…Thing is you keep referring to the Karate Kid which is fantasy and not real…I mean for example, he was from Okinawa and yet he told Daniel to look in the eye when he bowed…Okinawna and Japanese culture you never do that YOU ALWAYS LOOK DOWN if you look in the eye it is an insult and means you don’t trust them. But again yes there will always be someone better, no you can never learn too much and yes fights never go as planned things can change. It is up to the person to adapt and the more you know in your fighting arsenal, the better. It is always good to better the playing field, but if anything you want to be equal…….One thing Mr. Miyagi did say right is “Best Defense No Be There.” and that is right….You will never be able to block every strike but if you add other things like Tai Sabaki (body change) and also move out of the way it will help….But bottom line if you are not there you can’t get hit so train to help get the tools to defend yourself if you ever need to and then hope you never will….

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      November 11, 2013 at

      First off, use paragraph breaks please.

      Second, spare me the “my karate is better than yours” nonsense. No it isn’t. Such a ridiculous statement is incapable of being backed up and is based more on your club propaganda than any actual truth. Shotokan is a perfectly acceptable form of karate amongst other perfectly acceptable forms. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

      And thirdly…aw the hell with it. If you can’t take the time to write properly I can’t be bothered to read it. Plus, nobody wants your life story in the comment section.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      November 11, 2013 at

      Actually, sorry if I came off a little short. I had 4 kids yelling at me and you picked a bad time to ruffle my feathers over a subject that involves grown men in white pajamas acting like wannabe ninjas. Usually I resort to scathing sarcasm and disarming wit which I suppose is worse.

  105. Glenn Euloth

    November 10, 2013 at

    Well, I stumbled into your article and was going to take some time to provide a counter argument based on my own experiences over the last 25 years, however, I see “several” people have beat me to it not that I could take the time to read them all.

    I would, however, like to add that I am sorry to hear you’ve had such a negative experience in the martial arts. I hope your other pursuits have provided some gratification.

    All the best, Glenn

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      November 10, 2013 at

      Thank you for understanding that the discussion has probably been done to death! Truthfully though, I do not regret my time in karate as it fulfilled a goal at the time. Many of my Sensei’s were amazing role models in my young life. But I also knew when it was time to walk away as I do not believe the “karate is for life” mantra. My other pursuits in both physical fitness and raising my family have been far superior paths chosen.

      Again, I did make an article on 5 reasons karate is not useless as not to completely blow of the activity. For young people I would still recommend it. Adults though, not so much.

      • Glenn Euloth

        November 11, 2013 at

        I’m glad to hear it wasn’t a total waste of time for you. I’ll have to go check out the other 5 reasons posts. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

        Karate has been working for me for over 25 years and I just had my 46th birthday last month. I’ve always felt lucky to be part of a great club. My “karate family” didn’t have a problem with me taking time of to raise one of my own and always welcomed me back with open arms.

  106. Drich

    November 10, 2013 at

    Whoever wrote this never knew anything about full contact Karate forms like
    Kyokushin, Ashihara, World Oyama Karate and the completely no holds bar okinawan karate matches. He/she obviously went to whatever shotokan or cheap dojo where they were located and had a bad experience. I’ve done both MMA and karate (MMA being my first) and had a lot more fun in karate personally. And no UFC applications is just ignorance. Bas Rutten, Lyoto Machida and George St. Pierre all at some point spent many years in Karate. I would also like to say that your shotokan experience is silly. Shotokan is not a full contact style, it is exactly the way you described, but Kyokushin is. Your experience with martial arts is based on an old style that has not adapted to the new world. Your view is based on the idea that Karate hasn’t fixed the problems you talked about but it has. And the reason you don’t see Karate in MMA is because 70% of all the moves are illegal and it’s a mixed martials arts competition and you by default have to well versed to fight all type of styles….don’t think because someone’s not doing a forward stance they’re not following a karate state of mind.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      November 10, 2013 at

      As I have stated repeatedly to the point of absurdity, anyone in MMA who has practiced karate went on to study other arts besides karate.

      However, I don’t want to give the impression that MMA is somehow the ultimate goal of the martial arts because it most certainly is not. In my humble opinion, MMA is little more than boxing with brawling mixed in. I do not like it and I am not a fan of it. However, many people are and that’s their choice.

      So in my defence, I…the author…know plenty about full contact karate. I also must conclude that Kyokushin has a serious ego-trip as that style spends more time talking smack about other karate styles than it ever has a right to ( see comment section for a small sample ). It is just another fighting art. Nothing more, nothing less. Every other art thinks the same thing about their own style and Kyokushin is nothing special in that regard.

      And no, once AGAIN I must say that my dojo experiences were not bad. My dojo was ranked as one of the top in the region and my own brother who attended the same dojo went on to become a Pan-Am karate champion. So we can turf that baseless excuse right off. I also went on attend many other dojos and went to a few other art styles as well. The Parrot knows what he speaks. The Parrot has always known.

      • MechMan

        July 26, 2015 at

        MMA is a lot more than boxing with brawling mixed in IMO. That makes it sound like its boxing with random anything goes ways to it. As it is, MMA is exactly as it sounds, mixed martial arts, all of which require skill to fight in. To fight in striking, you need skill. If it goes to wrestling, you need skill there, and if it goes to the ground, you need skill there. I have read it is actually safer than boxing because the fighters do not get hit in the head as much as they do in boxing.

        So as opposed to being boxing with brawling, I’d say it’s more kickboxing with wrestling and grappling thrown in.

  107. Phoenix Guinto

    November 3, 2013 at

    so you are saying you studied karate because you saw that movie and want to become just like karate kid? you should have taken acting lessons. if you decided to do some thing serious you should have deep thoughts about why should you do it. when i said deep not shallow, there must be a problem because from the start if you feel that its not real you should have quit. you should keep in mind that some people are desperately trying to earn money from any means possible even if it is making a “mc dojo” blame your self for letting your self go, because you were too dumb that it took you years to realize that you have been punked.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      November 3, 2013 at

      3 months of P90X put me in better shape than 5 years of karate. Karate is simply an inferior form of keeping in shape when so many other options are on the table.

      Your use of personal insults naturally is an attempt to dodge the actual issue itself. That being that you yourself question whether your karate is worthwhile. That’s why the baseless McDojo accusations ( most of my dojos rocked and were non-profit ). I just woke up one day and knew when it was time to hang it up. It served its purpose when I was young and I don’t regret it. But as an adult? Not a chance.

      Only you can answer whether martial arts are right for you but your insecurity has already compromised your argument. If you ask me, the day is sooner rather than later when you’ll agree with me and move on to greener pastures.

      I agree with one thing. Acting lessons would have been an awesome and better use of time. I would have done a kick ass MacBeth.

      • Phoenix Guinto

        November 4, 2013 at

        well you said like 15 years of karate training, am i wrong? well that does not matter sorry about that. All i am saying is you should be more specific in about what you are saying. it is just your experience, my friend have actually used it in real situation, karate is not really use less. so dont step on the name of the karate in general. its like one woman just got cheated on and blames all mankind and says “all men are the same you cannot trust any man in the world.” maybe you just did not understand what the teacher is telling you so you find karate a waste of time. just maybe

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          November 4, 2013 at

          It was fifteen years. I was only mentioning five for comparisons sake to a home workout series is all. I also had many…many sensei’s and was one myself for a short period of time. So no, one cannot blame a single dojo as I’ve been around far more than 99% of my accusers. Most of my dojo’s were solid traditional schools. Only when I had a short run of TaeKwondo did I truly taste the bitter ash of McDojodom.

          Keep in mind, this site is NOT a site devoted to the deep introspections of the martial arts community. It was a one-off article I wrote a few years back that for some reason has become the focal point for Karate Trolls. Not that I mind. I’m a systems analyst and thus I feed on hatred.

          Again, as I mention with many people, there is a follow up article on 5 reasons Karate is NOT useless ( huge link at bottom of article ). Consider it my olive branch to the karate community.

          • Phoenix Guinto

            November 4, 2013 at

            ill just assume that this article is just opinion. And the way i see it, you mentioned some things that made me think that you misunderstood and taken things too literally about certain points in karate. and that is the most common misconception about it. and i really consider this as a wake up call that karate standards today have been lowered and has become a laughing stock like what you are doing now. but i dont completely disagree with you, i really cant blame you for writing this stuff. many people practicing this and just be showing off in public doing really impractical stuff or really useless moves. that is when the image of karate has been destroyed. this just made me realized that i should train harder and show people what real karate is of course when i am good enough. thank you

          • Dysfunctional Parrot

            November 4, 2013 at

            No problem. And you are very correct, this article is just an opinion. The internet has a lot of that. :)

            Take care and all the best.

          • Phoenix Guinto

            November 5, 2013 at

            now i know.

  108. James Martinez

    October 31, 2013 at

    you dont know what the f— your talking about karate works only if you use it right ive been doing mma for 9 years with karate and wrestling as my main background and theres a reason why im a knockout artist obviously your instructor didnt teach you to spar much my instructor went full contact to the face with elbows and knees and would often bring people from other styles to sparr with you it all depends who your learning it from and how far you are willing to push yourself plus many ufc fighters have used karate and kicked ass GSP, Chuck Liddell, Lyoto Machida, Cort Mcgee dont even get me started on the K1 kicboxing legends research what your talking about before you hate on it so many karate haters i bet ur a bjj guy learning to lay on your back like a 2 dollar hoe whil a wrestler kicks your ass

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      October 31, 2013 at

      Impressive. Not a single proper use of grammar. No periods, paragraph breaks or coherent thoughts. I just gave up reading your scramble of words after the first sentence it offended my eyes so much.

      My only conclusion is that yes, I indeed DO know what I am talking about seeing as only one of us can communicate our thoughts with any sense of reason.

      Perhaps spending less time in your mma obsession and a bit more time at the library might yield more fruit in your life. Can’t hurt right?

  109. cmb

    October 29, 2013 at

    You should rename the article as “5 reasons why I sucked at karate”. If someone can spend 15 years at a martial art and still believe it is useless then that is either the fault of the school, the instructors or the student. Maybe if you picked a good self defence orientated school (instead of some watered down sport version) and/or trained properly then you might not have such a pessimistic view of all things Karate.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      October 29, 2013 at

      Depends on your perspective. I just knew when to move on and as such took the wisdom I learned and grew up.

      And my dojos were perfectly fine. You simply feel a need to use every excuse in Point #2 to validate your karate. All I can add is that a day will come when you feel the same way and move on to greener pastures yourself.

      • cmb

        November 1, 2013 at

        I hate to burst your bubble but I have never trained Karate. I have seen a few substandard Karate styles and some good ones too, the ones in the substandard ones aren’t even aware of it. I have been studying the original, traditional Tae Kwon Do for the last 26 years, no sport, no protective gear, we use blocks and hand strikes, joint locks, multiple attackers all that stuff and NO SIINEWAVE.

        I have sparred with kick boxers before and none of them had much in the way of defence and lots of sloppy kicks I do agree with your TKD article as I have seen some shockingly bad ones. We had a black belt form a different TKD style train with us for a while who was only at yellow belt skill level. So far no one from another martial art style has ever walked into one of our classes and shown any of us up so I am in the greenest pasture could find.

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          November 2, 2013 at

          Traditional TKD ( ITF Style ) is almost a carbon copy of Shotokan. WTF TKD is well…I have no idea. Good for kids I guess.

          All the same, glad you enjoy your training. That’s the important thing after all. Thus, my bubble remains intact. :)

          • cmb

            November 3, 2013 at

            Sorry but I have to burst that bubble too. I do not do the ITF style either as they do competitions and we don’t, they also do the sine wave for some reason and we do not.

          • Dysfunctional Parrot

            November 4, 2013 at

            Sigh…whatever. So you go to a dojo you like and do a martial art you like. Not sure how bubbles even came into this conversation. The important thing is that you are enjoying yourself and that I am too. The world goes on.

  110. Michael Bailey

    October 25, 2013 at

    It’s been said in the comments already, but I need to get this out or I won’t be able to stop thinking about it. The problem is not Karate. The problem is the way it is taught, the way it is trained and the way it is applied.

    The Kata is taught, but the bunkai given is frequently ineffective, or left to the student to figure out for themselves. If you take what is taught as bunkai in most dojos and compare it to what Iain Abernethy does, or apply the checklist to it that Kris Wilder lays out in “The Way of Kata”, you will see how most instruction is lacking. This is a huge problem, because kata is the core of what Karate is. All the techniques, tactics and strategies of Karate as a martial system are encoded in the kata.

    Then we train, but the emphasis of our training is not on what the kata teaches, but what is applicable for sport. Whether that sport is sport Karate or MMA is irrelevant, as karate is equally poorly suited for both. Karate is a system for self-defense, not a sport art. The goal of Karate is to end a conflict as quickly as possible and by many means necessary. As such, it contains many techniques that aren’t allowed in a sport fight. For instance, my interpretation of the pinan kata is that one of the primary strategies is to bend an opponent a the waist (using strikes or locks) and punch them at the base of the skull. This is a potentially lethal technique, and as such, is not permitted in sport fighting. Ditto with neck cranks, elbows, eye gouges, etc. Since these techniques aren’t applicable in a sport context, and sport is what we train for and what we measure our effectiveness by, these techniques are ignored. Even worse, these techniques, and many others, are often overlooked in the kata, because we only see applications that occur at sparring distance.

    Rory Miller gave the best description of Karate’s issues. If you don’t know Rory, I’d encourage you to look him up. He’s a former corrections officer and the author of the book Meditations on Violence). Rory said, and I’m quoting from memory so I hope I get this right; “Karate has some of the best body mechanics for brutal, up-close infighting that I have ever seen. But then they take that and they try to apply it at sport sparring distance, where it doesn’t work. It’s like giving a six-year old a M-16 and teaching him to hit people over the head with it”

    I’m could go on but I’m going to stop now before I become any more incoherent. I should note that I can’t speak to points #2,#3, as I’ve never experienced what your talking about. I’ve taken breaks from Karate for life reasons numerous times and never had an issue. And I’ve never been sucker punched by anyone at my dojo. I’m not saying that my school is any less guilty on the other points, as it is sports-centric, much to my frustration, but it does focus on character development, self-confidence and leadership over “discipline”. I’m sorry your experience was so negative in that regard.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      October 25, 2013 at

      Well articulated. I do have to reiterate that my time in karate…at least my early years…were exceedingly positive. Karate is just a very poor activity for adulthood unless ( as in the case of professional fighters ) it is your livelihood.

      So no, I maintain that it is not how it is taught at all. The problem is indeed karate.

      • Michael Bailey

        October 25, 2013 at

        Fair enough. I disagree, but it appears we have had different experiences and perhaps have different goals. It only stands to reason our viewpoints wouldn’t align. Have a great day!

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          October 25, 2013 at

          Hey, if we can respectfully disagree then the world is a better place! Take care and visit anytime!

  111. Irfan

    October 25, 2013 at

    after my last comment i read the rest of the comments section only to find that unlike most you were answering nearly all commentators personally. That is indeed admirable especially with the civic tone you display in answering hot heads.
    I do wonder why you have chosen the title of Dysfunctional Parrot. You have exceptional communication skills, wit and an articulation that Functional parrots can only dream about.
    Whether you won shotokan tournaments or not but here on this internet komite you are an undefeatable champion. your rules your tournament !
    You are a brainy dude for a martial artist which is probably the reason you are growing out of it so if you prefer a software for training after 15 years of karate to keep fit then then this is certainly your priviledge. But this may not work for all.
    I do agree that martial arts today are cracked up to be something spritual instead of what they really are ; merely an exercise in self defense & the dojos are turning more into a highly ritualized secluded cults and what you and 24 Fighting Chickens are doing serves them right.
    I guess we can blame all those philosophical martial arts movies and Kung Fu tv series and not to mention some books. In olden days people studied a martial art for one reason only.
    Firearms serve this purpose nicely today in most parts of the world & once can have a nice family life afterwards without chores of dojos.
    However there are many people about who did not performed any physically challenging activity in last 15 years – myself for instance – and kept doing boring jobs like looking at computer screens and now wish to become Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Shokosugi, Jet Lee, Jackie Chan, Van Damme, Steven Segal or Morhei Ueshiba.
    Do laugh at us but let us be! Most men have a hidden a hero or a villian inside. You are provoking a lot of egos, mate.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      October 25, 2013 at

      Aww. see now you’re just flattering me! And I’m cool with that.

      I guess in all fairness I’m not really a huge specialist in the matter of martial arts beyond my own wild experiences. I only wrote a handful of articles on the subject so technically this site is not devoted to commenting on martial arts one way or the other to any real degree. However, this article has certainly attracted no small amount of attention! I honestly had no idea I would receive regular hate mail from the karate faithful. Not that I’m complaining of course! I’m a systems analyst…I feed on hatred.

      As for the name Dysfunctional Parrot…that’s a strange story which can be explained here:

  112. PracticalKarate

    October 25, 2013 at

    Just when I thought your article was being serious, your final piece of evidence was a comedy sketch. Clearly you are joking. Do not make the mistake of tarring all karate as sports karate. Just look at people like Patrick McCarthy, Iain Abernethy, Geoff Thompson and Peter Consterdine to see how destructive real karate is. Do not use a lack of knowledge to forgive your own ignorance and pass that ignorance on as ‘fact’ to others. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but not everyone is entitled to be correct.

  113. Irfan

    October 24, 2013 at

    Well, its an honest account of what martial artists often refer to as a ‘journey’. However the author being a gentleman has missed a point.

    The question is not whether martial art works in real life or in MMA tournament instead its what you can actually do when faced with a physical challenge.

    Its about keeping yourself in a better physical condition than someone who doesnt do any exercise requiring conditioning, stamina, concentration, breathing and whole body movements.

    Its not whether Shotokan works at all or something else does. The real reason one should learn any martial art today -the way my teacher puts it- to survive efficiently a sudden fall or an hit caused by accident or incident; You save yourself & possibly somebody else around you using your wit and skill.

  114. Andreas

    October 22, 2013 at

    I completely agree mate!

  115. Robert Adam

    October 11, 2013 at

    Poster. I think it is more likely that you and the other saddos complaining on here just could not cut it in competition and therefore are the sad, bitter little failures you read as? I have NEVER read such a self serving, moaning piece of dross in my life. Are you and your supporters SO ineffective in your everyday lives that you moan about this? Get a life you sad sick weirdo’s, preferably one that takes you AWAY from a computer, you are confusing real life with the web, children. Jeez……moron’s like these are allowed to breed too???

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      October 11, 2013 at

      Thanks for the uh…nice words. May I retort?

      1) “I have NEVER read such a self serving, moaning piece of dross in my life.” – Then you need to read more.

      2) “bitter little failures” – Because I left karate? Seriously? That is your yardstick in life?

      Everything else is kind of not worth commenting on as it just sounds like the same old stuff from the mouth of a dojo-cult member. Guess what, karate isn’t the best use of your time. You’ll discover this eventually.

  116. Redlohavlis

    October 10, 2013 at

    In order for a person to receive full benefits from training with a maki board, that person has to know that if you don’t punch the board properly your hand will fracture. If you are a beginner you should punch a maki board with the slightest force you can and push it back about four inches. Your hand will fracture microscopically, so you should just go back to your daily routine and wait for it to heal. This is why you must be over 16 in order to use a maki board without adult supervision: to ensure that your training will not stunt growth development. Makiwara training is meant to be done over a lifetime from 16 to 60 years old. It isn’t some board you can punch at full blast. No, it’s meant to advance power, impact, and speed. You should only punch the maki board once a day, twice the next, thrice the following and so on until you get to 50-100. Also, don’t just focus on this, it’s supposed to work with your daily routine. Just because you train with a maki board, it doesn’t mean you have to give up all your other training processes. You can still use a punching bag to increase stamina and strength, a grappling dummy to apply techniques (although it could a person if they were willing to), and etc. Karate itself, isn’t useless and is only meant to be used out of necessity (at least for me) and it is a way of life. I understand what you all are complaining about, but that isn’t karate itself. You need a good instructor, options on what you want to train with (uniform types, weapons, etc.), and you must ask questions about the kata and what it does. Yes karate does teach others to fight (unfortunately) but you don’t have to be that person. Instead use it for MANDATORY self-defense. I have done karate for almost 8 years and it has given me confidence and discipline. As for toleration, that is better than nothing. After all many kids these days don’t tolerate anything at all. You all need to find a better instructor and be more active in your training. Remember your path isn’t up to your instructor: it’s up to you. Be the change you want to see in the world. On that note, my goal is to open up the first deaf and hard of hearing martial arts progam.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      October 10, 2013 at

      I still hold that using a makiwara is on par with bloodletting, drilling holes in peoples heads, and burning witches. For hand health that will last a lifetime, the best makiwara training is none at all.

      Your goals are admirable for your training facility. I certainly hope that comes to fruition. Best wishes in your endeavour!

  117. Karate Lover

    October 5, 2013 at

    Jeez, I feel sorry for you man. You must have had like the worst teachers of the worst dojo.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      October 5, 2013 at

      Says the guy with “Karate Lover” for a handle.

      My teachers were perfectly fine. It is the art itself that is flawed as it does not translate into the responsibilities of a well balanced adulthood. Great for the kids though.

      Amazing how all you guys respond exactly like Point #4. Always have to blame something besides karate itself lest it reflect badly upon your “religion”. Like a blasted bunch of cultists.

  118. Dysfunctional Parrot

    October 4, 2013 at

    If you have no words…then why the long diatribe?

    Love GSP. Even reviewed his RushFit workout series. Dude is a straight up awesome guy if for no other reason than he is a Canadian and that makes him several shades of awesome. But you ignore the caveat…he didn’t stop at karate. The dude went beyond. Hence the follow up article, 5 Reasons Karate is NOT Useless.

  119. Kuroi

    October 4, 2013 at

    Basically what im trying to say: Its kinda disheartening you just obnoxiously using ”KARATE” in its entirety. Hell, nowadays we kyokushin practitioners dont even call it karate anymore, just kyokushin. To avoid the shame shotokan and all the other McDojo styles have bought us upon. Pity.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      October 4, 2013 at

      I have never heard so much whining as I do from Kyokushin practitioners. Am I linked in one of your forums or something?? Try and relax. I’m not insulting a religion here, I’m just taking some jabs at a RECREATIONAL past-time. Perspective folks.

  120. Kuroi

    October 4, 2013 at

    Wow…… I have no words for you my friend, i wish u even researched what Kyokushinkai actually is and its influences, its a mix of boxing and judo and muay thai. Bareknuckle full-contact karate, known to have beaten every muay thai and nak muay in the ring in K-1. Kyokushin is the predecessor of nowadays japanese K-1 kickboxing platform. Hell, even the creator of K-1 was a kyokushin practitioner that wanted to promote kyokushin by starting that. I wish u knew that the offshoots of kyokushin karate also include KARATE MMA like Daido Juku. Gosh, only if u even studied the history of japanese martial arts from the 90s to nowadays 2000s. All modern japanese fight organisations are under kyokushin K-1 and seidokaikan. Everything(K-1,shootboxing,IKO) basically came from kyokushin. A good mma karate practitioner? Katsunori Kikuno, Sam Greco, Glaube Feitosa etc. I can name many many more, its all under the same IKO organisation, they also started having their own platform, its called Ichigeki MMA. Its Kyokushin matches under MMA format. No problem, because kyokushin is basically just muay thai with judo. George st pierre ”not using karate”? He recently got his 4rd dan awarded by IKO boss Shokei Matsui So again, Kyokushin and all the offshoots like ashihara,seidokan,daido juku etc are karate styles that are the formation of nowadays japanese kickboxing. Kyokushin is basically muay thai. You americans have gotten so delusional about traditional martial arts because of the bullshit branches of karate only existing in USA. And all the McDojoisms. Atleast Holland and Europe have been successful by producing an enormous amount of kyokushin K-1 champions that have flowed later into MMA. No wonder why they say Americans have shitstrikers. Pity.

  121. kyu

    October 2, 2013 at

    you people all had bad experience with your karate teachers. karate is a way of life.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      October 2, 2013 at

      No! No it is not a way of life!!! Not a well balanced life anyway.

      Karate is punching, kicking, kata and kumite. It is not a system of ethics no matter what anyone tells you. It is not a place to put your theological and sociological worldviews. Anyone who tells you different is selling you something.

      It is recreation…nothing more nothing less.

  122. Fabian Riquelme

    September 24, 2013 at

    i think you are a UFC fanboy, that suffers a lot in his childhood and after watching too much TV saw Karate Kid and said “here is my salvation”

    you blame your failiures in karate… maybe you are the one spoiled… yhink a little more about what is the end and pourpouse of practicing an ART (Karate) than doing a Sport (MMA)

    you lived from magazines and s__it like tv shows… go on a trip to Japan, discover the real thing, go to okinawa… man i really think that you are in a really small box…

    you lagh about a Gi uniform but you buy a venum fight shorts that price is almost a third part of a Gi… but you need more shit, the rashguard, the gloves, the perfect gym and cage… how much is that???.. hummmm

    i blame people like you that invented XMA for example… a freaking dance called martial art… sh_t i hate those inventions…

    i have done

    take care New neighborhood bully with mma knowledge.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      September 24, 2013 at

      Wrong. I despise UFC.

      And no, I don’t blame any failures on karate. That would be stupid. Any failures in my life are my own fault and nobody else’s. I just found karate to be an inferior form of recreation when so many better options are on the table.

      And Good Lord…work on that grammar.

  123. ~Tak

    September 24, 2013 at

    I’m sorry that you had such a negative experience. Either you were being taught by someone that didn’t “Get it” , or you were at a dojo that was run more like a business than a self defense studio where the instructor was more about $$$ than the integrity of his studio . I’ve been doing Okinawan Te for 35 years now and it has got me out of trouble several times. I have taught in high schools, at international events and have even taught law enforcement officers. I do not teach from a commercial dojo. I teach privately one-on-one.

    As I read over these comments, I sadly have to agree with a lot of them. What I read is a sad testament to the current, general condition of commercial martial arts studios as a whole. But please do not paint us all with the same brush as there are a lot of really good schools with great teachers. In the end though, you will only be as good as what you put into it. This includes doing your research and homework and above all else…PRACTICE.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      September 24, 2013 at

      I do appreciate that your read the comments. I do however wish you had also read some of my relies as they directly answer your assumptions. The primary one being that I had a “bad” dojo. I did not. I also attended several highly recognized dojos so they were by no means bad.

      As for having a teacher that “gets it”…you don’t have one either. Allow me to impart some wisdom few sensei’s will tell you:

      1) Karate is not for life. Life is relationships, family and God. If karate is life then wow…a sad existence indeed.

      2) There are vastly superior ways to get in shape. As one gets older this becomes more important.

      3) Karate is great for kids. My son is in TKD ( what can I say…he likes it! ) and it is awesome for him. But we both know as he gets older it will become less important.

      4) Karate is recreation. If you like it then go with it. If you loose interest then take up badminton. It’s a lateral move. I opted for P90X and similar videos.

      In short, I say again that karate…although being useless has reasons it is not useless. Thus my follow up article. Thanks for weighing in.

  124. Dysfunctional Parrot

    September 13, 2013 at

    Had a great dojo. Thanks. Just knew when it was time to call it a day and move on to better things.

  125. Paul Botha

    September 13, 2013 at

    I’m also amazed at your totally derisive description of kata. Surely someone with your experience would be able to properly describe kata?
    By the way, I challenge you to quote, in context, Rob Redmond’s opinion that “traditional karate by itself is practically useless in combat” or words to that effect. He said it about side snap kick, sure. Many will agree. I specifically recall that when anti-karate types started insinuating that in comments on his website, he indicated that it would be off the mark to regard karateka as useless.
    Rob’s mission was never to bash karate. His mission was to dispel the myths that surround karate and to suggest ways to improve its teaching and practice, and ask questions that made us look at ourselves. He has, in my observation, made karate more of a pleasure to practice and teach due to his insights.
    Your article does nothing of that sort, and you fail to validate your views by reference to him sharing your views.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      September 13, 2013 at

      Way I see it, Rob has a very pragmatic view of karate. What it is good at, it is good at. But it is not everything it’s often crazy defenders claim. In fact I have read many articles from Mr. Redmond that go into detail how karate is an inferior physical fitness choice compared to other options. Yet like Rob, I too still do karate as a personal pastime. My son is even in TaeKwonDo.

      This article has certainly gotten more traction than I ever thought it would. Most thinking that my dojo sucked. FYI: It did not. My dojo and my Sensei ( in particular my first ) were flat out amazing and I’d put them up against anyones.

  126. Paul Botha

    September 13, 2013 at

    Only one person to blame if you feel you got nothing out of karate, parrot and that’s you. As for the article, well, it seems more like satire.( I mean shotokan useless, right? Oh no wait, TKD is even more so). Anyway, sure, sometimes stupid instructors say and do stupid things and teach badly. But we can get bad teachers in anything we might pursue in life.
    At age 45, after 20 years plus of training, i still find karate good exercise, and a good pursuit. Sure there were fools along the way, both students and teachers. But there are good teachers and good training buddies too. I also have learned a lot about how to fight, and have demonstrated that on a few real life occasions… I also do a lot more than tap on the chin when we train, and get more that a tap too.
    I have four kids, and I still train regularly, just like some other dads who run or gym or bike. Any teacher who has an attitude if you miss some classes is a tool, find another dojo. Karate has evolved in most places, find an evolved dojo. Unless of course one wants to use their dad status to justify their weight gain and beer pot.
    Karate does teach discipline; getting into your gi and going to training after a long hard day takes self-discipline, the only useful kind. Some idiot hitting you is not discipline or tolerance. its your stupidy for not complaining.
    Karate is brilliant, and a very good pastime for those who get it. Unfortunately not everyone gets it, not even always those who have trained for years.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      September 13, 2013 at

      1) Umm, never said I got nothing out of karate. I just knew when to walk away. Like I always say, there’s an article on why it is NOT useless.

      2) Yes the article is mainly satire. So is the whole site. If you can grasp that, many things start to make more sense. Fitness, book, movie, and other reviews are all heavily laced with satire, sarcasm and at least my sad attempts at humor. It clicks with most but I guess not with all.

      3) Karate is not brilliant.

      4) Walking away is NOT a bad thing when so many better options are out there. It is not quitting, it is trading up. I have found many that bury karate in terms of endurance and physical fitness and allow me unimpeded time with my family. Your mileage may vary.

      5) Despite all this, I highly recommend karate…for kids.

    • Carl Tomacruz

      September 27, 2013 at

      If I remember right, your friend Rob put it that Karate per se does not teach self-discipline.

  127. Swennen Filip

    September 13, 2013 at

    If you don’t sparr, you are not doing karate.

    plenty of karate fighters do well.

    I am sorry if you trained at a lousy place.

  128. steve guy

    September 11, 2013 at

    first off “karate” doesnt teach you to fight. instructors teach to fight using karate and wether they want you to take down the nearby karate schools or help others, or only use when its a last resort is soley based on that teachers values handed down to the student. also theres no right or wrong in fighting its all about seing oppertunity exploiting at the right moment, and fighting can solve issues, First off it solves in alot of cases bullying problems because if they can defend themselves most of the time a bully is not gunna want to mess with someone that can harm them. bullies pick on people they know cant or wont defend themselves. theres no honer in a street fight. you have in in your school because you respect your peers and your teacher. learning karate though. in the street of course no ones gunna bow before you fight each other… Karate builds character, self esteem, work ethic, dicipline. and wether that student decides to beat other people up is on him, but he still respect his master, they learn to be in a hierarcy relationship

  129. Tyler

    September 8, 2013 at

    Kung Fu>Karate

  130. mark

    September 8, 2013 at

    martial arts is nonsense and does not work in a reality based fight on the street in a fight on the street u are surrounded by 5 or 6 people usually looking to kill u these so called black belts get killed in a real fight on the streets today if u want to learn real fighting go to someone who has trained in combat situations such as navy seals SAS u get the idea do not waste ur time on brainwashing martial arts nonsense

    • mark

      September 8, 2013 at

      martial arts is a business that makes money of off people in society u are not being tought reality by ur so called masters martial arts is a dangerous cult that gives people a false sense of security my opinion to anyone wanting to learn to defend them self do not go to a martial arts school that will take ur money and have ur master beat up on his students to look good on camera go to navy seals combat training or SAS

  131. Joe Hernandez-Torres

    September 5, 2013 at

    Hi Parrot I have read your 5 reasons and find that still Karate is Useful to me. I see you as a quiter. sure may of the sensei or so called masters now a days are more rooted in the profit of Karate rather then its roots. Katas in Karate are practiced not to fight imaginary targets. There purpose serves as a muscle memory exercise. This in fact not in theory will teach you to block, kick, punch, and strike subconsciously. If Karate hasn’t worked for you its because you did not work for Karate. Your mind is in the wrong place there is no need to live your life criticizing arts and forms. I happen to be a huge fan of UFC if there is not much mention of Karate in the UFC it is not because it is useless or adaptable, but because may of the masters are still old school. They believe in the ideology that because of the UFC and the mixing of styles kills arts and styles. My sensei was against mma i am not i have practiced kickboxing, Goju Ryu Karate, and some Brazilian Judjitsu. MMA is great but no style is better then any other. Please stop bashing Arts and styles and i encourage you find a style yourself to practice and master. I hold no ill will towards you just pity. You have not understood the discipline and power of martial arts.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      September 6, 2013 at

      And your stock reply again proves my point…in particular Point #4. If someone moves on to greener pastures, be sure to accuse them of having no honor, bad sensei, bad dojo, blah blah blah. You guys really all do sound like you attend the same cult.

      What is comical are the replies that try and explain karate to me. Umm, been doing this a looooong time ( I’m guessing more than you ), so I think I might have picked a few things up. I just came to the conclusion that karate as an adult is an exceptionally poor fitness choice when so many better options are on the table. So I left, and reaped the benefits of a healthier lifestyle. In karate they call you a quitter. In life it’s called growing up.

      And I don’t live my life criticizing karate…that conclusion is simply stupid. This is one post I wrote several years ago and I even bookended it with another article on 5 Reasons karate is NOT useless. Have some perspective.

  132. Clark

    September 5, 2013 at

    I feel sorry for you and that you had to experience karate in that way. But maybe you should title this article “5 reasons my dojo is useless”. Karatedo has helped me in more ways than I can mention, but generalizing Karate like this could really turn someone off it for reasons that you experienced at your dojo. The martial art is only as good as the person teaching it, and a sensei can make all the difference. And either you were a horrible student (which I will assume you were not) or your sensei was (most likely) just running a business.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      September 5, 2013 at

      Glad you like karate. So did I. But I also knew when it was time to grow up and walk away. Someday, you will too.

  133. fahad

    August 31, 2013 at

    im doing shotokan the best one….. Karate is self discipline and self control…. not to fight and go kick someone….

  134. Facepalmiyagi

    August 31, 2013 at

    I’m so sorry to hear you had such an awful experience with karate. Did you train in JKA/ISKF Dojos? Or was it a mere privately owned strip mall club?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      August 31, 2013 at

      My experience with karate as a youngster was great and I have no regrets about it. As an adult I should have known when to call it quits earlier due to the completely ridiculous demands it had on family life.

      To answer, yes, I trained in an official JKA/ISKF dojo and it was one of the most respected dojos in Canada. So all the comments about it being a McDojo ( not blaming you here ) are simply made out of sheer ignorance of the situation.

  135. mageezer

    August 23, 2013 at

    I feel sorry for you. Hope you get your stuff together someday. Won’t be posting again.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      August 23, 2013 at

      Try and laugh at life. Karate is not a religion…unless for you it is? In that case save some pity for yourself.

      And don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

  136. TL

    August 21, 2013 at

    I don’t normally reply to this kind of thing but your article seemed to miss some large points about karate. Firstly, just to get technical, Mr. Miyagi and the real Miyagi, Chojun, didn’t do Shotokan, they did Gojo-ryu. If you don’t believe me, watch Karate Kid 3 and then watch someone do Seiunchin.

    Secondly, talking about Shotokan in relation to experiencing karate is like comparing a MacDonald’s hamburger to an expensive gourmet hamburger. A man named Funakoshi is said to be the founder of Shotokan but the problem is, he never actually used it himself. After the second world war he quite shrewdly started teaching the occupying Americans a bastardized version of karate which removed the depth that other styles had. His students actually created the name Shotokan. as Shoto was Funakoshi’s nickname and Kan means hall, but he quickly disassociated himself from it and continued studying his traditional style, which is something much closer to Shorin-ryu or Shuri-te.

    I’m sure there are good fighter who have trained in Shotokan but I’m sure they’ve also supplemented there skills with other styles, as I was encouraged to do once I got my black belt in Goju-ryu.

    Another thing, is that the tapping style of points based karate is not Okinawan but Japanese and made even softer in the West in later years. It was the result of Gogen Yamaguchi, a Japanese who went to Okinawa and studied Goju-ryu. When he returned to Japan he created the points fighting system and turned karate more into a sport than a martial art.

    Okinawan masters like Miyagi firmly believed in the one punch one kill approach, I can’t imagine he was pleased about it being turned into a sport.

    Your dojo sounds a little odd. Maybe your teachers were good but if they didn’t understand a karate-life balance then you were probably going to the wrong dojo. I enjoy karate but it is just one of many things I enjoy, if I found a teacher who couldn’t understand that I’d think them a little odd, as would any rational human being.

    Next, kata and kihon are used to practice the movements and forms of karate in an exaggerated form, so that they are second nature when you fight. Nobody actually uses them in their exact form or you’d be too slow, especially in Shotokan which is famous for it’s overly deep stances, which often causes people injury over time. If you didn’t realize after 15 years, what were you doing? Also karate is broken up into three parts; kihon, kata and kumite, four if you include bunkai. Bunkai being used to analyse the kata and kihon and figure out how to use the techniques against someone, many of which relate to taking on multiple enemies at once or in quick succession, which again seems to be something you’ve missed.

    Also, if a sensei is in it to pay for his lexis then you’re attending a MacDojo and you should leave, or if, as you say, you’ve attending many dojos, you’ve attended a lot of bad ones. This I can relate to as of the twelve dojos and different styles I’ve tried only three teachers have been the genuine article. My original teacher had a normal job during the day and only charged enough to rent the hall, as is the traditional way.

    And, if you were ever naive enough to think the crane kick in it’s exact karate kid form was ever going to be effective in a street fight then I am amazed you were able to piece this article together.

    Also, good dojos don’t usually have institutionalized bullying unless they’re called Cobra Kai. I’ve never experienced a dojo where higher ranking students behave like that to lower ranking students. A dojo should always be a place that supports learning and encrouages lower grades.

    Your five good things about karate missed some of the key points of karate as well.

    I don’t mind you having an opinion, it’s just when your opinion is so belligerent and condescending towards something you clearly have so little understanding of, it’s a little aggravating.

    On a final note, I don’t quite understand why people compare martial arts and MMA. MMA may stand for mixed martial arts but that’s about the only connection. That’s like saying kicking boxing is a martial art, it’s not, it’s fighting method. If you talk to a good, high level martial artist they are very passive and modest, an MMA fighter is arrogant and aggressive, they’ve missed all of the most important aspects that come with learning a proper martial art; the fact that violence should be avoided and for the record, also includes, the perfection of character, respect and honour, which are all in the dojo-kun.

    MMA probably wouldn’t work that well on the street any better or worse than a good martial art. If you ground fight on broken glass it’s going to cut you up. It also focuses purely on one to one fighting and more often than not people don’t fight fair in real life.

    In reaction to your humorous last feedback comment. I’ll go to church when I want to learn hypocrisy, I’ll stick to martial arts for honour and the perfection of character.

    But after all this, I have to say, I do think it’s a good thing you don’t do martial arts anymore. So thank you for that.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      August 21, 2013 at

      To be fair, not all Sensei’s want tou to pay for their Lexus. Some drive a Hyundai. Actually, all my dojos were non-profit…except my run with TaeKwonDo which was a full blown McDojo if ever there was one.

      Now I can’t recall but I do remember a Karate Kid documentary and they did mention Shotokan. However it has been so long I really cannot back that up.

      Interesting note: Karate Kid 4…Hilary does Tekki Sandan in the musical montage and proceeds to get it mixed up in a few places.

      I appreciate your views and actually respect your the time you took to articulate them. However, my experiences were what they were and you cannot say that after 15 years I’m not entitled to have a very strong opinion on the matter. My brother, who is also a world karate champion finally quit for many of the same reasons. Karate just simply does not translate into an adult/family schedule and better fitness options are out there. And if fighting is your gig, there are better training options too.

      • TL

        August 21, 2013 at

        It would be strange if a film where they use a Goju-ryu kata and the sensei is called Miyagi used Shotokan but it is Hollywood so I think it’s a moot point. I never watched four, I heard it was atrocious.

        I fully accept that you are entitled to your views, you put fifteen years of your life into it and it wasn’t for you. But I think that is the main problem with your article. You’ve written something very provocative which mostly martial artists, who have dedicated large parts of their life to doing, will happen upon. For example, I have personally put twenty five of my thirty years into martial arts. You might have written it tongue in cheek but many people will still find it offensive and ill informed hence the fact you’re still getting a reaction two years later. But maybe that’s what you were really after.

        You mentioned previously that it didn’t fit into the things you consider important and one of the things you consider important was God. Now say I write an article about 5 reasons why God is useless, that would probably offend you if you felt I didn’t give proper credit to any of the reasons you find God important. The fact is, as an agnostic who doesn’t adhere to Christian religion but is a keen reader of history and the history of religion, it really wouldn’t take me much imagination to write that article but I know how personal religion is to people and I wouldn’t do it. It’s not something I find important but I wouldn’t try to belittle it’s importance to others.

        You could say that Karate isn’t the same as religion but you also describe it as having a cult mentality. Every religion is a cult until it becomes big enough to be recognized as a religion and it’s quite frequent that you find martial artists use the dojo-kun as their ethical guide, as I myself do.

        As an adult, I think martial arts has a place if you want it to. It’s true that there are better fitness options out there. Karate is not meant to be a sport but I also run, weight lift, play tennis and quite a few other sports.
        But, and I say this in regard to your other article about why karate is useful, I feel you missed some things.

        karate keeps your body strong. The conditioning you do in traditional karate like Goju-ryu or Shorin-ryu strengthens your bones as they adapt to deal with the continuous impact. As a result, I’ve never broken a bone and I very rarely even bruise, including from two motorbike accidents.

        It improves your hand eye coordination and keeps your brain sharp and promotes brain function as you age where it would naturally diminish from lack of use.

        Okinawan people have one of the longest life spans on the planet and that’s often put down to their continuing practice of karate. Morio Higaonna, the head of Okinawan Goju-ryu, is 74 years old and still going strong and there are many others like him.

        Karate makes you more passive. All the best martial artists I know are also the most mellow people I know. But there are a lot of people who never quite reach that point.

        For someone like me, the puzzle of karate is fascinating. It’s a warrior art with pacifistic beliefs, which makes it very curious and kata is the most interesting part. Sadly, kata is also often the most overlooked part of karate, but the breathing methods used are very good for you. If you want fitness training try doing Sanchin with full dynamic tension. More importantly working out how to implement the techniques into fighting situations is the most enjoyable part.

        I’ll admit I’m not that into fighting. Knowing how to hurt, main and kill someone very effectively puts me off. But I’ve never learnt competition fighting, I tried it once and wondered what the guy fighting me was doing as it looked completely silly.

        You say that if fighting is your gig, there are better options but I don’t fully agree with that. Okinawan karate was developed in response to the invasion of Okinawa by the Satsuma Samurai of Japan. The Okinawan people were banned from carrying weapons and developed hand to hand methods to fight the samurai. While it’s true they lost, there were quite few instances where karate practitioners were able to beat armed samurai. I learn traditional karate which is very much street fighting based with quite vicious techniques such as groin kicks, eye gauges, arm locks and breaks, and use of the pressure points to manipulate the body. A lot of which can be easily used on the ground.

        While I think that MMA fighters are great athletes, it was created as an entertainment, so I don’t consider them great martial artists. They may be able to wrestle very technically but their standing technique is often poor with the exception of Lyoto Machida, who is also the only interesting fighter to watch. Also, I’ve never quite understood why, when their opponent so openly telegraphs their intention to gracelessly rugby tackle them to the ground, why don’t they just knee them to the face, splitting their nose and ending the fight?

        This is getting long again, so I’ll try and finish up but firstly, I’m sure your brother was a great martial arts champion but some people change and some people don’t. I still continue to train, whilst my brother decided to quit because he found partying and but it never interested me. I don’t think you should stay in it if you change but I don’t think you should judge people who do stay with it.

        Secondly, I think it’s a shame your dojo didn’t have a positive reaction to you starting a family. When I was a kid our dojo had a very family atmosphere, we even had Christmas parties and firework night events (I’m English) every year. I hear now that students who went to the dojo when I did are taking their own kids to train with my sensei. Which is how it should be.

        Lastly then, you say you don’t have time and I agree but time is something you find if you really want to do it. I’m an English teacher, doing a masters degree, have a girlfriend and two demanding dogs, living and exploring a foreign country, who likes to go out with friends, play a lot of other sports, video games and watch most movies that come out. It would be easy to say I don’t have time for karate but I still enjoy it after all these years so I make the time. I do save time by not going to church I suppose.

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          August 21, 2013 at

          I’ll try and respond to each point. Here goes…

          Yes, Karate Kid 4 was was horrid!

          Now that I have that shameless exposition out of the way, I would like to say in my defense that I don’t think the article was THAT offensive. That’s why I followed it up with my olive branch of reasons karate is not useless. Nothing is truly 100% useless. Does it float your boat? Good on you I say.

          I would counter the lifespan of Okinawans is primarily due to a mainly vegetarian diet with limited meat. I cannot see how karate would enter that equation. My grandmother is 96 and still drives to Vegas but I wouldn’t draw any conclusions from that.

          Karate…well, can make you passive I guess. As a kid I give karate full marks for helping me when I needed it. The problem is that once you hit a certain rank and age, politics go full steam and you will start to feel the crunch. That will happen no matter what dojo you go to. McDojo or not.

          I also feel kata rocks. Would you believe I still do them? Every now and then I crank out Bassai Dai just for the hell of it. For me, karate is personal now. No dojos. No sensei’s. No schedules. I am the master of my own fitness domain.

          MMA is a funny thing. They are indeed great athletes and any of them could break a guy like me in half. But the long term health risks from such training concern me. Can a body of 40 or 50 keep that up? What about head shots? A lot to consider. But that’s a whole other topic entirely.

          I indeed get a lot of highly emotional responses. Unfortunately they usually tell me:

          “you have no honor” ( is this a Samurai movie? )
          “your dojo sucked” ( no…it didn’t )
          “your dojo was a McDojo” ( no…it wasn’t )

          So I often find myself repeating myself more than I wish I would. Then again, if the article indeed is fanning the flames of anger, I suppose I’ve paid my dues.

          And you should go to church. :) However, to compare giving a jab at karate to going after a religious belief is perhaps a bit disproportionate. Karate is just not anywhere near that important…AND if it is, that persons priorities are completely out of whack.

          • TL

            August 21, 2013 at

            Well, as much as I enjoy a debate, I think ours has run it’s course. But I will just say, although it didn’t seem THAT offence to you, there are obviously a lot of comments that disagree.

            You say people will always experience politics from their dojo in later life but I’ve never experienced politics in a dojo and I’ve been doing this a very long time. But maybe that’s the difference between how our countries approach karate.

            Finally, I would never go to church, it’s something we just have to disagree on and I find karate a lot more meaningful and important than sitting in a church and listening to someone prattle on about good behavior that’s it’s doubtful he adheres to himself.

            My priorities aren’t out of whack because I think karate is more important than religion, that’s a rather Christian view. But as weapons go, you have traded up. Christianity is the ultimate shield and sword for people to do bad things and say sorry after. Ever seen a documentary called Mea Maxima Culpa?

            Anyway, that’s it. I think I’ve spent too much time this discussion already.

          • Dysfunctional Parrot

            August 21, 2013 at

            True enough. Although the church comment was intended more as a humorous note than a serious one. Although I would say your observations on Christianity are very well…interesting. But that’s a whole other subject that I don’t imagine you’d want to get into inside of a karate post.

            And no, I haven’t seen the documentary. Too many to keep track of. The latin sounds Catholic. I’m Messianic Christian and prefer Hebrew just so I can be insufferably difficult. :)

            Cheers and may your training be enjoyable!

  137. PissedOfByYourIgnorance

    August 19, 2013 at

    well thats nice. blame an entire1000+ year old system instead of a badly run club who has strayed too far from the honour and discipline of karate. Tae kwon do is nice, but karate is about perfection, not going around fighting people. maybe something like muay thai would be better suited to someone whom appears to be unsatisfied with just knowing you can better someone, rather than demonstrating it to everyone you meet.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      August 19, 2013 at

      1) Karate is NOT a thousand year old system. Not even close.

      2) I’ve been in many, many dojos. So the tired argument of “your dojo sucked” is starting to get old.

      3) Karate does not teach honor nor perfection of character despite its claims. If you want that go to church.

      4) Muai Thai? I…why would…what???

      5) Karate is not about fighting people and is absolutely a superior system to TaeKwondo. Wait, did we just agree on something?

      6) Interesting handle. Trying to convey something? Look, this is hardly worth getting the blood pressure up over don’t you think?

  138. HunterGT

    August 19, 2013 at

    you do make some good points in this article but i would like to point out that this could be applied to any martial art, but i (unlike many of the other posters) will take this with the spirit in which it was written which is with good humor!

    But id like to raise a few points; since when did the UFC become the pinnacle of fighting? people dump on Karate because it’s not seen in the UFC, but on the street it’s more then capable of protecting you from some hopped up junkie – so it raises the age old question; which is more dangerous a Shark or a Tiger?

    Karate breeds discipline – or in your case Tolerance, i would like to point out there is similarity’s between the two & even though there not the same, in some cases you can use one in place of the other, although i strongly agreed with you when you said (roughly said) “a sucker punch from sensi was dirty, despicable & cheap it never taught discipline only demonstrated bullying”

    “fighting doesn’t solve anything” i never believed that either until i witnessed how “violence begets violence” you flatten one guy he comes back with a mate, you flatten them both and then they come back with another 3 friends each, all armed with bats & unless your in a Hollywood action movie the odds aren’t good, im not saying don’t stick up for yourself, but flattening every one who looks sideways at you isn’t the way either.

    another point; you say Karate is completely useless yet you said your teaching your kids Karate? ive read your 5 reasons retraction & if your teaching your kids Karate then im guessing you don’t think it’s useless after all.

    i’ll leave you by saying this; choosing your family over anything else is the most HONORABLE thing you can ever do, & if a person like yourself is teaching it then i think Karate has at least a chance of surviving the “McDojoism” that is sweeping all forms of Martial arts!

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      August 19, 2013 at

      I appreciate you taking the article in the spirit it was made.

      Good point about UFC. I guess it’s public perception about which one is better, even though “better” can be a loose term to nail down for any fighting art.

      The kids like the karate somewhat. Karate is one of those things that I do feel has its place and is not completely useless. I think its great for kids as when I was young it certainly served a good purpose for me. Problem is that it does not translate well into adulthood.

      On an ironic note: My son begins TaeKwondo in a week. I’m a good parent…so I’m just going to smile…

    • me76

      November 19, 2013 at

      Well, you didn’t go far enough, you needed to keep flattening everyone until there was no one left alive in the world.

  139. Chanvicheka Ouk

    August 11, 2013 at

    Have you tried Kyokushin?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      August 11, 2013 at

      Personally no, but I know some people who are in it. They generally speak very highly of it.

  140. liberty and justice4all

    August 6, 2013 at

    Well u little man with your dumbass posting on fiction not acts u live in a world of illusions created by guys like u good day loser!!!

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      August 6, 2013 at

      Uh huh. Well, that was…articulately spoken. All I can say is it would be a lot easier to be offended if my accuser had basic writing skills.

      Let this exchange encourage you to begin a new life phase of functional literacy.

  141. liberty and justice4all

    August 6, 2013 at

    If u don’t understand the writing step into the octagon with me, I will show u 5 reasons why I will beat your ass all over the ring!

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      August 6, 2013 at

      Oh brother ( facepalm )… Tell you what. if I agree to fight will you agree to read a book and get a language tutor you illiterate Philistine?

  142. liberty and justice4all

    August 5, 2013 at

    If u was a wrestler and a streetfighter was average to good at it and added karate or taekwondo to your fighting skills u will become a great fighter with the right training u don’t need to perform all them useless katas

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      August 5, 2013 at

      If there was an internet award for the worst grammar, I think you should ay least place Honorable Mention.

  143. Mr Anonymous

    August 5, 2013 at

    Hi. If Karate is as useless as you say it is (Im not saying it is or isn’t, since i’ve never tried it) then what Martial arts styles or activities, (i.e, anything from wing Chun to Krav Maga, or even that P90X2 programme you mentioned) do you see as useful? When I say useful, I mean as an effective method of self defense and keeping fit / training physically. Do you have the same attitude towards martial arts in general or is it just karate? There are lots of people who say “it depends on the teacher, not the style”, but since you’re talking specifically about Karate in this case I was just wondering. Btw, whether you’re wright or wrong, the Captain Kirk fighting the lizard joke in this article made me lol :)

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      August 5, 2013 at

      Keep in mind as though the article states 5 reasons karate is useless, I also state in a follow up article 5 reasons it is not with a link at the bottom of the post.

      As for what is not useless…that’s hard for me to say as I have most of my experience in karate and TKD. To be frank, the post was more designed to be a humorous jab at my past than the source of unmitigated hatred the karate community has unleashed upon me! Honestly, I had no idea it would drive so many this crazy!

      • Mr Anonymous

        August 5, 2013 at

        Yeah I read some of the follow up article as well. I get that the article was meant to be funny, it made me laugh anyway :) My comment wasn’t meant as criticism, I was just curious as to which martial arts are actually effective since i’m considering doing one myself, but I also have the attitude that martial arts aren’t the only thing in my life. The problem is that many people say martial arts take decades to get good at. At the end of the day I just want to keep fit and learn how to defend myself effectively if I needed to, not learn how to roundhouse kick for years haha :)

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          August 5, 2013 at

          Decades? Ha! They wish! That’s what they say to keep the cash coming in!

          Truth is, you’ll be at the peak of your physical and martial arts form by the time you’re in your mid 20’s to mid-30’s. After that the young blood will start to nibble away at the old wood!

          So from experience, all the pro’s I saw spent only a decade training to get to their peak. My brother was an international champion, and was at his peak after only 8 years of training.

          Some have it. Some don’t.

  144. Dennis

    July 28, 2013 at

    American martial arts….lol….whatta joke

  145. Azerikarate

    July 24, 2013 at

    For all of you who say karate is useless : ART CAN NOT BE USELESS.
    There is only a bad practitioners like you, who couldn’t achieve anything.
    I am positive If you would practice judo, MMA, Jiu Jitsu, the result will be identical:
    You will be on the Internet bragging about how bad is this or that discipline.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      July 24, 2013 at

      Ah yes. If you can’t defend the art, attack the practitioner with fabricated arguments. Keep in mind, the article says 5 Reasons Karate is Useless. I also state in a follow up article with a link clear as day at the bottom: 5 Reasons it is not.

      Also, as a professional painter ( like Superman, my skills have no end ), I’m within my right to say there is such a thing as BAD and USELESS art. But it’s all perspective. This is mine. Feel free to disagree.

  146. Stranger on a path

    July 23, 2013 at

    Your karate was useless, because of YOU and not the karate! You eventually quit, that says it all right there! Maybe your mind is weak, maybe your body is weak, maybe all of he above. Your statement that it should have given ou confidence is foolish. You may have trained for a long time, yet you learned nothing, yes nothing! Karate is a way of life and if absolutely necessary, you can fight. But is that why you quit, because you cannot fight. How many shortfalls do ou have. I pity you, your mind and your thoughts. Karate kid was a movie, like Spider-Man, or the blob, or any other movie, designed for entertainment not reality. I suggest you look deep insi and ask why. Maybe if you are lucky, yes lucky, because common sense and being taught have taught you very little. Be at peace and I hope you find your way lost one.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      July 23, 2013 at

      I quit because I grew up and realized what was important in life. My wife. My kids. My community. My God. If karate is a way of life as you say, then life is pretty damn shallow. It is recreation. No more, no less.

      As for my “weak” physical condition, what if you were to find out I was in great shape? Would that crush your argument? Are you honestly saying karate is the only way to physical health? That is such a truly ridiculous statement to make I won’t even grace it with a counter argument.

      And my ability to fight??…who cares? I’m a family guy, not a back-alley brawler. Such individuals are losers trying to obtain some shallow degree of recognition from even bigger losers.

      Regardless, have fun with your “way of life”. Try not to take it too personally that someone didn’t see it as worthwhile. Someday, when you get kids and a mature perspective you’ll see it my way too.

  147. Metaphysicalvirtue

    July 3, 2013 at

    Have to agree with you, after green, the dojo trolls treat you like fresh meat ripe for the picking.

  148. RobertX

    June 22, 2013 at

    Damn… sorry you had such incompetent instruction and failed to learn the true art. FYI, yes, tournament sparring is worse than useless for self-defense. I tell my students if they want to spar, I don’t want to see any first-place trophies; I want them disqualified in the first ten seconds. Kata, on the other hand, contains everything you could possibly need to defend yourself in any situation (barring firearms). Too bad you never got past kindergarten.

    In the very early years of MMA (actually the term did not yet exist; it was Brazilian Juijistu as taught by the Gracies), when Royce Gracie was running the UFC, I tested to fight in their matches. Faced two different fighters; KO’d both of them in about a second and a half, and was rejected. No show value.

    Whatever art you’re studying, if the other guy’s still standing in the first couple of seconds when push comes to shove, then you’re doing it wrong.

    Peace out.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      June 22, 2013 at

      Nothing personal friend, but I’ll “martial arts” your butt under the table.

      Gotta love the insecurity of today’s martial arts practitioner!

      • RobertX

        June 22, 2013 at

        Interesting proposition. Let me know if you’re ever in the West Central Florida area and you can show me. Of course, I’m an old man now, but that won’t be an issue.

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          June 22, 2013 at

          I’ll make you a counter offer. Drive up to Canada so I can buy you a nice latte at Starbucks and maybe NOT act like a couple of children in a playground.

          Sounds nice? Or would you rather have a pissing match over an incredible ridiculous sports activity?

          • RobertX

            June 22, 2013 at

            First of all, I’m not the one who said, “I’ll ‘martial arts’ your butt under the table.” I merely mentioned that I’d be happy to accept your kind invitation.

            But now that that’s cleared up, what part of Canada are you in? Anywhere near New Brunswick? I have friends and associates — even one or two students teaching — in Canada. I’ve been doing this almost 50 years, and one comes to know quite a few people in that time.

          • Dysfunctional Parrot

            June 22, 2013 at

            Fact is, after 15 years of doing this schtick, I don’t feel the need to be lectured by people like you who feel the need to sooth your insecurities by going after random bloggers and asking them to drive to Florida ( what are you, retarded? ) to settle a grudge match over a blog post I wrote maybe 3 years ago. You say you’re an old man, but you act like a child.

            You like karate? Great!! Guess what…hordes of people have had it with the stupidity of the martial arts. I’m one of them, and that gives me the God given right to say so, especially in MY sandbox.

            If your friends and associates want to drive to Alberta for a latte, feel free. Sounds like a completely stupid thing to do though. Would you like my home address too? Yeesh. Some people.

          • RobertX

            June 22, 2013 at

            Okay, pal, let’s get this straight. I commented on your article, agreeing in some respects and disagreeing in others.

            I’ve read (and heard) scores of recitations just like yours; people who have learned just enough to think they know a whole lot more, and decided it “doesn’t work.” You comment about kata demonstrates this. In my experience (and I’ve had quite a bit) it works just fine, and I wanted to address some misconceptions.

            Then, sonny, it was you, not me, who offered to “martial arts my butt under the table.”

            I had no idea, nor reason to know, that you’re in Alberta; for all I had any reason to know you could be in Orlando. I have no reason to go hunt you down; my intention was to show you aspects of the art you’ve obviously never been exposed to. If you were in New Brunswick, I would have referred you to a sensei who could show you a few things you’ve obviously never seen.

            But apparently you have a hard time dealing with anything you take as criticism, so I’m out now. Enjoy your latte.

          • Dysfunctional Parrot

            June 22, 2013 at

            Ok junior, let’s go back to the start.

            Your first post to me was insulting to my instructors, and then saying I never got past kindergarden. So therefore you can take your fake offence and begone from my sight.

            Here’s what you’re missing, so I’ll spell it out: You have nothing to teach me or anyone about martial arts because you’re a hack. Anyone who comes onto a blog and tries to get all up in another guys face, challenge him to drive to Florida ( again…retarded ), and the gets offended when he get’s called on his attitude AND is apparently a Sensei?? No, you are the epitome of the reason I quit the martial arts. I just couldn’t take another day of this crazy cult mentality.

            So have fun with your dojo, please. I’ll enjoy my latte while you enjoy your Kool-Aid.

          • DeeDay

            August 5, 2013 at

            Lol…I don’t know much about Karate and I actually found your article quite funny. But one thing I noticed from your comments is, you’re pretty silly. It was you who challenged this RobertX person, not that he challenged you. But now that you’re backed into a corner you just keep repeating that he challenged you to drive to Florida….Dysfunctional “parrot” seems about right!

          • Dysfunctional Parrot

            August 5, 2013 at

            Yes, I am rather silly. Still not driving to Florida though!

          • Brenster21

            December 12, 2013 at

            how about you guys drive half way? just offering my 2 cents. also I enjoyed reading your article.

  149. Toni

    June 21, 2013 at

    After reading you article i partially agree with you and completely understand what you are saying. My best friend is a krav instructor and tests for black belt soon and when i asked him about me taking shotokan (iskf) he said learning any style period is better than not doing anything at all. I had choices between TKD, muay thai, BJJ, boxing, and of course shotokan. I picked shotokan and I do not regret it at all. I boxed and did BJJ for 3-4 months each and I am happy wit my decision. Every style out there has a good and a bad. BJJ you gotta be on the ground, TKD rarely uses hands, boxing no feet, muay thai well everyone doesnt have super strong caveman bones to block and attack with, shotokan teaches no ground and the tag sparring like you mentioned and the list goes on. I have a real good sensei and sempias so i like going to the dojo. I am 26 and I have a 4 year old so i know what you mean about the responsibilities. The advice I will take from you is I will teach my daughter on my own time and I will learn from the dojo. Your article was very entertaining and the comments were even better!!

  150. Even Kanbun knows your right

    June 18, 2013 at

    I was doing a google search about kumite not working because, even though I am relatively new (only training for 8 months or so) I was sensing this last night. I felt like I was learning square dance tecniques as opposed to the distancing (“my” i think its called) it is supposed to teach.
    I may be a bit off from age estimates of others as I am 36 and just starting. My experience has been a mix and reading your post and comments actually made me feel better about where I train. Our instructor presses family first, as he shows that same value with his young family. When conditioning, he reminds us that we have lives outside of karate and the odds of us getting in a fight are low. He has stated to me that this is why most dojos fail. People leave because it interfears with their work and life from injury. However, I agree about “tag” and air punching.
    I got injured a few months ago (from a visiting black belt who had little man syndrome, I am a big guy but still a two stripe white belt. Its the dangers of size and trusting dojo-mates. I now am en-guard at all times with people I am unfamiliar with. I am not sure he has been allowed back by the sensei) and put a heavy bag and training area in my basement. I performed the katas not as fight prep per se, but more as warm up and meditation. They do help me focus even if they do not work ‘as written’ for guys my size. (How can you bring your elbows in and hands out with a 62 inch chest?!?! Physics says no!) But, when I hit the bag, I discovered some techniques worked, and others didn’t. Training on that heavy bag changed the way I see training entirely, for the better. I am back at the dojo doing some training but that mindset that you experienced is fortunately not part of it. I love the community of people at my dojo, its something my sensei stresses. But, I am not under the illusion that I am learning to be a fighter. Ironically, I feel I am doing that in my basement.
    Thanks for your post.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      June 18, 2013 at

      You’re welcome and thank you for the insightful comments. Experiences with the martial arts are certainly as diverse as the people who take them!

  151. iamdilly

    June 13, 2013 at

    hello, just sounds like you needed to find a club with a pragmatically minded sensei like Iain abernethy, the kind of teacher you train under will depend on the usefulness of the art in self defence situations, not the style, you may find this funny if you haven’t seen it before

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      June 13, 2013 at

      No, that’s just it! I don’t need a Sensei at all!! The solution to a headache is not to go back and slam the head against a brick wall.

      The video by the way…is AWESOME!!! Laughed myself so hard I hit the subscribe button!

  152. drifter

    June 4, 2013 at

    Chuck Norris would probably kill you if he read this. I will agree that Katas are stupid though. Soooo boring.

  153. Djabrail Moukhtarov

    May 29, 2013 at

    There are no bad arts or styles or combative sports, only a bad practitioners. For those who complain that karate in any form did not give them anything, truly a bad practitioners. Kick is a kick, punch is a punch. giving a different names to them does not make one better than other.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 29, 2013 at

      We half agree. There most certainly are bad arts and practitioners. TaeKwondo for example is horrid and makes karate look like magic.

      The typical conclusion is that if someone quits karate then THEY obviously are a crummy karate-ka. That’s straight up bunk. It just means perhaps they figured something out about what’s truly important in life. For myself I still train from time to time, but never again in a dojo. I save ton of cash that way and can spice up my fitness regimen any way I desire.

  154. Shodan Carl

    May 28, 2013 at

    I find a lot wrong with this. First Off all it all depends on your teacher, how good off a teacher and his experience. Secondly it depends on what style, Modern shotokan teachers are geared around points sparring in tournaments which will be quite useless in UFC/ or a real fight. However !. Real traditional Karate is meant as self defense and it if it calls for to kill an opponent. Machida’s father and teacher is a 7th dan and he has taught his son the old school way and uses it to great affect. Further more the Okinawa Goju ryu , is the old system which incorporates techniques for dispossing of your opponent through breaks, heavy strikes and preparing for more than one attacker and defense against knifes. And to add to that it has a lot of throws from jujitsu and all of the grappling and floor moves in jujitsu and later BJJ. all of which are extremely effective. Goju ryu is a complete system that keeps all of the old practical and effective techniques for real world and MMA combat

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 28, 2013 at

      In defence of my karate instructors, they were almost all extremely proficient and experts in the field. They were neither hacks nor in it for the money. My chief Sensei remains as one of the most respected names in traditional karate worldwide. So we can discount that theory right off the top.

      The fact is, if being physically fit is your goal then karate is very inefficient. If being a fighter is your goal, it is even less so. It doesn’t matter how many UFC fighter names we drop. Without exception they went beyond karate to become the competitors they are.

  155. Karate Kid

    May 27, 2013 at

    I read this article for amusement. I think few things are for sure –
    1. U r physically challenged, or mentally can’t bear hard work too much.
    2. U attended in a dojo which is run by semi-professional or just street hoodlums who once a life learned karate for few months.
    3. U r a super idle fellow who dream to be Brucee Lee to impress girls [LOL]
    4. Above all, u just move and kick and punch, u understand nothing of it … happens for a shit heads.
    I advice you to read this article in front of Lyoto Machida :-D if u knw this name.. LOL…in fraction of second he’ll show u some Karate only if u able to see it afterwards…LOL!

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 28, 2013 at

      Oh wow. Another grammarically challenged person who has to name drop some MMA guy to justify his time spent in karate. I’m running out of places to stack you guys.

      Please. Go back and read your own comment. Impressing girls? Really? What are you, twelve? That line of thinking seems a bit sophomorish don’t you think? Especially coming from a guy who can’t spell “you are” and gives himself the handle “Karate Kid.”

      I don’t mind giving the occasional comeback, but you’re ( see, not “u r”…it’s easy! ) giving me option paralysis!

      • Henrik

        June 16, 2024 at

        This is so true. Been thinking about leaving karate for some time now, and this article made it clear to me that leaving is the right thing to do. Thank you.

  156. A.Ingram

    May 22, 2013 at

    I think it’s funny that you base this argument off of mere opinion instead of fact, because if you are a true karate practitioner you would understand that sparring or “kumite” is to understand distance and timing. People who understand this and master this would be deadlier than any MMA fighter, mainly because once you understand distance and timing; It’s a knockout every single time, and I say almost because power and proper technique play a vital role in a knockout. And people like GSP and Matchita are Karate practitioners and have had success in the UFC, so apparently the style isn’t the problem since these people were able to be successful with the art of karate. Plus MMA is sport. If you wanna talk what karate practitioners are conditioned to do, let’s talk about how MMA fighters aren’t allowed to hit vital areas of the body like eye gouges, throat strikes, hitting in the back of the head, etc. MMA is a great sport that teaches you how to fight, but Martial Arts when done correctly teach you how to kill; and if you’re sensei is smart, he or she will teach you things to look for so you can avoid potential fights. So in conclusion, I think this is a load of crap and by reading this I assume you didn’t have much success in karate; That doesn’t reflect the style, it reflects you and the person who taught you.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 22, 2013 at

      Bingo. This whole argument is based on my opinion. and my own experiences. Thus my reason for writing a flip-side article:

      And no, my sensei’s didn’t suck. Most of them were flat out awesome people. It’s just that people seem to get insanely mad when I say there is life outside karate. You can get fit and be a good person without karate. You can be a better fighter ( if that’s your thing ) without karate. But if you think I’m full of crap, that’s fine too.

      • A.Ingram

        May 22, 2013 at

        I was only stating what is obvious. Some people actually take their martial arts seriously, so to say that a whole style is ineffective do to your opinion is totally against the philosophies of martial arts. Truth is, no one style is better than another, so if there was ever a fight between people of two different styles the person that executes their techniques the best will come out victorious. I didn’t say anything about karate being the only way to get into shape or being the only to lean how to fight; They’re many different martial arts to choose from that teach you special techniques that in turn will give you a competitive edge over your opponent (that’s if you want to pursue a career in fighting). And I didn’t say anything about your sensei or you per say, I was stating that this blog doesn’t have accurate statements about karate; I could say a boxer would beat a grappler any day, but whose to say that the grappler doesn’t have training in a striking martial art like TKD, or can take a punch from the boxer and get the boxer on the ground? My point is that no one art is irrelevant or is better than another, it’s the practitioner that would be at fault if something whether big or small didn’t work. On the point of life outside of karate I do agree with your statement to an extent, karate is not everything, I personally believe that there should be balance in life.

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          May 23, 2013 at

          We actually agree on more than you think. Balance in life is certainly key, and the best balance I found was when I kicked karate to the curb. In fact I still remember the day I clued in and realized what a time waster it was.

          So in all fairness to myself, my experiences are valid. I have trained in multiple dojos in multiple arts for fifteen years. Some sensei’s good, some mediocre. I’ve also helped with running classes so I’ve been in the drivers seat too for several years. I’ve earned my right to an opinion on the matter and nobody has to agree with me. Yes, some people take their training seriously and more power to them. I however woke up and no longer do. But that’s also just me, my experiences, and my opinion. All of which are equally as valid as anyone else who has walked a similar path.

          One guy who could write me under the table on the matter is Rob Redmond. We both came to a similar conclusion about karate. Check him out as he has brilliant resources. And in terms of credentials, he’s got them straight from the land of the rising sun.

  157. Forever Anonymous

    May 20, 2013 at

    Hey, I came across your other article first – the reasons karate is NOT useless – and wanted to check out this one too. I just wanted to say that from reading this article, it sounds like the karate school you trained at wasn’t a very good one. My dojo would never think of having the senior belts, black belts or not, sucker punching lower ranks while they just stood there. And we realize that life continues on. Other things might (and should, if you have a family) take priority over karate practice. Anyway, in my experience, you get out of karate what you put into it, generally speaking (excluding not-so-great instructors and schools.) Also, everyone has different goals when starting karate, so whether it’s useless or useful obviously depends on their goals. I do agree with you about one thing – don’t believe everything you see in a martial arts movie! ;)

  158. Rick

    May 18, 2013 at

    Sorry you trained under a shitty instructor. If you go to a shitty steakhouse and have a bad steak, you wouldn’t keep eating it for 15 years and then say all steak sucks. You’d try a different steak. Try training under a non profit karate organization and the different will be night and day.

    “”That’s what I use for my takedown, the shoot, that people see, it’s
    zero wrestling. It has nothing to do with my wrestling. My wrestling
    is once I get that leg, I’ll finish the takedown. But how I get in and
    out is because of karate. People are like, ‘no way, Karate, no.’ And
    I’m like, ‘yes.’ Karate allows me to cut the distance and take the
    people down. I have a very good single, a very good double and very
    good penetration. It’s because of my leg, the way I do it, and the
    timing is because of my karate. I wrestle, too, but my karate is
    primary. Before I started wrestling, I was a karate guy pure.””
    -George St. Pierre

    • Rick

      May 18, 2013 at

      Try a different steakhouse*.

      • Rick

        May 18, 2013 at

        Ah, didn’t realize this was a satire site till I read further. Just visited from a google search. Nevermind ;)

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 18, 2013 at

      Don’t recall ever saying any of my instructors were bad. And all were non-profit. My TaeKwonDo instructor however…now that was a McDojo!!

      • my98rk

        February 2, 2014 at

        You mean McDojang!! ;)

  159. audi

    May 12, 2013 at

    your a idiot.

  160. Sean Hart

    May 8, 2013 at

    Good Evening mate, this subject has been done to death so many times…in fact I was having a conversation with a work colleague of mine not two days ago regarding this (he does Thai Boxing)…anyway, here is my 2’pence worth.

    Number one, you have an opinion and you are entitled to it, however my friend I happen to think you are wrong about Karate.

    Ok, a little about me first so I can justify my answer. I have practiced Shotokan Karate under the Karate Union of Great Briton (KUGB) for over 25 years, my Sensei’s are Terry O’Neill, Andy Sherry, Frank Brennan and Bob Poynton. I also worked as a Doorman (or Bouncer) on nightclubs and bars in Liverpool, Southport and Preston for 12 years before breaking free and landing a decent job working on the railway.

    In my ‘heyday’ I was training Shotokan 4 days a week for 3 hours per day, then Boxing and wrestling/judo for around 4 hours one day per week.

    I had cause to use my ‘Karate’ many times on the doors and I for one can say it is most certainly not useless. In fact most of the lads I worked the doors with where either Karate-ka or boxers, as this MMA craze wasn’t around then.

    My point is, I think even with 15 years of Karate experience you just didn’t understand it. Perhaps it was your club,, who knows. But everything you have put in this post sounds like reasons why YOU can’t make Karate work.

    I see today that its all BJJ this or MMA that….its all bollocks to be honest. There is no magic martial art which will make you superman, its all about how you train and how hard you do it. Of course, going to Karate to march up and down a hall for and hour and do a bit of Kata will be fucking useless for your fighting ability. Think outside the box and adapt your training, at the end of the day there is only so many ways we can move our fucking arms and legs!

    Maby Karate wasn’t right for you…or vice versa, but either way, that does not make it useless, I aint claiming to be big Johnny hard knock but its never let me down and I’ve had plenty of scrapes to use it.

    Your right about the UFC though, if I was in a cage fight and I got taken to the ground its game over….some snot nosed cunt takes me to the ground I the street, I will be biting a chunk out of them or be smashing their head against the concrete…simple, I wont be rolling round trying to choke someone out…fuck that, if you go down get back up by any means.

    Oh and your Kumite does sound shit. Each lesson in the Red Triangle there was at least 4 broken noses, bust lips etc KUGB Kumite can at times look like K1 depending on whos fighting, we even used to invite the local Boxing club down for a play…now that was rough!….for both the boxers and Karate-ka!

    Like I said Bud, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but from my experience, yours is way off the mark regarding Karate.

    Good day and respect to you.

    S. Hart (Liverpool UK)

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 8, 2013 at

      Well spoken opinion my good man! I remember the old days when I met some guys from the KUGB. Love the people in that organization.

  161. Matt Proulx

    April 30, 2013 at

    Jean claude van damme is a blackbelt in shotokan karate, by the time he was 22 he had a professional kickboxing record of 18 wins 1 loss. You failed at making a point, many world champion kickboxers have a karate background. Besides, you cant just go practice karate for 15 years and expect to fight good, the only way to fight good is to spar with fighters better than you, and if you have any will power you will strive to be better than them. Karate does not make you a good fighter, it merely provides you with the tools, what you do with them is up to you.

  162. Beka1111

    April 9, 2013 at

    I love how everyone thinks that they can differenciate one art as ‘KARATE’, another as ‘BJJ’, and so on. First of all, after several years of training i realised that every man fights the way he or she feels comfortable. if you like to go up straight, and get punches, you do. If you are smaller, you will trick. It’s as simple as it is. I personally know a man, who practises the ‘wussy karate’ everyone hates, now this man is about 86 kilos, 180 cm tall, sorry for americans, I dont know pound, neither feet, so, the thing is, he has a hitting reach of about 3 meters(!!!), and he puts such force into each hit that if i try to stop it frontally, i fall back half a meter. This guy, while he has never won any tournament, is a freakin’ killing machine, I’ve seen him beating 4 dan masters like toys. BTW he is 45 years old now. SO the point is, he is a good fighter. Excellent in every combat situation, even with weapons, as much as i know, he has a beatiful wife, as long as i remember, 3 children, he runs a homemade bee farm, so his life is quite a success. I am talking too much, sorry. The point is he acchieved all this exclusively with learning traditional karate. no more, no less. And about UFC, i hate it because it does not represent real fight situations. in karate you do not keep the distance because you are affraid, but because you know that one blow is lethal, or crippling. with glowes, and limited punching techniques, some techniques loose effectiveness, and sheer power rules. Now, can you call someone a better matrial artist if he can do more pushups? And to remind you about how effective karate is in competitions, Semmi Schilt? Francisco Filho? ring any bells?

    • Beka1111

      April 9, 2013 at

      And one last thing. Seriously. How many people believed even for a minute that the crane movement had any use? also , i dont recall any moment when i’ve seen it in karate. I think its Kung Fu, but no offence.

  163. Rbsann

    March 28, 2013 at

    One reason why karate is usefull:
    Lyoto Machida.( yes he trains at shotokan, more specifically jka shotokan; and yes his stand up is pretty much only shotokan.

  164. Ken Hart

    March 28, 2013 at

    You’re misleading people. Just one example is UFC champ George Saint Pierre is a is not just a black belt but a 3rd dan in Kyokushin/Shinkyokushin. This karate style is full contact karate. Just check out

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      March 28, 2013 at

      I’m not much of a UFC expert, but this one I know…GSP does NOT NOT NOT use karate in the ring. Yes, he may have HAD some karate training, but if that’s where it stopped he would be sol.

      But this is what I’ve been saying all along too. Karate can be a springboard to other things, true. But by itself it is horribly inadequate.

      • Zabron Khalorsi

        April 13, 2013 at

        He “may” have had some Karate training? He’s a 3rd dan black belt in Kyokushin, and according to him, he does use it in the ring. He’s said so himself in an interview with black belt magazine. It’s a good portion of his standup game. Bas Rutten as well. Why you seem to think so vehemently otherwise (with 3 NOTs no less) is a bit odd when this is easily researchable.

        Now, I don’t know much about Shotokan, which is what you’ve trained in, but from what I’ve seen and heard, I’d agree it seems rather crappy. Kyokushin, on the other hand, is no joke, and absolutely has been proven to be good stuff in and out of the UFC.

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          April 14, 2013 at

          I guess my only real counter argument is my other post on why karate does not suck:

          Regarding different styles, everyone thinks the other guys karate is crappy. Shotokan thinks Goju sucks and Goju thinks Uechi Ryu sucks and everyone agrees TaeKwondo sucks. Kyokushin is no better or worse than anyone else. While each style has special gifts to be sure, so much depends on the practitioner.

          I’d also like to think I’m not so “vehemently” opposed to the idea of GSP using karate. I just don’t see it as his primary tool. Clearly he’s an accomplished grappler, bless his Canadian soul. He also speaks volumes about his fighting technique in his workout series Rushfit…also reviewed on this site:

          That’s probably enough shameful self promotion for one day. But I concede you certainly do have a point to your arguments and may very well be correct.

  165. Khabaal

    March 23, 2013 at

    lol @ labeling an entire martial art useless because you went to a McDojo. There is no “useless” martial art, only a useless practitioner. My Karate dojo practices full contact sparring with almost no protective gear. Any school that does not give you at least a semi-realistic fighting situation where you have to deal with pain while avoiding strikes (as well as delivering them) will not teach you self defense in a real fighting situation. You’d think that would be obvious. If you want to learn how to fight, fight. If you want to learn how to dance, kata.

    • Khabaal

      March 23, 2013 at

      Also, Karate is used in the MMA world (technically if it’s punching and kicking, it’s every striking martial art despite what you label it). The practitioner uses a variation of Kyokushin.

  166. Benjamin K

    March 14, 2013 at

    sorry mate, entertainment value at best, but more truthfully, you misunderstand and clearly have no idea what karate is. Like all your other articles. No clue on the actual subject, except how to manipulate what you don’t know into an arena for mass trolling. Rightly so you highlight the ‘entertaining’ part of your header, because informative and honest is definitely not here.

  167. Dude

    March 9, 2013 at

    I believe (this may at some point be corrected) that there are one or two good karate styles. Apparently shukokai karate was founded on the idea of using techniques that work for real. But what gets me is the idiocy of telling people to use a different technique if one doesn’t work (never rely on one aspect of karate – use your critical thinking skills) – yet insisting people bow and adhere religiously to silly rules (thus encouraing LACK of critical thinking skills). And yet they insist it’s not religious – despite religiously insisting on it. And no matter how much you explain that bowing (or at least kneeling bows) are religious to you – they insist it’s not religious. Yet they insist on you doing it – despite it not being religious (supposedly).

    I’m sure someone will make a comment about religion and the lack of critical thinking but I came to my reliion (Wicca) of my own volition, not because someone insisted it’s the right way – and I’ve often questioned it so I don’t blindly follow it.

    I was attacked late last year and wasn’t able to use judo (which I trained to orange belt in). If I’d not stopped judo for years, or if I was a karate student and wasn’t able to use karate, I probably wouldn’t know what to do as it would have been drummed into me that I could defend myself using judo/karate and when it didn’t work I’d be scared and confused (as opposed to just scared).

    Instead, my critical thinking shot into action. I remembered that attackers tell you not to make noise because they don’t want attention drawn, so, despite being male, I screamed my head off (I can do a good female high-pitched scream) – to no avail (in hindsight I probably should have kept screaming and shouting for help). I insisted I had no money in my bank account – which resulted in being threatened to be stabbed if I didn’t have any money. I claimed to have money at home and convinced the two to walk me to my hostel – all the time intending to get in and alert the staff then remove my jacket (which was the problem due to the material it was made of and the oversized sleeves) and fight both attackers.

    Only one came in (to try to avoid suspicion) – the one with a knife (the other seemed to have a gun – he got me to feel it in his pocket but I didn’t see it). I battered him – and kept battering him to make sure he couldn’t get to his knife. He legged it without the money, as did his mate. I’m fairly sure that if my critical thinking skills had been drummed out of me by “training”, the situation could have ended very differently.

  168. Karate

    February 11, 2013 at

    Hey DP – I feel your pain. I am a long time karate practitioner who understands how you feel. There are a high percentage of karate schools and organizations who are in it just for the money. I teach part time and am fortunate not to have to lower my standards when it comes to teaching and training. Since I have been operating I have only promoted a total of 6 students to black belt. There are many other schools (McDojo’s) who charge a extremely high price and provide terrible instruction. I have seen many that are proud to admit that they are a black belt school because they have thousands of black belts (Many of which would get destroyed by my beginner students). Parents have a lot to do with this as well. I have parents who have pulled their kids out of my school and sent them to other schools because they did not realize that karate was supposed to be a contact sport. I have also had many adults leave because the training is too tough. Many choose the easier route just to say that they have a black belt. As far as ground arts are concerned I have also trained in jiu-jitsu and require my advanced belts to also learn jiu-jitsu to understand the importance of not gowing to the ground when at all possible. I also want them to become skilled on the ground in case that does happen. While I understand your feelings about karate schools please don’t lump all of us into that category.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      February 12, 2013 at

      True enough, you certainly cannot lump all schools into the same mold. There are indeed many extremely good karate schools that teach good technique. I always felt my main style was good at that. Again, it didn’t make it the best use of my time, but it was still a good style and not easy at all to get a black belt in.

      That’s probably why TKD is more successful monetarily that karate…people want junior to get a black belt. Never mind it has no value. That’s why I quit TKD after a couple years as I honestly felt that if I went all the way it would have been a tragic second place compared to karate. If indeed karate is useless, WTF TKD is a sham.

      Plus I did the cost analysis. After tests, equipment, and fees, the average TKD practitioner will pay $4000 to get a black belt. I got P90X instead.

  169. Wes

    February 10, 2013 at

    DP – Just wanted to say I stumbled across your 5 Things article and really enjoyed it (along with most of the ensuing discussion thread) and marvel at the passion for/against traditional karate training. I guess everyone joins up and at some point, stops for his/her own reasons. After 43 years (about half of that time, under the JKA umbrella), I have to admit that I’m still involved…never having used it for self-defense – though that was never the main reason I started anyways. At least a few of us have gained some idea of what doesn’t work or is impractical eh?

    Keep up the good work.

  170. Mushin

    February 7, 2013 at

    I read your article sir and although I found it quite humorous I must respectfully disagree with your take that karate is useless. It is becoming all to common for people to be blinded by the sport of martial arts rather than it’s true focus. In our culture here in America we want to become big, bad, and tough so that we can kick anyone’s ass. Truth be told it take a lot more dedication and self control not to fight than to engage in one. I would agree with you that karate is appealing when it is in the movies but in real life it can be very boring and repetitive. It can become very easy to start thinking that karate is useless and to give up and quit but there are a few things instructors make know before people begin their karate journeys. First, karate isn’t about fighting. If you have a good instructor like I do he is going to push your mental and physical endurance to places you never thought possible. You are going to have to push yourself past the pain and boredom of repeating the same techniques, kata, physical conditioning, hojo undo, junbi undo, speed drills, and so on so that you can become a better fighter. Not so you can fight but so you don’t have to. Second, true karate starts with the right mindset. If you only practice to fight then depending on the dojo you train at you may or may not develop these skills. If you want to train in karate to step into the octagon then get ready to be disappointed because most karate techniques involve striking extremely vulnerable points on the body with the main goal in ending the fight in one blow. This means breaking or dislocating bones, tearing muscles, strikes to the spine, or throat ect. Techniques like these aren’t meant for sport fighting they are meant to seriously injure or kill an opponent. Again the more traditional your style the closer they will hold to these concepts as well as the more intense the training will be. I myself have practiced for 14 years and it took me seven years to EARN a black belt. I had to put in a lot of time outside of class conditioning my body to preform at the level worthy of that rank. Not only that I have to demonstrate my knowledge of the techniques by being able to instruct lower ranking students as well as show that I was mature enough to not use what I have learned for foolish endeavors such as beating up someone who tried to pick a fight with me just because I could. The more knowledge you gain of true karate the more self control you are going to have to exhibit. Beating in the face of some random wanna be tough guy just because he called my a pussy isn’t going to prove anything other than how immature I am and how little self control I have. Your mindset is everything. You have to see that karate isn’t a sport or about fighting but about becoming a better person through dedicating yourself to the path of peace by studying war. I would encourage you or anyone else that has had a disappointing experience with traditional martial arts to give it another try. Maybe at a different dojo or even in a different style altogether. If you still decide traditional martial arts isn’t for you and you want to glove up and step into the octagon I say go for it. I love to watch a good fight as much as the next guy but I understand that UFC is a sport and doesn’t really reflect a real fighting situation where there are no rules. Let’s face it being sponsored to train for several months all day everyday against an opponent that you get to study before you fight sounds like a pretty sweet deal but rather impractical for a real fighting situation wouldn’t you say? However I won’t dispute that it wouldn’t give you a good foundation. In any case good luck in whatever you decide to do but before you go around bashing traditional karate you might want to get your facts straight rather than just watching “The Karate Kid” and assuming that the dojo you practiced at is the same as everyone eases. I can assure you it isn’t. Oh, and lastly if you want a karate movie to be inspired by then watch “Kuro Obi” it captures the essence of what it means to be a true karateka.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      February 7, 2013 at

      Thank you for the good natured reply. It seems the responses to this post range from one end of the extreme to another!

      Just to clarify in my defense, I really don’t have any true ill will towards karate. Really. Granted, in hindsight I believe my time, money and energy could have been much better utilized elsewhere. But I still appreciate what I gained from it.

      I’ve also been in it a long, looong time. I’m well versed in the dojo culture and all the ahem…byproducts that come with a bunch of white suburbanites acting Japanese. I know now why our Chief Sensei from Japan always smiled when we yelled the Dojo Kun in Japanese…we must have been spouting gibberish!

      Anyway, thanks for weighing in and hope you take some time to look around the place!

      • Mushin

        February 8, 2013 at

        You are welcome my friend. I wish I would have read all the comments before I posted my reply. I would have thanked you for writing such an article (which by the way is my way of now saying thank you for writing this article) it has spawned quite a debate indeed. I respect everyone opinion but I especially respect the opinion of someone who can very wittily offend so many people that take things way to serious. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean it is the end of the world. I have taken a look around and I especially enjoy the inRETROSPECT segments. Keep up the good work Parrot-san.

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          February 10, 2013 at

          Thanks! I’m actually trying to get a new inRetrospect review out for “The Running Man”. Also have another fitness review at the same time so lets see what i can get done in the next couple weeks!

  171. Ryan

    February 6, 2013 at

    Lol awesome article, but I don’t think this applies to my dojo or style. My Sensei’s a real chill humble 9 to 5 working man that teaches class after work. He encourages cross training in boxing, jiu jitsu and the like to make a well rounded fighter. We hold kickass full contact pad-less, glove-less knockdown tournaments to test our strength and resilience. We train to fight. In my biased opinion, I feel some karate styles are still relevant to mixed martial arts and fighting in general. The more one researches to choose a style and dojo, the more likely one will know what their investing their time and money into.

  172. chogyal

    February 6, 2013 at

    It’s kihon kata and kumeta (basic , form & fighting) missed out the important part the basic

  173. ultimate truth

    February 3, 2013 at

    It sounds to me that you have been a victim of many “McDojo”. Either none of your teachers have taught you properly or they didn’t know s**t about true karate. McDojo teachers are only concerned with commercialism and materialism.
    There are 3 k’s in karate, you missed out kihon, it’s just as important as the others.
    Kata are not a pattern of moves to give the illusion of fighting multiple attackers that is a very common westerner’s misconception. This is a subject that would take me a week to write about in proper detail, so I advise you to look into it more and try to find an “old school” karate teacher.
    The reason kumite is slow at first is to be able to analyze the actions in detail and to ensure you are doing it right, you can’t really understand something without properly knowing the finer details can you? You are actually expected to speed up as you progress and become accustomed to the techniques. You say you are advanced, but have you practiced combinations at full speed? If not…then…why? You should have! Your teachers are to blame here.
    It also sounds like you have never, ever, studied kata properly.
    If you learn the principles that are in all kata, you will see that you have
    the tools to face almost any attack. And you can’t keep referring to competitions,
    especially MMA, as some sort of proof that karate is useless. This is because TRUE
    karate is a civil self defence art, NOT A SPORT! Originally, karate techniques
    were developed to be used to injure, maim or even kill an attacker, not to
    score points. These techniques are within kata, and are against the rules of
    any tournament for safety reasons. That’s why in competition karateka are severely
    limited compared to what karate really has to offer. Competitions are a world
    away from how effective karate is in a live fight. As for MMA, those guys train
    hard, are super fit, can hit for real, but have a bad habit of going straight
    to the ground as soon as they can. Good for the octagon/cage, not for real street
    self defence, unless you are defending yourself against just one person which
    is highly unlikely. If you go to the ground, say, when some drunken twat attacks
    you outside a club, it is very likely that while you are tangling yourself around
    that guy, his mates will stamp on your head and theres nowt you can do about it.
    The reason karate is primarily a stand up art is because the pioneers knew that
    being on the ground puts you in a vulnerable position, especially when you are attacked by 2,3 or more bandits. You are basically unbalanced, have less options for
    movement, cant generated very powerful techniques, are very slow and that kind
    of fighting tries you out quickly. I work as a doorman/bouncer and have been challenged many times from so called seasoned MMA fighters who I have had no problem laying out. All it takes is simple understanding of the nature of human fighting: the psyche of an aggressor and a nervous system accustomed to fighting movements. No MMA fighter, muay thai boxer or any other fighting art practitioner has ever survived me yet. They don’t train to devastate someone, only fight according to the rules, that’s all they learn in the gym. The most recent was a judoka black belt, who was apparently a champion of something…boring…I don’t care what
    because when he tried to grab me to do some throw, I grabbed his wrist, twisted
    it and he was done. (That technique was in a kata). It’s not the style that
    makes a good fighter, it’s the fighters understanding of the style.
    You mentioned shotokan, well enough said. This style has become watered down and misunderstood more and more over the years in the western part of the world. Even in Japan nowadays the emphasis is on sport. The way the style is taught by most and the knowledge that is spread all over world was actually aimed at kids. That’s why to some people karate seems so soft and unrealistic, especially since the most common style taught worldwide is shotokan. The way its taught means, basically, that even shodan and above are learning at a beginner level in terms of sparring contact and kata bunkai etc. They don’t really advance the way they are supposed to.

    I have been training in kyokushin since I was 5 and I am now 32. I am a godan (5th dan) and was taught from day one in the old school manner by a Japanese teacher. We train to take hard hits as well as give them. I have had a taste of shotokan,
    goju ryu and wado ryu also so I do know what I am talking about.
    As for you club not liking you having a family, well it screams McDojo to me. If you aren’t training you aren’t paying. Enough said
    there I think. Some of the great masters of the past had kids but still were dedicated
    to their arts and able to train and teach. I have 4 kids.
    The next point, you have discipline and honour all mixed
    up and misunderstood. You learn discipline and earn honour by getting hit and
    not quitting after.
    Next, if you used karate in a live fight, again, with an
    understanding of the situation you are in and the techniques you have learned,
    and you do it properly, you should be fine. The result you need is to be the
    one left standing, its not about gorgeous young women falling into your arms.
    And the next points, firstly no one is born knowing how
    to fight except with the instinct to execute simple straight punches and kicks.
    I have successfully turned shy and passive people into confident and capable
    karateka. Secondly, I really hope you didn’t try the crane technique lol. It isn’t
    real. And of course there is no such thing as “if done right, no can defence” did
    you really think that was true?
    All I’m going to say here is you are a bit ignorant and gullible
    mate. Find a good teacher you still have so much more to learn and

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      February 3, 2013 at

      Let’s go through this again.

      I took karate for 15 years under the ISKF ( International Shotokan Karate Federation ). I know kata very well and was quite successful at it with the tournaments I attended, so your assumptions on that are totally unfounded. I was never all that good at kumite and there’s no point in me lying about it and saying I was. I also dabbled in Chito-Ryu and Gojo-Ryu karate as well.

      I then took 2 years of TaeKwonDo. After that I discovered P90X and the joys of home fitness without fees and time commitments. At that point I realized I could be faster, leaner, healthier and stronger doing that and similar programs than anything karate could provide ( hence my fitness reviews ). Way I see it, I only have one life to live and karate demanded too much and returned far too little.

      And finally…if someone wants to take karate, MMA or anything else, feel free. I don’t care. REALLY. I can only speak for my own experiences in an article which was really only meant to be a humorous attack at my past. I had no idea so many people would get so defensive and throw rediculous accusations my way about being arrogant, gullible, hating my Sensei’s, practicing inferior karate and other baseless BS. Seriously? Just because I moved on to greener pastures? Jeez, you guys all sound like deluded Amway salesmen.

      And yes. I did try the crane technique. But that was before I took karate ( and was like, 15! ). The results were….expected. :) But, hey, if you can’t laugh at your past what can you do!

  174. nick

    January 31, 2013 at

    You must be carful when saying “tae kwon-do” in general as there are two very different types. world tae kwon-do federation, which i assume is the one you were referring to, is the one in the Olympics and, i agree, has very little or poor technique. however, international tae kwon-do federation is an excellent martial art and having experience in many others i would consider it one of the best for an all round fighting style and possibly the most powerful as it uses our modern understanding of power and body mechanics to find a balance between practicality and power. there are obviously many other good martial arts that have a specialisation in ground techniques for example but having done karate as well i would say that ITF is infinitely better.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      January 31, 2013 at

      I agree whole heartedly. WTF TaeKwonDo is really for children and I speak from experience. After 15 years of Karate, doing sloppy WTF-TKD was intolerable. ITF however is closer to Shotokan and as such is a lot sharper and more fluid to look at. Olympic TKD is just throwing wild haymakers but because WTF has the Olympic label, it gets more attention. Quite undeservedly so.

  175. Cmonti77

    December 16, 2012 at

    Sheesh, this thread sure caught fire since I commented last year! Dysfunctional Parrot, it is clear that you have provoked the aggression of a noisy, but ultimately harmless, creature that I have come to identify as the Karatard.
    Karatards are heavily populous throughout North America, and can frequently be found foraging, marking, and defending territory in their natural habitat — the internet. Karatards have an accute sense of hearing and are hyper-sensitive to anything that their shallow comprehensive faculties percieve as critical or dismissive of the karatard’s apparent life-sustaining activity — karate.
    When confronted with a karatard, it is best to maintain eye-contact, keep an even tone, and try with all of one’s might, not to burst into side-splitting laughter — karatards are physically capable of imploding with rage, and there are forensic reports of several karatard deaths which confirm this. If a karatard begins to implode, simply make an “OSS” sound and immediately execute a Japanese-style formal bow, and the karatard will in most instances return to a non-aggressive state. Also, complementing a karatard’s “hip rotation” has been known to have a similar calming effect on the karatard.
    Karatards can be male or female, and are found among all races and age groups. Because karatards have no physical distinguishing characteristcs, most people will not realise they have provoked a karatard until it’s karatardation becomes physically manifest. So observe caution when mentioning “karate” among people you are unfamiliar with.
    Confirmed karatards include Andre Bertel, Malcolm Dorfman, the entirety of Lyoto Machida’s cult/fanbase, everyone from Mark Groenwald’s old ‘Karate Underground’ forum, everyone from Shaun Banfield’s ‘The Shotokan Way’ forum, and the entire staff of ‘Dragon Times/Classical Fighting Arts’ magazine.
    This concludes this public service announcement.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      December 16, 2012 at

      You my friend, have given a great service to your country!

      But wow…who would have thought taking a jab at people punching the air in white pj’s would cause so much hoopla!

      So a gentle reminder to all you nut cases out there…I was one of you for fifteen years. Then I left for damn good reasons. You’re crazy. Deal with it.

  176. Newslflash

    December 2, 2012 at

    Wow, I see the pentup freustration of being a lazy douche has manifested. Most of this article is BS. Karate has nothing to do with the movie, and many karatekas dislike the movie for this reason. Sure beginner sparring matches are no contact, but elite sparring has seen everything from broken ribs to gouged eyes. The rules get more and more lax the more experienced you are. As for street fighting, I’ve personally found karate applicable with very few adaptations to the fight. So maybe you’re just an American who is mildly retarded and never fought himself.

  177. Vladimir

    November 17, 2012 at

    Is Kyokushin karate also usless? I always thaught that full contact karate is the real deal; minus no head shots competition rule.

  178. Juks

    October 16, 2012 at

    comment deleted because of excessive douchebaggery.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      October 16, 2012 at

      Awww…all your hard work is gone! I’ll bet you probably don’t think I’m a very nice guy. Do ya?

      Much as I loathe to delete comments and block users, sometimes you have to paint over graffiti to discourage the riff-raff. This blog is for meant for professional and mature discussions, not ignorant children polluting the waters. I believe that’s what Reddit is for. ;)

  179. Juks

    October 11, 2012 at

    Damn. Someone better tell UFC fighters Lyoto Machida, Gunnar Nelson and Ryan Jimmo they can’t fight, because they’re going to get hurt out there if they try!!!!

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      October 11, 2012 at

      As mentioned earlier, these guys may have trained in karate, BUT they do not use it in the ring.

      • Juks

        October 11, 2012 at

        This seems like your average ‘Just Bleed’ uneducated assumption on the matter. Mind either elaborating or pointing me to where you explained this? Jimmo is pretty diversified but Machida and Gunnar are pretty god damn traditional…. unless you’re upset that they occasionally throw a hook.

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          October 11, 2012 at

          Look, in the interest of heading off a flame war over a subject which I think we can both agree is rather silly, let it be stated that I never said such MMA fighters were ever pussies or anything. I’m just saying when in the ring, they DON’T use karate. And as a longtime karate practitioner, I know this because I have two eyes. If you were to watch karate black belts spar, you’d see very little if anything in common with MMA.

          I also credit the success of such fellows to good genetics. These men are natural born fighters. For example, Georges St. Pierre’s father was a Gorgon. I’m almost sure of it.

      • griffin123

        August 22, 2013 at

        Well that is just a flat out wrong and stupid statement!

  180. mike morris

    September 30, 2012 at

    Haha, awesome and accurate.. Karate is gay as aids

  181. Punches

    September 10, 2012 at

    If you really want to know how to win “real fights” I’ll tell you this: Black belts are fast motherf—-ers, even in semi contact. Get good at blocking EVERY attack they throw at you and you can’t pretend that a half assed thug punch is scarier. SEE the fight, don’t HEAR the screaming.

  182. Fallesafe

    June 13, 2012 at

    Let me address the idea that Karate has not been successful in MMA because it involves killing and crippling techniques. This argument underscores the fundamental failure of Karate as a fighting system. Namely: It’s COMPLETELY theoretical and untested. Karate trains its practitioners to believe in their “deadliness,” without ever having been in a single fight (or even a sparring match that vaguely approximates a real fight). They stare at themselves in the mirror and snarl as they throw punches and kicks into the thin air. They scream and growl And crouch like a pair of cats fighting in he backyard… But never make any contact with each other in sparring matches. Then, they go home, all sweated up, with the false satisfaction of being “trained fighters.”

    • mike morris

      September 30, 2012 at

      hahaha, awesome

    • Rdssd

      February 16, 2013 at

      Except, there are some karate schools that practice full contact sparring. They are the schools who don’t care about showing off or popularity or making money. A bit behind the scenes of all the BS thats on the front. You are an idiot for making such a vague judgement.

      • Dysfunctional Parrot

        February 16, 2013 at

        Idiot. Got it. Now go pay your fees so your Sensei can make his Lexus payment. Sucker.

        Here’s a tip. Laugh at yourself. This article is as much a joke at my own poor fitness decisions of the past as it is about karate itself. There are just so much more efficient ways to be fit and healthy. But hey, if it’s your thing then by all means have a blast. I still love to do kata as a warmup to a workout. Just remember, its useless. :)

      • John McNichol

        February 22, 2013 at

        I can’t speak for Karate but as a past practitioner of Jujitsu and TKD, seeing the light at the age of 15 and taking up Boxing and Thai Boxing since then, I look back on my white pyjama days and laugh at the completely unrealistic way TKD and Jujitsu etc are taught; no sparring (that tip tap crap in TKD is a very poor substitute to actual sparring in a ring where being seriously injured is a real prospect if u don’t know your stuff), pointless katas, hitting thin air with perfection and paying a bunch of old farts to judge how perfect I can perform by choreographed ‘dance’ for a different coloured piece of fabric only to return a few months later to do the same. It’s a money racket plain and simple, back in my day I even had to pay for a license to use the crap they were teaching, what a joke. their way of teaching is also very dangerous, people genuinely think they are good at fighting and can get into situations they have absolutely no real experience of dealing with.

  183. Hossain

    May 30, 2012 at
    Try Saturday 11:15 class or spend a week there

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 31, 2012 at

      Thanks for the invite!  But you’re in Miami and I’m in Canada.  That’s one hell of a drive just to do the same Shotokan karate I could find here. :)

      But seriously, the thought of entering a dojo again gives me hives! Karate has consumed enough of my life and wherever I go with it from here, it will not involve joining a dojo.

  184. Awef

    May 21, 2012 at

    The problem with karate is not karate itself… it’s the way that it’s teached by a lot of teachers. A lot of things that people describe are not related with karate, but is related with their schools. I think that all martial arts have the same problem, specialy in North America.

    If you find a good karate school where you really learn how to fight and you really transform your body into a weapon, then you can have success. But there is too many cheap training in martial arts.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 21, 2012 at

      True.  Very true.  A good dojo is like finding Bigfoot these days.

      • Awef

        May 21, 2012 at

         I had the opportunity to train in an excellent karate school and i was impressed how karate can be effective, specialy when it’s combined with jujitsu. But it’s not all people who have the opportunity to find a good karate school.

        Some really good karatekas has succes in MMA, but we must be carefull by comparing mma with karate. Karate can hurt and kill. Karate is designed to face a lot of situations. It’s the same thing with a lot of other martial arts. But MMA is optimized to fight in a ring. I’m no saying that mma is not effective to defend yourself in the street, but the goal is different. That is the reason why you rarely see pure karate or other pure martial arts in UFC. All martial arts are modified in mma and cobined with boxing.

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          May 24, 2012 at

          I like what you said about MMA.  Some people such as the GOJORYU above seem to think ( if indeed they DO think! ) that if someone studied Shotokan and is successful at MMA, then by osmosis Shotokan gets a pass.  

          The thing is, these fighters don’t even use Shotokan in the ring.  I have never seen any fight in MMA that looks even remotely like any karate tournament I’ve seen…and I’ve seen plenty.

          If a Shotokan ( or I’m guessing ANY karate practitioner ) wants to be a successful MMA fighter, then their training will have to take a completely different track than standard karate dojo classes.  No way doing sparing and katas 3x a week at the YMCA will cut it!

          • Awef

            June 1, 2012 at

            A lot of karate techniques are used in MMA, but they are combined with other disciplines and that makes them difficult to clearly see in a MMA fight. It’s the same thing for all martial arts and styles of boxing. It’s also diffficult to clearly see a specific style of boxing in a MMA fight (Kickboxing ? Muay Thai ? American Boxing ? Other ?) because of the same reason.

            Also, a lot of discipline are based in part on Karate, like Kickboxing, Teakwondo, and many others. So we can say that Karate has a great influence. Also, some fighters use some pure karate techniques in MMA. Not only that, but the majority of people can not make difference between Karate and Teakwondo. So we must be carefull here.

            We can’t compare any kind of karate tournament with MMA. If we want to compare karate tournament with MMA, we must compare MMA with full contact karate tournament.

            Karate can really be effective, but good MMA fighters will pratice a lots of things, not just one martial art. I think that a fighter who just pratice boxing can also be limited in a fight.

            We can’t juge Karate by only one school. Your past experience of Karate disappointed you and that can be responsible of your negative opinion of Karate. You must learn Karate in a good school to have a better idea and to be able to poperly recognize Karate in a fight.

            Sparring and katas 3x a week is not enough for advanced MMA, but we can say exactly the same thing for Kung fu, Boxing, Judo, Muay Thai, etc. The fighters and the teacher makes a bigger difference that the martial art itself.

          • Dysfunctional Parrot

            June 2, 2012 at

            Very articulate and thanks for your views!  Clearly this is a subject that matters a great deal to you.  Again, my goal is not to tell someone that “Hey…your karate sucks”…as I still practice it myself on my own terms.  But at the same time I honestly feel that the vast majority of karate practitioners have an over-inflated sense of their art and as a rule are not open to new ideas.

            And in my defence, I have attended 6 separate karate schools across Canada ( iskf, jka, ska ) during my 15 years of training.  No practical difference between any of them.  The teacher is irrelevant, as he must answer to the organization which calls the shots.

          • Oldguy

            August 22, 2013 at

            I’d like to respond to this as a practitioner of Karate, TKD, and Japanese Jujitsu for the last 20 years. I don’t know if you will ever see this message but. Like the poster above said we must be careful in comparing MMA to Karate.

            In the united states well no North America as a whole it is very hard to find a good Dojo, Dojang, etc some of these places advertise karate and actually teach a variation of taekwondo. Then there are the McDojo’s that charge like 70 bucks a month for lessons.

            I always used to say as my instructor and thankfully the ones I dealt with through my life taught me very old school. By old school I mean down to the price guys if you’re paying over 30 dollars a month for Karate lessons you are paying too much. A good instructor isn’t in it for the money, also they tend to not have to answer to the ISKF JKA USKA etc. I’m dead serious about that. I’d rather be taught by someone who loves the martial arts than the money. Sometimes the most bummy looking Karate schools I.E. the one done in a little hut in the middle of no where for dirt cheap where the instructor holds a day job believe it or not are some of the best schools. But back on topic yeah I’d frown at anything charging me more than 30 dollars a month. I dunno I may have just gotten lucky but yeah.

            As for being successful in MMA, it’s all in the practitioner, you gotta know how to convert your techniques over Obviously you aren’t going to throw a palm heel strike or a hammer fist to the groin in mma or use the groin grab technique in Pinan Yondan in a ring lol.

            ONE LAST THING. True Traditional Karate Dojo’s wear white, and they do practice a form of Jujitsu or Judo for self defense or a combo of both. If this place you are looking at doesn’t teach all of those my opinion would be to walk away.

          • Dysfunctional Parrot

            June 2, 2012 at

            It occurred to me that I should also clarify one more thing.  I’ve had nearly a dozen instructors in my time ( even served as an assistant inst. ) , and with the exception of just one Shinto-Nutcase and one two-faced jerk, the rest were all exceedingly good.  My first instructor was a huge influence on my life.

            What I’m saying is that my opinions of karate do not stem from negative experiences with instructors.  My reactions are not out of resentment, but rather years of experience with the art.  Hope that clears things up.

    • Mr dongsensei

      April 19, 2013 at

      haha no. you are merely spouting karateka rhetoric. unless you have sources from non-pro karateka sources, then no, its not used. no technique of karateka dont even come close to boxing TKD, kickboxing, judo, wrestling and other techniques used in mma. which is more better defined as multiple styles.

      thats the thing, ALOT of bad teachers means whatever “good” teachers there are, are merely like you, spouting Dicipline nonsense without anything constructive example of it, techniques or strategies.

      thus, it, like Tai chi, is completly useless and it is indeed the karateka itself. choose another better system. anything really than tai chi and karete.

      The whole “empty hand” is nonsense.

      The only thing that is empty is not the hand, its the head of the karetaka itself.

      This shows that the lack of success, the major complaints about useless katas hitting the air, and the major fees, that its just a scam. hell even looking back at before people were paying for dojos it was useless, compared to, lets say the 4000 year old history of chinese kenpo or kung fu as its called in the west.

      thats why its not even a killing technique. its basic attacks called Seiken, which is hitting with the fist forward while pulling the other fist back while standing still,AGAIN, hitting the fucking air. shows that the Center of Balance spouting that they teach, is the Center of bullshit and ignorance.

      • Brandon

        October 2, 2013 at

        Tai Chi, is an internal martial art form, it is not predicated on self defense, yes with training it can be applied for defensive purposes, but as Tai Chi is not specifically geared towards self defense it would take a greater amount of time before the student could apply it.

  185. GOJURYU

    May 9, 2012 at

    Are you stupid? No karate potential in UFC? Lyoto Machida! He did shotokan karate and holds the light heavyweight champion and continues to destroy Muay Thai people, you’re probably a fat muay thai fan who knows nothing about martial arts and is mad that there are many succesful karatekas in full contact sports. Successful karatekas in full contact sports –
    1. Lyoto MachidaThe most famous Karate practitioner of today, former UFC LHW Champion. Lyoto is a 3rd dan in Shotokan Karate under his father Yoshizo Machida – a 7th dan and JKA chief instructor.2. Bas Rutten2nd dan in Kyokushin Karate and TKD, former UFC HW Champion and 3-time King of Pancrase, famous for his deadly Liver Shot. Bas finished his career on a 22 fight unbeaten streak.3. Guy MezgerGuy is a highly decorated US Karate fighter, twice World Full-Contact Karate Champion and a LHW champion in both the UFC and Pancrase.4. Chuck LiddellFormer UFC LHW Champion, Liddell began studying Kempo and Koei-Kan Karate at the age of 12; the tattoo on his scalp reads “Koei-Kan” in Kanji. He got his black belt and won a national championship title in the style before joining John Hackleman in The Pit. Chuck has relied on the Karate background throughout his entire career.5. George St-PierreHaving trained in Kyokushin and its various offshoots (Shidokan, Ashihara etc.) George wears a Gi and headband adorned with Karate symbols before entering the UFC cage. GSP has often said that Karate had a huge impact on his life as a fighter and person. St-Pierre has recently received his official 3rd Dan Diploma, a new black belt and a new Gi directly from From Shokei Matsui, president of the International Karate Organization (IKO) founded by Mas Oyama himself.6. Yuki KondoYuki is an MMA veteran, having fought in Pancrace, PRIDE and the UFC with a total of 85 MMA fights. He has a background in Shorinji Kempo.7. Katsunori KikunoKikuno is a master of both Kyokushin Karate and Judo, current DEEP LW Champion, famous for fighting in an unorthodox Sochin-dachi stance.8. Rory MarkhamRory who fought in the UFC, IFL and other promotions has trained traditional Karate, Shidokan, Kenpo and Kyokushin.9. Jeff Joslin “The Inferno” is a former APEX WW champion. A 4th dan in Wado-ryu Karate, Joslin has won all of his fights via KO/TKO and has only lost via very controversial Decisions.10. Seth PetruzelliSeth is a Shito-ryu Karate expert and the first man to ever KO a much heavier (and heavily promoted) Kimbo Slice.11. Ryo ChonanRyo is a Kyokushin Karate expert and one of the 2 people to ever finish Anderson Silva. Ryo is currently fighting for DEEP where he was the 3rd DEEP MW champion.12. Takanori Gomi”The Fireball Kid” has attributed his striking accuracy and power to training in Mushinjuku Karate. Gomi is a former Shooto WW Champion and was the only PRIDE LW Champion.13. Semmy SchiltThis huge K-1 and MMA fighter is a world famous Ashihara Karate practitioner and 3-time consecutive K-1 World GP champion. He has fought in Pride, UFC and Pancrase.14. Sam GrecoFamous Australian Seidokaikan Karateka. Entered MMA at the end of his kickboxing career with 3 impressive wins. His only loss in MMA is a SD to Lyoto Machida.15. Chinzo MachidaLyoto’s brother, 4th dan in Shotokan Karate and World vice-champion, Chinzo entered the world of MMA with a 1st round jaw-breaking KO over Muay Thai expert Christiano Rosa.16. Antonio CarvalhoA Shotokan Karate and BJJ expert, Antonio is a Shooto veteran who has fought for TKO Major League, MFC, Ironheart Crown and Cage Force. Antonio is one of 3 people to have defeated Hatsu Hioki.17. Jeff NewtonOne of the most decorated point Karate fighters in the world, with numerous national and international titles to his name, Jeff was once dubbed “The Karate Kid”.18. Shonie CarterThis Shidokan Karate expert is a former WEC WW champion and a UFC veteran. He is known for his flashy style, colorful personality, and effective use of the spinning backfist.19. David LoiseauKarate and TKD blackbelt. He has fought in the UFC, EliteXC, and TKO Major League and is the former TKO MW Champion.20. Leonard WilsonKempo Karate blackbelt, one of RitC top fighters, famous for his spinning back kick KO over Ray Elbe. All of his wins have come from KO/TKO.21. Ed RatcliffKarate and boxing expert holding a record of 7-3, “9 mm” Ratcliff loves Karate so much he has “Karate” written on his mouthpiece.22. Jason DentBlackbelt in Sanchi-ryu Karate, Jason has won all major belts in the NE Ohio area since his UFC bouts, the biggest being the NAAFS Pro Series.23. Neil GroveNeil Grove is the Ultimate Challenge UK HW Champion. He holds a shodan in Goju-ryu Karate and won all his fights by way of TKO.24. Taiei KinLHW Seido-kaikan Karateka competing in K-1 and DREAM. Before switching to MMA, Kin was a distinguished fighter in the K-1 scene. Since 2006, he works as coach for Hong-man Choi.25. Andrews NakaharaJapanese-Brazilian Kyokushin Karateka, the South American and All American Open Karate Champion who still trains in the International Karate Organization.26. Mike CiesnoleviczMike built his base on Karate, Judo and kickboxing, honed his wrestling skills at Lock Haven University and eventually joined Pat Miletich in MFS. Mike is a blackbelt in Shorin Ryu Karate under John Korab. After leaving the UFC Mike began training Karate again and returned to his winning ways.27. Takashi NakakuraTakashi is a Seido-kaikan Karate and Judo blackbelt. He is a former Shooto WW champion with a 15-3 record.28. Mamed KhalidovChechen MMA fighter competing in KSW, undefeated in the promotion. Mamed trained Shotokan Karate before entering MMA and often uses impressive spinning kicks in fights.29. Maciej GorskiRanked as #2 Polish LW fighter, Maciej spent 11 years in traditional Shotokan and still supplements his training with Karate seminars in Warsaw.30. Torrance TaylorAmerican Karate blackbelt, PKC national Karate champion Taylor is a former NAAFS champion and Fighter of the Year.31. Tiawan HowardBlackbelt in Kaju Kenpo and American Kenpo, NAAFS 2006 MW Champion, USKBA 2004 Full Contact kickboxing national champ, PKC fighter of the year.32. Frank MirBlackbelt in Kempo Karate. Not really a Karate fighter nowadays but definitely worthy of mention on the list, Frank was introduced to martial arts by his parents who are both Kempo Karate instructors.33. Kestutis ArbociusLithuanian Shidokan Karate expert. HW King of Pancrase with a 8-5 record.34. Tariel BitsadzeGeorgian Kyokushin Karate fighter with a 7-6 record.35. Ryuta NojiJapanese Kyokushin Karate fighter with a 13-6 record.36. Ausserio SilvaBlackbelt in Shotokan and Seiwakai Karate, trained under Seiwakai founder. UFC veteran and HW king of Pancrase.37. Vitor BelfortVitor trained Shotokan with Vinicius Antony (Yoshizo Machida’s pupil), notably in 2001 to fight Heath Herring and in 2009 before defeating Rich Franklin.38. Attila VeghSlovakian Kempo Karate fighter with an impressive 24-4-2 record.39. Mark HolstShotokan Karate blackbelt, Freedom Fight and XKL LW Champion.40. Nick DenisKyokushin blackbelt, current KotC Canada BW Champion who has fought for World Victory Road and King of the Cage promotions.41. Rich FranklinFormer UFC MW champion. Karate was Franklin’s first martial art which he trained up until college. Through Karate Rich became interested in MMA.42. Antonio Silva”Bigfoot”, the man who TKOd Fedor, the only EliteXC HW champion holds a black belt in Shotokan Karate.43. Angelito MangurayThis 42-year-old Shotokan Karate fighter is the Philippine LW URCC champion.43. KJ NoonsKJ is the former EliteXC LW Champion who holds a black belt in Kenpo Karate.44. Nam PhanNam currently fights in the UFC FW division and has a 16-8 record.45. Alexander VolkovBrown belt in Kyokushin with a 13-3 record, trains with the likes of Fedor Emelianenko and Gegard Mousasi.46. Gunnar NelsonGoju-ryu black belt, Iceland’s most promising up-and-coming Karate talent of 2005, currently undefeated in 10 bouts.47. Jadamba NarantungalagThis Mongolian Kyokushin blackbelt defeated former UFC WW contender Akihiro Gono in his SRC debut.48. Tarec SaffiedineA blackbelt in Shihaishinkai Karate who has fought in multiple promotions including DREAM and Strikeforce.49. John MakdessiUndefeated Shotokan Karate blackbelt with 9 wins, currently fighting for the UFC.50. Ryan JimmoThis Canadian Karateka is the current MFC LHW champion with an impressive 16-1 record. Ryan holds a 2nd degree Black Belt in Shito-Ryu Karate and is a Four-time National Karate Champion, Pan-Am Karate silver (x1) & bronze (x2) medalist and 14-time Provincial Karate Champion.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      May 9, 2012 at

      Egad.  That was some cut and paste!  Impressive list of names I have no time or desire to look at ( nor does anyone else ), but thanks all the same.  None of them answer the 5 on the list, but then again that would be accusing you of being capable of reading and understanding satire.  ( owww…high fives co-worker and does a pelvic thrust at the monitor!! )

      Seriously, people like you are the reason I quit karate after 15 years.  Too many of you have a total inability to laugh at yourselves.

      • Braden Mcmahon95

        May 13, 2012 at

         Did you ever think to try and find another Dojo? Maybe try ‘broadening your horizons’?
        I’m 16. Been doing karate since I was 5. Never had any other fighting training other than what I have been taught in my karate dojo. Through watching boxing matches, mma matches and through the knowledge gained in the past 11 years, I have taught myself to box and kickbox. You raise some good points though and I can understand where some of them come from. Myself, being a Australian National Champion in points fighting, I can understand how you perceive karate as a ‘tag’ sport. I can guarantee you that at the speed my attacks are thrown, if followed through could be quite damaging. I can guarantee you that the good Senseis/Shihans/Hanshis around have learnt heaps more about fighting, the way the body works, life, etc. than any boxer. Good read though, remember, I’m 16 so if my grammar and punctuation is shit its obviously because I couldn’t give one fuck about the way I am typing atm.
        go to that video and check out around 1.30. Its me playing ‘tag’

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          May 24, 2012 at

          For a time I did, yes. Even took TaeKwonDo for a year or so but I found I had just “fallen out of love” with organized martial arts. In fact, I quit TKD when I discovered P90X and saw how I could stay fit on my own time in my own home and get vastly superior results.

          That having been said, I enjoy practicing on my own schedule and also learning stuff from other styles. I just started teaching my own kids Shotokan while throwing in the odd Goju kata. I’m even talking to a guy about taking some Krava Maga lessons.

          But no…I’m done with dojo fees, rigid schedules, wannabe Shinto-warriors and politics. If you enjoy martial arts then go for it. During my peak ( your age as I recall! ) I had a blast! But my life is in another phase and things like karate that were once enjoyable have become baggage. Keep in mind that our ages of 16 and 40 will have a huge difference of view! Once you get married and have kids, your worldview will change as well. Guaranteed.

          If you REALLY want to know more about my goofy journey, I made a mock-interview about it here…

          The site is just something I put together quick. The kids wanted a club name so I thought a site would make it seem official!

          ps: You spar good! Better than I ever did.

          • r0bbitz

            May 15, 2013 at

            Krav Maga is definitely more practical than shotokan or any other standalone style, definitely check it out! I’m at a dojo that is a pretty good mix – katas for performance, but a sister-school relationship with dojos that specialize in krav, jiujitsu, Philipino arnis and a core system of muay thai, boxing and kickboxing as well as fight training. I definitely get my money’s worth both in fitness training and a vast array of martial experience – only caveat is the time investment more than the expense! It’s common to take 2-3 classes per day each with a different specialist. I do like this new trend in martial arts!

          • Redtom

            July 18, 2013 at

            Question…what does a p90x taste like and is it true that jet li once had sex with one?

          • Dysfunctional Parrot

            July 18, 2013 at

            Vanilla sherbert, and no.

        • Red tom

          July 18, 2013 at

          Question…what does a p90x taste like and is it true that jet li had sex with one?

      • Benjamin K

        March 14, 2013 at

        And you wonder why you failed at at karate. If this is your typical response for anyone who takes your subject matter at hand a bit more seriously than you, all you’ve done is put up a poster banner of major /facepalm on your life. I failed at so-and-so therefore I need to make a satire out of it. It fails because I failed at it.

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          March 14, 2013 at

          Well, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion on the matter. In all fairness, you’re a lot more civil than most! However, in my defence I think you have terribly misjudged me.

          Being that as it may, I’m just glad you didn’t start name dropping MMA fighters in a sad attempt to justify years of sacrificing family and friends for a better front kick. For that at least, you have my sincerest thanks.

      • court ellis

        December 7, 2013 at

        Only an intelligent person would simply not even bother with all of that and just say: “Hey experience is a good thing, training is also a good thing, but experience is experience. IF your Karate, Tae kwon do, Muay Thai, cobra kai death ninja whatever school is crap then find a good school that will actually teach you something without a black belt, little dragons, I just wanna make money and program and simply move on.

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          December 7, 2013 at

          Perhaps. But you can’t deny the post has gained a lot of attention, some good, most negative. I wrote this a couple years ago as a quick one-off article and suddenly it’s a huge “hit”. The internet can be so unpredictably strange sometimes.

          If I’d known it was going to attract this much attention I probably would have tightened my arguments a bit. As such I sometimes I think I should revise the article. So may think my experience is simply based on one school and one instructor. The fact is I’ve had about half a dozen instructors and was even one myself for a short period of time. I’ve also attended dojos across Canada…none of which ever offered a Little Dragons program with the exception of my short run with TaeKwonDo. Fifteen years can cover a lot of ground so this is not experience based on an isolated dojo.

    • Mark Darling

      September 4, 2013 at

      Thank you, Gojuryu. You saved me a lot of typing. This guy sounds like one of these “Americans who improved on the real Asian Karate. I practice Kyokushin – a mix of Gojuryu and Shotokan – and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’ve also been priviliged to see my Sensei (in the Far East) in real life action on the streets against three assailants. It took him all of two seconds to put all three on the ground.

  186. Cmonti77

    October 29, 2011 at

    I love this article… So yeah, I’m a member of that club, too. I spent 20 years practicing the Jonestown: White Pajamas Edition martial art sometimes known as Shotokan. Where to begin… Well, my teacher (or ‘sensei’ if you’re down with the sickness) was a pedophile… My association (like all of them) was a pyramid scheme… Numerous broken noses… Shureido sells ridiculously overpriced uniforms… Japanese karate bigshots are greedy, sociopathic, megalomaniac, hypocritical pricks who need to go the f–k home and get real jobs… The “makiwara” is the absolute stupidest f–king moron invention in like, all of history, and more damaging to your health than a pack of Salem’s a day… Ah bitterness… So these days I’m just a boxer/savateur when I feel like punching or kicking s–t, but honestly, give me Smith & Wesson ryu in real fight any day..

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      October 29, 2011 at

      Shureido??  Everyone knows unless you own the official Tokaido brand Gi you have no honor!!   Although to be fair, I cheaped out and bought a Kamikaze.  I still carry the shame to this day of having saved money!!

      Man, you bring back memories though.  Like the makiwara ( got mine from Century magazine!! ).  It’s essentially packing plastic covered in cotton canvas.  I remember my sensei saying that ancient karate-ka would have caloused knuckles from using it…and that was somehow a good idea.  You almost certainly would get a permanent case of arthritis to boot!  Dumb Dumb Dumb.

      • Cmonti77

        October 29, 2011 at

        What?! You dared to wear a non-Japanese-made uniform, and did not do your samurai duty and commit seppuku?! What insolence!! And packing plastic?! Oh ye gaijin dog! No, I went full-out and did the wooden-plank-in-the-ground-with-rope-covering-because-I-was-a-stupid-teenager route… Yeah, that was one bizarre stretch of my life. In hindsight, I suppose doing a stretch in the cult of karate isn’t as bad as say, being a homeless crackhead? But not by much I have to imagine.

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          October 30, 2011 at

          “oh ye gaijin dog”…I think I may wind up using that on someone!

          An exceptional site out there for those interested in karate yet sick of the crap that comes with it is:

          The author, Rob Redmond certainly has very entertaining stories and a very realistic look at the politics and hypocrisy of Shotokan karate ( or any style really ).  Maybe he’s not as cynical as me when it comes to it all…but give him time!   Maybe it can help someone realize that their time would be best spent purchasing a used copy of P90X!

  187. Zed..

    October 25, 2011 at

    Hi Parrot,
    There’s a problem with your images..

    Thanks for posting… keep it up

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      October 26, 2011 at

      Thanks for the heads up! I think I have it resolved now.  Formatting issues.

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