Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Showing My Own Bias

I definitely showed my bias in an earlier post on guards in karate. I've taken down the post, and I'm going to provide a little bit of clarification on the subject. I unintentionally skipped an idea that might have made things a little clearer.

Karate as I see it is an infighting system. It has a very particular range where many of the movements work best. This is chest to chest. It's much, much closer than many people practice their karate. In infighting there is no real guard. This is because offense and defense are not separated. They can't be because the distance is so close that a conventional guard no longer works. To stop an attack you have to break the person's balance and structure with your own attack. It's not about intercepting attacks, it's more about preventing them in the first place. It's not fool proof by any means, but neither is a conventional guard.

Infighting I believe is a better option for self defense. It's the range for which many predatory attacks take place, and a person is able to put all of their tools and techniques to use. Striking, grappling, gouging, throwing and locking are all options. This is opposed to longer range ballistic attacks, which limit the techniques you can use effectively. If you're beyond arms length from an unarmed opponent than you're relatively safe and should work toward escape or diffusing the situation.

To sum up karate for me is an infighting system, so there is no guard. Self defense and infighting aren't really separated in my head, so it was unfair of me to make such a blanket statement. These are of course just my opinions. I'll try to do better in the future.