Oct 9, 2007

Kyokushin Karate (Also KK vs MT video)

If you've read this blog for a significant amount of time, you know that my opinion of Karate isn't the highest in the world, but today, I'll cover the one varient that always gets a thumbs up from me: Kyokushin Karate.
Now, I'm not the most nationalistic of my people, but it is nice knowing that the creator of the style, Mas Oyama ( Choi Yong-I), is actually Korean.

However, that's no reason to like the style. It's one of the few traditional martial arts still considered to be useful, and just demonstrates what I constantly remind all of my readers and everyone else: An art that requires its practitioners to consistantly train with full-contact sparring stays successful. That means being an expert at WC Chi-Sao or TKD Point Sparring (aka "Tappy Feet") does not automatically mean you know how to fight.

The best demonstations of KK Karate are when they go head-to-head with my striking art of choice: Muay Thai. With Kyokushin's simplified hard-block-hard-hit style, the better practitioners of KK can take what even the best practioners of more flowery styles get run over by from Muay Thai kickboxers.

One thing you'll notice when you compare a MT kickboxer to a KK practitioner side by side is that, although the base style is different, they both utilize the leg kick very effectively; which takes me to another point: an art that understands how to use and block a hard low kick to the legs is also usually successful. Why? Almost any at-least-semi-useful style utilizes the legs to create power for its upper-body attacks, so if you attack the legs and cause enough damage, the arms become more and more useless. Instead of stopping the legs and trapping them, like many styles of kung fu do, a hard roundhouse to the upper thigh does significantly more damage, takes less time, is harder to block, and is, for lack of a better term, "putting money in the bank," as you reap the rewards of those hits with more time and more hits.

However, like many other striking arts, KK is extremely suceptible to grappling, and unfortunately, as many older practitioners of the art, as with any other TMA, are vehemently against cross-training, they will continue to be so. Honestly, in MMA, I believe that someone with a KK + BJJ + modified blocking can be on the same level as the usual MT + BJJ combination we see these days.

So, tip of the hat from me to all the Kyokushin practitioners from me. And remember, if you're not sparring full-contact semi-regularly, it's not KK.

To cap this post off, here's Kyokushin karate vs. Muay Thai, kickboxing rules. Enjoy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

George St Pierre has a black belt in Kyokushin