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Karate is a sport, but it's still martial arts
I was recently browsing Youtube watching World Championship Karate sparring championship fights - Kumite (Japanese: 組手, literally "grappling hands") - as my daughter is competing in this sport.
On one match there were a bunch of bro-comments dissing the karate fighters. The consensus was that karate fighters wouldn't stand a chance in a real street fight as it was all theatre.
There's a grain of truth in those comments. Martial arts were about defending yourself and disabling your attackers.
If there were multiple attackers, then your survival demanded that you inflict as much damage as possible on them to bring the odds back to your favour.
Besides Kumite the World Karate Championships hosts bouts of Kata - (型 or 形) meaning literally "form" and referring to a detailed choreographed pattern of movements.
Kata are used by most Japanese and Okinawan martial arts, such as aikido, judo, kendo, kenpo, and karate.
Kata were once practised to kill or maim an attacker, in particular when set upon by multiple attackers. It is what you see in "Bruce Lee" style movies when the bad gang attacks the lone good guy.
Today, however, these martial arts have transformed into sports. They have been modified for competition. Points now determine the winner, not the submission of the opponent(s).
Competitors in Kata do not even face off against one another, in terms of physical contact. They simply compete for points.
Considering the transformation from "karate to kill" to karate as a sport, the bros would seem to be on solid ground with their assertions.
How would the bros feel if a mere karate sports competitor could beat one of their "real-life street fighters"?
How would they feel if a small Karate sports fighter could defeat a much bigger and heavier "real street fighter" in a full-contact fight with no rules?
How would they feel if that karate fighter was a woman?
Fight Club set up such a fight.
For the first time in our Fight club's history, there comes a fight between man and woman.
Watch the video (9 minutes).
How'd it go for the Streetfighter?
It's not a complete spoiler to say that the Street Fighter was out of it a long way before the fight was stopped. He was smashed. The appearance is that Fight Club stopped the bout after 9 minutes to save their "Street Fighter" further humiliation.
For the record:
Karate might well be a sport, but it's a sport which enables a 50kg woman to humble an 80kg street fighter.
Bros - 0, Girls - 1
I'm glad my daughter is keen to compete in karate.
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