What is Fake Karate?

What is the difference between fake karate and real karate?

I taught a karate class in Ukiah.
And, one of those students taught a class in Willits.
And, as time passed,
other students took over the class.

I taught real karate,
as it had been taught to me.
Forms, applications,
making those applications work,
translating the thing into freestyle,
and a zen mind at the end of it all.

My student taught calisthenics
and half the forms.
a lot of freestyle
Not much about applications.

His student taught an even more reduced curriculum.

And his student,
taught fighting.
And he called it Karate.

It wasn’t karate.
It was calisthenics
for the purpose of fighting.
No theory about forms,
nothing about the structure of the body,
nothing about the actual physics of karate…
it was now boxing, (kick boxing)
and not very good boxing at that.

So I’ve seen how the art degrades first hand.
I’ve seen how the art can be corrupted.
I’ve seen karate go from real karate,
as taught by the bodyguards of Okinawa,
to…fake karate.

Isn’t it fake if you’re just fighting?
And not learning?

a LOT of people
are going to disagree with me.
This is because they’ve invested their time and trouble,
and they think they are doing karate.
I was second generation to the people who brought karate here.
And here is the way I define karate,
and fake karate.

Real karate
forms and applications
applications made to work
limited freestyle but no protective gear
Learn control

forms and applications
applications are posers that don’t work
freestyle with protective gear

Fake karate
emphasis on fighting with protective gear

I know,
there are some people out there that really don’t like this.
I know there is a lot more to this.
Each of the three levels has much more to be considered.
But this does sum it up.

Let me make a couple of points.

Fighting is not karate.
Karate is learning not to fight, but to control.
Karate was designed,
or at least highly adapted to,
controlling people who had weapons and armor.
Real karate doesn’t bounce around like Bruce,
who was dancing around like Mohammed Ali.
Real karate teaches one to fight…
by teaching one how to not fight.
This is a very zen thing,
but it is at the heart of not just karate
but all real martial arts.

a final word,
if you use what I have said here
to ‘prove’ another art (or person) wrong,
then you have missed the point entirely,
and you are doing Fake Karate.

If you want to fix your karate
and make it real,
I suggest my book,

How to Fix Karate

four hundred pages
800 images
applications that are not posers
all the missing pieces found
and the garbage thrown out
sections on matrixing
sections on fighting

You don’t have to be the victim of poor instruction,
you can make your karate real karate yourself.

Enjoy the summer and
have a great work out!

Don’t forget to check out the interview

How to Fix Karate! (volumes one and two)

volume one is at

And volume two is at…

‘The Last Martial Arts Book’ has 11 ratings for 5 stars.
(There is a video version of this book with no stars yet)
My two yoga books have 9 ratings between them for 5 stars.
‘The Book of Five Arts’ has 7 ratings for 5 stars.
‘The Science of Government’ has 6 ratings for 5 stars.
‘Chiang Nan’ has 5 ratings for 5 stars.
My novel, ‘Monkeyland,’ has 5 ratings for 5 stars

That’s a lot of good ratings
so hopefully you’ll find that useful
find the book/course that is right for you,
and matrix your own martial arts.

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