Ask Your Sensei. Modern Karate FAQ (Pt 1).

What makes this style of karate "different"?

We are a modern, yet traditional karate school. We like the aesthetic of traditional Japanese full-contact/bare-knuckle/knockdown karate: courteous and friendly training partners from all walks of life gathering together in fresh, clean, bleached white uniforms; in a simple, spotless, safe, training space.

However, unlike many classical, traditional karate schools, and even many sport-fighting gyms, we prepare students specifically to survive violent encounters, as they actually happen, in the 21st century. 

This modern, traditional karate is taught in such a way, so as to help students instill muscle-memory, improve situational awareness, and manage the effects of the adrenaline ('fight or flight) response. This training includes re-enactments of actual incidents we have studied, taken from police reports, news stories, court documents, video footage, and eyewitness accounts.

We also teach the most up-to-date fitness, psychology, and wellness principles to help each student improve their individual defensive capabilities, body composition, and overall quality of life. And, the best part is, we have FUN (!) doing it.

Do you compete in mixed martial arts/cage fighting tournaments?

Some students particpate in knockdown karate, kickboxing, or submission grappling tournaments. While this is encouraged, it is not required.

Again, let me be clear: we make the necessary and correct distinction(s) between "real-world" and "sport"; placing our emphasis decidedly on training for real-world self-protection and overall self preservation.

That being said, one of our blackbelt graduates is pursuing a career in MMA in California. 

My last event was a full-contact knockdown karate tournament in 2009. Watch the video of my 2nd fight of the day (above). There's also a stick-fighting event I wish to attend in the near future. 

Do you believe in chi (ki)? 

Chi (Chinese pronunciation) or Ki (Japanese pronunciation) is simply "energy". It is a basic principle of physics that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed. 

Martial arts uses the kinetic energy of one combatant against the kinetic energy of another, in partnership with physics (specifically, timing, distance, body mechanics, and leverage), and Earth's gravity (this is what makes throws so effective, for example, or why additional force is generated when a kick is directed downward and at an angle, like the low round kick). 

The human body moves (voluntary movement) and our organs function (involuntary movement) when electrical impulses travel from the brain through the central nervous system, and from there to the numerous working muscles and organs where chemical energy is also used (the sliding filament theory, or the lengthening and contraction of muscle fibers, is an example of this). Additionally, there are the atomic and subatomic structures that hold us and everything we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. 

So, yes, I believe in energy (chi or ki), because I believe in science.