Sensei Lewis Briefly Responds To Some Of The Most Painfully Uninformed and Amazingly Wrong Statements About Karate (Part 1).
1. "Karate is all the same".
For this, I simply refer to the you tube page. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a video is worthy 10,000: youtube.com/glewis206. Go look. Better yet, try a class (or seminar).
2. "Karate people don't grapple or fight on the ground."
Our system, as well as many others, have groundfighting techniques and strategies (spoiler: groundfighting is MORE than just grappling by definition, as well as in actual practice; especially at THIS school). Again, if a picture is worth 1,000 words, a video is worthy 10,000 (see link above). Better yet, try a class (or seminar).
3. "Karate is all about violence, destruction, maiming, and killing."
Karate has as many aspects to it as there are practitioners of it. And, like with any tool, toy, weapon, or even ones own life, it is largely up to the individual what they decide to do with it, and how they deal with the consequences of those decisions.
4. "Karate has little-to-no self defense value."
Years of news accounts, court transcripts, and police reports tell a very different story. Also several notable closed-circuit t.v. videos on You Tube.
5. "Only the Japanese teach 'authentic' Karate."
Define "authentic". Not only is that not factual. It's a biased, subjective opinion; and often rooted in personal insecurity, cultural nationalism (national chauvinism), religiosity, and cultism around a particular instructor, style, or organization.
Karate originated in Okinawa in the 1600s, came to Japan in the 1920s, and first appeared in the United States in the 1930s.
This history of GCL Modern Karate can be said to have actually begun In 1976, when Oyama's highest ranking student and All-Japan Kyokushin champion Tadshi Nakamura split from Kyokushin and came to New York to establish Seido Karate.
Later, Ashihara Karate would be founded by former Kyokushin blackbelt Hideyuki Ashihara, and Enshin Karate by Ashihara's student , Kyokushin blackbelt (and 1978 All-Japan Champion, featured in the movie "Fighting Black Kings") Joko Ninomiya in the late1980's.
Our system, GCL Modern Karate (also called 'Shigaisen' - "street fighting" in Japanese), evolved out of the full-contact/knock-down karate of Ninomiya, by way of his student, my sensei, Vernon Owens (who left Enshin in 2001 to found the short-lived Kenzen Karate). I went on to award 5 blackbelts, including an 'honorary' one. The two people I certified to teach, award rank belts, and oversee the evolution of this system once I retire or die are Brendan Ng and April Santa Ana.
And, like early Okinawan karate, this karate too has techniques and concepts absorbed from Chinese kung-fu (for this school, specifically, it was Wing Chun).
But, as a system in a modern society and culture shaped by the prevalence of firearms and the uniquely (and yes, I agree, negative) American ethos of "do unto others, before they do unto you", we also have absorbed techniques and concepts from many other systems just as shamelessly and seamlessly.
Spoiler: every nation on Earth has its tactics and strategies related to 'dirty fighting' and 'combatives', and always have. And, most likely, always will.
Again, define 'authentic'.
6. "You can't fight multiple opponents."
In real life, a "win" means living to tell about it, despite injuries (physical, mental, and emotional), inconvenience, and the potential of months (or years) of legal issues post altercation.
In a fight against multiple opponents, movement and positioning is more important than strikes, kicks, or stand-up grappling, and can dictate what happens next. And, like in any physical altercation, escape from harm is the agenda.
Alternatively, in real life, a "win" can also mean that you noticed them first, and were able to quickly and quietly change direction and avoid a potential violent encounter completely.