Iain Abernethy - The Practical Application Of Karate
Summary: Iain Abernethy has been involved in the martial arts since childhood. Iain holds the rank of 6th Dan with the British Combat Association (one of the world's leading groups for close-quarter combat, self-protection and practical martial arts) and 6th Dan with Karate England (the official governing body for Karate in England). Iain's popular monthly podcasts cover all aspects of practical martial arts and realistic self-protection.
New podcast! There are lots of different martial arts and innumerable approaches to them. We all need to find an approach that we enjoy and that will most efficiently help us achieve our objectives. In my case, I feel any martial art that I am to invest time and effort into must achieve two key things: It must be both live-preserving and life-enhancing. I feel any worthwhile martial arts needs to achieve both objectives; one without the other is not enough. In this podcast, I breakdown what “life-preserving” and “life-enhancing” actually mean to me and hopefully cover a few interesting talking points along the way. Topics covered include: self-protection, how the martial arts can impact on mental and physical health, longevity in training, common things to avoid, how martial arts can contribute to happiness, maximising training benefits, and loads more! I hope you enjoy it! All the best, Iain
In this podcast Iain and Robin Gamble of The Scholar Warrior Podcast discuss a wide range of martial and philosophical issues! I hope you enjoy it! All the best, Iain Topics covered include: Fear in my early training Objectivity in self-protection training How cross training and influenced my karate What kata is and the purpose it serves The evolution of karate Old school intent with a modern approach Kata as a process The four stages of kata Why Naihanchi is my favourite kata Consensual violence vs. non-consensual violence Modern pad drills The differences between the fear that keeps us safe and the fear that helps us grow The traits that high level martial artists share And lots more! Original Podcast Page: http://www.warriorstrategy.com/iain-abernethy-6th-dan-in-karate-author-and-applied-kata-master/
A couple of weeks ago I spoke to Jeremy Lesniak of Whistle Kick Martial Arts Radio! It was a conversation quite different from others I’ve had. We covered many topics I don’t normally get to talk about. We talk about martial arts and life, the fear I felt in early training, mistakes I have made, my rebellious streak vs. taking instruction, the culture of my home dojo, why I don’t want anyone calling me “sensei”, why we don’t line up by rank, why there will never be “Iain-Ryu”, my debt to karate and the past masters, the nature of my dojo’s curriculum, and a lot more! It was a really wide ranging conversation and I hope you enjoy it! All the best, Iain Mr. Iain Abernethy is not your typical martial artist. In some ways, he’s very much like other guests we’ve had – passionate about martial arts, dedicated to his training and determined to give back to the practice that has given him so much. In other ways, he’s so focused on what he does, other martial artists, myself included, are blown away. He’s someone I’ve wanted to speak with for a long time, and now it’s happening. Enjoy. Link to Podcast: http://www.whistlekickmartialartsradio.com/186-iain-abernathy/ The YouTube version
This is not my podcast … but I’m on it! I recently chatted with the good folks of Karate Café about the online “bunkai boom” and a host of other related topics. Paul and Dan kindly gave me permission to put the conversation out on my feed too. So, if you’ve not already heard it, please enjoy our most recent chat! All the best, Iain http://karatecafe.com/episode-127-30-years-of-weirdness/ About Karate Cafe: Karate Cafe was created in May 2005 by Pete Shambo and Gene Myers as a sort of “after class discussion” and unleashed on the internets and soon gathered a nationwide and international following. Now in it’s 10th year of bringing discussion topics and interviews to martial arts enthusiasts all over the globe, Karate Cafe has a solid group of dedicated listeners and contributors and has branched into the world of live shows, streamed over the internet, as well as recorded shows.
This podcast discusses how martial artists often try to reinvent criminal violence into a good fit for their chosen system; instead of adjusting their system to fit the inescapable realities of criminal violence. Problem should define the solution. The “solution” should not try to reinvent the problem! This is a widespread and insidious practise in the martial arts. Traditionalists, modernists and even “reality” based systems do it; albeit in differing ways. Because actual violence is thankfully rare, this problem can go unnoticed but it has many serious problems. This “art over reality” approach puts students in danger if they do have to face real violence. It also promotes tribalism and division within the martial arts because we spend way too much time arguing the “merits” of various pseudo-realities, and their associated pseudo-solutions, instead of addressing the reality of the common problem. Once reality is accepted, and self-protection is realistically addressed across the board, we can get on with exploring and enjoying all the other beneficial aspects of the martial arts from the perspective of our chosen system. Above all, we need to remember that the only place we can “reinvent reality” is in our minds. We can make up all kinds of falsehoods to justify the way we practise, but actual reality remains unchanged! People don’t attack with formal lunging punches; criminals don’t stand idly by when their buddy is getting strangled on the ground; criminals don’t put up a guard, square off and fight so “the best man wins”; you will have to justify your actions when measured against the actual law and not how you imagined you uber-violent “military” fantasy playing out; and so on. Pretending reality is something other than it actually is in order to promote your chosen art as perfect and beyond criticism does not actually advance or protect the reputation of your chosen system. It harms and diminishes it. In the podcast, we look at why people try to reinvent violence, specifically how many of the most popular systems do it, and why it is vital we all stop it. So strap yourself in for what should be the least controversial podcast ever … but the fact it’s unlikely to be received that way ironically illustrates the very issue this podcast seeks to highlight. All the best, Iain
I recently had the honour of being the first guest in the brand-new Seek What They Sought podcast! The podcast is hosted by my friends Zach Kowalski and Oliver Martinez and you’re sure to like it. With their permission, I have put the podcast out via my own feed too so none of you miss it. I think you’ll find the conversation of interest as we explore what karate was, is and will be. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out on future episodes! I hope you enjoy it and I’ll be back with the next episode of my own podcast very soon! All the best, Iain Welcome to Seek What They Sought. In Seek What They Sought, Oliver and Zach sit down with martial artists from styles that come from all over the world. Our aim to learn more about the medium that we love and share it with those who feel the same. In our first episode, we sat down with Iain Abernethy and talked about the past, present, and future of karate. Iain leads the charge to show the world that karate may not be exactly what you think it is. Special thanks to Benrock on YouTube for our intro/outro music and to our good friend Kristin Miguel for our fantastic cover art. Hosted by: Zach Kowalski and Oliver Martinez. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/seek-what-they-sought/id1208568769 Thanks for listening!
In this podcast I talk to Peter Consterdine 9th dan! Peter is undoubtedly one on the most influential martial artists of the modern age. I can’t think of anyone who has done more for practical karate and practical self-protection than Peter. Along with Geoff Thompson, Peter kick-started the “reality revolution” in the UK in the early 1990s and therefore provided the platform for people like myself to get our voices heard. Peter is also one of my most influential sensei and it was Peter who graded me to 6th dan. Peter holds a 9th dan in karate. He was completed in both points karate (British team) and full contact (national champion). Peter has been a police trainer, a bodyguard, a trainer of bodyguards, a doorman, an expert witness in use of force cases, he has authored police training manuals, undergone military training, has successfully competed with firearms, and he runs a security company providing risk assessments and security all over the globe for many high-profile businesses and individuals. Peter is also the vice-president of the English Karate Federation. I can’t think of anyone else who has such in-depth knowledge and experience across such a wide range of areas. This “big picture” vantage point gives Peter a unique voice when it comes to violence in all its guises. In the podcast we talk about a wide range of subjects including working as a bouncer, pre-emption, kata bunkai, police training, the law, tradition vs progress, power generation, the formation of the BCA (and latterly the WCA), drawing concepts and methods from other systems, chaining techniques effectively, the importance of context, overcoming fear of consequence in self-protection, the dogma of styles, and loads more! This is a very information heavy podcast that you’ll want to listen to many times. All the best, Iain
In this podcast Kris Wilder and I discuss growth, planning, patience and focus in the martial arts and everyday life. It was a fun conversation! The podcast was recorded at Kris’s home studio when I visited Seattle earlier this year. Kris, Rory Miller, Lawrence Kane, Jordan Giarratano and I were chatting when Kris asked if I wanted to do a podcast … so we entered the studio and this was the result. Kris did a great job in steering the conversation and I think some very interesting stuff got recorded. It was put out mid-December as an episode of Kris Wilder’s and Lawrence Kane’s “Martial Arts and Life” podcast (subscribe if you’ve not yet done so!) and Kris kindly let me share it via this feed too. Martial Arts and Life Podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/martial-arts-life/id1114321150?mt=2 Kris Wilder was the guy who introduced me to podcasting when I was on his “Martial Secrets” podcast way back in 2005. That was the first podcast I ever did. In fact, I think it was the first time I’d heard of “podcasts”. I asked Kris all about them, and that planted the seed for my own podcasts. Not long after Richard Barnes pushed me to get going (as well as providing all the technical knowhow to make it happen). So you’ve those two men to thank / blame for the decade of podcasting that has resulted to date! After the main podcast Kris has included an outtake. We had to pause for a second and Kris whistled into the microphone to mark the point that needed taken out. This resulted in three sharp spikes that are easily identifiable on the monitor. That makes editing very simple and it struck me as genius! You can hear how impressed I was and it’s now a part of my own podcasting process :-) I hope you enjoy listening to the podcast! All the best, Iain A photo taken just after recording (L to R): Rory Miller, Lawrence Kane, Kris Wilder (host), Jordan Giarratano and Iain Abernethy (me).
Part 2 of our 3-hour Q&A podcast! Please be sure to listen to part 1 first! In Part 1 we covered self-defence and kata / bunkai questions. In Part 2 we look at General Karate, and Training and Technique questions! A full list of topics can be found below. Thanks to everyone who submitted questions! All the best, Iain General Karate What other Japanese arts have influenced the development of karate; Are modern styles losing the originality and martial side of karate; Where does tradition stop and modern innovation start; Has MMA helped karate re-discover itself; What style of karate do I practise; Thoughts on karate getting in the Olympics; The nature of kiai; How karate is influenced by national culture; Where does karate begin and end; What are Motubu's most significant and / or unique contributions to Karate; The criticisms I have had; If I could talk to Itosu and Funakoshi what would I want to know; The evolution of my own karate. Training & Technique (Starts at 51:30 mins) Traditional vs. modern training equipment; How much time should you spend on each element; Should you wear gloves when doing pad drills; Training in more than one art; The necessity of sparring; Training for body type; Which part of the fist should we hit with; Flexibility training; Fitness training in karate classes.
This podcast is so big, it became two podcasts! This is Part 1 of what will be a 3-hour Q&A podcast! I asked for questions and then arranged them by topic. In Part 1 we cover self-defence and kata / bunkai questions! Topics covered are listed below. We also have some new comedy “sponsors” that I hope you’ll enjoy too! Thanks to everyone who submitted questions! Part 2 will be out tomorrow! In the second half we look at General Karate, and Training and Technique questions! All the best, Iain Self-Defence The use of weapons in self-defence / UK weapons law; The effect of the local law on training; Kyusho points for self defense; Do self-defence instructors need real life experience; Why do so many clubs focus on sport; Kicking in self-defence; Self-defence training for children; How to teach students to walk away; What to do following an incident ; Do we train in too many things; many of which will be ineffective in self-defence. Kata and Bunkai (Starts at 55 mins) The use of Kubodo weapons in Kata; What is the most practical kata; How many kata do you need to know; Why do many so many karate clubs not practise bunkai; Do the kata of different styles have differing amounts of information; Why do instructors knowingly teach impractical bunkai; When should students start learning bunkai; Do all traditional forms/kata come with bunkai; Do I publish my latest thoughts and discoveries or do I keep it for the seminars; Given the amount of information available, why do some instructors ignore it and stick to “compass point bunkai”; What was the kata that Funakoshi’s son was taught in secret; As people study a smaller number of kata in greater depth, is there a danger some kata will be forgotten; and, if so, which ones will they be; Should we change kata to better reflect bunkai; How do we ensure kata bunkai training covers all the likely happenings in self-protection; Which of the previous podcasts do I think are “must listens” for students wishing to understand the basics of bunkai.
Halloween is fast approaching! The barrier between the worlds of the living and the undead is growing ever thinner. On the 31st of October that barrier will be torn asunder as legions of terrifying beings spill into our world to wreak havoc upon the unprepared. Thankfully this special podcast contains the ultimate martial arts guide to staying safe this Halloween! This podcast details all the creatures you may face on All Hallows Eve and explains how to use your martial arts skills to come out the other side in one piece! You will learn how to keep yourself safe from ghosts, vampires, werewolves, zombies, witches and more! Listen to this podcast to learn: - How to befriend poltergeists and use them to advance your martial reputation! - How to use Kobudo weapons when facing werewolves! - How Tai Chi can protect you from Zombies! - What to do if you are turned into a frog! - Why evil spirits avoid McDojo members! - The truth about vampires and the three simple things all martial artist can do to avoid them! - And much more! Listen carefully, prepare wisely and share this information with all those you care about. If you do that, then maybe, just maybe, you’ll make it through Halloween unscathed! Yours Fangtastically, Iain VonSpookCaster (a.k.a. Iain Abernethy) NOTE: As you’ve probably guessed this is a light-hearted podcast full of attempts at Halloween, pop-culture and martial arts humour! It does however contain lots of spooky music and creepy sound effects! You probably should not let younger, more sensitive children overhear it just in case. We want everyone to have a fun Halloween! Music: Spooky Ride (background music main section) and Midnight in the Graveyard (background sounds in introduction) by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Source: http://www.twinmusicom.org/song/250/spooky-ride Source: http://www.twinmusicom.org/song/252/midnight-in-the-graveyard Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org
In this podcast I discuss the future of karate. While some like to think that “traditional karate” is an unchanging entity; a quick look at the history shows us that is totally untrue. Karate has never stopped evolving and changing. Indeed, the past masters recognised and encouraged this. In his book, “karate-do: my way of life”, Gichin Funakoshi wrote: “Times change, the world changes, and obviously the martial arts must change too. The karate that high school students practise today is not the same karate that was practised even are recently as ten years ago, and it is a long way indeed from the karate I learned when I was a child in Okinawa”. While Funakoshi did not use modern computer terminology to reflect this ceaseless evolution, he would certainly recognise the sentiment that there are many versions of karate; with each building on what went before. In the podcast I discuss what I feel have been the two main types of karate that have gone before, the history of their development and passing, and what I feel the karate of the future needs to look like if the art we love is to thrive. The core of the podcast looks at the key components of Karate 3.0 and includes discussions on modern bunkai, practicality, context, styles, karate for life, karate myths, the role of sensei, and more besides. I hope you enjoy it! All the best, Iain PS The download link can be found under the player.
The second new podcast this month! While the first podcast is a workout, this one is information based. As you may remember, I recently put out a podcast which discussed the need to be able to think like criminals if we are to be able to effectively protect ourselves from them. That podcast focussed on wider self-protection issues, whereas in this podcast I want to focus on the physical side of things. In particular, I want to quickly discuss two key elements of the criminal’s approach to violence that make them more effective than most martial artists. The criminal experiences and uses violence on a much more frequent basis than the vast majority of martial artists. It is a “tool of the trade” for them. They know what works! Any method which seeks to render ineffective the violence of criminals needs to be at least as effective as that violence. Failing to learn what makes criminal violence effective, and failing to make use of that knowledge to ensure we can effectively counter criminal violence, is sure to lead to disaster. I hope you find the podcast interesting. All the best, Iain PS If you have not yet emailed (email@example.com) me your pick for the top podcasts from the last decade (10 years in October!) then please do so ASAP.
This new podcast is a workout! The actual training takes just over fifteen mins and it a mix of conditioning exercises and martial motions. It is ideal for days where you are short on time and want to train in a way that stimulates technique, endurance, strength, and mind-set. It consists of thirty seconds of a given exercise, technique or martial combination, followed by 10 seconds of rest. The workout can be quite intense and, as always, you should check with a doctor if you have any doubts about your ability to train in this way. You also need to ensure you know how to do all the exercises and techniques safety. The video below shows the methods, but it is not instructional. Consult your trainer / sensei if you have any doubts. The exercises are timed (not a prescribed number of repetitions) so you can work at a pace appropriate for your current fitness level. The fitter you are, the more repetitions you should aim to do. You should aim for a pace that allows you to complete the full thirty seconds; where the last 5 seconds or so are a push. There is a mental component to the workout too. Because it is intense, there will be the internal battle to quit or continue. Be sure to discriminate between your weakness asking you to stop or slow down so you avoid discomfort, and your body telling you that you need ease off to avoid overtraining and injury. You should try to push past the former, and always listen to the later. Please watch the video so you understand the exercises and techniques used on the workout. Download the podcast to your MP3 player so you can train along with it when needed. Check with your doctor and trainers that this is suitable for you. As always, we sure to warmup and cooldown before and after the workout. I hope you enjoy the workout and find it useful. All the best, Iain PS You can find the video on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/X5Lro5oBlfk Download the MP3 file: http://iainabernethy.co.uk/sites/default/files/podcasts/15_Min_Warrior_Work_Out.mp3
WARNING: This podcast discusses the use of banned techniques in real world violence. It therefore may not be suitable for younger and more sensitive listeners. In this edition of the podcast we discuss “banned techniques”. This is a topic I’ve wanted to cover for a while as I personally feel there are many myths and illogical statements presented as “accepted truth” within the various sub-sections of the martial arts. We start by analysing the prohibited actions of MMA and draw out a list of the techniques banned on safety grounds. We then look at each of these techniques in turn and ask how effective they would be in self-protection, and when used against a trained fighter. We also ask how effective the banned methods are when compared to legal methods, and if we realistically need to worry about using these methods and making our enemy mad as a result (as has been suggested by some). The podcast also discusses the “rules paradox” which suggests that prohibiting certain methods permits more vigorous live practise, and that such practise can develop attributes that are more effective than the “dangerous” techniques that have been prohibited. While not the main thread of this podcast, we also touch on some of the differences between consensual combat sports and non-consensual criminal violence. It’s a nuanced topic with lots of avenues to explore! Agree or disagree, I hope you find this an interesting and entertaining listen. Thank you for the support of the podcasts! All the best, Iain