Iain Abernethy - The Practical Application Of Karate show

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.

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Podcasts:

 Your questions answered! (podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:20:32

Welcome to the latest iainabernethy.com podcast! It’s been sometime since we last turned the podcast over to the listeners, so I’ve put that right this month. I asked for questions via the website, facebook and twitter and we did our best to cover as many of them as we could. Topics covered include: realism in training, kicking in self-defence, scenario training, training with joint injuries, the evolution of kata, the physiological and psychological effects of conflict, the specifics of female self-defence, home training, using weights to increase punching power, time management for training, and loads more! It’s around one hour twenty minutes long so make yourself comfortable when you sit down to listen to it! This podcast is a little different from the normal as I’m joined by a co-presenter; namely the lovely Becky. She’s a goju practitioner who comes from a good karate family (her granddad, dad and brother are all black belts) and, in the interests of full disclosure, she is also my girlfriend :-) Becky asked me the questions and then we chatted around the subjects in order to ensure they were thoroughly explored. I think this format works really well with this type of podcast and I’m sure you’ll find it an interesting listen. Thanks once again to everyone who submitted questions for the podcast! I’m sorry we could not get to them all. WARNING: Becky is not from my beloved Cumbria and hails from the south of England. Her accent is therefore a little strange and I’d ask you all to bear with it ;-) Right then, that’s enough from me. I hope you enjoy the podcast and I’ll be back with more soon! All the best, Iain

 The Masters Speak! (podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 43:20

Welcome to the October 2012 iainabernethy.com podcast! This podcast is titled “The Masters Speak!” and it covers twenty-five or so of some of my favourite quotes from the works of the past masters. In the podcast we include the words of masters such as Itosu, Funakoshi, Otsuka, Mabuni, Motobu, Kyan, etc. What I hope these quotations show is that much of what is regarded as “traditional” today is not that traditional! The quotes show that the masters of the past thought that kata without application was “useless”, that karate training should include locking and throwing, that the directions in kata have nothing to do with the angle of attack, that the idea of the kata being for multiple “opponents” who attack in turn was “nonsense”, that awareness and avoidance training is vital, that we should hit first once conflict can’t be avoided, that there is no such thing as a “pure style”, and so forth. It’s all stuff that those listening to these podcasts are likely to agree with; and yet those like us often find ourselves labelled as “revisionists” or “mavericks”. The fact is though that the more pragmatic and holistic approach which we subscribe to is actually far closer to what was being practised in the past than the “traditional karate” of today. I’ve also included a few, shall we say “interesting” quotes that show that some of the past masters did have some very unusual and unwholesome ideas! I’ve also included a small number of quotes from more recent martial history which I hope you find interesting too. I hope you enjoy the podcast and I’ll be back with more next month! All the best, Iain

 The Masters Speak! (podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 43:20

Welcome to the October 2012 iainabernethy.com podcast! This podcast is titled “The Masters Speak!” and it covers twenty-five or so of some of my favourite quotes from the works of the past masters. In the podcast we include the words of masters such as Itosu, Funakoshi, Otsuka, Mabuni, Motobu, Kyan, etc. What I hope these quotations show is that much of what is regarded as “traditional” today is not that traditional! The quotes show that the masters of the past thought that kata without application was “useless”, that karate training should include locking and throwing, that the directions in kata have nothing to do with the angle of attack, that the idea of the kata being for multiple “opponents” who attack in turn was “nonsense”, that awareness and avoidance training is vital, that we should hit first once conflict can’t be avoided, that there is no such thing as a “pure style”, and so forth. It’s all stuff that those listening to these podcasts are likely to agree with; and yet those like us often find ourselves labelled as “revisionists” or “mavericks”. The fact is though that the more pragmatic and holistic approach which we subscribe to is actually far closer to what was being practised in the past than the “traditional karate” of today. I’ve also included a few, shall we say “interesting” quotes that show that some of the past masters did have some very unusual and unwholesome ideas! I’ve also included a small number of quotes from more recent martial history which I hope you find interesting too. I hope you enjoy the podcast and I’ll be back with more next month! All the best, Iain

 Context! Context! Context! (podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 44:23

Welcome to the latest iainabernethy.com podcast! This month we cover the very important topic of “context”. The failure to understand the huge impact of context is one of the biggest problems in modern martial arts / self-defence. This failure has people training in incorrect, inefficient and sometimes downright dangerous ways. It can also stop us from enjoying all the fun and benefits our training can bring us. In the podcast I define what I mean by “context”, explain how important it is to define the “win”, look at how context and the “win” determine what pool of techniques we should draw from, how the very effective tactics in one context can be disastrous in another, etc. I also look at some of the common misunderstandings relating to context. Context is often an underlying issue in many debates and discussions where we see people criticising “apples” because they are not like “oranges”, and where people see defining context as a slight to their favoured art or system. To me, context is one of the most important, and most widely undervalued and misunderstood issues in modern training. Bizarrely, it also causes the most heated discussions, whereas, when understood, it should make people realise such heated debates are largely pointless. When context is understood we can start to see the value of all approaches and how nothing can be “right” all the time. The podcast also has an update on the World Combat Association and news of my books coming soon to Kindle. I hope you enjoy this month’s podcast and I’ll be back with more next month. All the best, Iain PS The download link can be found under the player below.

 Context! Context! Context! (podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 44:23

Welcome to the latest iainabernethy.com podcast! This month we cover the very important topic of “context”. The failure to understand the huge impact of context is one of the biggest problems in modern martial arts / self-defence. This failure has people training in incorrect, inefficient and sometimes downright dangerous ways. It can also stop us from enjoying all the fun and benefits our training can bring us. In the podcast I define what I mean by “context”, explain how important it is to define the “win”, look at how context and the “win” determine what pool of techniques we should draw from, how the very effective tactics in one context can be disastrous in another, etc. I also look at some of the common misunderstandings relating to context. Context is often an underlying issue in many debates and discussions where we see people criticising “apples” because they are not like “oranges”, and where people see defining context as a slight to their favoured art or system. To me, context is one of the most important, and most widely undervalued and misunderstood issues in modern training. Bizarrely, it also causes the most heated discussions, whereas, when understood, it should make people realise such heated debates are largely pointless. When context is understood we can start to see the value of all approaches and how nothing can be “right” all the time. The podcast also has an update on the World Combat Association and news of my books coming soon to Kindle. I hope you enjoy this month’s podcast and I’ll be back with more next month. All the best, Iain PS The download link can be found under the player below.

 The 20 Precepts of Gichin Funakoshi (podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:04:48

Welcome to the latest iainabernethy.com podcast! It’s been a little while since the last one due to the many demands upon my time, so I hope you feel this one is worth the wait! In the first part of the podcast I quickly tell you what I’ve been up to since we last spoke and give a short update on the World Combat Association. We then get into the main theme for this month which is the twenty precepts of Gichin Funakoshi and some of my thoughts about them. The twenty precepts are interesting and wide ranging and they give me an opportunity to talk about martial ethics, pre-emption, the importance of the correct martial mindset, the impact of the martial arts on life outside the dojo, the need for regular training, principles over techniques, the importance of avoiding conflict, awareness vs. paranoia, the purpose of stances, the application of kata in actual conflict, the difference between “practicing” and “doing”, the importance of mindful training, and more! The podcast is not indented to be a definitive guide to the precepts, but instead some of my thoughts on the precepts and the issues they raises. Regular listeners will remember we had a competition in the last podcast related to my Cumbrian accent and the local dialect. At the end of the podcast and I give you the answers and, with the help of my three children, announce the winners. It was fun to record that bit and I hope you enjoy it! Thanks to you all for your support of the podcasts and for spreading the word about them! I hope you enjoy this latest offering and I’ll be back with more soon! All the best, Iain PS The download link can be found under the player below.

 The 20 Precepts of Gichin Funakoshi (podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:04:48

Welcome to the latest iainabernethy.com podcast! It’s been a little while since the last one due to the many demands upon my time, so I hope you feel this one is worth the wait! In the first part of the podcast I quickly tell you what I’ve been up to since we last spoke and give a short update on the World Combat Association. We then get into the main theme for this month which is the twenty precepts of Gichin Funakoshi and some of my thoughts about them. The twenty precepts are interesting and wide ranging and they give me an opportunity to talk about martial ethics, pre-emption, the importance of the correct martial mindset, the impact of the martial arts on life outside the dojo, the need for regular training, principles over techniques, the importance of avoiding conflict, awareness vs. paranoia, the purpose of stances, the application of kata in actual conflict, the difference between “practicing” and “doing”, the importance of mindful training, and more! The podcast is not indented to be a definitive guide to the precepts, but instead some of my thoughts on the precepts and the issues they raises. Regular listeners will remember we had a competition in the last podcast related to my Cumbrian accent and the local dialect. At the end of the podcast and I give you the answers and, with the help of my three children, announce the winners. It was fun to record that bit and I hope you enjoy it! Thanks to you all for your support of the podcasts and for spreading the word about them! I hope you enjoy this latest offering and I’ll be back with more soon! All the best, Iain PS The download link can be found under the player below.

 Verbal De-Escalation (podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:46

In this month’s podcast we will be looking at verbal de-escalation. What I mean by that is what we can do to calm people down, avoid unnecessary physical conflict, and “talk our way out”. It’s not enough to simply give the topic lip service, as many do, with throw away lines such as “talk your way out if you can”. That’s like saying “punch hard” and expecting students to be able to punch well despite never having being taught punching or having practised it. There is huge skill set associated with talking your way out of situations that should not be ignored. Training solely in the physical, and totally ignoring the vitally important non-physical aspects of self-defence, gives us the massive problem that all we have is a physical solution! We could therefore find ourselves in situations we should never have been in, unable to avoid situations that could have been avoided, and running the risk of physical harm (and legal problems) when there was a way to avoid the situation becoming physical. If we truly wish to adequately address the needs of self-protection then we need to include a lot more in our study and teaching than physical technique. Verbal de-escalation is one such element and I hope you find this exploration of some of the basics interesting. This podcast also has some news and a competition related to my accent! Long time listeners will remember we had a similar competition a few years ago where I said a phrase in my normal accent and my local dialect to see if anyone could understand what I said. People still ask me about it years later so I felt it was about time we did another one. It also seemed appropriate for a podcast on talking! So at the end of the podcast you have the chance to win some books and DVDs. I hope you enjoy the podcast and I’ll be back with more soon! All the best, Iain NOTE: The download link for the podcast can be found underneath the player.

 Verbal De-Escalation (podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:46

In this month’s podcast we will be looking at verbal de-escalation. What I mean by that is what we can do to calm people down, avoid unnecessary physical conflict, and “talk our way out”. It’s not enough to simply give the topic lip service, as many do, with throw away lines such as “talk your way out if you can”. That’s like saying “punch hard” and expecting students to be able to punch well despite never having being taught punching or having practised it. There is huge skill set associated with talking your way out of situations that should not be ignored. Training solely in the physical, and totally ignoring the vitally important non-physical aspects of self-defence, gives us the massive problem that all we have is a physical solution! We could therefore find ourselves in situations we should never have been in, unable to avoid situations that could have been avoided, and running the risk of physical harm (and legal problems) when there was a way to avoid the situation becoming physical. If we truly wish to adequately address the needs of self-protection then we need to include a lot more in our study and teaching than physical technique. Verbal de-escalation is one such element and I hope you find this exploration of some of the basics interesting. This podcast also has some news and a competition related to my accent! Long time listeners will remember we had a similar competition a few years ago where I said a phrase in my normal accent and my local dialect to see if anyone could understand what I said. People still ask me about it years later so I felt it was about time we did another one. It also seemed appropriate for a podcast on talking! So at the end of the podcast you have the chance to win some books and DVDs. I hope you enjoy the podcast and I’ll be back with more soon! All the best, Iain NOTE: The download link for the podcast can be found underneath the player.

 Funakoshis 6 Rules (podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 47:18

Welcome to the latest iainabernethy.com podcast! In this podcast I give my thoughts on Gichin Funakoshi’s “Six Rules” (of which there are five!). These rules form part of Funakoshi’s book ‘Karate-Do: My Way of Life’ and about which he states, “The strict observance of these rules is absolutely essential for anyone who desires to understand the nature of karate.” This podcast is obviously not attempting to be a definitive explanation or exploration of these rules, but merely my own take on them. Funakoshi expands and briefly explains all these rules so the podcast also looks at those explanations. Funakoshi’s explanations of his rules raise many points of discussion and are every bit as important to explore as the rules themselves. Overall, I think these rules are very useful for today’s karateka (and martial artists generally). However, I do find some parts of Funakoshi’s rules “uncomfortable” particularly with regards to his presentation of karate as a “faith”. In the podcast I explain my concerns about this part of Funakoshi’s thinking and why I disagree. The rules also lead me to touch on the subjects of humility, mental attitude, kata, combative principles, the relationship between ‘jutsu’ and ‘do’ and more. The “six” rules are as follows: 1 – You must be deadly serious in training. 2 – Train with heart and soul without worrying about theory. 3 – Although Funakoshi talks of “six rules”, number 3 is missing from the text. 4 – Avoid self-conceit and dogmatism. 5 – Try to see yourself as you truly are and try to adopt what is worthy of merit in the works of others. 6 – Abide by the rules of ethics in your daily life, whether in public or private. This podcast was entirely unscripted and comes in at just over 45 minutes long. It is my hope that openly and freely sharing my thoughts in this way will prove useful to listeners as they explore the meanings and ramifications of these rules from themselves. The podcast also has news on the new international group I’m involved with that hopes to provide a home and solid network for practically minded martial artists like us. I hope you enjoy the podcast and I’ll be back with more very soon! All the best, Iain

 Funakoshis 6 Rules (podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 47:18

Welcome to the latest iainabernethy.com podcast! In this podcast I give my thoughts on Gichin Funakoshi’s “Six Rules” (of which there are five!). These rules form part of Funakoshi’s book ‘Karate-Do: My Way of Life’ and about which he states, “The strict observance of these rules is absolutely essential for anyone who desires to understand the nature of karate.” This podcast is obviously not attempting to be a definitive explanation or exploration of these rules, but merely my own take on them. Funakoshi expands and briefly explains all these rules so the podcast also looks at those explanations. Funakoshi’s explanations of his rules raise many points of discussion and are every bit as important to explore as the rules themselves. Overall, I think these rules are very useful for today’s karateka (and martial artists generally). However, I do find some parts of Funakoshi’s rules “uncomfortable” particularly with regards to his presentation of karate as a “faith”. In the podcast I explain my concerns about this part of Funakoshi’s thinking and why I disagree. The rules also lead me to touch on the subjects of humility, mental attitude, kata, combative principles, the relationship between ‘jutsu’ and ‘do’ and more. The “six” rules are as follows: 1 – You must be deadly serious in training. 2 – Train with heart and soul without worrying about theory. 3 – Although Funakoshi talks of “six rules”, number 3 is missing from the text. 4 – Avoid self-conceit and dogmatism. 5 – Try to see yourself as you truly are and try to adopt what is worthy of merit in the works of others. 6 – Abide by the rules of ethics in your daily life, whether in public or private. This podcast was entirely unscripted and comes in at just over 45 minutes long. It is my hope that openly and freely sharing my thoughts in this way will prove useful to listeners as they explore the meanings and ramifications of these rules from themselves. The podcast also has news on the new international group I’m involved with that hopes to provide a home and solid network for practically minded martial artists like us. I hope you enjoy the podcast and I’ll be back with more very soon! All the best, Iain

 Discipline and Defiance / Practical Karate (podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 34:23

The podcast is back! Please accept my apologies for the delay between podcasts. Hopefully you will find it worth the wait! Seeing as you have been so patient, this podcast covers two topics in a kind of “double feature”! The first subject is “Discipline and Defiance”. Discipline is something readily claimed as one of the positives of martial arts training. However, it’s not all positive and in this podcast I’d like to share my thinking on how discipline, of the wrong sort, can be problematic when it comes to both character development and the practical application of the martial arts. The other related subject we will be exploring is that of defiance. It’s is my view that martial training needs to develop a sense of defiance in order to optimise self-defence skills and develop character. I hope you find my thoughts on these two attributes interesting. The second subject is “Practical Karate”. In that section I look at what the word “practical” actually means and therefore what attributes karate – or any other martial art for that matter – needs to have if it is to be correctly given the descriptive label of “practical”. This was the first podcast recorded with some new equipment; which I’m still getting to grips with. It therefore sounds a little like I’m speaking to you with a bucket over my head! It’s still all very clear and is easy to listen to. However, the perfectionist in me will ensure that this is corrected for the next podcast … I think taking the bucket off my head is going to the key change I need to make :-) I also struggled to find an image for the podcast that conveyed the concept of “defiance”. I had taken a special picture of me throwing a traditional reverse punch in my gi with the “punching hand” inverted and the middle finger extended. It’s a good picture, but the more mature side of me decided not to run with it! I therefore used this picture taken recently during training for a piece on supplementary training that I’m working on. Hopefully the look on my face captures the defiance of the weight and the defiance of the discomfort … or maybe I should have gone with the original picture? :-) Thanks once again for all your patience and I hope you enjoy the podcast! Speak again soon! All the best, Iain

 Discipline and Defiance / Practical Karate (podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 34:23

The podcast is back! Please accept my apologies for the delay between podcasts. Hopefully you will find it worth the wait! Seeing as you have been so patient, this podcast covers two topics in a kind of “double feature”! The first subject is “Discipline and Defiance”. Discipline is something readily claimed as one of the positives of martial arts training. However, it’s not all positive and in this podcast I’d like to share my thinking on how discipline, of the wrong sort, can be problematic when it comes to both character development and the practical application of the martial arts. The other related subject we will be exploring is that of defiance. It’s is my view that martial training needs to develop a sense of defiance in order to optimise self-defence skills and develop character. I hope you find my thoughts on these two attributes interesting. The second subject is “Practical Karate”. In that section I look at what the word “practical” actually means and therefore what attributes karate – or any other martial art for that matter – needs to have if it is to be correctly given the descriptive label of “practical”. This was the first podcast recorded with some new equipment; which I’m still getting to grips with. It therefore sounds a little like I’m speaking to you with a bucket over my head! It’s still all very clear and is easy to listen to. However, the perfectionist in me will ensure that this is corrected for the next podcast … I think taking the bucket off my head is going to the key change I need to make :-) I also struggled to find an image for the podcast that conveyed the concept of “defiance”. I had taken a special picture of me throwing a traditional reverse punch in my gi with the “punching hand” inverted and the middle finger extended. It’s a good picture, but the more mature side of me decided not to run with it! I therefore used this picture taken recently during training for a piece on supplementary training that I’m working on. Hopefully the look on my face captures the defiance of the weight and the defiance of the discomfort … or maybe I should have gone with the original picture? :-) Thanks once again for all your patience and I hope you enjoy the podcast! Speak again soon! All the best, Iain

 Multiple Enemies (podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 31:00

Welcome to August’s podcast! In this podcast we discuss the issue of multiple enemies. Despite the fact that multiple enemies are a likely occurrence in self-protection situations, I think it would be fair to say that the majority of groups ignore this likelihood and concentrate solely on one-on-one methodologies and tactics. Unfortunately, one-on-one methodologies and tactics can work brilliantly when things are one-on-one, but can be totally inappropriate and fail dramatically when the numbers increase. The need for solid technique at all ranges remains constant, what changes is what techniques we choose to use and how we choose to use them. In this podcast we look at multiple enemies from both a self-protection perspective and, towards the end of the podcast, from the perspective of karate kata. We also look at what tactics are most effective when facing multiple enemies, how to pre-emptively strike when facing a group, the basics of designing training drills for multiple enemies, some multiple enemy myths, and how kata can help prepare us for multiple enemies (and it’s not how many people think it does!). It’s obviously a very big topic – one we are sure to return to – but I hope you find the podcast touches on the key issues and provides some food for thought. One other thing mentioned in the podcast is that these podcasts will have been going for five years in October! I’m hoping to do something a little special for that one, but I’ve no idea what! If you have any suggestions, please let me know. I hope that you enjoy this podcast and thank you for your support of them! All the best, Iain

 Multiple Enemies (podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 31:00

Welcome to August’s podcast! In this podcast we discuss the issue of multiple enemies. Despite the fact that multiple enemies are a likely occurrence in self-protection situations, I think it would be fair to say that the majority of groups ignore this likelihood and concentrate solely on one-on-one methodologies and tactics. Unfortunately, one-on-one methodologies and tactics can work brilliantly when things are one-on-one, but can be totally inappropriate and fail dramatically when the numbers increase. The need for solid technique at all ranges remains constant, what changes is what techniques we choose to use and how we choose to use them. In this podcast we look at multiple enemies from both a self-protection perspective and, towards the end of the podcast, from the perspective of karate kata. We also look at what tactics are most effective when facing multiple enemies, how to pre-emptively strike when facing a group, the basics of designing training drills for multiple enemies, some multiple enemy myths, and how kata can help prepare us for multiple enemies (and it’s not how many people think it does!). It’s obviously a very big topic – one we are sure to return to – but I hope you find the podcast touches on the key issues and provides some food for thought. One other thing mentioned in the podcast is that these podcasts will have been going for five years in October! I’m hoping to do something a little special for that one, but I’ve no idea what! If you have any suggestions, please let me know. I hope that you enjoy this podcast and thank you for your support of them! All the best, Iain

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