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:

 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

 A Plethora of Martial Musings (podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:08:24

Welcome to the July 11 podcast! This month has me musing over a wide range of martial topics raised by listeners. We look at methods of breathing; the value of cross-training; using empty-hand kata for weapons; bunkai deniers; training for the non-physical aspects of confrontation; the order in which we should learn kata; the “two-hand” rule of bunkai; weapon defence in kata; Motobu’s place in karate history; karate styles; striking vs. grappling; home training for kyu grades; and my own personal kata practise. A pretty wide ranging podcast I’m sure you’ll agree! I have to say that I really enjoyed putting this one together and feel that it is one of the more information dense podcasts we’ve done. The podcast is around seventy minutes long so I hope that you enjoy listening to it. I have some themed pieces ready to go so I’ll be back with another podcast very soon. Enjoy! All the best, Iain

 A Plethora of Martial Musings (podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:08:24

Welcome to the July 11 podcast! This month has me musing over a wide range of martial topics raised by listeners. We look at methods of breathing; the value of cross-training; using empty-hand kata for weapons; bunkai deniers; training for the non-physical aspects of confrontation; the order in which we should learn kata; the “two-hand” rule of bunkai; weapon defence in kata; Motobu’s place in karate history; karate styles; striking vs. grappling; home training for kyu grades; and my own personal kata practise. A pretty wide ranging podcast I’m sure you’ll agree! I have to say that I really enjoyed putting this one together and feel that it is one of the more information dense podcasts we’ve done. The podcast is around seventy minutes long so I hope that you enjoy listening to it. I have some themed pieces ready to go so I’ll be back with another podcast very soon. Enjoy! All the best, Iain

 Visualisation Training (Podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 20:40

In this month’s podcast I want to discuss my personal take on visualisation training. Visualisation training is where we mentally rehearse a given task or scenario in order to help us prepare for that task or scenario. I’ve made use of visualisation over the years and I’ve found it to be very useful. It can be a great supplement to physical training and can help develop skill, improve performance, boost confidence and help give you a positive self-image. It can help you rehearse so you are well prepared for any task you are undertaking. It also has uses in our everyday lives outside of the martial arts too. Visualisation can be done anywhere and with no equipment. You can train as a passenger in a car, while sitting at your desk, on a plane, before you go to sleep at night, before you get out of bed in the morning, when injured, when tired, when ill, and so on. In this podcast I explain what visualisation is, how I personally practise it, how to ensure it is effective and some of the more common problems you may come across. We also have a little bit of news relating to the online bunkai videos we have been adding to the website and Youtube over the last few weeks. I hope the information in this short podcast is useful and I’ll be back with another podcast very soon. All the best, Iain

 Visualisation Training (Podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 20:40

In this month’s podcast I want to discuss my personal take on visualisation training. Visualisation training is where we mentally rehearse a given task or scenario in order to help us prepare for that task or scenario. I’ve made use of visualisation over the years and I’ve found it to be very useful. It can be a great supplement to physical training and can help develop skill, improve performance, boost confidence and help give you a positive self-image. It can help you rehearse so you are well prepared for any task you are undertaking. It also has uses in our everyday lives outside of the martial arts too. Visualisation can be done anywhere and with no equipment. You can train as a passenger in a car, while sitting at your desk, on a plane, before you go to sleep at night, before you get out of bed in the morning, when injured, when tired, when ill, and so on. In this podcast I explain what visualisation is, how I personally practise it, how to ensure it is effective and some of the more common problems you may come across. We also have a little bit of news relating to the online bunkai videos we have been adding to the website and Youtube over the last few weeks. I hope the information in this short podcast is useful and I’ll be back with another podcast very soon. All the best, Iain

 Bonus Podcast: Karate and Self-Protection, Injuries and Q&A | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:07:42

Here is a bonus podcast for those who just can’t wait until June! In this podcast we have three main sections. I look at Karate’s most common failings when it comes to self-protection, injury avoidance and management, and questions from listeners. We frequently see karate training being promoted as an effective form of self-protection, but I think it would be fair to say that the common way karate is taught does not deliver. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with karate; it is more to do with the way it is approached. So in this podcast I look at some common problem areas when looking at karate from a self-protection perspective. I think it would also be fair to say that these problems are by no means unique to karate either and certainly apply to other arts and approaches. However, as a karateka myself, I have presented things from a karate perspective in the podcast. The second part of the podcast looks at injury avoidance, injury management and how to keep progressing when injured. I give a few pointers that I have found useful over the years and I hope you do too. The final part of the podcast is the ever popular listeners’ questions! In that section we look at kata bunkai, the use of the ridge-hand strike, action vs. reaction, fitting training into our busy lives, keeping motivated and whether moderating the power of our blows is appropriate in self-protection. Please remember that if you want to skip ahead to any given section, listings of all the timing are embedded in comments of the podcast. I hope you enjoy it! All the best, Iain

 Bonus Podcast: Karate and Self-Protection, Injuries and Q&A | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:07:42

Here is a bonus podcast for those who just can’t wait until June! In this podcast we have three main sections. I look at Karate’s most common failings when it comes to self-protection, injury avoidance and management, and questions from listeners. We frequently see karate training being promoted as an effective form of self-protection, but I think it would be fair to say that the common way karate is taught does not deliver. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with karate; it is more to do with the way it is approached. So in this podcast I look at some common problem areas when looking at karate from a self-protection perspective. I think it would also be fair to say that these problems are by no means unique to karate either and certainly apply to other arts and approaches. However, as a karateka myself, I have presented things from a karate perspective in the podcast. The second part of the podcast looks at injury avoidance, injury management and how to keep progressing when injured. I give a few pointers that I have found useful over the years and I hope you do too. The final part of the podcast is the ever popular listeners’ questions! In that section we look at kata bunkai, the use of the ridge-hand strike, action vs. reaction, fitting training into our busy lives, keeping motivated and whether moderating the power of our blows is appropriate in self-protection. Please remember that if you want to skip ahead to any given section, listings of all the timing are embedded in comments of the podcast. I hope you enjoy it! All the best, Iain

 Principles of Arm-Locks (Podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 48:57

Well here we are with May’s podcast! This month we will be looking at the principles of arm-locks. The podcast is in two sections. The first section covers some of the general issues surrounding the role and application of arm-locks. The second section covers some of the key principles that need to be adhered to if arm-locks are to be effectively applied. The podcast looks at the role of arm-locks in live situations, how arm-locks should be integrated with other methods, how the principles of arm-locks relate to kata, and principles vs. techniques. We also examine the key concepts of push / pull, good leverage, mechanical advantage, continuous control, confusion and distraction, and the structure and weaknesses of the joints of the arm. The podcast also has news of some upcoming events on both side of the Atlantic, my attempt to find the optimum podcast length, how to keep in touch and I ask for your help managing my out of control email situation! One thing all listeners should be aware of is that the embedded comments / notes for the podcast contain timings and listings so you can easily fast-forward to the relevant section on future listens. I hope you enjoy this podcast and if you listen to the very end you get to hear me swallow an insect live on air! Enjoy! All the best, Iain

 Principles of Arm-Locks (Podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 48:57

Well here we are with May’s podcast! This month we will be looking at the principles of arm-locks. The podcast is in two sections. The first section covers some of the general issues surrounding the role and application of arm-locks. The second section covers some of the key principles that need to be adhered to if arm-locks are to be effectively applied. The podcast looks at the role of arm-locks in live situations, how arm-locks should be integrated with other methods, how the principles of arm-locks relate to kata, and principles vs. techniques. We also examine the key concepts of push / pull, good leverage, mechanical advantage, continuous control, confusion and distraction, and the structure and weaknesses of the joints of the arm. The podcast also has news of some upcoming events on both side of the Atlantic, my attempt to find the optimum podcast length, how to keep in touch and I ask for your help managing my out of control email situation! One thing all listeners should be aware of is that the embedded comments / notes for the podcast contain timings and listings so you can easily fast-forward to the relevant section on future listens. I hope you enjoy this podcast and if you listen to the very end you get to hear me swallow an insect live on air! Enjoy! All the best, Iain

 What Traditional Martial Artists can learn from MMA (Podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:12:36

This month we discuss what traditional martial artists can learn from MMA! While it is increasingly common to see MMA and TMA (traditional marital arts) as rival approaches, it is my view that many of the practises and the general thinking found in MMA are of great value to the traditionalist and will actually help them maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of their art. The irony is that much of MMA’s thinking with regards to live testing, innovation, measuring by effect, etc is in line with the views expressed by the karate masters of the past, even if it is at variance with “modern day traditionalists”! We discuss this irony and also briefly look at what MMA could learn from traditional martial arts. Finally, we look at the common ground and I suggest that best practise is best practise regardless of where it originates. The second section of the podcast is the Question and Answer section where I give my thinking on the following topics: How to develop speed and the relationship between speed and power; the recording of the non-physical aspects of self-protection in kata; what I think of practising “block, kick, punch” bunkai alongside practical bunkai; combining practical and competitive karate in training; teaching wider self-protection skills in martial arts dojos; overtraining and how to avoid it; and the difference between recreational and “professional” martial artists. As has been the trend in recent months, this is the longest podcast we have ever done (a huge 72 minutes!). I hope you find the podcast enjoyable, informative, entertaining and thought provoking. Thank you for your support of what we do and we’ll be back with more soon! Enjoy! All the best, Iain

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