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:

 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

 Solo Kata for Solo Training (Podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:06:20

This month we cover Solo Kata for Solo Training! In these podcasts we frequently discuss how kata records the combative techniques and concepts upon which karate is based. Kata provides the combative syllabus around which we should structure all of our training. Kata should be central to our pad drills, partner-work, sparring, and all other forms of training. In this podcast we discuss the solo kata itself and how it can be used as an enjoyable and effective method of supplementary solo training. We start by discussing the nature of kata, what a “good kata” is, and what benefits the practise of solo kata can bring when training alone. We then spend the bulk of the podcast looking at the many different ways in which you can make use of kata regardless of style, available space or environment. We also cover some of the ways in which you can add variety to solo kata training in order to make training challenging and enjoyable. The hope is the podcast will motivate and inspire you to further explore the many ways in which kata can be used when a training partner is not available. In the second part of the podcast we cover listener’s questions. Topics covered include warm-ups, the martial arts and weight loss, worries about the law when we defend ourselves, whether competitive karate is harmful or beneficial, and making use of what I teach in your own practise. It’s just over an hour of my martial musings and I hope you enjoy it and find it interesting. Enjoy! All the best, Iain

 Solo Kata for Solo Training (Podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:06:20

This month we cover Solo Kata for Solo Training! In these podcasts we frequently discuss how kata records the combative techniques and concepts upon which karate is based. Kata provides the combative syllabus around which we should structure all of our training. Kata should be central to our pad drills, partner-work, sparring, and all other forms of training. In this podcast we discuss the solo kata itself and how it can be used as an enjoyable and effective method of supplementary solo training. We start by discussing the nature of kata, what a “good kata” is, and what benefits the practise of solo kata can bring when training alone. We then spend the bulk of the podcast looking at the many different ways in which you can make use of kata regardless of style, available space or environment. We also cover some of the ways in which you can add variety to solo kata training in order to make training challenging and enjoyable. The hope is the podcast will motivate and inspire you to further explore the many ways in which kata can be used when a training partner is not available. In the second part of the podcast we cover listener’s questions. Topics covered include warm-ups, the martial arts and weight loss, worries about the law when we defend ourselves, whether competitive karate is harmful or beneficial, and making use of what I teach in your own practise. It’s just over an hour of my martial musings and I hope you enjoy it and find it interesting. Enjoy! All the best, Iain

 Occam's Hurdled Katana (Podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 53:50

This month’s podcast is called “Occam's Hurdled Katana”; which is my favourite title of all the podcasts we have ever done! In the podcast we look at the three most prevalent approaches to kata (and kata application) and analyse them using a logical principle called “Occam's Razor”. All historical and practical pros and cons are temporarily put to one side as we look at things from a purely logical perspective. To be clear, I feel it is perfectly acceptable for anyone to choose to approach kata in whichever way they wish. That does not, however, mean that all approaches are equal. Some approaches are more functional and logical than others as neither property is “in the eye of the beholder”. If claims of validity are to be made, then they need to be backed up. With this in mind, the podcast looks at where the “burden of proof” lies when discussing which approach is to be the favoured one. The final part of the podcast looks at how the discussion about which approach to kata is the right one needs to progress. I explain why it is up to those who hold to the weaker positions to prove themselves right. I also outline why some approaches have work to do if they are serious about engaging in the debate. This may be one of the more controversial podcasts we’ve done and, regardless of the view you personally hold, I hope the podcast gets you thinking about the issues and how the discussion needs to move forward. The podcast also includes Listeners Questions where we cover the integration of self-protection soft skills into karate training, high-kicking, classical and improvised weapons as they relate to kata, and how many kata should we practise. It’s just under one hour of pugalistic-podgcasty-goodness and I hope you enjoy it! All the best, Iain

 Occam's Hurdled Katana (Podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 53:50

This month’s podcast is called “Occam's Hurdled Katana”; which is my favourite title of all the podcasts we have ever done! In the podcast we look at the three most prevalent approaches to kata (and kata application) and analyse them using a logical principle called “Occam's Razor”. All historical and practical pros and cons are temporarily put to one side as we look at things from a purely logical perspective. To be clear, I feel it is perfectly acceptable for anyone to choose to approach kata in whichever way they wish. That does not, however, mean that all approaches are equal. Some approaches are more functional and logical than others as neither property is “in the eye of the beholder”. If claims of validity are to be made, then they need to be backed up. With this in mind, the podcast looks at where the “burden of proof” lies when discussing which approach is to be the favoured one. The final part of the podcast looks at how the discussion about which approach to kata is the right one needs to progress. I explain why it is up to those who hold to the weaker positions to prove themselves right. I also outline why some approaches have work to do if they are serious about engaging in the debate. This may be one of the more controversial podcasts we’ve done and, regardless of the view you personally hold, I hope the podcast gets you thinking about the issues and how the discussion needs to move forward. The podcast also includes Listeners Questions where we cover the integration of self-protection soft skills into karate training, high-kicking, classical and improvised weapons as they relate to kata, and how many kata should we practise. It’s just under one hour of pugalistic-podgcasty-goodness and I hope you enjoy it! All the best, Iain

 The Martial Map (Free Audio Book) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:00:22

I wanted to start the year with something a little special, so here is a free “audio book” (i.e. a long podcast! :-) called “The Martial Map”. In the audio book I look at martial arts, fighting, self-protection and their relationship to one another. Many martial arts instructors see martial arts, fighting and self-protection as being one and the same with all distinctions between them being completely lost. Personally I think this lack of clarity to be highly problematic and it is arguably the biggest problem we face today. We train most effectively when we clearly define the objective of that training. However, it is my view that most practitioners and instructors are unclear what they are training for. That uncertainty leads to ineffective and unfocused training. In the audio book I put forward a simple model to help refocus people on the distinctions and similarities between various areas of study. It is my view that this will lead to more efficient training. As you may have guessed, I call this model “The Martial Map”. The Martial Map is not the definitive solution to the problem of unfocused training (and there are other solutions too), but I think The Martial Map is a very useful way of framing the question. I firmly believe that those who apply this way of thinking to their training will become better fighters, better martial artists and better able to protect themselves from society’s violent minority. The Martial Map will also be useful for instructors by helping to ensure their teaching is objective driven, their students remain clear on the purpose of all forms of training, and there is no confusion on when any given method is applicable and when it is not. The Martial Map is around 1 hour long (10,000 words approx) and I hope you find it a thought provoking and enjoyable listen. All the best, Iain PS Thanks to all on the forum and elsewhere who have helped me to clarify the thinking upon which The Martial Map is based.

 The Martial Map (Free Audio Book) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:00:22

I wanted to start the year with something a little special, so here is a free “audio book” (i.e. a long podcast! :-) called “The Martial Map”. In the audio book I look at martial arts, fighting, self-protection and their relationship to one another. Many martial arts instructors see martial arts, fighting and self-protection as being one and the same with all distinctions between them being completely lost. Personally I think this lack of clarity to be highly problematic and it is arguably the biggest problem we face today. We train most effectively when we clearly define the objective of that training. However, it is my view that most practitioners and instructors are unclear what they are training for. That uncertainty leads to ineffective and unfocused training. In the audio book I put forward a simple model to help refocus people on the distinctions and similarities between various areas of study. It is my view that this will lead to more efficient training. As you may have guessed, I call this model “The Martial Map”. The Martial Map is not the definitive solution to the problem of unfocused training (and there are other solutions too), but I think The Martial Map is a very useful way of framing the question. I firmly believe that those who apply this way of thinking to their training will become better fighters, better martial artists and better able to protect themselves from society’s violent minority. The Martial Map will also be useful for instructors by helping to ensure their teaching is objective driven, their students remain clear on the purpose of all forms of training, and there is no confusion on when any given method is applicable and when it is not. The Martial Map is around 1 hour long (10,000 words approx) and I hope you find it a thought provoking and enjoyable listen. All the best, Iain PS Thanks to all on the forum and elsewhere who have helped me to clarify the thinking upon which The Martial Map is based.

 Pressure Points! (Podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 54:31

This month’s podcast covers the always controversial subject of pressure points! In the podcast I give my own take on pressure points including my thoughts on chi, acupuncture theory and its relationship to pressure points, modern medicine vs. a traditional Chinese medicine approach, the relationship between power and accuracy, my five key places to strike, and my own “zone approach” to striking areas. In order to thoroughly explore the above issues the podcast is a little longer than normal (55 minutes) so we can count this one as a “Bumper Christmas Special” ;-) We also address quite a few listeners’ questions including bunkai and compliance, the gap between kata and self-protection in many dojos, training outside the dojo, how to teach bunkai to children and at what grade bunkai training should begin. The podcast also has links embedded in the “comments” with links to related books and an online video. This is something I will continue with from now on to ensure the podcast is as useful to you as possible in your studies. We also embedded a little “pressure points” picture to give you something to look at when listening to the podcast on your i-pod or MP3 player! I hope you enjoy the podcast and I’ll be back with a new one in the New Year! All the best, Iain

 Pressure Points! (Podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 54:31

This month’s podcast covers the always controversial subject of pressure points! In the podcast I give my own take on pressure points including my thoughts on chi, acupuncture theory and its relationship to pressure points, modern medicine vs. a traditional Chinese medicine approach, the relationship between power and accuracy, my five key places to strike, and my own “zone approach” to striking areas. In order to thoroughly explore the above issues the podcast is a little longer than normal (55 minutes) so we can count this one as a “Bumper Christmas Special” ;-) We also address quite a few listeners’ questions including bunkai and compliance, the gap between kata and self-protection in many dojos, training outside the dojo, how to teach bunkai to children and at what grade bunkai training should begin. The podcast also has links embedded in the “comments” with links to related books and an online video. This is something I will continue with from now on to ensure the podcast is as useful to you as possible in your studies. We also embedded a little “pressure points” picture to give you something to look at when listening to the podcast on your i-pod or MP3 player! I hope you enjoy the podcast and I’ll be back with a new one in the New Year! All the best, Iain

 My Stance on Stances (Podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 32:27

Welcome to the latest podcast! This month’s podcast is called “My Stance on Stances” and as you can probably tell … it’s on the subject of stances! I feel that stances are widely misunderstood to be something static, fixed and preparatory. I don’t see any of that as being true and in the podcast I’ll explain what I see as the purpose of stances and their practical function. The podcast looks at common misunderstandings about stances, the relationship between stances and the effective use of bodyweight, how the approach to stances should change as a martial artist advances, why stances have nothing to do with strengthening the legs or improving balance, and how our approach to stances can help or hinder optimum performance. We also have the latest news and in the question and answer section of the podcast we look at competition sparring and its relationship to self-defence and the value of the “sho” versions of various kata. I hope you enjoy the podcast and I’ll be back with a new one soon! All the best, Iain

 My Stance on Stances (Podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 32:27

Welcome to the latest podcast! This month’s podcast is called “My Stance on Stances” and as you can probably tell … it’s on the subject of stances! I feel that stances are widely misunderstood to be something static, fixed and preparatory. I don’t see any of that as being true and in the podcast I’ll explain what I see as the purpose of stances and their practical function. The podcast looks at common misunderstandings about stances, the relationship between stances and the effective use of bodyweight, how the approach to stances should change as a martial artist advances, why stances have nothing to do with strengthening the legs or improving balance, and how our approach to stances can help or hinder optimum performance. We also have the latest news and in the question and answer section of the podcast we look at competition sparring and its relationship to self-defence and the value of the “sho” versions of various kata. I hope you enjoy the podcast and I’ll be back with a new one soon! All the best, Iain

 Bonus Podcast: 10 Books for the Pragmatic Karateka | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 23:15

This new website makes it so easy for me to add new content that I’ve been able to put out this “bonus podcast”! I’ve called it a bonus podcast because this is not the scheduled “official podcast” – which will be on stances and be out in a week or so – but an extra podcast on 10 books that I recommend you read (not one of which was written by me … I’m assuming you’ve already got all those ;-). This is not a “top 10” or anything like that because there are loads of other books – which may be discussed in future bonus podcasts – I would also strongly recommend. In this podcast I simply discuss 10 books that I feel all pragmatically minded traditionalists should read. They are a mix of classical books and books by modern authors and in each case I explain why I recommend the book and what can be gained from it. It was a case of hit record and off I went! I hope you enjoy this bonus podcast and that it encourages you to check out some of the books. I’ll be back with the scheduled “official podcast” very soon! All the best, Iain PS The books discussed are listed below. All of the books above are available from Amazon with the exception of  Neptune Publication’s Karate-Do Kyohan and Karate-Do Taikan translated by Mario McKenna. For those two books, direct links are provided. Karate-Do: My Way of Life by Gichin Funakoshi The Way of Kata by Kris Wilder and Lawrence Kane Streetwise by Peter Consterdine Dead of Alive by Geoff Thompson Meditations on Violence by Rory Miller Karate-Do Kyohan by Gichin Funakoshi (Neptune Publications edition – click here) Karate-Do Taikan translated by Mario McKenna (click here) Four Shades of Black by Gavin Mulholland The Bubishi (as translated by both Patrick McCarthy & George Alexander) Pavement Arena by Geoff Thompson

 Bonus Podcast: 10 Books for the Pragmatic Karateka | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 23:15

This new website makes it so easy for me to add new content that I’ve been able to put out this “bonus podcast”! I’ve called it a bonus podcast because this is not the scheduled “official podcast” – which will be on stances and be out in a week or so – but an extra podcast on 10 books that I recommend you read (not one of which was written by me … I’m assuming you’ve already got all those ;-). This is not a “top 10” or anything like that because there are loads of other books – which may be discussed in future bonus podcasts – I would also strongly recommend. In this podcast I simply discuss 10 books that I feel all pragmatically minded traditionalists should read. They are a mix of classical books and books by modern authors and in each case I explain why I recommend the book and what can be gained from it. It was a case of hit record and off I went! I hope you enjoy this bonus podcast and that it encourages you to check out some of the books. I’ll be back with the scheduled “official podcast” very soon! All the best, Iain PS The books discussed are listed below. All of the books above are available from Amazon with the exception of  Neptune Publication’s Karate-Do Kyohan and Karate-Do Taikan translated by Mario McKenna. For those two books, direct links are provided. Karate-Do: My Way of Life by Gichin Funakoshi The Way of Kata by Kris Wilder and Lawrence Kane Streetwise by Peter Consterdine Dead of Alive by Geoff Thompson Meditations on Violence by Rory Miller Karate-Do Kyohan by Gichin Funakoshi (Neptune Publications edition – click here) Karate-Do Taikan translated by Mario McKenna (click here) Four Shades of Black by Gavin Mulholland The Bubishi (as translated by both Patrick McCarthy & George Alexander) Pavement Arena by Geoff Thompson

 Knowledge is NOT Power! (Podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 28:13

Here is the latest podcast! It’s been a little while since the last one due to all the time being spent on getting the new website up and running. We are back on track now though and I have a few podcasts ready to record and roll out as we go. This latest podcast is called “Knowledge is NOT Power!” and it discusses various issues surrounding “knowledge” and how “knowing” a technique is a long way away from being able to apply that technique. We also compare “theoretical knowledge” vs. “practical knowledge” and “experiential knowledge” vs. “non-experiential knowledge”. Finally I give my formula for power and the basic training cycle needed to ensure combative function. This new podcast also includes some news and a new section where I do my best to answer questions from listeners. In this podcast we cover whether the changes to karate initiated in Japan were beneficial or detrimental to karate and what art I’d like to formally study but have not yet done so. The new website means we don’t have to compress the file so you should also notice an increase in sound quality. We’ve also had to change our i-tunes feed, so i-tunes subscribers will need to switch to the feed that includes this podcast to get all future issues (old feed soon to be switched off). Anyhow, I hope you enjoy the podcast and I’ll be back with more soon! All the best, Iain

 Knowledge is NOT Power! (Podcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 28:13

Here is the latest podcast! It’s been a little while since the last one due to all the time being spent on getting the new website up and running. We are back on track now though and I have a few podcasts ready to record and roll out as we go. This latest podcast is called “Knowledge is NOT Power!” and it discusses various issues surrounding “knowledge” and how “knowing” a technique is a long way away from being able to apply that technique. We also compare “theoretical knowledge” vs. “practical knowledge” and “experiential knowledge” vs. “non-experiential knowledge”. Finally I give my formula for power and the basic training cycle needed to ensure combative function. This new podcast also includes some news and a new section where I do my best to answer questions from listeners. In this podcast we cover whether the changes to karate initiated in Japan were beneficial or detrimental to karate and what art I’d like to formally study but have not yet done so. The new website means we don’t have to compress the file so you should also notice an increase in sound quality. We’ve also had to change our i-tunes feed, so i-tunes subscribers will need to switch to the feed that includes this podcast to get all future issues (old feed soon to be switched off). Anyhow, I hope you enjoy the podcast and I’ll be back with more soon! All the best, Iain

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