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:

 Styles: Are They Killing Karate? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 19:48

In this latest podcast we discuss karate styles! Whilst the styles handed down to us are of great value, in this podcast I suggest that if too much emphasis is placed on “style” it can be extremely harmful to karate and its combative efficiency. The podcast begins by looking at what some of the past masters had to say about the notion of style, and then moves on to examine the history of the more commonly practised karate styles. Having covered the history of the most widely practised styles, the podcast then discusses how those styles came into being through the Shuhari concept. We break down this important concept and look at how our moving away from it in recent times has been problematic for karate. We also look at how this has affected kata and the way kata are viewed and practised. The podcast concludes by looking at both the positive and negative aspects of style and gives my own personal view on the way forward for karate as a whole. We’ve now had a total of over 75,000 podcasts downloaded! Thanks to everyone for supporting them and for the kind words said about these podcast on i-tunes. I hope that you enjoy this latest podcast and I’ll be back with more soon! All the best, Iain

 Weapon Defence | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 22:13

Sorry there was no podcast in February. All my time was taken up getting the latest issue of Jissen (free online practical martial arts magazine) ready for download. That issue was our most popular yet and we’re now back with a brand new podcast! This month we discuss the always controversial subject of “weapon defence”. The podcast begins by looking at the nature of karate and poses the question of whether the methods of kata effectively address this vitally important area? The podcast also compares unarmed combat and armed combat, as well as suggesting some ideas for effectively training with weapons. The podcast includes my own views on disarms and also asks whether “weapon defence” is even a viable concept? Perhaps there is a better way to deal with an armed enemy? I do hope you enjoy the podcast and find it useful. The podcast also includes a little bit of news on the Society of Applied Traditional Martial Arts (SATMA) which I hope you’ll also find of interest. All the best, Iain

 Weapon Defence | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 22:13

Sorry there was no podcast in February. All my time was taken up getting the latest issue of Jissen (free online practical martial arts magazine) ready for download. That issue was our most popular yet and we’re now back with a brand new podcast! This month we discuss the always controversial subject of “weapon defence”. The podcast begins by looking at the nature of karate and poses the question of whether the methods of kata effectively address this vitally important area? The podcast also compares unarmed combat and armed combat, as well as suggesting some ideas for effectively training with weapons. The podcast includes my own views on disarms and also asks whether “weapon defence” is even a viable concept? Perhaps there is a better way to deal with an armed enemy? I do hope you enjoy the podcast and find it useful. The podcast also includes a little bit of news on the Society of Applied Traditional Martial Arts (SATMA) which I hope you’ll also find of interest. All the best, Iain

 Strengthening the Mind | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 17:28

April’s podcasts sees us discuss mind training! There are lots of differing ways in which people can approach mind training. Not all are too my tastes and I have to be honest and say I’m not that great a fan of some of the more “esoteric” approaches. I am with Gichin Funakoshi that the strengthening of the mind is achieved, not through any flowery / “new-age” practises, but through austere combative training: “One whose spirit and mental strength have been strengthened by sparring with a never-say-die attitude should find no challenge too great to handle. One who has undergone long years of physical pain and mental agony to learn one punch, one kick should be able to face any task, no matter how difficult, and carry it through to the end. A person like this can truly be said to have learnt karate.” – Gichin Funakoshi In this podcast I discuss the ways in which martial arts training can strengthen the mind, and how that strengthening process can benefit our daily lives as well as our combative skills. I think this vitality important aspect of martial arts training is largely ignored or misunderstood; and yet without an understanding of how we strengthen our mind, there can be no true “Jutsu” (combative skill) and no true “Do” (personal development). I hope you enjoy the podcast! All the best, Iain

 Strengthening the Mind | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 17:28

April’s podcasts sees us discuss mind training! There are lots of differing ways in which people can approach mind training. Not all are too my tastes and I have to be honest and say I’m not that great a fan of some of the more “esoteric” approaches. I am with Gichin Funakoshi that the strengthening of the mind is achieved, not through any flowery / “new-age” practises, but through austere combative training: “One whose spirit and mental strength have been strengthened by sparring with a never-say-die attitude should find no challenge too great to handle. One who has undergone long years of physical pain and mental agony to learn one punch, one kick should be able to face any task, no matter how difficult, and carry it through to the end. A person like this can truly be said to have learnt karate.” – Gichin Funakoshi In this podcast I discuss the ways in which martial arts training can strengthen the mind, and how that strengthening process can benefit our daily lives as well as our combative skills. I think this vitality important aspect of martial arts training is largely ignored or misunderstood; and yet without an understanding of how we strengthen our mind, there can be no true “Jutsu” (combative skill) and no true “Do” (personal development). I hope you enjoy the podcast! All the best, Iain

 Chinto / Gankaku Kata: Application & History | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 18:36

In the first podcast of 2009 we will be discussing my views on the history and applications of Chinto / Gankaku kata. This includes a discussion on the kata’s history and the key aspects of its application. The history of the kata has not been definitively established, but it is widely thought that Sokon “Bushi” Matsumura created this kata following a period of instruction from a shipwrecked Chinese martial artist by the name of Chinto. This podcast recounts the story of the kata’s creation and examines the impact this has on how we should view the kata, and how we should apply it. This podcast also compares Chinto to other kata – such as the Pinan / Heian series, Kushanku (Kanku-Dai) and Passai (Bassai-Dai) – in order to explore the kata’s unique nature. Examples of the bunkai (fighting applications) of the kata are also discussed. We also cover some historical information about Matsumura’s recorded distain for certain methods in order to see how the modern versions of the kata may contain elements that were not there originally. Chinto / Gankaku is a very interesting kata to study and I hope that you find some of my views on the form useful to you in you own study. Aside from the main discussion on Chinto / Gankaku, this podcast also includes details of how you can download Michael Rosenbaum’s free book “Comprehensive Karate” and an announcement on the formation of the Society of Applied Traditional Martial Arts. I hope you enjoy the podcast and I’ll be back with another soon! All the best, Iain

 Chinto / Gankaku Kata: Application & History | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 18:36

In the first podcast of 2009 we will be discussing my views on the history and applications of Chinto / Gankaku kata. This includes a discussion on the kata’s history and the key aspects of its application. The history of the kata has not been definitively established, but it is widely thought that Sokon “Bushi” Matsumura created this kata following a period of instruction from a shipwrecked Chinese martial artist by the name of Chinto. This podcast recounts the story of the kata’s creation and examines the impact this has on how we should view the kata, and how we should apply it. This podcast also compares Chinto to other kata – such as the Pinan / Heian series, Kushanku (Kanku-Dai) and Passai (Bassai-Dai) – in order to explore the kata’s unique nature. Examples of the bunkai (fighting applications) of the kata are also discussed. We also cover some historical information about Matsumura’s recorded distain for certain methods in order to see how the modern versions of the kata may contain elements that were not there originally. Chinto / Gankaku is a very interesting kata to study and I hope that you find some of my views on the form useful to you in you own study. Aside from the main discussion on Chinto / Gankaku, this podcast also includes details of how you can download Michael Rosenbaum’s free book “Comprehensive Karate” and an announcement on the formation of the Society of Applied Traditional Martial Arts. I hope you enjoy the podcast and I’ll be back with another soon! All the best, Iain

 James Figg and the Evolution of Boxing | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 16:39

This month we will be covering the history and evolution of modern boxing. In particular we will be focusing on the life and times of James Figg (1695 – 1734); who is regarded as the father of modern boxing. As we will see, the boxing that Figg practised and taught was quite different from the boxing of today. Old style boxing included punching, kicking, grappling, throwing, weapons, etc. Indeed, the evolution of boxing has a great deal in common with the evolution of karate. Both arts were originally brutal and holistic, but became more and more specialised as time passed. These parallels are also explored in the podcast. To illustrate how boxing was originally practiced, the podcast describes Figg’s bout with Ned Sutton in 1727. This bout included punching, throwing, ground-fighting, cudgels and swords! We also cover how Jack Broughton – Figg’s student and boxing champion for 20 years – introduced the rules that saw the banning of gouging and kicking a man when he was down. Modern boxing has also had a strong influence on the way eastern martial arts are practised in the west. This is how it should be and is indeed the traditional way. Chinese systems were influenced by Okinawan culture and indigenous Okinawan fighting systems. That is how karate came into being. Japanese culture and its indigenous arts further influenced karate when it moved from Okinawan to Japan. It is only right and traditional that western culture and the indigenous western fighting arts also had an impact when the karate reached the west. The influence of western boxing on karate is also discussed in the podcast. I hope you enjoy what will be the last podcast of 2008. This year has seen a huge number of people listen in and I’d like to express my sincere thanks to our long time supporters and those who have recently joined us. I’ll be back with another podcast in the early part of January 2009! Happy Holidays! All the best, Iain

 James Figg and the Evolution of Boxing | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 16:39

This month we will be covering the history and evolution of modern boxing. In particular we will be focusing on the life and times of James Figg (1695 – 1734); who is regarded as the father of modern boxing. As we will see, the boxing that Figg practised and taught was quite different from the boxing of today. Old style boxing included punching, kicking, grappling, throwing, weapons, etc. Indeed, the evolution of boxing has a great deal in common with the evolution of karate. Both arts were originally brutal and holistic, but became more and more specialised as time passed. These parallels are also explored in the podcast. To illustrate how boxing was originally practiced, the podcast describes Figg’s bout with Ned Sutton in 1727. This bout included punching, throwing, ground-fighting, cudgels and swords! We also cover how Jack Broughton – Figg’s student and boxing champion for 20 years – introduced the rules that saw the banning of gouging and kicking a man when he was down. Modern boxing has also had a strong influence on the way eastern martial arts are practised in the west. This is how it should be and is indeed the traditional way. Chinese systems were influenced by Okinawan culture and indigenous Okinawan fighting systems. That is how karate came into being. Japanese culture and its indigenous arts further influenced karate when it moved from Okinawan to Japan. It is only right and traditional that western culture and the indigenous western fighting arts also had an impact when the karate reached the west. The influence of western boxing on karate is also discussed in the podcast. I hope you enjoy what will be the last podcast of 2008. This year has seen a huge number of people listen in and I’d like to express my sincere thanks to our long time supporters and those who have recently joined us. I’ll be back with another podcast in the early part of January 2009! Happy Holidays! All the best, Iain

 Kushanku Kata: History & Application | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 21:25

Kushanku kata (also known as ‘Kanku-Dai’ and ‘Kosokun’) is one of the most popular forms in modern karate. It is a physically demanding and visually impressive form (when performed correctly) and it has a great deal to offer the practically minded karateka. In this podcast we will look at the history of the kata and examine some of the key concepts relating to its application. The kata is a record of the combative techniques and concepts formulated by a Chinese martial artist who went by the name of Kushanku. In this podcast we look at the historical descriptions of Kushanku and the combative methods he is said to have employed. The podcast then moves onto discuss who created the kata, the linage of the kata and how it has come down to us today. The main part of the podcast discusses the combative methodology recorded by the kata. This include a discussion on the concepts of datum setting - the throws of Kushanku, and the reasoning behind the order in which the techniques are presented in the kata. This podcast also includes our new intro music! The final part of the podcast includes some news and a little gift for all the regular listeners. I hope you enjoy the podcast! All the best Iain

 Kushanku Kata: History & Application | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 21:25

Kushanku kata (also known as ‘Kanku-Dai’ and ‘Kosokun’) is one of the most popular forms in modern karate. It is a physically demanding and visually impressive form (when performed correctly) and it has a great deal to offer the practically minded karateka. In this podcast we will look at the history of the kata and examine some of the key concepts relating to its application. The kata is a record of the combative techniques and concepts formulated by a Chinese martial artist who went by the name of Kushanku. In this podcast we look at the historical descriptions of Kushanku and the combative methods he is said to have employed. The podcast then moves onto discuss who created the kata, the linage of the kata and how it has come down to us today. The main part of the podcast discusses the combative methodology recorded by the kata. This include a discussion on the concepts of datum setting - the throws of Kushanku, and the reasoning behind the order in which the techniques are presented in the kata. This podcast also includes our new intro music! The final part of the podcast includes some news and a little gift for all the regular listeners. I hope you enjoy the podcast! All the best Iain

 Power and Impact | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 24:13

Would you believe it’s been a full two years since our first podcast! Thanks to everyone for your continued support of them! This month we are discussing the basics of power generation and the use of impact equipment. Being able to strike hard is without a doubt the most important skill needed for the combative side of self-protection. Karate is an art based on the “one blow, one kill” concept and hence power generation, and the use of impact equipment, should be central to what we do. It would be fair to say, however, that this is generally not the case. This podcast covers some of the reasons why much of modern karate has lost its way with regards to power and impact; as well as covering what we need to do to put things right. The podcast starts with a look at the basic concepts of power generation. This includes the key principles of bodyweight, hip movement, timing and torque. An understanding of these principles is vital if you wish to have fight stopping power in your strikes. We look at these principles in relation to basic karate punches, kata and free-flowing strikes. The second part of the podcast looks at impact equipment such as makiwara, focus mitts, punch bags and kick-shields. The use, benefits and limitations of each piece of equipment are discussed. This podcast is also accompanied by a short video clip showing myself and Peter Lakin demonstrating a pad-work drill under the supervision of Peter Consterdine. The reason for including this clip is to demonstrate some of the ideas discussed in the podcast and to show how focus mitts can be used to develop the power and accuracy of free-flowing combinations. The clip is taken from “Peter Consterdine’s Training Day Seminar” DVD; which was filmed late last year and is available from PeterConsterdine.com. This month I also try (unsuccessfully) something a little bit different! I hope you enjoy the podcast and video clip and I’ll be back with more next month! All the best, Iain

 Power and Impact | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 24:13

Would you believe it’s been a full two years since our first podcast! Thanks to everyone for your continued support of them! This month we are discussing the basics of power generation and the use of impact equipment. Being able to strike hard is without a doubt the most important skill needed for the combative side of self-protection. Karate is an art based on the “one blow, one kill” concept and hence power generation, and the use of impact equipment, should be central to what we do. It would be fair to say, however, that this is generally not the case. This podcast covers some of the reasons why much of modern karate has lost its way with regards to power and impact; as well as covering what we need to do to put things right. The podcast starts with a look at the basic concepts of power generation. This includes the key principles of bodyweight, hip movement, timing and torque. An understanding of these principles is vital if you wish to have fight stopping power in your strikes. We look at these principles in relation to basic karate punches, kata and free-flowing strikes. The second part of the podcast looks at impact equipment such as makiwara, focus mitts, punch bags and kick-shields. The use, benefits and limitations of each piece of equipment are discussed. This podcast is also accompanied by a short video clip showing myself and Peter Lakin demonstrating a pad-work drill under the supervision of Peter Consterdine. The reason for including this clip is to demonstrate some of the ideas discussed in the podcast and to show how focus mitts can be used to develop the power and accuracy of free-flowing combinations. The clip is taken from “Peter Consterdine’s Training Day Seminar” DVD; which was filmed late last year and is available from PeterConsterdine.com. This month I also try (unsuccessfully) something a little bit different! I hope you enjoy the podcast and video clip and I’ll be back with more next month! All the best, Iain

 Power and Impact | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 24:13

Would you believe it’s been a full two years since our first podcast! Thanks to everyone for your continued support of them! This month we are discussing the basics of power generation and the use of impact equipment. Being able to strike hard is without a doubt the most important skill needed for the combative side of self-protection. Karate is an art based on the “one blow, one kill” concept and hence power generation, and the use of impact equipment, should be central to what we do. It would be fair to say, however, that this is generally not the case. This podcast covers some of the reasons why much of modern karate has lost its way with regards to power and impact; as well as covering what we need to do to put things right. The podcast starts with a look at the basic concepts of power generation. This includes the key principles of bodyweight, hip movement, timing and torque. An understanding of these principles is vital if you wish to have fight stopping power in your strikes. We look at these principles in relation to basic karate punches, kata and free-flowing strikes. The second part of the podcast looks at impact equipment such as makiwara, focus mitts, punch bags and kick-shields. The use, benefits and limitations of each piece of equipment are discussed. This podcast is also accompanied by a short video clip showing myself and Peter Lakin demonstrating a pad-work drill under the supervision of Peter Consterdine. The reason for including this clip is to demonstrate some of the ideas discussed in the podcast and to show how focus mitts can be used to develop the power and accuracy of free-flowing combinations. The clip is taken from “Peter Consterdine’s Training Day Seminar” DVD; which was filmed late last year and is available from PeterConsterdine.com. This month I also try (unsuccessfully) something a little bit different! I hope you enjoy the podcast and video clip and I’ll be back with more next month! All the best, Iain

 Kata-Based-Sparring Revisited: Structure | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 32:53

This month’s podcast sees us continue our discussion on kata-based-sparring (KBS). Last month we covered the broad principles of KBS and established how it relates to kata and fits into karate as a whole. This month’s podcast moves on and covers the structure of KBS and looks at some specific KBS drills. This podcast is divided into two sections. The first part covers the key ideas that you need to be aware of when structuring your own KBS drills. These ideas will help ensure that your drills are related to kata and will develop true self-protection skills. The second part of the podcast gives examples of specific KBS drills that I make use of in my own teaching and grading syllabus. It is obviously not possible to cover every single drill, but it is hoped that the combination of the discussion on structure and the examples given will give you the broad picture and enable you to develop your own KBS drills. The combination of this month’s and last month’s podcasts will help listeners to gain a good understanding of the KBS concept. It is, after all, a remarkably simple way of training which generally only seems to be complex if misunderstandings exist about the nature of kata or the nature of live situations. The podcasts directly address the most common misunderstandings. Through the study of these podcasts the listener will be provided with the fundamental information needed to begin the practise of KBS. Kata-based-sparring is a very practical and enjoyable way of training that I feel all pragmatically minded karateka should be engaging in. After all, nothing develops combative skill in the way that live training does. WARNING: All sparring is potentially dangerous and must only be practised under the close supervision and guidance of a suitably qualified and experienced martial arts instructor. On the subject of the podcasts generally, we’ve now had more than 50,000 of them downloaded! Thanks to all our regular listeners and particularly those of you who have been enthusiastically spreading the word on the podcasts! I’m delighted that they are proving so popular and there will be many more to come! I hope you enjoy this month’s podcast and I’ll be back with another next month. All the best, Iain

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