Sunday, 24 May 2015

Do The Maths!

Here is a little kata experiment to try, make a list of how many techniques and skills you consider essential to be effective in a real fight, be sure to factor in variables such as multiple opponents, concealed weapons especially blades, environmental factors, fighting on after sustaining injury and whatever else you can think of. What does your list include? punching? kicking? headbutting? elbows? knees? clinch? throwing? grappling? ground fighting? gouging? biting? what else?

Not many hooks, headbutts or leg kicks!
Now choose a kata (preferably an antique form inherited from China), start by counting how many techniques, hand movements, foot movements, steps, turns (count left and right) and start comparing the numbers against your fight essentials list. How well does the kata hold up?  How many hits? is the form covering all of those essential techniques or even a large percentage of them? is it satisfying the criteria and brutal inescapable demands of real violence?

If you have for example 50 or so fight essentials (my conservative estimate) and the content of the form is not scoring very highly what does this suggest about the form and the assumptions of a fighting function made about it?

The idea is often promoted (but in no way proven or demonstrated) that certain kata such as Kusanku or Chinto are complete systems of self defence or fighting,  This exercise is one of many that can be used to experiment with the content of the antique kata and used to reveal just what is possible and what is not putting to rest unfounded claims such as that Kusanku is a complete fighting system etc.

Not all kata were born equal and in order to penetrate the original intentions and functions of these forms as many different methods of experimentation needs to be applied to any and every assumption made about the antique kata, starting with the most common belief that they are all empty handed self defence and fighting.

Please contact us with any comments or questions by emailing Tom Maxwell at, thanks for reading!!!

A Note on Plagiarism

Greetings All,

Please feel free to use the information on this blog and to share, critique and question as much as you wish but do quote your source! a nod here and a tip of the hat there goes a long way as well as posting a link!!. It is sad to see several recent instances of blatant plagiarism by several people lacking basic integrity trying to pass off the work of others as their own.

To the other 99.9% thankyou for your own going support and feedback, lots more to come!

Please contact us with any comments or questions by emailing Tom Maxwell at, thanks for reading!!!