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Self defence Tweed Heads

Does karate work in a real fight? / Is Karate a good self-defence?
It has often been said “Karate doesn’t work in the street!”

If I had a dollar for every time I had heard this comment over the years then I’d be very happy and have a few more dollars in my bank account.

The reality is the comment is right, but it’s also wrong. Context is the key here and what aspect of karate are we talking about?

If we are talking about bouncing around a mat tournament style trying to score a point and waiting for a referee to halt the engagement, then yes, the statement rings true because sports karate is much different to traditional karate and the skills in sport karate are not designed for a street self-defence situation. However, some skills can cross over.

On the other hand, if we are talking about trained responses and applications of kata that have been tried and tested over hundreds of years for defeating a would-be attacker who means us harm then the statement “Karate doesn’t work in the street” is 100% wrong.

The movements of karate kata have many aspects of self-defence in them such as evasion, blocking, escaping, throwing, locking, striking, kicking, sweeping, choking and more. I often say that karate is the original mixed martial art because it involves so much. The issue is that it has been popularised via sport karate which is not at all like self-defence. Most likely this is where the notion that it doesn’t work in the street comes from.

So, context is key when it comes to deciding if what you are practicing will be beneficial in the street.
I hope these points help you in deciding whether karate is for you. My advice is to visit some different martial arts that you think you might be interested in. Talk to the students and the instructors about what they are learning and teaching and this will give you a better indication. If you can try a few classes (not just one) then this is a good thing as well.

Keep in mind that free trial classes are not designed to give you a full look into that particular martial art. In fact in my dojo I don’t even offer them for a number of reasons. I only offer minimum 5 lesson trials. This is mainly because you need that amount of classes at a minimum to even start to get comfortable in the class let alone start getting good at anything.