Soshikan Times Issue#22
Is Karate truly strong?
In this issue, we are focusing on this simple question that you have always thought about if you are learning Karate, “Is Karate truly strong?”
However, we cannot answer this because each Karate school has different rules in competition, so without fighting under the same rule, we cannot compare which one is the strongest. Furthermore, it would be difficult to compare Karate with other martial arts or fighting sports which are completely different in rules. We’d say it is impossible.
If we still want to find the strongest martial art, we would have to fight under without rules.
However, if we take out all the rules which protect us from critical injury, it means we would have to risk our life, and it would not be a competition to be allowed.
Here I want to share an interesting article:
There was type a competition which we never have seen before, recorded in 1986. Anyone from martial arts and fighting sports could join, no protective gear such as gloves and protective surface were prohibited, and headbutt, groin or vital spot kicks were allowed. It was called, “All Japan Fighting Sports Competition,” held in Takaishi Shi, Osaka. 33 fighters joined, 5 were defaulted, and 4 were sent to the hospital during the competition.
As the first round and second round was continued in an unusual sense of tension and bloody fighting, fighters from Kick boxing, Kempo, Self-defense force martial arts, and Kang Fu were eliminated by losses, and only fighters from Full Contact were left. (Please note that traditional Karate students and practitioners are not allowed to join a different school competition, so they did not attend this competition.)
You may wonder if traditional Karate could not win. However, considering traditional Karate would be the fastest of any other martial arts in a straight punch from a long distance, if they could strike their opponent’s face with their bare hands under the rules, they would have enough of a change of winning.
This competition was without rules and the organizers did not know how strong the competitors were. It was only held once because it was “scary” for the audience to witness and “hard to see the fighting” or painful to see. I think this may answer the question, “Is Karate truly strong?”