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the old days

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the old days

Postby Kensei » Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:11 am

It is enevitable! Get a bunch of old farts in the club to train and you wont stop hearing about "in the old days" or "back in the day" stories. Well, last night I realized I was one of those old farts. I have been training in Shotokan Karate for over 30 years now and often I find I am the only original old time student of my instructors in the class. He still puts on one hell of a class and trys to stray away from being overly technical, but I have to face it the training we did "back in the day" was way tougher than what we are doing today.

"back in the day" we normally never left the club with out haveing black and blue forearms from hyper active blocking, Purple shins from catching someones elbow or knocking knees, Brused up ribs from not blocking and the odd bloody nose or lip from trying to damage the other guys fist with your face. "in the old days" it was legit to hammer a guy if he was sleeping on the job or batter a guy if he was taking you less than serious. the classes often took on a primal feeling of "survival" over " a good work out". The danger was their all the time and you never let your guard down, lest you pay for it with a good injury. The fridge in the club was always stocked with ice packs and frozen cups of water for injuries. We had the ambulance up to the third floor a few times a month for KO'd guys if they did not get up right away or if a bone was so broken that they needed to be transported. Most of the time we drove ourselves after changing.

Three times I paid growing up for not paying proper attention to the guy in front of me. The first was a nice "drill" were we were not even free sparring. The partner was to step in and punch, the defender had a job to....Block...Then counter. But this time the instructor (my instructors daughter, fresh back from Japan) wanted to give us a fancy combo to do. Well she called out a command and I looked away for a split second to see her techniques and explanation, I am partially deaf in one ear from a injury and often found I had to look at the instructor if they were all the way across the floor to figure out what we were doing. The time it took me to turn my head and see her block and look back...the other guy started to punch...and as my head turned back to see him...All I saw was fist!
They woke me up in the bath room dumping buckets of ice cold water on me! Yah, broke my nose and all my front teeth were loose! I woke up, finished class and went to the Emergency room to have my nose set, this time they did a crap job and my septum was toast! So, I booked surgery for three weeks from that day, and trained up to the day of surgery, took three days off for the week end and was back training monday mornings class.

A second time I was doing some light free style sparring with one of my seniors at his request. Being as I was 18 at the time, Jimmy Carter was president if you want to do the math! and the guy I was sparring with was built like a big ass Oak tree! He kicked and I blocked no problem, I launched a Crazy attack trying not to piss off the larger senior and he got mad that I was coming in with no control, he extended his fist and I rammed into it with all the grace of a ballerina on acid, I fell down ( from what I am told) and started jerking around. The first thing my instructor noticed was my cheek, I had a dent in my face from Scotts fist. I had rammed into my face into his fist and had shattered my own cheek bone! Okay, maybe he had something to do with it. I do recall waking up in the ambulance on the way to the hospital and my instructor in street clothing told me my mom was on her way to the hospital to meet us. I was so scared my mom would kill me that I had not noticed I was in my Karate Gi and my head felt like a mac truch had run me over or an elephant was sitting on my face! Yup, more surgery!

The last one that came to mind was a tournament match up were I thought I could bully around a much bigger guy. I was faster, I had trained longer and I was my instructors full time student ( I trained with him three times a day every day but Sunday and taught Mondays and Saturdays at my own club). Yah, this was after a bout of the flu and I was 20-30 pounds lighter than I should have been and the guy was still bigger than me before the flu!
I danced around a bit, probably less than I recall and we both launched a front kick at the same time, difference is, he was about 40-50 pounds heavier than me and sent me flying. I had connected shin to shin an he pushed right through me, then he nailed me with a reverse punch to the face, yes the reconstructed face that I had just had fixed two years prior, I fell and my head nailed the hard wood! To add insult to injury he followed me down and as my head bounced off the hard wood it met his fist for a second time! I was cocky and proved that you have to be careful and not over step your ability by doing silly things like trying to outmuscle a bigger foe!

I dont always tell my students or training partners these stories. Karate has become far more technical and work out oriented than it was in the old rough and tumble days. Back in the day we would eat boxers alive and we would laugh uncontrollable at kick boxers. Now I dont see many Karate guys laughing at kick boxing athletes. It is something that should be left "back in the olden days" :wink:
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Re: the old days

Postby DisciplineHopes » Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:42 pm

yeah i remember those days.......oh wait.......
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Re: the old days

Postby Kensei » Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:31 am

Gloves...never used them! In kick boxing we had to but in Karate, never!
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Re: the old days

Postby Kensei » Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:22 pm

Lord we were nuts man. We used a Makiwara with Twine around it. The Twine would cut into your knuckles when you hit it and we had to hit it 100 times each side. our hands would be bleeding, then you would put some tape and gauze over the knuckles to stop the bleeding, and our isntructor often had us put our hands in salt water! THAT FRIGGIN HURT! Then knuckle push ups on rice...sound funny...try it! Shin to shin kicks or Forearm to forearm training. It was crazy! And the only gear you wore was your Gi and belt...some tape if something was hurt and that was it!

We would spar for 45 minutes traiding off partners and trying to push eachother to the limites. I have to say we did that for years, we dont do that anymore because we had way to many injuries. I had my list of injuries listed but we had so many people that had broken this or that, lose teeth, split lips, busted fingers you name it. I have to say that in the Karate club I had the hardest work outs ever, in Kickboxing we did lots of running and jump rope ext...but nothing close to the Karate training. Every one makes fun of Karate now adays but the old days proved who the men were!

All of that old time training would never fly now adays! Most MMA work outs only pray that they could be as hard as the work outs we went through...well some probably do but ours were harsh. If we added Jitsu and wrestling we would have been deadly, as it was Not a single guy that went through the Kangeiko training was anything less than a weapon when we were done...or very very broken!
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Re: the old days

Postby Kensei » Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:32 pm

The salt water....no answer. It is actually not very good for the skin and can cause infection,...and hurts like hell!

The forearm thing was close...Try stepping in to the block to block and smashing arms...That hurts as well.
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Re: the old days

Postby Kensei » Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:30 am

Wednesdays are my "lets see if it actually kills you" kind of training. The rest of the time is improving my cardio, dropping weight and keeping my body from falling appart. I also am looking at changing my diet real soon to get me back to fighting weight. Being a full time dad and working in an office will put extra around the mid section...add age and sitting on your duff for 8 hours a day and you end up needing to train special and alter the diet. I find myself getting sick of eating crap anyways.
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Re: the old days

Postby pmosiun » Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:58 am

I call BS, karate better than kickboxing? Then why nobody is using reverse punch and putting their hand beside their hip? I am sure karate people like Joe Lewis and Bill Wallace have reason why they use a more boxing like structure.
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Re: the old days

Postby Kensei » Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:10 am

pmosiun wrote:I call BS, karate better than kickboxing? Then why nobody is using reverse punch and putting their hand beside their hip? I am sure karate people like Joe Lewis and Bill Wallace have reason why they use a more boxing like structure.

first off kid, When we fight we dont put our hands beside our hips. We train that way to make sure our bodies understand the dynamics that they need to develop greater power. Its like when a sprinter does "butt kicks" or "Knee lifts" during training. If you watch a free spar we use reverse punches like you see in the UFC, a cross! Gyaku zuki or reverse punches are ways to train the body to produce more power on simple punches like a cross.

Kick boxing is an extension of Karate styles. I know it is hard to follow but if you actually train to a higher level you will see that the basics or Kihon waza training is a way of promoting more power in your movements....not a structure to live by in the ring. Guys like Joe Lewis and Bill wallace, Benny Urquidez, ext and so on all crossed over from traditional Karate to kick boxing and used the skills they built up in a traditional Dojo to do full contact Karate. Joe Lewis once said that if not for his Karate training he would not have won a single Kickboxing round.

I could go on and on and on about how kick boxing owes its existance to a bunch of Japanese guys wearing white PJ's and yelping, but I dont think I will insult anyones intellegence by stating a fact that pretty much everyone knows.


I dont say that Karate is better than Kickboxing....after all Karate is a major component of kickboxing. You could say that Kickboxing was the sport end of Karate...with some other styles merged int for shits and giggles.
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