Full Contact Karate Training
Background: Karate enjoys great popularity both in professional and recreational sports and can be classified into full, half and low contact styles. The aim of this study was the analysis of sports injuries in Kyokushinkai (full contact) and traditional Karate (semi-contact).
Full Contact Karate Training
Methods: In a retrospective study design, 215 active amateur karateka (114 full contact, 101 semi-contact) were interviewed by means of a standardised questionnaire regarding typical sport injuries during the last 36 months. Injuries were categorised into severity grade I (not requiring medical treatment), grade II (single medical treatment), grade III (several outpatient medical treatments) and grade IV (requiring hospitalisation).
Results: In total, 217 injuries were reported in detail. 125 injuries (58%) occurred in full contact and 92 (42%) in semi-contact karate. The time related injury rate of full contact karateka was 1.9/1000 h compared to 1.3/1000 h of semi-contact karateka (p
As a former Shorin Ryu karate and current Kyokushin karate student, I have witnessed how vastly different the different styles of karate are. Some barely allow any sparring while others allow full contact sparring.
So if you want to take karate and want your training to translate into real-life effectiveness, you should go to a full contact karate school. Although katas, kihon, and point sparring has its place in training, it is the full contact that allows you to apply your training in real-life situations. The following article outlines the various full contact styles and their similiarities and differences.
So what is full contact karate? Full contact karate are karate styles that compete in knockdown karate rules and therefore spend a large amount of time doing full contact sparring. Here is a basic list of rules that full contact karate styles follow.
When most people talk about full contact karate, they talk about the rules in which the tournament in the system is based on. And of course, since the tournament is built around those rules, the karate system trains by those rules and spars full contact heavily. Below is a list of full contact karate styles:
Ashihara Karate -Ashihara is a relatively new form of full contact karate that is derived from kyokushin karate. The founder Hideyuki Ashihara, trained kyokushin at the Oyama dojo but also sought influence from boxing, muay thai, and Japanese jujutsu. Tournaments of Ashihara karate are similar to those of Enshin in terms of rules and allowed techniques. As such, one-handed grabs and throws are allowed in Ashihara karate.
Some kenpo schools offer only point sparring while others emphasize full contact sparring (with headgear and small gloves), depending on which ruleset they compete under (semi-contact kempo, mixed kempo, or knockdown kempo).
Full Contact / Knockdown Karate is more deeply rooted in the historical karate of the Ryukyus. Like sport karate, full contact karate is a sport which also strives to determine who would be victorious in a real fight situation, but uses a different criteria: Punches and kicks that cause the opponent to buckle or fall are scored, techniques which do not produce an effect do not score. Full contact kicks using the foot, shin, and sometimes knees can be delivered to the legs, torso, and head. Full power punches can be delivered to the body only. Karateka train severely for years to prepare for full contact karate competition. With the proper preparation, full power karate blows can be deflected, evaded, or absorbed without damage to the receiver. Those who do not prepare correctly for Okinwan style leg kicks end up on the floor in short order. Karateka who wish to to test their ability to deliver blows which actually buckle or knock down an opponent, while withstanding full power attacks are attracted to full contact karate matches. Full contact karate matches require full commitment and effort by both contestants, which produces a great respect and camaraderie between participants. Anyone watching or participating in full contact karate gains a deep respect for the preparation and deep effort required; booing or poor sportsmanship is almost never seen or heard. Competitors as young as eight years old are joining the ranks of martial artists who practice full contact karate, mainly due to improved safety gear and safe tournament practices.
Major General Patrick Njabulo Dube ordered that infantry units begin using karate training as the basis for crowd control management. Hand-to-hand combat instructors were taken through six weeks of karate instruction and have now finished training their first class of soldiers in what's been described as an "intensive" seven-day course.
While there are a variety of full contact Karate formats, one of the most popular formats is knockdown sparring or knockdown Karate. This type of sparring focusing on knocking out or knocking down an opponent. There are a number of different styles that practice knockdown sparring but probably the most famous is Kyokushin Karate.
In February, 1968, Lewis and five other top-rated fighters (Bob Wall, Skipper Mullins, J. Pat Burleson, David Moon, and Fred Wren) fought in the first World Professional Karate Championships (WPKC) promoted by Jim Harrison. This was the first "professional" tournament in karate history and took place in Harrison's dojo in Kansas City. The rules allowed "heavy contact." Lewis won the tournament and was paid one dollar, thus officially making him the first professional champion in karate history.
Joe Lewis was voted by the top fighters and promoters as the greatest karate fighter of all time in 1983. Chuck Norris and Bill Wallace tied for second place. Gene Lebell has credited Joe as the person who "brought us full-contact karate."
In late 1969 promoter Lee Faulkner contacted Joe Lewis to fight in his upcoming United States Karate Championships. Lewis had retired from point fighting at the time but agreed to fight if Faulkner would promote a full-contact karate bout with Lewis and an opponent who would fight to the knockout. Faulkner agreed. As Lewis and Greg Baines entered the ring wearing boxing gloves the announcer identified the fighters as "kickboxers". That night Joe Lewis won the first-ever kickboxing bout in North America on January 17, 1970, with a second-round knockout over Greg Baines.
September 14, 1974 on ABC's Wide World of Entertainment promoter Mike Anderson introduced PKA 'full-contact' karate. In the bouts, competitors wore foam hand and foot protection and fought to the knockout (Kickboxing rules allowed for leg kicks: full-contact karate rules did not permit kicks to the legs). Lewis, the retired US Heavyweight Kickboxing champion was accustomed to full contact fighting. In 1974 he beat his only opponent in the new sport of full contact karate with a 2nd round ridge hand knockout over Yugoslavia's Frank Brodar in Los Angeles, California to win the Professional Karate Association (PKA) Heavyweight full-contact karate title.
The original 1974 PKA world champions, including Joe Lewis (heavyweight), Jeff Smith (light heavyweight) and Bill 'Superfoot' Wallace (middleweight) received so much fanfare from the PKA title wins and resultant publicity in popular martial arts magazines that their status as "legends of the karate world" was guaranteed. Lewis advanced his public persona the next year by appearing on the cover of Playgirl magazine. In 1975 Joe Lewis was inducted into the Black Belt magazine Hall of Fame as the 1974 full contact karate "fighter of the year".
At the age of 39, in 1983, Joe Lewis launched a comeback which saw him earn a top-10 PKA world ranking. Neglecting an extended training time to begin his comeback for a title Lewis defeated T. Morrison by KO, decisioned Charleton Young and Curtis Crandall and knocked out Melvin Cole. On April 16, Lewis lost a decision to Mark Georgantas in an upset, in a fight in which Lewis focused on getting a body punch KO and suffered a serious cut. On August 10, Lewis suffered a disappointing 4th round stoppage due to yet another cut to US heavyweight champion Kerry Roop for the PKA US heavyweight title. Lewis retired after the defeat. Joe Lewis's competitive career in kickboxing and PKA full-contact karate ended with a combined record of 17 wins and 4 losses with 15 wins obtained by knockout, a K.O ratio of 71.4% (The PKA World title record was 5 wins 4 losses). In 1990 Lewis (198 lbs) fought one last exhibition kickboxing/karate match with friend Bill Wallace (166 lbs) on pay per view. Both Lewis and Wallace were refused a boxing license because of their age. Though it was only an exhibition, many people believed it was the main event of the night due to the publicity it attracted. The fight was billed "Speed vs Power". The exhibition ended with two judges scoring a tie and one judge giving the fight to Wallace in the exhibition event, however Lewis later recounted that he was warned not to cross the line with Wallace, as Lewis enjoyed a 30-pound advantage on Wallace.
After cross-training in Boxing with Sugar Ray Robinson and Joe Orbillio, and then training Jeet Kune Do with Bruce Lee, Lewis would gain a unique view on how to handle distance and closing the gap. His preferred techniques as a full contact Karate and Kickboxing fighter were his trademark side kick, and the hook punch, particularly the left, typically delivered in combinations, he also claimed that it was typical of his style to use low kicks as early as his first kickboxing bout against Greg Baines, and once referred to them as his "main weapon". Thanks to his background as a wrestler, and his studying of Shōrin-ryū Karate (both Shobayashi and Matsubayashi), Okinawan Kenpo, Judo, Jeet Kune Do, Boxing and Tai Chi, Joe Lewis was a very well-rounded fighter. 041b061a72