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Fighting Karate by Hideyuki Ashihara: A Review and Analysis


Fighting Karate by Hideyuki Ashihara: A Review




If you are interested in learning more about karate, especially the style known as fighting karate, you might want to check out this book by Hideyuki Ashihara. Fighting Karate is a classic book that was first published in 1985 and has been reprinted several times since then. It covers the principles, techniques, and applications of fighting karate, a style that emphasizes realistic combat situations and practical self-defense. In this article, we will review the main features, benefits, and drawbacks of this book and see if it is worth reading for karate enthusiasts.




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Introduction




What is fighting karate?




Fighting karate is a term that refers to a style of karate that focuses on realistic fighting scenarios and effective techniques. It is not a specific school or system of karate, but rather a philosophy and approach that can be applied to any style. Fighting karate aims to develop the skills and mindset necessary for surviving and winning in real combat situations, such as street fights, tournaments, or self-defense scenarios. It also seeks to avoid unnecessary or ineffective movements that may hinder one's performance or expose one's weaknesses.


Who is Hideyuki Ashihara?




Hideyuki Ashihara was a Japanese karate master who founded his own style of fighting karate called Ashihara Karate. He was born in 1944 and started training in kyokushin karate at the age of 15. He became a prominent competitor and instructor in kyokushin karate and earned his 5th dan black belt in 1978. However, he felt that kyokushin karate was too rigid and limited for real fighting situations, so he decided to create his own style that incorporated more dynamic and flexible movements. He established his own organization called Ashihara Kaikan in 1980 and published his first book Fighting Karate in 1985. He died in 1995 at the age of 51 due to kidney failure.


What is the book about?




The book Fighting Karate by Hideyuki Ashihara is a comprehensive guide to his style of fighting karate. It covers the basic principles, techniques, and applications of fighting karate in detail. It also includes some historical and philosophical aspects of karate and its evolution. The book is divided into three parts: Part One explains the principles of fighting karate, such as distance, timing, balance, power, speed, rhythm, and strategy. Part Two demonstrates the techniques of fighting karate, such as stances, footwork, punches, kicks, blocks, strikes, throws, locks, and combinations. Part Three shows the applications of fighting karate in various situations, such as sparring, self-defense, tournaments, and street fights.


Main Features of the Book




The Principles of Fighting Karate




The first part of the book introduces the fundamental principles of fighting karate that form the basis of the style. These principles are essential for understanding and mastering the techniques and applications of fighting karate. They are also useful for developing one's own style and strategy in combat. Some of the principles that are explained in this part are:


  • Distance: The optimal distance between you and your opponent that allows you to attack and defend effectively.



  • Timing: The ability to sense and exploit the right moment to execute your techniques.



  • Balance: The maintenance of your center of gravity and stability in motion.



  • Power: The generation and transmission of force through your body and techniques.



  • Speed: The acceleration and deceleration of your movements and reactions.



  • Rhythm: The variation and synchronization of your movements and techniques.



  • Strategy: The plan and tactics that you use to achieve your goal in combat.



The Techniques of Fighting Karate




The second part of the book illustrates the various techniques of fighting karate that are used to attack and defend in combat. These techniques are divided into categories based on their nature and function, such as punches, kicks, blocks, strikes, throws, locks, and combinations. Each technique is explained with clear instructions, diagrams, and photos. Some of the techniques that are shown in this part are:


PunchesKicksBlocksStrikes


JabFront kickForearm blockPalm heel strike


CrossSide kickKnife hand blockElbow strike


HookRoundhouse kickSweeping blockKnee strike


UppercutBack kickCircular blockHead butt


Back fistAx kickCovering blockFinger jab


Throws and Locks


Hip throwShoulder throwLeg throwSweep throw


Wrist lockElbow lockShoulder lockAnkle lock


Combinations


Jab-Cross-Hook-Uppercut-Elbow strike-Knee strike-Sweep throw-Wrist lock-Ankle lock (10 moves)


Front kick-Side kick-Roundhouse kick-Back kick-Ax kick-Palm heel strike-Head butt-Hip throw-Elbow lock (9 moves)


Circular block-Covering block-Forearm block-Knife hand block-Sweeping block-Back fist-Jab-Cross-Hook-Uppercut (9 moves)


...


The Applications of Fighting Karate




The third part of the book demonstrates the practical applications of fighting karate in different scenarios and situations. It shows how to use the principles and techniques of fighting karate to deal with various opponents, attacks, and environments. It also gives some tips and advice on how to train and improve your skills in fighting karate. Some of the applications that are presented in this part are:


  • Sparring: How to practice fighting karate with a partner or a group using protective gear and rules.



  • Self-defense: How to defend yourself against common attacks such as grabs, punches, kicks, knives, guns, etc.



  • Tournaments: How to compete in fighting karate tournaments using rules, strategies, and etiquette.



  • Street fights: How to survive and win in street fights using awareness, avoidance, de-escalation, and escalation.



Benefits of Reading the Book




Learn from a Master




Improve Your Skills




Another benefit of reading this book is that you can improve your skills in fighting karate by following the instructions and examples given in the book. The book provides a comprehensive and systematic approach to learning and mastering fighting karate, from the basic principles and techniques to the advanced applications and strategies. You can also practice the exercises and drills that are suggested in the book to enhance your speed, power, balance, timing, rhythm, and strategy. By reading this book, you can improve your skills in fighting karate regardless of your level and style.


Enhance Your Understanding




A third benefit of reading this book is that you can enhance your understanding of karate and its evolution. The book not only teaches you how to fight with karate, but also why and when to fight with karate. It explains the historical and philosophical aspects of karate and its development over time. It also compares and contrasts fighting karate with other styles and systems of karate and martial arts. By reading this book, you can gain a deeper and broader perspective on karate and its role in society and culture.


Drawbacks of the Book




Outdated Information




One of the main drawbacks of this book is that some of the information in the book may be outdated or inaccurate. The book was first published in 1985 and has not been updated or revised since then. Therefore, some of the information in the book may not reflect the current state of karate or martial arts in general. For example, some of the techniques or rules in the book may be obsolete or banned in modern tournaments or self-defense situations. Some of the references or sources in the book may also be outdated or unreliable. Therefore, you should be careful and critical when reading this book and verify the information with other sources if possible.


Limited Availability




Another drawback of this book is that it may be hard to find or access. The book is not widely available or distributed in many countries or regions. It may also be out of print or out of stock in some places. The book may also be expensive or overpriced due to its rarity or demand. Therefore, you may have to spend a lot of time or money to get a copy of this book. You may also have to rely on online platforms or second-hand markets to buy or borrow this book.


Lack of Illustrations




A third drawback of this book is that it lacks illustrations or photos for some of the techniques or applications in the book. The book relies mainly on text and diagrams to explain and demonstrate the principles and techniques of fighting karate. However, some of the techniques or applications may be hard to understand or visualize without illustrations or photos. For example, some of the throws or locks may be difficult to follow or execute without seeing how they are done in action. Some of the scenarios or situations may also be unclear or vague without pictures or examples. Therefore, you may have to supplement this book with other sources or materials that provide more illustrations or photos for fighting karate.


Conclusion




Summary of the Main Points




In conclusion, Fighting Karate by Hideyuki Ashihara is a classic book that covers the principles, techniques, and applications of fighting karate, a style that emphasizes realistic combat situations and practical self-defense. The book is divided into three parts: Part One explains the principles of fighting karate, such as distance, timing, balance, power, speed, rhythm, and strategy. Part Two demonstrates the techniques of fighting karate, such as stances, footwork, punches, kicks, blocks, strikes, throws, locks, and combinations. Part Three shows the applications of fighting karate in various situations, such as sparring, self-defense, tournaments, and street fights.


Recommendation for Readers




We recommend this book for readers who are interested in learning more about karate, especially fighting karate. This book is suitable for readers who have some background or experience in karate or martial arts in general. This book is also useful for readers who want to improve their skills or understanding of fighting karate. However, this book may not be suitable for readers who are looking for a modern or updated guide to fighting karate. This book may also not be suitable for readers who prefer more illustrations or photos for their learning.


FAQs




  • Q: Where can I buy or borrow this book?



  • A: You can try to find this book online or offline from various platforms or markets, such as Amazon, eBay, Google Books, WorldCat, Open Library, etc. You can also try to ask your local library or bookstore if they have this book or can order it for you.



  • Q: How can I practice fighting karate safely and effectively?



  • A: You can practice fighting karate with a partner or a group using protective gear and rules. You can also join a dojo or a club that teaches fighting karate or a similar style. You can also watch videos or read articles that show or explain fighting karate techniques or applications.



  • Q: What are some other books or sources that I can read to learn more about fighting karate or karate in general?



  • A: Some other books or sources that you can read are:



  • Karate-Do: My Way of Life by Gichin Funakoshi



  • The Essence of Karate by Gichin Funakoshi



  • Karate-Do Kyohan: The Master Text by Gichin Funakoshi



  • The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate by Gichin Funakoshi



  • Kyokushin Karate: The Ultimate Truth by Masutatsu Oyama



  • This is Karate by Masutatsu Oyama



  • Advanced Karate by Masutatsu Oyama



  • The Budo Karate of Mas Oyama by Cameron Quinn



  • Ashihara Karate Website: https://www.ashiharakarate.org/



  • Ashihara Karate YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/AshiharaKarate



  • Q: What are some other styles or systems of karate or martial arts that are similar to fighting karate?



  • A: Some other styles or systems of karate or martial arts that are similar to fighting karate are:



  • Kyokushin Karate: A style of karate that emphasizes full-contact sparring and hard training.



  • Enshin Karate: A style of karate that is derived from Ashihara Karate and focuses on circular movements and sabaki (body management).



  • Seidokaikan Karate: A style of karate that is derived from Kyokushin Karate and incorporates kickboxing and grappling techniques.



  • Krav Maga: A system of self-defense that is developed by the Israeli military and combines techniques from various martial arts.



  • Mixed Martial Arts (MMA): A sport and a system of combat that allows the use of techniques from various martial arts.



  • Q: How can I contact the author or the publisher of this book?



  • A: You can try to contact the author or the publisher of this book through their official website or email address. The author's website is https://www.ashiharakarate.org/ and his email address is info@ashiharakarate.org. The publisher's website is https://www.kodansha.co.jp/ and their email address is info@kodansha.co.jp.



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