Nov 20, 2017



Posted by: Dan

I attended my first competition in 1971 when the first Scotland England Karate competition was held in Glasgow. I was blown away by a demo from Gary Spiers of Gojukai Karate who headbutted and nut kicked his merry way through his performance of street karate. Crude but highly effective. 

We were a few teenagers from 6th kyu and up. We wanted to show how good we were and so without any support from our Sensei and with no special preparation, we entered the Scottish National Championships in Dundee in 1972. I tried to stop all my techniques 2" from my opponent's face and body; didn't really know any better. I was shocked when he actually hit me. I lost the contest. I had a chance of redemption when the team event started and I was drawn to fight an experienced member of the Scottish Karate team. 

I decided to use the tactic of hitting him with a gyakatsuki every time he started to move. I got a draw and I learned something from the experience. I realized that in life as in Karate, it is wise to have a plan B.

Some people criticise competitions and say that they are not practical. To some extent they are correct. Technique deteriorates under pressure and once the element of pain is present it is a different game.

Competition puts us under stress, tests our technique, our intent, our courage, our physicality and our skill. It's even a way to make new friends.

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Blasts from the past.


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Norway Summer Camp c. 2006