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Old 05-06-2012, 07:21 AM   #1
gkell
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Does face punching change the dynamics of fighting for kyokushin

OSU!

Good day everyone!

I am a new member to this forum and have been an enthusiast of kyokushin for a year now. Ive only been limited to watching videos online and reading as much as i could until ive recently discovered a kyokushin Dojo near our place.

Ill be taking a trial class next week and im very excited for it!. However there are some inquiries i was hoping the members here could help me with.

1. With the issue of no-face-punching, I realized that face punches is trained in the Dojo even tho it is forbidden in competitions but what i need clarification with is Does Face punching change the dynamics or entire way of fighting for kyokushin?

The reason is ask is when i see Shinken Shobu competitions its like a huge part of the fight is face punching, with a few kicks here and there with almost no body blows and has a faster pace. Also they move around more now and put a bit more emphasis on footwork as so they could avoid the head punches.

When i watch the normal competitions i see a lot more kicks, A LOT of body punches, fighters standing really close to each other and a slower paced battle with little or no evasion.

Does face punching really change the whole dimension of the fight or those are just incidental observations?

Nonetheless i am still going to train as ive been wanting to for the longest time but if anybody could give me some clarifications just too have a deeper understanding of the Art. Maybe its something only kyokushin practitioners understand but it would be a huge help to learn your inputs.

thanks everyone
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Old 05-06-2012, 01:44 PM   #2
Martin H
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'i would say yes.
Face punching change the distance. You cannot stay in the close distance we are used to and throw bodyblows -unless you want to trade them for head punches.
and if you stay at longer distances you cannot wear someone down with body blows as we are used to. In effect when you go in you need to go for the finishing strike -and in most cases that means the head.

It does not change everything -but it certainly changes a lot.

However I would like to point out that this is the dynamics of KNOCKDOWN rules karate -not kyokushin. Shinken shobu is kyokushin too.
Kyokushin has adapted to follow the knockdown rules to a great extent -but it could easily be adapted "back" for other rules systems too -or atleast with a lot of work.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:41 PM   #3
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I have found that the style I have learned from knockdown creates a style in which you do not rely on face punches, but of course you can apply them easily with some cross training. Every time I spar someone with open rules, which I have done quite frequently at martial arts clubs, my style catches them off guard because I am using other techniques that just "head hunting." Often this gives me the advantage because since I do have experience with face punching as well, it means my game is more dynamic.

People tend not to expect the variety of kicks and body punches that we employ, they are caught off guard by the fact that we don't simply throw our legs up like logs which aren't connected to the torso, many styles never really seem to refine kicks, knockdown does this extremely well. The body punches seem to be some sort of "hidden art" or something that most people never even try to use, little do they know a solid one to the solar plexus can put you out just like a strike to the face. Once they think they have it down, that's when you pop em in the face with a straight jab, and give em some combos to think about, seems to work for me.

Eventually they don't really seem to know where you are coming from. I believe in complete honesty that fighting knockdown style has improved my fighting in open rules as well. But I guess if you NEVER fight with face punches that would leave one hell of a gaping hole in your fighting. I find that it is very easy to employ face punches in knockdown Karate, just stand a little farther away and close the distance when necessary.

Osu! A good question that I wondered about myself before starting.
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Last edited by Lowlander; 05-06-2012 at 06:49 PM.
Old 05-06-2012, 08:01 PM   #4
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Osu,

Something that I found in Kyokushin and related styles is that because of the lack of face punches, it is rare to block it as mentally you thinking, hey you must'nt be punching me there and the reaction time to block is slower for a punch than a kick.

That is a detriment especially when practised like that in the dojo when preparing for sport karate.

We do practise responses against face punches in partner work, but that goes out by the window when preparing for tournaments, so we really need to work harder on that.

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Old 05-07-2012, 02:48 PM   #5
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I would say No...

But this also is a condition of the Sensei and students within the dojo.

We practices other techn; that are not allowed within the tourney aspect yet are able to preform them well (i.e. kata, kumite in the dojo, streets) or we never use them within the tourney but still are well balanced with them.

Also since it is a very small % of students that truly fight within the tourney world of K/D it is the limited K/D kumite that is more the issue than no punches to the face.
Besides if you can punch to the upper chest you can adjust and hit head. You learn to block punches and kicks it should not matter if you are blocking lower or upper, a block is a block. It is you that fails the block not the block that fails you and your training!!!

But since you have yet even started to train, the true thoughts that should be going through your head is "are you a fit for the Sensei at the dojo you plan to train in".
Beginners need to understand that it is how well one gel's with the Sensei that matter how far or good you become. Just because a Sensei is well known or very well established still does not mean that every student will like, feel comfortable, work well with or even learn from them.

I have always told students over the years to train with someone that you connect with not the name, title, etc of the man/women who runs the dojo.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:53 PM   #6
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Osu,
As Martin H pointed out, the distinction between Kyokushin training and knockdown training is key when you're talking about face punches. Hopefully everyone's dojo practices kihon, self defense, etc. with face punches. But if you are used to knockdown rules training, sparring and/or competition, i actually believe face punches make a huge difference.

The biggest reason in my book, besides distance which was already mentioned, is head movement. Knockdown fighters typically have very little head movement and fight a bit more upright than fighters used to head punches. Being used to knockdown, I've unfortunately felt this disadvantage first hand.

And while, yes, a knockdown fighter may head-hunt less and have more well-rounded techniques to throw, i don't think it is a simple matter to adjust your chest punches to the face and expect them to be equally as effective. There are so many new angles you can throw from towards the head, plus you can throw fast techniques that distract but aren't powerful, which I personally wouldn't waste my energy with in knockdown.

Just my opinion. Osu
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:25 PM   #7
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Supplement your training with boxing.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:55 AM   #8
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I agree with Martin H.

I do both, kyokushin and kickboxing and my distance is different in both (due to face punching in kickboxing)
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksan View Post
I agree with Martin H.

I do both, kyokushin and kickboxing and my distance is different in both (due to face punching in kickboxing)
AGREED!!!

Fighting with face punches desn't make us step futher away, putting us in the region of some nice kicks.

We don't use "face punches" per sa but we do have hooks to the side of the head
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:01 PM   #10
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I think there are kyokushin dojo's, and there are knockdown dojo's.. two different animals.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by senshido View Post
I think there are kyokushin dojo's, and there are knockdown dojo's.. two different animals.
Good Point - strange how Kyokushin has become associated only with Knockdown in everyday thinking

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Old 05-08-2012, 05:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by senshido View Post
I think there are kyokushin dojo's, and there are knockdown dojo's.. two different animals.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveK View Post
Good Point - strange how Kyokushin has become associated only with Knockdown in everyday thinking


How many people really separate the two? And I don't find it surprising. Where is the glory?
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:13 PM   #13
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sadly bobh, I dont think many people do
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:29 PM   #14
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Osu! Kaicho,

Please let me know when you are either visiting San Jose, California again and you need

a place to stay. You are more then welcome to stay at my place. I will give you some

ideas and tips about dealing with face punches for the tournament setting as well as for

the street. There are some carryover, but also key differences in both of the above

practices.

Also, if you come to visit Shihan Gupta in L.A, let me know in advance I can meet and

train with you there too as well.

Osu!
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:45 PM   #15
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Osu!

I would like to second, Shidokan Atlanta's suggestion of cross training in boxing.

Whether/not your Shihan/Sensei objects to it, you have to do what you feel is best

for you according to your specific goals. There are some students/fighters who willfully

do this although the head instructor disapproves of it and there is no problem. There

are other instructors that are extremely adamant and the student/fighter secretly trains

at other gyms outside of dojo training.

One piece of advice however, is do not train or practice ducking punches while

training at the boxing gym. Explain to the boxing coach/instructor that you have less

of an inclination to train and compete for boxing events, but you are cross training in

boxing to add a dimension to your knockdown karate. Be specific and tell your boxing

coach that when it comes to defense you need to work on your parrying/blocking and

slipping punches. Explain to him that ducking punches is not a good tactic in knockdown

karate or Muay Thai because one could get knocked out by a knee attack or a kick

to the top or back of the head.

Osu!
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:58 PM   #16
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Some face punching. How do you think it changed the dynamics?
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:11 PM   #17
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Osu! A very good and very rare clip, certainly changes things, looks like the kyokushin practitioners could use some more padded face punching practice!
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:15 AM   #18
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That video is a real gem Bobh! Thank you. Osu
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:30 AM   #19
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Nice find Bob - pretty evenly matched from the footage - I think the question of whether face punching changes the dynamic should address whether it is gloved face punching that considerably changes the dynamic - I think that if these guys were wearing gloves then it would be much different - Just MHO
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:47 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveK View Post
Nice find Bob - pretty evenly matched from the footage - I think the question of whether face punching changes the dynamic should address whether it is gloved face punching that considerably changes the dynamic - I think that if these guys were wearing gloves then it would be much different - Just MHO
I completely agree, they were pretty even matched. In fact I think the Kyokushin guys had the upper hand, the last one did seem to know what he was doing with his face punches very well. It just looked like perhaps they weren't as used to blocking face punches (slapping them away with either their hands or forearms, and counter-striking (bear hands) not boxing up) and using combos.

And by gloves I mean MMA style, I should have specified. Boxing gloves changes things waaaay more than open handed gloves, although ANY gloves definitely change things immensely. I'm definitely not trying to be over critical of their performance, it was extremely impressive, very, very hardcore. These are just speculations, I really wish there was more footage like this!
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Last edited by Lowlander; 05-09-2012 at 05:19 AM.
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