Is Karate any good for self defence?

The original form of Karate was a brutal and efficient system of self defence.

It was not designed to be used against other martial artists, rather it was designed to be used against "thugs and ruffians", usually armed with a weapon such as a knife or club.

Obviously techniques such as eye-gouging and joint destruction are not suitable for children to learn, so about 120 years ago the Japanese masters removed the majority of "unarmed combat" techniques from the syllabus. However, all those techniques still exist and are hidden within the kata - the part of Karate that many people dismiss as "dance".

Children and beginner adults get a basic level of self defence - the standard "block and counter" of karate training. More advanced students will move on to more advanced techniques - joint manipulation, pressure point strikes, strangles and chokes to name but a few. It is no exaggeration to say that karate skills can be used to injure, maim or kill people. For this reason we are very careful who we teach the full range of skills.

The United Nations has stated that one in three women will be assaulted during their lifetime. Every one of those women will be someone's wife, girlfriend, mother or daughter. Children and men also find themselves in physical conflict.

Self defence is an important life skill in these troubled times.