What is Karate?

An uncertain path

The above video is of the highlights of a kumite competition, with the rather disingenuous title of karate knockouts. The video is of a non-contact variation of competition kumite, and the “knockouts” are not what one could consider definitive. They are merely blows which have been received which were harder, and more intense, than expected or trained for by the competitors and resulted in something closer to a slip than a knockout.

I would like the reader to note three things on viewing:

  1. The Music.
  2. What type of action has been selected for this highlight reel?
  3. The Title.

Ultimately, the combination of all three comes to try and sell an idea of intensity and danger regarding this style of competition. It also robs the viewer of what can be tantalising about the style of competition; the opportunity for the display of techniques, strategising to maximise one’s effectiveness within the rules…

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