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How to shine with elegance on the tatami? 5 Immanent Strategies for Knockdown Fights

Updated: May 23, 2023

If you want to look good in a knockdown fight, there are essential strategies to master. This article presents five key tips, with practical examples, that will help you win with style and dignity.

We will explore the importance of low kicks, the need to keep a high guard, the art of angle and footwork, the diversity of attacks and finally, the respect that is due in every fight. Enjoy your reading and training!

1. Use low kicks to damage your opponent's legs and limit their mobility.

Understanding the importance of low kicks

Low kicks are a fundamental element of Kyokushin karate. They are used to throw the opponent off balance, inflict damage and prepare for other strikes. A low kick (circular or direct) is a strike with the shin on the opponent's leg, usually at thigh level.

Technique rather than raw power

Low kicks are not just about raw power. Technique must be exceptional. One must rotate one's hips and shift one's body weight in the kick to maximise impact. The kicks must be precise, often aiming at the same area repeatedly in order to wear down the opponent.

Learning from Hiroki Kurosawa

Hiroki Kurosawa was famous for his powerful and precise low kicks. What set him apart was his technique and timing. He was known for his ability to deliver a low kick with enough force to break his opponent's guard and inflict significant damage.

Kurosawa's low kicks were characterized by excellent timing, accuracy and an excellent understanding of distance. He often used low kicks as a counterattack, waiting for his opponent to engage in an attack and then exploiting the opening.

See this video of Hiroki Kurosawa The Kyokushin Samurai:

2. Keep your guard up to protect your body and head from blows.

Kyokushin fighters are known for their toughness, but that doesn't mean you have to take unnecessary damage. Keep your hands up and elbows close to your ribs, and use your forearms to block or deflect attacks.

The high guard:

The high guard in karate is a defensive position that protects your body and head. This posture is essential in preparation for combat. To achieve this, keep your hands up, at face level to protect your head, and your elbows close to your ribs to defend your body.

Example in combat:

Let's take a typical fight as an example. Your opponent throws a mawashi geri (circular kick) at your head. An effective high guard allows you to raise your hands (and if possible move your body and legs slightly to the side or angle away from the kick) to block the blow, thus protecting your face and skull. In addition, this position offers an opportunity for an immediate counter-attack, exploiting the opening left by the opponent's attack (on the supporting leg, body or head).

Training and discipline :

Mastering the high guard requires a lot of practice and discipline. Training should include blocking and deflection exercises, as well as regular sparring to get used to the different types of attacks.

Kyokushin fighters' toughness is not just about resisting pain, it is also about preventing damage. An effective high guard allows you to minimize the damage taken in a fight, helping you to conserve your energy and focus for the duration of the fight.

Not only does it protect against attacks, but it also provides a platform from which to launch your own attacks. So train hard, keep your guard up, and you'll be on your way to competition success.

3. Use angles and footwork to create openings and avoid being cornered.

Kyokushin fights are usually fast and aggressive, so you need to be able to move around the ring and avoid being trapped by your opponent. Use lateral movements, pivots and feints to create angles of attack and escape pressure.

In Kyokushin knockdown karate, the importance of mobility cannot be underestimated. Using angles and clever footwork can create openings, allowing one to avoid being cornered.

Lateral movements :

Lateral and angular movements are essential. For example, if your opponent is attacking in a straight line, a lateral step can allow you to avoid the attack and counter-attack effectively. On a mawashi geri or ushiro geri or ushiro mawashi geri (back kick and back flip). A step to the side angle (opposite side of the kick) allows you to avoid the attack and positions you to counter.

Pivots :

The pivot is another valuable tool. Suppose you are under pressure and close to the edge of the tatami (mat). A quick pivot can reverse the situation, putting your opponent's back to the mat.

Fakes :

Feints are also important. A well-placed feint can confuse your opponent, create an opening for an attack or allow you to catch your breath.

The ability to move around the ring, create angles of attack and escape pressure is crucial in Kyokushin Karate. You need to practice these techniques regularly to be effective in competition. Remember, your mobility is also a weapon - use it to your advantage.

4. Mix up your attacks to keep your opponent guessing and off balance.

Variety is the name of the game in Kyokushin knockdown karate. To keep your opponent off balance, it is crucial to vary your attacks.

Variety of techniques

Kyokushin offers a wide variety of techniques, from punches to kicks, knees, elbows, sweeps and throws. For example, if you consistently land circular kicks, your opponent will adapt to them. But if you add knee attacks, throws or sweeps, he will be harder to anticipate.

Surprising the opponent

Surprise is a valuable asset in combat. A well-placed elbow or an unexpected sweep can throw your opponent off balance and create the necessary opening for a decisive attack.

Avoiding predictability:

Being predictable is one of the biggest traps in combat. By varying your attacks, you remain unpredictable, which makes it harder for your opponent to anticipate you.

In summary, a variety of attacks is essential in Kyokushin knockdown karate. Use all the techniques at your disposal to diversify your arsenal and surprise your opponent. Never become too dependent on a single technique.

5. Be respectful of your opponent, the referee and the public.

Kyokushin is not only a martial art, but also a way of life that values discipline, honor and humility. You must always show respect to your opponent before, during and after the fight, by bowing, shaking hands or hugging. You should also follow the referee's instructions and rules and acknowledge the applause of the audience.

In conclusion, elegance in Kyokushin karate is not just about winning a fight. It lies in technical mastery, fighting strategy, the diversity of your attacks, but also in the respect you show to your opponent, the referee and the audience. As in all martial arts, constant training is the key to integrating these tips into your practice. Be patient and determined, every fight is an opportunity to learn and progress. Never forget, the true karateka is not only looking for victory but for continuous self-improvement. Good luck to all on the path of Kyokushin fighting!

I hope these tips will help you become more elegant in Kyokushin karate fighting with knockdown or any other combat sport. The third part on elegance will be on martial practice inside and outside the dojo.

Gaëtan Sauvé

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2 commentaires

Excellent comme toujours.

Gaëtan Sauvé
Gaëtan Sauvé
21 juin 2023
En réponse à

Merci cher ami !

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