Karate 101: Is it Defensive or Offensive

Karate is a very famous martial art that was influenced by Kung fu and Traditional Ju Jutsu. Karate literally means Empty hands in Japanese as it is a martial art that was made to defend oneself even against armed opponents. But many are confused in Karate is a defensive or an offensive martial art.

Karate is both a defensive and an offensive martial art. Most call it a self-defense because it is focused on not bringing harm to others but to just protect yourself. However, it has numerous types of kicks, punches and elbow strikes that make it offensive.

Karate is a form of self discipline and that’s why a lot of people studied karate. It teaches a mindset to people and that’s why it is loved by people. But we have to answer more question such as the offensive and defensive sides of karate, is it good for self defense, street fights and MMA? Let’s dive more into this.

Is Karate Defensive or Offensive?

Karate has defensive and offensive moves. Its defensive moves involve dodging, stance, maintaining distance and blocks. It is also offensive as it involves striking because it has a variety of elbows, punches and kicks. This makes Karate a very good standing fighting style.

Karate is a standing up type of martial art.

This is because there are martial arts that are focused on ground attacks such as Jiu Jitsu, Wresting and Judo.

However, Karate is a type of martial art where the most important thing is to strike enemies without receiving any damage.

This makes Karate a very good martial art against others, as a good Karate practitioner can easily beat enemies while receiving as little damage as possible.

One of the reason for this is their stance. Karate uses a side on stance which lessens the hittable target by the enemy.

It also focuses on agility because evasion is so much easier when on this stance.

Plus, it is also very good for offense as this stance gives enough space to deliver powerful blows.

This is because on striking such as punch, the more momentum you have in your punch, the more powerful it can be.

That is why Karate practitioners like to maintain their distance, this is to deliver the most powerful blow they can give which can ultimately lead to a win.

Karate side-on stance

Does Karate have Attack and Defense

Karate has numerous attacks and defenses that they use in fighting. It has kicks, punches, and elbow attacks which varies from soft to hard strikes. They use it depending on the situation. For defense, not only does it have blocks but also various styles to evade enemy strikes.

Another thing to point out is Karate users also focus on training their footwork

Footwork is a very important aspect of Karate as not only does it increase their speed and evasion of attacks, but also to use their speed to deal heavier blows to their enemies.

This makes footwork an essential power enhancer in their strikes. Some even uses their feet to deliver a faster blow. Making strikes much more devastating and at the same time, making them agile to quickly dodge incoming attacks from the enemies.

Is Karate Good for Self defense?

Karate is good for self defense especially against standing fights. Karate is specialized in maintaining their distance and deal blows without receiving any damage. As it is a martial art that minimizes damage taken while attacking, it is a really truly an art of self-defense.

However, when it comes to ground fights, it will be completely disadvantageous. One is they can’t maintain their distance and because of that, the effectivity of their strikes will significantly decrease.

Another is that they are not trained for grappling arts.

Because of that, most Karata practitioners adds another martial art that is specialized in ground fights such as Judo, Wrestling or Jiu Jitsu.

That way, they can be really hard to deal with.

Is Karate Good for MMA and UFC Fights?

Karate is good for MMA and UFC fights if done correctly. This is because they can deal devastating blows without receiving any damage. Furthermore, they are good in maintaining distance which is optimal for proper evasion and powerful blows. They also have a good footwork.

One such example of a Karate user that ultimately became a champion is Lyoto Machida, he is professionally known as the Dragon.

He became a UFC Lightweight Heavy Champion and a UFC Middleweight Champion. Machida is a Karate user and he showed its power in his fights.

While some people won’t bother with Karate because it’s not famous in these type of competitions, Machida showed its power while in the ring.

The key to winning with Karate is to fight the enemies in the stage where you in the upper ground. What I mean by that is you should always fight if you are in the advantage.

This means fighting while maintaining distance, fighting without getting hold at.

And importantly, not fighting when in ground.

If you get hold in ground immediately get up.

Always remember that every martial art has its specialty and ground fighting is not a specialty of Karate.

Karate can fight in MMA and UFC no doubt. However, it is by no means undefeatable. You still have to analyze your enemy and fight when it is advantageous.

It is true that grappling type martial arts are very powerful in these type of competition.

But all Martial Arts including Karate can counter Grappling sports that are famous is MMA such as Jiu Jitsu.

I have an article which breaks down how to counter Jiu Jitsu and you may be interested, here is the link: What can Beat and Counter Jiu Jitsu

Also, here is a good article differentiation Karate and Jiu Jitsu, I compared almost everything including their forms, belts, stance, cost and more: Jiu Jitsu vs Karate: Everything you need to know

Is Karate Good for Street Fights?

Karate is good for street fights even against one vs many enemies. This is because Karate has numerous strikes that can deal strong blows. Furthermore, they are expert in self defense such as blocking, dodging and footwork to counter enemy attacks.

However, Karate is a martial art focused on self-defense. Which means that it doesn’t want to cause harm to others.

It is also worth noting that most martial arts are against street fights.

Even if karate is good on street fights, you should not allow yourself to be involved in such.

Furthermore, here is a warning: There are some strikes in Karate that is useless in street fights.

Here are the Karate strikes that are useless in street fights:

  • Roundhouse Kick
  • Jumping Backfist
  • Hook Kick

These are not good in fights. They might look really cool but they are very susceptible to attacks.

Should You Focus on Offense or Defense while Doing Karate?

In Karate, focusing on offense or defense is based upon the situation. If you have the upper ground in the fight, it is good to switch to offense. But if you are in a disadvantage in the fight, it is better to stay in the defensive. What’s good in karate is that both offense and defense are well taught.

It might be that Karate is called self-defense martial art. However, the truth is it is a combination of both like what you will see on other martial arts.

It might look like it is focused on self-defense, but the truth is it depends on the situation. Karate practitioners are taught to no hurt others and just defend.

I guess that is the reason why they think that Karate is all defense.

Similar Posts