As karate is primarily a striking art, I have always believed in punch bag, focus pads, kick shield and makiwara, training.

oi zuki

You may disagree, but one of my primary objectives with new and experienced karateka, is to encourage them to hit fast and hard. Not only is this an essential part of a striking art, such as karate, it’s also good fun!

I am still shocked at how many karateka are not training with, punch bags, focus pads or makiwara!

I do not practice Shotokan karate just for fighting, I love everything about karate, kata, kihon and kumite, if I wanted fighting I would join a MMA gym, they take the best fighting techniques from all the martial arts and put them to practical use in the ring or cage.

teisho uchi

Our karate dojo is a traditional shotokan dojo and the majority of our training is the three k’s, kata, kihon and kumite. But we do use focus pads and kick shields quite regularly and everyone at our dojo enjoys pad training.

Take boxing, a very physical sport, the fighter everyone fears, is the fighter that can knock people out, fighters like this are obviously the most dangerous ones to fight.

Lets put it another way, you have a choice, you can fight boxer number 1. He has won all of his last 10 fights on points, he is technically, very skilful. Or you can fight boxer number 2. He has only won 6 of his last 10 fights, all 6 of the wins were by knockout in the first 3 rounds.

Which one would you prefer to fight? I know which one I would rather fight and it isn’t number 2!

If you don’t strike pads or bags, I encourage you to do so, not only will it help your karate, it’s great fun. Oss!

Linden Huckle

About the author

Linden Huckle has been practicing and teaching karate for over 50 years and believes first and foremost, karateka should enjoy their karate. He says 'there is nothing better than seeing a person develop into a great person through their karate practice, while at the same time enjoying karate.'

Linden Huckle