The highest level of karate is where your blocks and strikes just happen, no time to think, just an automatic reflex, that reacts to whatever situation arises.
So how do you get to this point in your karate practice?
In self defense, there is no time, situations esculate quickly and before you know what’s happening, you can be in real danger.
There is no quick way to reach the state where you react instantly without thought. It’s just hard training and repetition.
My sensei explained to me that there was no free sparring on Okinawa a hundred years ago.
The karateka would practice kata, then take the moves and partner up, with one person defending and one person attacking.
The attacker would start slowly and the defender would use moves out of the kata to defend.
Then the attacker would gradually speed up until they were attacking full speed and power.
My sensei explained they would repeat the attack over and over, practicing each move hundreds and thousands of times.
After training like this, if there was a self defense situation, the karateka would react without thinking, or as Bruce Lee said, ‘I do not hit, it hits all by itself’.
So to get to the point where you do not have to think in a self defense situation, you need to practice fighting drills over and over.
Having your partner attack full speed and power again and again, until they become second nature and happen automatically.
Shotokan self defense techniques are just like any other karate move.
They have to be practiced over and over again, until they become automatic reflexes.
How Will I Know What To Do If I Get Attacked