Sunday, 19 August 2012

Killing Machine

Hirokazu Kanazawa sensei - Tasmania, Nov 2011
In his day, Kanazawa sensei was a formidable karateka, an incredible technician, and a fearsome tournament fighter who, even in his late fifties, was able to demonstrate his karate with a level of skill and mastery of control that few ever reach: even in their prime. Having known Kanazawa sensei for over twenty years, I can also attest to his standing as a decent human being; which is something I can't say about some of the better known karate teachers I've met.

So...to the point of this post, does karate produce killers? Take a look at this report from an English Newspaper, the Telegraph, and have a think. When you've done that, take a look here at a follow up article about Mr. Larkin in the same newspaper. When I first saw this report I though...how come karate instructors don't get stopped when they visit England?

I know this might sound a little cheeky....but I have an inkling that many of the traditionally clad, jet-set sensei who spend half their lives waiting around airports on the way to their next gig...sorry, "seminar", secretly envy attention like this, and would love to attract the kind of publicity Mr. Larkin has managed to achieve. After all, what could be a more powerful testimony to a person's deadly fighting skills in the art of karate, than to be barred from a country for being too dangerous......ooooh!!!

I fear the truth, for many of those travelling the world peddling their "skills" and "knowledge", is that the things they teach are pretty harmless, untested, and based on little or no real (fighting on the street) experience; thus rendering such performances..sorry, "seminars"....little more than entertainment. It's ironic isn't it, that karate, a fighting method absolutely bristling with harmful and even deadly techniques, has been rendered inert by the very people who make a living selling it's killing potential to people, who are themselves, unable to use it.

Any bets on who's going to be the first "sensei" to be barred from a country for teaching deadly applications from kata? Don't hold your breath, for as much as many would welcome the publicity, I doubt any would willingly swap the added kudos, for the loss of cash!