What's Your Style? Boxing and Karate as Martial Arts

Both boxing and karate are sports, but they also serve as self defense. So which discipline is right for you? If you were attacked by a bully, which skill would you want as a defense, boxing or karate, Let's examine some pros and cons of each. One way to start making comparisons is to view a mixed martial arts video. But if we don't have access to such a video we can make do just by listing the features of each.

First off, boxing is almost entirely a hand combat. If one is right handed, they will usually assume a boxing stance in which their left leg is forward, the foot pointing toward the opponent. They lead with their left hand, usually delivered in the form of jabs which are quick rat-a-tat strikes to the opponent's openings. The purpose of the jab is to keep the opponent at bay and to distract him so that you can set him up for a right cross.

Weight, Size and Martial Arts

In boxing, weight and size matter. The smaller, lighter man may have the edge on speed, but in close quarters, the bigger more powerful l man can tie up his opponent and push him back. The boxer may not use his feet or legs as weapons. However, he is trained to be light on his feet, mobile and skilled at bobbing, weaving and ducking. He is a moving target and therefore difficult to hit. In respect to close quarter fighting, boxing can become an art form. There are many patterns and combinations of punches and blocks that one may use. Some boxers are head hunters; others hold to the philosophy that if you chop down the trunk of the tree the branches will fall. At the same time, the boxer knows how to use his legs to backpedal and to dance (Remember Mohammed Ali?) Interestingly enough, his legs give him power in his punches.

Aside from the use of the jab, there are several other specialized punches. I have mentioned the rights cross. The idea is to distract the opponent or slow him down with jabs, then come across your own body with your right hand and deliver a power punch. This punch will have most of your body weight behind it. Then there is the hook. Remember, Smokin Joe Frazier? He took out Mohammed Ali with a lightning hook. And then there is the uppercut. Both the hook and the uppercut are good for in-fighting, that is close body fighting. In close quarters, the opponent is open to the temples and a hook to the temples is an effective way to disable him. The uppercut is very deceptive. In close quarters, one can slide his punching arm between his body and the opponent's body, striking to the chin. Sometimes it is difficult to engage in close quarter fighting because of the superior defensive strategies used. But Rocky Marciano solved this problem by attacking the arms of his opponent. The boxer's arms would become numb with pain and heavy and eventually they would not be able to defend themselves. Then Marciano would move in for the kill.

Illegal Moves in Martial Arts Self Defense

In boxing, you cannot stay in a clench; the referee will separate you from your opponent, but it takes only a split second to land a winning punch. Some things are strictly no no. You may not strike to the groin, you may not rabbit punch..that is strike the back of the neck of the opponent. You may not attack the opponent after the bell has ended a round. You may not strike or scuff the opponent with the laces of your glove. You may not coat your gloves with any chemical that could harm your opponent's vision. Now all of these conditions are usually followed in the sport of boxing, but in self defense, we can ignore them. Nevertheless, let us now turn our attention to karate as self defense.

In karate, you are trained to use your entire body as a weapon, the arms and fists, the head, the feet and legs, the elbows, the fingers. In tournament karate there are restrictions on kicking below the belt, but in a street fight, we can set these rules aside. They do not apply. What would be advantages of karate in a street fight? First, you have multiple weapons and you are trained to attack or counterattack by using your full body: snap kicks, focused thrusting kicks, round kicks, back kicks and spinning kicks. You can obtain great variation by combining these kicks with various punches: lunge punch, opposite punch, knife hand strike, palm strike, eye attack, and hook to the temple. The main restriction in karate is that you may not use any form of weapon other than your own body. This means you must be prepared to go through some tough training to get your body to this level, that is, if you want to learn martial arts.

Remember, that the boxer has a strong suit in close range fighting, so use caution in allowing clenches. Karate is distance fighting, so you may be out of your element if you engage in close quarter combat. Most street fighters know that if they are up against a karate trained person, you must try to tie them up so they cannot use their strong suit, long range attacks and defenses. If you do find yourself having been sucked into a close quarter fight, use the hook to the temple or push forward and as you get resistance, pull, suddenly stepping back and then kick to the groin of your opponent. This is a straightforward approach to martial arts self defense.

Training for Martial Arts Sel f Defense.

Now you must realize that just memorizing the moves you can make to defend yourself from attack is only the beginning. You must practice each pattern discussed and apply it through sparring with an opponent, doing forms and ,in boxing training, don't forget the value of the speed bag and the heavy full length bag. Treadmill work or jogging are good cardiovascular conditioning. You may need this conditioning to save your life. If so, you will be prepared. Now which do you prefer as adaptable to street fighting, karate or boxing? But then why choose? Why not use both as needed? Well, put them to the test. You will never know if you don't try.

Boxing and Karate have a different source of energy. In boxing the weight of the fighters is a huge factor for they use their weight onfighting and clenches. Karate is more of a distance form of fighting, since one is using his legs and not just his arms.Boxing streses follow through, sort of like a pitcher does a follow through, but karate uses what is called focus, where the entire bodyis tightend at the momen of contact. Full contaact in karate is achieved by using protective gear or karate pads and martial arts clothing. Even a special shoe, karate shoes aare used and it is all captured on mixed martial arts videos.

Keep in mind that the martial arts and boxing operate out of different concepts of generating energy. Marital arts uses and energy called chi and boxing uses the physical power of weight and mass control. Some examamles of different mansfestations in karate are: maartial arts softwear, martial arts clothing, recorder karate, northern karate, kyokushin karate.