OK, I feel I need to respond to this because the opinions cited in the article are potentially dangerous. They are the same opinions I’ve heard from innumerable Japanese karate practitioners. And they’re all based on a fundamental fallacy: the idea that because someone in authority did it a long time ago it must therefore be good and we must keep doing it.

Japanese “martial arts” are largely useless because they’re more concerned with “good form” than with efficacy. Speaking as someone with over 45 years experience of combatives, as a nidan in shotokan and with extensive training in kyokushinkai and goju-ryu, as well as 1st degree blackbelt in taikwondo and judo, I can definitively say that 90% of karate (regardless of style) is utterly useless for the purpose of real-life combat. Much of it is likely to get you killed.

During my student days, to make money I worked as a bouncer in a nightclub. It was a horrible gig, and being only 1.73m tall I was constantly dealing with aggressive drunks much larger than myself. And you know what? All the effective techniques had nothing whatsoever to do with karate. The silly powerless punches, most of the kicks — all useless. So it doesn’t matter if you practice a rubbish technique 100,000 times or ten million times: the technique is still rubbish. Furthermore, what idiot would teach a technique that required 100,000 repetitions in order to work?

Here’s what does work, every time: krav maga as taught by KMG. It works because it focuses only on things you can really do in a real fight, and that will work. Karate is just make-believe in pyjamas. When I was working at the nightclub we’d see every week some karate blackbelt get slaughtered by totally untrained guys who weren’t locked into absurdly non-realistic ways of fighting. It was almost funny, except of course for the karate blackbelt getting the shit knocked out of him.

There’s nothing wrong with karate and endless repetitions of kata if all you want is a kind of gentle aerobics in pyjamas. But don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s going to help you in a real fight. Because it is more likely to get you killed.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.