Karate In The Olympics

There is a lot of talk about Karate entering the Olympics in 2020. What an exciting time to be a practitioner of this art! I have had the privilege of competing in a few World Championships and I am very curious to learn “Olympic” rules and to see how this event will be run. As with any new venture, there are pros and cons to Karate being in the Olympics. This is a debate that could go on forever! I am sincerely hoping that the pros will far outweigh the cons as Karate will be put in the spotlight for all the world to see with Olympic Competition. This is a great opportunity for karate schools to promote this beautiful art form and attract larger audiences. With the larger audience, hopefully comes larger attendance. My hope is that karate will be even more accessible to women. From a self-defence point of view, Karate is very empowering. It can vastly improve confidence, raise self-esteem and help with physical fitness. All of these things are great tools for self-defence! Women everywhere in 2020 can watch elite female athletes compete, what a great step forward for women in Martial Arts, and womankind!

Competition has set rules that need to be followed. In self-defence there are no rules -when it comes to your safety, anything goes!!! For my article this month, the technique I am demonstrating is when you are grabbed from behind. This can be very scary. The human body is designed to move forward, so an attack from behind can be difficult, but not impossible to escape from. There are several important points in each picture.


Renshi Laura Sywyk Grab


• This technique, both of your arms are being grabbed from behind.
• Your elbows are being pinned together behind your back.


Renshi Laura Sywyk Surrender


• For this situation I am ‘surrendering’ with my arms..
• This can serve as a distraction to the attacker.
• The key point here is when I raise my arms, they are as far back as I can go and I am squeezing my attackers fingers now between my forearms and biceps.


Renshi Laura Sywyk Step Back

Step Back

• Choose a side! This will work if you go right or left.
• I am right handed so I prefer to go to the right side.
• I am stepping back, under the right arm of my attacker.
• Keep both arms flexed tightly!


Renshi Laura Sywyk Continue Under

Continue Under

• This picture I want to emphasize to continue under the right arm of the attacker.
• Bend your knees as you go under their arm
• My left arm is now releasing the fingers of the attacker, but the right arm keeps them trapped as tightly as I can.


Renshi Laura Sywyk Finish Behind

Now Behind

• Now I am completely behind the attacker!
• My right arm still traps the fingers of the right arm of the attacker
• Do not loosen this grip!


Renshi Laura Sywyk Apply Pressure

Apply Pressure

• With my left hand free, I grab the attacker at his shoulder.
• Right arm still tightly squeezes the fingers of the attacker.
• Apply pressure forwards as you step forward to put the attacker down face first.


Renshi Laura Sywyk Takedown


• To take your attacker down, step forwards with your body as you push them to the ground.
• Do not let go of their fingers.
• Keep them under control by keeping their fingers locked.


Renshi Laura Sywyk Finish


• From this strong position you are in control.
• You have many options.
• I am recommending a strike to their head/face.
• Then you can release your attacker and run to safety!

All of these movements are performed very fast and as strongly as you can. This is how a smaller person can successfully defend themselves! Remember to use your voice during all of this too. Do not be a silent victim. Call attention to yourself. Even after as you run to safety!

Don’t Be A Victim!    Be Confident!    Be Prepared!

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