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Spar Like a Shotokan Champion as Kyle Funakoshi Shows You Lightning-Fast Karate Fakes, Kicks and Sweeps!

Shotokan karate expert Kyle Funakoshi in action at Black Belt magazine.If you want to be a good karate fighter, it’s best to go to the source. In the case of shotokan karate, the source would be its founder, Gichin Funakoshi.

Enter his fifth cousin, Kyle Funakoshi, who has more than 30 years of traditional training under his belt and has been active in national and international competitions.

Today, he is a seventh-degree black belt who carries on the tradition of his family for deep study of, and high-quality instruction in, this Japanese martial art.

In an interview for Black Belt, Kyle Funakoshi explained several principles and advanced fighting strategies of shotokan: “Some of the factors involved are rhythm and timing, not only of your techniques but also your opponent’s so he doesn’t know when you’ll attack. When he’s unsure of when you’ll strike, that opens up his body to you.”

And thus he laid down the groundwork for a series of instructional videos dealing with the fake. This particular video demonstrates two techniques: fake to a high kick, and fake to a leg sweep and face punch.

SHOTOKAN KARATE VIDEO
Kyle Funakoshi Shows You How to Use Fakes to Defeat an Opponent


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In the fake-to-a-high-kick technique, Kyle Funakoshi and his opponent assume the kamae (fighting stance). Kyle Funakoshi times his initial act, a low feint. Both men recover to the fighting stance. Kyle Funakoshi then starts what appears to be a front kick to the body, and the opponent tries to intercept it with a low block. Without altering his forward motion, Kyle Funakoshi transitions to a high roundhouse kick aimed at the opponent’s exposed head.

The second technique demonstrated involves a fake to a leg sweep and face punch. Kyle Funakoshi first throws a fake to throw his opponent off-balance, using rhythm as a pre-emptive strike to set up his real attack.

As he explained in his Black Belt interview, “There are all sorts of rhythm. There’s natural rhythm when you’re not moving. There’s a rhythm in which you’re pressing your opponent. … Whenever you have an opponent in front of you, that changes rhythm again because both of you are moving — especially when he throws a fake or when you do and he reacts to it.”


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The opponent’s reaction to Kyle Funakoshi’s fake opens the door for the shotokan expert to speed forward and catch the unsuspecting karateka with a leg sweep. As that knocks the opponent off-balance and sends him on a trajectory toward the ground, Kyle Funakoshi follows up in a near-simultaneous fashion with a high-speed punch to the face for total low-body/high-body domination. His opponent never had a chance!

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  1. Wayne says

    The front kick fake low and then a quick turnig kick to the head is so effective against a non experienced fighter and yet the concept and execution is so simple for a trained martial artist. One of the firts kick fakes I learned!

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  2. matthew says

    i do not train in shotokan but from what i have reserched shotokan is a poor example of the once brutaly effective combat system of karate jutsu, thankfuly i found a koryu okinawan karate school complete with chokes strangles ground fighting joint locks,breaks, shotokan watered down unrealistic bunkai is certainly not where i would want my martial arts journey to go.

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  3. matthew says

    street fights ,assults usely begin from 6 to 12 inches away where do you find room to do a high roundhouse kick to the head ,you doint, any good martial arts instructor that has a knowledge of selfdefence will tell you to keep your kicks below the waist, i am sure verry rarely someone could make a high kick work in self defence, but it is verry rare, high flashy kicks look good in the dojo but that is where they should stay keep your kicks low your arms are much closer to the target and are faster than your legs , in self defence your objective is to survive and go home safe to your family not to impress your attacker with your flashy kicks.

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  1. Spar Like a Shotokan Champion as Kyle Funakoshi Shows You … | Martial Arts Champion linked to this post on August 10, 2011

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  2. Spar Like a Shotokan Champion as Kyle Funakoshi Shows You … | Martial Arts Organization linked to this post on August 10, 2011

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