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"Ideally, your self-defense will never get physical. Avoiding the situation and running or talking you way out - either of these is a higher order of strategy than winning a physical battle." - Wise Words of Rory Miller, Facing Violence: Chapter 7: after, subparagraph 7.1:medical

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Does the snap you hear of the karate uniform indicate power?

Caveat: This post is mine and mine alone. I the author of this blog assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other martial arts and/or conflict/violence professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this post. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding.)

No, it is simply a misconception of those who are not truly understanding of power generation and it comes from the time those same folks started to use the snapping of the uniform to grade tournament kata competitions. There are many misconceptions about the snapping of the gi. It got so bad that uniform makers began to make and sell karate uniforms with the end of the sleeves and pant legs made thicker so they would always snap or pop no matter how one performed the techniques. Just another way to get the judges to award points to accumulate trophies.

One reason I believe this occurred is because of the lack of information and knowledge practitioners who teach failed to rectify as they progressed. This comes from newly minted black belts, sho-dan’s, mistakenly thinking that because they are now a black belt they can go open a dojo and teach people to be black belts. Since the first failed to learn what was necessary to be a good sensei, these passed on that same failure to their students who would then miss more and so on till they all were merely dancers with no substance. I did this for years until I ran into folks who actually knew what they were doing and even then I found in the last ten years that those guys were also missing a lot.

The snap means absolutely nothing especially when it comes to power generation. It gives one a false sense of power and it sends the wrong message. It is a focus that is misplaced in my opinion. 

Look at the early pioneers who first started to use the karate-gi, they often either didn’t wear the top or they used them with shortened sleeves that did not and would not snap or pop in practice. It also serves another purpose, in the dojo and not the street, of removing the sleeve from grabbing techniques from the elbows down. (Note: notice I said dojo, I don’t consider it important in self-defense simply because one is never wearing the dojo karate-gi when they are attacked on the street. Then again, what do I know.)

Focus on those power generation important fundamental principles and if you by some chance hear a snap or pop on your uniform - cool sound huh? Don’t lose site of what is important for circus arena entertainment valued sound effects. Sound effects don’t stop a predatory adversary who is hell bent on you getting damage while they either get what ever resource they are after or worse, apply the damage that attains the process they were after in the first place. 

There is apparently so much missing from martial arts regarding self-defense. Now, if you are only in it to impress others and build your trophy collection then go for it, buy the specially made uniform and snap and pop to your hearts content. 

Oh, and the snapping punch itself is only one small aspect of applying techniques and it is not even the best one to use in self-defense. Just sayin!

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