- Solo Kata. Karate has way more in the way of solo practice methods than judo or aikido.
- Paired kata-based drills. The stuff Iain Abernethy does with regard to kata-based sparring really helps make traditional karate work as a practical means of self-defense
- Legacy. I just really like the history and rich tradition of karate.
But as I've said before, it's hard to get training in karate around here. I mean, there are a ton of karate dojos, but very few of them are what I'd consider legit. Of those, the schedules don't work for me, and the teachers I've reached out to aren't keen on doing private lessons. My current Shotokan teacher has been okay, but lately he hasn't been available for lessons. I't been about 3 weeks since I've been able to train with him.
Even though karate provides for solo training, when I'm not doing regular lessons, I'm finding it hard to stay motivated to practice at home regularly. That's on me.
For all the reasons above, I chose karate for my striking discipline, but if it's increasingly difficult to train, it may not be the best choice for me. Since my main concern is self-defense, the Shotokan I'm learning has to be heavily supplemented anyway. I'm wondering if I should switch over to another striking art. It would have to be something more modern like Krav Maga/Combatives and/or kickboxing/Muay Thai. I think either of those would be easier (more efficient) to learn than karate, and there's a lot of kickboxing around here, even at my judo club. I also have some guys at work that might be interested in kickboxing with me during lunch breaks.
Even if I stop karate lessons, I can still practice the two kata I know in my free time (heian shodan and nidan). I'm not sure what I'm gonna do yet. Just putting thoughts-to-keyboard to try to sort it out.