Let's remember Karate is an effective self-defence system.
With the development of karate as a way to improve health and self (karate-do) many of the original techniques have been modified over time and it is becoming increasingly difficult to intuitively determine the self-defence technique that a formal karate technique represents. It is not uncommon to encounter advanced belts that do not fully understand the application of the various techniques they practice. It is commonplace for them to believe that many techniques are blocks, when in fact that technique encompasses blocks, strikes, holds and throws. Karate is often categorised as a striking art versus say Judo as a throwing art. This is partly due to the absence of correct interpretation of many of the techniques within the basic Karate katas. Most hold numerous holds and throws yet the Bunkai (application) is often taught as simply a block. This limited teaching will provide the student with a fairly effective way to combat another karate student as they both will strike and block as karate students. It will not though prepare the student in any way for real world self-defence where the opponent will most certainly not remain 1 meter away from you in striking/blocking distance. The attacker will most certainly close that distance and rely on intuitive skills such as grabbing and wrestling to attempt to overcome you. It is essential therefore that your Karat school teaches real world self-defence as well as the formal karate techniques. Apart from the obvious real world application in eth event that you need to defend yours elf this also provides a much richer and more interesting learning journey as you progress through your Karate belts.