Due to the popularity of the “How to Front Kick” article and the emphasis on the little-known Isolation Method that I wrote about in that article, this time I write about how to step from one front stance to another. Again, the Isolation Method will be the way that I recommend training in kihon.
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How to Make a Front Stance Featured
The one thing so many people commented upon when I returned home from Japan was that my stances looked like they had been completely overhauled. They were deeper, though not really longer, and I looked and felt more comfortable in them. I believe this increase in stance competence mostly occurred because, as I have written before, here in the US, most basic training is in basic techniques marching up and down the floor. Very few people actually train actively in the fundamentals on a regular basis, breaking techniques down into their component motions and training those motions.
The article Karate is Not A Science has generated quite a bit of feedback. Some are not convinced Karate is not a science, and some are willing to concede it isn’t exactly a science, but they are still clinging to the idea that somehow there was drive-by science involved in its development. I wanted to revisit this topic and explain why it is so important that we understand our Karate is not based in Science but instead in belief.
One of the more outstanding things that anyone observing a typical Shotokan performer will notice is the particular way in which body dynamics are employed. Most people who practice Shotokan Karate try their best to move fluidly throughout their motions, and then suddenly tense not only their extending limbs, but also other parts of their bodies as well. Some enthusiasts even go so far as to choke their breathing so as to create internal isometric tension to help with the timing of muscle tensing so that all of the contractions take place at the same time. This practice is referred to by many as -kime- using Japanese terminology. In English, the common jargon used is the word -focus.-
Pressure is the result of two surfaces in contact with one another where they exert force against each other. If you stand on your feet, your feet with exert force against the floor equal to the mass of your body in Earth’s gravity. When that force is calculated against the surface area involved, the amount of pressure, pounds per square inch, can be derived.
BLUF: Your karate class may be programming members to hold certain fascist assumptions in order to make life easier for the teacher.
The Battle Against Nihilism Featured
All of humanity suffers from the same fear – that life is essentially meaningless. That we are an accidental occurrence, and that all of our creations, all of our art, music, literature, stories, and lives will eventually end and will have never mattered in the grand scheme of things.
When you are performing kicks stepping forward from one front stance to another, it is typical for your arms to become over involved in the activity and swing one way and the other. This is especially true when round kicking. Try this exercise:
Disconnect Everything Featured
One of the most powerful things I know about Shotokan Karate is how to untie one muscle from another. In order to walk, run, and perform other motions, the human body must coordinate various muscles in a symphony of careful balance. However, the symmetry of motion builds habitual muscle reflexes which are maladaptive when seeking to perform karate motions which are asymmetrical. To become faster and more powerful, a karate expert must learn to disconnect every motion from every other.
Foot and Hand Synchronization Featured
When you execute basic techniques marching up and down the floor in a deep stance, your hips and torso move forward of your center of gravity as your back leg drives them forward. Eventually, a tipping point is reached, and your front foot catches your weight and your foot plants. The punch, block, chop, backfist, or other technique you were throwing will hit its imaginary air target. But when?