Monday 1 April 2024

Beach Training in Miyazaki

I enjoyed a two-hour beach training in Miyazaki. Just kihon, kata, and some basic conditioning work, but an excellent session. My focus was on 体の伸縮 (TAI NO SHIHSHUKU): the contraction and expansion of the body, which can both large/extreme, subtle, and/or a mix of both. 

I’ve personally always enjoyed training on different surfaces. Dry sand, in particular, makes the drive of the sasae-ashi challenging. Needless to say, this propulsive ‘stretch’ of the rear is of critical importance for the execution of budo karate thrusts and keriwaza.


What’s ironic here is that in sports karate, this is not done. In fact, it’s the total opposite: what many nickname ‘The Superman punch’. So yes, tai no shinshuku is used to the maximum; however, the difference is “maximum powered impact aimed to hit vital targets”—verses—“a tag stretching to the longest to ‘skin touch’ and escape”.


Obviously tai no shinshuku is by no means limited to the lower body, rather, the entire body maximizes it. These ‘squeeze/release/squeeze’ actions (etcetera) are major contributors in achieving dynamic and effective karate-waza. A really-really obvious example of this in the sentei-gata is 燕飛 (Enpi).


A good basic exercise we use in IKS is the extreme extension of all three thrusts in 三本連突き (Sanbon ren-zuki). Without ‘losing shomen’ each waza must fully use ground power and 腰の回転 (Koshi no kaiten: Hip Rotation. In each these actions the hiki-te must be contracted fully by a large-scale action and ‘shime’ of the fist/wrist and elbow.


Another related aspect here is our focus on large-scale ukewaza, especially the ‘four core closed-fist receptions’: 上段揚げ受け (Jodan age-uke), 中段外受け (Chudan soto-uke), 中段内受け (Chudan uchi-uke), and 下段払い (Gedan-barai). We train these waza primarily as attacks; again…, TAI NO SHINSHUKU. Overall, the full expression of the uke functions for the follow up waza, which cannot be reliably delivered if the initial action doesn’t maximize kime. I should add here that I also practiced 掛け受け (Kake-uke) and 手首掛け受け (Tekubi kake-uke) in 猫足立ち (Nekoashi-dachi).


With all the aforementioned points as foci, I concluded my training practicing the following kata: 平安初段 (Heian Shodan, 慈恩 (Jion), 燕飛 (Enpi), 百八歩 (Hyakuhappo) and 舞鶴大 (Maizuru Dai).  

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2024).

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