Thursday 10 October 2013

Power from within

Harnessing “power from within” in karate-do requires that the limbs are not the centre of one’s energy. This means that power (energy) is sourced from the seika tanden, the hara, the hips; that is, the centre of one’s body in accordance with natural kokyu (breathing), which facilitates higher awareness (and immensely increased physical effectiveness). Of course, as mentioned, kokyu is also at the centre: and kokyu centres the mind helping to control emotions such as anger and fear.
This is probably one of the reasons why `chudan waza’ are so predominant (in the kihon and kata of karate-do): because they facilitate `power centralisation’ and an innate understanding of the chushin (centre line)—in the most comprehensive way. Moreover, this benefits the daily lives of traditional karate-do practitioners as it can result in greater concentration and a more peaceful life.
Returning to the training of waza (techniques) in karate-do, common sense quickly reveals that `jodan waza’ i.e. – jodan age-uke, jodan gyaku-zuki etcetera add additional challenges (in particular, higher level shoulder joint control) and; because of that, they increase the number of `critical focus points’ whilst practicing. Irrespective of one’s thoughts on these matters, centralisation of power and concentration on the chushin are utterly imperative.  
Most obviously this point elucidates the need for the limbs to not `leave from the body’ but, rather, “come from and are transported by the body”.  Examples of this are tight and high chambering of keriwaza, not letting the elbows of `blocking arms’ keep the fundamental rule of being  `one’ to `one and a half’ fist widths from the head/torso, and so on…
Always remember, the traditional karate-do technique is never born from the limbs: just as "the pen is mightier than the sword". Kindest regards from Aso-San, André.

© André Bertel. Aso-shi, Kumamoto. Japan (2013). 

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