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Block From Where Your Hands Are

My Sensei, Professor Katsuhiko Shinzato, often says that we must block from where our hands are. If you punch the attacker's chest and he throws a punch, you must block from where your hand is -- on his chest. There is no time to pull your hand back or "wind up" before you block.

Bruce Lee was famous for his "one inch" punch. This is the same idea. You must be able to punch, strike or block using only one inch or no space at all. In other words, you must be able to generate full power in minimal space. This requires an advanced form of body dynamics which is the core of the Kishaba Juku form of Shorin-Ryu as well of other "internal" styles.

Some time ago I was watching Enter the Dragon. The was a slow motion sequence when Bruce Lee was in the mirror room near the end of the film. When I saw him move in slow motion, I thought to myself, "that's Kishaba Juku!" His body dynamics were so similar to ours. This should not be surprising. All styles that use core (or "koshi") body dynamics are similar.

Blocking or striking from where your hand is shortens the distance your hand must travel, thus giving the appearance that you are moving very fast. Short movements are faster. Short movements with full power... now that's the trick!


Charles C. Goodin