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Gust Post: Drum Technique - AKA My Favorite Supplemental Training

This Guest Post is by Bill Lucas of Kishaba Juku of Tallahassee. Bill has been very supportive of me ever since I became a student of Sensei Katsuhiko Shinzato in 2002.

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Remember the 2nd Karate Kid movie where Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel San that the secret of his Family's Karate could be found in that little drum?

Well, there are a lot of koshi ideas represented in that drum.

I personally have kept one in my Dojo since I started teaching and use it regularly to describe a couple of the principles of using koshi to make and direct power in Karate techniques.

While the drum can't possibly convey all of the concepts inherent in the study of koshi, there are several principles that I think it can help to illustrate:
  1. Alignment - the handle that you hold on to to spin the drum with can represent the centerline of the body
  2. Dynamic compression - the drum head is taut but still flexible. This represents the compression of the koshi.
  3. Relaxed arms connected to the lats directed by the koshi - As you spin the drum in your hands you can see the way the arms move in relation to the type of rotation applied. Simple horizontal rotation in one direction, say to the left, will move the right "arm." Compound rotation such as to the left and quickly to the right and both move. The quicker the spin and return to "Neutral" (drumhead facing forward), the faster the arms swing out in a whiplike "Koshi Motion."
There is much more to koshi than this, of course, but the drum can help illustrate some points.

Want to know more? "Ask Drum!"

Bill Lucas