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Stomping the Feet -- Revisited

This is a follow up to my last post, Snapping the Gi. There is another bad habit, Stomping the Feet.

As I wrote in my earlier post about that subject, unless you are intending to stomp on the attacker's foot or leg, it usually does not make sense to make a stomping sound during kata. Some people seem to do it simply for the sound effect.

In fact, it is preferable for the feet to be quiet during kata. Any power that could be gained by stomping should be placed in the strike, block or kick, instead.

Think of a baseball player swinging a bat to hit the ball. Would he stomp before he hit it? Would a golfer stomp before hitting the ball? No, they would not -- because the idea is to put the power in the ball rather than the ground.

Many of the advanced Shorin-Ryu kata involve night or dark techniques. You usually see this in searching or feeling movements with the hands or feet. In the dark, you can't see the attacker and he can't see you. You would not want to give your position away by making unnecessary noise, such as stomping.

I remember in Iaido, we practiced a "dark" kata in which we crouched down and tapped the ground with our outstretched sword (the the right diagonal). This was to attract the attacker to the noise, and cut him down there.

But in Shorin-Ryu, I can't think of any movements in which we are tapping (or stomping) the ground to confuse or mislead the attacker.

Again, if the intention is to actually stomp, then it makes sense to do so. But if the intent is to strike or block, a stomp simply wastes power.

Snapping the gi and stomping (when not appropriate to do so), tends to attract attention. This is not the purpose of kata. It is better for the techniques to speak for themselves, without sound effects.


Charles C. Goodin