Karate Thoughts Blog


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1650+ Posts... and Counting

High Def Karate

The other day I went to my mother's house. A few months ago she bought a new 42 inch, flat panel, LCD, high-def television. Well, when I went over, she was watching a high def broadcast of American Idol. I actually went over to check on her because she had been hit on the leg with a golf ball (she is fine) but I was captivated by the television. IT WAS SO CLEAR!

I mean it was really, really, really clear. Her television is high def and the show was high def. The two together were awesome. You literally could see individual hairs on the performers' heads. I watched for several minutes and then asked, "So how is your leg?"

My mom is an avid golfer. Her friend hit a ball that ricocheted off a tree and hit my mother on the side of the knee. Luckily, my mom only seems to have a bruise, but because she loves golf so much, I am sure that she will wear the bruise with pride.

Back to the television and the reason for this post (I'm sure you were wondering where I was going).

Well, when I started training with my Sensei in Okinawa is was as if my Karate reception suddenly went high def. It all became so clear! The fine details were there to see. It was awesome. The same things I had "known" for so many years suddenly became clear, sharp, bright, and full. It was like watching American Idol on my mom's television -- same show but what a difference.

Everything is there in traditional Karate. You just have to have a clear reception. Your personal television has to be able to receive a high def signal.

Hurray for high def Karate!

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Practice Control

Many Karate students engage in kumite, or sparring. However, very few students invest time and effort in developing control. Students should be required to develop a high degree of control before they are allowed to engage in free kumite.

A student should be able to punch the flesh without hitting the bone. That is relatively easy.

A student should be able to punch the skin, without hitting the flesh. That is pretty hard.

A student should be able to punch the hair on the arm without hitting the skin. That is pretty easy.

Hitting a gi without hitting the skin should be very easy.

When I strike a student, I usually do so with a loose fist and also hit with the flesh of my fingers between the knuckles and the first joints, rather than my knuckles. When I block, I tend to do so with the fleshy parts of my forearm, rather than the bones. When I strike with the elbow, I actually hit with the forearm or the back part of the upper arm.

My point is that I have many ways to avoid injuring students... and I practice control. Sometimes I practice hitting the surface of the leather pad on the makiwara (the surface skin of the leather). Still I miss sometimes. For certain techniques, I tend to demonstrate on one of my sons... just in case.

Another thing. When you hit from far away, it is harder to control the punch. It is easier to control a punch or strike that is thrown close. I tend to get in very close before I hit, and often apply joint locks or throws before or with a strike. Again, it is easier to control a short hit.

Practice control. When you can strike with surgical precision, it is a simple matter to change the focus to target that have a greater effect.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Privates Lesson $5

This is a joke.

A karate student saw a sign in front of a dojo: "Privates Lesson $5". He figured that the sign must mean: "Private Lessons $5."

That sounded like a good deal, so the student went inside and paid his $5, whereupon the instructor promptly kicked him in the privates. Lesson over.

There are always people willing to take your money and hurt you. Don't fall for it.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin