Sunday, February 20, 2011

Source of Power in Karate technique, Body Dynamics and Muscles Action

Source of power in karate

Body dynamic

Muscles action (contraction/expansion)

The whole body has to cooperate and integrate to produce maximum force to one direction and in the shortest amount of time.

The first and most basic means to produce power are body dynamics, and the bigger the space the more power one can generate.

The second mean of producing power is internal muscles action, or contraction/expansion power. As one becomes more skillful, internal muscles action becomes more important, and the goal is to produce more force in less action space.

Body dynamics and muscles action are used together, and breath, muscles action and dynamics has to be matching and synchronized.

There are times in short space that we have to use only muscles action without outside movement, a high skill level is required to be effective.

Body dynamics is the external movement of the body in space in order to produce force, it is the movement around the spine as an axis, and more specifically around the body center (3 fingers below the navel toward the spine at S1, 2).

6 body dynamics:







We use one or combination of those body actions in each technique, depending on the space available and direction/line of technique.

The bigger the body action the more energy we can produce.

Body action is initiated from the body center because the biggest, strongest muscles in our body are at this region, such as glutts, abdominals and back muscles. If we look deeper into this than the movement of the body center should be initiated from the smaller muscles attached to the spine, in order to stabilize the spine and provide stable foundation for the bigger, external muscles to move from.

The body center is both engine, center of action and crossroad of the body.

Energy from the feet to the hands or from hands to feet has to transfer through the body center.

We say that technique is initiated from body center using ground reaction force, since no matter how strong the muscles at the center are energy cannot increase without ground reaction.

6 body dynamics (short description):

Rotation is the most common body action we use, and is the most powerful; it allows us to increase more energy in less space and effort. Used in medium ranges.

Vibration is used in short distance, and is small double rotation; sometimes we refer to it as snap action of the body (different than muchimi). In vibration we initiate and finish the action in same position.

When vibration action stops the body stops on the outside but internally continue vibration, like waves of energy, this is hard to explain in writing.

Shifting is used for longer ranges and distance, when the body center of mass shifts from point A to B; we build momentum and energy that should be transferred to the technique. It is hard to build sufficient energy using shifting in short space, rotation will be more effective in short space. In many cases we use shifting for distance and initial energy and than rotation at end as main power. It is common to see people using more shifting than necessary and when rotation is available, losing time and power.

Pendulum, or leverage action of the hips, we tilt the sacrum and pelvis using ground reaction to make leverage to initiate kicking action to various direction.

This leverage action can be forward, back to the side or combined with rotation, so the body center becomes the hand that control and handle the whip, which is the leg, to any direction.

Rising energy, when the technique direction of energy is down to up, and I am low relative to the opponent, the body center can rise, lift up to produce force to the technique line, such as in elbow attack upward.

Dropping energy, the body center is lowered to produce energy to a technique from up to down, such as elbow, punch, or fumikomi (stamping).

Muscles action – contraction/expansion of the muscles is used to produce force.

Expansion is really relaxation and is reaction of contraction.

Muscles act like springs, contraction is potential energy and when we release this contraction we drive the technique. Relaxation is not simple letting go but must have direction. And than the more relaxed we are during movement the stronger the potential for contraction at impact. At impact contraction itself produces additional power, allows for shocking power by increasing the density and for elastic collision, and is a recharge, potential energy for next action.

In addition, and very crucial, breathing, muscles action, body dynamics, ground reaction energies and technique (closing and opening of the joints), have to match and synchronize in order to be effective.