Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kime is from eye.

Sensei Nishiyama used to repeat “eye, face guiding (the) body (when changing direction), Eyes, face setting the body at kime, when eye(s) stop this is kime”, “kime is from eye” or “at kime nothing moves, even eye(s) don’t blink”.
We all know that at kime we make pressure to floor and sharp total body contraction, but we cannot forget that in a sense kime is from eyes.
If eyes are blinking at kime, coordination between breathing and muscle action is lacking, also if eyes moving at kime intention cannot be strong, and the stronger the intention the more the muscles can cooperate to one direction.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Karate technique starts from the center and energy increases in a ripple effect.

Imagine a stone falling into a still pond of water, at the point of which the stone enters, there will be an explosive splash, followed by powerful ripples traveling away from this point.
Sensei Nishiyama used to say: “karate technique starts from the center and increase energy in a ripple effect, from the muscles around the spine, to bigger, outer core muscles and to the extremities”.
The outer core muscles, (buttocks, obliques and hips) are the most powerful in our body, the inner core muscles are not as powerful and mostly responsible for stability and providing a base for the outer, bigger muscles to move from effectively.
(latest research shows that the inner muscles are also important for movement, especially at high intensities of movement)
The further away we go from the center the less powerful the muscles are, core to shoulders to arms to hands or hips to upper legs to lower legs to feet.
Also while the outer core muscles are more powerful, the arms and legs have higher percentage of fast twitch muscles fibers, and are faster than the more powerful core.
Therefore, effective movement in most sports start from the center, and increases energy in a ripple effect with maximum energy being accumulated at impact.
In the case of the water pond the further away from the center the weaker the ripples are, just like in the body, the strongest muscles are around the center and not as strong as we go away from the center.
In karate technique the further you go from the center the more energy increases and more power. 
This and other principles are meant to be understood in order to to be applied and not just as theory.
Understanding is needed in order to make training effective, but by itself will not help in digesting the principles into one’s body, even with hard training.
We have developed specific drills to give one feedback and help internalize this and other principles.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lithuania Seminar

The seminar was held in beautiful Vilnius last weekend (Sep 28-30) and we had great training and fun.
Participants came from Germany, Austria, Czech, Russia and of course, Lithuania.
We worked on fundamentals, and stressed that the deeper we go into fundamentals the better the development in the future.
Develop one or two technique that you have confident with rather than many techniques  you are not sure about, and than expand.
A great thing about working on fundamentals is that we can have in the same class yellow belts and world champions or top instructors, and they can work on same subject at totally different levels, each person can take what he or she are ready for.
We worked on posture and show how optimal posture allow one to use the full potential and bad posture hinders it.
Stance, being functional rather than esthetics, adopting the principles of stance to one’s own body, finding own stance, do not copy.
Breath in technique and its relationship to reaction, rhythm and timing.
We clarified body dynamics and how to use body dynamics effectively according to line of energy and space.
We spend long time digging into kime and how to make shocking power.
And of course, we practice a lot of timing, focusing on Oji waza (response techniques) and footwork.

I am really happy that we spent time after classes to discuss how to keep the purity of Sensei Nishiyama’s teachings, since we can see that in the future it could easily be diluted and misunderstood, because of the many interpretations and misinterpretations.
We must take steps to keep the knowledge Sensei gave to us available to whoever is interested.