Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Will the real kime (focus) please stand up

Keith Geyer sensei 7th dan JKA shotokan karateka

When we are taught basics as a begginer, you will always here keep the back foot down, keep the elbows in, keep the shoulders square, keep the front knee bent, dont roll your shoulder etc . etc. you are put in all these akward positions like hamni and shomen that feel very uncomfortable because the body is not used to such positions, this is because you are learning the template of your particular karate style.

Does this mean that you should always do this in kihon kata and kumite??

Well in my opinion the answer is NO, while you are learning the template and the right body mechanics it is important to understand how the proper dynamic principles of your art should be performed trying to eliminate any bad habits, because we all know that it takes longer to get rid of bad habits than it takes to aquire them, and there is no better way than doing performing and feeling it.

The more advance you become the more duty you have to customise this template to your particular body type, i.e. tall and skinny, short and stocky and anything in between, if you have failed to customise the template you have not progressed you are stagnating at a particular platuea, thats what i think anyway.

So then where does this leave kime??

Is there only one type of kime (just like the pure basics) (kihon) or are there many different variations of kime??

We all know the kime you use in fresh air to put the brakes on your technique is not the same kime you use when you are striking the heavy bag or pads.

The former is a good way to stop yourself from hyper extending your joints when you are fresh air punching at full power, the latter is to deliver the payload into your target and not into yourself, and if your doing jiye kumite it could be used to control the amount of contact you want to hit your partner with.

The masters of karate such as the two below in the pictures could throw a full blown punch and squash a fly on the end of your nose, or if they wished they could put your nose through the back of your head.

There is a whole range of scaled kime that can be used by the practitioner, i dont know if it has a tolerance like maximum to minimum, but i do know there are variations to the amount that is used depending on what you are doing and what your trying to achieve.

Now if we look at the pictures of these two famous instructors how many of the golden rules from pristine basics (kihon) are they breaking??

I think this also applies to kime.

Osaka sensei and Yahara sensei