Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Technique of the Week (January 9th, 2006)

Sensei David Tamir, Godan

Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA

Florida Cocoa YMCA Dojo

Train your survival instincts.

From my limited experience, I have observed that when one finds themselves engaged in a real fight, with a real opponent, face-to-face, at close proximity, with real danger (not a sport fight for points), the instincts take over. You go into “auto-pilot”. You are not consciously thinking – only reacting automatically. You are NOT able to consciously analyze the situation, pick the karate technique you are going to use, simulate in your mind the next move, etc. You will NOT be able to do these things. You will NOT be able to think like a chess player. You will be at the mercy of your automatic instincts. The fight will be very short. It will probably be over after the FIRST combination/exchange.

After the fight is over, only then you are able to analyze what happened (assuming you survived). You may even need an outside observer to help you describe what exactly transpired (move by move). Your mind may not be able to remember the exact details, because they happened so quickly, while you were essentially in a mental trance.

To prepare yourself for such a situation (which hopefully will never come) you must prepare and polish your instincts. If you are training with Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA under the direction of Hanshi Scaglione, you are already preparing yourself. The essence is KATA. Repetition of your kata thousands and thousands of times on a continuous basis, arms your instincts with the karate techniques which will protect you automatically without conscious thought. Our SRKUSA classical training methods essentially imprint karate techniques into your subconscious motor skills.

Through repetition and years of training, you should achieve the ability to perform your kata without conscious thought. Especially when training on your own, try to get yourself into a trance, where you visualize the opponent(s), but you are not thinking. Put yourself on “kata auto-pilot”.

At the beginning and end of each class we do za-zen (sitting meditation); we empty our minds of thought. Between the beginning and the end of each class we do kata. Kata is described as do-zen (moving meditation).

Embrace this. Keep training.

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu

Sensei Tamir, Godan

Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA

Florida Cocoa YMCA Dojo