Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Thought/Technique Archive

Technique of the Week (February 4th, 2008)

From Sensei Dan Gobillot
Northampton Ueshiro Karate Dojo

The Chambered Fist

When we first begin to learn karate and the kata that comprise our art
we find that a block is a block and a punch is a punch. We are shown
how to use the opposing forces and energy that we create by moving one
arm out to punch and the other in to chamber. This is good. This is
basic. We utilize both hands in almost every kata. The hand returning
to the chamber is said to help us develop power for the striking hand,
but is that all it is doing? Maybe it is striking at an opponent
behind. That sure would be a piece of luck to hit two separate
opponents at exactly the same time. Sounds like the choreographing of a
Bruce Lee flick. More likely the hand returning to the chamber has
something in it especially if the hand is closed. When performing kata
imagine trapping your opponents hand or foot with the block weather its
closed hand like chudan uke or open hand like neko ashi dashi and
pulling it back toward you off balancing the attacker and counter
attacking at the same time. This technique is often lost in tournament
sparring because the fingers are covered with protective gear.

I sometimes wonder what Master Ueshiro intended in his kata Fukyugata
san when he composed his back to back triple techniques comprising of
two blocks followed by a punch. Was his hand returning empty to the
chamber after the second block or was he pulling and off balancing his
opponent as he struck? How can two or more blocks in a row immediately
end a confrontation?

Domo arigato gozaimasu,
From Sensei Dan Gobillot
Northampton Ueshiro Karate Dojo