Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

March 26th , 2017

This week's thought is from Sensei Larry Link of Hombu Dojo; Kyoshi Michael Mackay, Shihan:
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA

Balance every Move by Focusing on the "Other" Hand

In the search to make our strikes and blocks more effective and powerful, we have at our disposal a very simple tool: focus on the "other" hand. By other hand, I mean the non-striking, non-blocking hand.

Here are some other ways to say it:

• the chambering hand

• the hand that returns to the pocket

• in neko-ashi-dachi blocks, the inside hand

• in reinforced blocks, the supporting hand

• in augmented strikes and punches, the hand of the arm that remains bent

As an exercise, go through an entire class focused on the other hand. Or, perform every kata you know in a row, making sure you can identify the other hand in each and every technique. Once you identify which hand is the other hand, (again as an exercise) focus on that hand completely and absolutely, trying to make it stronger, faster, and sharper. Try to remove the "bounce", especially from the chambering elbow. Try to make the fist or fingers of this hand equally relaxed or tight as the striking or blocking hand.

Because Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu is designed to be a natural style, the majority of our moves are inherently balanced. The hand that travels out to strike is balanced by the hand that returns to the chamber. We spend lots of time focused on the striking or blocking hand. However, by spending time focusing on the other hand, we balance each move appropriately, respecting the inherent balance within the body and making our strikes and blocks stronger, more accurate and more effective.

Arigato Gozaimasu Hanshi!

Sensei Larry Link