Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Thought/Technique Archive

Technique of the Week (April 23rd, 2006)

From Sensei Steve Lott

Midtown Hobu Dojo, NYC
Remove the tension in Yakusoko Kumite

Just like kata it is important to define each move in Yakusoko kumite. But, just like kata, it is important to release the tension in the body after the move is completed. The only tension in the body in kata or in prearranged occurs for a split second as the technique lands. After that split second only the fist remains tense. The most common error in Yakusoku Kumite is keeping the arm overly tense after the move is completed. Having a real opponent adds to this even more.

The opening move in first prearranged has the attacker coming in with a face punch. Once the punch is blocked and the opening move completed there usually is a pushing contest between the two deshi. The attacker pushes his arm downward on the arm of the defender and the defender pushes back. The correct objective for the attacker at this point is to exert just enough strength to keep the arm in its final position in the air - but not exert a downward force on the arm of the defender. The second move sees less of this. But this same pushing contest is seen again in the last move. The attacker throws the face punch that is blocked by the defender. The attacker then continues to push down on the arm of the defender until yame is called.

This pushing contest occurs to some degree in each Yakusoku. The only way to avoid this is to work together with your training partner as you practice each Yakusoko. For instructors, keep a close eye on beginners so that they are aware of this early in their training.


Steve Lott,