Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

May 8th, 2016

This week's thought is from Kyoshi David Baker,
Chief Administrator,
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA



Some lower body principles:

· Step immediately, turning your feet into their final position right away
· Move forward, take over the opponent’s space with your hara

· Techniques start from a solid foundation, feet directly beneath the body, feet gripping the deck

The lower body initiates the force for each technique, from a strong foundation, through hip movement.

· Step immediately, turning your feet into their final position right away.
When stepping forward, step down on the front foot and it will turn under you naturally as you pass over it. Step the rear foot pointed straight ahead.

When turning, start rotating the stepping foot as soon as you begin to step. The supporting foot will turn under the body, as the hip rotates the body.

Feet stay close to and parallel to the deck, and within the stance guidelines (length and width between them) found in the Tachikata (stances) section of Shoshin Nagamine’s book The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do.


· Move forward, take over the opponent’s space with your hara

Master Ueshiro stressed that Shorin-ryu is a move-forward style. Study his kata, Fukyugata-san, as a concrete example.

We look to disrupt our opponent’s balance by moving forward with determination, our weight low, moving him off his foundation with our hara. Dominating his space with our strong foundation.


· Techniques start from a solid foundation, feet directly beneath the body, feet gripping the deck

Our feet are always beneath us, for balance, except when stepping. (And certain exceptions, such as Zenkutsu-dachi.) One problem some Deshi have is they become off balance if they step too long or wide, or if their foot rises too high.

An example is the move in Pinan Godan, stepping out from photo 25 into 26, from Kosa-dachi (cross-leg stance) into Iaigoshi-dachi (kneeling stance) with a 180º turn; where some Deshi step out so far with their left foot that they end up “flying” for a second with their elbows wide, to compensate for their imbalance.

This also prevents them from turning their supporting foot into its final position as soon as possible, so that it must instead turn the full 180° while supporting their entire body weight on that one foot. #massivefriction

If you feel off balance in a technique, observe your feet to make sure they’re directly beneath you.

So, in conclusion, step immediately, move forward, setting a strong foundation for your techniques.


Domo arigato gozaimasu,
Kyoshi David Baker,
Chief Administrator,
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA
founded by Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro
under the direction of Hanshi Robert Scaglione
New York, NY • USA