Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

June 8th, 2014

From Daniel Gobillot, Shihan - Shichidan
Northampton Ueshiro Karate dojo

SHOTEI - ATE (Palm Heel Smash)

Shotei - ate is the palm heel smash, a unique strike performed by
bending the wrist back (unlike most karate hand positions) and opening
the hand to present the palm as the striking surface.
This technique can be used in a defensive or offensive situation. I
think of it as a chameleon like technique in that it is difficult
visually to track and comprehend as it is delivered. Also, it can be
delivered to any point ( high, middle or low) on the body.

In our kata's, Shotei-ate first shows up in Rohai. Rohai takes
advantage of this move in several ways. The technique is delivered as
a low singke hand strike or block three times and then again with both
hands low to a
possible groin or abdominal target.

Next we see it used in Wanshu as a side strike. I love this technique
as it can be delivered while in a close struggle to the ribs or kidney
of your attacker. It's range does not end there.
The palm strike can be used to the side of the head or knee, depending
on your situation.

For such a powerful hand strike, shotei-ate spares the smaller and more
easily damaged bones in the hand. Over the years I've broken my hand
three times, striking with the first two knuckles and a tight fist.

In Passai, this technique shows a different color. The palm is
delivered to the throat or head still thrusting but in a slightly
different way. The main difference seems to be a wider use of the palm
The fingers are straight as you incorporate a little more of the knife
edge as well.

The common mistake with shotei-ate, with all of its variations could be
the lack of extension of the arm. Do not hold back, extend out past 90
degrees to and through the intended target.

The final kata and last/highest kata we study in our art, Shorin Ryu
Karate USA is Kusanku. The technique is referred to as Tomoe
shotei-ate or circular palm hand strike. It is performed with both
to the center of the target. The fingers are slightly bent probably
due to the delivery angle and bone structure of the arm and hand. This
reminds me of Tomoe-zuki (double punch) that we learn in our second
kate fukyugata ni. I was taught over 25 years ago that this technique
could put the heart into defibrillation. I've also found there are
more ways to damage the heart. Be Careful and Keep training!

Respectfully submitted by

Daniel Gobillot, Shihan - Shichidan
Northampton Ueshiro Karate dojo