Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Technique of the Week (June 21st, 2004)

From Sensei Pat Moriarty, Go-Dan
Pine Forest Karate Dojo



Most of us can recall at some point in our karate experiences where we
witnessed a remarkable demonstration of raw physical power, such a
destructive force where undoubtedly an aggressor would be neutralized or
even killed with a single blow. The Okinawans refer to this destructive
power or force as “Chinkuchi” (“chin koo chee”) . The concept of
Chinkuchi is unique to Okinawan karate where other forms of martial arts
are intended to subdue an opponent by either grappling as in Jujitsu or
using the opponents own energy to their demise as in Aikido. Even though
chinkuchi is a function of good body mechanics, it also involves many other
training aspects such as but not limited to, focus, breath control, proper
tensioning, etc and it can be very elusive to master. There are many
articles on the internet discussing the concept of chinkuchi, but perhaps
one of the more fundamental elements for us to train is acceleration of
technique. Increasing speed or acceleration can be difficult to achieve
because repetition is required to condition the body to allow for the
transfer of the destructive force throughout the entire body rather than it
becoming a self destructive force. Force, in scientific terms, is equal
the mass (weight) of an object times its acceleration. Given that the mass
of the striking portion of our bodies such as a fist in throwing a reverse
punch, is fixed, we are left with improving on the acceleration component
of the formula. An efficient transfer of energy from the Koshi (hip area)
to the limbs, much like that of a spring uncoiling, creates the
acceleration of the movement and thus the explosive force of the technique.
Combined movement of the entire body, all the muscles, bones, tendons,
ligaments, must be in perfect concert to the point of contact to achieve
chinkuchi. When practicing kata, try focusing on the acceleration of your
technique. Make sure your acceleration continues on to the point of
imaginary contact or beyond and should your body be called on to defend
yourself, it will be ready for the task. Developing chinkuchi does not
happen overnight, it takes time, it takes practice. Keep training.

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu
Pat Moriarty
Pine Forest Karate Dojo