Thought For The Week

Thought for the Week (Aug 26th, 2002)

From Sensei Patrick S. Moriarty,Yon Dan
Pine Forest Karate Dojo
Florence, MA


The Count

During the beach work out, Hanshi gave a correction concerning the count.

"The count should be such that there is a two second pause between moves.
Not one & not three, but two.
This can be achieved by internally counting one one thousand, two one
thousand between the moves.
This should be done for both Kata & Kihon techniques."

On occasion when there are only Ni-kyu and above on the deck, the count may
be slowed to allow for maximum tension in-between the Nihanchi kata moves.

Here are a few pointers on working the count:

Always count before you move. This is actually harder than it seems.

I like to think of the count as the enemy. In other words, react to the
count and do not anticipate it. (This is actually a very important aspect
of what we are trying to achieve in regards to self-defense. In order to be
effective in self-defense, one must first strive not to get into a
situation of potential harm. Should you not be able to do this, you should
react naturally to the attacker. This natural reaction or instinct is
developed by performing techniques repetitively until they become you and
reacting to the attacker (count) rather than anticipating their moves.
Should you be in a confrontation and start to think about what to do next,
you will most likely be in serious trouble)

Some common reasons for counting too fast are:

Counter is tired and wants the exercise end quickly. (Common among
lower ranks)
The counter is a runner.
Counter is too tense during the entire exercise and doesn't understand
the importance of exploding and releasing the technique.
Conversely, the counter is too placid. (Would rather dance than fight)

A common reason for counting too slow is that the counter wants to rest
between counts. This can be construed as not moving forward and is not
considerate to those who want to. In other words, the slow counter is

As one moves up in rank, they become more and more in control of the their
actions evident by their count and more and more aware of their
surroundings, such as recognizing those who count incorrectly.

Apparent by Hanshi taking the time to explain this to the Dan rank during
the beach workout, this is an important aspect of our karate training and
should be diligently worked on.

Patrick S. Moriarty
Yon Dan
Pine Forest Karate
Shorin Ryu USA