Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Technique of the Week (August 29th, 2010)

From Sensei Joe Knight Godan- Ueshiro Virginia Karate Club

Training to Hit With the Belly - Developing a Strong Hara

In the August 23rd TOTW from Sensei Link, one of the "mantra" focus areas he listed was hitting with the belly.

From a self defense perspective, the Asian martial arts have focused on the development of the belly (or Hara/Center ) to generate tremendous striking power. In western culture, it is the development of the upper body and shoulders that is typically stressed.

Master Ansei Ueshiro recognized this difference when he was training U.S. marines in Okinawa. One of Master Ueshiro’s reasons for composing Kata Fukyugata Sandan was to introduce beginning western karate students to the utilization of the hara to generate strong techniques, and developing abdomen strength with the use of low stances.
Here are some training guidelines to help develop the hara during training:

1) -When performing Kata, always lead with the hara. Imagine a rope tied to the front of your obi, then imagine the rope “pulling you” to the direction of the next stance (vs. leading the movement with the upper body)
2) - After planting the feet for the next stance of the kata, be sure to save the hip prior to delivery of the technique.
3) -The delivery of the technique should originate with the rotation of the hip- launching the chambered arm towards the target and the opposite arm into the chamber. The upper body is more passive- guiding the technique delivery to target and locking the technique at the end of travel.

Domo Arigato-

Sensei Joe Knight

Ueshiro Virginia Karate Club