Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Technique of the Week (September 21st, 2009)

From Vern Fath Ni-Dan
Northampton Ueshiro Pine Forest Karate Dojo


Keep your head where it belongs
Physically and Mentally

Where the head goes the body follows.
This is taught to dancers, divers, gymnasts as well as deshi

Keep your head centered over your body. When doing squats, when doing oi-zuki, when turning, when doing neko-ashi-dachi, zenkutsu-dachi, …I guess I can't think of when you shouldn't. It is particularly helpful if you are having balance issues. If you find you're catching yourself then look at where your head is leading you. I see this error most commonly when people are getting lower by using their back instead of their legs or when leading with their chin. I confess that I've even seen it in the mirror (which is why the mirror is so useful) or felt its effect when I lose focus and tilt forward during squats.
On the deck we start the class with meditation to clear our heads and center ourselves so we can focus on the tasks ahead. If you are centered and can keep your head when you're in a stressful situation, you have an advantage. If you can maintain your composure you may avoid a confrontation. If your opponent gets you angry then they have put you off balance mentally. They are leading you by the head. The phrase I have been told is "control your emotions or your emotions will control you". Stay centered, and keep training hard.

Vern Fath
Northampton Ueshiro Pine Forest Karate Dojo