Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Technique of the Week (September 25th, 2006)

Sensei Michael Mackay, Shihan
Ueshiro Midtown Dojo at St. Barts
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA


"Don't Wait"

One of Hanshi's many corrections during last week's Central Park workout
was to "not linger" when executing certain turning moves. This is
particularly true with combinations involving multiple opponents (fifth
move of P1, knee smash/turn/shuto block in P5). The biggest risk in
turning quickly (or "smartly" as Hanshi would say) is loosing balance
and "falling" into an opponent. Another common problem is executing an
incomplete first move, leaving a viable attacker facing our back (down
block/turn/reverse punch in P5). Students need to push themselves to
cultivate speed in these turns without sacrificing balance, foundation
and accuracy: two key concepts that unfortunately compete with one

Valuable training aids for speeding up the turn between two opponents
are visualization and bunkai. In bunkai extra care is required by the
second attacker in case the punch must be pulled. "Hot coal"
techniques, like the knife hand block/strike in F2, are also excellent
training tools to improve speed without compromising foundation.

This technique should not be misconstrued as an excuse for rushing the
count or for not stepping first. We still show a minimum of
two-seconds' pause between each move, lingering (as it were) to savor
each successful technique (or combination of techniques) while waiting
for the next opponent to make his move. No kata, not even F1, should be
performed as if to a metronome: act smartly and master the art of
knowing when to wait and when to turn without a moment's pause.

Domo arigato gozaimasu, Hanshi,
Michael Mackay, Shihan
Ueshiro Midtown Dojo at St. Barts