Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

October 12th, 2014

From Sensei Bob Dobrow, San-Dan
Ueshiro Northfield Shorin-Ryu Karate Dojo of Minnesota

Finding Power in Tomoe-zuki

The last two moves of Fukyugata-Ni each contain a double chest block, a double
elbow smash, and a final double punch, known as tomoe-zuki. The double punch
appears in two black belt kata: Rohai and Passai.

There have been several excellent posts in past Techniques of the Week about
this move, and I urge deshi to ``research this well.’’ You can find all previous
posts on the subject in our Technique of the Week Archives by typing into Google
the search expression ``tomoe’’ In particular, see Kyoshi
Mackay’s Technique of the Week on Tomoe-zuki from March 17, 2008.

Hanshi has often said that this technique is ``one of the most powerful moves in
all of karate.’’ When I first heard Hanshi say this I was surprised, as it
seemed difficult for me to generate maximum power with this move. Since then, I
consider it a personal challenge to make my tomoe-zuki true to Hanshi’s

For this week’s Technique of the Week, I will NOT attempt to explain why
Hanshi’s statement is true. Rather, I urge you to take the statement as an
article of faith and practice the move, and the kata, as if indeed it is ``the
most powerful move’’ in all of YOUR karate. How and where in your kata can you
squeeze out a few more molecules of power? Here are some suggestions: (i) Get
lower in zenkutsu-dachi. Root down and draw the energy from the ground up into
your core. (ii) Bring the elbows straight back as far as possible in the windup
to maximize the distance of the striking fists, and (iii) Throw the arms out
with more speed and intensity so that they don’t just reach their target, but go
through the imaginary opponent and out the other side.

Domo arigato gozaimasu Hanshi!

Respectfully submitted,
Sensei Bob Dobrow, San-Dan
Ueshiro Northfield Shorin-Ryu Karate Dojo of Minnesota