Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

October 13th, 2013

From Sensei Lorenzo Aguon, Shihan, Go-Dan
Ueshiro Hawaii Karate Dojo

"Exceptions to the Rooting Down, Immovable Concept"

In our karate training, we constantly hear "Stay Rooted", "Use your feet to grab the deck", and "Keep a Strong foundation". However, there are some exceptions to the concept. Below is an excerpt taken from the Building Warrior Spirit (Green Book), Page 42.

The only exceptions to the rooting down, immovable concept of stances are as follows;

1. Neko Ashi (cat stance), when striking or blocking in a series of cat stance techniques as in Kata Passai the rear foot subtly slides in about one or two inches complementing and adding power to the movement. When chasing or rushing in, while in cat stance, the rear foot slides in naturally before rooting down.

2. Jigotai (wide legged stance), when executing chasing punches - oi-zuki the rear foot slides in about one or more inches complementing the technique.

3. Shizentai (natural stance), the rear foot slides in complementing the punch only when chasing one's opponent as in Wankan Kata or when changing the stance from low stance zenkutsu to high stance shizentai without changing the position or placement of the forward foot, the rear foot and hip slides in powerfully as demonstrated in Wankan Kata and similarly in Kata Fukugata II.
If you work any of the katas mentioned above, take the time to focus on those moves mentioned that pertain to the exceptions. Understanding the importance of a rooted foot and when a rooted foot can slide to complement a technique makes your training even more technical than ever.

Sensei Lorenzo Aguon, Shihan
Ueshiro Hawaii Karate Dojo