Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Technique of the Week (October 24th, 2005)

From Sensei Steve Lott

Midtown (Hombu) Dojo NYC

The obi - your belt - your personal clock for timing your next kata move.

Many of us old timers in karate are supposed to know most everything. So when we hear something new it is always an exciting moment. This is exactly what happened to me during a class this past summer. Sensei Michael Mackay was conducting kata when he noticed that some students were not locking in the technique after each move.

Well I knew that.

He said that it is critical to lock in each technique before moving on to the next one.

Well I knew that.

He said after the technique is completed, remain still, but take a couple of seconds to relax, envision the effect of the last move on the opponent and then go on to the next move.

Well I knew that.

Then he blew me away when he said, “the only thing that should be moving after the technique is completed is the belt”.

Say what? Onegai-shimasu. What was that? I missed that! I never heard that before. Say that again. Please.

Here it is. When doing kata properly the explosive action of the block, the punch, or the kick should end with the body perfectly still but the belt will move side to side for a few seconds. When doing kata in front of the mirror take note of the motion of the belt after the move is completed. If the technique is performed properly the action of the hips will cause the belt to move. The belt will come to a rest about 2 to 3 seconds after the technique is completed.

Here is your personal clock to timing the start of the next move. The belt will come to rest very close to the period of time that we must wait between each technique. For some the belt may take a bit longer to come to rest. But generally, this motion of the belt is a good tool to incorporate when disciplining the body to wait for the proper time to begin the next technique.

Sensei Mackay - Thank you.


Steve Lott