Technique of the Week (October 31st, 2010)
From Sensei Ron Marchetti, Shihan
Cocoa Shorin-Ryu Karate Dojo
Mai Geri, Toe Tip Kick:
The beginning deshi is introduced to the toe tip kick in early training during the basic exercises and also in Fukyugata Nidan. This technique deserves additional in depth study to master. The basic mechanics of the kick are explained in detail in the Shorin Ryu Karate USA classes by the Sempai and Sensei instructors.: 1) Raising the knee and foot with foot remaining parallel to the floor, 2) Extending the foot toward the target with toes pointed directly to the target and remaining parallel to the floor, 3) Retracting the foot back into the chamber more rapidly than the extension.
One aspect of the kick that requires emphasis is the position of the toes and front portion of the foot to achieve a spear like penetrating weapon. The foot/toes must be pointed toward the target and the foot and ankle muscles in tension. The foot must be strong, and the targeting proper in order to achieve effectiveness. A common error is to have a loose foot with little muscle tension and the toes pointed upward. One cannot expect that foot-ankle conditioning will be achieved without proper conditioning and practice. Foot exercises to develop strength include ankle/foot circles, rising on the toes from a flat standing position, walking on the tips of the toes, and walking on a sand/beach surface on the toes. The techniques for developing foot conditioning are contained in Building Warrior Spirit (Green Book) by Hanshi Scaglione see pages 46 through 50. The most effective tool to insure the correct Mai Geri is to use the Dojo mirror, standing at an angle to be able to see the position of the foot as it extends and retracts during the kick.
Sensei Ron Marchetti