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Speed vs Timing

Pat Nakata often tells me that his sensei, Choshin Chibana, said that timing is more important than speed.

When you are young, speed is everything. But as you age, you will naturally become slower. Then, timing becomes essential.

Actually, even when young it is best to learn good timing.

William H. Rabacal advised me to learn how to juggle in order to gain better timing. It was hard at first, but within a couple of weeks I learned how to juggle three objects. Rabacal Sensei was right! Juggling teaches good timing. You cannot juggle the balls faster than they fall. You have to be in rhythm with the balls -- just as you have to be in rhythm with punches.

I practiced Kendo with Chiuchi Fureyama. He was already very old when I started training (I had just started college) and I was already a yudansha in Karate. I thought for sure that I would be able to hit him. No matter how hard I tried or how fast I thought that I was, I never hit him. His timing was just too good.


Charles C. Goodin