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Passing In Front

In my dojo, when we pass in front of someone we lower our head slightly and extend our open right hand at about waist level. This is to show that the right hand is not carrying a weapon. Our left hand is against the side of our left leg at about hip level.

This practice actually comes from Kendo and Iaido, but I have always done done this in Karate as well.

If two people are talking to each other, you should try not to pass between them. You certainly should not pass between two people who are pairing off -- you could get hit. You should try to go around them. If that is not possible, you should wait until they stop and give you a signal that you can pass.

When you pass in front of someone, you should maintain a keen sense of awareness. See: Busai -- Martial Awareness. You should be ready to respond to a sudden attack. By bowing and extending you hand, you are not lowering your guard.

My friend and mentor, George Donahue, wrote a Guest Post in response to this post. See Guest Post: Kata Gassho.


Charles C. Goodin