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One of the keys to success in Karate is to learn to relax. Of course, beginners (especially men) tense their muscles because they think this is the way to generate power. Just the opposite is true -- tension makes you slow.

The key is to remain as relaxed as possible as long as possible. At the last moment, you tense your body for a split second, during which time power is transferred to the opponent. Immediately afterwards, you must relax again.

There is a way to squeeze your muscles without becoming very tense. When you are ready to tranfer power, you "fire" your already squeezed muscles. And then, once again you must relax.

When you are relaxed, it is possible to move in wave-like and whip-like manners. This is essential. Otherwise, you will be limited to linear movement, which becomes very stressful and difficult as you grow older.


Charles C. Goodin