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Tools of the Trade

I am a weekend handyman, meaning I do all sorts of projects in my house and yard. Thank goodness I am not a contractor because everything I do takes too long and uses up too many supplies. But there is a parallel to Karate.

A good craftsman has the right tools for the job.

No matter how hard you try, it is difficult to saw a piece of wood with a hammer or remove a screw with a saw. You need to use the right tools. Then it is easy -- or at least much easier.

In Karate, you also have to use the right tools, or techniques. Sometimes a hammer (or hammerfist) is needed. But sometimes you only need a finger or two -- to poke the eyes or dig into the suprasternal notch. The xiphoid process is a good target but you have to turn your fist a little to hit it just right.

With the right techniques, Karate is much easier.

Walter Dailey, a student of Zenryo Shimabukuro (a student of Chotoku Kyan) said that Shimabukuro Sensei used to compare Karate to rushing into a burning building to save someone. Crude Karate people try to break or kick down the door. But a skilled Karate person simply turns the knob and opens the door.

Proper techniques are the keys to open the doors of Karate.


Charles C. Goodin