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Robotic Karate

I was watching a Karate DVD earlier today. As you can tell, I watch a lot of these. Anyway, my daughter happened to walk by and said, "Dad, that guy looks like a robot."

My daugther is a dancer. She has danced for nine years, and has a very good sense of movement. Even my Sensei suggested that we might try to learn something about footwork and weight positioning from my daughter.

My daughter thought this person looked like a robot. I started to think about it. Actually, many Karate people I have observed looked like robots. I am not talking about beginners. I am talking about quite advanced people.

Should Karate look robotic? Think about the best receivers in football, the best golfers, the best dancers... none of them look robotic. The best athletes are "poetry in motion." Did you ever watch Jerry Rice leap over defenders to catch a football? No robot could do that.

Shouldn't that same fluidity of motion, of timing, of relaxation and concentrated strength, be present in Karate?

We are not robots.


Charles C. Goodin