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Locked Koshi

Yesterday I was interviewed at the Hawaii Karate Museum for a possible creative project. The interview was pretty long, and I had to sit in a chair with my feet firmly on the ground and my back straight. At one point during the interview, I want to show a block using koshi. To my surprise, I was unable to do so. My block was quite "ordinary."

I continued with the interview, but this bothered me. Later, I recreated the situation and tried to block again.

With my feet planted on the floor and my back straight against the back of the chair, my rear end was also firmly planted on the seat of the chair. This effectively "locked" my koshi. There was no way to twist or move from side to side. As such, there was no way to transfer power from my lower body to my upper body, and my block was limited to arm power alone.

I wondered how I could use my koshi while seated in a chair. As an experiment, I raised my feet a few inches off the floor, and found that I could use my koshi with no trouble at all. But with my feet planted, my koshi was locked and frozen.

One of the important concepts of Karate is not to have fixed stances and kamae, but to react and move freely. Stability is the enemy of free and fast movement.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin