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Getting the Roots

I am on a roll about weeds. Like I said, I am a weed expert! I'm a weed Terminator.

When you pick a weed, you must make sure to get the roots. If you cut off the top of a weed it will just grow back. I honestly think that it makes it stronger.

But if you get the roots, the weed will be gone forever. Others weeds may grow but that weed will be dead.

When you have a bad habit or error in Karate, you have to get to its roots to truly correct the problem.

For example, when you move your shoulders are too high. Simply lowering your shoulders will not eliminate the problem unless you get the root. Don't just lower your shoulders, you have to ask yourself why you raised them in the first place.

In my case, I was also an expert of raised shoulders. I did that for over 20 years despite my Sensei's best efforts to solve my problem.

I had to realize the source of the problem in order to eliminate it. Actually, my shoulders were not the problem -- the problem was my koshi, or lack thereof. I was raising my shoulders because I was trying to generate power using my arms and legs rather than the core of my body and my whole body in a coordinated manner.

When I learned to use my koshi -- or at least began to learn this skill -- my shoulders naturally began to lower.

My shoulders were the visible problem but my lack of koshi was the root.

Solving the shoulder problem -- by learning koshi and re-engineering my body dynamics -- also fixed many other problems. If I had only lowered my shoulders, the root would have remained.

My shoulder problem was just an example. Whatever problem you might have, you have to address the root of the problem, not only the leaves.


Charles C. Goodin