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Kime -- Explosive Power

This Guest Post is by my friend and mentor Sensei Pat Nakata. Nakata Sensei is the head of the Okinawa Shorin-Ryu Karate Association in Hawaii. He was a student of Chosin (Choshin) Chibana in Kobayashi-Ryu Shorin-Ryu, and also studied Ryukyu Kobudo under Sensei Fumio Nagaishi. When he was a young man, he studied Wado-Ryu Karate under Sensei Walter Nishioka.

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It is said that karate without kime is not karate. Kime is seen as the explosive power at the end of the technique. Those who do not know how kime transfers power call it snap. So how does kime transfer power?

Kime (focus) is the timing of the transmission of power generated by movements of the body (torque, momentum, etc.) by locking all the muscles, ligaments, tendons, etc. of the whole body ( body, legs, arms, fingers,toes, etc.) as contact occurs, without any (or as minimal as possible) recoil.

The transmission of power is through the limbs (arms and legs). In general, use of our limbs are classified as two major techniques. The first is tsuki waza (thrusting technique) and the second being uchi waza (striking technique). Tsuki waza is force transmitted in a straight line. Uchi waza is force transmitted in an arc.

Again, kime is the timing of power generated by the body and the hitting limb simultaneously brought together on impact and penetration.

Also integral to kime is breathing (kokyu). At the point of impact, one exhales, which brings about the locking up process of the body.

Kime is the intensive concentration of power.

Pat Nakata