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Lower Your Shoulders

I have often written that lowering your shoulders is part of the overall posture for Karate. Many students have a bad habit of raising their shoulders when they execute a technique. This generally means that they are trying to use too much power, particularly with their arms and shoulders.

But when I say that you should lower your shoulders, I do not simply mean that you should lower them if they are raised -- I mean that you should lower them even if they are in a normal position. Starting from a normal position, you should press your shoulders down. Even when executing a technique, you should have this feeling.

Notice that I said that you should "press" your shoulders down. You should not overly tighten your muscles as this will make it difficult for you to move.

In a similar way, you press your koshi "up" and squeeze your lats "in".

The compression formed from such pressing and squeezing, makes it possible to generate power using your entire body as a whole, rather than as separate parts.


Charles C. Goodin