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Teaching Koshi

Last week I was teaching a segment of Fukyugata Ni to four students. Fukyugata Ni is a challenging kata. Designed by Goju-Ryu founder Chojun Miyagi, the kata, as we practice it, is a Shorin-Ryu interpretation of a Goju-Ryu kata, done with Kishaba Juku body dynamics. To me, it is a fighting kata, not merely a collection of basics.

The dynamics of Fukyugata Ni are challenging, and I spent some time on it with the students. Of course, it will take months and years for them to really feel comfortable with the kata, and we will have to continue to work together.

After we finished, I mentioned to the students that with four of them I could teach body dynamics. If there had been four hundred students, I would have had to teach the kata in a very basic and linear manner.

Koshi, and koshi powered body dynamics, are best taught in small groups or even one on one. They must be taught in a hands on manner. That is why our type of Karate is almost always found in small classes.

Even our Sensei, who is way beyond all of us, usually teaches only a small group.

Success in our art is not measured by the total number of students in our classes. Quite the opposite! One student who can move well is a great accomplishment!


Charles C. Goodin