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Loud Koshi

We all go through phases, some long, some short. There are many phases to Karate training, especially for students who train for many years or decades or their whole life.

So here is my current phase -- I do not like showing koshi. That is ironic since I have spent considerable time and effort since 2002 specifically learning learning how to use and generate power with the koshi. The style I practice is known for this.

It is not that I do not use koshi, it is that I do not like to show it. I prefer to move in a way that looks more linear but is actually powered by the koshi. The koshi movement is small, and almost hidden inside the gi or flesh. Most people would not be able to see this. Of course, people who understand koshi could see it easily, even feel it. It is like the difference between a simple piece of metal and a magnet. They might look identical but are very different.

Making big koshi movement, to me, is like talking too loud. That is, TALKING TOO LOUD. BIG KOSHI IS LIKE WRITING LIKE THIS!

So why big koshi? In my Sensei's case, I am certain it is so that students can learn how to copy him. First, they have to be able to see his koshi. He must make his koshi big, exaggerated, so that the students can see it. Then they can start to copy it.

But I am sure that for my Sensei, showing big koshi must feel like going into a museum or church and SHOUTING! It must feel very uncomfortable.

If it is already uncomfortable for me, it must be incredibly so for him, and other advanced koshi people.

It takes big koshi movement to get to the point where you can start to reduce your movement (tighten the lines). When you get to the point where you can make small, internalized movements, you no longer want to move big. It is so loud, so busy, so unnecessary.

But it does help the other students.


Charles C. Goodin