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About Technique

When I give lectures to other dojo or classes, I often point to the smallest woman in the group and say, "if she could not use a certain technique effectively then there is something wrong with the technique."

Karate techniques should not be size and strength dependent. If only big, strong men can use the technique, then it is not really Karate.

I always add that I realize that there are many women who are taller, heavier and stronger than me. As a relatively short person (5 feet, 8 inches), I am keenly aware than many attackers will be taller, heavier and stronger than me.

For a small woman, this would be even more true.

So what is the answer? Karate techniques should be practiced for maximum effectiveness, not only for scoring points. Students need to learn where to strike and how to strike in a way that negates the attacker's size advantage. A Karate student should be like a surgeon in terms of the precision with which he or she strikes/attacks the attacker's most vulnerable areas.

I am serious. If the smallest adult in your dojo cannot use a technique (despite diligent, longterm practice), then something is wrong. Some of the greatest Karate masters were barely 5 feet tall and only 120 pounds. They had something other than sheer strength. Their Karate was not size dependent.


Charles C. Goodin