Karate Thoughts Blog

Contents   /   Email  /   Atom  /   RSS  /  

1700+ Posts... and Counting

Tapping the Egg

Tonight I made an error during training and will share it in hopes that others can avoid the same mistake.

I was explaining to the class that Karate is usually not done as a challenge -- one person openly challenging another where each is ready to fight. Instead, it is more likely that you will be hit in the back of the head or get a false crack. Or, if you are fortunate enough to block or evade the first hit, you will have only a split second to react before the second hit arrives. So we are preparing for something that you really cannot fully prepare for. You have to be able to move by reflex, and even then there is an element of luck. That is why it is so important to be aware of the situation and environment, and avoid the attack.

Anyway, I asked my second son (the head of our dojo) to throw a punch to my head, which I dodged, but to simulate getting hit, I started to fall. As I was falling, I threw a left downward uraken (backfist) which caught my son in his right... egg. Since youngsters might read this blog, I prefer to use the term "egg", but you probably know what I mean.

As it turned out, my uraken must have been perfect, because it had an immediate result. To be honest, I felt nothing at all. I thought I only snapped the outside of my son's gi. I felt no physical contact at all. None.

So here are some of my observations.

First, I should have been more careful. My Sensei is very good about stepping back before he throws an uraken to a person. I should have done so too. After dodging/blocking, I should have slid back out of range before throwing the uraken.

Also, my control was off because I was simulating falling. I should have been more careful about this too.

Second, this shows how little it takes to injure someone when you hit his "egg". I even used my left, which is slower than my right. But the angle and contact must have been just right. Interestingly, the snap was probably good because I was falling. The energy of the fall was easily transferred to the uraken.

Third, I used koshi in the technique. I did not intend to do so -- it just happened. This is why it is best to step out of range before throwing an uraken or other koshi driven technique. Sometimes you might hear that your koshi has a mind of its own. That may sound exaggerated, but when you move by reflex your koshi will move by reflex too. By the time you are aware of moving, you will have already done so.

Lastly, I was relieved that it was my son I hit. I do not want to hit anyone, but if it had to happen, I am glad it was my own son. For his part, my son "sucked it up" well and didn't show any anger. He is a calm person, and knows that I would never hurt him on purpose.

What should you do in a real confrontation if you are hit in the groin and feel that you are going to pass out or double over? I would rush the attacker and throw my best technique while I still could. I would probably go for a takedown, but that it just me.

My main advice is that it is best to step out of range before throwing an uraken or any technique for that matter, unless you are moving in very slow motion. Remember, it does not take much to crack an egg! And there are other parts of the body that could have been just as easily injured.


Charles C. Goodin