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Hurricane Dynamics in Karate

With all the recent hurricanes, I have been watching a lot of cable news. This is weird to say, but when I see reports about hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, I think of boarding up my windows here in Hawaii (really I do).

I used to live in Florida, in a trailer, and we were always worried about hurricanes and tornadoes. Here in Hawaii we get our share of hurricanes too.

One thing I often hear is that the strongest part of the hurricane is the front, eastern quadrant. Getting hit by this part of the hurricane is the worst. At least this is what I have heard.

In our system of Karate, we move in a whiplike manner. In essence, we are moving like a hurricane (perhaps the movements are circular, elongated, or almost straight). But all of our movements can be envisioned as portions of a moving circle, like a hurricane.

Of course, our movements might be clockwise, counterclockwise, or rotating in a vertical or other plane.

But if hurricanes have a stronger quadrant, do our movements also have a stronger portion or section? When we execute a chudan shuto uke or uchi, for example, is there a portion or section of the movement that is strongest or best for hitting?

I believe so. And it tends to be the front eastern quadrant (if rotating counterclockwise) or the front western quadrant (if rotating clockwise).

I do not have the mechanical or physics background to explain or confirm this, but it seems right to me.

Another hurricane analogy. No matter how fast we might be moving at the extremities, our center remains very calm. Tension builds up around the center and radiates outward (tensing and releasing).

I do not mean to make light of hurricanes, not at all. It is just that there might be something we can learn from them about whiplike and rotational movement.


Charles C. Goodin