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Crying About Kata

This is a true story.

The other day, I was watching an online Karate video.  A friend had sent me the link.  Other videos were listed with the first video, and after I had clicked from one video to another a few times I found myself watching a video of a senior Karate instructor performing a basic kata.

The thing is that the performance was so technically flawed that it was truly amazing.  I was at work, and I called my wife over to watch the video (because it was so truly amazing in a negative sense).

After about 20 seconds, my wife started to cry.  Honestly, she started to cry.  She felt so bad for this senior Karate instructor.

I learned a lot that day from my wife.

It is easy to be critical when we watch Karate videos or other Karate students performing kata or demonstrating techniques -- but we have to remember that we are all fellow Karate students.


Charles C. Goodin

Move Lightly, Hit Hard

This is a very straightforward statement: In Karate we should move lightly and hit hard.

It is straightforward, but how often to you see people who move like this? I have seen many people who move in a heavy way but hit lightly. I have seen very few people who move lightly and hit hard.

One of the "secrets" of hitting hard is getting as much of your weight as possible into each punch, strike, or block. In order to do this, you have to actually hit with your body through your hand or arm. Most people concentrate on their hands or arms rather than on their body.

And of course, when you think about your body, you have to think about how to generate "wholebody" power. In our style (Kishaba Juku Shorin-Ryu), we focus quite a bit on the use of the koshi, but more generally on the core of the body. Learning how to generate power with the core, connect this to the arms and legs, and transfer power to whatever we want to hit or block with, is the focus of our training.

Core mechanics is also the "secret" of learning how to move lightly and quickly. In a nutshell, core mechanics makes everything easier, faster, and more powerful.

It makes it possible to move lightly and hit hard.

And I did say that core mechanics makes it "easier". If being faster and more powerful required more effort, that is one thing. As we age, this becomes more and more difficult. But when you can be faster and more powerful with less effort, that is certainly another thing -- a good thing for a grandfather like me!


Charles C. Goodin

Doing Fine


I am doing fine. After the University of Hawaii lecture and the activities surrounding it, my law office became very busy and has remained so. Actually, it looks like I will be very busy through the end of this month.

However, I have been teaching Karate classes as usual. I have just be too busy to write very much. Actually, my newest article has recently appeared in the current issue of Classical Fighting Arts. It is about an unknown student of Chotoku Kyan.

Thank you very much to people who have inquired about my wellbeing. I will try to get back to regular writing soon.


Charles C. Goodin