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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