In Dan-level training sessions, one thing becomes painfully clear: you’d better learn to move, and movement can’t be latent, chunky or telegraphed. We get stuck in the mindset that movement is a step, a shift or a parry that we do before a defense or attack, an entity separate in our training from our strikes. Step…punch is full of dead time (Kyo).
It’s becoming clear that an offensive move (or defensive) isn’t a move and strike or move and block. It’s not step…punch, or shift…block. It’s a single entity. It’s a timed, single waza. Bam! You’ve shifted and delivered – a perfect storm of mind, body and spirit.
Like a stone in a slingshot, it’s recoiled and released. The energy in the elastic bands carries the stone to target, this energy stays with the stone, and the opponent feels like he’s getting hot by the entire mechanism.
In elevated karate, we don’t get hit by a punch, we get his by an entire body that is drenched in forward-moving energy.
Where it gets tricky is when you attempt to deliver a double technique during this single burst that is delivered in a full, half or quarter beat (dear god, a quarter beat is less than a blink).
Bam!—–Bam! Bam!—Bam! or Bam!Bam!
In my training, sometimes the technique gets lost in the attempt at speed. If I try an overzealous jab/punch combination my jab sometimes looks like I’m darting the leading hand out and following with a reverse punch, making the sequence useless. Speed is a moot point if the technique isn’t correct. Nishiyama Sensei would say 10 times slow, one time fast. You have to walk before you yori-ashi! Repetition is the only cure.
So, intention forward but posture neutral, sacrum engaged (hips more shomen), hands up, feet gripping the floor (not too much outside-inside pressure), hamstrings taut, inner energy boiling up to 99 degrees, and…Bam!