We’ve heard all kinds of interesting analogies, tips and tricks stated in Shotokan classes in a variety of ways. Examples include: ‘Keep your karate-beaten nose out of it’ to remind you to keep your head back in a fight; ‘the best place for your feet in a fight are on the floor’ to remind you that the karate kick isn’t always the best weapon; ‘give your action a direction’ to remind us about channeling power.
One that I heard from Sensei Bruce Lee just this week caught my attention: ‘hit them with the floor!’ This was an excellent way to remind us that in Shotokan, we use the ground beneath us to generate fight-terminating power. Sensei Lee starts all his classes with us finding our ‘body connection’ which means our limbs in relation to our body core, as well as our entire body connection to the floor.
In teaching, one of our Sempai in particular does a lunge punch and then draws a line from the back foot, up the leg, up the body and out through his arm, illustrating how we generate our power from the ground…and, quite honestly, if you’ve ever watched someone like Andre Bertel (pictured here) hit something, you’d see how this connection generates tremendous power.
Many karate-ka can hit you with the floor…