One of the most fascinating Karate stories I have ever read is the one where Master Egami traveled extensively in search of an effective punch (tsuki). That is, the one that was the epitome of ‘one punch, one kill.’
Egami had developed his body to a point where it was perfect muscle – not unlike Nishiyama Sensei in his prime and the Hollywood Bruce Lee. The result of Egami Sensei’s research was that no one could hurt him with a punch to the stomach – even to the solar plexus. When Egami was at the point where he had lost hope that the Karate punch was effective, he came to a profound conclusion:
“To control the unrest-fulness of [the tsuki] being ineffective I searched for new ways to do a tsuki and ended up concluding that karate techniques must include a concentration.The tsuki must be completely effective. To attain this, you must think that you are making the strength go through to the infinite. All the strength must go through the body, not even partially reflected in the moment of contact. A truly mortal blow is the concentration of force on one point. Said in another way, you pour all your being into the body of the opponent. Effectivity will therefore vary in accord to your state of mind.”
In our Dojo, Sempai Howse teaches this very concept, but he uses the term intention: You don’t strike ‘at’ your opponent, or ‘toward’ your opponent,’ you strike through your opponent with a clear and concise objective in mind. The focal point is way beyond your point of contact.
In Karate, as in life, what’s in front of you can only stop you if you let it; effectiveness is truly a state of mind.
See, Sempai Howse, I am getting some of this!