Sensei Minoru Higa defined karate this way: ‘Every movement, small amplitude. All movement from the Tanden.’
This, he says, is the lifelong journey for Karate people: to do more with less and to do everything form the body’s center.
As our karate progresses we need to eliminate the wind-up and the pull-back. We need sharp, powerful techniques that are in no way telegraphed, and that come form the body’s center in the most direct line to the target. Elbows sticking out, head going forward, or knees wavering before an attack are wasted energy as Sensei Lee says. Arms and legs are projectiles from the body: there’s a small cannon in your lower gut. The gut tightens and a foot or fist delivers the hit – direct and on target. A deadly movement with a small amplitude.
As with everything in karate, this come with time and repetition. Proper repetition is the sandpaper of karate.
When I’m in my boat fishing, I’m not too concerned about the long, rolling wave. I can see that coming a mile off. But the quicker, sharper, steep wave (that comes with no warning) is another story.
In the same vein, it’s the reverse punch that fires like a rocket from the opponent’s hip, direct to your center line, that will sink your ship!