Find Your Rock!
We had a grading yesterday where we had levels from white to second brown going through Kata, Kihon and Kumite to show the examiners their progression. The young kids were pushing back their nervousness to get through Heain Shodan while the upper-level belts were ripping out Kias and showing their speed and strength in techniques.
Power Karate has three different classes and they are full to capacity. This is a testament to what kind of Karate program it is, including the kind of Karate being taught.
At the end of class Sensei Brian Senior was asked to address the group. As usual, he left the class with a gem of teaching to ponder: “Find your rock.”
He used the analogy of getting a car unstuck, and how, instead of pushing on the car with your back and shoulders, you’d dig in – if you could you’d find a rock to jam your back foot against. You’d bend your legs and you’d use the power you could generate from pushing against the rock to help move the car forward.
You don’t move a car with your body alone – you move it with an intention to move it, and by utilizing your footing.
“Use the floor! Use the ground to get the force you need to DRIVE forward!”
As he did this he burst forward with a gyaku zuki to illustrate. His body moved as a unit - like he was shot form a cannon.
The students – every student in the class – watched and listen intently to the 2-3 minute talk.
They got it. And they got it because they saw it in action, and the analogy made sense.
To the students, it was a simple but invaluable tip on generating power. To me, an aspiring teacher, it was two things: a reminder that simple is better, and that a correct demonstration is worth all the words in the world.
Sensei Don Owens (WJKA) keep pressing me on the basics, and once in a while it hits home as to why: you can’t generate power if you have no foundation. You can’t get speed without intention and proper form (basics).
If this little article seems to be an unabashed shout-out to PKA, I make no apologies. Any Dojo where the Sensei are totally dedicated to the preservation and evolution of Karate is to be commended.
That kind of Dojo is a Rock.