Movement is essential in all forms of contact

PTA NewsIN the sport of karate, movement is essential in all forms of contact. Because the most important ingredient of kumite is distance, one’s ability to cross that distance must also be of high importance.

In a previous column, I discussed movement in kumite in great detail, but today will focus on only one of the methods.

The final movement in heian sandan includes a sliding move to cover the distance. This movement gives shotokan practitioners the freedom to include this sliding action in the teaching of kumite.

The advantage of sliding, or yoriachi, is that it can be effectively done in a short time.

The negative part is that not much distance can be covered.

The distance is however made up for by the Shobu Ippon fighters being in closer. The hind leg muscle is used to project the full torso to the target, guaranteeing a powerful and effective technique.

A difficult method is to include the pulling of the front leg in this action. I must confess that I have not mastered this advanced option.

Important is to keep the upper body without movement not to telegraph the intent of the attacker from a relaxed ready position.

The attacking technique can vary from a favourite front hand attack, which is closest to the target, or any leg attack.

This movement can effectively be applied in an attacking defence.

This movement must be high on every training schedule and it can include forward and backward sliding added to breaking the line of attack.

It was an interesting fortnight recently in Europe, teaching in London and Thun, Switzerland.

Most encouraging was the fact that our training methods and techniques were well received.

Switzerland karate is strong with few differences from ours and offers a fair balance between kata and kumite training.

Hans Muller sensei teaches in the most beautiful dojo, overlooking the snow-covered Alps. The schools are working hard to prepare their teams for the seventh JSKA worked championships in Italy in May.

South Africa will be represented by a strong group still sweating it out every Saturday afternoon.