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.

It’s all in the kata

PTA NewsTHE teaching theme in Europe was “kata is kumite” and was well received, resulting in multiple invitations from a number of countries.

After much deliberation during the festive season, I decided to start the New Year concluding on this same direction of thought.

Heian Shodan has many hidden treasures applicable specifically on fighting combinations, but allow me to discuss only a single technique.

Movement four consists of contraction from a forward stance into feet close to touching with the right arm defence action.

This contraction changes into expansion empowering a right arm strike.

The success of this movement lays in the following important matters, firstly the contraction in defence followed by expansion in attack, but the secret lies in a solid back leg.

This single movement can be successfully applied in a defensive fighting situation by contracting with a solid routed back foot and in preparation for a counter attack.

In Heian Nidan we find a slipstep introduction in movement seven.

This is an appropriate introduction for more advanced fighting sequences.

The advantage of this movement is that the preparation is hidden, making defending this attack very difficult.

In Heian Sandan, the second last movement is done by sliding from one position to the next introducing the most popular movement in fighting combinations.

It is interesting to observe the increase in difficulty from the first to the third kata, but the fighting applications of these movements are amazing. This year started with a huge intake of parents starting karate careers.

Motivated by the success of their kids and the numerous advantages of training karate, many parents took the first step by attending their first class.

Karate classes are offered across our city at various karate schools.

Please contact me for a reputable reference to a proper school.

You can send an e-mail to or else call me on 083 263 1522.