Position of power is defined as "the angle and distance that will allow the most damage with the least amount of force applied; the position of maximum power potential."
If your leg or arm is fully extended at contact with your your opponent, you are wrong. You are wrong because you have no point of release. The position of power is the leg bent position on contact as well as the arm bent position on contact. Now the full extension of the extremity will carry through the target.
Your hip and knee must be through the intended targets centerline while the shin makes contact, now the extension of the leg will carry the shin through the centerline as well.
The only aspect of the technique that should change is how much damage we cause as a direct result of how much we release. Position of power never changes, each technique has it's own position that will maximize it's effectivness, that is what we call technique personality.
Every technique has it's own personality and within the confusion of fighting we must be able to recognize the personality of each individual technique that we want to use as well as the techniques that are being used against us in order to effectively counter and crush, counter and control, control or crush.
Speed is not the power, it is an added advantage to the power. As long as the position of power is correct you could affect maximum damage while executing fast or slow.
Next Issue: Centerline Control
F1 shows two versions of a roundhouse kick, kick one is wrongly executed and kick two is the proper way of maximizing ones power potential. Being aware of the centerline is very important in the execution of any and all techniques. We use pulls, pushes and various strikes to off balance our opponent, we continually re-postion our centerline and control our opponents centerline.
In the above article we touched on the subject of centerline control. Every aspect of training connects like building blocks so you will see reoccurring themes through out this page.
Next Issue: Naturalness in all things
The term awkward position was coined for a reason, those who spend life times retainining their mind to react differently in true times of need are imposing their will on nature. More than half of the things that people train to do in most styles would not be executed in extreme situations, natural concepts start to form. There are things that have been burned into your reflexive memory since birth, things that are common to most people. Allowing those things to surface is the way of letting nature lead the way, as we all know nature is a very strong force to overcome. I encourage you to examine your art through a criticle eye.
Next Issue: Forward pressure
Forward pressure is a term used to describe the way in which we as experenced fighters should be executing any and all offensive techniques. If I happen to get into a fight with someone who is not executing with forward pressure there will be no need for me to advance toward him/her, all I have to do is step back and the threat is neutralized. All technique has varrying degrees of forward pressure in it. Whitley Sensei always said "just grit your teeth and go in".
Next Issue: Uke Waza (techniques of receiving)
In the words of Noriyasu Kudo Sensei "a true fighter is one who can receive and still have the option to deliver".
Whitley Sensei always says that "you should be able to take a hit when, where and how you want or need to take it".
We in the Seigyo Do Karate Kai believe in controling every aspect of the fight, the giving as well as receiving.
Next Issue: Rank, Titles and Teaching
Just because one has a black belt doesn't mean that they are qualified to teach. First of all, you need to have attained a third degree in order to be eligible to test for a teachers certificate. So all those 1st and 2nd degree black belts owning and operating schools and calling themselves instructors need to be shutdown. On the same token, just because one has achieved a 3rd dan does not mean that they now are automatically a certified instructor. Achieving a 3rd degree is only one of the prerequisites needed in order to achieve a teachers certificate, rank and title certificates are seperate entities entirely. Just because one can fight does not make him/her a teacher and just because one can teach does not make him/her a fighter. Honor the system set up by the founding fathers of the Budo, regulate correctly.
Next Issue: The Essence of Karate Do as compared to Jeet Kune Do
Jeet Kune Do practitioners spend a considerable amount of time speaking out against traditional arts and their use of kata (forms), the truth be told there aren't many differences between the two. Jeet Kune Do instructors employ physical drills to help the practioner develop the concepts, theories and attributes, the drills used are pretty common from school to school. In a traditional dojo practioners are taught the concepts and theories by way of technique, combinations and drills as well. Those drills that are used within a Jeet Kune Do school can be catagorized as kata, as a matter of fact there are many things in life that fall under that title. An example of this simularity is the staight blast, a technique designed to help a practitioner of Jeet Kune Do understand the concept of forward pressure, simple yet effective. I have had several conversations with Jeet Kune Do practitioners and I also have read several articles that show that contrary to popular belief, it is all the same. Traditional arts ultimate goal is to achieve enlightenment through development of the self. The goal through the self protection aspect is the acheivment of Mushin (mind no mind). In other words free flow. Any Jeet Kune Do practioner who would like to dispute this please do not hesitate to call 1-413-695-4978, I am always willing to discuss my views/facts in an open or private forum.
Next Issue: Delve deeper than the technique (the essence)
Training is a life long endeavor that produces very tangible results. There are many benefits that one will gain as a result of proper dedicated practice. I will discuss the benefits received in a simplified form. I will break it down in three parts, the three parts are, body, mind, and spirit.
The body represents the techniques or the physical aspect of training. This part is a never-ending process. Through proper dedicated practice one could achieve a technically proficient front kick but then receive injuries from an automobile accident. Now one has to modify or retrain themselves as a result of their newfound limitation. Many factors can contribute to modification such as age, injury, personality, etc.....
The mind represents the common sense theories as applied to combat. Once the mental capacity is achieved it is rarely lost. In this section one has to commit the concepts and theories to more than just memory. Through proper dedicated practice one begins to truly understand and believe the concepts and theories.
When we discuss spirit we are referring to an individuals will and ultimately an individuals state of enlightenment. In short, through attaining the skill to fight one begins to understand the theory of universal harmony and as a result understands when and when not to fight, how to fight, and where to fight.
Some people ask me to explain the difference between a concept and a theory. In a nutshell, a concept is what one plans to do and a theory is why one plans to do it. As an example of the aforementioned definitions let us look at the concept of Blind Spot Positioning. The theory is that once the position is achieved ones retaliatory, defensive, and offensive options are greatly limited while the achievers offensive options are maximized.
What is technique? Simply put, techniques are the how. The individual tools used to complete the job. I.E. side kick, reverse punch, knee kick etc....
Combinations are two or more techniques put together in a successive fashion. Combinations are designed to support the fighting philosophy of the particular style or system. They are physical examples of how to achieve the particular theory that they support. Through the combinations one should begin to understand the essence of the theory and be able to adapt the technique to a variety of situations.
The moral of this story is study hard, be a master mechanic, not a parts changer.
Randy B. Haskins Sensei
Next Issue: KATA,The soul of karate.
True exploration of ones style brings the practitioner to the Kata taught within the walls of his/her particular training hall. Learning the patterns of the kata are not enough, one must delve deeper.
The problem is that most practitioners of the martial arts this day and age don't understand the Kata of their style so they chalk them up as being useless wastes of time. Another problem is that individuals who are not qualified to teach are doing so. When one receives the rank of shodan they begin to call themselves Sensei, open a school, and teach half truths. What's worse is thier instructors allow this to happen.
The truth is KARATE was designed for war and the battle tested concepts, theories, and techniques were transmitted by way of KATA. Many techniques were hidden within the kata so that prying eyes could not pick up on the styles effectiveness, only those engaged in combat with the students of the ryu experienced its effectiveness and didn't live to tell about it.
Most practitioners understanding of thier styles kata go no deeper than the first stage of learning, which is memorizing the patterns of the combinations. Those Sensei who truly do know the hidden techniques of their kata very seldom release that information to thier students, because for 1., most students are not worthy of such information and 2., most students end up leaving prematurely thinking they know everything there is to know. The techniques that appear detectable to the common eye are not as they seem but yet they are taught and believed to be the gospel. Those techniques in question are only the bunkai (visual aspect), and not the kakushi (hidden techniques).
Since most instructors have no concept we as individuals need to take the time to study. I believe in the ELITE black belt which are few and far between. WHICH ONE ARE YOU?!!!!!
Randy B. Haskins Sensei
Next Issue: Self Protection
Self-protection is more a state of mind than a physical act. Anyone has the ability to effectively protect him/herself as long as the situation is approached intelligently and the will to survive is present. With certain common sense concepts/theories adhered to, most situations can be avoided without having to get physical.
The uncertain eventuality of that physical altercation happening motivates us to develop our ability to use our personal weapons, which are as follows
1. fore fist 2. back fist 3. spear hand 4. ridge hand 5. knife hand 6. hammer fist 7. palm heel 8. wrist 9. forearm 10. elbow 11. shoulder 12. head 13. chin 14. hip 15. knee 16. shin 17. instep 18. ball of foot 19. heel of foot 20. arch of foot 21. blade of foot.
1. keys 2. umbrella 3. magazine / paper work 4. wrist watch 5. belt 6. shoes 7. ink pen / pencil 8. tree branch 9. cell phone 10. pocket book 11. flashlight
1. sun 2. curb 3. wind 4. gravel / sand 5. table 6. furniture 7. automobile 8. shopping carriage 9. pot holes 10. light poles / mail boxes
1. kubaton 2. pepper spray 3. electronic stun device 4. fire arm (for those who are licensed)
Recognizing the most feasible weapon to use for the situation as well as the most effective delivery system for each individual technique is the key to success. Practice will help one develop crisp movement and precise timing.
Stress diminishes fine motor skills; heart rates above 115 beats per minute lead to a deterioration of precise, accurate movements. At over 145 beats per minute complex motor skills begin to fail and tunnel vision begins to develop. At over 175 beats per minute hearing is diminished and peripheral vision and depth perception begin to degrade. Trying to land a precise blow or series of blows against a moving opponent under these conditions is almost impossible, so it is better to rely on those techniques that are based on gross motor skills.
Areas of attack
·Vital points ·Vital areas ·Muscle/Tendon disruption
Neuro Linguistic Programming induces a flow state so one does not freeze up. In other words (verbal cues) are very important during those stressful situations. I.E., NO, GET BACK, HELP ME or whatever else comes to mind at the time. Just say something!
Observe means take in all of what is happening around you. Orient means to process the observed scene to make proper sense of it and understand what options are available. Decide means make a decision on the optimal course of action, Act means carry out the action without hesitation. While the action is being carried out we start to observe again and so we continue around the loop until a satisfactory conclusion is reached.
·Think in training, not in battle
·Adversity doesn't conquer individuals, lack of ambition does
·The most dangerous weapon a warrior has is a focused mind
·Always execute in combination form but never rely on the combination
·Never impose your will on nature, let nature lead the way
Concepts & Theories
In a nutshell, a concept is what one plans to do and a theory is why one plans to do it. As an example of the aforementioned definitions let us look at the concept of blind spot positioning. The theory is that once the position is achieved ones retaliatory, defensive and offensive options are greatly limited while the achievers offensive options are maximized.
Fear is a crippling emotion that dictates what one does or doesn't do. Learning how to manage the fear so that it doesn’t control the person is of the utmost importance to a martial artist. Realistic, hard training is one of the ways that help the management of fear.
FLINCH RESPONSE ACTIVATORS
Just a few things to think about before leaving the house
·What are you wearing?
·Are your clothes functional for self-protection?
·Does anyone know where you are going?
·Does anyone know what time you should be arriving at your destination or returning?
·Would it be better to ask someone to accompany you to your destination?
·Is your cell phone fully charged?
·Will your cell phone have a signal along the route of or at your destination?
·Is your pepper spray on your person and in working order?
Next Issue: True essence of Kata and the art of self protection
After visiting a couple classical martial arts studios and observing thier classes perform kata and what they interpret to be bunkai I realize what the problem is when it comes to martial artist not being able to effectively connect the lessons inherent in the kata in street defense. Simply put the problem is 1st they perform kata and dont practice kata, 2nd they need to look at the true definition of bunkai which is "the visual interpretation of the technique/combination". 3rd think realisticly, the clinch and grappling arts were a very realistic aspect of fighting all through out history so why would kata not address those issues? 4th, one would need to recognize and explore the four phases of practicing kata, Bunkai, Oyo, Henka & Kakuhsi. Kata practice without any of these aspects is incomplete practice..
There are several other questions that one could ask them self, think hard and be safe.
Delivery systems & Weapons
The common view is that there is a such thing as kicking, punching, clinching and grappling ranges. Lose the view that there are specific ranges in the art of fighting and your self protection game will be elevated to that next level. I work in a prison and some situations that have presented themselves have brought me to a whole new level of understanding. I could be in the so called clinching range and effectively throw a kick. Would I be wrong for not waiting till I enter the assigned range? No, I think not! Assigning ranges tends to limit individuals. An easy way of looking at the execution of any and all technique is the approach of weapon and delivery system. What do I mean? A side kick is an example of a delivery system used to deliver the heel (the heel is the weapon). Other delivery systems that will enable one to efectivley deliver the heel are foot stops, axe kick, and the hook kick. The individual technique is the delivery system and the weapon is what's being delivered. Think about it, train hard and be dedicated.