Thursday, May 15, 2008

San Ten: Principles of San Ten Traditional Karate Do

San Ten: Principles of San Ten Traditional Karate Do

The Essence of Coaching Traditional Karate Do
by Vincent A. Cruz

Principles of Traditional Karate Technique (Waza

Power Source



Although power is derived through the mechanics and transformation of body energy, it is psychological and mental timing of power
which is deemed most important in Traditional Karate.


In order to generate physical power, it is necessary to have mental stability to procure:

Keiko -increased physical and mental strength.
Mizu no kokoro -stable emotions. Mind is like water.
Ki -the energy of the Universe.
Hara- The way to Meditation

The interaction of internal and external body forces that produce ultimate power.

Internal Power:
The transformation of body dynamics and locomotion produces potential power.
Body Dynamics Actions:


Muscle energy is transformed through retraction and extension, and contraction and expansion.
Potential physical power is generated through the controlled interaction of the muscular and skeletal system.

External Power
External forces are all other aids to the delivery of potential and transformed power,
such as floors, walls, and the adversary's body. Internal body forces operate
on the principles of action and reaction, and produce pushing and twisting motions
by exerting pressure against the floors, walls, etc.

Transmission of Generated Power

Generated power increases by the interaction of muscle, skeletal and body dynamics.
For example, punching involves the hip, torso and all its muscles. The shoulders, front and back muscles combine to generate locomotion of the shoulder and forearm. Wrist action combined with maximum speed or momentum only reinforces generated power.

Remarks... The more muscle one puts into play in the execution of a technique, the more powerful the force generated. However, all this action must be timed
to create one complete explosion.

Kime - The Focus of Power

Kime is the ultimate maximum application of generated power to one specific target. It is the total result of a well-executed technique.
Timing is most important upon delivery of the technique.

Kime Principles:

Action/Reaction: For every action there is opposite reaction.
Timing: The essence of the ultimate waza.
Continuous Force: Ability to continuously generate more power by using all dynamics available.
Action and Reaction

The origin of Kime is found in the body movements and their dynamics.
The uniformity of hip rotation, the extension and contraction of the arm (hikite),
the twisting (furi) and timing will produce an effective technique.

Hip Rotation:
Jun - kaiten: gyaku-zuki, age uke, soto ude
Gyaku-kaiten: gedan baraii, shuto uke, uchi uke
Hanmi: semi-frontal stance

The preparation of a correction position forms the basis for the execution of any technique. The equilibrium and harmonious coordination
of all total body movement are the foundation and principle of timing.

Continuous Force
Generating power through body contact to the floor or any surface while maintaining constant pressure to that surface until the completion
of the technique creates the true foundation of power and stability.

Organization of Basic Techniques

Attacking Techniques

Te-waza: Punching Techniques
Execution of body power used:
Mawashi-zuki - roundhouse punch- Rotation
Choku-zuki - straight punch - Shifting
Kagi-zuki - hook punch - Vibration
Age-zuki - rising punch
Uchi-waza: Striking Techniques

Execution of body power used:

Teisho-uchi - palm-heel strike- Rotation
Uraken-uchi - back-hand strike- Body expansion
Shuto-uchi- knife-hand strike - Vibration
Ate-waza- Smashing Techniques

Execution of body power used:

Empi-uchi- Elbow smash- Rotation- Shifting-Dropping and Rising
Keage-waza- Snapping Techniques
Execution of body power used:
Mae-keage - front-snap kick- Rotation
Ushiro-keage - back-snap kick - Pendulum
Mawashi-geri- roundhouse kick - Pendulum-Rotation
Ushiro-mawashi- roundhouse back kick- Pendulum/Rotation
Yoko-keage - side-snap kick-Pendulum
Kekomi-waza - Thrust Techniques
Execution of body power used:
Ushiro-kekomi - back-thrust kick - Pendulum
Yoko-kekomi - side-thrust kick-Pendulum
Mae-kekomi - front-thrust kick-Pendulum
Ate-waza: - Smashing Techniques

Execution of body power used:

Mawashi-hittsui-ate - round knee smash - Rotation
Mae-hittsui-ate - front knee smash - Pendulum
Fumi-waza: Stamping Techniques

Execution of body power used:
Fumi-tsuke - stamping - Dropping (dropping body
Fumi-komi - dropping thrust kick weight

Defensive Techniques:

Ate-uke Striking Blocks
Execution of body power used:
Soto-ude-uke - outside-forearm block - Body expansion
Teisho-uke - palm-heel block - Rotation
Gedan-barai - downward block - Vibration
Uchi-ude-uke- inside-forearm block -Rotation Vibration
Shuto-uke - knife-hand block-Vibration
Age-uke - riding block- Rotation
Haishu-uke - backhand block - Vibration- Rotation
Nagashi-uke Sweeping Blocks
Execution of body power used:
Kake-uke - hooking block- Muscle contraction
Osai-uke- pressing block- Rotation
Sukui-uke - scooping block- vibration
Sho-nagashi-uke - palm sweeping block
Tsukami-uke - grabbing block Vibration- Rotation
Ude-nagashi-uke - forearm sweeping block
Keri-ate-uke Kicking Blocks
Execution of body power used:
Hittsui-uke - knee smash block- Rotation- Pendulum
Mikazuki-geri - crescent kick block - Pendulum
Nami-ashi-geri-uke - inside-snapping kicking block- Vibration
Nagashi-uke Sweeping Blocks
Execution of body power used:
Mikazuki-nagashi-uke - cresent sweeping block Rotation - Muscle Contraction

Dachi (Stance Techniques)

Importance of kamae (fighting stance):
1) Maintaining the center of gravity between both legs.
2) The continual maximum application to procure potential external forces.

Major factors of Dachi during a movement:
1) Continuous contact with the floor.
2) Extension between legs, and keeping low center of gravity.
3) Lower body should be locked and complete hara tension should be applied.
4) Concentration on inside and outside pressure which benefits sudden and quick movements.

Outside and Inside Tension

Outside Tension:

Kiba-dachi straddle-leg stance
Shiko-dachi - Squat stance
Zenkutsu-dachi - forward stance
Sochin/Fudo dachi - Diagonal Straddle stance
Kokutsu-dachi - back stance
Inside Tension
Sanchin- /dachi Hourglass stance
Hangetsu-dachi crescent or hourglass stance
Nekoashi-dachi cat stance

Additional Techniques

Body shifting
Fumikomi-ashi - stepping
Yori-ashi - sliding
Tsugi-ashi - shuffling
Kawashi (Body switching)
Adjusting body direction in place.
Supporting Techniques
Kuzushi waza - (Balance breaking techniques}
1. Upset balance with foot sweeps and throwing techniques.
2. Hazushwaza - escaping techniques
3.Tsukami-waza - grabbing and holding techniques.
Remarks: Although Karate waza tries to maintain its purity, sometimes other martial arts can compliment Karate techniques.
Therefore, Judo, Aikido, and Jujitsu may compliment Karate waza.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Principles of San Ten Traditional Karate Do

Principles of San Ten Traditional Karate Do

Technique (Waza)

Basic Fundamentals

Power Source

There is a saying in San Ten Traditional Karate Do, “block with the hips, punch with the hips.” There is basically no sport that does not use the power of the hip. Baseball natural batting swing is about the most perfect coordinated body movement when hitting a ball. The batter uses the hip to deliver his inner powers to the bat. The boxer and golfer also use the coordinated hip action to discharge power to the punches and the golf club.

It is all in the hip. Coordinated with external power sources, together in an instant of delivery, creates a devastating explosive force. A reverse punch well coordinated and using all the power tools endowed to us can generate enough power to lift 5 times our body weight. Of course, it all depends on ones’ weight. But neither in any other sport nor in the punching of karate is the extension and contraction of the arms alone sufficient to produce an effective technique. The hip is the secret.

To deliver the internal power of one’s body one must:
Keep the hips horizontal to the floor. Rotate ones hip smoothly.

Do not allow ones hip to raise; always keep them level.
Do not turn the shoulder only.

Turn the upper body smoothly in unison with the hips.
Always keep the torso upright, taking care that the buttocks do not protrude to the rear.
Conceptual Principles
There are three fundamental conceptual principles in San Ten Karate Do.
A) Physical
b) Mental
C) Spiritual
Although power is derived through the mechanics and transformation of body energy, it is physical and mental timing of power which is deemed most important in San Ten Traditional Karate.
In Physical Power:
In order to generate physical power, it is necessary to have mental stability. The interaction of internal and external body forces can produce ultimate physical power.
The transformation of body dynamics and locomotion produces potential power.

1. Using our Inner Powers
How many time we have heard stories about the power of one’s’ energy. The small feeble man, who dashes into a burning car, rips the mangled door of its hinges to save a trapped young person. The women who lifted the rear end of a car to save a young boy who was pinned under a car. During their current life probably these two individuals only used thirty or 40% of their energies. Only through the tragic experiences these individuals can call upon the reserve energy the traditional karate-ka call the Ki, the Life Force. Through this infinite force the man and the woman were able augment their energy to 100%. They became stronger, almost superhuman.
In San Ten Karate-Do, it is essentially that we tab on 100 percent of the whole energy that is stored in us. This physical force is primordial for our technical progression and efficiency. The role carried out by the muscles is very important for the liberation of the internal energy; the more contracted the muscles are, the greater the force is liberated upon loosening for example: the principle of 1Yori Ashi.
2. Kime— Concentrating the Energy.
The total use of one’s’ energy is not enough, because it is necessary that said force is not wasted in different direction. The solar rays represent an energy that, in spite of everything, is unable to inflame a leaf of newspaper; however, make these solar rays pass through the lens of a magnifying glass and in the point of concentration an intense heat will take place that will cause the paper to burn in a few seconds. These "explosion of energy" is what one searches in the karate, concentrating in that wanted moment the whole means on the objective that one should reach.
The force of one muscle is very limited, but adding several muscles and all working together simultaneously and in the same direction, creates an explosive force. The more muscle one uses the greater the force.
A great Japanese Karate teacher was visiting the United States, said: "Even your ear contribute to the power of the blow." Evidently, this is not more than an image, but indicates the importance and the necessity with clarity foresee every gesture of the opponent. The zone where the concentration is completed to maximum is located on one line perpendicular to the floor, in front of us.

3. Use of Physical Principles

Control thy Breathing.

Breathing plays an important part in muscular contraction. It is necessary to distinguish two important intervals in breathing in a combat situation:

1. The Way, I Breath.
While inhaling, the air expands the diaphragm and loosens the muscles. An attack made at this interval can cause serious weak conditions to our bodies. The attacker will always be aware in the way we breathe. He searches for the proper timing (Kuzushi) to focus an attack. At that moment of truth, the attacker fills his lungs with air and in that instance, in that moment, he hits, with the purpose of obtaining a perfect muscular concentration. The breathing goes accompanied by the Kiai, or scream destined to help the liberation of energy and at the same time confuse to the adversary. For an effective Kiai, the breathing should travel from the sub-abdominal region the Hara. The Kiai helps to execute an attack and ignite the spirit of combat.
2. The Breathing of the Adversary.
In the moment in which the opponent finishes exhaling and begins to inhale, is the appropriate timing to attempt an attack with success. The opponent is vulnerable at this time. The muscles are relaxed and he is not preparing to receive a blow. Lastly, with training, it is possible to guess the attack of the opponent by the way they are breathing, in which case it is easy and advantageous if one concentrate in timing and speed.
Effect of Action/Reaction
Hikite - Effect of a clash of action /reaction
Hikite is the pulling or returning hand. Usually, the hand that does the pulling will also perform the principle of Furi... Using this physical principle properly will enhance the power of action/reaction. Proper timing is essential. This phenomenon is used in karate with object of increasing the power of the attack. The wave of the clash provoked by the blow returns then, thanks to the quick drawn back from the arm that hits double its power of the blow. Also, by making the two parts of the body some muscular efforts absolutely symmetrical, the body wins stability. (Upon going from natural way, the balance is obtained advancing the left foot, the right arm while they go back the right foot and the left arm.
With a firm foothold and proper balance in the floor also generates power. Upon attacking with a foot, in Mae Geri for example, the wave of clash crosses the whole body and it go by the posterior foot, and mainly for the check, until the point of support on the floor. If this point of support, the wave returns to their starting point and doubles the force of the blow.
This is one of the reasons for insisted stability so much in the of the point of support; on the other hand, a good point of support helps to the impulse of the blow making of springboard (one could not give a jump of height without taking a good point of support for the impulse of the leg).
The Precision of the Furi
The liberation of energy is convenient and necessary to reach a precise and vital point of the human body. To obtain the precision of a punch, a principle of ballistics is used according to which a body that rotates on itself stabilizes its trajectory. Such it is the case of the bullet of a rifle that rotates in the hairspring of the soul of the cannon and that, thanks to the acquired rotation; it reaches their objective with accuracy. This principle is used in the karate. It is called Furi.

The Concept of the External Power.
This physical principle causes action/reaction timing. This phenomenon is used in karate with the objective of increasing the power of the attack, by making the body some muscular efforts absolutely symmetrical, the body wins stability. (Upon going from natural way, the balance is obtained advancing.
External forces are all other aids to the delivery of potential and transformed power, such as floors, walls, and the adversary's body. Internal body forces operate on the principles of action and reaction, and produce pushing and twisting motions by exerting pressure against the floors, walls, etc.
This is one of the reasons why this type of training insists so much in the stability of the stances; on the other hand, a good point of support helps to the impulse the blow making a springboard, in the event that a retreat is warrant. A quick yori-ashi can prevent disaster.
Speed of Execution.
When a mass is quickly displaced, the more violent the clash will be at the point of impact. It is more useful to get a slight gain of speed that an advantage based on the pure force. The force liberated at the point of impact is considered in this formula,
F= ½MV2, being M the Mass and V the speed.
The more short it is the timing of the clash of a mass, the impressionably will be the destruction at the point of the impact. On the other hand, at times, great speed gives the adversary the advantage and may foil the attack, creating difficulties.
The Reflexes
The practice of Karate develops reflexes because an attack requires a counter attach automatically. These sequences are executed in a mechanical and intuitive manner. These automatic movements raise the spirit of combat and give the freedom to concentrate better in the perception and the intentions of the adversary. Training regularly and with a sincere heart enhances this automatism of the intuitive reflexes.
The Psychological Timing
This concept has two thought in mind.
1. Psychological timing impresses a moral question. When and when not to fight. If the odds are against us, it is better not to involve oneself in a losing battle. Wait. . .
2. An attack has better probabilities of success if the opponent is relaxed, off-balance or if their attention weakens for an instant. This sense of opportunity is acquired by means of the training and self determination that allows to discern the favorable moments calmly.

The Concentration:
So that an attack can be effective, it is necessary to use all the muscles necessary at the same time and in the same instance, however to allow the necessary relaxation to transition from one attacking technique to another with agility. On the other hand, excessive tension harms the concentration and, in the moment in which one should attack, the muscles are exhausted or twitched. Little does the technique serve if the attack is not supported by self determination. When one perceives an opening in his guard, it is necessary to attack without delay, at that precise moment.
Control Thyself. Stable Emotions:
Do not let your intentions be known. In the karate one need to be serene, unspiritual and impassive facial expressions, because a mere frown of the brows is enough so that the adversary could guess our intentions. It is necessary to be in perfect control of oneself. Avoid, that the opponent does not discern our intentions. (Our breathing or the expression of our face, hands feet), and also to impede the reading of our feelings (fear, hate, etc.) in our faces. “Anger is a bad consultant" says the proverb, which is true so much in the physical/psychological aspect of combat.
Know Your Adversary:
In order to better guess the adversary, we must conserve a perfect serenity of spirit; our keen intuition will be more sensitive to all that surrounds us. It is possible, for example, to notice the attitude of the opponent the second he is going to counterattack. It also is possible, by observing (metsuke) calmly their eyes, and guesses the moment the opponent will attack. Master was able to foresee even where the attack will take place. We should compare our spiritual state with a mirror in which reflects all the intentions of our opponent. We should not tried to see, but of perceive and discern.
Physical Concept:
When we lose control, we forget all the fundamental principles that compose the base for successful technique. A muscle that is contracted and is not suitable, and those that are relaxed when they should be in contraction, only places us in harm’s way. An attack made in such conditions offers the risk and turn out ineffective, and even dangerous. T he opponent, has conserved himself in an emotional stability, and is capable of delivering a counterattacked victoriously.
In general, it exist an apparent disproportion between the causes of a flare of cholera and the continual reprisals. Such is the case of the driver who was at fault, gravely hurts another, with the pretext that the other driver was at fault. Also the fear could force certain behavior that could take a long time lament bitterly. Any technical progress is possible without a perfect control, and this control is a given grace to the trust in itself that the karate grants to their practitioners