Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Thought/Technique Archive

Technique of the Week (April 29nd, 2007)

From Sensei Sal Scaglione
Ueshiro NoVA Karate Club, Centreville Virginia
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Technique of the Week: Chodan soto-shuto-uke/Gedan
shuto-uke (emphasis on hand speed)
Thought of the Week: Repetition (executed correctly)
is key to developing proper form

The open hand blocks from neko-ashi-dachi, cat stance,
require a unique blend of speed, power, more speed,
and focus. A common question from young deshi
concerns what can be done to get the shuto block to
“snap”. My response is for the deshi to execute this
move over and over thousands of times…with practice
they will begin to attain the crispness required. Of
course the move must be executed correctly, with
proper form, to attain progress.

Stepping outside the Karate world for a second, we can
see evidence of repetition in many forms watching the
likes of Tiger Woods, Lebron James, Jaromir Jagr and
many other athletes performing their profession. Even
a seasoned accountant, through years of work will make
the right “moves” properly posting debits, credits,
tracking assets and liabilities while balancing the
books to perfection. In my mind, while a certain
amount of natural talent is present, these
professionals get to a high level of performance
through hours and hours of practice repeating skills
that lead to a high level of execution. Tiger for
instance, is acknowledged as the hardest working
golfer on the PGA tour, it should come as no surprise
that he is also the most successful. Watching Jagr
skate and “magically” being in position for a shot or
executing that perfect pass is no accident. It is the
result of practice, hours of being on the ice,
practicing and honing skills with diligence in an
effort to continually improve.

Translating this thought to executing chodan
soto-shuto-uke will ultimately result in a swift
crisp-like block. Hanshi reminds us to imagine the
hand touching “hot oil” as we chamber the technique to
have that same snap-like reaction. Imagining that
scenario as the hand rears back swiftly and SNAPS
forward at twice the speed crisply striking a would be
punch, is the beginning to understanding proper
execution of
the technique. Repetition in this manner will enable
the flow
and elegance of the move to replace awkwardness.

Apply the repetition principle to all of your training
and keep moving forward…………

Sensei Sal
Ueshiro NoVA Karate Club