Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Thought/Technique Archive

Technique of the Week (July 7th, 2008)

From Kyoshi David Baker,
Chief Operating Officer
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA
founded by Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro
under the direction of Hanshi Robert Scaglione


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When my daughter Lauren was three-years old, I tricked her into karate training by a game we sort of made up together.

I would kneel in front of her and slowly throw punches from the pocket and she had to block them. Children that age can only give you 15 or 20 seconds of attention at a time, and after a short bout of uke training we were off, doing something else.

We made it a game and slowly introduced additional techniques. We began with just chudanuke, then I introduced jodanuke, then gaydanuke. Then I introduced left hand in addition to right hand.

Until she got to the point where she had to perform the correct block (jodan, chudan or gaydan,) using the correct hand (left or right.) Then we sped it up to where she could block correctly as fast as I could get my fist back into the pocket and punch again. It was like the “high-low” exercise in class: a blur.

This took a couple years of intermittent practice to get to that point and I “baited the hook” in the beginning by falling over onto my side when she did the block well. (Making daddy fall over, to a toddler, is apparently great fun.)

In this way I introduced her to karate before she was ready to take formal classes, and it’s also how I taught her the concept of blocking first.

Domo arigato gozaimasu,
Kyoshi David Baker,