Kyoshi's Technique of the Week


Technique of the Week (August 16th, 2009)

Sensei Kurt Tezel, San Dan
Shihan, Ueshiro Titusville Karate and Ueshiro Merritt Island Karate

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Do Not Allow “The Enemy’s Head to Rise”

 
During a recent class I was giving the count for kata. I was also making several oral corrections. On several occasions a few of the students would react to my corrections thinking I was counting. I could see that they were getting a little frustrated with themselves for reacting too quickly.

I wish I had the presence of mind to reference Miyamoto Musashi’s A Book Of Five Rings at the time. In it Musashi states, “that it is bad to be lead about by the enemy” and that in order to avoid this you must not allow “the enemy’s head to rise”. He calls this strategy “To hold down a pillow”. In other words, whatever action the enemy tries to initiate in a fight, you will recognize it in advance and suppress it. Musashi goes on to state, “You must check your opponent’s attack at the syllable ‘at…’”. As this applies to performing the kata by the count, we should begin moving the moment we hear “I…” and not “…ch”. When we engage in Yakosoku Kumite, we should move the moment our training partner shows their intent.

We should always strive to be the first to react. This should in no way be misinterpreted as “rushing the count”, it simply means that when you are ready to move do it swiftly, smartly and with purpose.

Domo Arigato Gozaishimasu,

Sensei Kurt Tezel, San Dan
Shihan, Ueshiro Titusville Karate and Ueshiro Merritt Island Karate