Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

October 14th 2012

From Kyoshi David Baker,
Chief Administrator,
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA


Shorin-Ryu is a Natural Style-

With little wasted motion, no exaggerated breathing; and there is no technique, if done properly, that poses risk of self-injury

Here are some examples of what we might consider deviations from “natural” movement that other styles teach:
· The Chinese styles use circular movements of hand and foot, that take longer to execute than direct techniques
· Chinese-influenced Okinawan styles, like Goju-ryu, also use circular movements, especially their foot pattern while stepping, that requires extra time to execute
· Some styles, like Shotokan, use a 90° angled step forward that doubles the length of foot movement
· Shotokan students also keep their forward knee bent even in their high stance
· Isshin-ryu teaches to land the punch vertically, and then angle the top of the fist (thumb side up) downward, which eliminates the additional force that we generate when we twist the fist fully horizontal
· Goju-ryu uses a guttural, constricted breathing called “sanshin” that, if not trained precisely, by an expert, can cause internal harm
· Sport Tae Kwon Do uses high, jumping and spinning kicks that pose risk to oneself, both because of the exaggerated exposure to counterattack and because of the blind dismount into a landing zone already tangled with the body, legs and feet of one’s opponent

Master Ueshiro had the utmost respect for every traditional martial art, insisting that it is more important the time and effort put into its practice than which specific art is chosen. And the practitioners of the other styles no doubt believe that their “unnatural” techniques hold benefits greater than their liabilities, but my point is that Shorin-Ryu is a natural style with little wasted motion, no exaggerated breathing; and there is no technique, if done properly, that poses risk of self-injury.


Domo arigato gozaimasu,
Kyoshi David Baker,
Chief Administrator,
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA
founded by Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro
under the direction of Hanshi Robert Scaglione

New York, NY • USA
kyoshibaker@aol.com