Bournemouth Karate Club (Wado Ryu)

When we first learn karate or a new kata or pairwork combination, we start off learning the moves, the sequence and shapes. We all do it and that's a necessary stage, but once we have it a little more absorbed then we need to move away from just making shapes into something that is more dynamic and flowing.

Another aspect that I see lacking is the connection with the movement - when I say movement I mean of the feet, the legs, the core, the chest, the shoulders and all the way through to the arms and hands. I see people step and make the shape, step and make another shape, when really the endpoint of a punch or block is the culmination of a flow of movements connected in sequence to generate power or action.

One of the worse or more telling examples is when a punch is executed that has no connection with the movement prior. All I see is a fist pump if we are talking about the "jab" tobikomizuki/kizamizuki, or just a push if we are talking about junzuki/oizuki. All that potential energy, when the whole body is in movement, is lost or maybe more accurately transfer into the front leg, to noise and to those muscles reacting and acting as a brake.

Just think about throwing a ball from a moving car driving towards a line that it needs to stop at. It's all physics, but we put a wordy esoteric wrapper around it and a white karate suit.

The staccato nature of Meccano style karate is something we should all move away from.