Kime and Zanshin – 7/20/09 – Monday Karate class

This was a really good class tonight.  Sensei Brien had us work on some of the mental aspects of our Karate.


Sensei had us start with some basics.  We did standing up with front punch, moving forward and back with front punch, moving forward and back with various blocks and reverse punch and moving froward and back with back stance and knife hand block.

Kime and Zanshin….

Sensei gave us his explanation of kime and zanshin.   He explained kime as the focus of energy to a small area.  For example, when punching a target, if you can focus your power or energy to the end of your two knuckles, it will have more kime than an un-focused punch or hitting with the wrong part of your fist.  The goal is to punch a hole through your opponent and haveyour punch stop somewhere behind them.

He explained zanshin as expanded mind or awareness.  When doing a basic movement or kata, instead of just seeing where your are striking or blocking, you need to see all around you and be ready for surprises.

Kata but feel everything around you….

We worked on Heian Shodan but Sensei wanted us to feel zanshin.  Instead of looking at just to area we were blocking or striking at, we needed to stay aware of other threats around us.

Sensei had us work on the kata or our choice and he walked around coming up behind or next to us while we were doing our kata.  For example, I was doing Bassai Dai and he walked up, stood next to me and punched at the side of my head.  Even though was in the middle of a movement in my kata, I was able to see his attack and prepare to block it.  It was pretty cool.

Get a partner….

We spent the rest of the class trying to read our partners attack before they threw them. We needed not to focus on one area but instead focus on their entire body and read the attack before they could complete it.  Even though we did this drill with a few different partners, we were all able to see the movements before they could throw them a good amount of the time.  It was an extra awareness that I never really worked on before.

A great point that Sensei made tonight, related to sparring, was do not worry about winning or loosing,  just do your karate.  If you aren’t focused on winning or loosing, your Karate will flow.  Great advice but now I need to figure out how to apply it.

About doug

Doug is a Shotokan Karate student that enjoys sharing his Karate training experiences with everyone. He is a Computer Consultant, an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, blogger and a freelance writer..

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