Three ways to make power – 5/5/11 – Thursday Karate class

Sensei Cieplik has always said that we need to do our moves “with the body” and he has been working us in that direction more now than before. 

Squeeze them heels….

After our warm up did downward block, rising block and inward block all with reverse punch.  We then moved into a horse stance, punched very slowly and squeezed our heels at the end of the punch.  Squeezing the heels makes the glutes (butt) muscles engage to make power since the hips are not rotating when punching from a horse stance..

Three out of five ways to make power….

Sensei explained three out of the five ways to make power.

1 – Rising up.  From slightly bent or soggy knees as Sensei calls them, drive up and do a rising block.  The push from the legs creates a tremendous amount of power.

2 – Drop down – From a narrow horse stance position, drop the body down and use gravity to punch down.  I had a hard time with this drill and wasn’t able to drop down as fast as I felt I should.  I kept over extending my elbows when doing the punch.

3 – Rotation – We have all heard Sensei say “from hip” many times and this is another way to make power by rotating the hips fast and hard.  The upper body does need to be relaxed in order to do these correctly.  If the upper body is tight, the shoulders will try to do the work.

Snap that Gi….

For the next drill, we got a partner and stood in a front stance across from each other.  One partner rocked on to the back leg, pushed the hip forward and reverse punched our partner Gi.  The idea is to use loose power from the hips to punch the Gi.  The shoulders and arms need to be very relax so that they hips can generate the power and make the arm move like a whip.

For the next drill, one partner stood in a horse stance next to the other who was standing up.  The standing partner held the other partners arm and did a hook kick, then a roundhouse kick, then a stretching side thrust kick.  This is a hip opening movement and it really was.

Some kata tips…

We spent the rest of the class working on kata.  We did most of the Heian kata’s, Jion, Bassai Dai and Kanku Dai along with some other advanced kata’s like Bassai Sho.

Sensei shared a great tip when doing Bassai Dai.  He said that the double blocking movements are two moves with one long breath.  For exampl, the outward block with reverse outward block should only be one breath instead of two.  I have been doing two breaths for those moves all along so I know have something else to work on.

Another great tip for those doing Heian Godan is to tighten your glutes on the third and sixth moves when doing the hook punch.  This creates power and stability from a small motion.  I didn’t start doing this until just recently and I feel that it has improved my kata a good amount.

So much good stuff in such a short time.  I always seem to learn something new in this class along with many things to improve upon.  I think that is how it should be!

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..


2 Responses to “Three ways to make power – 5/5/11 – Thursday Karate class”
  1. james wright says:

    what are the other two ways to generate power

  2. doug says:

    The two others way to generate power are body shock and body vibration. I hoping that I get this right so I apologize in advance if I am wrong or fuzzy in my explanations.

    Body vibration is making a small snapping motion with your hips. One hip moves forward and then snaps back very quickly to create power from the center (hara) of the body. This is not a hip rotation, this is a very small hip movement. Think of this a small windup or a small stretch of a rubber band. This can be used when standing, in a ready stance for example, to throw a very fast punch but there must be a connection of the core (center of the body) between the hip and the punching arm elbow. For example, this could be a short punch, where your elbow is held tight to the side of your body and the snapping of the hip back and forth generates the punches power. Your hip might only move back and forth an inch or two but the connection between the legs, hips, core, elbow and fist make the technique much stronger than if you only used your arm and chest to throw the punch.

    I am a little fuzzy on body shock but if I recall correctly, you make power by deflecting the attackers energy back at them. This is how I understand it; someone is running at you to push you down or hit you and you absorb their power and return it to them by tensing your entire body. It is much like walking into an open door. You are moving toward the door and stub your toe on it. The door didn’t hit you and you could push it open with one finger but it still hurt you by absorbing all your power and returning it to your toe and foot. This would be holding your tightened fist out in front of you, tensing all of the muscles in your body and having your attacker run into it at that exact moment. I would assume that it would require perfect timing to execute it properly but I have had this happen in the past, mostly by mistake, and it stops the opponent in their tracks.

    I hope I didn’t make this too confusing and please let me know if it needs more explanation.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!