This was one of those lightbulb goes on over my head classes today. After eight years of training, I think my mind and body finally understand the concept of kime. Sensei Noia gave us a class tonight that focused on kime, a Japanese word that is defined as power or focus depending upon who you ask or what you read. Even though Sensei Noia and my other Sensei’s have shared this with me before, my mind and or body just wasn’t ready to accept it. More to come below.
Push your partner across the dojo….
We started out in a front stance facing our partner. From there, our partner stood in front of us and either put their hands on our shoulders or our belt. From that position, we moved forward as our partner stepped back while giving us resistance. We moved a quarter of the dojo at a time with our partner adding more resistance after 10 moves or so. We went from light resistance to almost immovable non movement. We did the same drill again but this time, one of us was in a horse stance while our partner gave us resistance again.
Tense every muscle in your body and hold it….
Sensei had us step into a front stance. From there, we did either a block or punch and then we tensed all of our muscles at the end of the technique and held them for five seconds. We did this rising, inward, outward and downward blocks along with front and reverse punches. We also did this in a horse stance with various block and strikes and in back stance with knife hand blocks.
What we did above was the lead in to kime. We started with a very slow Taikyoku Shodan moving into the first move (left foot forward with downward block) and at the end of the technique, we tensed all our muscles again. From there, we relaxed and moved into the second move (right foot forward with front punch) and again, we tensed all of our muscles again doing the same pattern for the entire kata.
We also did Heian Shodan doing the same as above slowly and then moving from move to move faster but still getting the full tense at the end for at least a two second count. We did the kata again doing one move fast and the next move slow but still with the same tensing and hold at the end of each move.
We moved on to Jion doing each move slowly but tensing at the end of each move again up to the first kiai. We also did Kanku Dai three times the same way.
The pattern above is to tense all of the muscles at the end of each move and release them so that we can move to the next move. If I can explain Kime in simple terms, it is the focus of all those muscles tensing at the end which allows us to execute the technique with our entire body focusing on the area of impact.
This is something that you have to feel to really understand but once you do, the light bulb will turn on and the technique will shine!