Thursday, November 26, 2015

3 Basic Machiwara Exercises (For Short-Power)

Here are three very simple and very basic exercises using a makiwara to build short-power. Even though these are very basic exercises, this doesn't mean that experienced karateka can not benefit from them! Indeed, I can virtually guarantee that practitioners who have never tried these exercises can make substantial gains in sort-power relatively quickly by practicing these three methods daily.

BTW, this makiwara is made of red-oak, making it relatively stiff. despite being relatively long (the pad height in the video is that of the Sui-Machiwara (Shuri-Makiawara) which is significantly higher than the Nafa-Machiwara (Naha-Makiwara). The Nafa-Machiwara being much easier to use correctly, because the force is delivered forward and -downwards-. Delivering force downwards in a punch is much easier because it flows with gravity and it more or less guarantees decent shoulder alignment. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Waza Wednesday (Guest Appearance)

Something which isn't explicitly mentioned in the video is that the elbow-strike covers the right side of the head (which is important when working against a right punch or the jab-cross, especially given that the principle here is a strong entry rather than evasive tenshin).

There really isn't anything special on this clip, it is pretty standard Okinawan karate. However, it does examine some useful application concepts, like exploring applications on both the right and left sides, using applications against both single and double punches, looking at how kata addresses the opponent's ability to block your strikes, looking at how tuidi flows naturally from limb control, examining how blocks can function as strikes while still working as blocks (the eye flick) and looking at how kata anticipates the possibility of renewed attack.... With respect to the last one, the final technique on the video uses the elbow strike to wrench the elbow. My gut tells me not to worry about the right hand punching because the elbow wrench turns the right shoulder away from me, meaning he can't land a strong blow with his right hand. However, the kata covers the face anyway... which is brilliant because I might screw up the elbow wrench, or because the blow might catch me directly in the eye-ball, in which case it wont -need- any significant power to have a big effect. That is why I love kata... Kata is just plain smarter than I am.