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The Whole Body Should Be Involved in Every Karate Technique                                        (Kyriakos Papadopoulos)

In all instances, but especially when facing an opponent in sparring or fighting, the most important part of the body is the brain. Similarly, in a dangerous situation that calls for self defense, a relaxed and trained mind can do infinitely more things to protect one's self than the rest of the body.  In this light, an integral body part of the process is the tongue as well, since with it we can talk the aggressor out of pursuing his attack.

As for the more physical part of the bodyís involvement in karate, it is erroneously believed by some that in karate (only) the hands and the feet are used for fending off strikes from one or multiple aggressors and for counter-striking an opponent.  Actually, the entire body participates in any single, correctly executed technique, with some body parts carrying most of the weight and doing most of the work. For example, in the execution of the simplest reverse punch (gyaku-zuki), the hips must rotate with speed, which is done chiefly by the propelling action of the back leg, which uses the ankle flexibility and strength of the entire back foot from toes to ankle. Of course, this same gyaku-zuki cannot be executed properly if the shoulders and neck are not relaxed, the back and head are not kept straight, the other armís elbow is not pulled back (hiki-te) etc.

In every karate technique, correct posture is also necessary, which requires involvement of the entire body. Correct posture and stance imply that all body parts must be in good harmony at all times with the center of gravity making the most economical movements, i.e., no up-and-down movement, no drawing of the hip during shifting etc.   It may seem that whereas the entire body does participate in a karate technique, nevertheless the most important work is done by the limb executing the technique.  Actually, in most instances, the function of some of the supporting parts of the body involved in the technique are more critical for making the technique effective.  For example in kicking, the necessary foundation, needed for an effective kick and provided by the supporting leg and its contact with the ground, makes the supporting leg and foot more important than the leg that executes the actual kick.  In the instance of uraken-uchi (back-fist strike), the body rotation/vibration, generated by the lower body, determines the power of the strike.  

 

 
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