O’Brian Sensei: Twitching & Dropping Center

This weekend during training, our group was discussing the idea of dropping your centre.  In the video above, O’Brian Sensei talks a bit about the sensation of dropping your centre and how it relates to quick, movements.

Sometimes, it can be hard to articulate ideas about how a sensation feels – it’s a personal thing really; sometimes it’s hard to describe.

I was wondering the other day about the best way to describe ‘twitching’ and dropping.  The two are linked, with dropping being a result of twitching.

So what is twitching anyways – as it relates to Karate?  One explanation that I came up with is:  Have you ever fallen asleep on the couch during the day?  You know – maybe it’s a nice summer day and the sun is shining in your living room while you’re sitting on the couch.  You suddenly feel a bit sleepy and decide to take a nap.  I’ve noticed that sometimes this sort of sleep can be deep, but a bit restless – like you’re asleep but half awake at the same time.  Have you ever had a dream whilst napping this way?  The dreams can sometimes be so vivid.  I remember in one dream that for whatever reason I felt as though I needed to flail my arm.  Only thing was I actually flailed my arm – so hard I jolted myself out of my nap!  The sensation that I felt was like I was instantly awake – and my arm had some sort of knee-jerk reaction.  That’s the twitch sensation.  Not sure if anyone can relate, but if you can then great.  That sort of instant-on, muscle twitch movement is a little like what we’re trying to achieve when we do our techniques.  Notice in the video of O’Brian sensei how he kind of ‘twitches’ when he turns in his stance.  The movement is not stiff and ridged.  It’s more of a quick twitch-like reaction.  It starts in your core (abdomen) and the block is just an end result of an action that was started by your core muscles twitching.

This method can be applied to pretty much every technique we do.  Granted, it can be harder to do when kicking – but it is possible and just like anything else, it needs practice.

We should be working towards this kid of technique.  It’s faster while being more relaxed and you can twerk your movement, adding KIME at any time.

Have fun!

Sensei Pennell.

 

 

 

 

Using Our Potential

Each of us bring our own personal natural resources to our dojo or training facility, whether it be wonderful stretch and flexibility, terrific kicks and punches, a quick mind and talent for memorizing kata, power, an open mind or whatever it may be – we all bring a skill or something to the proverbial dojo table!  Do we concentrate on working to our individual strengths or do we collectively bring all of what we have to bear down and involve our entire body from head to toe, enhanced by our natural gifts to realize our full potential? In other words, how do we make our punches and kicks even better, how can we make our blocks be even more assertive?  We can enhance each of our techniques by involving more of what we innately have already inside, using our body components seemingly not related to our technique for full impact.Our punch is never just delivered with our shoulder, arm and then our fist (as the contact point!)Our punch is the sum total of our full body potential, meaning our mass (body weight), body momentum and shifting, relaxation, speed and kime are all included to deliver a punch with anything less, cheats us out of a fully completed and satisfying technique.The same principles are applied to our kicks. To deliver a kick with just raising our feet and flicking out quickly, is to short change our understanding of what is really involved in this offensive technique! Kicks are delivered with our full body potential, in that our whole body is involved! From our feet up, we root into the ground, the push off starts on our foot, the twitch within our Koshi (hip/waist) kick starts (pardon the pun) and initiates our body mass momentum in the form of a wave from our feet up through hips into our kicking leg, unfolding our rising kicking knee to our ankle and driving our foot forward to the target – all with our body mass involved in a forward motion contributing to our technique. Full body potential is involved, not just our leg or foot – much more is added to this action, if we only allow it to happen.Understanding the power train sequence of mechanics within our bodies from our own mass, our breathing, our tendency to relax to mastery of technique and maybe even the ‘zen’ mind, will always assure a committed action that leaves nothing on the table of karate-do!Use everything you have at your disposal within your full mental and physical potential to reach greater heights in training.

Where the tradition of Karate continues to grow.