Tuesday, March 29, 2005


I finished the last of my papers Sunday. Unfortunately, the next quarter has already started yesterday. This still leaves me with much more time for other things though, like martial arts. I'm getting to learn the Hakutsuru kata (White Crane) that my instructor learned from Kyoshi Perry, which is very nice. It is a lot more "obvious" (at least to an experienced eye) in showing the open-handed grappling and lethal manuevers present in truly traditional karate. Much more Chinese in orientation.


Something I noticed as usually a stylistic difference between many martial arts styles is whether they turn on the heel of the foot or the ball of the foot. Last year I trained in Matsumura Shorin Ryu, and they avoided the heel of the foot like it was the plague. In Shorinkan, there is a tendency to turn on the heel (or the heel of one foot and the ball of the other). I believe they both serve useful purposes depending on the situation. Turning on the ball of the foot allows for very quick, agile movement more appropriate for evading at various distances. This can also be done by rotating on the ball of one foot while keeping the other foot more or less stationary. But when you turn in kata, you are most likely throwing, breaking or doing some other similar type of close-in fighting manuever, not just simply changing the direction you face. When throwing with a double ball of the foot turn, it puts a lot of stress on the knee. Therefore, turning on the heel is better for throwing or grappling purposes because it allows you to be rooted without stressing the knee. There is a criticism of turning on the heel that states you will be off-balance, but I think that is only if you do it incorrectly. By keeping your center-of-gravity centered (or in other places, depending on what you want to do), you avoid compromising your chuusen (center line) and the tendency to tilt backwards. Both methods of turning or rotation on the foot are useful in different circumstances. Try and think about what you do when you turn and why. Experimentation with both methods is always a bonus.

Keep training hard.

Note: Humorously enough, Xanga crashed the first time I tried to write this, so I had to write it again...that was annoying

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