How to Power Up Your Karate Stances
One of the main differences between art and sport in the arena of the Martial Arts, is the ability to sink and screw, such as in good Karate stances.
This difference, what I refer to as sink and screw in Karate Stances, is drastic. Oddly, almost nobody ever talks about it, or, if they do, they pass it off.
I studied Kenpo for a couple of years before I found my Karate school, the Kang Duk Won, and I could tell, when I first walked into that dojo, that there was immensely more power in the building.
The power permeated the air, invigorated the soul; it was massive.
And this power, which I would shortly find out was possible through the Karate Stances, translated directly to the forms, to applications, to combat.
Simply, the fellows at the Kang Duk Won could move faster and with more authority, and their punches were loaded with energy, than anything I had ever seen before.
Mind you, I would hear of it later. I would read of great masters sinking their weight into the ground, and this in all Martial Arts. But the unique trait of training at the Kang Duk Won was that everybody was getting it! Right from the start!
Yet, these days I see almost nobody sinking their stances. Everybody wants to bounce around like Bruce Lee and put on the gloves so they can hit harder.
But Bruce Lee understood it, because it was behind his one inch punch. He just never spoke about it.
And putting on the gloves dulls sensation, so how can you ‘feel’ the innards of somebody else’s body? How can you extend awareness (chi) through that body?
So you only heard of this thing when you read writings by the old masters, usually Tai Chi, who spoke of ‘rooting.’ But, honestly, these days I don’t even see much of it in Tai Chi stances!
That all said, let me give you one, very simple exercise we use to do to improve the sinking and screwing effect in our Karate Stances.
Stand in a front stance, right foot forward. Now pivot to the left into a front stance with the left foot forward. Back to the right, to the left, and so on.
A simple exercise, eh?
Yet we use to do this stance training at the beginning of all Kang Duk Won classes…and I have never seen any other school do this.
But the effect was to push against the floor, to relax, to sink, to screw the body as if into the floor.
And the sensation began to develop…we could feel beneath the surface of the floor. If we were in a house, we could feel the joices and pillars beneath. If we were on earth, or even concrete, we could feel – our awareness would sink – so that we could feel the substance inches below what we were standing on.
And, as the months rolled past, this ability to feel beneath the surface we were standing on would become stronger and stronger. We would feel our kicks become stronger because we were connecting to the earth. We would feel our punches drive outward with more and more power, because we were connecting to the earth.
The truth is this: the body is a machine, and a machine needs to be bolted down. A car engine needs motor mounts. A helicopter needs a side prop to stop the spin and ‘fix’ the helicopter in place. And so on.
Now, this was just one exercise, but we did it for years, and we translated it into our forms, our applications, and we grew in power.
Now a days I never see anybody doing this. Not in Karate, nor any other Martial Art school. Not even in the current Kang Duk Won. Oh, there is light connection, but not the deep sinking of awareness that makes one as if part of the planet, and without that deep connection there is no true power.
No chi. For mental chi grows as a result of understanding growing the awareness, such as in this exercise.
Okay, that’s about it, I hope you understand. And, I hope you take a serious look at The Best Online Karate Course in the World. That’s where you learn the drills and exercises, and the theories, of Karate the way it used to be done before bouncing and gloves and protective gear and all the other gimmicks that softened and ruined a perfectly good Martial Art.