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Power To Your Technique
 

 

Shime-Shibori

Shime-shibori (closing and spiralling tension) is used to guide the energy from the ground up into your striking limbs. In performing this, the big toe is key, "biting the ground" as the ki meridian in the middle of the ball of your foot drinks up energy. At the same time, shime and shibori are also used to guide your striking limb and stop your body from over-rotating and losing all the energy/power.


Illustration by Sakamoto-Sensei showing how shime, shibori and neri work together to produce power.

One thing that most Chito-Ryu-based karateka forget is that the shime-shibori contraction is done very quickly; it's held only for a millisecond. Again, it’s supposed to have a natural feeling. If you find your joints are hurting, you are probably contracting too hard.

Tanden and Relaxation

I have tanden and relaxation in the same category because you can’t have one without the other. If your breath is not concentrated in your tanden (your lower abdomen), then your weight cannot stay down. And your breath can’t descend to your tanden if you are not relaxed.

By relaxing and breathing from your tanden, you can root to the ground, creating the foundation for power. If you lose your root, then you will become unstable and easy to defeat. A strong root also allows you to use your whole body as a single, linked unit, with power vibrating up from the ground, guided by your hips though your limbs and then back into the ground.

While the body is relaxed, you should retain a surface tension, or tame, in the tanden, where your breath and energy is focused. The proper manipulation or kneading of this surface tension (called neri) – working the muscles of the area in conjunction the right mental focus – leads to hakkei, or explosion of power.

 

 


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