- THE EQUATOR
- Around your
- You may
recall from your early school days that the center of the
earth is mark by an imaginary line, known as the Equator.
- From this
point at the middle of the earth, the world is divided
into two distinct parts, the Northern Hemisphere and the
- No this is
not a geography lesson, so you can relax, my point is
- Like the
earth, all karate students have a middle, but in their
case it is one that is very clearly marked by a visible
coloured line, known as an "obi" or "belt".
Like the earth's Equator this line divides a student's
body into two distinct parts, the upper half and lower
- Now in the
early stages of their karate training most new students
will spend the better part of their time paying far more
attention to the top of their world than they will to the
bottom. The simple fact of the matter is that is far
easier for a new student to focus on developing hand
movements then it is for them to get a firm grip on a
kiba dachi, or a kokutsu dachi.
- I know I
- I can
remember in my case, however, that it was not long before
my sensei noticed the lack of attention my lower
extremities were receiving. Not one to miss an
opportunity to correct what he considered an unacceptable
situation, sensei quickly wandered on over to where I was
practicing and proceeded to make it very clear to me, in
no uncertain terms, that everything south of my belt was
of equal, if not greater importance than what was going
on north of my belt.
lower, not so narrow, not so wide, all become familiar
phrases, and then one day it happened.
- Out of the
blue, and for no apparent reason that I could fathom,
sensei said to me, "Now start using your hips".
hips, lad, your hips"!!
- At which
point he firmly grabbed my belt at a point on either side
of my hips and he started twisting right, then left, then
right, then left again.
hips, lad, use your hips, karate is nothing with out the
proper use of your hips"?
- My world
was never the same after that.
- Hips, hips,
and more hips, became the battle cry throughout the dojo.
- In basics,
in kicks, in kata, in kumite, "Use your hips"
he would shout.
- To this
day, even after more than 28 years of training, his voice
still rings clearly in my ears.
morning at class a student came up to me and said, "Sensei
would you please watch my side kick and tell me what I am
doing wrong, it doesn't feel right". After one kick
it was clearly evident what the problem was, but I waited
until the student had done five or six kicks, and then I
walked up to her and I whispered .........
- I hope that
for her sake in the years to come that the sound of my
quiet voice will also ring loud and clear.
- Be careful
what you ask for,
- you might
just get it.
- Part the
clouds - see the way.
objective of karate-do is to contribute to the evolution
- of the
human spirit through physical and mental training."