It’s funny, a lot of people think that Karate is all fighting. The fact is, it has the same subtleties as other arts, and the same core principles. Here’s an example of that with the Power developed by a move from Karate Kata Heian Three (Also known as Pinan Three).
The first move of this karate kata is a an outward block, which is easily understood. Then you move into a feet together standing up, leaning slightly forward at the waist with the legs straight, pair of double blocks. I mean, what the heck kind of a move is that?
You can’t establish good balance with your legs straight in that manner! And leaning forward is not a good thing to do! And two of those low and middle blocks?
Well, looking a little deeper, the student shortly realizes that there is genius here. Unfortunately, the genius is often not perceived, unless one does a specific type of kata application. So here is the self defense move that will make sense out of this mess.
Ignore the fact that there are two blocks, they could be used for other techniques. Instead, just block two punches. One and two, you stand and block one, then the other.
Now, with the blocking hand grab the wrist of the second punch, twist from the feet, and pull as you do a horizontal backfist across the side of the head. I know this sounds weird, but think your way through it, and you will find some mighty interesting things happening. In fact, you are going to find some awesome internal power generating.
As you pull, you see, you need to drop your weight into the ground. This sinking of the weight is the same as Tai Chi Chuan concept of ‘rooting,’ but it is quicker and more violent. Still, it really works.
As you pull, the hips pivot, adding more weight to the action, and you find that you are moving large amounts of weight simply by leaning your body into it, or, to be more precise, against it. Now, this is not a smooth move, and it is actually against the rules of all stances…and then you realize, it shows you how to use all stances. Focus on that sinking power, wake up the tan tien (the energy center just below the belly button), use the weight of the whole body, and, zingo bingo, you suddenly have the classical power of the martial arts, but distinctly through the odd move at the beginning of Karate Kata Heian Three.
If you want more moves that give you classical power, mouse over to temple karate at Monster Martial Arts.