Saturday, March 14, 2009

Koshi Ideas

When I say "Koshi Ideas" I'm really talking about things that we stress in our Karate to help impart concepts about the way we use our bodies to make power and enable natural movement in our Karate.

If you are a martial artist who does not practice Kishaba Juku shorin ryu, you may think about twisting the hips if I say "Koshi".   But, twisting the hips to produce a powerful technique is only one koshi idea. Really great technique is a product of more than just hip twisting.

Here are some words to describe some of the "koshi ideas" we talk about regularly in class:

  • Tuck and Compress
  • Connection
  • Arches
  • Single Hip Twist
  • Hanmi
  • Multi Hip Twist
  • Big Arm Motions
  • Big Koshi Motion
  • Hikite
  • Rising and Dropping Power
  • Gyroscopic Koshi
  • Circle Point Theory
  • Whip
  • Bounce into the next technique
  • Make power in 2 directions
  • Ability to move in any direction
  • Make power on one foot
  • Natural movement
  • Naihanchi Points
  • Leaning Body 
  • Floating Koshi
  • Smaller Koshi Motions
Each of these ideas could be the topic of a separate blog post, so I won't go into the details of them at this time. 

Some of these words or phrases are/were used by my teachers and their teachers.  Some are of my own device. Koshi ideas don't easily translate to written form so many of these words won't make sense to the reader unless they have trained in Kishaba Juku shorin ryu.

Learning to use koshi to make your karate better is a stepwise effort that can be equated to japanese calligraphy.  Beginner koshi is like block printing (Kaisho), intermediate koshi is like semi-cursif style (Gyosho) and advanced koshi is like cursif (artistic/Sosho) style. (See article by George Donahue on

Learning to incorporate koshi ideas into our karate is a lifetime endeavor that helps keep our karate ever evolving.

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