Technique - Chojun Miyagi


Chojun Miyagi emphasized that with each punch, strike, or kick, the mind and the tanden (a spot just below the navel) must be used together, in harmony.

He spoke painstakingly about the proper execution of specific techniques; that when punching, one should use the back muscles and concentrate power in the tanden; when performing toroguchi, (tiger's mouth) one should turn the hands using one's back mucsles.

When blocking with hiki uke he would say, "fast and focus...tighten the elbow and knee joints at the moment of focus."

He used to say, "When delivering a punch, if the recoil is lacking in strength, it is no good. A straight punch is not just delivered as a straight punch. It is the same as in brush writing--a straight is not simply drawn as a straight line."

Each technique must be performed with full speed and power as well as with the complete movement. If the movements are first performed with a small motion, then power will not be developed. When performing gedan barai (lower body block) the arm is brought up in front of the fact and then it swings down in a large circular motion to complete the block.

Chojun Miyagi continually stressed that as a technique is focused, the power must be concentrated in the tanden. He demonstrated this concept by gripping and releasing his fist to represent the closing and opening of the tanden. He explained that after a technique is focused, the tanden is releases until the execution of the next technique.

With techniques such as uraken uchi (back fist) and tetsui-uchi (hammer fist) and haito uchi (ridge hand) the arm is used like a whip, keeping the joints relaxed until the moment the technique is focused, and only then tightening the tanden joints.

Chojun Miyagi also explained that when performing nukite tsuki (finger thrust) and shotei tsuki (palm heel thrust) the thumb is most important and has various meanings. If it is tightened together with the tanden and harmonized with the breathing, then the palm and fingers may be tightened easily and it can be used in catching and locking techniques. He explained the importance of "opposite motion" in techniques such as age tsuki (rising punch) as the strike is thrust upwards, the body drops down while the reverse arm is simultaneously thrust downwards.

Living Karate - Sydney Matsubayashi Ryu