Relaxed Kime

We had a very traditional class last night at Contact Kicks Dojo, focusing on kihon and the basics. Sensei Fogarasi took us through hundreds of strikes, blocks and kicks. Lined up in the heat of the summer, it doesn’t take us long to warm up. The sounds of kia’s blasting from our lungs and echoing within the dojo. All of us in unison, giving our all. A magnificent sight to behold in any traditional dojo.

I try to give it my all, while watching form and technique. I watch Sensei from the corner of my eye, trying to emulate his movements. I remember the videos I have seen of Sosai Oyama leading students it similar fashion and it also inspires me to strike with spirit and kime.

IFK World Championship Kata 2014

IFK World Championship Kata 2014, photo by Dave Geentjens

Sensei Fogarasi makes an important observation and lesson to us. To make sure we stay loose and relaxed before the time of the block or strike, and tense up right before impact. This will not only increase the speed and power, but will save you from exhausting out.

How I understood it was is like moving the whole body as a unit in a whiplike manner, similar to whipping a towel.  Although the towel is supple and soft, it delivers a powerful, penetrating impact if you are caught with the end of it.

As Sensei explains, the strike or block starts with a completely relaxed arm and body. A relaxed muscle has greater potential for speed. You must also relax your mind. I have read that the Okinawan karate masters used to say that you should use your whole body like a “whip”. I am guessing this is what they meant.

Kime (決め) means “power” and/or “focus,” describing the instantaneous tensing at the correct, usually last moment, during a technique.

Darren Stringer, from the IFK World Championship Kata 2014

Darren Stringer, from the IFK World Championship Kata 2014, photo by Dave Geentjens

You must start off loose and relaxed. When you throw a technique it should be fast and sharp until it reaches the target. At that last moment, you tense the body multiplying the energy with a kiai! Then immediately  return to a relaxed state.

This, like most things I have learnt in Kyokushin under Sensei Fogarasi, also translates to outside of the dojo.

How many times have we reacted to stressful situations, without first relaxing our minds? This is something I have learnt during my training that I have been applying. When a situation arises, I take the time to relax my mind, before I deliver the “strike”, which ever type it might be.


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