[I:http://www.articledir.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/AlCase37.jpg] To resurrect Karate as True Art, and this would include Shotokan, Goju, Uechi, or various other types of the art, one should always look to the techniques. The techniques are the kata made real, they are concepts made to work. They are the heart of the beast that is The True Art.
The first step, in making your art work, is to have a firm stance. The forms teach a variety of stances, and how to get into them from a variety of directions and previous positions. So one should practice the forms until this concept of transitioning from stance to stance is second nature.
The second step, if you are going to make the karate kata real, is to make sure your hands are in functional positions. There are many arm positions in the martial arts techniques where your arms cannot support weight sufficient to make the technique work. You must examine your form and change arm positions until they work.
The third step is to have proper body alignment between the feet and the hands. The body is a chain of muscles and bones from ground to strike, and you must make sure that every piece of the body is properly aligned. The old wisdom, a chain is as strong as its weakest link, comes to mind.
The fourth step if you are going to make karate moves mean anything, is to focus on your breathing. Breathing should be relaxed, but aimed upon keeping the abdomen tight, especially upon hitting, or getting hit. Breathing simply for breathing sake, such as in Goju Ryu Karate, must be examined for real function, and possibly altered if you are going to have real martial arts self defense.
The fifth and final step, and ultimately the most necessary, is that you must have Coordinated Body Motion (CBM) when you use your body. You must harmonize all motion, taking into account the length and mass of every muscle and limb, and the entire torso. You must understand how this all relates to timing, and you must make your body motions utilize this harmonious timing.
An intriguing tidbit of data is that martial arts fighting has very little to do with finding The True Art. As a matter of fact, fighting tends to disrupt the mental processes that are necessary to put the pieces together that will resurrect your martial art. This piece of information is something that the old masters understood, and not just because they were old.
Any art can be a great art, but it always requires a great sensei, and a great student. The purpose of this bit of writing has been to educate students to be their own great teachers. Ultimately, your progress is up to you, and if you understand that then it will be easy to use Karate techniques to find the True Art.
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