Proper Kamae

by Michael Chadan Galose, Roku dan Tenshi Goju Kai

Too many young karateka do not hold their rear hand high enough when in a fighting posture. It is not a body shot, stomach hit, or even a hit the lower torso, that one needs to worry about when engaged a heated physical confrontation; a properly executed blow to the  head or groin can, and frequently will, be fight enders! Particularly, when done in combination with one another. That said, the groin can be shielded by proper placement of the knees and not having an excessively wide stance. The head must be protected with the chin pointing slightly inward, and by holding the elbows of both arms about pectoral high with a good bend in them. The fists should angled towards the opponent, but high enough to easily shield the head. This must be done with proper footwork.

A street fighter will readily target the head with successive alternating roundhouse blows. In this situation, the defender must not get hit but move to a position that is not in the percussion zone. This can be done with tai sabaki and shielding the head with forearms, until one is able to get into the opponents' timing to land a decisive technique. A  strategy which seems counterintuitive but works in this situation, is to get excessively close to the aggressor with both hands having a windshield wiper effect using the palms  or ,backhands (haishu uke) to deflect the blows. The head must be mobile to work with the hands to avoid being hit.

The back of the hands can be co joined when deflecting successive hits. This requires getting into the opponents' rhythm and timing to avoid being hit. Once inside you can spring upon  the opponent to render their striking range ineffectual. To do this you must move in a nanosecond before your opponent realizes that you are no longer in striking zone. In fact, you are in his face. It is imperative that your footwork be mastered so that you can bridge the gap instantaneously, before your opponent regroups his strategy! Once inside, a knee to the groin and gyaku shuto uchi to the neck or head can be readily applied.(The haishu uke and palm blocks, come from a Naha Te Kata where there is a conflict in four directions, or all around us. Can you guess which one?).