An effective tsuki
By Shigeru Egami
Master Egami was a very active karateka during all his life. He practiced the modern karate styles. He tried to correct errors in his practice by searching for true technical effectivity.
“One day I decided to find out if my tsuki was really effective and what was actually necessary to make it effective. Considering that I could not experiment on other people I found only one solution, ask every type of people to punch me in the stomach with all their might. This way I would be able to study the quality of each blow. I received blows from karatekas, boxers, kendokas, judokas, etc.
The surprising and depressing results of this study were that the tsuki in Karate was the least effective of them all. I found out another shocking fact: the longer and more seriously a karateka had trained, less effective were the tsuki.
The strongest blows were those of the boxers. Another surprising fact was that blows by people with no training whatsoever were extremely strong.
I was terribly shocked with these results. What could explain this? What did this mean? What is truly effective then?
I decided to restart ny search for an effective tsuki.
To get over my worries about ineffectiveness I tried many different types of tsuki, finally reaching the conclusion that Karate techniques must concentrate strength. I started to physically concentrate strength in one unique point of impact. While doing the attack and defense techniques I would concentrate the strength in the impact zone of my technique on the adversary. During this development I understood that the problem of concentration must not only be limited to physical laws and that mental concentration is much more important.
While researching I understood one thing. Until that moment I had practiced karate with an illusion: I confused contraction with strength and tried to contract the body searching for strength, without thinking that contracting the body actually is equivalent to blocking the movement. This was a fundamental mistake.
I forced myself to massage and relax a body that for so many years I had worked so much to harden.
I decided to start from zero, completely rejecting the old notions I had acquired.
I established the goal to elaborate forms and movements that were to be natural and spontaneous as if I were once again a beginner. This change in attitude made me discover a truly superior effectiveness. I then understood the teachings of Master Funakoshi: “We must not oppose nature”.
If the attack of the opponent truly isn’t effective then it will not be necessary to defend yourself against it, we will need no technique whatsoever.
An effective tsuki must be met by correct defense or evasion techniques, at this point real training begins.
A tsuki must be absolutely effective. To obtain this we must try to project our strength to the infinite. Strength must flow through all our body without any type of contraction during its trajectory. A mortal blow is one that concentrates all its energy in one point. In other words, we must project all our being into the body of the opponent. A tsuki must be natural.