Last week, we published a video by our friends from the Karate Dojo WaKu in Tokyo. It turned out to be very controversial because it proposed a “new” approach of stepping forward in Zenkutsu Dachi. For some commentators, the approach was way to sporty. For others, it was not defense-oriented enough.
To bring a little bit structure and light to the discussion our advisory board member Keigo Shimizu Sensei sent us the below video. In this video he explains how a step in Zenkutsu Dachi is correctly executed. Due to the fact, that he speaks Japanese in the video, we have here a brief translation for you:
“It is important to have the feeling that the thighs close during the step at all times. Not the feet execute the step but the thighs close and pass each other and accelerate together. Do not bring your feet together. If one masters this step it is possible to accelerate very fast and cross long-distances. To move fast and clean, the weight should not only lie on the front leg. The back leg has to be pulled to the front leg.”
The Zenkutsu Dachi step is more a pull than a push movement. Due to that, both legs are engaged in the motion and the energy is directed to the front. This approach is a synergy of the traditional and “sporty” step. It utilizes the energy that emerges through a relaxed front knee. But it combines it with a strong focus on an active back leg and a stable and coordinating body center. Through that it creates power and speed but also stability and security. Because for Keigo Sensei counts: “Kihon must work in Kumite. Kihon only for Kihon reasons is like a beauty contest.” Oss!