Source: Gisoku no Jutsu/MySpace
Original post date: 5 February, 2007
Hmmm, I’ve been thinking of posting some more pics, or even some video footage or something. One of the guys on my friends list (Ricardo Vich Busca, a one-legged surfer [how awesome is that?]) has asked how I do karate, which is a pretty reasonable thing to ask, since I haven’t really gone into that yet. I uploaded a few pictures last week, and had a chat with Wifey over the weekend and I’m thinking of adding some more stuff to my profile. I’m thinking of getting a few photos of my prosthesis so people can see what I use, and some clearer training pics (the current snaps were taken with my mobile phone, hence the crap quality ^_^). I’m also thinking about maybe taking some footage of how I do some of my techniques, but I’d probably wait until my form was a bit tighter and more refined before I’d be brave enough to post those!!
I figured that seeing an image of how I do my techniques (or even better, video footage – my father-in-law has a digital camcorder and I’ve got an old MinDV tape with plenty of space on it) would help show how I’ve adapted karate to suit my physical state. If other people are keen, send me a message, or post a comment in any of my blogs or on the front page. Its all good! I lost my leg before I could walk (I had it amputated when I was 3 months old), so there may be a lot of stuff I take for granted and wouldn’t explain in words, so maybe going for something visually would be something to think about
But, this gets me thinking about something. I caught up with my folks on Thursday last week for the usual dinner we do each fortnight, and I was having a chat with my Dad about how I’m going with my karate. Dad, my older brother and I used to do Taekwondo together when we were kids (my younger brother would have come along, but he was too young at the time – I was 8 or 9, and he’s 4 years my junior); so, when I told him I was going to start karate several years back, he was stoked. Anywho, I was talking with him last week and tried to pin down the tenets of karate and me, the essentials that bridge the gap and allow me to progress and, generally, try to not be entirely crap at it. At a glance, these things, let’s get all deep and meaningful and call them the heart of Gisoku no Jutsu (or the Technique of the Artificial Leg), came down to four points:
- Setting your centre of balance behind you, dynamically moving it from your centre-point to your left leg (i.e. artificial leg) depending on your needs (moving the centre of balance to behind your artificial leg helps lock the knee and hold you in place… with practice!);
- Emphasising control and technique in the upper body, particularly with regards to speed, accuracy and the ability to parry and counter effectively with your arms;
- The artificial leg is not to be used unless guarding whilst sparring/kumite, and be wary of your footing when kicking to avoid loosing your balance;
- Utilise the biomechanics in your shoulders and arms to compensate for a lack of power in your hips.
Over time, as I discover new ways to do things, this list may grow in size, or change radically. But, at this moment, it’s how it stands, and hopefully it will grow into a more refined group of principles I can use to further push myself, and perhaps act as a list to help other amputees adjust to learning a martial art – this list certainly isn’t restricted to karate, as it merely indicates what I have discovered over time.
See, I told you this would be a random post 😛