According to many experts, balance is key in karate, and in this article, We will be looking at how we can develop our balance for Karate. We must remember that the principles of Karate depend heavily on how the body moves. We must know how to keep and regain our balance, and also how to exploit weaknesses in our opponent’s balance.
Why developing balance important?
Why do we need a good balance you ask? The reason is simple, balance provides us with the foundation to allow us to strike, counter-strike, and evade. Look at all the great Karate fighters, and one thing they all have in common is an excellent balance. Take for example if you wobble when you throw a kick, you are already putting yourself into a situation where you are vulnerable to counter-attack as your guard is down to compensate for not falling over. However, all great Karate fighters have great balance, now it is our turn to develop rock-solid balance!
Learn to relax
The single most important we can do to develop balance for Karate is to learn to relax. When we are relaxed our weight is centered straight downwards towards the ground. If we tense an arm out to the side of our body then our center of gravity will shift making us become un-balance.
We only tense at the moment we are about to make contact with a strike, and the tension is from the core.
Awareness is key
So, next time you practice shadow sparring, try closing your eyes. This will help develop your sense of awareness by removing your vision and developing your proprioception. Try starting by throwing a few easy combinations first.
Practice makes perfect balance in Karate:
Engage your core when performing exercises. A simple way to do this is by narrowing your stance when performing bicep curls or squatting etc.
Bodyweight squats are an excellent tool for developing leg strength; however, they can also be a tremendous tool for developing balance. Try performing a one-leg squat aka the pistol, it’s a very difficult exercise but once mastered it is ready to develop your balance and power. If you use these tips for developing balance for Karate it is guaranteed that you will see some great results.
However, the training designed to develop explosive power for Karate and combat is extremely taxing on your nervous system. So to prevent training you only need to compete for this workout once or twice a week, and don’t shorten your rest intervals they are long for a reason – you may not be hurting but trust me it is working. To become a more complete Karate-ka we must train to deliver our kick and punches explosively allowing us the best possibility in striking a scoring blow before our opponent.