Embusen, center of gravity, force and power in the Karate , Myoma Myint Kywe ကရာေတး နည္းျပခ်ဳပ္ ဦးျမင့္ၾကြယ္

Embusen, center of gravity, force and power in the Karate

Myint Kywe 先生
ဆိုရွိကိ ကရာေတးအသင္း နည္းျပခ်ဳပ္ 
ဦးျမင့္ၾကြယ္ ( ၿမိဳ ႔မ ျမင့္ၾကြယ္ )
Soshiki Karate School
   組織空手 Soshiki Karate クラブのチーフインストラクター 
(松濤館 空手 style)

Embusen (演武線) is a Japanese term used in karate to refer to the spot where a kata begins, as well as its line of movement. Nearly all kata start and end on exactly the same embusen point. This word is also commonly romanized as enbusen. First of all, we must understand the concept of embusen 演武線. Embusen is literally “the performance line.”

The word embu 演武 means performance.
Sen is line. 

–Act, perform, play

– Martial, manly, strong, mighty, brave, power of fighting
– A line, wire, a lane, a track, a figure, a level
This is simply the line that the person follows when he is ‘performing’ the kata.

That line used in martial arts as a guide in kata practice. Embusen is the line or pattern that a kata follows in its performance. It is the tool that teaches proper movement, stance, kamae "posture", how stances and movement apply to the particular tactic/technique applied in any given situation or action. 

The embusen line is different for each kata. 
It has a start point and end point. It is a blueprint for kata practice. 
The embusen line varies for each series of kata. It is, for example, a straight line for the Shōtōkan Tekki series of kata. It follows the form of a capital letter I for the Heian series of kata, as well as for the Taikyoku series.

More advanced kata, such as Shotokan's Kanku-Dai, Nijushiho, for example, have increasingly more complex embusen to train the practitioner in more advanced defensive angles and footwork.

For any kata, the embusen is fixed and must be followed exactly for proper mastery of the style.

Embusen is that line that also provides guidance as to proper stance to the technique associated with it. Each technique has a specific stance, posture, pose, etc. that maximizes that techniques application.

When you follow embusen it provides a means to indicate if a stance is properly assumed or not which affects the applied technique. A blueprint if you will.

It also provides you a means to orient the body to the proper directions, stances, postures, and application of techniques for range, targeting, etc. If you are not orienting your body and direction properly it will show in the initial stages by a loss of proper embusen. You can say it teaches using movement and kamae to cover distance and to gain proper distance to target for the particular technique in the kata.

Embusen line varies for each series of kata. For example, this stroke "(I)" is a straight line for Shotokan Tekki kata series. Then, it follows the form of the letter I (or) H for the Taikyoku / Heian / Pinan series.

More advanced kata as Shotokan's Kanku-dai and Gojūshiho dai kata, , for example, has become more complex embusen to train students in more advanced defensive angles and footwork. Each kata is embusenen fixed and must be followed exactly for proper mastery of style.

While many attempts over the decades and more has been done to document the most fighting styles, the majority of training is best taught person-to-person, where most details are taught orally and visually. This is also a well-balanced description of the concept embusen.

It offers a perspective that should provide a good basis for further development. The material is advanced, intended to read The Best Karate books of master Masatoshi Nakayama in detail presenting the motion in each kata. The reader is expected to know or have access to information about the different steps and techniques in each kata. 

M. Nakayama 首席師範 Shuseki Shihan wrote many books on karate, perhaps most notably the 11-volume Best Karate series. He also had many video productions credited to him. Nakayama's books include: Practical Karate: A guide to everyman's self-defense (1963, co-authored), Practical Karate: Defense against an unarmed assailant (1963, co-authored), Dynamic Karate: (1966 and also re-printed: 1986), and Best Karate: Comprehensive (1977).These are excellent karate books for beginners and advanced Karate-ka alike, and clearly demonstrates a wide range of Karate techniques that are practiced in Shotokan Karate. 

One of the best features of the books are that most of the photographs show M. Nakayama 首席師範 Shuseki Shihan himself performing techniques.

All the basic points of karate arranged systematically for effective learning, step by step--the parts of the body used as natural weapons, the stances, how to block, how to attack and introduction to the kata and to kumite. 

Karate has certainly come a long way since the teachings of Funakoshi Sensei, and this book  demonstrates the JKA method of examining and teaching Karate along scientific lines.

To accompany each section based on the Kihon. Kata and Kumite foundations of Karate - Dachi, Tsuki, Uke, Uchi and Keri - comes a scientific study of each technique. 

Through this, M.Nakayama Sensei’s objective was to scientifically make Karate techniques more effective and better for our bodies. What makes this even easier to follow is the ‘Things to avoid’ section to each technique, providing greater guidance.

Center of gravity, stability and balance

The centre of gravity is very important in relation to stability. If a line through the centre of gravity falls within the structures base then it will remain stable.
A body whose Center of Gravity is above its base of support will be stable if a vertical line downward from the Center of Gravity falls within the base of support.
The Critical Point is reached when the Center of Gravity is no longer above the base of support.

Stances are not fixed positions that are held when you are free fighting.

  •  Strength, Flexibility, Stability and Balance

  • All are interdependent.
  • All together they enable posture and mobility.
  • Ask any senior what they fear most. They will most likely say “the loss of my mobility”.

  • Force in Karate

    There is one totally important formula when it comes to forces, F = ma. That's all there is, but everything revolves around that formula. 

    "F" is the total (net) force, "m" is the object's mass, and "a" is the acceleration that occurs.
    As a sentence, "The net force applied to the object equals the mass of the object multiplied by the amount of its acceleration." The net force acting on the soccer ball is equal to the mass of the soccer ball multiplied by its change in velocity each second (its acceleration). Do you remember the wind gently blowing on the soccer ball? The force acting on the ball was very small because the mass of air was very small. Small masses generally exert small forces, which generally result in small accelerations (changes in motion).

    Power  in karate 

    The first thing you must understand is what power is. It is a measure of the work you do. The whole deal relies on a very simple concept:

    That’s it. You must understand that before moving any karate methods. Perhaps the simple way to say it is this - 'To produce power, you must do something for a period of time.' For a cycling pedal stroke, we are primarily concerned with the FORCE (your torque input) and TIME (how long you do it); this is why they are in bold in our equation. The distance is the size of the circle your wheel or crank turns (depending on where we measure).

    首席師範 Shuseki Shihan  Gichin Funakoshi

    Sensei Gichin Funakoshi was born in Shuri, Okinawa in 1868. As a young boy he was trained by two masters of that time in slightly different styles. From Master Yasutsune Azato he was instructed in "Shuri-te" and from Master Yasutsune Itosu he was instructed "Naha-te". It would be from the joining of these two styles that would one day become Shotokan Karate.

    He moved to Japan to popularise the 'Way of The Empty Hand' (literal translation of "Karate") in early 1922. Established his own Dojo and began to teach Karate to many professional people in Tokyo. The J.K.A. was formed and became a centre of excellence in the Karate world. From there highly trained Instructors were sent out to different areas of the world to promote Karate.
    Sensei Guichin Funakoshi passed away in 1957 at the age of 88.

    首席師範 Shuseki Shihan  Masatoshi Nakayama

    Sensei Masatoshi Nakayama was born in 1913 and began training in Karate under the great master Funakoshi Gichin in 1931. After graduating from Takushoko University in 1937 he went to Peking to study Chinese, whilst there he also studied various styles of Chinese fighting. He became the 2nd Chief Instructor of the JKA after Sensei Funakoshi passed away in November 1957.

    He was responsible for the global dissemination of Karate in the 1960's and 1970's, and for placing it on a firm scientific foundation after performing an in-depth study of the principles of Kinesisology, anatomy, Psychology & Physics involved in Karate training. He has published a number of books including "Dynamic Karate", an in depth study of Kihon (basics) and produced vidoes providing detailed technical and practical information on Kata, Kihon and Kumite.
    Sensei Masatoshi Nakayama passed away on April 15th, 1987 at the age of 74. He held the grade of 10thDan.

    首席師範 Shuseki Shihan  Hirokazu Kanazawa

    September 1977, H. Kanazawa performs his famous butterfly kick.
    Sensei Hirokazu Kanazawa (b. 1931) trained under Sensei Nakayama and became one of the J.K.A.`s most gifted students. He was one of the first three JKA Instructors to qualify from the famous JKA Instructors Training Course in 1956 (with Mikami and Takura), and won the first JKA Kumite Championship in 1957 (with a broken hand) and the Kata in 1958 (sharing the Kumite honours with Mikami).

    Kanazawa at 1st JKA All Japan Karate Championships 1957
    Sensei Kanazawa was invited to teach Karate in England in 1965. In 1974, 
    along with Sensei Asano, Sensei Kanazawa started Shotokan 
    Karate International (S.K.I.). He became and still is one of Karate's greatest 
    living ambassadors, his unique talents mean he is in constant demand all 
    over the world.

    Sensei Kanazawa is both Chairman and Chief Instructor 
    of the worlds largest Shotokan Karate organisation, the 
    Shotokan Karate-do International Federation and is one 
    of the few remaining karateka privileged to have studied 
    under Master Gichin Funakoshi.
    In April 2000, while attending the 7th S.K.I.F. World 

    Championships in Bali, Shihan Kanazawa was promoted 
    to the grade of 10th Dan. He is currently the only living 
    Shotokan Master to hold such a high grade.

    首席師範 Masutatsu Oyama

    Master  Masutatsu Oyama, the founder 
    of Kyokushin Karate, was born in Southern 
    Korea in 1923. While living at his sister's farm 
    in Manchuria at the age of nine, he began 
    his lifelong journey along the Martial Way when he began studying the southern Chinese form of kempo know 
    as "Eighteen Hands". When Mas Oyama 
    returned to Korea at the age of 12, he 
    continued his training in Korean kempo.

    In 1938, at the age of 15, Mas Oyama moved to Japan to train as an 
    aviator, and continued his martial arts training by participating in judo 
    and boxing. Shortly afterwards, he began training at the dojo of  
    Gichin Funakoshi, who had brought karate from Okinawa to Japan and 
    developed what is now known as Shotokan Karate.
    Mas Oyama's training progressed so rapidly that by the age of 17,  
    he was a Nidan (2nd Dan), and by the age of 20, he was a Yondan (4th Dan) 
    in Shotokan Karate. At this point, Mas Oyama took a serious interest in Judo , 
    and in less than four years he achieved the rank of Yondan in Judo as well. 

    Purification of Mind in Karate
    We all karate-ka should abstain from arrogance, envy and anger in life. We should strive to draw nearer to purification of Mind and real truth.
    An ancient maxim found in the Dhammapada sums up the practice of the Buddha's teaching in three simple guidelines to training: to abstain from all evil, to cultivate good, and to purify one's mind. These three principles form a graded sequence of steps progressing from the outward and preparatory to the inward and essential.

    Each step leads naturally into the one that follows it, and the culmination of the three in purification of mind makes it plain that the heart of Buddhist practice is to be found here.

    Purification of mind as understood in the Buddha's teaching is the sustained endeavor to cleanse the mind of defilements, those dark unwholesome mental forces which run beneath the surface stream of consciousness vitiating our thinking, values, attitudes, and actions.

    The chief among the defilements are the three that the Buddha has termed the "roots of evil" — greed, hatred, and delusion — from which emerge their numerous offshoots and variants: anger and cruelty, avarice and envy, conceit and arrogance, hypocrisy and vanity, the multitude of erroneous views.

    The nine major sources of all problems are:

    1. Greed (don'yoku 貪欲)
    2. Anger (ikari 怒り)
    3. Ignorance (muchi 無知 )
    4. Hatred (zōo 憎悪)
    5. Arrogance (gōman 傲慢)
    6. Belligerent (kōsen dantai 交戦団体)
    7. Evil (aku )
    8. Backbiting (kageguchi 陰口)
    9. Jealousy (shitto 嫉妬)

    The chief characteristic of the world of Anger is envy, the kind where one cannot tolerate the thought of anyone being in any way better than oneself. It is a burning need to be superior to others, a belief that one is fundamentally better than other people.

    As a Buddhist text describes it: "Since those in the world of Anger desire in every instance to be superior to everyone else and cannot bear to be inferior to anyone, they belittle and despise others and exalt themselves, like a hawk flying high and looking down on the world. At the same time, outwardly they seek to display the virtues of benevolence, justice, propriety, wisdom and fidelity."

    Karate begins with courtesy and ends with courtesy.  Therefore, we must be courteous to seniors, juniors, friends and also foes.  We must first purify our minds and always be mentally and physically sound.

    We must sweep from our minds all egocentric and preoccupying thoughts during practice, concentrating on all the movements with maximum power.

    Karate requires a harmony between attacking and blocking.  Therefore, we must learn to adjust our attention coincides with each of the movements during practice.

    Karate requires a perfect finish at the end of each kihon, kata and kumite  performance.  Therefore, we must complete each kihon, kata and kumite  practice along with powerful techniques and maximum power.

    A number of karate techniques are used to deliver strikes to the human body. These techniques are delivered from a number of stances. The karateka uses a number of blocks to protect themselves against these strikes.

    Kihon is the basic techniques, or fundamentals, of karate. It includes all the kicks and strikes of karate but not in any particular sequence. Thus, kihon is every technique from a lunge punch to a back thrust kick practiced repeatedly for mastery of that technique.

    How to overcome fighting?

    "To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the highest skill.
    To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill."

    "Karate begins and ends with courtesy."
    "Even if it must be ten million foes, I go!
    Karate is an aid to justice.
    -Gichin Funakoshi-

    We can do to overcome our enemies by metta and patience. Master Gichin Funakoshi laid out the Twenty Precepts of Karate which form the foundations of the art, before some of his students established the JKA. Within these twenty principles, based heavily on Bushido and Zen, lies the philosophy of Shotokan.

    The principles allude to notions of humility, respect, compassion, patience, and both an inward and outward calmness. It was Funakoshi's belief that through karate practice and observation of these 20 principles, the karate-ka would improve their person.

    Metta (pure love) has been translated as "loving-kindness," "friendliness," "benevolence," "amity," "friendship," "good will," "kindness," "love," "sympathy," and active interest in others." It is one of the ten paramitas of the school of Buddhism, and the first of the four Brahmaviharas. The metta bhavana ("cultivation of metta") is a popular form of meditation in Buddhism.

    The object of metta meditation is loving kindness (love without attachment). Traditionally, the practice begins with the meditator cultivating loving kindness towards themselves, then their loved ones, friends, teachers, strangers, enemies, and finally towards all sentient beings. Commonly, it can be used as a greeting or closing to a letter or note.

    Buddhists believe that those who cultivate metta will be at ease because they see no need to harbour ill will or hostility. It is generally felt that those around a metta-ful person will feel more comfortable and happy too. Radiating metta is thought to contribute to a world of love, peace and happiness.

    Metta meditation is considered a good way to calm down a distraught mind by people who consider it to be an antidote to anger. According to them, someone who has cultivated metta will not be easily angered and can quickly subdue anger that arises, being more caring, more loving, and more likely to love unconditionally. We need to do METTA.

    May we/he/she be well, happy and peace. May no harm come to us. May no difficulties come to us. May no problems come to us. May we/he/she always will meet with success. May we/he/she also have patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in our lives.

    May all people be well, happy and peace. May no harm come to them. May no difficulties come to them. May no problems come to them. May all people always will meet with success. May all people also have patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in their lives.

    Nakayama Masatoshi 中山 正敏 Shōtōkan Dynamic Karate