June 2010: Weigh, Count and Measure

The article, “How to Conserve Energy in Martial Arts” by Dr. Emeric Arus, founder of the Int’l. Sendo-Ryu Karatedo Federation, says energy is the capacity for doing work.

  1. Potential energy which is the capacity of a body to do work by virtue of its position relative to a reference, measured in Joule, and
  2. Kinetic energy, which is the energy due to its motion/action. Kinetic energy also has two forms of manifestation: Linear kinetic energy (LKE) and angular/rotational kinetic energy (RKE).

Both linear and angular kinetic energy are dependent upon the interaction of mass and velocity. If we take the mass and velocity in each case as a constant attribute, the angular kinetic energy is stronger than the linear kinetic energy. This is because in rotational motion any mass tends also to accelerate due to centrifugal force; and during the time of liberation of the body mass with the technique, e.g. spinning back kick, the energy liberated will be much stronger than in the case of linear kinetic energy. In this case a punch such as an uppercut, a fencing technique such as cut, or a spinning back kick will be much stronger than techniques executed linearly. By gaining speed the technique will have better penetration power.

Karate has many different “styles”; some styles are recognized as “soft styles,” and others are recognized as “hard styles.” The various martial arts find the ‘hard styles’ of karate demands more energy expenditure because almost every action/attack and even defense must be done with the total concentration of the athlete’s energy. The more energy that is invested in an attack the more destructive will be the effect of that impact. Most of the attacks demand anaerobic power. This is the reason that proper breathing during the technique is important.

Soft style karate uses less energy because the actions/techniques are executed more gently. The athlete is not required to perform anaerobically, and most importantly the athlete uses techniques with soft guiding movement. Further analyzing the different techniques within a style, we observe that kicking techniques require more energy than punching techniques for two reasons: Legs are heavier than arms; legs must work harder against the force of gravity. Accordingly, the higher an athlete lifts up his/her leg the more energy is needed. Soft style karate tends to use more body shifting, explaining that it is easier to avoid an attack than to block. There is a big misconception about this proposal. It is true that when two body parts collide there is a dissipation of energy (explosion of energy), this is the case in hard style karate; but it is also true that when you must avoid an attack by moving away, you also lose energy by moving.

The attacker always loses more energy than the defender whether there is contact or not. Theoretically the defender should lose more energy when he/she is moving than simple just blocking and holding his/her position. The defender will lose more energy than moving a smaller mass such as an arm.

If the training is extremely hard for a very long period of time (months of training) with little or no rest between the training sessions, the martial artist enter in a so said over training or burn out state. By using an adequate training protocol the martial artist will be able to control his/her actions and in this way he/she will conserve energy.

Ideas from the Student Handbook, and for the good of the order

  • Dues should be paid the first week of each month.
  • There are no promotion fees, but we ask that you pay for each obi (belt). Adults should join the IWKA after attaining their Yellow Belts & prior to earning their Green Belts. This organization is headed by the son of the founder of the style and sets standards for promotion. Students may join Hanshi Duessel’s Affiliation after this time. Children may join the IWKA as well.
  • Respect will be shown to all karate-ka at all times. A respectful bow will be given whenever entering and exiting the workout area.
  • Shoes are not to be worn on the workout floor.
  • The only patches we wear on our gi (uniform) are the Isshin-ryu patch on the left chest – over the heart, the dojo patch – 1” up on the right sleeve, the WHD patch above our dojo patch and the American Isshinryu Association patch – 1” up on the left arm.
  • Never correct the technique of a senior student (If in doubt, ask). NEVER ask for material to be added on. Additions are made when the student demonstrates proficiency and understanding of the material already given.
  • Kumite or sparring will be practiced under the supervision of black belts only.
  • Kyu ranks are forbidden to conduct demonstrations or teach privately without consent from their sensei. Black belts should clear activities prior to the session as well.
  • It is recommended that all students buy protective hand, foot and head gear. These are available from Kyoshi. Students pay only the cost of the equipment (with shipping). We do not add extra charges on equipment needed to train.

Why Weigh, Count and Measure? by Jim Rohn

Photo Credit: Chris Runoff (flickr.com/photos/azdodsons)

Three key words to remember: weigh, count and measure. Now why weigh, count and measure? To see what your results are from your activity, your attitude and your philosophy. If you find that the results are not to your liking, there are only three places to look. Your philosophy needs to be fine-tuned, your attitude needs to be strengthened or your discipline needs extra skill. Activity, attitude and philosophy create results.

Now on results I teach that life expects you to make measurable progress in reasonable time. But, you must be reasonable with time. Here are some good time frames:

  1. at the end of the day. You can’t let more than a day go by without looking at some things and making progress.
  2. at the end of the week. We ask for an accounting of the week so we can issue the pay. And whatever you’ve got coming, that’s what you get when the week is over. In karate there must also be an accounting. Ask if something was learned either in kata, kumite or skill development. Because activity leads to productivity, we need to see how we’re doing.

Success is a numbers game and very early in my karate training and education I started asking: “How many books have you read in the last 90 days?” “How many classes have you attended in the last six months to improve your skills?” If these numbers are not showing a positive demonstration of dedication, discipline and activity, your life won’t change. But if you’ll start improving these numbers, then perhaps you’ll start to see everything change for you.

Here’s the best accounting. The accounting you make of yourself. You’ve got to add up some of your own numbers and ask, “Am I making the progress I want and will it take me where I want to go now and in the future?” You be the judge!

Because of the Memorial Day Weekend there will be no classes at Fit Happens on Saturday, May 29th and at the Main Street Dojo on Monday, May 31st.


The Saturday sessions are open to ALL students and they are ALL encouraged to attend. The demonstrations at the end and promotions should be a must see event this year.




Posted in Dojo Newsletter, Events.