Many students in our San Diego martial arts school ask: “how can I increase the amount of power in my strikes?” The answer is simple: get to understand your center, and how to use it effectively!
The center is an incredibly important concept in martial arts. Where beginner martial artists use their limbs in an effort to generate power, experienced martial artists exhibit dthe skill of harnessing their center to generate what seems to be unlimited amounts of power. Such power generation appears effortless to the observer. “Gamaku” is the special term for the center in Okinawan karate-speak (Uchinaaguchi). In the Chinese arts such as Tai Chi and Kung Fu, the related (but not entirely equivalent) terms to Gamaku are Dan-Tien (sometime spelled Dantian) and Ming-Men.
The center, or core, is a key to progress in martial arts. But what is exactly the center? Why is it important? What do we need to do to harness it to generate power in martial arts?
Ancient Okinawan and Chinese martial arts masters knew a lot about how to harness the center and the core to generate tremendous power. This article will attempt to share this knowledge, as well as to relate the knowledge to modern science and anatomy.
The Center or “Core” is All the RageCore exercises are all the rage today in fitness circles. Academic studies have shown that weak cores are associated with back pain and joint injury. The core or center is also of paramount importance in martial arts.
It is interesting that what is good for us in martial arts, karate and self-defense fighting is also good for our general health. A lot of martial arts training is dedicated to teaching us how to use our bodies efficiently. This is because the only way we can hope to win in a self-defense confrontation with a large opponent who is stronger and faster than us, is to be more efficient than our opponent. Once we learn the “secrets” of efficient movement, we can use this skill not just in fighting but also in everyday activities, protecting our back, knees and other joints from injury or premature wear.