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November 19, 2019

Do you have trouble keeping your balance in
karate? We all do. I’ve even seen world karate champions slip
on the mat. Like we say in Japanese; “saru mo ki kara
ochiru” – even monkeys fall from trees. In today’s video I want to teach you what
balance is and how you can improve it in karate. Follow me. The first thing you need to know about balance
is this Japanese word: T.A.N.D.E.N – “tanden”. Or as we say in Chinese, “dan tien”. In the Western world, in English, we refer
to the tanden as the physical centre of gravity located just below your belly button down
here. And the idea behind balance is that your tanden,
your centre of gravity, has to be placed over your surface of support. Look down. Your surface of support is the area right
here. Between and under your feet. And the lower your tanden is, and the wider
your surface of support is, the better your balance will be. It’s basic physics. So how can we practice this? Follow me. Alright, so all you need to practice balance
is two socks. It could be bigger Christmas socks, or just
regular thinner socks. And now you put them on. You might already understand what’s about
to happen here. When you practice karate with socks on, your
balance will be severely disrupted. And so, it will almost be as if you’re on
ice. The faster you move, the harder it becomes. And you could do basic techniques, what we
call “kihon” in Japanese. Punches and kicks even. Start in slow motion and then gradually increase
the speed. And make sure you have your balance intact. Or you could do a full “kata”, a form, whatever
kata you do in your style. And why not do some “kumite”, some free fighting
even. That will be even harder, because it’s so
unpredictable. So make sure that you don’t hurt yourself. The point is that you need to constantly recalibrate
your rigidity, so that your tanden, your centre of gravity, is always placed in optimal ratio
with your surface of support. Also, to make it even harder, you could actually
remove one sock, just throw it away, because now you have one point of reference for stability
while the other foot will be quite slippery. And that’s how you can improve your balance
in karate. But don’t worry if you slip and fall a little
bit. Remember, even monkeys fall from trees. Train hard, good luck and have fun. “KIAI!”

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  1. its a very good tip but in our dojang we train on matts 🙁 we use long sticks (2m long) lay them on the floor and do some basic kicking, walks and stands on it. but i guess ur version is much better cause u can move more free. very good video as usual. best regards from germany

  2. Wow, i already tried this and this helps a lot because after you practice without the socks, it makes you think that you are wearing the socks so you have to be focused. This helped me a lot with the Cat Stance for Kata. Thank you so much sensei. 😀

  3. can you do some kata tutorials and demonstration because I see that your techniques that you apply in kata' are great!

  4. 0/ hey Jesse-san cool video on a "basic" but complex topic 🙂
    I have one problem : Your sock-method showed it. When I´m in the dojo, barefooted obv. I sweat LIKE CRAZY – this being sad, the sweat from my feet/under my feet makes the movement veeery unpredictable. One time I´m stable and in good balance, then, its like stepping on a banana like in the cartoons "swooosh" – that´s not cool -.- ° Unpredictable steps , caused by my massive sweating frustrates me …quite a lot sometimes 🙁

  5. Can you show a few exercises to help with balance while in one leg….possibly on one leg while performing techniques, like a front kick or changing directions on one foot? Thank you….

  6. My Dojo's floor is covered by a Tatami so is not that slippery. Is there any other way to practise balance on a "non-slippery" floor?

  7. Sensei Jesse you always seem to always make the hardest explanations easy to understand. Thanks for all your videos.

  8. Thank you sensei Jesse for all these great videos! We learn so much from you and you are a motivation for us:) (from Canada)

  9. Thanks for the awesome comments! 🙂 Check out my website to learn more about my videos, books, seminars, blogs, training programs etc:

  10. Jesse I love this but I'm using my bunny slippers!!! Jesse can you please punch me unconscious when you come to USA? Domo! Thanks!

  11. Thank you Jesse for such amazing and helpful videos!! You are a true inspiration to me and I hope to one day meet you in person!! Arigatou gozaimasu!!

  12. Hi jesse, I really like your videos, could you tell me what is your style?, I practice shorin ryu, what do you think of shorin ryu style?

  13. Hey superb videos I am a follower of you . Can you tell me how to get in to Tokyo 2020?it is my life long dream. I am 12 years old boy. My style is shito ryu. I am Indian

  14. How can you put the animation effect on the text of main screen? Looks so fancy! Like to click cause of them more.
    Could you let me know the tip?

  15. Interesting video! You intentionally create instability in order for you create stability.
    That method works easily when the surface is smooth like yours.
    What can I do if I usually train on sand or grass b'cause socks won't work ther? Don't you have specific exercises for that ?

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