“KIME” (SNAP) EXERCISE FOR KARATE TECHNIQUES — Jesse Enkamp
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“KIME” (SNAP) EXERCISE FOR KARATE TECHNIQUES — Jesse Enkamp

November 15, 2019


Have you ever heard the word “kime” being used in karate? Maybe your instructor, or some expert or sensei has said that “your technique lacks kime”, or that “that girl needs more kime in her punches or blocks.”? Then this video is for you. Today I want to explain the meaning behind this Japanese term in karate, why it’s important and how you can develop your “kime”. Follow me. The word itself, kime K, I, M, E comes from the word kimeru, which in Japanese, for those of you who are interested, looks like this; “kimeru”, actually means to fix, or to decide, or set. In other words, kime is that split second moment of impact at the end of your techniques. When you lock them out, when you fix anything. It could be a punch, a strike, a kick, a block, even a stance can have kime. Now why is this important? And that’s a really good question. Because some people think that karate is all about full contact, when in fact, it’s about full control. You see, if you’re able to stop any technique at any given time or moment that means you have full control not over only your body, but also your mind. Because your body and mind are two sides of the coin. Now obviously, there are many interesting and different, sometimes even beautiful interpretations of kime and how it should be applied in karate. But looking at a strict sport science perspective, kime is nothing but a short isometric neuromuscular contraction, given from an isotonic contraction. In other words, to put it more simply – you move and then you stop. Now the question is; how can we develop this? All right, so for this exercise all you need is a ball. Just make sure the ball fits in your hand so it be like a football or anything. I have a super old-school worn out tennis ball, it even got some tape on it. You can use any type of foam ball or a golf ball, it’s up to you. Now, here’s what you do: Find a wall. Or even better, a friend who can throw the ball to you. If you have a wall, you throw the ball against the wall as it bounces back, I want you to catch it as fast as you can and lock out your arm. With kime. As you catch it. Did you see that? That is a way of developing your kime, using your hand-eye coordination and a ball. Let me show you again. You can of course use different hands like I just did, and even have your passive hand at the hip like we have a lot in karate. You can do this exercise at different angles, different heights, different levels, even different stances. Like a sumo stance, a shiko dachi, kiba dachi. Maybe, oops, sorry… Maybe even a cat stance. Like this. In the end, it’s up to you how you want to express your ability to develop kime using this exercise. And that’s it for today. I hope this video helps you understand what kime is, why it’s important, and now how you can develop it. The rest is just practice, practice, practice and practice. Did I mention practice? That’s it for today guys, thanks for watching and remember to visit my website: karatebyjesse.com, if you want to learn more and please leave a comment to let me know what you thought. Until next time, train hard, good luck and have fun.

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  1. BIG thanks for everyone's nice comments! Remember to visit my website for free articles, videos, books and more: http://www.karatebyjesse.com ?????

  2. HEY JESSE! I WANT TO GET AN ANSWER :V
    do you have any kobudo class online or any dvd training for sell? because i practice karate, and in my country is not any style wich include japanese weapons in it, thanks for your response.

  3. Ah I see, so everytime I punch, it is like catching a ball as fast as possible. I am happy I am learning karate at this time with these awesome videos.

  4. Probably the best and easiest kime explanation i ever heared. I will adapt it, i guess even kids will understand this. Thank you

  5. I wrote a little blog post about this on tumblr a little while back. I'm very pleased to hear you use the same explanation of kime as I did! Thank you for explaining kimeru and showing that exercise, I'm going to practice it! ?

  6. I don't think I'm seeing the complete video? I get up to finding a ball that fits in your hand and then it stops at 2:07 🙁

  7. Hello Jesse senshi,i have a very BIG problem, i feel very nervousness at tatami.how i overcome this problem?please make a video about that.

  8. Great excercise ! Maybe you could make more videos explaning another concepts or terms about karate , like sen ; go no sen etc

  9. You are the best. Your like my second Sensei. I have the one at my dojo. Then I look up some of your videos on the topics I learned In class. And u just put a different perspective on it that either made more sense or just went along with what was said. I wish u could come out to USA and do seminars. Specifically Raleigh North Carolina

  10. My arms still shakes while trying to kime, but i'll surely add this up to training! Thanks, Jesse Sensei!

  11. Although I don't practice Karate myself, I love your videos. Most of your tips can be applied to any other martial art. Please don't stop evolving and stay as authentic as you are! 🙂

  12. Thank you, Sensei! I got this concept wrong at first time. I tought it was about striking as hard as you can during Katas. Now that I properly know what it is I can work on it.

  13. It's very innovative way to train, and can be fun for kids. Besides, I'd like to share that the Kime comes from variant of speed for each motion. Normally, if we divide each motion to 3 parts, the first part is turning hip, the 2nd part is moving with moderate speed, the last part is super speed with sudden turning and stopping of end of fist or feet.

  14. Hey Jesse, I just want to say that I've been in the martial arts for just less than 3 years and you (via this video) is the ONLY person to actually explain what this snap is. I've spoken to WKF champions, who just so happen to be acquainted with my club, and he couldn't (or refused to) explain what the snap is. All he said was, "It'll come with experience." and…. I've learned how to generate the snap in my kicks (not my blocks or punches… yet), but I never really understood WHAT MAKES THE SNAP. Thank you for giving this information to the world. You just got one more subscriber!

  15. Yes, thank you sensei . Kime is not the internel energy as some may think. Kime is the sense of decision and seriousness in any move, attack or defence…oss!

  16. Hi Jesse,
    you said that KIME is necessary in full-control karate, I think the concept of
    KIME play an important role in full-contact karate, too. From this point of
    view, I think KIME means how to EXPLODE, in other words: how to accelerate the
    motion to a maximum speed in split second during the last portion of the
    movement to generate maximum power in order to maximize the impact of a
    technique upon the opponent. In other words, in one case it is how to STOP
    immediately and in other case it is how to EXPLODE at point of contact.

  17. thank you jesse, it was a great example to practice, I think I could also include the Kiai as a complement to the fine blow, greetings

  18. I remember my first lesson where Kime was the focus. Completely changed the way I train forever! Great exercise as well Jesse Sensei, I will be passing that on.

  19. Jesse this video is wonderful! I am on my 7th lesson on Shukokai Karate and loving it! i will for sure be picking up a tennis ball as soon as i can 🙂 thank you and much love from the UK

  20. Although this is not a Japanese translation…. but from what I saw in that exercise demonstration was the importance of staying loose until the point of impact… which in return gives your technique snap.

  21. this video is really informative…impressive videos… all of sensei encamp's videos are really really helpful…love it 😀

  22. Is your Karate style similar to Isshinryu I remember taking classes I remember It was in forms Form #1 Form #2 And I definitely remember the cat stance It has been over thirty five years and I still remember them and remember most of my lessons and used them In self defense over the years, I just subscribed … Thanks for all the great lessons Jaime ct

  23. Nice Job!! You could make a video about breathing in the kata. A proper breth in kata.
    my suggestion is to avoid a breath that is considered foul, as is usually seen in competitions. Thanks Jesse!!!!

  24. I used to practice control by punching walls but stopping right when i touch it, so it would not hurt, a friend tried the same and broke his nuckles 🙁

  25. Very interesting! I'm a Sensei in Ju Jutsu, and during my lesson for the class today we focused on developing our technique for our Tsuki. I didn't know the proper word for snappy until now, thank you Sensei!

  26. i really need to get more kime …i have timing and speed , but i lack of kime so much that i just wanna quit ( i really dont wanna … 🙂 ) ,,its stressful , i have very good sensei ,one of the best in our country , he showed me like 100000 techniques and other stuff to get my kime better ,but it doesnt work in my head! on makiwara i do kime all the time ,in kumite i dont … it sucks! btw i train JKA Shotokan ! i try to use your advice i hope its helps to bring pieces together ! Oss

  27. Not sure I 100% understand but to me and how I understand it, this would be synonymous with what I call intent. Focus that syncs mind and body to a single purpose which allows only the needed muscles to activate to maximize force while also activating them quickly for acceleration/force.

    A grab or reach is good for this because you focus more on speed than power, and limbs don't generate power well besides contributing to speed also assuming the limb is linked to the body.

    This is just how I'm understanding your video. I appreciate these since as I mentioned previously, everyone just says do it without ever defining what "it" is.

    I spent a good portion of my life breaking things like this down as well but not for karate, but regardless systems all have their similarities.

  28. Thank you for explaining this Jessie San. My Sensei told me to use less Kime, I had no idea what he meant. Thank you Osu

  29. Thanks for the video sir. My whole class like the tennis ball exercise. So I went out and bought everybody tennis balls to take home and practice. (Humble bow)

  30. This is an awesome video! Wish I found it earlier. My kime are one of my biggest issues at the moment. I will definitely be trying this exercise! ありがとうございます先生!

  31. I am started to teach karate to teenagers at my dojo and want to bring in the Japanese terms. Your videos have been very helpful. Thank you!

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