WHAT IS YAKUSHIN SHOTOKAN KARATE?
 
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Yakushin Shotokan Karate is a modern interpretation of Shotokan Karate by Shuseki Shihan Dr Ali Darwish. It is based on the interdependent principles of contrast taisho and energy transfer naihatsu of Shotokan Karate-Do. "No efficient energy transfer can take place without effective contrast in Karate techniques" (Darwish, 1994). Consequently, the study and application of these principles of Dynamic Yakushin Shotokan are the foundation of DSKI training philosophy, which is also built on the concepts of hente, where the same hand dynamically changes from defence to offence and vice-versa, and renketsusei, which refers to connectivity of techniques.

Yakushin Shotokan Karate emphasizes the principle of economy and effectiveness of realistic combative techniques, with special focus on free-style practice (randori), maintaining total control and precision of techniques, and utilizing tai-sabaki, kaiten waza and dynamic energy flow.

In summary, Yakushin Shotokan Karate is a synthesis of the hard style of linear Shotokan and soft style of circular (tai-kawashi, tai-sabaki, kaiten waza) Wado Ryu Karate.

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"Karate-Do is a noble martial art [...] those who take pride in breaking boards or smashing tiles, or who boast of being able to perform outstanding feats like stripping flesh or plucking out ribs, really know nothing about karate. They are playing around in the leaves and branches of a great tree, without the slightest concept of the trunk."

Grand Master Gichin Funakoshi
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Karate energy is kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is the energy that a body possesses because of its motion-in classical mechanics, kinetic energy is equal to one-half of the body's mass times the square of its speed. The relationship between kinetic energy and velocity is exponential, which means that as one increases one's speed, kinetic energy increases dramatically.

Without contrast to produce dynamic momentum, transferring kinetic energy cannot be achieved. Muscles do work in one of two ways: isotonic work in which the muscle changes its length or isometric work in which the muscle keeps the same length and increases the tension within it. The muscles are able to do this because of the two muscle components: the contractile and elastic components.

From Contrast and Energy Transfer in Karate by Dr Ali Darwish, 1994, 2010, p29.

Contrast and energy transfer
The concept of ichigeki hissatsu (or one-strike kill) is generally misunderstood in Shotokan Karate to mean one powerful technique. The resulting tendency is to perform a full blast technique and then stop, break the momentum and then resume with another ichigeki hissatsu technique. In the Chinese martial art of Kung Fu, techniques are executed with fluidity building up momentum that reaches its climax at the end of fast consecutive moves.

In contrast, in Shotokan Karate, it is not so much the one step-one strike technique, as it is often misunderstood, that generates power as much as the principle of kinetic connectivity that ties techniques together in a series of moves that eliminate energy leakage or dissipative force. Maintaining connectivity of a moving body from one step to the next as it changes posture is critical for elimination of energy leakage. As the body moves, its connectivity changes at different intervals and kinetic energy is lost from the body, converted into sound or heat. That is why it is important to ensure that the transition from one technique to the next builds on the energy generated in the previous technique.

To avoid energy leakage, every move should lead to the next while the feet maintain grounding. When a foot is lifted to execute a leg technique it should land on the floor in a stance ready for the next move. To illustrate this concept, execute a mae geri and drop the foot to the floor. The moment it connects to the floor, follow up with another technique, such as an oi zuki and release maximum energy by creating contrast. Furthermore, raising the sole of either foot while the body is in transition, or raising the sole of the supporting foot, breaks the connectivity of the technique and wastes energy. 

From Contrast and Energy Transfer in Karate by Dr Ali Darwish, 1994, 2010, p43-44.

Energy transfer, kinetic connectivity (renketsusei), and ichigeki hissatsu
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Line of sight
It is important, when executing kizami zuki, to ensure full alignment of upper body, especially the shoulders and the fully extended striking arm, and to maintain a clear line of sight. A line of sight is a straight line along which the karate-ka has a clear view of the target. Controlling visual spatial orientation becomes crucial during execution of fast techniques, such as kizami zuki.

From Contrast and Energy Transfer in Karate by Dr Ali Darwish, 1994, 2010, p86-87.

What is hente?
[...] the relationship between offence and defence can never be separated from each other. However, this rule cannot always be applied to every situation. On occasion, the hand for defence may suddenly change into the hand of offence. This is called hente. Hente, like the great heavens and earth, is unpredictable and differs from what is standardized as "normal".  Depending on the situation, it may be quite contrary to what one's expectations in such a situation would be.

From To-Te Jitsu by Grand Master Gichin Funakoshi, 1922, p31.

What is kaiten waza?
Kaiten waza are rotation techniques that use the momentum of body rotation to generate speed and power to evade an offence and counterattack. Kaiten waza include linear-circular, lateral-circular and angular-circular moves. These techniques subsume tai-sabaki and tai-kawashi waza, as applied in Shotokan and Wado Ryu.


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