Kancho's Adages

Sure Ways to Overcome a slump
(as told by Kancho Hideyuki Ashihara)

* Ashihara Karate is multi-action karate: Always be doing two or more things at the same time, attack as you defend, defend as you attack.

* Use a small flaw to big advantage: Pounce on the opponent's slightest slip-up with foot work, pulls and pushes, to make his position worse.

* Never face your opponent head-on: Don't let him have that 50-50 chance. Always attack from the side.

* Defend smoothly: attack dynamically.

* In-fighting comes first.

* Hands can be as light as a feather, as hard as a hammer: Your hands should move as lightly and as supple as a feather. They can be delicate antennae to read your opponent's movements, or hammers to smash through him in a punch.

* The blow that does not land can't hurt: All you have to do is step back to see your opponent's kick or punch cleave air.

* Once you touch him he is as good as down: The contact of your hand with his arm or leg is the "go" sign to attack.

* Make a molehill into a mountain: Use little movements - steps, tugs, turns - to create a greater total effect.

* The body is a coiled spring: The hands and feet alone can do little damage. Release the power of the entire body through your kick or punch. This can topple the opponent with a single blow.

* Kick with both legs: The power of a kick comes from two directions, the push off from the pivot leg, and the outward movement of the kicking leg. Only when you have both does a kick carry real impact power.

* Start slowly and surely with the basics.

* Once you have mastered the knee-strike, all other kicks follow: The same goes for the elbow-strike and the various punches.

* Standing still at middle range is a sure way to get knocked over.

* Your weapons at close range are your elbows and knees.

* From long range, step in quick to get the upper hand.

* Lead or be led: therein lies the key to victory.

* In combinations, the first and second blows will decide the fight: You can't go anywhere if he counters your very first attack.

* Give your attack all its got.

* Make your legs do double duty - from kick to pivot: The fundamental movement of the combination is to quickly lower the kicking leg, shift weight to that foot, and use the other leg for a second kick. You can vary your next attack, by bringing your kicking foot down in a different position each time.

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