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Johnny Gence, the 3C and the internal pressure


johnny-gence-and-bruno-bandelierJohnny Gence Sensei, 5th dan, came to the Dojo Karate Club of Langreson sunday 26 may 2011.

I was very happy and very moved to receive Sensei Johnny Gence that you may know through his site: Karate-traditional or his forum or on other forums under the pseudo Johnny or simply during his sporting exploits. I received Sensei Johnny Gence from Saturday evening for a country meal. This allowed me to discuss with him some karate and its course ... But I'll talk about it later

Let's talk instead internship at first: I had however done a lot of publicity around this stage, but Langres is a small town and finally we were only few people. It's a shame, but apparently it did not bother me Sensei Johnny Gence (which reassured me, I must say!).

So it's in a very intimate atmosphere that Sensei Gence took the internship in hand with a lot of heart, humility and passion. For the rest of the article, I will call it Johnnybecause I know he does not appreciate being called Sensei. It's all to his credit, but believe me, he deserves to be considered a master.
Johnny is actually a fan who loves what he does and especially who has a huge thirst for retransmitting this knowledge. We did not miss it, we literally drank his words throughout the day.

The theme of the internship was: the basics of body dynamics and its applications in karate.

He taught us that in all techniques you have to stay connected physically, but also mentally and with the ground:

That's what Johnny calls the 3 C :

  1. Mental connection
  2. Physical connection
  3. Connection with the ground

I will try to summarize these principles:

1 - Mental Connection:

Johnny explained to us that the brain "is very stupid" (I have not found a translation ;-)) and if you disconnect your mind from the technique, it loses a lot of efficiency. This is what he calls «Kyo Or imbalance of the mind. This is what we try to do when we pretend an adversary, we disorient him and he finds himself disconnected and therefore vulnerable.

This mental connection must be maintained at all times and it must be match the technique. For example, if you give a Tsuki in a bag, with the idea of ​​stopping your fist on the surface of the bag, it will release much less energy than if you extend your mind through the bag. You want energy to cross the target, your mind must stay connected and cross the target as well.

We did an experiment : you held out your arm as before Choku Zukiyour partner is trying to move your arm and you resist. As long as your mind is not connected, it's very easy for your opponent. Then it was enough to imagine his fist grasping something a few meters away - as if your arm had crossed his target - and staying focused (mental connection) on this idea so your opponent would have a lot more difficulty moving your arm

2 - Physical Connection:

The part there, is much easier to understand because it is more concrete. On the other hand, it is often difficult to feel your own disconnections. But Johnny was there to put his finger (it hurts!) Where it was necessary to make us feel this lack of physical connection.

The body is composed of a center (the hara) on which are attached the various segments for transmitting the energy produced by the center, to the ground and to the point of impact. In order for the energy not to diffuse anywhere and to keep the planned trajectory, it is necessary that the joints remain well connected for the flow of energy to circulate properly.

But Johnny went much further, because for him the connection must remain permanentjohnny-gence-and-bruno-bandelier-2 and not just the impact. From the beginning of the techniques, during the "armed" for example, and during all the phase of transmission of the technique, it is necessary to keep the connections. And believe me it's not always easy to understand. It's very difficult to explain in writing (You absolutely must meet Johnny ;-)).

The joints most prone to disconnections are the hips and shoulders because they are the most mobile, so make sure that the pelvis is always well placed and that the shoulders are always locked.

For example, for the shoulder, when one arms to do Gedan-BaraiJohnny explains that when the fist goes up to the opposite ear (in fact Johnny mounts it only to the shoulder and not to the ear, which is logical, as a result of the reasoning.), The arm remains plated to the body, with the shoulder very low. The elbow does not come off the body because it disconnects the shoulder joint. It is in this phase that he creates a pressure that will be discussed later.

3 - Connection with the ground:

But it's not at all easy to understand, but Johnny made some really bluffing demonstrations: for example, at one point he put himself in the Heisoku Dashi position (with his feet together) and he asked to put some Mawashi in his shoulder. I promise (it's a shame that no one has filmed this passage!) It did not move a millimeter. It was as if I was hitting a pole well anchored in the ground. Amazing!

How to create this connection with the ground? If I understood everything, you have to do a slight (I said light!) Retroversion of the pelvis by pointing the coccyx in the direction of the ground. That's what we call " to enter the dragon's tail 😉 The pelvis must also be pressed downwards by a contraction of the glutes, the hamstrings and the adductors, and by breathing, which consists in breathing with the idea that the air is descending into the pelvis. In fact, we contract the transverse (deep abdominal muscle that surrounds the viscera - it's the one that makes us a flat stomach 😉 - and the pelvic floor.To give you an image, the pressure then exerted on the pelvis corresponds to that which is exerted on the stopper of a tube of toothpaste when pressed.

Johnny did a lot of exercises on this ground connection, to make us understand that for the impact energy to be transmitted optimally to the target, we had to use the principle of the action / reaction with the soil with a vertical thrust in the ground that will retransmit by reaction energy to the body to the target. He gave us the example of a long jumper who, if he does not make a vertical impulse in the ground, will not be able to propel himself. It's a bit the same in our techniques, except that this return of energy will not serve us to take off but will be transmitted through the body, which is well connected physically, to the target.

Here, I hope you have transcribed correctly what Johnny wanted to show us (If this is not the case, I think it will give us clarification in a comment!) In this principle of 3 C.

The internal pressure:

Johnny also to us briefly talk about the principle of internal pressure followed by an explosion during the techniques. That's good that's what I try to work ;-). In fact the pressure is done by the principle of 3 C with in addition to a pressure towards the ground, an internal pressure. A little as if we wanted to reduce the volume of the trunk (contraction of transverse and pelvic floor! We are back!). An increase in the internal pressure is then created. Then, all this energy is let out in a very short time as in an explosion. Then at impact, again internal pressure and on the ground, as seen above to transmit the energy to the target.

I think I could still write for hours as Johnny gave me fabulous work tracks. I love his karate and his principles and I'm going to work quickly to work on this to make progress.

The children were not disappointed no longer by Sensei Gence. They were marvel (It would have been less than that at their age.) By his kindness and the charisma he releases. He captivated them throughout the course with explanations and examples made for them. He did not hesitate to put himself at the height of the smallest and to make them feel the placement of their body to perfect their technique.
The children enjoyed themselves and came out of this internship.

Thank you Johnny for making them blink like that.

An interview of 46 minutes!

I have news that should delight you, at our country meal, I asked Johnny for permission to interview him and he agreed. So I interviewed him in the morning 1 hour before the start of the internship and I was not disappointed:

Johnny really got naked as the saying goes. He spoke to me for 46 minutes. From him since his childhood in Reunion and his health problems (the doctors said condemned!) And confidence in him. He told me about his career Karateka (it's worth it ;-)), what brought him karate for his health, for his balance and in his life.
Throughout the interview, he shares with us his vision of traditional karate and competition, he gives many tips to beginners and Karateka in general.

Short an exciting interview not to be missed.

The exciting interview of Sensei Johnny Gence:

Access to the video of the complete interview
Interview with Sensei Johnny Gence

Download the complete interview book
Free Ebook Interview of Sensei Johnny Gence

Once again is not custom, there is no training video for this article (it was necessary to come to the stage ;-)) a little special that looks more like a report.

I hope that this article you more than any and that it will have made you want to come to the next internship that will not fail to organize with Johnny Gence Sensei.

Vous pouvez voir photos and videos on the Karate Club de Langres website - Here is the link:

Internship with Sensei Gence - Succeeded

Leave me a comment below and share this article with your friends! Thank you !

See you soon
Bruno Bandelier

PS : In 2013, Johnny returned to Langres for a very successful combat-oriented internship. The topics were:
Kata Bunkai et from conventional Kumite to free Kumite, enjoy, this time, I put educational videos of the courses.

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  1. Safir Bouziane at

    arigato bruno.I am 3eme dantrestres important 3c.ainsi the video on the use of the vertebral column.
    since when do you practice karate. have other occupation or not.

  2. thank you bruno for your videos, I just started karate more than 40 years and his passion, health balance endurance and the famous kata, not to mention the warm-up all I like and your videos are a great support
    I would like to talk about my teacher william geoffray who teaches the kyudokan at the in a beautiful room unfortunately we are only three or four at the moment so if there are beginners or confirm in the corner he do not hesitate to come join us. thanks again

  3. Exactly so I feared, most karatekas think of their muscular strength and forget or ignore like me the value or importance of 3C.
    But I assure you that it is not easy thing dear master it would take a Johnny in our dojos! Thank you for sharing his knowledge.

  4. Hi Bruno,

    great article that I pretty much understood
    There's more to practice and practice

    I just read that Sensei Johnny Gence spent his childhood in Reunion.
    I do not know if a trip is planned but I would love to follow one of his courses here
    ... you are also welcome Bruno

  5. hello Prof bruno ... well I have a small question: how to improve its speed ... .be quick in its movements with efficiency ..thank you

  6. Konnichi wa

    Before asking my question, I would like to tell you: Dômo aligatô gozaimasu Bandelier san. Because I find your dôjô net, very interesting and feels at home.
    Well that's my question: I got my brown belt in 2004 and then I had to stop training in spite of myself. I am 43 years old and I will resume karate in September, I have always kept a good flexibility of the legs and I always train a little at home so that my body and my mind remains awake. But for the kata, I would like to know if there is a little more to update my brain connections, thank you in advance and see you soon.

    Sincerely Jean-Yves

    • Hello Jean-Yves,
      Sorry to answer so late. Thank you first of all for your compliment on my dôjô
      For kata, there is no miracle, you have to learn and retain them to really live them.
      By training at home very regularly with my videos or a book as a support, you remember them more quickly.
      Once your kata is known, you must constantly repeat it so that each gesture becomes automatic, as if it is not the brain that commands, but the body.
      Well, I hope I answered you in part and I hope it helps you.

      • Hello Bruno! I am a karateka of 45 years, first grade kyu. I have to tell you that I started with karate in 1991. I got the rank of blue belt in December 1993, grade with which I stayed for 6 years to give up karate in 1999. I did say to give up, because I did not think to return to the load one day. But in 2015, 16 years later I got dressed in my Gi. I have progressed so much that I was able to win several gold medals in kata test and got the first kyu rank in January 2017. But I have a problem, I do not know if you can help me in that way. I'm overwhelmed by stress when I have to perform in front of some luminaries. I master the techniques well, I apprehend better than when I was young. Every teacher in front of whom I have to perform recognizes that I have a good base, but for what concerns me the problem is a handicap. The signs are as follows: intense feeling, I do not feel good in the skin, I can not maintain my balance, lack of strength, I am out of breath, but I do not have the heart that beats to break. I hope you can advise me on a solution! Osu!

        Ps. I am from Haiti!

  7. Thank you Bruno for this article that I find very interesting, I have much appreciated this technique of the C troix and I will try to apply it in my training. I allow myself to humbly ask you to prepare a video in this sense and put it in the blog like that this transcript of the stage (at least for the internal pressure and 3 c) is more visible and concrete. otherwise I wish you a good day and +

    • Hello achraf,
      I still need my connections to make a video on 3 C.
      Johnny is a Master in the field, I am still in a phase of research and learning in this area.
      So later, no doubt.

  8. Oh what a pleasure to read this !! Connection, feeling, energy, felt !! We touch there, the essence of martial arts, whatever the style practiced. The energy born of the soil, the body is its vector, when it works, whole. In China, we talk about 6 harmonies, by this work of connection of the joints (ankles, hips, waist, shoulders ..). We can actually find out which muscles, which part of the body comes into play in this kind of work, but in the end, we must leave room for sensation. In Japan, teachers do not speak much when they teach, a part left is left to the experimentation of the technique, according to our own scheme. This is a high quality course that you could follow Bruno! For your research of the internal "pressure", try not to conceptualize too much, and simply, work, feel, the body has these words that must be read lol I do not know Sensei, but it teaches a little "i shin den shin" from your soul to my soul, I like it a lot. In passing I took the liberty to do a little pub for your blog but my site. Yoann Friendship

  9. Hello,

    it is difficult to report in writing on the work proposed in this internship. In any case it's rewarding to read it here.
    Being a beginner (2eme year of karate), I really enjoyed the videos on the Langres website. Especially from the 10ème where he explains the connection with the ground.
    This is an area I'm working on, I'm trying to find tracks and these videos help me.

    One point that deserves a longer development is that of Hara. I think I understood a little what it was but I do not know how it can work.

    thanks again for these very interesting articles.

  10. Hi Marc,
    Thank you for your complements on the connection to the ground.
    Regarding the photos, I'm sorry, but I do not have the rights to the image to publish them here. I think it would not have been a problem, but if in doubt, I prefer to put on the site of Langres. But do not worry when I publish them I will keep you informed. There is even some nice video.
    For the interview, you will not be disappointed. But it will take time because I have to transcribe everything and it is not obvious and very long and I have to work a little sound because it is quite weak.

  11. Hello Bruno,

    Thank you for this exciting article, even if it is not supported by photos.

    It is indeed sometimes very difficult to transcribe explanations in certain areas of "feeling".

    I see that the Sensei Gence workshop has been very beneficial, and that your students have been enthusiastic about his kindness and charisma.

    I remember with regard to the mental connection, the "seeing" beyond the impact.

    For the physical connection that the "Hara" is at the center of the connection of the flow énegisant.

    When connected to the ground, it reminds me of "Chi-Kung" practitioners who say they have rooting compared to screws in the ground, and who also enter "Dragon's tail" - keeping their arms open as if they surrounded a tree, while maintaining a pressure on the abdomen called "Balloon of Chi".

    I can not wait to read Sensei Gence's interview, thanks to him for making the "connection" with your club in Langres, a very rewarding day for everyone.

    Friendships, @ +


  12. Hello Johnny,

    I am very flattered that the CR is suitable for you.
    If the message went well, it's thanks to you and your pedagogical sense.
    For the compliments, I restrained myself because I had many others to make you
    Thank you again for this internship.

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