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Ghost techniques in karate


Ghost techniques in karate

Have you ever heard of ghost techniques?

In fact, these are movements of techniques that many people tend to add to the Katas, whereas they should not be there.

It is an anticipation compared to the following technique.
You will better understand with 3 examples in Heian kata.

Example 1 with Heian Shodan

(Complete Kata here )

That's what I call ghost techniques or intermediate techniques.
When you revise your kata with a book with pictures or photos breaking down techniques you see intermediate positions.

To illustrate my point, take, for example, the book: "Karate Kata" by Roland Habersetzer. (I speak about it in the article with photos): "Karate Kata: the Shotokan 30 Katas")

Be careful when studying these intermediate images. Most of the time, you only see the movements when they are finished. You do not see the parts. Movement and technique in themselves are not completely rendered in books. And yet, it is the technique itself that is the most important because it is she who must work. Freeze frames, in the end, this is not the most important.

When you finish Gedan Barai and go to Jodan Age Uke, if you do your downtime as in the picture below, it's a mistake.

This moment is what I call a phantom technique for Jodan Age Uke.

Example 2 with Heian Nidan

(Complete Kata right here )

Example 3 with Heian Sandan

(Complete Kata right here )

When you learn a kata, pay attention to the movements. Find the logic of the technique.

You will understand, that I prefer the filmed movements because we can show all the details.
That's why you will find a lot of videos in my articles.
When you review your techniques, if you have a tablet, a phone or any other screen, instead of a book or in addition, it's really better.

Pay attention to ghost techniques. Take care not to add these intermediate techniques when you learn your Katas.

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You will find below the complete video about ghost techniques

Also leave your opinion in the comments. You will help me to evolve this blog to make you progress faster.

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  1. Hello Bruno,

    I can not fully agree with you on all your examples. I want to bring my nuance in the explanation.
    The first for Heian Shodan.
    In his book "Karate-Do Kyohan" which I have in English, page 49, in the description of Heian Shodan, it is clearly written "6- Pivoting on the right foot, take a one step ahead along line 2, and execute a down block from a front stance / 7- In the forehead. At the completion of the movement, the elbow should be slightly bent, and the distance between the front and the back should be about six to seven inches. The opponent, finding his attack to the lower level blocked, suddenly attacks the face with the right fist; this is the attack being blocked with the left wrist here. "
    The idea is therefore to mark a pause on this technique. In combat this often happens to block at two different levels with the same hand. But in what you watch, you perform this technique while advancing. It's wrong. It must be done on the spot. The nuance in the execution coming from the fact that after having done it it is not necessary to mark down time. It is necessary to chained without waiting.
    In the Karate-Do Kyohan book, The 8 technique is therefore the step-by-step to complete the right uke jodan age. and Gishin Funakoshi writes well "After being accustomed to the seventh and eigth movements, but I understand that the 7 movement has to be done on the spot and not as you do it. It is therefore necessary to chain the two movements but especially not to "entangle" them. The 7 movement is done on the spot and it is only in the 8 movement that we advance. The idea put forward by Funokoshi in his book is to block an attack and then move forward to make an elbow and break the opponent's articulation.
    However, I can only go in your overall sense that the technique itself can not be enough and that marking it for several seconds as many practitioners do is a mistake.
    The nuance is surely subtle, but I think important so as not to distort the fundamental nature of the kata. Thing that the competition is only too successful unfortunately
    On this continues your work, your analyzes are relevant and open to debate.
    Criticism is easy, accept criticism much less!

    • I add that Funakoshi always in Karate kyohan, indicates well for heian nidan, that the 7 and 8 steps must be executed "as a single movement after becoming familiar with the techniques. "The time to arm on one leg is therefore also a brief step to prepare the best his shot and it is important to dwell on it as you have said perfectly 🙂

  2. Thank you Bruno for this very interesting article.

    "Ghost" techniques, as you call them, are indeed technical errors. I allow myself to add a little more to what you tell us in this article. "Ghost" techniques are additions that are not present in the original kata, so they are an unnecessary energy expenditure, which goes against an effective karate.

    Good job and see you soon.

    • Let's look at Kata competitors ... Ghost movements are very present at home, even the pace is changed for aesthetic needs. For me, this is where "danger" comes first (because they become references ...).

  3. The problem is that Mr. Funakoshi's mentor turned the kata into gymnastics encouraged by education. As a result, we do not always have the exact starting gesture. Okinawa styles included 6 or 7 katas, a kata was learned in n years, Me Funakoshi learned a 20 in a short time before going to Japan.On is already more in the traditional. Master Funakoshi is a mystery, if you read his book "karate do" you would learn that he falsified official documents for social benefits and that LE karate is a mixture of two styles "long" and "short", etc ... L poster where he gets drawn in a ring while Motobu is fried to defend karate ...

    Then, the first instructors were young sensei who no longer listened to Mr. Funakoshi's proposals.
    He shows what he proposes:
    (note kin geri the most frequent "zapped" kick of the current training)

    So we end up with more or less interpreted movements of which we do not always know the usefulness. Logically one will have to learn techniques, and sequences of techniques, which would be found in the kata. To put it short: if we knew before the exact logic we could do well in the opposite case we reproduce what we learn that has varied over time. Sometimes the division corresponds to pedagogical.

    Old and modern katas

  4. Hello, it is true that we can misinterpret the kata and that it is more interesting to see it in video.By tale about the decomposition of the kata in image, the intermediate movements are numbered in "bis" (in all case in the book I have that is not the one you set as an example), and when we look at the rhythm of the kata, we understand that its movements must be performed together, which allows us to know that do not stop on an intermediate move.
    But it is good to remind him

  5. Hello Bruno

    Thank you very much for this video, I realize that this is exactly the mistake I made and it will allow me to correct myself, I think suddenly that it would be nice to present the complete kata for example Heian Shodan and detail in all its sequences, ditto for others, I will talk to my teacher because your remark and very relevant.
    Cheers and good luck.

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