Do you have trouble keeping your balance in
karate? We all do. I’ve even seen world karate champions slip
on the mat. Like we say in Japanese; “saru mo ki kara
ochiru” – even monkeys fall from trees. In today’s video I want to teach you what
balance is and how you can improve it in karate. Follow me. The first thing you need to know about balance
is this Japanese word: T.A.N.D.E.N – “tanden”. Or as we say in Chinese, “dan tien”. In the Western world, in English, we refer
to the tanden as the physical centre of gravity located just below your belly button down
here. And the idea behind balance is that your tanden,
your centre of gravity, has to be placed over your surface of support. Look down. Your surface of support is the area right
here. Between and under your feet. And the lower your tanden is, and the wider
your surface of support is, the better your balance will be. It’s basic physics. So how can we practice this? Follow me. Alright, so all you need to practice balance
is two socks. It could be bigger Christmas socks, or just
regular thinner socks. And now you put them on. You might already understand what’s about
to happen here. When you practice karate with socks on, your
balance will be severely disrupted. And so, it will almost be as if you’re on
ice. The faster you move, the harder it becomes. And you could do basic techniques, what we
call “kihon” in Japanese. Punches and kicks even. Start in slow motion and then gradually increase
the speed. And make sure you have your balance intact. Or you could do a full “kata”, a form, whatever
kata you do in your style. And why not do some “kumite”, some free fighting
even. That will be even harder, because it’s so
unpredictable. So make sure that you don’t hurt yourself. The point is that you need to constantly recalibrate
your rigidity, so that your tanden, your centre of gravity, is always placed in optimal ratio
with your surface of support. Also, to make it even harder, you could actually
remove one sock, just throw it away, because now you have one point of reference for stability
while the other foot will be quite slippery. And that’s how you can improve your balance
in karate. But don’t worry if you slip and fall a little
bit. Remember, even monkeys fall from trees. Train hard, good luck and have fun. “KIAI!”

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