This is a term you will hear throughout your training. It’s a simple tip, yet it often requires a more advanced karate student to execute it.
We know that when we work basics and kata, structure is very important. By structure, I mean good stances. In order to have good stances we need to be rooted with the ground.
No, I’m not talking about standing like a tree.
But the principle is similar.
A tree that is tall and strong must be well rooted in the ground, otherwise it will fall over in a hard wind. The roots of a tall tree run long and deep to keep it secure.
The same is true in our martial arts practice.
In order to maintain good balance and have good structure, we must be rooted to the ground.
How do we do this?
Our feet must be firmly planted on the mat – we want the bottom of our feet to have as much contact as possible.
Sounds pretty simple! Yes?
For the beginner this can be quite a challenge! The heels often come up when moving, taking away structure which takes away balance, which then takes away power.
As a martial artist, we are always striving to be efficient yet powerful in our striking, kicking or blocking and the ground is where our energy comes from.
That is if we are well rooted.
For a beginner, one of the best drills to work on improving your rooting, is by doing C-steps across the mat. Focus on keeping the lead leg bent and the back leg straight. Try not to let your heels lift up and your stance narrow.
For the more advanced student, practice our striking series form that uses our basic strikes 1-6. This form is meant to help you develop a feel for the ground and shift your weight to help drive more power into your strikes.
Being rooted is a simple concept that is not easily achieved in the beginner martial arts student, but with practice and lots of repetition, you will better understand the concept and put it to good use.
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Sensei Chris Feldt is the owner and chief instructor of Samurai Karate Studio, a leadership academy located in Northeast Columbia, South Carolina. His school teaches karate to children and adults ages 4 and up. SKS specializes in self-defense, anti-bullying, stranger danger and character and leadership development.
Mr. Feldt was an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina for college credit in karate and self-defense. Samurai Karate Studio has been recognized as a leader in martial arts instruction by being honored with the Best of Columbia Award for 5 consecutive years in a row.
Sensei Feldt has been a guest speaker in the Richland 2 School District covering school talks on stranger danger, anti-bullying strategies, kindness, and making good choices. He is available for both private and corporate self-defense seminars.
Samurai Karate Studio is also a proud member of MAAB, Martial Artists Against Bullying, a nationwide program made up of martial arts schools throughout the country that are committed to helping children who are victims of bullying. If you or someone you know is being bullied, we are here to help. But, you have to take the first step and either call us at 803-462-9425 or email us at: [email protected]
Bullying is one of the most serious issues we face today and with the right coaching, students can learn how to defeat the bully using non-violent strategies.