Article1 About the Neurological paths and Karate 脳ニューロンと空手について
Josep Claramonte
When we are born our brains are not mature. Brain cells (neurons) are not conected enough to let us do the main functions as human beings.
After some time, stimuli (experiences) light up our brain and make the brain cells conect to each other like a net. Those neurons that conect to each other can mantain the conections forever.
In order to make the conections stronger one must practice the skills continously. Walking, talking, looking, understanding the language... are easy for adults but impossible for new borns.
When the net in the brain is weak we can not do such things. With practice we can achieve great things: jumping, climbing, dancing, speaking different languages, mathematics, physics...
With whatever new activity you want to learn you know you must study (practice).
And Karate?

An expert looks to a beginner and can see so many mistakes. The expert makes corrections to the beginner but the beginner can not understand, can not feel the difference between right and wrong.
Beginner's brain cell are not used to deal with Karate.
Karate is a group of skills, very specific, where we must learn how to position our feet, how to move our arms, how to breath, how to use tension and relaxation, how to use our hips, how to raise our knees, how to move in all directions, how to bend arms, how to keep our fingers together in the fist... while we have a real or imaginary enemy in front of us.
Not easy.

With time, the beginner can feel how he keeps feet and hands in place, how the spine is straight, how the tension is too high (or too low), the path of the technique, the zanshin, the kime...
All these are stimuli that help the brain to understand what it is going on with the body. It is called “kinestetics”.

After many years of diligent practice the beginner becomes an expert. So many repetitions of a technique or kata and it feels like you were born with it.
Continous stimuli is the key.
The motor cortex and the cerebellum control the body movement. It is important that the stimuli receptors and the motor centers are conected in order to perform a correct movement.

How to improve our Karate?
Through constant practice.
The best way would be training in the dojo for three hours every day, but that is not always possible: family, work, friends...
Even in the days where you could not make it to the dojo a little practice at home before going to bed is very practical.
Example: think about a technical aspect you know you should improve (maybe the placement of the Hikite hand). Chose your favourite Kata and do it a couple of times slow motion, paying attention to the Hikite. Just think about that detail.

That small practice of the example is worth gold.
Imagine how many hours of training pile up at the end of the year with just ten minutes every night before going to bed!
Your brain will be constantly immersed in Karate.

Your Karate will thank you.

BACK