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How Focus and Commitment Improve Karate Techniques

Karate is a martial art known for its powerful strikes, swift movements, and emphasis on discipline and focus. One of its fundamental principles is the concept of Kime, which refers to the decision or commitment to focus one’s energy in a particular moment. In this article, we’ll explore the principle of Kime in karate and provide an example of how it can be applied.

Kime 決め (pronounced “key-meh”) is a Japanese word that translates as “decision.” It refers to the act of making a firm decision to direct all of one’s energy and attention into a single movement or action. In karate, Kime is often associated with the moment of impact, when a strike or kick connects with an opponent’s body. At this moment, the karateka (karate practitioner) must make a clear decision and commit to the technique, with no hesitation or doubt.

Female Karateka using the principle of ‘kime’ when defending herself from a male attacker
Female Karateka using the principle of ‘kime’ when defending herself from a male attacker

To achieve Kime, a karateka must develop a strong mind-body connection. This requires training the body to move with precision and speed, while also training the mind to make quick and decisive decisions. The karateka must also learn to control their breathing, using deep, slow breaths to calm the mind and increase focus.

Kime is not just about delivering a powerful strike, it’s also about creating a mental state that allows the karateka to respond quickly and effectively to any situation. By developing Kime, a karateka can become more confident, more disciplined, and more focused in their training and in their everyday life.

Karateka in a blue uniform using a downward elbow strike to break a stack of three clay tiles, each about eight centimetres thick
A Karateka breaking tiles using ‘Kime’ to strengthen his focus

An example of how Kime can be applied in karate can be seen in the practice of breaking boards or other objects. Breaking is a common demonstration in karate, where a karateka strikes a board or other object with their hand or foot, using Kime to make a clear decision and commit all their energy into the technique. To break a board, the karateka must not only deliver a powerful strike but must also make a firm decision and be fully committed to the technique, with no hesitation or doubt. This requires a high level of concentration and focus, as well as the physical strength and technique to deliver a successful strike.

In conclusion, Kime is an essential principle in karate that emphasizes the importance of making quick and decisive decisions, focus, and commitment. It requires a strong mind-body connection, and it can be applied in many different aspects of karate, from delivering a powerful strike to responding quickly and effectively to any situation. By developing Kime, karateka can become more disciplined, more focused, and more confident in their training and in their everyday life.


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