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Iain Abernethy
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Shigeru Kimura: Developer of the Double Hip (video)

Here is a short video of Shigeru Kimura. Kimura was widely acknowledged as one of the hardest hitters in karate. I know a few people who were hit by him (through padding) and they all say that they never came across anyone else who could get close to the level of power generated.

Kimura was a student of Chojiro Tani (founder of Shukokai); who in turn trained with Kenwa Mabuni (founder of Shito-Ryu). Tani was very open to the scientific analysis and development of karate and, with Mabuni’s endorsement, called his take on Mabuni’s teaching “Tani-ha Shitoryu”, before later changing to the name to Shukokai.

In 2006 I interviewed Haruyoshi Yamada 9th dan, who was also a senior student of Tani’s. Yamada told me that:

“I was very impressed by Tani Sensei’s technique, the way that he taught, and the way he logically analysed Karate. Tani Sensei also not only taught the kata; he also taught how to make use of the kata. In the dojo where I trained prior to studying with Tani Sensei, we would practise applying the techniques, but this was in a very static way. However, training with Tani Sensei was not like that: it was much more dynamic. It was when I heard about this that I decided to check out Tani Sensei. Needless to say, when I did visit Tani Sensei’s dojo I was very impressed. He was very charismatic and a great communicator. I’ve a profoundly deep respect for Tani Sensei.

Tani Sensei also taught Karate for the individual. He did not say “you must do this” or “you must do that”, rather he would ask “how does your body feel?” We are all different and Tani Sensei understood that. He would listen to his students and help them to develop in the best way for them.”

It seems that innovation, analysis and a degree of individualism was encouraged by Tani. Following the example of his teacher, Kimura continued to look at how karate could be improved including comparing how power was generated in other physical pursuits and scientific analysis of body mechanics. Through this process Kimura developed (among other things) the “double hip”.

Anyone who is a member of the BCA will have been introduced to the double hip at some point by Peter Consterdine. It was experiencing Kimura’s power that lead Peter to switch styles and become a student of Kimura’s. Peter contextualized the double hip for pre-emption, self-protection and also put it into “boxing style punches”.

Having trained extensively with Peter for many years, his methods of power generation (Kimura’s double hip) and transitions between techniques have had a major influence on my own training and teaching.

I hope you find the clip of interest.

All the best,

Iain

PS Some on screen text pops up, click on the cross to get rid of it.