The term 'Muchimi' is used in traditional karate and refers to the 'heavy and sticky' feeling sought during the application of certain techniques and is one of a number of a key feelings developed during the practice of kata.
The word ‘Muchimi’ is actually derived from the old Okinawan dialect for rice cakes, which is 'Muchi' (Mochi in Japanese). So in karate, ‘Muchimi’ literally means to have a 'rice cake-like body'. If you've ever tried a Japanese rice cake then you'll know exactly what feeling this describes!
The combative application of muchimi can be very effective and traditionally, there are actually two methods of expressing this principle:
Like all other qualities found in karate, there are times to use muchimi and times where other principles are applied to create contrasting feelings For instance, there are situations where you may want to be heavy and sticky, but then there are other circumstances when you may want to be light and swift. It is really the experience to know not only how, but WHEN to express these qualities that makes them practical and functional.
Following are some suggested training methods that may help you develop a greater sense of muchimi...
Karate is often regarded by many to be an entirely external art. For me, this is not true. Of course, a superficial understanding will only take you so far, but by taking time to look a little deeper and beyond the surface, numerous internal components are revealed that combine with an external expression to create something very different indeed. Whereas the beginning karate student may only 'see' from the outside and the intermediate karate student aims to 'listen' from the inside, the advanced karate student should aspire to 'feel' the integration of both outside and inside. The notion of muchimi is therefore merely one principle of this collaborative application of both In (Yin) and Yo (Yang).
Many thanks for taking the time to read this short article and I hope you found the content useful..
Chris Denwood has been studying martial arts since childhood and specialises in the practical application of karate's traditional principles for civilian self-defence, personal development, life integration and discovery.