Original Okinawa Karate Iha Dojo
Kankaku, Kukuchi, Muchimi, Atefei (perception of power and intention through touch, “sticky” heavy hands, lingering power): This is the capacity to perceive the power and intention of our partner by touching and is often referred to by Sensei as "pinkie control" (from the kagite). Kankaku and Muchimi are such fundamental ideas since they are examples of listening with your body. Every attack has its own solution, but we must be receptive to the possibilities through a relaxed and spontaneous mind and body. We must listen not only to our partner's body, but also to our own.
Iha Sensei's karate is very relaxed and seemingly effortless because he simply follows the initiative of the attacker's will. If they pull or push him he does not resist, but rather accepts the energy to his own advantage,thus leading the attacker to defeat himself. Another way to think of this feeling is to visualize yourself wrapping around the opponent as if you are a net. No single point is predetermined to control the attack, but as the encounter unfolds your sensitivity to respond and flow naturally finds the weak or tense areas of your partner’s body or mind to their loss, as the outcome is based upon their intention and actions, not yours. Enveloping our partner in this way means that we are relaxed enough to sense the change in our partner without having to see it visually, although visual perception is greatly increased when coupled with touch.
All of the “hinge” blocks (e.g. hiji mawashi uke) that diffuse power from strikes rely upon this principle. It is easy to practice. One training method is where you put your loose wrist (arm relaxed), palm down usually, on the extended arm of your partner. While your partner moves their arm slowly in any direction or angle, even retracting it to the side, you stick yourself to them through relaxed following at the wrist. Let the speed increase, then let the movement increase to full power punches, elbows, throws and kicks when there is no initial contact. In this way the most natural and efficient angling will reveal itself to you. Then try it with your eyes closed, repeating the same progression, including kicks, falls and throws. If done correctly, this is one of the best training methods for proper partner work and quickly increases your skill level. You will soon develop a heavy and relaxed density in your limbs. As a bonus, your strikes will become heavier as well.