View Full Version : Kotekitae and body hardening

15th August 2002, 00:06
Is kotekitae really effective in hardening your body?
Or you only get used to the striking and tolerate it easier?

Develloping your muscles wouldn't help you to better tolerate and "absorve" striking?

In the style I practice we practice kotekitae and train with it all our body, but I really can't tell you if that had brought me any improvements towards its goal...
Sometimes when I'm hited in a leg, for example, it becomes sored, but sometimes I'm hited in a leg (with the same intensity +/-) and I don't become sored...

Any help on this?
Thanks in advance! ;)

15th August 2002, 00:32

I think kotekitae and weight-training are good things if u do these with care. I think, if u train your muscles it will be harder to hit your nerves and vessels. Your stomac is more save. If u train kotekitae, your skin will be thicker and your pain-limit will increasing to a top-level if u train hard enough. See these guys who train Thaiboxing. If I would get such a kick to my thigh, I had big problems to move my leg at all.

But, I think for selfdefence these training-methods aren't necessary at all.

15th August 2002, 00:43
I think you're thinking wrong!
In self defense, being capable of getting hit without getting bad is quite important, because, remember, maybe you won't be beating other guy's a$$ all the time...

But this a quite off-topic... :p

15th August 2002, 02:53
In the original post I talked about kotekitae, but I also wanted to talk about Ko Ashi Kitae (leg hardening) and Karada Kitae (body hardening) ;)

Sorry for that!

15th August 2002, 15:12
Hello Filipi,

I have no medical or scientific background to support or disprove body hardening, but I do have an opinion:)

You asked if it really hardens the body or if you just grow tolerant of the pain. IMO either way has served it's purpose. If you can now withstand a blow, it really doesn't matter if it's tolerance or hardness.

Some call it "hardening' while others say "strengthen" the body (to withstand any blow).
The latter IMO is a better term.

Imagine a novice in karate of boxing for that matter, getting hit in the nose in the street. First instinct? Grab the nose then look at the hand for blood. Allot could happen in that short time.....even if you just "stop" for a second out of surprise. Hit a skilled (conditioned) boxer in the nose or jaw and he doesn't care (well, he will but he'll be reacting imediately:D ). Not haredening, just conditioning, mostly mental but some physical also. Body strengthening IMO.

As far as hardening so as to be able to hurt your opponent more with harder bones.......the jury is still out on that one. If I hit you in the head with a brick, would it make a difference the next time if I found a way to make the brick harder????

Bones are pretty hard already.


15th August 2002, 23:58
I think you're right Tommy_P!
Strengthen is more what I meant to say but as english is not my mother language :D

17th August 2002, 21:58

Could someone be so kind as to explain what the word (kotekitae) means, in detail if you don't mind?


Ari Lappinen

20th August 2002, 00:32
Kotekitae = arm strengthening

a) Kotekitae is a method of training used to strengthen the internal and external part of the arms striking them along with a partner. This type of training helps in develloping your blocking power.

b) kotekitae helps in develloping your dragging strength and your "muchimi"

c) it also helps in develloping strong arms that would be very useful when defending against a weaker leg or arm of an opponent attack

d) striking arms ones against the others is painful. We learn to have physical and mental resistance by kotekitae practice.

I took this explanation from Morio Higaonna's book "Traditional Karate-Do - Okinawa Goju-Ryu, Vol. 1. Fundamental Techniques"

I think this is applied to Ko Ashi Kitae (leg strengthening) and Karada Kitae (body strengthening)...

20th August 2002, 01:18

I've never read that Geoff Thompson writes (in any of his books) that kotekitae is necessary for street fighting. One should contact him for asking this question a "door-man".

There are a lot out there who have the opinion that (for instance) Makiwara training should be done with a hard target to strengthen his knuckles. I think that's big rubbish. A Makiwara shouldn't train your knuckels rather than your muscles of the hip, arms, chest and belly.

Kotekitae could help you (like muscular power) but it is not really necessary for self-defence in the street. That's my point of view.

20th August 2002, 01:45
TFunakoshi I don't remember seeing here any reference to those books...

I also agree with your point about makiwara training. many people see makiwara training as a way of getting huge knuckles but makiwara training is to devellop punching power and strength not to devellop arthritis or huge knucles that many see as a "medal of recognition"...

20th August 2002, 04:25

I've read almost every book of him.


20th August 2002, 15:11

Thank's for the further info on the subject!

Now that I know what you're discussing I can give my two cents:

I'm sure the effect of such training is both physical (because there actually IS less pain involved once you've been doing it on a regular basis for some time) and physological (you learn to deal with pain).

As to it's significance for self-defence situations, my vote is if you're used to "blows", at least you won't €€€€ in your pants as easy and may therefore have a greater shot at dealing with the problem in a smart way.

Please note that my experiance with self-defence situations or "street fighting" is practically zero, so my "vote" is nothing but a guess!


Ari Lappinen

21st August 2002, 01:39
I share the same opinion about street-fighting!
Wouldn't it be better to be capable of getting hit with minor damage?
What's one of the goals in martial arts? Become a better or a good fighter, or being capable of fight with technique, right? You train your body to better receive the strikes during training, but isn't training a simulation of reality? If your more capable during trainings you'll be more capable in real situations...

21st August 2002, 16:07

Yes, if you strengthen your belly you won't get hurt so much. But reconsider these.

1. You never block an attack with "age uke", "gedan barai" or whatsoever. It isn't possible to do such things.
2. If you done it (blocking an attack - but not with "age uke" or "gedan barai") the fight will come very close. Mostly it gets to the ground.
Consequently kote kitae with your arms cannot useful at all.

Strengthen your leg could be useful. If anyone actually kicks to your thigh you will not go down so fast, but if he kicks to your knee (really close to your thigh and very weak) you are again the loser.

If you said "kote kitae can help you in a street fight", I have to say "Yes, that can be.". But I think kote kitae isn't so healthy either, like every boy and girl are saying. I think with kote kitae you are damaging a lot of nerves in your body inside. But that's just an idea of myself.

23rd August 2002, 02:24
TFunakoshi I understand where you're trying to get saying that is practically impossible to defend an atack with an age uke or a gedan barai, etc. but you train your arms not to make only those movements, you train them (we're talking about kotekitae) to make them stronger, so that you can defend a kick with your arm or get punched in your arms with minor possible damage... not to perform only the movements you do while training kotekitae!

If he kicks me in the knee it's him who has all the worthiness, but I can say and what if I kick him in the groin? or what if I poke him in the eyes? do you see what I mean?

About damaging nerves I was told that some people that train their finger tips hitting them in sand, beans, etc. are damaging some nerves that are connected to the eyes...
This type of training should be gradual, allowing the body to evolve also gradually!:o

23rd August 2002, 07:31
After all this discussion, I have to say, that kote-kitae can also be a lot of fun.
I like bruises on arms, legs and on the chest- it looks so martial (just jokinŽ)!

23rd August 2002, 19:38
could someone be so kind as to describe some drills used? not a lot of this in the korean arts, but recently i've had some students working on outside blocks towards each other same hand, inside blocks, low blocks, combinations thereof, etc.

is this it, in essence?

23rd August 2002, 19:57
Hello Goju.

About damaging nerves I was told that some people that train their finger tips hitting them in sand, beans, etc. are damaging some nerves that are connected to the eyes... Uhm, I think, if a nerve is dead it's dead.

Well, if you like kote kitae just do it! I can't recommend such things.

23rd August 2002, 20:31

I like to develope my "weapons" and keep them in good shape, but I must confess I don't regard the fingertips as much of a weapon.

I see few places on the opponent's body you can successfully attack with your fingertips that you can't do more effective with some other part and most of the ones I find you can attack without hardened fingertips.

But more important is the fact that I need good sensory and motor skill in my fingers for my proffession.

Anyhow, this quote sounds very odd to me:

"About damaging nerves I was told that some people that train their finger tips hitting them in sand, beans, etc. are damaging some nerves that are connected to the eyes... "

Can you please elaborate, I must say it makes no sense to me at all!

BTW the risk of killing nerves as a result of that kind of training (kotekitai, not fingertips in sand-buckets, that is) seems to me to be very very tiny, if it exists.

I can imagine that with very hard and frequent training you could get a temporary inflammation in some nerve, this woud cause any martial artist in his right mind to rest from such training (or at the very least to twist his forearm slightly differently on impact while the nerve is tender).

Keep training,

Ari Lappinen

24th August 2002, 14:33
TomMarker: Kotekitae consists in that type of training some of your students were making... train your arms performing inside blocks, outside blocks, combinations, etc.
But there isn't only kotekitae (arm strengthening) there also exists this type of training to your body and legs...

arnie: sorry but I can't elaborate about this topic because it's out of my knowledge :( , and I talked about it because a friend of mine told me that (this doesn't means it has to be true...)

Hakushi: I presume you prefer to get bruised when you fight in your dojo right :p ? In the beginning you may be sored due to this kind of practice, but with time "it's you who will become the bruiser"

24th August 2002, 16:45

Thanks for the tips. This is what I thought it was.

"About damaging nerves I was told that some people that train their finger tips hitting them in sand, beans, etc. are damaging some nerves that are connected to the eyes... "

Can you please elaborate, I must say it makes no sense to me at all!

Traditional Chinese Medicine essentially says that fingertip training can be very dangerous as the meridians ending in the fingertips effect the vision.

I don't have any resources handy, this is just what I remember hearing. This is often cited as an example of what can go wrong by practicing iron palm without a qualified instructor.

I have seen people break with a shi-zuki (beak thrust)strike as well as nukite-zuki (spear hand) I've also seen people with deformed hands.

25th August 2002, 16:13
Thank's TomMarker for the explanation!

Ari Lappinen