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comment Improving my back stance
+1 for Kagawa Sensei. And 1 legged squats. Also, would like to mention to the original poster, while you're working on your back stance, check your kibadachi with all the points TVentresco mentioned in the first half of this answer. I see this common failure with these two stances all the time in our dojo (butt sticking out, hip joint not flexed nearly enough, knees pointing inwards).
comment Is there a reason that the red part of the belt is on the left side?
Similarly, in my karate organisation, some people with their names on one side of their belt and the organisation name on the other insist that the organisation name side goes on the left, name on the right. Always. One guy even says to me he 'doesn't feel right when the side are switched'. We do not have tips or other identifiers on our belts.
comment Joining a new dojo, would this be inappropriate?
+1 For Rob Redmond
comment Good shoulder roll from a dive
And the question?
comment Straight punch to the head and knockout
@SeanDuggan That would be the Trigeminal Nerve, which is (generally) located just to the side of the chin. Possible to activate with a straight punch, but better chance when offset to the side a little.
comment Should I avoid open-handed blocks in sparring?
Based on experience, you've got greater chance of injuring your hands when blocking with open hand, as compared to closed fist. How great the chances are depends greatly on your style, skill, speed and technique. There's no 'should' about blocking open hand. Do what is comfortable, and feels safe to you and your partner.
comment Why are traditional karate gis white?
The question doesn't blame anything on anyone, regardless of how silly I may think it is. The comment about the use of coloured gis in sport martial arts is an example that I can understand the reasoning for the colour of the gi.