Contents Blogs Introduction Fisher One Page Contacts Links



By Charles Rhodes, P. Eng., Ph.D.

The Fisher One Page is a single page summary of fundamental issues relating to execution of karate techniques.

I first learned about the Fisher One Page in 2008. On January 28, 2011 I received the following email from Sensei Malcolm Fisher. I provide this email in its entirety because it reveals much more than is obvious from a cursory examination of the Fisher One Page.


Thank you for putting in the One Page as I originally wrote it. Am not sure what the requirements are for copyright but, I came up with the Root Definition and the One Page concept around the time I graduated from the JKA Instructor Program in 1985. It started out as a means to put into words who we were and what we did, meaning of course, the JKA Instructor Program. I did not feel that the JKA could put into words who they were and what they did, as they all taught differently and I felt that Shotokan must have a universally understood manual that everyone, regardless of where they were from or, who was doing the teaching, could easily follow. If all the JKA teachers would use the same terminology from such a manual, these key words would overcome any language barrier. It would quantify all the techniques of Shoto-Kan and explain their strategies and tactics.

I had imagined that it would be quite a thick volume but, as I thought about the One Page more and more, it occurred to me that the One Page defined Karate-doh and that, having something so easily remembered would allow people to more readily self correct. It would also allow people to more readily understand what they were seeing when observing Karate-doh in action. So, the thick volume, which I had imagined Shoto-kan to be in 1985, was not defining what Shoto-kan was, but rather, how the One Page directly affected each and every technique of Shoto-kan. The key to getting the most from the One Page is understanding how to translate each and every Karate technique, through the utilization of the One Page guidelines.

People will not be able to get the most out of Karate-doh without me explaining how the One Page directly affects each Shoto-kan technique. After I have taught it for some time, it will become intuitive for people to apply the One Page guidelines to Karate. Only then will people come to know all that Shoto-kan is and not become reliant on and limited by, their own physical limitations and natural abilities. The One Page readily explains and makes easy to see, what made all of the Karate greats so effective and how the average every day student could come to know and be able to execute those very same techniques to the same corresponding great effect.

Malcolm Fisher

The above email should be carefully studied for the reader to fully appreciate the scope of the Fisher Shotokan One Page.

I have had the privilege of extensive discussions with Sensei Malcolm Fisher. Based on these discussions I have set out below my interpretation of the Fisher Shotokan One Page.

1. The object of Fisher Shotokan is controlled delivery of the maximum amount of energy to an appropriate target within 0.5 seconds of movement initiation. Fisher Shotokan improves JKA Shotokan by allowing greater force to be applied over a longer distance, thereby increasing the kinetic energy that is available for delivery.

2. The two matters that over ride all other considerations are: distance to your opponent and your foot position. Distance to your opponent determines what you should do (strategy) and your foot position determines what you can do (technique).

3. A matter of great importance is rapid movement through the Mid-Point Fully Loaded Position (MPFLP). The MPFLP is the position at which both the upper and lower body are fully loaded. At the MPFLP the body weight is entirely borne by one loaded leg and the other leg bears no weight. The term "Fully Loaded" means storing the maximum possible amount of immediately available potential energy. In this context "immediately available potential energy" is energy that is available from a single muscle contraction.

4. An energy accumulating turn requires an initial hip spin with spine erect, arms out and feet apart instantly followed by a vigorous limb retraction toward the vertical pivot axis. The initial hip spin establishes angular momentum. The limb retraction reduces the moment of inertia about the vertical pivot axis (the spine) and increases the rotational kinetic energy. This action sequence increases the rotation rate, maximizes energy accumulation and places the body in the proper MPFLP for an end-of-turn linear attack.

5. There are six Cardinal Rules of Movement:
1st Cardinal rule: The initiation of every technique must be explosive, even during the slow parts of kata, so that your opponent cannot respond to you either offensively or defensively. He cannot catch you on the way in, nor can he escape your technique.

2nd Cardinal Rule:  On any movement the first action is to drop straight down to load (accumulate potential energy in) the leg and buttock muscles. The greater the loading (bending of the hip, knee and ankle joints causing major high stress muscle extension) the greater the length of available major high stress muscle contraction and hence the greater the immediately available potential energy. At completion of loading the heel of each loaded leg must be firmly on the ground and the spine must be vertical. The downward momentum enables a larger leg force impulse without the body Center of Momentum (CM) perceptibly rising.

3rd Cardinal Rule: During any linear attack, at the MPFLP the knee and foot of the loaded leg must be pointed at the target. Otherwise the loaded leg is not properly loaded. Pointing the knee and foot of the loaded leg at the target maximizes engagement of the major leg and buttock muscles.

4th Cardinal Rule: When moving forward through the MPFLP the body weight (Center of Momentum or CM) should be directly over the toes of the loaded leg. This position maximizes the average forward horizontal component of the loaded leg force vector.

5th Cardinal Rule: During release of stored potential energy from a loaded leg, to maximize force and hence acceleration and hence resulting speed, the heel of that leg must be in firm contact with the ground. At the critical instant of impact, to maximize rigidity and hence effective mass and hence energy delivery, the heel of the then driving leg must be firmly on the ground.

6th Cardinal Rule: During release of stored potential energy the upper and lower halves of the body must unload at the same instant. Otherwise energy delivery is not maximized.

This web page last updated March 20, 2015.

Contents Blogs Introduction Fisher One Page Contacts Links