The Secret behind Omaira Molina's KO Punch of Season 3 | Karate.com Blog
The Secret behind Omaira Molina's KO Punch of Season 3

The Secret behind Omaira Molina's KO Punch of Season 3

Get an Understanding of Elite Karate Tactics
by Mac Tyson, 2022-06-30
Sen-no-sen 先の先 : To anticipate an attack and to take the initiative.

On June 25th and live from Orlando, Florida, the fan-voted Female Fighter of the Season (for Season 3): Omaira Molina kept her perfect record intact versus Ana-Luiza Ferreira. She moved to 4-0 inside The Pit.

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Omaira Molina prepared to train for Karate Combat
Omaira Molina prepared to train for Karate Combat

Omaira Molina

In her previous outing in Karate Combat Season 3, Omaira Molina won her fight by a beautiful gyaku-tsuki (reverse punch) KO that won her the Punch of Season. This punch was a perfect example of the karate concept known as 'sen no sen'.

Sen no sen is similar to the concept Bruce Lee named his Martial Art philosophy after: Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist). In sen no sen timing, when your opponent is taking the initiative to attack, you counter with your own strike at roughly the same time.

This is one of the more difficult timings to pull off, since if you don’t read it properly... you've just blitzed into your opponent's strike.

The other factor that makes this timing difficult is maai (interval). Maai is where your engagement distance and timing intersect. For example, in 'go no sen' timing, it happens at a long distance because you attack after your opponent strikes at you. The space or engagement distance between you and your opponent is what allows for this.

If you are too close then you can’t properly defend against your opponent and still have the space necessary to counter. Unless you step off your opponent’s center line, which would then be 'tai no sen'.

A straight right hand lands for Omaira Molina vs Ana-Luiza Ferreira
A straight right hand lands for Omaira Molina vs Ana-Luiza Ferreira

A straight right hand lands for Omaira Molina vs Ana-Luiza Ferreira's punch heads toward her.

For sen no sen to work, you need to be a little bit closer to your opponent. This timing is best done at a mid-range. Which makes it dangerous since you are in range of your opponent's strikes. However, when applied with the correct distance and timing, sen no sen has devastating results.

Since your opponent is now adding their own momentum directly into the power of your strike, the perfect execution of this concept, amplified with a strong "Kiai!," will win the hearts of Karate Combat Fans (as Omaira has).

Omaira Molina utilized all of these concepts in her fight against Ana-Luiza Ferreira. After an unintentional (but clearly) late strike, she lost a point via the referee and was forced to cement her victory in a fourth Sudden Victory round. The fight was non-stop action, and one of the most intense battles of the event.

It seems the Venezuelan (fighting out of New Jersey, USA) is primed to become the first female champion at Karate Combat.

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