Tire those legs out
We started class running back and forth 4 times to get the blood flowing. Since the dojo was cold, Sensei had do some squats. We started squatting with our legs close together, then shoulder width squats and wide stance squats. Next we did squats again but with a jump after each one. We followed those up with a long stretching session to help get our joint a little more loose. The squats did a pretty good job tiring my legs but it made the stretching easier because my muscle were too tired to fight the stretches.
Next we got a partner, had them grab our belt facing us and then they pulled up forward to help make us move faster. We did the same drill but we added a front punch. This did help me move faster but I did notice that I was punching over top because it was throwing my body forward. You have to push from the legs and otherwise you will end up on your face.
We finished up class doing Taikyoku Shodan but for each move, we started in a cat stance before moving into the front stance. This really changed the dynamic of the kata and is something that we don’t do often enough. It’s these little changes that make this class more interesting and keeps my mind open to doing techniques in different ways that I don’t always come up with on my own.
Time for Gankaku
We started class jogging back and forth across the dojo 10 times for a warm up.
While still warming up we moved to half court and back with different stances and hand techniques, then we did the same a second time but across the entire dojo.
Next, we worked on moving forward in a front stance with triple punch, step back into a back stance with knife hand block. Then, triple punch but step into stance back with mange uke. Next. step and punch, then step back into back stance block, turn then step punch again and step back with back stance knife hand block.
Next, we got a pad, then stand on the pad, bring one leg up with foot behind knee, arms in mange uke, bring both hands to the opposite side the knee is pointing to the side, side snap kick with back fist slow motion.
Next stand with one foot on the pad in horse stance, do the same moves as above then step down into a horse stance with reverse punch. We then did the same drill but without the pad.
The movements above prepared us for what was coming next.
Sensei had us work on Gankaku doing single moves and then a group of moves at a time working up to the midpoint of the kata. We spent a good amount of time working on this kata and then we did it our own if we knew all the moves.
We finished up class doing the kata of our choice.
Pad drills even work with kata
This week, the dojo was warmer but Sensei Noia gave us a good warm up anyway. We started jogging back and forth 6 times across the dojo. Next, we did lunges forward to the middle of the dojo and then turned 180 degrees and did the lunges backward to the other end. We did knees up to our hands halfway across the dojo and then inside out leg circles. We finished the warm doing stationary leg raises to the front, side and back 10 times.
Triple kick time
Now that we were warm, we did a front snap kick to front, side thrust to side and back kick to rear then stepped forward, then did the same three kicks with the same leg and then we stepped backward. Lots of kicks in a small amount space.
For the next drill, we found a partner. One person stepped forward with a Jodan punch and the other partner stepped back and did a rising block with a chudan reverse punch and front punch and then repeat the same with the other partner.
The next drill was similar except the one partner did a chudan punch and the other partner does an outward block with the same reverse punch and front punch.
For the last drill like these, one partner does two chudan punches and the other partner does an outward block and a reverse outward block from the kata Bassai Dai.
Kata pad drills
For the next drills, we stayed with our partner but one of us got a pad. One partner held the pad and the other partner had a choice of moves. The choices were the following:
The first move from Bassai Dai
The cross leg, block strike move from Empi
The second from the last move in Gojushiho Sho with the double edge hand strike
All of these techniques were executed in a cross leg stance which is one stance that we don’t often hit things while doing it. This was a good test of making sure that the hips and legs were in the correct position otherwise your attack is weak and you end up bouncing back off your partner.
After the pad drills, we finished class with four katas of our choice.