8/9/07 – Thursday Karate Class.

After missing Thursday class for almost three weeks I was happy to get back to it.

We started class with a shorter than usual warm up.  We did front snap kicks for 10 each leg, then front snap kick and back kick for 10 each leg and then finished our warm up with front snap kick, back kick, roundhouse kick to the front and then finished up with another front snap kick for five each leg.  Then we started in a front stance with our reverse hand out and did a back leg front snap kick back in to a front stance and ended with a reverse punch.  This movement in particular gets the brain working because as we do the kick, we reach with the opposite out in front, throw the kick and then throw the reverse punch once our back leg lands.  It requires good coordination and focus to do the movement fast and correctly but it really sets the stage for what comes next.

Next, we did a front stance, front leg kick or toe tap as Sensei calls it, rear leg front snap kick and then finish up with a front punch.  we then spent some time doing back stance and knife hand blocks moving forward and backward.  My moves are now getting much smoother and my legs are traveling much faster.

Our next move was moving forward, downward block, reverse punch and jab.  This move really gets the hips moving and opens them up for some of the more complicated moves coming up.  We also did the same movement but replaced the downward block with rising block, inward block and outward block.  Doing the outward block really gets the hips working since it starts with the hips full open, then they close in for the reverse punch and then open up again for the jab.  I plan on adding this to my training outside of class.

Then we worked on a move that I have never done before.  We started in a front stance and then moved in to a side snap kick and ended back in a front stance.  My hips did not care much for that move and it felt really awkward.

Next, we moved on to one of our standby movements.  We did front stance with inward block, move in to horse stance with elbow strike and then finish up with backfist.  Sensei showed an example that I never picked up on before.  He said that as you shift in to the horse stance to do the elbow strike you should get lower and have your elbow strike down instead of rising the elbow up like I was doing since I first did that move.  Moving the elbow in a downward motion brings the whole body in to the movement instead of just using the elbow strike.

On to shift the front leg forward, jab and then finish with reverse punch.  The idea behind this move is to only do as little as needed to make the move effective.  If you take all the things and body english that isn’t needed from that movement, the speed increases a great deal.  Sensei explained that people who do this move correctly have torn the sleeves off their gi because of the power they generate.  He also reminded us to focus on a real attack instead of just doing the movements.  I was able to focus so hard on an opponent that I made the punching arm of my gi snap.  Normally, most people get a loud pop or snap when they bring their draw hand back to their gi but when you generate enough speed and power the punching arm of the gi will pop too.  At one point, I punched so hard, I hurt my front deltoid.  We then worked one the same move but with two shifts with jabs.

On to partner drills.  The move was complicated for me and my wife.  One person punches jodan level and the other moves in to a three quarter stance, throws and outward block, hits the opponent in the ribs with a reverse hand knuckle punch and then moves behind the opponent in to a front stance and lands a punch to the back or back of the head.  This move took some time but we were able to do it somewhat well after many tries.

We finished up with Heian Shodan.  Again, Sensei made sure to tell us to focus on an imaginary opponent when doing the kata.  He also said to pay more attention to the draw hand and pulling our imaginary opponent in to the front punches.  This made the kate feel much more powerful for me.  Both this Sensei and my other Sensei had told me to imagine the opponent before, it helps to have a reminded every now and then.

Even though I was somewhat sore after class, I did not feel as sore as usual.  I am hoping that my body is finally starting to get adjusted to the punishment.

About doug
Doug is a Shotokan Karate student that enjoys sharing his Karate training experiences with everyone. He is a Computer Consultant, an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, blogger and a freelance writer..

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