9/13/07 – Thursday Karate class and homework.

Homework! I had to type my homework early here so that I don’t forget what Sensei gave us to work on each day.

Starting in a front stance, we do a rear leg front snap kick, hold after the kick, then  bend back leg, move in to cat stance while bending the front leg, “pet the mouse” or keep the weight on the back leg and lightly and gently reach forward with front foot, move in to front stance and throw a front punch while keeping the hips straight.

No that I have that written down, here is the lowdown on class.

We started off with our normal warm up doing many kicks and finally, I think my roundhouse kicks are starting to look like roundhouse kicks instead of just throwing my legs out in to thin air like not too long ago.

We spent most of the class working on stances.  Even though we did a lot of punches and blocks the real meat of the lesson was our foot work and attention to blocking the groin area with our legs.  Sensei made up pay extra attention to brining the knees together when moving both forward and back.

We spent a good amount of time working on our homework in class so that we would all understand what Sensei was looking for.

One the same note, we spent some time working on keeping the groin protected while turning from on direction to another.  When moving backward, we would turn our back foot the direction that we wanted to end up facing while bringing the front leg in to what was similar to a cat stance, bringing the knees together and then pushing the front leg out to move in to a front stance.

Oddly enough, I don’t recall any kicking drills except for the warm ups.

We ended up finishing class with some kata.  We did Heian Shodan but with a little twist, Sensei had us do the kata with the moves that we worked on in the drills.  When paying attention to protecting the groin area, it does slow the kata down a bit but it really made me focus on each move and my technique.  I also felt much more powerful for some reason and I assume it was related to the extra focus.

Sensei made a comment about kata and the way it is performed today.  His point was that it used to take almost twice as long to perform the kata as it does today.  He mentioned that competition kata is done very fast where as in the past, kata was done with a two count after each move that showed power and kime.  Instead of the blinding speed that many competitors have today between moves, after each move there a pause or pose as Sensei said.

Class was very good.

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..


4 Responses to “9/13/07 – Thursday Karate class and homework.”
  1. Rob Andrews says:

    I happened to check my ‘Best Karate, Volume 5’ (Heian,Tekki) shows that H1 should be about 40 seconds… That would feel like forEVER. 8 )

  2. doug says:

    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for checking that. I thought that H1 was near 40 seconds from what Sensei Noia told me back in my days when I was a whitebelt.

    I tried to do the slow kata before everyone got to class on Friday, since I had an open gym at the time, and it felt really good. Stopping after each move and holding still as a rock makes the kata feel much more powerful and dramatic to me. The hardest part for me is doing the moves very fast and then putting on the brakes and holding like a statue at the end of each move.

    I personally think that doing the kata that slowly would really make people watching it appreciate it more than some of the lightning fast kata of today where each move is just a blur and over in a flash.

  3. Rob Andrews says:

    Remember a few weeks ago, we talked about breathing in on the block, out on the attack? Combine that idea with the longer time suggested to do this kata, and add a bit of rythym to it so that it doesn’t look like boring marching Shotokan, but rather much more like a ‘fighting / training sequence’

    My crazy theory (the first couple moves anyway) goes like this:

    Moves 1-2: DB (breath in), FP (breath out). Pause here, to show that the block and counter combo is done.

    Moves 3-5: DB (In), Hammerfist (short out), FP (out). Again, pause to show the block / counter combo has completed.

    Moves 6-7: DB (In), RB (Out). Pause. The DB is the block, and the RB is an attack.

    Moves 8-9: RB (In), RB (Out). Kiai. [block/counter #4.]

  4. doug says:

    That’s an interesting idea Rob. I have a hard time breathing in on the blocks but I am willing to try it again. I can see where taking the breaths in when blocking might help make this work. I can also see how this might help the rhythm of the kata too.

    I am going to test this out when I do some kata tomorrow.

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