Thursday Karate class – 12/13/07 – Many years of information in one class.

Where to start? Sensei Cieplik packed so much information into the class tonight, I am not sure where to start or if I can even remember all of it.

A roundhouse kick is just an extension of a sideways knee strike. Sensei has always taught us that a front snap kick is just an extension of knee strike and the same applies to the roundhouse kick. Putting it in these words changes the whole way that I thought of roundhouse kicks. Now I need to find a way to put it into motion.

Sensei Cieplik talked about body meridians and the impact of jumping jacks on balance. He had us do moving forward with front punch a few times and then had us do 20 jumping jacks and do the moving forward with front punch again. It was ugly to say the least. My balance was really off just from doing those few jumping jacks. The simple explanation, at least how I understand it, is that our energy flows in a forward direction, based on the meridians in our bodies, but doing the jumping jacks is a sideways movement that throws the meridians off balance.

Along those lines, Sensei also made a comment about the reverse punch being the “right” or correct punch. When we walk, we walk with say the left leg in front and the right arm in front and then right leg in front and left arm in front. We do not walk with the same leg and the same arm in front, right? Doing a moving forward front punch in with the same leg and hand is really an unnatural motion. Doing a punch with the reverse hand is actually the “right” punch based on how our bodies move. Sensei also commented on walking being a controlled fall, which makes a lot of sense if you think about it. When you walk, your are really keeping yourself from falling.

We often do a drill where we hold our reverse punch out, throw a rear leg front snap kick with we reach with our draw hand then put the kicking leg back behind and throw a reverse punch. I have been doing this move for some time now but it still takes a great deal of concentration and coordination.  Along these lines, he had us do a balance drill where we Balance on the right leg, swing the left leg forward, while swinging the right hand forward across the body and swinging the left arm straight back.  The motion was awkward at first but after a few tries, it did get easier.

We then spent the rest of the class working on kata.  We started with some Tekki Shodan for our 4th kyu students.  Sensei did Tekki Shodan in mirror image so that we could all follow along.  Watching him do kata is a site to behold.  When he does kata, it is automatic.  I have a feeling that his body just does it and he doesn’t have to think about what he is doing.

Next, we worked on Jion up to the first kiai.  The first move is a downward block and outward block.  On the next move, into the front stance, crossing the arms and extending them, he said as the arms are extending, keep pushing the stance forward.  Doing the move like that made me think more of putting on a show or giving someone the idea that they don’t want to mess with you.  It’s seems to be an attention getter, at least to me.
Next, on the kick and three punches, he explained that the punches should be placed sanbon zuki for the men but more in the neck and solar plexus areas for the women, covering a smaller area.  So, for the women, the first punch would hit the neck and the second two would be in the solar plexus.

After that, he had us reach, as if someone was trying to grab our hair, torque our body to the left and then move into a cat stance, then move the front leg forward and do the rising block and reverse punch.  Next, he had us bring the back foot near the front foot while reaching and then moving forward into the block with reverse punch.

He also explained the separate rising block and front punch before the kiai needs to be driving movements, as in, driving through your attacker or opponents.

I am sure there was more things that I don’t remember but above is what really stood out to me.

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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