Thursday Karate class – 2/21/08 – Squeeze your heels together and stillness.

Again, class was filled with a lot of good information.

We did a lot of kihon with our normal kicks but then we did something a little different.  Sensei Cieplik had us get into a front stance and then throw a front snap kick, then pivot a half turn to the left and throw a reverse punch, then repeat for a total of four times.  We then did the same movements but in the opposite direction.  The object of this drill was for us to regain our balance after the kick and then throw the punch.

When doing our normal warm kicks, with front kick and front punch Sensei stressed the importance of kicking and punching to the middle.

Sensei had us work on moving sideways in a horse stance, normally we kick with this drill, but paying attention to our feet and he had us reach with the leading leg then settle into the stance in a salad bowl motion.  The salad bowl analogy is the way the body should be moving.  Sensei made a very important comment that really struck me about the horse stance.  He said to try and squeeze your heels together when in a horse stance.  Just doing this made my stance so much strong and I was able to get lower than in the past.  It just goes to show, even after close to four years of studying Karate, there is always something to learn.

We spent some time working on kata.  We did a couple each of Heian Shodan and Heian Nidan and three Tekki Shodan and one of each up to the first ki-ai of Jion and Bassai Dai.  Sensei asked how do you improve your kata if you cannot move any faster or stronger?  His point is that if you reach your limit for speed and power how can you still improve your kata.  His answer was very simple yet I certainly did not expect it.  He said that if you reach the limit on speed and power, you need to practice to be stiller.  The more still that you are means that your movements will look stronger and faster if you start, or I guess end also, from a motionless state.

Sensei has also made a comment that I might have mentioned before.  He says to make kata your own.  If you try too hard to look or move like someone else, your kata will never be yours.  This point really hit home.  I have always tried to make my kata look like others who are younger and much faster than me but I have never did a kata the way that I wanted too.  When I try to move too fast, the quality of my technique really falls off.  This doesn’t mean to do kata without the basic fundamentals but it means to do the kata within your ability and don’t worry about looking like someone else when doing it, look like yourself.

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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