Thursday Karate Class – 3/20/08 – Many new moves.

We started class with a little different warm up. We did the normal front snap kicks but instead of 10, Sensei Cieplik had us do 15 with each leg. Next, we did front snap kick with back kick.

This class was different than any that I remember before. Sensei had us doing movements that I don’t remember us doing in the past. I am trying to list all of them here but I am not sure if I can remember all of them.

We did a knee strike with a back kick. This movement was different because, in order to do it correctly, we had to bend the stabilizer leg and retract the hips after the knee strike to make the back kick effective. Starting the back kick from the knee strike finish position makes the movement feel much more powerful and pushing off the stabilizer leg seems to generate a great deal of force. It was enough force to make the stabilizer leg move backward when executing the back kick.

We also worked on a movement that consisted of reverse rising block, jab and reverse punch. This movement really made me think in a different way. Doing the rising block with the back leg behind really slowed down my movements since I had to think about doing it that way. The movement did feel very powerful since the hip rotation from the reverse block to jab and back to reverse punch caused the hips to move a great deal.

We did a move where we put our leg out like a roundhouse kick, pointing to the front and pivoted on our back foot across the floor. We then did another move with the same pivot but we did the full roundhouse kick to the front.

Another interesting move was getting into a lunge position, with the back knee on the floor and the reverse hand out. From there we stood up, did a front snap and came back down into the same starting position. I was only able to do a few of them because my knees were hurting.

Sensei also talked about some interesting Shotokan history. He said that the Tekki Katas, Tekki Shodan, Tekki Nidan and Tekki Sandan were once third, second and first kyu katas. What was happening is the students front stances were

Sensei had us do something with our kicks but he wanted to hear the gi snap.  He wanted us to move with enough speed to get the pop sound when doing front snap kick, side thrust kick and back kick.

We also did a couple of conditioning exercises.  The first was from the squat position, we would put one knee to the floor and then bring it back up to the squat position, then repeat with the other leg.  The next move, which I really found useful, was stand in a bad stance, such as the the back foot pointing the wrong way and the front foot pointing to the outside.  From that bad stance, Sensei told us to compress or squeeze from the inside of our legs and pivot on the heels to put our feet in the correct place.  The compression makes the feet come into the correct position with relative ease.

We also worked on, for lack of better words, wrist flicking techniques on blocks.  The idea is to turn the hand at the wrist while doing blocking techniques.  This little flick seems to add a lot of power to the end of block.  I have been trying to do this for some time now.

We finished up class with some kata.  We did Heian Sandan, Tekki Shodan, Jion and Bassai Dai.  Sensei had us think and try to apply the flicking movements in our kata.  I always like it when Sensei gives us little things to add to our kata that makes them better.

Sensei also gave us a little history.  I hope that I am recalling this correctly.  He said that the Tekki katas were once third, second and first kyu katas.  Tekki shodan was for third kyu, Tekki Nidan for second kyu and Tekki Sandan for first kyu.  The problem was that spending three full ranks in a horse stance was hurting the front stance, back stance, one and three step sparring and kumite for those students.  Instead, two blackbelt katas, Jion and Bassai Dai were given to the students to allow them to prepare for their upcoming Shodan examination and promotion.

It was a great class!

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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