Thursday Karate class – 4/17/08 – Good class but painful.

I guess the title is a little deceiving.  What we did in class is what I would normally call painful but because of my ribs, it was.

We started our normal warm up and Sensei noticed right away that my kicks were off.  My foot was not too sore but bad enought to throw off my warm ups and my kicks at the start of class.  After a while, when I was warmed up, my foot started to feel better though.

My ribs are worse than they were yesterday and it made for a bunch of really painful kihon movements.  Any combination where I have to twist my hips was very painful.

One of the points that Sensei Cieplik, that really stuck in my mind, was to RELAX.  He made the comment that we are too stressed and that if we want our Karate to be better, we should relax.  Just let is go as he often says when we are doing our basics.  He has told us this many times before but for some reason, it stuck in my mind tonight.

Sensei has often told us this in the past but it is starting to become more important to my training.  He often says, when we are doing our kiohn, we need to; Practice, Persistence, GENTLE, Patience.  Practice our Karate as often as we can.  Be persistent and strive to do it correctly even if we don’t get it right away.  Be GENTLE, typed in caps to express the importance here, to our bodies and do what is within our physical abilities.  And have patience when trying to master our moves or ranks in Karate.

There is a lot of good advice in those four simple words and I am starting to understand them more as I gain more experience.  When I started Karate, I was so focused on getting my black belt as fast I could but as I am learning more, I realized that I still have a long way to go and that I need to follow those four simple words above.  Since I received my third Kyu, I am more interested in learning more details that I am about getting my Shodan.  I still want to get my black belt one day but my goal of only doing that has changed along the way.  It’s not like I am going to quit Karate after I get my black belt so I am going to take my time and enjoy myself and learn everything I can along the way.  When my black belt comes, it will but I am no longer worried about the destination and am more interested in the journey.

Another great point from Sensei, while we were doing some basics in a back stance is to think from behind.  The children often only think with the muscles in front such as abs, chest, quads, arms and shoulders where the adults can think from their back, rear shoulders, hamstrings  and lower back.  Children normally only think from the muscles they see where adults can use the muscles they cannot see behind them.

While doing some work with Tekki Shodan, Sensei mentioned that we should try to punch with our eye behind our elbow when doing the hook punch type movement.  If I understand this correctly, the idea is that if we drive from our elbow the movement will have power but if we use our fist, it will not be as strong.

Another excellent point that I should have been doing for ages is to squeeze my heels together in horse stance.   I know that Sensei has said this in the past but it didn’t sink in until tonight.  Squeezing the heels and tightening the butt and hamstrings makes the stance a whole different thing to me.  It puts my hips and legs in correct position and helps me keep my back upright instead of leaning forward.I spent some time after class talking to Sensei about what happened with my ribs on Tuesday and he gave me some good advice.  “Don’t get hit” he said.  At first, I was wasn’t sure what to think but then he explained something to me about one of his students that takes his Iai-Tate Do class and said that he keeps his elbows at his sides at all times.  Keeping the elbows in protects the ribs and he can block any body attacks with his hands.  If someone attacks his head, he just moves back.  In essence, the idea is to stay in close to the opponent and worry about blocking only the torso with the hands.  I am not going to be sparring until my ribs are fully healed but I plan on trying this advice then.

Even though I was really sore, it was still and excellent class as always.

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..

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!