Saturday Karate Class – 5/24/08 – Hitting the pads.

What a great class.

Even before class was excellent.  I was able to spend a little time talking to Sensei Plocharczyk about Karate.  He gave me some excellent insight.

He made a comment about taking Sensei Cieplik’s class one day.  During that class he tried to do his best Karate and Sensei walked up to him and said “do your Karate for yourself and don’t worry about doing it for anyone else.”  Even though Sensei Cieplik had said that before in our classes, it sometimes sinks in better when certain things are said by someone else.  I often try to do my Karate for everyone else when I should just be doing it for me.

Sensei also gave me some of the best insight on doing kata.  I have often heard people say that we should visualize an opponent when doing our kata but again, the way that Sensei Plocharczyk said it, finally made it sink in.  He said to spend an afternoon or some time going through each move of the kata and figuring out for myself how to apply each move.  Even with almost four years of Karate under my belt, I have never really spent time trying to get a full understanding of each movement.  It’s just a bunch of movements until you realize how they are applied.  I am really interested in working on this and hopefully improving my kata in the process.

Sensei Plocharczyk started us off with a tough warm up.  He had us doing sprints to each line on the floor of the gym.  Next, we shuffled in a horse stance to each line and back.  Next came side leg raises to stretch out our hips across the gym.

He then had us get our focus mitts and a partner.  Our partner would hold the pad on their stomach while in a kiba dachi (horse stance) and we would punch it.   Next, instead of the punch, we used to side edge of our hand.  This motion was a straight motion, like a punch, not a circular motion like a knife hand block.

After that, we got into a kokutsu dachi (back stance), our partner held the pad about shoulder level and we did a knife hand block.  I never really worked on striking a pad when doing that movement and it feels stronger that I thought it would.  We did 10 or so reps and then five more but our partner had to fight against us and put pressure on the pad for a count of five seconds or so.

Sensei then had us get down on one knee and hold the pad at about knee of thigh level and our partner would side thrust kick it.  I was actually able to do this movement since it was low and had enough power to knock my partner over a couple of times during the drill.

Between most of these drills, Sensei had our partners and us run to opposite sides of the gym and do a kata.  I ended up doing all of the katas that know up to Jion.  My katas felt really good today and Sensei Gatch commented that my Jion looked good.

We finished up with some punching drills.  Sensei would hold two focus mitts about should height and we had to punch them across our bodies.  Sensei was facing us, we punched his left hand with our left and right with right and then he would say duck and we needed to get out of the or get our heads hit with the focus mitts.  It was a great, high speed coordination drill that I want to work on at home.

Lots of good stuff.

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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