Thursday Karate Class – 5/15/08 – Kata, some things for me to work on.

We started class with what seemed like a lot of kicks.

We did our normal 10 front mae geri (front snap kick) with each leg, then mae geri with ushiro geri (back kick).  Then we did mae geri and yoko kekomi geri (side thrust kick) to the front.  After that came mae geri, yoko kekomi geri, ushiro geri, mawashi geri (roundhouse kick), yoko kekomi geri to the front and mae geri to the front.  Needless to say, we were warmed up pretty well after those.

Our next warm up move was in zenkutsu dachi with our reverse hand out, we then pull the reverse hand back, put our front hand out, execute a mae geri and then step back down and execute a gayku zuki.  We do this move often but Sensei Cieplik had us do it together.  When I say together, I mean timed so that the entire group starts and finishes the move in unison.  Sensei was satisfied with our performance so we moved on.

Next we worked on moving forward with gayku zuki (reverse punch).  Sensei likes to describe gayku zuki as correct punch since when moving forward and executing it, we mimick walking.  Since I have been doing that movement from the beginning, it doesn’t feel awkward for me but I guess some others find it troublesome at first.

Next we did gayku zuki (reverse punch), kizami zuki (front hand jab) and gayku zuki. This was a different movement for us but it really makes the hips come around.  Sensei often does unfamiliar movements to open our minds to new things.  The first few tries might be a little tough but once it clicks, it feels good.

Next we worked on kata.  We started with Heian Nidan, then Heian Sandan, then Tekki Shodan, then Heian Shodan and Jion.  Sensei paid extra attention to how we moved when we finished our basics and kata.  He wants us to make sure that we have zanshin.  I might have mentioned this before but he explain zanshin as the drops of water left in a glass after you empty it.  Even though the kata, movement or fight is over, you need to remain mindful of what is happening around you.

My wife and I had asked Sensei if he would sign our test papers before class so he watched our kata very closely.  He wasn’t too impressed with what he saw so he sent all of the third kyu’s off to the side with Sensei Wail.  Sensei Wail took us through many of the movements correcting our mistakes.  I need to make sure that I focus on tightening up my abdominals when moving from the first move in Jion to the front stance before the kick.  I also need to do the same thing after the mae geri with sanbon zuki.  Also, when turning from the first ki ai, I need to prepare myself before I turn, then keep my weight on my back when I move into the kokutsu dachi with the double block.  Also, when doing kiba dachi with the palm strikes , they should be done on a curved path not straight.  I was straighten my arms when doing that move for some time now.

Another great bit of advice was to really pull my draw hand back when doing the downward strike with stomp movement near the end of the kata.  Pulling the draw hand back like that really makes the movement feel very powerful. We spent a good half hour with Sensei Wail and hopefully what he helped us with is something we can apply over the next three weeks.

After class, Sensei Cieplik said that since we have some time before our test we can wait before he signs our papers.  If Sensei feels that I am not ready to test, I will totally respect his decision and just try again in another six months.   I am in no hurry to move up in the ranks any more and he feels that I am not ready, then I am not ready.

I heard Sensei Cieplik make a to someone and I had to ask him about it.  He said something along the lines of “something that is hard or troublesome for you today might be something that you can share with someone to help them overcome something similar in the future.”  I understand it as; the hurdles or problems that we have in doing something today might be there because we are destined to help someone overcome them later in life.   I also think it means, just because things are not going right today, don’t give up.  This doesn’t only apply to Karate and could apply to life in general.

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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