Thursday Karate class – 5/8/08 – With the body.

In this class, Sensei Cieplik had us work on some old things and some new things.

Sensei was paying particular attention to the more simple parts of the movements. He often explains that he doesn’t look at the punches or blocks from the upper body, instead he looks at the position of the feet, legs and hips. He often tells us that anyone can punch or block but doing the movements with the entire body is the key.

In order for me to use more lower body and less torso, I need to reduce my power a bit. Sensei and I talked about this after class and he said that using 85% power is about the limit before someone falls over when doing a forward movement such as as front punch. If all of the power is put into the punch it will make the body follow the punch to the floor. There are often times that I punch so hard, I can feel my front foot heel, pickup off the floor but the problem is that my upper body is pulling me over and if I let it, down to the floor.

We did a different movement that I have never seen before. I hope I can explain this in text. We stood upright with our feet about one square, about a foot apart, moved our right leg behind us, about a foot, pivoted on our left heel and turned 90 degrees using only our lower body, meaning without upper body momentum. We did this a few times, all the way around, trying to use the “salad bowl” motion when do so. The problem that Sensei was seeing is that when moving backward into a downward block, we were just falling into the move instead of moving into it, with power.

At the end of class, we finished up with some kata. Sensei had us start with Heian Shodan, then Heian Nidan, then Heian Sandan, Heian Yondan, Tekki Shodan, Jion and Bassai Dai. Sensei Cieplik always has us do a kata for every rank in the class up to brown belt. He spent some extra time working on the block punch move after the front kick, tripple punch in Jion. I always have an issue with that part since coordinating myself and remember to do everything make me pause and think. I remember the reach but moving into the cat stance with the block slows me down a little. After the block, I need to make sure that I am not driving my power sideways to the left but instead it needs to go the front when I throw the reverse punch. One problem, that Sensei explained, is that if the back foot is already not in the proper position the power will be directed to the side. Driving off the back heel is very hard if the foot is not facing at a 45 degree angle after the block. The idea is the move the back foot into the right position while in the cat stance with block movement.

It was a great 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..

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