Thursday Karate class – 6/5/08 – Good Karate inside, let it out.

So much info. I was talking with Sensei Wail after class and telling him how I just cannot remember everything that Sensei Cieplik talks about in class. There is so much good information I can only remember some it. I will often say something over in my head three or four times and I still cannot remember it. Sensei Wail suggested that I use a notebook but the problem is that I can not remember some things even as soon as the end of class because there is so much. Sensei Cieplik always wants us to leave class with something “more” and I certainly leave with a lot “more”.

Enough of my lack of memory problems, lets talk about class now.

Sensei had us do our kicking warm up. For some reason, my front snap kicks felt different. I was paying more attention to stance and just letting my leg fly. I also paid extra attention to keeping my stationary leg bent when kicking. It made the movement feel much smoother than before. We then did front kick and back kick. That felt really good. As soon as I finished the front kick, I let the back kick just fly. The back kick felt extremely strong. Next came front snap kick to the front, side thrust kick to the side, back kick to the rear, roundhouse kick to the front, front snap kick to the front and side thrust kick to the front. I had to do that kick combination a little slow but I didn’t have as much trouble with my balance as I thought I would.

Sensei said to use the eyes in our heels when doing the side thrust kicks. Instead of focusing on the target with our eyes, let the eyes in our heel aim at the target. I am going to try to explain this as I understand. Once you see where your target is with your eyes, let your heel see the way to it. He also said that when doing a back kick, the toe of your kicking leg should be pointing at you.

One of the staple movements that we do each week is reverse hand out, front snap kick, switch hands, put the rear leg back down and reverse punch. This is a movement that almost the entire class does in unison. When the class is on, you can hear the everyone breath and do each movement as if we practice this all the time.

He also gave us a good practice movement, when in a “kind of” front stance throw a roundhouse kick from that position. The kick goes out to the side but it forces us to throw the kick with the stationary leg bent.

Also, when doing the roundhouse kick, think of it as a horizontal knee strike. It is similar to how a front snap kick is an extension of a front knee strike. He also explained a drill, called the alligator, where you bring your kicking knee up very high and execute a chudon roundhouse in a downward motion. This brings the hips into play very powerfully right at the end of the movement. The idea behind the alligator is a partner holds two pads like the mouth of an alligator and you kick into them.

We worked on the front stance with inward block, horse stance with elbow strike and back fist. To make the movement more fluid Sensei suggests moving into a a cat stance between the horse stance and front stance when moving backward. At the brown belt level and above, we must show the difference between the stances. Also, when working on stances, like the horse stance, think squat down.

Sensei also talked about the three radar dishes on the back of the body. The neck, middle to lower back and back of the legs near the hamstrings. These dishes should allow us to feel behind us even though we cannot see behind with our eyes.

Sensei also gave us some drills for our test and one of the movements was moving forward with reverse punch. This movement doesn’t really feel out of place for me from some reason. We then added a front leg roundhouse kick to that movement which was a different story for me. I kept wanting to execute a front punch after setting the kicking leg back down.

Next we worked on kata. We started with Tekki Shodan. Sensei told me to watch my stances. I was too tall in my horse stance and it was narrow until he mentioned it.

We then worked on Jion. Sensei said when doing kata, my them look at you. Do not worry about anyone around you or even the examiners. Make them wait for you to share your kata with them. It is your kata and no one else’s kata. You do kata for you and no else. Take your time, finish each move and show that each move is effective in what it is intended to do. I did not feel that my Jion was anywhere near the same as the one that I did on Tuesday. I was in the zone on Tuesday and I felt that it was one of the best kata that I ever did. I need to find a way to have that same feeling all the time. Every now and then, Sensei Cieplik quotes Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid movie and we all laugh but he made one very clear point, good Karate is inside, when doing kata let it out. From those words, I am still learning how to let it out.

Sensei also said to RELAX when doing the kata. Do not stress about it, just do it.

Sensei also said that many changes take time. When as beginner does movements changes can come quickly but as you advance positive changes take time. Sometimes many years go by before movements or concepts are understood and executed as they should be. I am starting to realize this more now than before. I was in a such a rush to do certain movements or move up in rank but now, those goals are not as important as before. I am starting to understand that having a black belt is not as important as doing good Karate. Over the last few weeks or so, I have been trying to find out what having a black belt really does for me and I am learning that there is no mystical thing about my Karate that has changed when I moved up in rank in the past. I want to know myself that my Karate is good and I am doing my best no matter what color belt is wrapped around my waist.

Another important note – Do not look down when doing the movements.

Many things for me to think about after this 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..


One Response to “Thursday Karate class – 6/5/08 – Good Karate inside, let it out.”
  1. Steve says:

    I wouldn’t worry about trying to remember everything. You’ll remember what you’re ready to remember. Every time we “learn” a technique, even if it’s one that I’ve done a million times, I pick up details I hadn’t remembered.

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!