More self defense and a new exercise – 7/3/08 – Thursday Karate class.

Warm up.

We did our normal kicking warm up but Sensei Cieplik added a new balance exercise.  He had us do front snap kick, side thrust kick to the side, back kick the rear, roundhouse kick to the front, front snap kick, side thrust kick to the front and hook kick to the front.  The idea wasn’t to blast out these kicks but instead, it was to help us with our balance.  This was one of the harder groups of kicking movements that I ever recall doing.

New exercise for strength and balance.

Sensei had us stand on one leg.  From there he had us raise our other knee up into the position for a front snap kick.  Next, he had us crunch (squat) our body downward, while keeping the knee up as far as we could.  From there, we straightened up and pushed our hip and knee forward into what was effectively a knee strike.  The idea was to slowly compress the body down and then open it back up while balancing on one leg.  This movement stretched pretty much every thing from the foot all the way up to core.  It might sound easy but after just three on each leg, almost everyone was moaning.

Compressed shifting.

Sensei had us start in a fighting stance but with our body compressed into a standing ball for lack of a better way to describe it.  We shifted forward from that position and then threw a jab and immediately got back into the same starting position.  We then did two shifts and two jabs, then two shift with two jabs and a reverse punch.  The last drill was two shifts with two jabs, a reverse punch and then pull back with a front punch.  It was hard to get the timing correct when doing this quickly but once the hands an feet moved at the right moment, the move became very powerful.

Self defense with a partner.

In the first drill we faced our partner while they threw a front punch.  Instead of moving away, we moved in at the same time, turned our back to them and caught their arm, right in front of the elbow under our armpit, we then stretched out with the free arm with an elbow into their neck while dropping down.  The attackers punching arm bends and as you twist your body, it locks them up for you to hit them with the elbow.

For the next drill our partner attacked with a left chudan front punch, we would then step in and block their punch to the outside with our open right hand.  The idea behind this block is as if you are taking a weapon from a holster on your side and pointing down and forward.  The key is to not let the shoulder of the blocking hand come up.  The arm bends, pushes out and down and the punch is diverted.

Kata time – Jion.

Sensei Cieplik has been doing something a little different at the end of class.  He has us do a couple of kata’s but as a cool down.  Tonight he had us do Jion.  He counted each move for us for both kata’s.  The first kata was done at a medium pace but with good power and the second kata was done a little slower but with little power.  I have noticed that after the last two classes, I am not as sore as I have been in the past and I think the cool down is really helping.  I am not sure why, maybe because Sensei was coaching us one each move, but each move in Jion tonight felt better than I remember ever doing.

Something has really changed for me over the last month and I hope it stays this way because I am enjoying all of my Karate classes more than ever before.

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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