An interesting sparring drill and more – 9/11/08 – Thursday Karate class

Kicking warm ups with a little extra…

We started with the normal kicking drills to warm up then Sensei Cieplik had us do a drill that I don’t recall ever doing.  He had us do front snap kick, side thrust kick to the side, back kick, roundhouse kick, side thrust to the front, front snap kick to the front and hook kick to the front.  This was meant to be a balance exercise and I felt that remembering all the moves was harder than executing them.

Move forward with the body…

The next drill was a front snap kick, but instead of just stepping down after the kick, we had to step down into to cat stance.  The idea was to keep our weight on the back leg and touch only the top of big toe to floor for balance, then push the front leg forward and finish the stance.  The was to help us get the feeling of moving forward with control and not just falling into our stances.  We did the same move but this time we added a front punch after the front snap kick.

Sparring drills…

For the next drill, Sensei had us do a front hand jab, put our weight on the front front leg, shift on an angle to the side, then roundhouse or front snap kick and reverse punch.  The idea was to shift our weight to the front when jabbing and then use the back leg to spring forward and throw the kick and then follow it with the reverse punch.

Partner up for self defense time…

For the first drill, we stood in front of our partner, the threw a front punch, we stepped backward into front stance, blocked and grabbed the attackers hand with our back hand,  we then pulled the attackers hand and hit them in the throat or chin with a front hand jab.  The idea was to have the correct timing so that we could block the attack and counter almost at the same time.

Next was the same drill but instead of grabbing the attackers hand, we used and outward block and then jabbed to the face.

Our last drill was a kicking drill.  Our partner threw a front snap kick, at the same time I went to throw a front snap kick but tuned 90 degrees to the side, then I stepped back, putting the kicking leg down behind my partner and then was able to throw them over my leg.  I hope I explained that clearly enough.  As their front leg lands, our leg comes down and we throw them over it with our arm.  The idea behind this move is to take them down and have them land on their neck.

Sensei explained again that Karate is not pretty and we have to keep in mind that many of our movements are meant to stop or kill our attacker.  It is what it is and if we don’t respect it, we can really hurt or partner.

Listen to your gut and not your head and RELAX…

I spent some time with Sensei after class and even though he mentioned this before, I need to put it here again so that I can remember it. He made a comment about how my Karate will improve when I use my gut instead of my head.  The point he is making is that if we have to think about our moves, our Karate will always be tense.

After he mentioned what he did above, he talked about doing the drill where we pretend that our arms are ropes that have weights attached to the end.  We then turn our torso and our arms act as whips and the flow freely from side to side.  He always uses the analogy of the drum in Karate Kid II where it turns side to side and the little balls on the end of strings whip freely and hit the front and back of the drum.  Sensei says that if we can get our upper body relaxed enough, our Karate will be relaxed too.  I am still working on this concept and am still tense but hopefully, the future will allow me to just let it go.

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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