Just survive – 9/5/08 – Thursday Karate class

Sensei Cieplik is back and shared and excellent class with us tonight.

Roundhouse kick with downward motion…

We did our normal warm ups and then started working on some kicking drills.  Sensei had us bring our leg up to belt level, or as close as we could get to it and then throw the kick with a downward motion toward the knee.  The reason behind this was to get the hip turned over near the end of the movement.

Sensei also explained, which I am sure he mentioned in the past, that a roundhouse kick is an extended sideways knee strike.  Thinking about striking a target with a sideways knee strike puts the roundhouse in a different perspective for me.  If I focus on the knee strike, the extension of my lower leg seems to just fly out without much thought.

With the body…

Next came some blocking and punching drills.  Sensei had us do a front stance and he explained that our front foot should be turned in a few degrees and never turned to the outside.

We worked on moving forward with various blocks and punches but instead of finishing our front stance, he had us do the block while in a cat stance and then throw the punch after springing from the back leg.  The spring from the back leg really added a lot of power to the reverse punch.  It also forced us to use our entire body when executing the reverse punch.

He also mentioned that the reverse punch is the “correct” punch.  When we walk, our hands and feet are opposite.  For example, left foot forward and right hand behind, then right foot forward and left hand behind. Sensei made the comment about our moving forward in a front stance with a front punch and if we can learn to do that with some proficiency, we should be able to Karate since our bodies are not neurologically designed to move same side hand and foot at the same time.

When doing the downward block, both arms need to come close together and the blocking hand needs to  speed up at the bottom to break an arm grab.  The idea is to do the block fast but add and extra boost right at the end of the movement when your blocking hand passes your draw hand wrist.


After you are done with your fight, kata or basic, as you stand up into the yoi position, bring your weapons “hands” together in front of you and remain conscious of what it happening around you even though your battle is over..

In Karate of the past, when the attackers eyes are closed and he or she on the ground, not breathing, the battle is over.

Sport fighting has one winner but in self defense there is one survivor,

Kata, before class…

I was off to one side working on the first move of Bassai Dai before class and Sensei came over to correct me.  When doing the first move, he said that the movement is similar to breaking through a cinderblock wall with an eight pound sledge hammer.  The motion is to bring my hands UP from my side and pushing the hips forward and the hands somewhat downward.  He said that my ending hand position should be a refelction of my core.  I did the move half a dozen times and Sensei said that I was close to what what it should be but I know that really need to work on it a lot more.

Excellent 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..

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