Shared Wisdom – 11/13/08 – Thursday Karate class

Sensei Cieplik had us start class with a little shorter warm up.


Sensei Cieplik said to take a movement and make it your own kata.  Take something that we need to improve and create this drill that we can practice each and every day.  Sensei Cieplik said that his Sensei told him that the Karate student should do four to five sets of this drill each day on top of his or her other training.

For example, Sensei had us start in the ready stance, we then moved our left foot forward into a back stance, next we drew back to ready and then moved our right foot forward into a back stance, next we drew back and stepped back with our right foot back into a back stance and then we drew back and stepped back with our left foot into a back stance.

We also did front snap kick to the front and then set the kicking leg down behind us at a 90 degree angle from where we started.  For example, front snap kick to the front, pull the knee back up and twist the hips and body 90 degrees to the left then set the kicking leg down behind.  Picture a clock, you start at the 12 position and then after the first kick, end up at the 9, then after another kick the 6, then the three and finish back at the 12.

I can see a lot of use for this drill and even though I have heard of it and did it before, I really never saw how good it was until today.

Stance tension…

Sensei had us get a partner.  He then had one of us stand in a front stance while our partner pulled on the knee of our front leg.  Our partner pulled our knee to outside so we would have to keep tension on leg when doing our movements.

We then did a front snap kick, while our partner was pulling our knee and if we didn’t use the muscles of our core, we would fall over or at least loose our balance.  My partner and I got the idea pretty quick and after from the second kick on each leg we were able to use our core like Sensei wanted us to do.

For the next drill, Sensei had one of use get into a front stance while our partner put their toes on the heel of our front foot.  We then stepped into a front stance and threw a front punch.  The idea was to not let our back heel pick up so that we could make sure that we were connected when we did our punch.  When stepping forward, the hips needed to move in front of the front foot or the shoulders would take over and make heel pop up when stepping through.

Some words of wisdom…

I was lucky enough to spend some time listening to Sensei Cieplik as he was talking to some of the other students and I picked up some of the following wisdom:

When you do your kata, put your spirit up on the balcony and watch your body do it.  Don’t think about the kata, know the kata.

Spend your time sharing what you have learned with those that will carry on the art.

Don’t bark at your students, share with them and tell them they are doing things differently and not wrong.

Those three things really stuck in my mind and hopefully I can use some of Sensei’s wisdom in my own training and when I assist with the classes each week.

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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