Sparring and one-step with a twist – 11/18/08 – Tuesday Karate class

This class was turning point for my sparring.

The light bulb came on…

Sensei Noia had us spend most of the class working on sparring drills.  I paired up with one of our black belt assistant instructors named Mike Buss.  Mike has been in Martial Arts for many years and is one of the hardest fighters in our club.  When he hits you, it is like getting hit with a hammer but he always asks how hard do you want to go.  This is how much control he has over his punches and kicks but the few times I said “lets go hard” in the past, I ended up with some really nasty bruises and sore ribs.

I had asked Mike to help me out and give me some pointers since my sparring is really below where it should be. He gave me the following advice:

Instead of turning my body sideways, he said to may upper body almost straight ahead.  He said to block front or forward kicks with the front hand and roundhouse or turned kicks with back hand. This worked extremely well and although he was taking it easy on me, my blocks were working better than ever from using his suggestions.

One of the biggest tips he gave me was to watch my partners distance, when they are moving in a circle sideways.  I never noticed until today that when they move like that, they are  getting closer and I never noticed it.  After that, I was able to keep my distance right where I wanted it and even though I didn’t have a great deal of attacks, I was able to block pretty much everything he threw from that point.

Sensei Noia told us to switch partners.  I went with my friend Robert who I can never defend.  Out of six or more exchanges, Robert was only able to score on me one time.  I blocked every other attack he threw and I would have scored on him be he beat me to the punch with his one score.  It all had to do with his timing and when he would circle he was get closer but now that I knew his trick, I was able to keep my distance and block his attacks for the first time.

Thanks Mike for all the good tips!

One step with moves from kata…

For the last few minutes of class, Sensei Noia had us work on one-step sparring but using moves from our kata’s instead of the normal block and counters that we always do.  I really enjoying this type of one-step since it gives me the change to work on kata bunkai as I see it.  One of my favorite moves was doing the yama zuki from Bassai Dai as the block and counter.

It was a really good 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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