Learn something new all the time – 12/11/08 – Thursday Karate class

Sensei Cieplik shared some very helpful tips tonight

Kick lower but make it correct…

We started with the normal warm up of kicks but he made a comment that stuck.  He said, if you have to kick lower, make the kick more compact but do the full movement.  Instead of kicking higher and only doing half a kick, he wanted us to kick lower but really put something behind it and extend the kick all the way.

Exam kihon drills…

Sensei wanted to give us some tips for our upcoming exam and one movement that he had us work on was different than I remember.  He had us move into a normal front stance and then put our front leg out n front of us and pull it back behind us like the end of a roundhouse kick and set it down behind us.  It is a really touch movement for me.

When doing a roundhouse kick, if the hand on the kicking leg is in front of the knee, the roundhouse is no good.  From what I can feel and after talking to Dr. Bailey about this, the back is not engaged and because of this, the kick is no good.

Move forward and not side to side…

The next drill had to do with moving forward.  Sensei had us stand with both feet together, then move one foot forward without our body moving to the side.  In order to do this, the weight needs to be on the back leg while the front foot slides forward, barely touching the floor.  The ides of “pet the mouse” is the basis of this drill.  The front foot big toe had almost no pressure on it while moving forward.

Kata…

We worked on kata for some time and lot of it was spent with the third Kyu’s that were testing soon.  We spent a lot of time on Jion and the thing that I got from it was, when doing the three stomp and strike movements, turn the striking wrist down as if we were blocking or punching.  It brings a whole new level of power to those movements for me.  Even though I have been that kata for well over a year, I never thought to turn my wrist and those movements.

Use your senses…

Sensei Cieplik has mentioned this before but it alwasys helps to get a review.  He made the comment that we have three “radar dishes” on the back of our bodies.  One is located at the back of the neck, another at the lower back and the third on the back of the leg near or above the knee joints.  The reason that he talked about this today is because if you posture is bad one or more of those radar dishes will not work.  For those of you who haven’t heard of these, they are what allows us to see behind us without turning around.  Sensei said that 95% of the time, if someone is standing with good posture and facing away from another person, the person behind them can point to one of the three dishes and the person they are pointing at will know where they are pointing.  Have you ever noticed, when your in class, if you back up near a wall, you can feel it even though you do not see it?  It almost feels like static electricity or a pressure change to me and I notice this a lot when I am in the dojo walking backward when help out with some of the classes.  I can count and walk backward and feel a wall or even a student behind me without looking.

It was a great class even though the dojo was freezing cold.

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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