Karate is perfect, until we move – 5/7/09 – Thursday Karate class

I was talking with Sensei Cieplik before class and we got on the subject of keeping my head back while doing my kata and basics.  He suggested that I do Heian Shodan with a tennis ball under my chin.  If the ball falls from my chin, I have to start the kata over again from the start.

Thinking kihon…

After our warm up we started out with moving forward and backward with reverse punch.  Next came reverse rising block, jab and  reverse punch.  We did the same with downward and inward blocks.

Next, we did back stance, knife hand with front snap kick and nukite.  Sensei said to keep our power behind us until we move forward into the attack.  Back stance is a defensive move that keeps our power behind us. The knife hand should be strong, the kicker stronger and the nukite strongest.

The next drill was shuffle up with short roundhouse and then pull back fast into fighting stance.  This idea was to get the kick out as fast as possible and then get back to the fighting stance, ready to attack again.

We ended our kihon drills with moving across with side thrust kick and side snap kick.

Sensei shared a simple movement to help loosen up the hips.  He had us stand with our shoulders relaxed, then raise up on the ball of one foot, keeping the other foot flat on the floor, while not letting the shoulders move.  This exercise helps stretch the hips for side snap kicks.  The idea is the have the hips pivot up and down.

Kata details…

One point that Sensei talked about when we were working on kata was the reasdy stance.  The ready stance should not be aggressive or asleep, it should be as if you are ready to act if needed.  A gaze the sees everything around you but does not focus on any one point.

Sensei said that one of his Sensei’s made a comment, “when in a ready stance, karate is perfect, until we move.”  There seems to be a lot of truth to that statement.

We worked on all kata’s from Heian Shodan up to Bassai Dai

Sensei Cieplik gave us some pointers on parts of the katas.  In Tekki Shodan, back hand strike needs to have front hand pull the attacker in at the same time.  At lot of the power from that movement comes from the draw hand and the motion of pulling the opponent into the strike.

In Jion, when doing the dropping block the blocking arms should drop from up high and the draw hand must be used.  The blocking hand should reach up high and the motion of the arm moving from up high to parallel with the ground should produce the power.  Just using gravity makes the move feel much stronger.

For Bassai Dai, Sensei had us work on pivoting on the heels.  From the first move to the second, pivoting on the heel makes the power come from the hips instead of the shoulders.  The same applies for the other moves.

We ran out of time and Sensei said that we would continue from this point next 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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