You are not kicking a chiwawa – 6/3/09 – Wednesday Karate class

This class was packed today.  Many of the first kyu’s showed up to have their test papers signed by Sensei DiPasquale and there we at least 90 people in class.

If you don’t show respect, don’t show up….

Sensei spent the first 10 minutes of class explaining respect.  He mentioned that everyone needs to respect the dojo and the instructors by bowing.  Whenever you enter or leave the dojo floor or see a Sensei enter the room, you must bow.  He explained that many people show up to get their papers signed to test for Shodan but they do not show simple respect in our art.  I have been told that I bow too much but I do not ever want any of my Sensei’s telling my that I do not respect them, the dojo or our art.  Sensei made it very clear that if you are not going to show respect, don’t show up to his classes or expect to test for Shodan in our club.

Hold those stances….

Sensei started us off with some stance training.  He had us get into a front stance and hold it while he counted and had us do slow punches.  We held a front stance, for each leg, for about three minutes each.  He also explained that we need to punch to the center every time and make sure that our back foot is pointed less than 90 degrees to the side.  If you can keep your back foot pointed to less than 45 degrees to the side, that is better.

Front snap kick the correct way….

Sensei spent a good amount of time explaining the details of the front snap kick.

  1. The stationary foot cannot turn to the side when kicking.
  2. The stationary leg needs to be bent while kicking.
  3. The toes need to be curled up.
  4. The ankle of the kicking leg needs to snap at the end of the kick and push the ball of the foot forward.

Next, Sensei had us work on side thrust kicks.  For this movement, he said that we should pivot the stationary foot before we do the kick, not during the kick.  This made the kick much easier for me but I guess that my kick height wasn’t up to par since he said “you are not kicking a chiwawa”.

I sure wish I could turn back time about 20 years or so and also figure out how to reverse arthitus but I guess I am just going to have to keep working at these kicks to try and make them higher.

Sparring drills….

Even though I shouldn’t be sparring because of my neck, Sensei said that we were just going to do some drills and no free sparring so I should be safe.  We spent a lot of time working on distance and timing with simple moves like jab and reverse punch.  One drill that I really enjoyed was roundhouse kick only drills.  Sensei had us alternate roundhouse kicks with our partner and even though I couldn’t get much higher than chudan, it was a really productive drill.   The more kicks that I did, the higher my kicks started to go but they were still no where never jodan.

Kata, it’s all about the details….

This was really interesting.  Sensei spent a lot of time explaining how we should be doing our kata in great detail.

Sensei said that we need to start our kata like we mean business.  If we aren’t 100 percent focused on our kata from the start it will stick out like a sore thumb.  When you start, start with everything you got.  He also said that the first and the last moves must be your best moves.  The examiners are looking at your first move and if it is not good, they make their judgment that your kata is not going to be good enough to make them watch it entirely.  Also, the last move needs to be just as good as the first since it could make the examiner realize that the kata was really good from the first move forward or not as good as they thought.  Make a great first impression and then follow it up with a last move that supports the first impression.

Sensei also dissected Bassai Dai.  When doing the kata, show that you know what the kata movements are meant to do and that they would work if you had to use them to defend yourself.  Do the moves fast and strong and focus on doing and showing that each movement would be effective.

This was an excellent class and I learned a lot!

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..

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!