Push the hips forward – 7/23/09 – Thursday Karate class

Sensei Cieplik had us work on some basic kihon but with extra attention to the hips.

Hips over heels….

After our warm up, Sensei had us do a few basic movements then had us modify then to get the hips more involved.  We started with our hands on our hips, then move forward into cat stance, then pet the mouse or gently extend our front foot forward as far as possible, then move the foot an inch more then push the hips forward. This really made my stance much shorter then normal but Sensei mentioned that if your front stance is too short when doing this drill, this drill will improve it.  We did the same drill with front snap kick and front punch.  The whole idea is to make sure that the hips stay over the heels.

Sparring kihon…

We started with shuffle up, front leg roundhouse kick come down and reverse punch.  The next move was jab, reverse punch and rear leg front snap kick.

Next, we did a similar drill but after the kick, we come down into a low stance and try to touch our chest to our bent knee and then we pivot on the heels and throw a reverse punch in the other direction.  The move is similar to a move in Empi, one of our black belt katas.

The next drill was made for me even though I cannot do it too well.  Sensei had us stand upright with our knee up in the position of front snap kick.  We then took our hand and put it under our knee and put our a side thrust kick.  The idea is to have our arm help us do the kick.  Sensei said either our kicks will get really good and/or our arms will get really strong when doing this drill.

Another kicking drill we worked on was a front snap kick but with our toes.  The idea was to turn the hip and use our or toes to strike our target.  It felt much like a low forward thrust kick but when using the toes, the kick needs to be directed at soft tissue.


We spent time working on Heian Shodan, Heian Sandan, Heian Yondan, Heian Godan, Tekki Shodan, Jion, Bassai Dai and Kanku Dai.

Sensei told us something that I don’t recall him mentioning before.  He said, when you do the movements in the kata dont do all moves over the top, look first and choose if need to go crazy.

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..


2 Responses to “Push the hips forward – 7/23/09 – Thursday Karate class”
  1. DM says:

    I just finished a class (also a member of ISKC). I’m sore. I decided to fumble around on the internet before hitting the sack and I stumbled upon your website. May I say Thank You for starting this blog. I am a 3rd Kyu working towards my 2nd Kyu and I feel about my Sensei’s (Mr. Brien and Mr. Mertel) much the same way you do about yours. It’s interesting how, especially after a class, you really feel like the instructors have such a strong positive impact on your life.
    I’m just learning Jion. After learning ‘Tekki,’ Jion feels like it takes forever to finish. It’s odd. Somedays I walk away from class feeling like I know a lot more about karate, but most days I feel like I know less and less. This is especially true for all of the sparring drills we’ve been doing lately. Take care Doug, and keep on writing.

    Your new faithful reader,

  2. doug says:

    Hi DM,

    I know exactly what you are feeling. I had one of those moments just the other night. I thought that I was really starting to get a grasp of Karate and then bang, out of nowhere, I felt like knew so little.

    I think the key to being successful in Karate is plowing through these mental moments, enjoy what we do and what we are learning and be happy that we are able to do it.

    Making it to third kyu is an excellent accomplishment. I started taking Karate a little over five years ago along with about 12 other adults and over the years that number has dwindled down to only five. I think making it this far is proof that we might know more than we think or at least I hope that’s the case.

    Best wishes,


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