Do your Karate paperwork – 10/22/09 – Thursday Karate class
Sensei Cieplik has been spending a lot of time sharing the little details that make good Karate even better. For at least a month, he has been giving us homework and special drills to improve our stances and our movements and tonight was no different.
Sensei gave all of us a piece of paper about four inches by five inches. He then had us put it under the ball of our left foot and had us stand in a front stance. From that position we slid our foot, with the paper under it, out into a cat stance, then farther into a front blocking stance, then a little more into a back stance and then repeat. This was to give us the feeling of pushing our front leg forward and driving from the heel of the back leg.
For the next drill, we did Heian Shodan with the paper under one foot. This gave a much different feel to the kata. When the paper was under the front foot you could slide into the stance and when it was under the back foot you had to keep the heel down or it would slip out behind you.
Get a partner and a pad….
For our next drill, we got a partner and a pad. Sensei had us work on a couple of different drills. We started with reverse punch, then with sideways hammer fist and another move, for the advanced belts, where we put our hand about an inch from the pad our partner was holding and used body vibration to strike the pad.
Next, we had our partner get into a front stance as we walked around them and tested them, at various points on their body to see if they were locked or rooted in their stances. For example, we would pull on their draw hand elbow or push on up or down on their punching hand. We also pushed on their back leg to make sure it was locked and straight and we also pushed on their hip from the side where I was in my weakest position. If you are not connected by your core, your stance is weak and your can easily be pushed off balance. The core is the connection between the upper body and the lower body and if it isn’t there or weak, it will be very evident in your movements.
Lots of kata….
We moved into our kata next. We started with Heian Shodan and went all the way to Tekki Shodan. Sensei also gave us the option to do Heian Shodan with paper under the balls of both feet. This was really interesting and certainly made the foot movements much more precise than when I did it without the paper.
We then worked on Jion with the paper under our feet up to the first kiai. The first move in Jion is a real wake up if you do not drive the left leg back on the heel.
We then worked on Bassai Dai but without the paper.
Extra note for me to remember; When doing side thrust kick, kick my heel back and to the side. I was kicking to the side and front instead of back.