Hands at your side – 11/12/09 – Thursday Karate class

I lost track of how many times I have said this in the past but I keep saying it so that, maybe one day, I will not be so surprised.  After all this time, I finally understand something that I have been doing wrong for over five years.

Keep those hands at your side….

Sensei Cieplik today me something today that I have been told many times but not in this way.  He said that when we are kicking pretend that you are holding a 10 pound dumbbell in each hand, 25 pound dumbbells for us big boys, and keeping our hands at our sides as we kick.  Maybe this came easily to others but just hearing it explained this way made a huge difference.  Now the key to this is my hips are pointed forward instead of one hip, the kicking leg hip, pointing at the ground.

Sensei also mentioned that a good drill is to actually do this movement with dumbbells to help get the feeling of keeping your center and pushing your hips forward.

Back stance on the heel….

Sensei had us spend a lot of time working on our back with extra attention to turning on our heels.  We spent a good amount of time trying to keep our heels in the right position as we moved forward and backward.  One thing I found from these drills is that I really need to spend more time on stretching my heels.

Kata specific….

Sensei had us start with Heian Shodan through Heian Godan, then Tekki Shodan, Jion and Bassai Dai.

Sensei watched each group of us work on our belt specific kata.  I had some one on one instruction from Sensei on areas that I need to work on in Bassai Dai.

  • After doing the tate shuto, I need to use my hips to throw the standing front punch.  Don’t twist the hips, engage the core and squeeze the hips up with the punch.
  • On the last block of the movement above, hold the left arm strong and then move into the back stance with knife hand block as if someone is putting pressure on that arm from the outside.  The key is to keep that movement strong and slide in with the back stance knife hand block.
  • When doing my back stances, especially after the side thrust kick, focus on the back hand (elbow strike) and make sure that my weight is behind me.
  • The movement right before the side thrust kick is a block and grab.

Lots of stuff for me to work on but all good stuff.

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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