Kata makes good kumite – 6/11/10 – Friday Karate class

Sensei Brien had us work on using our hips more in our movements.  He also had us work on getting more speed and explosion.

Get warmed up…..

Sensei had us start in a horse stance.  From there we did front punch, double front punch and rising block.  From there, we stood up and double front snap kick.  Next, we moved back into a horse stance and pivoted to the left then right on a 45 degree angle each time.  Next, we added reverse punch to the drill.

Snap your hips….

Sensei had us work on getting more snap from our hips when we are moving.  He had us start with moving forward and and backward in stance only making sure that we snap our hips. We then started in a stance with our hips open then threw a back leg front snap kick.  Next, we started again with our hips open and threw a reverse punch and as our hips closed, we launched a front snap kick.  We then worked on blocks, moving forward and back very fast and opening our hips as we blocked.

Next came knife hand blocks.  Instead of moving the legs first and slowly winding up before we did the knife hand, he wanted us to throw it the same way we would a punch.  He had us started out doing the knife hand from our shoulder instead of our ear to give us the feeling of speed, which it did.  Next we did the same move, from the ear now but trying to keep the same hight speed and it worked.

Low belt kata with high belt knowledge….

Sensei made a point that many people move up through the ranks but they still do their kata like they learned it when they were a lower belt.  He said that many people still do their kata like they learned it when they were lower belts.  For example, doing Heian Nidan as a black belt should look a whole lot different then when you are were an orange belt.  The movements should be fluid, strong and have good rhythm not slow, weak and robotic.  If you do explosive movements in Kanku Dai, you should do the same in the Heian Katas too.  It’s an excellent point and something I really need to work on now.

Sensei also explained the good kata and kihon makes good kumite.  His Sensei made him do kata, with no kumite, for three months  and after all of the kata, his kumite improved too.  I too have found the same thing.  I had a total of maybe three classes where I did sparring in the three months leading up to my exam for Shodan and I sparred better then I ever have before at this exam.

We did all of the Heian katas with Sensei counting each move, trying to explode into each movement like we do in our higher belt katas.

Get a partner….

We finish up working on some partner focus drills.  Our partner held out one hand and did a roundhouse kick and touched their hand with the ball of our foot.  For the last drill we did some attack and retreat drills.  We started by shifting and then getting out before our partner could swing at us and hit us with their hand.  One really good takeaway from this drill for me is, when retreating, pull the attacking hand back as fast as possible.  By doing that, I was able to get away faster then I ever remember doing.

This article was originally posted on www.shotokanplanet.org. Any reproduction on any other site is prohibited and a violation of copyright laws.

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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