New session, more Karate to learn – 6/17/10 – Thursday Karate class

Today was the start of the new Karate session and it was great to see a lot of the same faces and many new faces too.

Warm up….

Sensei Cieplik had us start with our normal warm up.  We did 10 stationary front snap kicks with our hands down by our sides.  Next came five front snap kicks and back kick combination.  Then we did front snap kick and side thrust kick.   Then came front snap kick, back kick, roundhouse kick and front snap kick.

We finished our warm up with a drill that Sensei has us do that it equivalent to jumping jacks.  We start in a front stance with our reverse hand out in front, we then reach with the opposite hand, throw a front snap kick and then step back and throw a reverse punch.  The idea here is for the entire class to do this drill in unison.

Kicks, punches and blocks and a kata….

We started with stationary knee strike with front snap kick.  Next comes moving forward with knee strike and front snap kick.  The key is to make it two separate movements.  The knee strike pushes the hip forward, then the hip retracts, the knee comes back up and the front snap kick is executed.

Next, we worked on moving forward with front snap kick and front punch.  We also worked on moving forward with just front punch but Sensei had us pay extra attention to all five parts of the movement.  And we all thought that moving forward with a front punch is simple.  Sensei has gone over this many times before but I feel that repeating this again is a good refresher that won’t hurt.

The five parts of the front punch are as follows;

  1. Shin clash – Hit them with your front leg shin and scare them with your legs.  Hitting them with the shin takes their mind off of your hands for a split second.
  2. Knee sweep – As the front knee knee moves it, it will twist and sweep their leg if done correctly.
  3. Guarded rear leg – The rear leg needs to be planted and solid.  A person the of the same weight should be able to stand on your back leg when you are in a front stance with your hips straight ahead.
  4. Draw hand – The draw hand or pull hand allows your to pull your attacker in toward you.
  5. The punch – The easiest part of the movement, just make sure that you hit with the correct knuckles, first two knuckles next to the thumb.  One other point that Sensei often makes about a punch is to think or focus on a spot behind your target instead of just stopping the punch at the target.

For our next drills, we working on moving forward and back doing downward block, rising block and inward block.  Sensei had us focus on our inward block and when moving forward and back, we need to keep our chins back.  Don’t squeeze or make the block small by bringing the blocking arm close to the body, instead, let the legs and hips do the block and just use the arm as an extension of the body.

Next, we worked on moving forward and back with inward block, elbow strike and backfist.  The idea here again was to make sure that stances are what they should be.  The front stance needs to look like a front stance and the horse stance needs to look like a horse stance, no kind of stances.

The next drill was back stance with knife hand block.  Then, knife hand block, front snap kick and spear hand.  Each move needs to increase with intensity.  The knife hand block is strong, the front snap kick is stronger and the spear hand is strongest.

For the next drill, we started in a horse stance, stepped across and did a side thrust kick.  The next drill was the same but with side snap kick and the last drill was one step with both kicks.  The key to this drill was to pay extra attention to the cross leg stance with our toes touching when stepping across.

We did one Heian Shodan after the basics.

Get a partner, block and jab….

With our partner, we did a drill where one of us throws a jab and reverse punch and the other partner, blocks the jab with the front hand, blocks the reverse punch with the back or bottom hand and then throws a jab right from the blocking position.  One key to this drill is to keep the elbow of the front jabbing hand facing downward.  If the elbow goes out the side, it makes the punch slower and less powerful.

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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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