Squeeze the floor – 10/7/10 – Thursday Karate class
There is not a lot to type about as far as the techniques that we did with Sensei Cieplik today but there was a very important theme to this Karate class in relation to stance training.
Sensei has us start out with the normal warm up and the we moved into some ten-no kata. Ten-no kata is a group of basic movements that form a simple kata. For example, we stepped forward with our left leg and did a front punch, we then moved back to ready and then stepped forward with our right leg. Back to ready again and then we stepped back with our left leg forward and then back to ready and once more, we stepped back with our right leg forward and executed the technique. Front punches can be replaced with pretty much any other attack or block since the pattern is easy to follow once you get used to it.
Squeeze the floor….
Sensei had us spend a lot of time working on our stances and the idea of squeezing the floor before moving forward or backward. For example, when moving forward, the idea is to pull with your front leg and use your back leg to keep you from moving. This creates what Sensei calls dynamic tension. With the tension, the rear leg moves forward at blinding speed once it’s released. I compare this a engaging the parking break on a front wheel drive car while stepping on the accelerator then releasing the parking break. All this power is just waiting to go and once released it launches the car forward.
Focusing on the dynamic leg tension, the arms kind of just go. I wasn’t really paying any attention to my hand techniques but they seemed to fly out without having any mind focusing on them. The only downside to this training is that it’s very painful and intense. If my hips had a mouth, I would have to censor what they were saying to me after few sets.
We finished up class doing kata while squeezing the floor on the punches and blocks in each movement of Heian Shodan. Give this a try and see what a difference it makes in your Karate movements. I remember being told to do this before but this was the first time that I remember spending most of a class working on this specific concept. Good stuff!
This article was originally posted on www.shotokanplanet.org. Any reproduction on any other site is prohibited and a violation of copyright laws.