Stance within a stance – 1/6/11 – Thursday Karate class.
Today was my first class of 2011 after too long of a holiday break. Sensei Cieplik quickly brought us back up to speed with some really tough kicking exercises.
Make your kicks better with three painful drills….
After watching my front snap kick, Sensei told me that I am still hyper-extending my knee. The correction that he gave me was to raise my knee up higher after front snap kick.
For the first painful drill, we started in a front stance, did a rear leg front snap kick, then we set it down in front, in a blocking stance (similar to a long cat stance), from there we pulled the heel of the kicking leg back to our butt, then back to the blocking stance and then we put the kicking leg back behind in the starting position.
The next drill was even harder. We started with a slow motion front thrust kick, from there we bring the same leg to the side and did side thrust kick, then we bring the same leg to the back with a back kick while trying to keep the working leg at the same level and then bring it back to front.
I cannot describe the feeling while doing this drill except it was more painful than the previous two drills combined. Start by balancing on one leg with the opposite knee up at hip level and then hold it for what seemed like an eternity. Next, move the heel of the raised leg in front of opposite leg knee cap and squeeze from the hips and core. After that, bend over and touch the floor, still on one leg, then straighten up and push the raised knee forward as far as possible much like a knee strike. Rinse and then repeat with the other leg.
Stance within a stance….
For the next drill, we did moving forward and back with the usual combination of techniques. After a few moves, Sensei had us do a stance within a stance. For example, moving forward with rising block and reverse punch, instead of stepping forward or back directly, we inserted a blocking leg stance half way through and then drove our knee forward to finish the move and work from the hips instead of the upper body.
We did a similar drill moving backward but now we shifted our weight from the front leg the back leg and pulled the front leg back into the blocking leg stance and then finally all the way behind.
For the next kicking drills, we did moving to the side in a horse stance with double side thrust kick. Sensei said that many people can do one kick well but doing two well is much harder since you need to re-balance the body before throwing the second kick.
We finished with the kicks with tow partner drills. We stood directly in front of our partner and did a side thrust kick to exactly center in an arching motion not a wiping motion. For the second drill, we stood next to our partner and held on to their shoulder, we brought the closest knee up to the front, turned the hip over and did a side thrust kick across their body. This was to make the kick go straight across our partner and not snapping like a roundhouse kick.
We finished up with some kata. We did Heian 1 through Heian 5 and Sensei suggested that we try to insert the blocking leg stance into those katas.
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