Kata by candlelight – 3/24/11 – Thursday Karate class

Today was the last class of this session and Sensei Cieplik had us work on some different drills.

Custom Kihon….

After our warmup, we started from a left foot forward front stance and while standing still, we threw a reverse punch.  From there, we brought the back foot up next to the front foot, stepped back with the right foot and threw a reverse punch again.

For the next drill, we started in a front stance, turned 180 degrees and moved in to a cat stance, then we pushed forward with our hips and did a block.  The key is to make sure that you push forward when turning and blocking instead of to the side.

Another point, that Sensei has mentioned before, when reaching before doing a block, the reaching hand could be used as a block and the block could become a strike.

We also worked on a stationary drill doing a reach and reverse punch.  When doing the reach, we had our palm up and made sure that we rubbed our elbow on our gi.  When concentrating on the draw hand, the punch moves much faster and stronger.

Kata specifics and kata by candlelight….

Sensei gave us some specifics on various moves in a couple of the Heian katas.

While working in Heian Nidan, the second move, when the arms come in to the body should make an X.  When working on Heian Yondan, the first two moves can be done three different ways.

  1. The kata can start with the fists to the side much like the start of Heian Nidan.
  2. The arms can travel in a wide circular movement.
  3. The arms can travel directly, close to the body.

When doing the movements, in kata or kihon, use the hands like whips.  If done correctly, the hands should make what sounds like a snap.  The elbow should not move but the hands should pivot and then be squeezed in to a tight fist at the end of the motion.

When doing kata, your hands should stay inside your body.  One way to practice is in a dark room with a candle behind you.  If your arms goes outside your body, you will see the shadow.

When when standing up after a kata, pull from your heel not your shoulders.  After you finish your kata, you want to keep your face away from the imaginary attacker that you just defeated.  If you stand up from your shoulders, you face will get closer to your opponent but if your heel back, into the ready stance, your face will stay back.  It also helps show Zanshin and that you are ready to go again if needed.

Bow to drop your baggage….

Another excellent comment that Sensei was to drop your baggage when you bow.  When you bow to step on the floor of the dojo, whatever is on your mind stays behind and you do your Karate with a clear head.  Whatever stress you had outside stays outside when your are on the dojo floor.

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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