Three things to improve your kata- 4/21/11 – Thursday Karate class

I have said this many times, that Sensei Cieplik says things that totally change the way that I view Karate and today was one of those moments.  He said three things that changed my entire attitude toward kata, in a good way.  He said, “like yourself, like what you are doing and know that you will improve.”

Uncommon kihon…

Sensei had us work on some kihon drills that were a little different than normal Shotokan drills.  We started with a rising block drill where we brought the blocking hand from our side, up the middle of our body vertically and twisted our hand at the end of the blocking movement.  Bringing the block up through the center-line of the body gave the movement a much different feel.  This felt much more like a strike instead of a block.

For the next drill, we stood upright, with our knees loose or soggy knees as Sensei calls them.  From there, we put one hand above our head, to the side and did a rising strike with the other hand.  The drill resembled an upright punch that ended in the rising block position.  The idea was to turn the fist at the end of the movement.

We continued with more drills but this time, we loaded up the back leg and then did inward, outward, rising and downward blocks.  The idea was to do these movements with the body, not just the arms.

Three things to improve your Kata….

We finished up with some kata and the important points that Sensei made.  When doing your kata, you have to do three things.  The sentences after each point is my opinion or how I defined the points that Sensei made.

  1. Like yourself – If you like yourself, it will show in your attitude and also in your performance.
  2. Like what you are doing – If you like what you are doing, it makes almost anything easy to do.  Since we pay for our Karate classes, I assume that most people like doing it or they would not pay for class or even come to them.
  3. Know that you will improve – Each move you do, not matter how small or big is going to help you improve.  I like to look back at old videos of myself from past tournaments to help me clearly see that I have improved and as long as I keep training, I will continue to improve.

Not only do these three points apply to Karate, I feel they apply to life.

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..


2 Responses to “Three things to improve your kata- 4/21/11 – Thursday Karate class”
  1. Karen says:

    Wonderful post Doug.

    I am always digging deep to try and find ways to improve my Kata and I think all three of those points are fantastic – your Sensei sounds similar to mine in terms of his philosophy and passing it on to his students.

    If you like yourself and what you are doing, your Kata will be a reflection of that. I’ve seen Kata that I really admire, and I’ve also seen Kata that shows someone else is paying for that student to be there. There is a huge difference between the two.

    Keep training, and keep loving it.
    ~ Karen

  2. doug says:

    Thanks Karen.

    It seems that the Sensei’s that really care about the art are the ones that share everything that they have learned. I know that my Sensei made a point, when one of his Senseis’, Sensei George Anderson, passed away, that the information that he didn’t share is lost forever. That really struck a nerve and when I help others and I try to pass on what my Senseis’ have shared with me. One of the main reasons for this blog is to share with others and have a record of what is shared with me so that others can pass this along too.

    I agree that you can always tell who really wants to be in class and who is there just because they are forced to be there. I am very lucky that 90% of the students that I work with want to be in class and show it.


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