Ready stance without upper body tension – 5/26/11 – Thursday Karate class

One of my favorite things that I like about Sensei Cieplik’s class is the extra attention to fundamentals every week.  Sensei changes up the order of the techniques and adds some other movements but he always has us focus on doing the correct kihon techniques.    This never gets old and I know that doing these basic movements every week make my movements better.

Good kihon (basics) with the body….

After the warm up, we did moving forward and backward downward block with reverse punch, inward block with reverse punch, rising block with reverse punch, and outward block with reverse punch. Sensei watches these move very closely and makes sure that we have good hip rotation and that we are using our entire body with each technique.

Next, we moved into moving forward and backward in a back stance with knife hand block.  The key to the back stance is to make sure that the front foot stay quiet.  Instead of banging the front foot heel down, the ball of the foot should touch the floor first while being gentle and quiet.   We also did moving forward and backward in back stance with knife hand block, front snap kick and spear hand.

For the next drill, we did shuffle up, front leg roundhouse kick with reverse punch.  Lots of hip rotation in this drill.   We followed that up with some shifting drills.  We did shifting forward with jab, then jab reverse punch, and then double jab with reverse.

We finished up the kihon with moving sideways in a horse stance, then moving sideways again but with side thrust kick.  We did also side snap kick and then, side thrust kick with snap kick.

Last minute kata advice for the students who are testing….

Sensei had many students papers to sign so that they can test and he gave everyone detailed advice about ways to improve their kata.  We did Heian Yondan, Heian Godan, and Tekki Shodan three times.  We also did Jion, Bassai Dai and Kanku Dai twice.  The higher ranked Black belts did their testing kata too.

One of the key points that I remember Sensei saying is when you move to ready stance show loose arms.  Don’t use your biceps to or show tension in the upper body when moving into the ready stance.  Another great tip, related to Hangetsu, was to bring your hands to the side when moving into the ready stance to show that you are bending a steel rod.  The idea is your hands are out to the sides, shoulders back and lower body a bit forward as if you are being a steel rod around your hips.

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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