Hold back your demons – 6/16/11 – Thursday Karate class
Sensei Cieplik gave a tough leg workout today. This was the first class of the session and Sensei always like to go back to fundamental training and that always involves some “hit them with your knee” drills.
Start with some kicks….
After our warm up, we started in a left foot forward front stance, did a rear leg front snap kick, then turned 90 degrees and stepped back, putting the kicking leg down behind us. We did the same drill again but this time with two front snap kicks. The next drill was similar but different. We started with left foot forward in a front stance again, did a front snap kick, then from the kicking leg retracted position we did a low sweeping (muck like a low crescent kick) to turn the body 90 degrees, then step back with the kicking leg and throw a reverse punch. The sweeping motion was really hard to grasp for me but after a few moves, it got a little better.
Hit them with your leg….
We started moving forward and backward, in a front stance with a front punch. We then did moving forward and back with triple punch. Sensei made a point that we should keep our hips forward and just punch when doing this drill. No hip rotation here.
For the next drill, Sensei had us stand upright and punch. The key here was to have the draw or pull hand do 50 percent of the work and the punching hand to do 50 percent of the work. This allows the body to make power without using the hips. Now, Sensei did mention that squeezing the heels and tightening the glutes (butt) does help make the punch more effective.
Hold back your demons….
For the next drill, we started in a back stance, moving forward and back with a knife hand block. The key to the back stance is keeping the front foot quiet when moving forward. To keep it quiet, you keep most of your weight on your back legs and set the front foot down gently with the toes first and not the heel.
This is where holding back your demons comes in. When moving forward or back, you have to keep your weight and chin back. Sensei shows this feeling in a really simple way to understand. You are in your back stance, and he stands behind you, pushing on your back and you hold him back. The idea is to hold all that power back when in a back stance. You are in a defense move and your are telling your attacker that you better stay away or all this power is going to be unleashed upon you.
We also do the same drill with front snap kick, come down with knife hand block. Then we did the same again but after the front snap kick we did front stance with spear hand.
Get a partner and hit them with your leg….
Sensei wanted us to work on the same drill and hit a partner with our leg. The drill had both partners in a front stance, one partner stepped and put their back foot to the outside of the other partners front foot. From there the attacking partner put their knee on the inside of the partners leg. This put the attacking partners foot on the outside and the knee on the inside. From there, we pushed forward with our knee and this motion takes our partner down to the ground. This puts a lot of pressure on the knee and easily makes them drop with even the slightest pressure to the knee.
After this, Sensei had us do moving forward and backward with triple punch but without a partner but keeping the same hit them with your leg technique.
Finish up with some kata….
We spent the rest of the class working on some kata. We started with Heian Shodan twice, then Heian Nidan, then came Heian Godan twice, Tekki Shodan, Jion, Kanku Dai and Bassai Dai. My legs and hips were roasted at that point and the feeling of jello came to mind at that point.