Keep your posture for better kicks – 6/23/11 – Thursday Karate class

Sensei Cieplik is still working on our kicks. One of the key points that he made today, while we were kicking, was to keep our posture upright to make our kicks better.

Make those roundhouse kicks better and keep your posture…..

After our warm up Sensei had us work on moving forward with front snap kick and front punch.

Next came moving forward with roundhouse kick.  When doing the roundhouse kick, keep your hands at your sides.  The thumb of the side that the front leg is on should be behind the middle side of your leg.  By keeping your hand in that position, it keeps you from using your shoulders when kicking and it allows you to kick  with the body.

For the next drill, we turned sideways and started with our knee pointing to the front (our side) like the start of a roundhouse kick.  From there , we held our knee out to the side and pivoted from heel to the ball of the foot across the floor.

The next drill was a stationary roundhouse kick where we held our leg to the side, roundhouse kicked and snapped it back faster than you throw it.  Just like a front snap kick, the kick should be about 30% speed and the retraction should be about 70% of the speed.

The last roundhouse kick drill was moving forward with jab, reverse punch and roundhouse kick.  The key to this, and almost everything in Karate, is keeping your posture upright.  Once you start to lean over, your kicks come from the shoulders and balance and most of the technique goes downhill from there.

Kihon, partner drills and continuous kata….

After all the roundhouse kicks, we did moving forward and backward downward block, inward block, rising block and all with reverse punch.  Sensei said to keep our arms in close to our body when doing the kihon.  He also said that a good way to practice is to do basics in a dark roon with a candle behind you.  This will allow you to see if your arms are staying in close to your body in the shadows.  Just be careful not to start your house or yourself on fire.

Next we did stepping across in a, horse stance, then the same with side thrust kick, then the same with side snap kick and finally both kicks.

We then got a partner.  From there, the idea was to keep center but take center away from your partner.  From a fighting stance, one partner was moving in a circle, both clockwise and counter clockwise  around the other partner while the other partner was turning and pointing at the center of the moving partner.  We then did the same drill but instead of pointing at our partners center, we could use a reverse punch.

Next came kata.  Sensei had us Heian Shodan all the way through Heian Godan in one continuous group.  The next part about this is that it takes under five minutes to do all five katas.  From there we did Heian Godan followed by Bassai Dai three times in a row.  The last kata we did was Tekki Shodan where Sensei counted out each move for the students who just too their new rank and are now doing that kata.

Some more words of wisdom from Sensei.  The technique will rise when you challenge your balance.  I take this to mean, if you have to fight your balance in your stance, your technique will look much better and be more effective.  It also, helps you keep better posture.  For example, a good back stance, that fights your balance, makes the knife hand block in Bassai Dai or any kata better.

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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