Karate is all in the details – 9/9/11 – Thursday Karate class

I have mentioned this in many of my posts lately that Sensei Cieplik has been sharing many little details with us in every class and today was no different.  There is a big difference between doing the move and “doing” the moves in Karate.  Anyone can memorize at a kata or a where to place your hands and feet when doing basics but if you aren’t paying attention to the details when training, chances are your Karate won’t work if you ever need it in the real world.

Get your basics done….

After the warm up we did moving forward and back, two times with downward block, inward  block, rising block, outward block all followed with a reverse punch.  The details with these simple moves that we do every week are sometimes so small, we forget all about then.  Sensei had us focus extra attention our draw hand when doing these movements.  Simple things like keeping the draw hand arm close to the body when pulling it back, rub the gi and move it at the same speed as the opposite hand.

For the next drill, we stated in a horse stance, stepped across sideways and did side snap kicks, then front side snap kicks and side thrust kicks.  The details here are to keep your moving foot in contact with the floor and make sure that the little toes touch when stepping across.

Also, staying low and moving in a straight line are things that we were but often forget about.
Next came a little Karate with a Tai Chi twist.  We started in a back with both hands out to the side and too a deep breath in.  We then moved into a front stance while pushing our hands forward and breathing out. No only do you get some stance training, you get some breath exercise in too.

Pads and partners…..

We paired up and hit the pads for a while using the hook punch.  The idea here is punch forward and then curve it in to the hit the pad.  A detail that Sensei told me a long time ago was to drop down in the horse stance or back stance when doing the hook punch to make  more power.

We also worked on some knife hand blocks.  Sensei had us hit the pad with the three out middle, fourth and pinky fingers tight and the thumb and index finger loose.  This gives the movement a different feel that cannot be easily described in text, at least me.  It makes the impact feel faster and have more of a whipping type motion instead of a cutting motion.  The intention here is to put the energy through the pad instead of just on the pad at the point of impact.


We finished up class with some kata.  We did Heian Shodan three times, Tekki Shodan a few times and Bassai Dai.  One training tip that Sensei gave us was to just hold a horse and do Tekki Shodan without moving the legs.  This will help train the legs for better horse stances since the better the horse stance is in  Tekki Shodan, the better the kata will be.

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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