A different perspective on Karate – 10/20/11 – Thursday Karate class
Today, Sensei Cieplik brought in a very special guest, Sensei Arnaldo to give us a different perspective on self defense movements and Karate in general.
Instead of writing about the drills that we did, I am going to try to outline some of the concepts that our guest Sensei shared with us today.
This concept really stuck out when Sensei mentioned it. He said that you don’t have to stand there and think about what block you are going to use when being attacked, instead, you should just move. Just move can be stepping out of the way, jumping to the side, turning your body just enough to the side that the attack goes past you or just brushes you. When blocking, just moving to get out of the way is better than getting hit.
Fight for center:
This is concept that Sensei Cieplik often talks about and one that can never be stressed enough. When you are sparring or in a self defence situation, fight for center or keep the center of your body pointed on the area that you want to attack but do not let your opponent aim or reach your center. For example, if you stand facing each other, one person is punching at your stomach and your move to either side as they attack, you have taken center away from them. Now that you have taken their center away, you can easily divert their energy and punching power by guiding them with your hand. The are attacking with all their energy moving toward your center but when you move out of the way, their energy is still moving in the same direction and you can guide them to the ground with little effort.
Doing kata without an attacker in mind looks mechanical:
I am guilty of this myself. Sensei said that doing a kata without an attacker in mind can still be a good kata but there is a noticeable difference in how the person moves the look in the persons eyes when they picture their attacker. I always believed that you can show the kata moves to an athletic person and have them do a decent kata but making it look like Karate, that would actually work, is the difference between the two.
Use pressure points:
Sensei Arnaldo knows a great deal about pressure points and how to stop or slow energy flow in the body by striking certain areas. Using pressure points is extremely effective at stopping an attacker without leaving physical marks on their body. The smallest lady can strike the largest man and make him fall to the ground like a sack of potatoes. For example, if an attacker was to grab someones hand or wrist, a quick strike to an area on the forearm, near where the arm bends, can disable the attacker and give you the chance to run away or throw a counter attack to other sensitive areas. This is an area that I have been interested in for some time but I never saw a real world demonstration until tonight.
Thanks to Sensei Arnaldo for coming in to share his many years of experience with us and thanks to Sensei Cieplik for inviting him. This is one class that I and many others will not forget.