Time for a new kata; Ji’in – 10/27/11 – Thursday Karate class
Today was another special day at Karate class. The part that makes it special is because most of us were able to watch Sensei Cieplik do an entire kata. It was one of those special moments when the room goes silent, you stop what you are doing and you stare at what is going on so that you don’t miss anything. For those that take class with Sensei, we all know that he does many movements in class with us and usually better than even the most athletic students but seeing him do an entire kata is a memory to be cherished and something that I won’t forget.
It’s the details that make your kihon better….
After our warm up Sensei had us work on our kicks and hips. We started in a front stance, did a front snap kick, turned 90 degrees and put the kicking foot back down behind us. We did the same drill again but this time we added reverse punch. The key to the this drill is to turn the body using the hips not the shoulders.
For the next drill, we moved on to the Sensei’s favorite movement, inward block, elbow strike and back fist. You need to insert a sarcastic voice anytime now. This is not my favorite movement either because no matter how hard I try to make it look correct, I can feel that it isn’t correct. The key to this drill is to make sure that the front stance looks like a front stance and the horse stance looks like a horse stance. It sounds simple but when you start to move faster, the front stance looks a lot like a front horse stance. Another tip from Sensei is to drop down when doing the horse stance so that you can get under the person you are attacking.
Next, we did another drill to help us use our hips when doing our movements. We started in a blocking leg or cat stance with a inward block, we then slide the front foot froward into long open stance and throw a back fist, then we pull the front foot back and reverse punch. When doing the back fist, the stance is very long and the hips are open and when doing the reverse punch, the foot has to pull back in order for the hips to close.
We did some kumite drills next. We did singe shift with jab, two shifts with two jabs and triple shift with two jabs and a reverse punch.
Next came some back stances. We did moving forward and back with knife hand block, then knife hand block, front snap kick, and knife hand block. We finished up these drills with knife hand block, front snap kick and spear hand strike.
From a horse stance we stepped across into a horse stance but without letting our feet leave the ground. You have to at least keep your big toe touching the floor at all times and try to have the little toes touch in the middle so that you can move in a straight line. Next was step across with front snap kick to the side then side snap kick to the side.
in order to help us improve our side snap kicks, Sensei gave us a drill to work on. You stand up with one arm out to the side, then you side snap kick and touch your ankle with your hand. The idea is not to bring your hand to ankle, you bring your ankle to your hand. I couldn’t do even one of them even when I lower my hand because my hips do not turn over. Maybe someday….
Some old and some new kata…..
We started with Heian Nidan and Sensei wanted us to pay extra attention to the side snap kick. We followed that with Heian Yondan and again, paying attention to the side snap kick. We followed those up with Heian Godan, Heian Sandan and Heian Shodan.
We then finished up class doing Ji’in two times with Sensei. It’s a powerful feeling kata that is related to Jion and Jitte and one that I would like to add to my list of powerful, no acrobatic katas.