If it looks good, slow it down – 11/10/11 – Thursday Karate class

If it looks good, slow it down!  

Sensei Cieplik shared a really interesting point with us tonight about making good things more visible by not rushing them.  The idea is, if you do something really well in your kata, hold each move in a group of moves longer to have others focus on it.  More to come….After the normal kicking warm up, we started with some kihon.  We did downward block, rising block and inward block all with reverse punch.  Then came a real hip opener, outward block and reverse inward block with jab and reverse punch.  The key to this move was open the hips for the outward block, close the hips for the inward block, open the hips again for the jab and finally close the hips for the reverse punch.  Of course, keeping the front knee from moving is an important requirement.

For the next drill, we needed a partner.  We started in a front stance facing each other.  One partner remained stationary and the other did what Sensei called an 8 point roundhouse kick.

  1. Bring kicking up and point it to the 45 degrees to the back.
  2. Pivot and point the knee to the front.
  3. Kick around your partners arm.
  4. Snap the kick back.
  5. Pivot and bring the knee back to 45 degrees again.
  6. Pivot and point the knee to the front.
  7. Kick around your partners arm.
  8. Snap the kick back, bring the leg back to the side and set it down, behind, in a front stance.

For the next drill, we hit the pads.  One partner held the pad and the other hook punched it.  For this to be effective, Sensei said to aim the arm, drop the body and hit.  For example, the punching arm is bent and the punching fist is aimed at the target, you use your upper back muscles to lock your arm in position and from there you drop your body and hit the pad.  This certainly is a good way to understand “with the body.”

For the next drill, we stood in a tall stance and threw a punch from the hip.  The idea is to let the punching arm and hand be very loose and have it act like a whip (rock on a rope) and then have the motion of the hip throw the punch.  The makes the power come from the lower body and not the chest and shoulders.

Give them a reason to pay attention to your movements….

Next came kata.  Sensei had the black belts go first .  We did Kanku Dai while he watched us and then said, when you get the four knife hand blocks in a back stance movements, do not rush through those four moves.  Pause for at least one second between each of those moves to show everyone how good your back stance looks.  We did Kandu Dai twice and then moved on to Join.

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..


2 Responses to “If it looks good, slow it down – 11/10/11 – Thursday Karate class”
  1. Karen says:

    Thanks for this great post Doug!
    As I gear up for my Shodan grading in 2 months, I’m always looking for good tips and this is a really great one. I know my Sensei also says this, but it is always a great reminder – pause and don’t rush through the movements. For one, going quick can lead to mistakes, but also, slowing it down highlights what you are doing correctly!

  2. doug says:

    Hi Karen,

    I make the most mistakes when I move too quickly and often end up not finishing one move before moving to the next. I also notice that some of the best kata that I have seen has had slow, dramatic movements that really show off the skills of the person doing it.

    Good luck on your upcoming Shodan test but with the way that you train, I am sure that you won’t need the luck.

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