Make those stances better or else – 11/15/11 – Tuesday Karate class

Sensei Noia had us spend a lot of time basics today but he had us put extra attention on our stances.  I can’t speak for anyone else but since we have been spending more time on stances, my stances have improved a lot.  I can hold a stance much longer than before and I am able to keep my knee from moving side to side.

Stance, stance, stance, stance….

After our warm up, we moved in to a horse stance and did punches.  We did singles punches, double punches and triple punches while holding our stances.

Next, we turned our toes out toward the corners and squatted down until the top of our legs were parallel to the floor.  I should say that many people were able to get in to that position but I was not one of them.  These old hips of mine are story for another day.  From that stance, we did rising blocks and outward blocks.

For the next drill, we lined up, side by side, the long way across the dojo and did stances only across the floor.  By stances only, I mean with no hand techniques.  We did front stance, back stance, horse stance, cross leg stance and cat stances back and forth.  After that, we did the same stances but with different blocking techniques and all with a reverse punch.  You really need to focus when doing a block or reverse punch from a cross leg stance or cat stance.  I have found that if you drop down, even just a tiny amount, when doing the arm techniques, it centers my balance and makes the move powerful.  Just grounding myself and dropping my center of gravity, even a half inch, made a big difference.

It didn’t get any easier.  Next came back stance with knife hand block and reverse punch.  After that we did rising block with reverse punch.  Again, dropping down when throwing the reverse punch makes a big difference.

The next back stance drill had us doing ridge hand, followed with same hand knife hand block and reverse punch.  I have a picture in my mind of how this drill could be applied to real life but I will leave that up to you to imagine.  Or leave a comment below and tell me how you would use it.

The next drill was done in a moving horse stance.  We did a jodan knife hand strike that is the same one used in Ji’in.

Kata and one-step sparring….

We finished up with some kata.  We did Taikyoku Shokan, then Heian Shodan then Taikyoku Shodan again.  Next came Jion where Sensei counted out each move for us.

We then did one-step sparring but we could not counter attack with punches or kicks.  We could use elbows, hammer fist, back fist or other counters.  This really made the old mind work hard after 50 minutes of hard work.

We finished up class with out own belt rank kata (Kanku Dai for me).  The first kata as slow but perfect and the second one was all out, 100% power and speed.   My 100% was 100% for that moment in time though which I guess is still 100% no matter how I look at it.

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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