Keep center and balance when doing kata

Sensei Cieplik had us work on lots of kicks again.  My kicks have to improve if we keep doing all these kicks, right?  I sure hope so.

We started with 20 front snap kicks on each leg.  Next, we did five front leg front snap kick with knee strike, with front snap kick and knee strike on each leg.  The front snap kicks and knee strike combinations are meant to engage the hips by extending them and retracting them between movements.

.Next, we did front leg knee strike followed with front leg front snap kick five times on each leg.  After that, front leg front snap kick with rear leg front snap kick 10 times on each leg.

We then did my favorite warm up drill.  This drill starts with the reverse punch hand out in front, then front snap kick and switch hands, put the kicking leg back down behind and reverse punch.

The next drill was very slow front snap kick, extend the kicking leg to the side for a side thrust kick, then extend the same leg to the rear like a back kick and then slowly bring it back to the front three times.  We followed this up with five front snap kicks to the front, side thrust kick to the side and back kick to the rear for both legs.

I don’t remember doing the next drill in the past.  We did side snap kick with the front leg,  roundhouse kick with the rear leg and then step down with triple punch.

Up next, shifting….

We started the shifting drills with front hand jab on both sides.  We followed that with two shifts and jabs on both sides and you guessed it, three shifts with jabs on both sides.  The last shifting drills was three shifts with reverse punch.

We then moved into some basics with back stance and knife hand block.  Then came back stance with knife hand block, front snap kick, step down with knife hand block.  We finished up back stance work with back stance, knife hand block, front snap kick, move into front stance with spear hand strike.

Partner up with the kyu ranks….

For the second half of class all the Shodans partnered up with a kyu rank partner.  One partner stood in a  horse stance and the other belt held their knee up in the start of a front snap kick and kicked 30 times with each leg over their partners belt.

For the next drill, from a front stance, each partner did a front snap kick to the center, then to the outside with an inverted kick and then what looked much like a front hook kick.

Next, we did double happy fist punches.  The idea was to keep our hands very loose and hit our partners gi.  After that, one partner stood in a horse stance holding their hands above the belt and other under the solar plexus while the other partner did a front snap kick and then stepped down with a reverse punch.

The next drill was side snap kick under our partners arm following that with a roundhouse kick front the same leg.

Keep balance and center….

We finished up class doing Hein shodan twice.  Sensei made the point that all kata should be poetry without voice.  He also said, do not rush kata or you will lose center and balance.  Center and balance are very important when doing kata.  The person who keeps center when attacked will be in control.  A person without balance can easily be knocked off center.

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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