Slow motion sparring
Some people can do it and some cannot. Sensei Noia had us spend a good amount of time working on NO EGO sparring drills and like always, some people can do it very well and some others just cannot turn off the speed and power.
Slow motion sparring is a great drill to train your mind and eyes to look for incoming attacks without having to worry about getting drilled hard. No ego, no power just continuous motion sparring is the idea where a slow punch to the face gives you enough time to use the best block and allow your to see an opening for a counter movement that you would not see when moving at full speed and power.
Many students have a hard time moving slowly and always speed up after the first few movements which is not the object of this drill. The object is to move slow enough to see what you need to block with and then still have enough time to see the opening for a good counter attack.
When doing this drill, you are going to get hit and you are going to going to hit your partner but if this drill is done correctly, no one gets hurt and no ones ego gets involved.
One step at a time…
We spent the rest of the class working on advanced one step drills. From fighting stance or starting with our right foot forward with the other foot forward.
For this drill, Sensei Noia had us work on doing block and counter techniques from various katas. For example, from Heian Shodan, the attacker front snap kicks with their left leg and we catch or deflect the kick and throw it away to our left side, with our right hand and then using the same hand counter attack with a hammer fist to the collar bone. Working with techniques from kata makes one-step sparring much more interesting than the normal block and counter combinations that we have learned over the years.