Hard or easy, you pick
For the last few months, every few classes, after our warm up, Sensei Cieplik will ask us if we want the drill to be hard or easy.
Of course, the person he asks always says hard, this is Karate class so that seems appropriate, and normally that brings out some interesting drills.
Get your hips working….
After the normal warmup we started out doing front snap kick, knee strike, front snap kick and knee strike. This is a drill that Sensei has shared with us for some time now to ensure that we are using our hips correctly while kicking. The reset between each movement causes the hip to extend and retract if done correctly.
The next movement is not my favorite or anywhere near my favorite. It is front leg roundhouse kick followed by rear leg roundhouse kick. For this drill, we shuffle up and kick with the front leg, set is down and shuffle back, then kick with the rear leg and then repeat with the other side. I would guess, if I could round kick, I might like the drill but for now it is pretty ugly when I do it.
Adding to the above drill, we did front leg roundhouse then step down with reverse punch. Same as above for me but some others do it very well.
Hard or easy, you pick….
For our next drills, we started moving forward in a back stance doing knife hand blocks. The entire key to this drill is to not have the front foot make any noise when moving forward. The front foot should be very light, the toes should reach out and then the heel goes down. There should be no stomping sounds when moving forward in this drill. Next was moving forward with knife hand block, front leg front snap kick and then step down with knife hand block. We finished up by adding front stance with spear hand to the drill before this one.
Here comes the hard or easy part. The next drill was moving from a back stance to a front stance with a front punch. This drill requires you to cover a lot of ground and hip action. This might not sound like a hard drill but staying low and moving from the hips instead of the upper is much easier to type than it is to execute on the floor.
Get a partner and kick them….
For our partner drills, we did a movement where we start in a front stance, pull the front leg back using the hips, switch feet and kick with the opposite leg. The idea is to move just out of reach of your partners attack and then get the power of the hip to return your counter attack.
We finished up class with one of each kata, Heian Shodan, Heian Nidan, Heian Sandan, Jion and Kanku Dai for all of those who are getting ready for exams.