Last Karate class of 2012
Today is the last class of 2012 and Sensei made sure that we enough to hold us over for the next three weeks with no formal training.
Kicks for warm up….
Rear leg front snap kick 20 times each leg.
Front snap kick to the front and back kick to the rear 5 times each leg.
Front leg front snap kick followed with rear leg front snap kick 10 times each leg.
Front snap kick to front with side thrust kick to side 5 times each leg.
Drop, collect and from hip…..
For the next drill, we did a front snap kick and held out foot in the retracted position. From there, we dropped down into a blocking leg cat stance and then pushed our hips forward into a front stance. This drills teaches some valuable lessons, where you need to drop the hip after the kick, collect your balance and then drive the entire body forward from the hips into a front stance.
Sensei didn’t explain the first parts but I am assuming that dropping the hip after the kick gives you the ability to throw another kick if needed. If you do not drop the hip after the kick, your hip is already extended and there will be much less power behind it. Collecting your balance is pretty straightforward and without it, we are falling. Driving the entire body forward allows you to take your opponents balance, throw a hand technique or even attack their legs with your legs.
The next drill was moving forward with front snap kick and front punch using the same concepts outlined above.
A little different….
For the next drill, we moved forward in a back stance with knife hand block but the idea was to keep the front heel off the floor and step in with only the ball of the foot. The idea was to reach for your footing, with the front foot and not stomp like so many do when moving forward in a back stance.
After that, we started in a horse stance. From there, we dropped down and shuffled the left leg to the right leg, then with the right leg, we reached out to the right side, then pulled the center of the body to the middle back into a horse stance. Think salad blow when moving this way.
We did the same but we added a side thrust kick with the idea recovering from the kick, dropping down after the kick and then moving the body back to center in the horse stance. We also did side snap kick and side front snap kick.
Kata and some application (bunkai)….
Sensei had us start by doing Heian Shodan and Heian Nidan. We then partnered up and one person attacked while the other did the moves from those two katas.
For Heian Shodan, one attacking partner stepped in with a front snap kick, the other partner backed up and downward blocked, the attacking partner stepped in with another front snap kick and the other partner stepped back with a outside to inside, cross body block, sweeping the attackers kick away and then delivering a hammer fist counter attack.
We worked on various bunkai from H2, H3, H4 and for the agile, and some Unsu.
We finished up with some kata and did Heian Shodan, Heian Nidan, Heian Yondan, Tekki Shodan, Jion, Bassai Dai and then Kanku Dai.
As we were leaving the dojo, a couple of my fellow students made a comment about their concerns that they would not have class for three weeks. My suggestion was for them to do a kata each day, even if it’s only one kata. I wrote a quick how to about what I have been doing with my kata a day routine for the last 13 or 14 months. A kata a day makes Karate good.