Help your partner sweep
We started class with 20 front snap kicks with each leg. After those we did front snap kick to the front and side thrust kick to the side. Next was front snap kick, side thrust kick, back kick, roundhouse kick, hook kick and front snap kick all without setting the kicking leg down. We finished our warm up with my favorite drill where we start in a front stance with our reverse punch out, we front snap kick, switch hands, step behind with the kicking leg behind and reverse punch.
Next, we did knee strike, front snap kick, knee strike, front snap kick. Sensei Cieplik always mentions that he doesn’t watch the first, second or even third movement, he watches the last move for hip extension and knee height.
The next drill has become one of my favorites also. We start out in a left leg front stance, do a front snap kick, turn 90 degrees to the left and then put the kicking leg down behind. The idea of this drill is to turn from the hips not the shoulders which is easier said than done. Dropping the knee after the kick and bringing it back up when turning makes the turn come from the hips. It’s a little tough on the knees when the floor is sticky but a great drill anyway.
The next drills were our stand kihon drills. Moving forward and back with each of the following blocks, downward, rising, inward and outward all with reverse punch. We did an extra drill doing an outward block but with extra attention not to pop the back heel when moving backward.
The next drills were with knife hand blocks. We started with moving forward and back with knife hand block and then the same but we added front snap kick and a second knife hand block. After a few movements, Sensei had us stand up with feet together, pointing forward, from there we turned the left foot out to the side left and then slid the right foot out into a back stance. Dropping down at the same time gives the stance to the proper height.
The next drill still involved knife hand block but this time we used the arms to do a three step knife hand block. The front hand, acts as a blocking hand while we are bringing it to our ear, the reach hand becomes a strike the pokes the eyes of our attacker and the hand that blocked to our ear does the knife hand block.
Help your partner sweep….
These drills we really fun. I never thought of avoiding a sweep this way. When I would stop someone from sweeping me, I would just plant my weight on the leg that my opponent was trying to sweep but with this drill, when someone tries to sweep you, you just pick up your front foot and their sweep goes past. This is such a simple technique but one that I didn’t think of until Sensei shared it today.
We did the same drill but when we evaded the sweep, we stepped down with a punch to our opponent. At this point they are coming in and you are moving forward with all your body weight because your front foot is off the floor.
The next drill was a little more complex. One partner steps in with a punch, you step in and block with the front hand, punch across the body to your partner’s shoulder, step through and sweep the back leg. When you strike across their body to the shoulder, it takes their body off balance and most weight off the front leg which allows you to take the back leg out and them to hit the ground.
We finished up class doing kata from Heian Shodan through Bassai Dai, excluding Heian Yondan. Sensei to the blue belts that we need green belts so that we can do Heian Yondan.