Do kata as if someone is trying to kill you
We started out with our normal front snap kick to the front. After that came front snap kick to the front and side thrust kick to the front. Next, we did front snap kick to the front, side thrust kick to the side, back kick to the rear, roundhouse kick to the front, hook kick to the front and front snap kick. We finished up our warm up with knee strike, front snap kick, knee strike and front snap kick all on one count.
For a good amount of time, Sensei had us work on our back stances. We started with our feet together facing left, we then turned our left foot out to the side or front now, drop down, reach to the front with right leg toes and ball of foot not heels. We worked on doing the same foot movements but using our hand now too. When moving forward in a back stance, you should not hear the heel of the front foot hitting the floor. The front foot should be silent because you are reaching with your toes not stomping with your heel. Most of your weight should be on your back leg and your front foot should be very light, light enough so that you could throw a front snap kick with the front foot if needed.
Your weapon was lost or broken…
After the back stance drills, Sensei brought up the point why our stances are so long and the way that we move from a ready stance into a horse stance. One of the reasons that our stances are so long and low is because we have to cover a lot of ground when moving into or away from an attack because we do not have a weapon. For example, if you have an extra 30 inches of reach when holding a katana, you do not have to cover as much ground when moving. Also, when moving into a horse stance from a ready stance, we move to the right because if we had a katana on our side, it on the left.
The reason we are fighting without a weapon is because we lost it, it was broken or someone took it. Using our hands should be a last resort. If someone is threatening your life and you have access to any weapon, a chair for example, use it.
Do kata as if someone is trying to kill you….
We spent the rest of the class working on kata. We did all of the Heian katas, Tekki Shodan, Jion, and Bassai Dai.
When doing Heian Shodan, Sensei told us to imagine that someone is trying to kill us. This certainly changed to feeling of the kata for me. Thinking that someone is trying to kill you makes you wrap your mind around each move in a different way.