Kicks, hips and Heian kata details
Sensei Cieplik had spend the first half of the class working on roundhouse kicks today. This included Sensei’s patented eight point roundhouse kick. For those of you who tried to forget that drill it is, leg up to the rear horizontal to the floor, pivot to the front, extend lower leg, retract lower leg, pull back to the side, pivot to front and extend again, retract again, then pull back to the rear and set it down.
After that drill, my legs were already roasted pretty well and then we did a partner drill where our partner held a pad, we did a slow roundhouse kick at the pad and then we pulled the knee back very fast from the extended point.
I can see the next drill helping with roundhouse kicks and hip mobility in general. Get into a stance with one foot in front like blocking cat stance, turn the hip over like a roundhouse kick and pull back from the hips very fast into a cat stance. This drill is to get the hips to do the work instead of the shoulders. The upper body should stay totally upright and all motion should come only from the hips.
We did Heian Shodan through Heian Godan and Tekki Shodan with Sensei giving us tips on various parts of the kata.
One very important tip, that applies to most katas is, when pulling into ready stance drop down on the back leg and pull front leg back. They key to this is keeping the upper body upright when moving back into the ready stance. Many people do a good kata and then lean forward to move back to the ready stance and end up spoiling the good kata they did.
When doing the side snap kick in Heian Nidan, drop on the front leg, bring back leg halfway to the front leg and keep upright posture for the backfist and side snap kick.
In Heian Sandan, when doing the three moves in horse stance with back fist, when moving into the back stance position, reach with the front foot and pivot on the back heel. The hips need to do the action when moving into the horse stance.
In Heian Yondan, all movements should be fluid and flow into the next.
In Heian Godan, when moving from the cross leg stance with x-block, stay low and reach with the right foot into the front stance while bringing the hips around. The idea is to stay low and use the hips to execute the assisted outward block.