I don’t remember having a tougher class than today
In the almost seven years that I have been training with Sensei Cieplik, I do not remember ever having a tougher class. We did some drills tonight that I never remember doing before. I know that Sensei has us do drills to help us improve certain techniques but tonight was one of the first times that my legs have felt like jello in many years. I truly believe if these types of drills were done often, they would improve anyone’s Karate a great deal or kill them in the process.
We started out with the usual warm up doing, 20 front snap kicks, 10 front snap kick front leg and front snap kick rear leg for one count, 5 front snap kick and back kick, 5 front.snap kick side thrust kick and 3 front snap kick, side thrust kick, back kick, roundhouse kick, hook kick and front snap kick.
There is no better way for me to describe this movement except to call it butt hops. You lay flat on the floor on your back and twist your body from one butt cheek to the other to work the core. Doing this on the tile floor is a real challenge butt (pun intended) it is possible. The key is keeping your body rigid and twisting from your hips. You have to mover from your core when doing these and keep the body tense like a board or you will end up hurting yourself.
After that, we did squats with our arms out in front and then kicked our shins to our hands. This was a good stretch but I know that walking tomorrow is going to be an issue.
Next, from seiza we touched our fingers to our heels then pushed our hips forward and came up on our knees then dropped back down. The idea is to imagine that you have string attached to the top of your head pulling you up so that you move from the hips. The motion is straight up and then straight back down.
While tall kneeling, we grabbed our belt with our arms out in front of us, pulling the belt forward while leaning back as far as we could go and then came back up to tall kneeling. The idea is to keep your shins flat on the floor while bending backward at the knees and bringing your back as close to the back of your legs as possible.
Groups of four….
Sensei had us get into groups of four for the next drill. One of us stood between two others, holding on to their shoulders and another person stood in front of the middle person with a pad.
The first drill was for the middle person to pick their knee up, extend their leg onto the pad and then retract it very fast. The motion was short front snap kick, with little power, but then pull it back extremely fast using the extension and retraction of the hip to do the work.
The second drill was to bring the knee up high and kick very fast at the person holding the pad. Again, not for power but for speed and using the hips to kick.
The last drill only needed two people, one holding the pad and the other doing a very long lunge punch. The key to this drill was to cover as much ground as possible and hit the target moving in and down. You almost need to throw your entire body at your target but again, you have to throw your body using your hips and lower body, not your chest.
We finished up kata doing H1, H2 and H3 three times along with Jion up to the first kiai once.