You can do a lot from a horse stance
For todays class, Sensei Noia had us start with some horse stance training. I don’t know about everyone else but any horse stance training I can get helps. My horse stances can always improve and spending some time in this stance can only help. Walking tomorrow is another story though.
Horse stances are versatile
All from a horse stance, we did 10 punches, 5 double punches, 5 triple punches, and 4 each of rising, inward, outward and downward blocks. Still in a horse stance we did 6 front snap kicks on each leg and then many stationary side thrust kicks. The next move was a little different, which started in a horse stance, did a side snap kick with backfist and then come down in front stance with elbow smash. We then did the same thing but then on the left and right sides for each count.
Do your kata slow, fast and strong
Next, we worked on some kata. We picked a Heian kata, Heian Nidan for me, and did the first one very slow. We then did it a second time with full power and not worrying about form. The third time was full speed and then the last time, we put all of those together and did the kata with full speed, full power and the best form we could do.
We moved to Jion next. Sensei counted out the moves, many times over on some moves, especially the turns. We must have done the front punch with the kiai into the back stance with manji uke at least 10 times if not more. Next came Empi and the idea was to execute all of the moves as fast as possible.
We finished up class with a kata of our choice two times, Gojushiho Sho for me and class ended.
I have to say, no matter how much time you spend working on a kata, there is always something to improve. Just when you think you got the kata or a section of the kata perfect something else pops up and you have more to fix. I have to quote Sensei Cieplik, who often quotes Yamazaki Sensei, “kata is perfectly made to make you fail perfectly.” Isn’t that the truth!