That was a lot of kicks and then some
Today’s class consisted of a few different things which included kicks, kihon and kata but a good amount of time was spent doing kicking drills.
Side thrust kicks anyone?
Sensei Noia often teaches classes where he focuses in kicks but today had a little extra focus, especially on side thrust kick drills. Everyone started out with a white pad and one hand on the wall. For example, you held your right hand on the wall, while holding a pad in your left out to the side, then you execute a side thrust kick, set the pad on your foot and leg and hold it there. After, a few seconds said back and you pulled the kicking leg back and grabbed the pad before it fell on the floor. There was 5 second hold for each count until number 10 where you hold it out for 10 seconds.
The next drill was a simple chamber of the side thrust kick. Again with one hand on the wall, you bring your kicking leg up in front, pivot on the foot on the floor and then turn your hip over, internally rotating your leg and hold until Sensei says down.
That drill was followed by a full side thrust kick over the pad but the first one was a low kick and the second was higher but it was done with full speed and retracting the kick as fast as possible. The count between the two kicks was fast and the focus was on chambering the kicking leg as fast and as high as possible.
The final kicking drill was done away from the wall standing upright. You started with the pad held out to the side with one arm, then you executed a side snap kick immediately followed by a side thrust kick. The idea was to hit the pad with the side snap kick and then follow it with the side thrust kick.
All of the drills were done on both legs and there was least a full 20 minutes of kicking going on.
Don’t step, drop down
Next came some kihon drills. These start with everyone standing in a ready stance and each time Sensei counted, you stepped out with one leg and did a block of Sensei’s choice followed with a reverse punch. The main focus of this drill was to get everyone to drop down into the stance instead of just falling into a front stance. Many times, students will stand up and then fall forward into a stance, often using the upper body instead of dropping down and using the hips to drive forward. This is also another great drill for training if you only have a small amount of space available.
End class with some kata
Ending class with kata really takes a lot of mental endurance more than physical endurance. After so many kicks and kihon drills, the legs are much like jello but this makes everyone dig deep down to do katas that look like katas.
Sensei had everyone start out with a Heian kata of their choice, then Jion and Bassai Dai and then, for the black belts, Kanku Dai, Hangsetu, Empi, Bassai Sho and then four more katas of their choice.
Doing 11 katas after all the other drills would crush most Karate students but luckily, the students in this class always give their best even though they were all walking a little funny after class.