Hard training equals good Karate training

I haven’t written much here since I have not been taking classes because of real life issues but I am still assisting each week and I thought it would be useful to outline the classes.

Step, technique and lunge

Sensei Plocharczyk started class with a tough warm up.  He had the students do each of the Heian katas but after each step, he had them do a lunge in place.  For example, Downward block to your left, lunge, step and punch, lunge and so on with each move of all five katas.  It did get interesting when the back stance and horse stances came up and the students had to pivot in order to get there legs in proper alignment to the do the lunges.  I’ll admit, I miss taking class but I am not sure if I would have made it though the warm up today.

Various kicking kihon

This is where Sensei really starts to push not only the body but the mind too.  He often comes up with combinations that make you think as hard as you strike.  One such drill began in a front stance, then front snap kick, putting the kicking leg back behind and then doing a front snap kick before stepping forward.  The point behind this drill was to get the students to use their hip action where you extend and retract the hip.  Most would think that this is nothing new but you would be surprised how many students, even younger ones, only use their legs for kicking instead of their hips.  This action of the hips is something that students either forget or they never did when first learning.

The next drill, along similar lines, was from a front stance, with a knee strike, striking leg down and behind and then front snap kick.  After that came, the knee strike again but with a roundhouse kick.  There were some other drills, where the students goal was to keep their shoulders loose by keeping their arms down and hands loose while kicking for both front snap kicks and roundhouse kicks.  One student in particular, when keeping here arms loose and behind her hips improved her roundhouse kick like night and day.  Not using her arms to throw the kick made the techniques look much better then when here hands were clenched and in front of her.

Throughout the class, there were some push ups and other conditioning exercises to keep everyone working but the various kihon drills I am sure were enough.

One step for many and kata for one

Since there was an uneven number of students in the class, Sensei had everyone get a partner, except for the one student without a partner.  He had the partner groups do various forms of one step sparring while the single person did a kata with yours truly watching.  After the group finished one step, another student would do a kata for me and I would give then one or two pointers to help them clean up their katas.

Finish up with some knee strikes

Class ended with everyone partnered up and doing knee strikes on a focus mitt.  The idea was to use the hips to drive the knee into the focus mitt which sounds simple but as I noticed earlier, everyone doesn’t use their hips when striking with their knees.

After seeing all the kicks and hip work, I am starting to think that helping out with class is sometimes a little better than actually taking class.

About doug
Doug is a Shotokan Karate student that enjoys sharing his Karate training experiences with everyone. He is a Computer Consultant, an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, blogger and a freelance writer..

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