Sensei Cieplik had us start with the normal warm up but today, my front kicks were on. When I was kicking, my gi pants were actually making a popping sound. Sensei was walking past and said good while I was kicking so that set the tone for me for the rest of the class.
Same kihon combinations with a cat stance inserted.
We started with our normal combinations doing a downward with a reverse punch. We did a few of these and Sensei said to add a cat stance and block from that movement, then step the rest of the way forward and do the reverse punch. We did the same with rising block, inward block and outward block. With the inward block and rising block he had us add a jab with the blocking hand before we did the reverse punch. The reason behind this was to call more attention to our foot movements and take our attention off the the reverse punch.
The next drill was really hard for me. We moved into a front stance but with our feet in-line. We then shuffled up, threw a front leg roundhouse kick, step down back with feet back in-line again and throw a reverse punch. This was a hip breaker. Doing that movement was all about the hips because it took them from one side to the other and caused a huge stretch of the entire hip area.
Next came some hard movements, get a partner!
Two of the hardest parts of learning Karate is “get a partner” and “line up.”
The first drill with our partner was a kicking drill but on the retraction part not the kick itself. I put my foot on my partners hand, in the strike position of a side snap kick, and then had to retract it as fast as possible. Sensei wanted us to snap our leg back and hit the inside of our leg with enough force to make it pop. This sound pretty simple but getting the popping sound was not easy.
For the next drill, our partner held out their arm, straight to the side and I would side snap kick right under the armpit on the cloth of the gi that was hanging down. For some odd reason, I was able to kick higher with my left leg. Normally my right side works better but for side snap kick, my left leg was flying.
Loosen up those hips.
I am not sure about this but I have a feeling that Sensei was thinking of me when we had us do the next two drills. Or it could also be that many of the students in this class are more worldly then other classes that are normally dominated by younger students.
This is hard to explain but I will try; I faced my partner, she then holds both hands, about shoulder width apart or less, out in front with her palms facing each other. I then raise one leg up to the front and hit my partners opposite hand with the inside edge of my foot and keep it at that level then bring it across and hit my partners other hand with the outside edge of my foot.
We then did a similar movement. Our partners held their hands in the same place but this time, we swung out legs, with control, over their hands. Was started the movement swinging the leg from the outside in then from the inside out. If I am not clear describing this movement, please leave me a comment and I will take a video and put up for you too see.
Some self defense drills…
We start with our partner doing a front punch, we then spin around, under the punch, squat down and then throw a back kick. The idea is to get your body under the punch and then impale them with a back kick. It is okay to put your hands on the ground in front of you if you need to get lower before throwing the kick.
The next movement was similar to some of the movements that we have been working on in Saturday class. It starts with our partner throwing a front snap kick, at the same time, I throw a front snap kick on an angle outside of their kicking leg without extending the lower leg. The I bring that same leg down between their legs, hit them with the hip and take them down with a ridge hand to the throat. When doing the move slowly, it seems fairly simple but at full speed, I assume that timing is the key.
Finish up with kata.
We finished class with two Heian shodan’s. Sensie Cieplik told us that we need to do our kata, no matter what kata, with the skills that we have learned. His point is to do Heian Shodan like the rank you are at with the skills that you have learned, even though it is the first kata that we learned a as beginner.
I feel that their is an underlying message here and that, no matter what rank we obtain, we should still do our lower rank kata’s. Some people feel that the lower tank kata’s are just that where as, I feel that those kata’s take on a new meaning as my skills and abilities improve.