Since I was injured for some time, I hadn’t done any sparring drills in class before my exam for about six or eight weeks.Â Oddly enough, that time away from sparring might have been one of the best things to help improve my sparring.Â That might sound crazy but let me explain.
Tonight, Sensei Noia has us work on simple sparring basics.Â We found a partner and lined up in front of them.Â We then did a very simple drill where one of us would shift in, throw a jab and shift out, then shift in a again and throw a reverse punch and shift out and then shift in again, throw a jab and reverse punch combination and then shift out.Â When I did this in the past, even the most basic movements like these felt awkward to say the least.Â Since I haven’t been sparring in such a long time, I seem to have forgotten how I used to do the movement.Â It is as if I am learning these for the first time again.Â My shifting feels lighter, my hands are moving faster and seem much more accurate and it just feels right.Â I am guessing that not sparring for that time has allowed me to forget my bad habits and come back with an open mind and the ability to learn them the correct way now.Â I can’t really think of any other excuse other than that.
For our next drill, we worked on shuffle up, front leg roundhouse kick to chudon and then shuffle out, then shuffle up, front leg roundhouse to jodan and shuffle back.Â Getting my roundhouse to jodan is still not there but again, the shuffle movement that used to confuse me felt so much smoother than ever before.
The next drill, we attacked our partner, then shifted to the right and attacked a new partner all the way down the line.Â The idea behind this drill was to get in, attack and get out fast.
We then did a drill where we would shift in place and our partner would walk in at varying speeds and once they got close enough for us to attack, we attacked and moved out.Â The idea was to work on our distance and timing.
Our final drill was really fun.Â Our partner would hold a pad, walk toward us and we would attack with a reverse punch and have to stop them.Â After the first attack, we would shift back andÂ they would keep coming and we would have to stop them again.Â The idea was to punch while they were coming at us and stop them in their tracks.Â My hips were really coming around for this movement and my wife said that my punches were really strong, even though she was holding two pads when I was attacking.
Although, I don’t think taking off from one certain part of Karate will help all of my problems, I do think this little break from sparring did me more good than harm.