There are times when you go to Karate class and find out how hard you can push yourself and today was one of those days.Â Today we did kata along with a drill using a theÂ sukui uke from Bassai Dai.
Kata from highest to lowest
Sensei Noia had us start class with kata.Â He had us begin with the highest level kata that we know and then work our way down to the lowest level kata.Â For the Shodans and above, this meant doing 18 or more different katas for two of us.Â For the lower Kyu ranks and other Shodan’s it meant doing all the katas they knew and continuing to do them over and over until the other Shodan’s were finished.Â I was able to remember 18 katas and do all of them in under 25 minutes.Â It was hard work but it also felt awesome being able to do all of those katas at one time.Â I am not sure how they looked but they felt really good.
Hit hard but loose, with your forearm
We spent the rest of the class working on a drills from a technique in Bassai Dai calledÂ sukui uke.Â The is the technique near the end of the kata where your hand starts high up, your twist your hips and drop your arm, striking with your forearm.Â I believe the English translation is scooping block.Â In the video below, it’s the technique at 1:23.
We started with our partner holding a focus mitt and we raised our hand above our head, dropping our arm and striking the focus mitt with the inside of our forearm.Â The idea of this drill was to let gravity create the power and not muscle through the technique.Â Â This is powerful movement if applied to certain targets like the neck which I explain more about later.
For the next drill, we worked on half of the movement without the scooping action at the end.Â The idea was to let the arm fall across the body with what I can only describe as a whipping action.Â The action of the arm falling and hips turning the body makes it fast and strong.Â We then did the same drill again adding the scoop at the end of the technique.Â I lost count but we did a lot these.
The last drill was with our partner again.Â This time, our partner attacked with a right fist forward punch or wide hay-maker punch, we stepped in with a U punch, blocking and grabbing our partners punching hand with our top, left hand and then pulling them down by their arm and striking them with the inside of our right, inside forearm.Â From there, this action allows your to throw your partner to the floor very easily by using your hip action and their neck.
The movements that we do in various katas can have many different applications and while I was taught that this technique from Bassai Dai was catching an attackers kick, scooping it up and throwing it away, the drill we worked on above brings a different, more serious, meaning to the same technique.
This proves that you cannot be close minded when looking for applications of the techniques in the katas you know.Â What looks like a simple technique might actually be something totally different.
- Start with the most advanced kata you know and work your way down
- Sukui uke, loose but strong
- Kata techniques can have many different applications if we open out mind to them