Friday, 15 January 2010
A drive on karate basics
He has checked that we all know how to make a proper fist and that we do actually make a strong fist with every technique requiring one (or a rigid and strong open hand for open hand techniques). It is surprising how many people have become a little slack with this most fundamental of techniques.
We have been through the mechanics of how to punch properly - twisting the fist right at the end, pulling the other arm back, relaxing the arm and shoulders and putting tension on right at the end etc. Again it is surprising how many people twist the wrist too soon or are too tense during the technique. The same with blocks. With each block we have covered the direction of movement with the block, the positioning of the block and the twisting of the hips and fist. I didn't realise that I twist my fist too early with an age uke block. Other people discovered different errors with their blocking or striking techniques.
Then we have moved onto stance training - not just the correct positioning for various stances but more practising the transitions between stances. This is quite hard to do, particularly avoiding bobbing up and down when moving between stances.
Using mainly pinan nidan, we have practised some of the principles of good kata performance - look, prep, turn. I have found that preparing my foot and hand positions properly before making the turn is enabling me to turn more sharply whilst maintaining my balance better - my wobble is disappearing!
This focus on some very fundamental principles of karate has been extremely valuable. We have become aware of our 'bad or lazy' habits and know what to do to correct them. We are learning to move more flowingly between stances and inject more power into our blocks and strikes by twisting the hips and fist correctly.
We are the senior class - mainly purple belts to 2nd dans. One is never too senior to return to basics, we all discover something new about ourselves and improve when we do.
Keep practising your basics!
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