It’s been a long time since I have taken a formal Karate class and after saving up my pennies I am able to take class again. I trained at home almost every day and helped teach whenever work would allow but nothing compares to taking a formal Karate class. When I train at home, I have a fairly structured workout that is planned out before I start but the dynamics of a formal Karate class are what makes the difference. Class is based upon whatever Sensei Noia has us do and that dynamic really makes the training so much more effective.
Cold dojo equals long warm up
The dojo was exceptionally cold today but Sensei made sure we had a good warm up.
We started running back and forth five times across the dojo. Then shuffle back and forth followed with front stance, back stance and horse stance back and forth. Next came squat kicks for 10 with each leg and push ups came after those. We did a single Heian kata of our choice then standing single, double and triple punches. Needless to say, I was warm after that.
Cross leg stance work
Sensei had us work on Cross Leg stances. We started with the sequence from Jion near the middle of the kata going from standing with arms at our sides to the Cross Leg Stance with the x-block. We then did a cross leg stance with any arm technique from the kata of our choice. Then we did some specific cross leg stance moves from two other katas of our choice. I did cross leg stance with overhead strike from Heian Yondan and then the cross leg stance with block from the start of Bassai Sho.
Next we did standing punch with block, again punch with block and move into back back stance with knife hand block from Bassai Dai.
Focus on your mitt
We spent the rest of the class working on some focus mitt drills along with some partner drills.
We started with one partner holding the focus mitt and the other doing punches, double punches and triple punches. We also did back fist, knife hand and forearm strikes to the focus mitt.
We finished up with a simple partner drill where one partner punches and the other blocks with their reach hand and then knife hand strikes their neck. It is a simple movement but effective and one that we don’t practice enough. I feel, because of the focus on free sparring, we are often taught to block with the knife hand but after a while, those moves that we call blocks are often strikes and they can be very effective.