Today’s class was focused on raw power and Spirit. We often do our techniques trying to have perfect form with the goal of getting a new rank or a medal at a tournament but the best looking techniques in the world cannot stop an a attacker if you don’t have power and spirit.
Get warm first
Class started out with some kata warm ups. Doing all five Heian kata to get the blood flowing always works well but doing them again, in mirror image, gets the mind working too. We followed that with some simple kihon, moving across the Dojo in a front stance with a single punch, then again with a single block followed and then a block and reverse punch combination.
Just hit it
After the warm up, Sensei Noia had us moving across the dojo again with a single punch but this time, we had to hit hard. So hard, that if you fall over lunging into the next front stance, it’s okay. This is what Sensei called dojo kihon. If it looks kinda ugly but it has everything you have behind it, it’s dojo kihon.
It also helps you improve your fighting spirit because it is so hard to put everything you have into it, that your body wants to give up but your spirit carries you through. Training this way won’t win any trophies or higher ranks but doing this training, keeping the spirit and power while cleaning up your techniques will.
After this, we got a partner and multiple pads to work on punching. Not just punching but punching hard. Our partner held the pad and we took a full front stance away from the pad and then stepped forward and hit the pad with what should be a ferocious front punch. The problem I had was, I was trying to hit the pad too hard. The punch was strong but not as strong as it could be. Sensei told me, just hit the pad, don’t try to hit it hard, just relax and hit it. After a few failed attempts, I was able to loosen up and hit that pad hard. The punch did not feel strong but the reaction and the look on my partners face told me that I was punching hard.
I don’t know if any of you reading this have the same feeling but my most powerful techniques always feel effortless and weak but my partners are telling me that’s not the case.
We did another set of punches across the dojo and there were moments where if felt that my punch was so hard, I couldn’t stop my body. We followed that with Taikyoku Shodan and then three ugly kata of our choice but doing them with everything we have left.
This training isn’t something you should do all the time because I think it would really have an impact on your form but if you put all you have into it and then when testing and competing clean it up you will make it strong to bring out the spirit which bring out the art.