OMG, I think I finally did some decent kicks in class

I’ve waxed lyrical in the past on my kicking techniques, particularly mawashi-geri, but at training this week, I don’t think I did too badly at all… well, certainly a lot better than I have previously. It’s weird like that, sometimes you train and your technique isn’t where you want it to be, and some nights it just works. Hopefully I’ll continue to make it work and this won’t be a one off 🙂 I’ve noticed of late that I’d like to see greater strength in my kicking techniques and might have to start training them a bit more rigerously. Fingers crossed!

If that counts as a positive to training, there was also a negative, and it’s to do with kata. Probably because I haven’t been training it hard/consistently enough, I’ve slipped back into the habit of making kata robotic, without natural flow or expression as I had previously explored. Dai-Sensei picked up on it during class and mentioned it as a point I can work on, as it shows understanding and flow within the techniques, as well as a way of personal expression within the formalised framework that forms the core kata, the former of which is essential when considering the practical application of what to the inexperienced eye are simply an arrangement if disconnected and unusual movements. Especially since his feedback is suggesting I’ve moved backwards instead of forwards with my performance of kata, which I’ve always taken a great deal of pride in. That’s why it’s great to train under experienced instructors, as they’re able to pick up what you often don’t see due to their years of experience in martial arts. I’m now going to be making a dedicated effort to get back into the same mindset I achieved previously.

Back to the topic though – good kicks in class, at least by my standard. Even mawashi-geri, which I struggle with as a general rule of thumb. Although at one point my prosthesis almost literally flew off my stump due to a particularly enthusiastic kick. Managed to recover reasonably well though 🙂

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Small group, great training

Another week, and another small class. Wasn’t a bad thing though, as it gave Jyastin-kun and I plenty of time to work on basic techniques and combinations. I know it may sound a bit silly, but even going back to basics and concentrating on taking simplistic techniques but approaching them with an ever-increasing view to advance the technique has been really interesting. During training Sensei was getting us to perform simple punching or kicking drills/combinations. However, he was checking with us that we were showing signs of advanced principles to these basic motions.

Take a standard oitsuki (reverse punch). This time when doing it, aside from using linear motion and kinetc energy, we was looking at how we were distributing our weight as part of the technique, and taught us the importance of lowering our mid-section at the end of the technique. This achieved a stronger stance when the amount of outgoing energy is arguably at its most volatile, as it shifted the weight closer to the ground, which meant you didn’t wobble about as much if you were straight-up and created a stronger connection to the floor, ensuring greater efficiency (i.e. less loss) of kinetic energy as part of the technique. I’ve probably made it sound a bit long-winded, so sorry about that!

Aside from that, we also worked on controlling strength, balance and control with our kicking technique, with Sensei again emphasising the importance of a strong stance. Without it, the amount of energy expelled into the target will simply bounce back into the attacker and knock you off your feet or severely deplete the amount of energy being delivered into the strike. Control your stance and weight/balance, and you achieve not only great efficiency with the technique itself, you control the flow of kinetic energy so it doesn’t float back into your mid-section and throw you off balance. Rather, it forms a continuous line from the ground, up your leg connected to the ground, through your centre and your kicking leg, and into your opponent. Keep the stance strong, and the energy only flows along that path back and forth, or ultimately it travels between the ground and the opponent. While the target itself may not falter from the attack, by controlling yourself thus you ensure that you remain the conduit of the flow of kinetic energy, rather than the foundation it relies on to bounce back and forth.

Or at least that’s how I visualise it in my crazy brain 😛

Anywho, aside from that we also got into some basic drill-work, and after class Jyastin-kun and I had the chance to have a quick chat to Sensei before we left for the night. With class sizes shrinking the last couple of weeks, I hope I’m not going to curse the club and break it like I’ve blogged about before 😛 Hopefully we’ll be getting back up to normal sizes soon! In the meantime though, I’ll keep enjoying the excellent individual instruction we’ve been lucky enough to get!

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Training discussion part 2 – mawashi geri pain

So, continuing on from my previous post, at training last week we started focusing on improving mawashi geri technique as it’s now formally graded as part of my syllabus, which means more practicing and more focus on improving the technique. Unfortunately for me, my mawashi geri is pretty rubbish, especially when kicking with my right leg (i.e. the real, whole one :P). Since you’re required to rely on extra flexibility and coordination with your standing leg for this one, I’ve always struggled with it as it’s really difficult to balance on my fake leg. Then you add hip movements, shifting weight using your knee and ankles, adjusting pressure with your foot – all this I can feel when balancing on my right leg and kicking with my left, so it’s hard trying to compensate for such a difficult series of complex, subtle movements.

So following class, I’ve been breaking the technique back to basics, and as I do my infamous “karate-around-the-house” habit that drives Wifey up the wall, I’ve started incorporating mawashi geri in stages. For the most part this has been in volving my lifting my right leg with the leg drawn back, but with my bent leg held parallel to the floor and hold my balance. I felt that part of my problem was that I was having trouble gracefully moving into the motions of the mawashi geri, and by working on the first step in performing the technique, I’m aiming to improve part of the foundation for the technique.

The next challenge is controlling the whipping-out/whipping-back motion so that the technique can be performed as close as possible in light of my situation. Stupid me forgot my recent post on how to do a better mawashi geri, which of course contained that extra bit of info I needed to overcome the lack of control with the fake leg – use the torso and the arms to make up for the difference. I then put it all to test while walking around the house last night before going to bed, and it made a world of difference.

But seriously, trust me to forget something I actually wrote about that would have been hugely helpful in this case 😛

So, next training I’m hoping to show a reasonable degree of improvement with this technique. Unless I forget it again, which is entirely possible 😛

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