Catching up on a few weeks’ worth of training

This one’s a bit belated, so apologies for the delay!

While I didn’t train last week (more on that later), I have been working hard in and around class the few weeks prior to that. Training during both of those weeks was really full-on… or if it wasn’t, I was working myself as hard as I could in class to get the most out of it. Since I’m keen to grade in December (or at least aim for it), I’ve been really conscious of getting my syllabus mastered to a reasonable degree of proficiency. Training has involved a lot of work on basics and fine-tuning form to continue pursuing perfect execution, form, power and focus. I’ve been trying hard to lower my stances and keep my strikes as solid as possible and maintaining proper form. We’ve been regularly working on kata, and I’m now at the point where I have the basic patterns and forms solidified in my head, and it’s now about execution, form, strength, all that good stuff. There were a few sticking points which Sensei has gone through with me that I hadn’t picked up on, but I’m confident I’m at the point where I can begin to dig deeper and execute the kata with a greater sense of skill and awareness.

We’ve also been going back to working on go-on and ippon kumite – as I’m gradually moving through my kyu grades, I’m now being expected to demonstrate a greater variety of techniques as part of my training. At first I was having trouble trying to pin down to what extent I can expand upon the usual/simple counter techniques I’ve been using, but in one of those lightbulb moments I’m prone to having, I’ve worked out that I can incorporate a lot of my basic combination drills and movements from kata into my responses. This has immediately opened up my available repertoire responses available to me through these drills, and I’m looking forward to continue working on them.

I’ve looked at time frames and will discuss the topic further with Sensei this week, but I have a feeling that should I intend to grade in December (and I do), I’ll need to be constantly revising my syllabus throughout the weeks in the lead up to grading. I started this last night by systematically going through my syllabus in the late evening to ensure I’m confident with all the techniques, and will be putting extra time aside to work on my kata, basic combinations and consider my options for ippon kumite. What’s new in this grading is the incorporation of bunkai into the exam, as well as the performance of an additional kata besides my grade-kata and kihon. The latter I’m not too fussed with as my gradings for my previous style saw everyone go through every kata in the lead-up to their grade kata, it’s just another step I have to be aware of.

So, it’ll likely be a busy couple of weeks, but I’m determined to make this grading and do well – I don’t want to simply scrape by, as I know I’m better than that.

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Archive: Kata + kumite

Source: Gisoku no Jutsu/MySpace
Original post date: 8 February, 2007

Alrighty, a quick summary of last night’s training would be two words – kata and kumite. Was an excellent class – went through the usual warm-up and standard striking/blocking techniques, then we jumped straight into kata, and I’m really feeling solid with my saifa at the moment. It’s much stronger and my form is more controlled and better executed than it has been in ages. I’ve started going through it when I get to the training hall before class, and sometimes in the 5 minute break we take in the middle of each session (very handy that – we train for an hour and a half, so it’s a great chance to grab a quick drink before getting back into it). Sensei K commented on the quality and strength of my form and suggested that we look at going through at the next grading, which isn’t for another two months (last grading was actually on Monday night). I think June would be better, as it will give me more time to not only continue to refine my kata, but also to work on my technique in general, and get me up to speed with sparring.

This brings me to other chunk of the class – kumite (i.e. sparring), and lots of it, and with the senseis at that! I learnt to develop some new parrying tachniques and continue to work on how to move around that is advantageous for my condition, and I felt really good about it after last night’s training. I managed to sustain a foot to the belly (and to my credit, I didn’t have to take a moment to recover my breath and sparred throughout) and my left forearm is a little sore from taking the force of another kick, but it’s all good, and it’s been a while since I’ve been pushed hard whilst sparring. The good thing about the aforementioned blows is that the first one re-iterated the necessity of keeping my belly thoroughly guarded, and the latter should teach me to parry or shift the weight of the kick away from my body, rather than just try and absorb it!

So yeah, that’s pretty much last night’s class. I’m heading over to the in-laws for dinner tonight, so I’ll have a chat to my father-in-law about weight training and stepping things up, which I mentioned in a previous blog. This will also be the last class I’ll have for the next fortnight – next Wednesday is Valentine’s, so I’ll be spending that one with my other half, and will return to training the week after that; I’m hoping by then Sensei R will be able to let me know what Monday classes are happening so I can start training with Hamez and Jyastin-kun, whilst still keeping up with my Wednesday night training. Oh, and speaking of Jyastin-kun, I saw him Friday last week, and he’s got a few weeks off work soonish, so he’ll be coming along to Wednesday nights for a couple of weeks. That’ll be awesome 🙂

So yeah, there won’t be a karate-class update next week, so I might fill it in with a backstory, either about karate, or something else to do with my leg, or both. We’ll see how it goes!

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