Thursday, April 10, 2014

2014/04/09 Class - Take it slow - Kankudai

Muto-sensei, Kon-sensei

Kihon - basic drills
Kumite - sparring drills

As always Muto-sensei worked with us lower belts and Kon-sensei worked with the upper belts.


I feel like I am doing better with Kihon.  Aspen gets bored with it I think.  He doesn't do them as hard as he could.  I am beginning to think that he was too young to start and we should have waited.  However I am afraid to have him and his sister quit with the intention of starting up again when they are older.  In all likelihood, they will be too busy with something else and not be interested.  So, in the mean time, we will not push them too hard. Or at least, I wont.

I still can't get my legs up very high for the kicks. And I'm slow. Sensei assures me that I don't have to be able to kick high, I can just kick low to middle.

I had forgotten with which part of the foot you strike when doing mawashi geri and I asked M-sensei.  He reminded me that we hit with the ball of our foot. In my book on Karate, there is a special word for ball of the foot: 虎趾(こし).

Take it slow

I'm still getting used to kumite and I'm feeling that I DO NOT want to get my black belt too fast.  We most definitely need to slowly build up our skill, speed and strength so that it matches the belt we deserve.


Heian Shodan
Heian Nidan
Heian Sandan
Heian Yondan
Heian Godan - I still have not memorized this one.
Kankudai - for the first time

This was the first time I have been introduced to the kata Kankudai.  Muto-sensei tells us that the Heian kata were made after Kankudai as easier kata to learn first.  He said that before the Heian kata were made, people just had to try and learn Kankukdai.  Kankudai is longer than the Heian kata but has almost all of the elements you learn in the Heian kata so there is not much new to learn as far as moves are concerned.  However it is a bit long.  I don't think it will be difficult to memorize the basic sequence of moves for it.  But first I have to memorize the Heian kata, Jitte, Chinte, and Wankan, with an emphasis on improving as much as possible Heian Nidan and Heian Sandan. Last week we were also introduced to Tekki shodan.  Muto-sensei says, that with such a small group, it is good to introduce and practice many kata, even if we don't need to learn them for out next grading.  His reasoning is that it helps keep the students from getting bored.
I did a strength training workout on this day during lunch and my body was still tired and my  left hamstring still painful from doing leg swings on Saturday.  I might decide not to do such hard strength workouts like that during lunch again on days before Karate practice.

I have been reading a website called 24FightingChickens.  It claims to be one of the first Shotokan Karate sites on the Internet.  The author has a lot to say and lots of ideas and advice.  He seems very practical and I would recommend it to anyone thinking of getting started with Karate because he gives much advice in the beginning on how to CHOOSE a DOJO.

Shotokan Sensei

There is a karate instructor named Paul Walker who has a website and a YouTube channel called Shotokan Sensei. He has "commentary" versions of many of the Shotokan kata uploaded to YouTube.  These are step-by-step with him explaining how to do the kata.  One of the great things about these videos is that he explains it using the words Left and Right!  It is hard to follow a video to learn a kata because almost always, the person in the video is facing the camera, which means, that their right and left sides are opposite yours.  A good video would not only have full speed and slow, step by step versions of the kata, but would also have from the side versions and from behind versions as well.

A good book helps.  The book I bought comes with a DVD that has three versions of the moves and in the book itself there are photos of all the moves from the different angles as well.  The descriptions on how to do each move are detailed, however, they still do use a lot of karate slang.  Most of the slang is introduced as well.  Like the word 虎趾 for ball of the foot.