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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

05/03/2014 - Sparring with the big guy

Muto-sensei, Kon-sensei

The kids had a long day and were already tired by the time we made it to practice today.  Even so, Flower did Kumite all the way through the third round.  Our Kumite goes like this:

  1. sanbon kumite - one person does three strikes (straight lunge punch to the chin, straight lunch punch to the chest) and the other person does three blocks (age-uke, soto-uke) You know what's coming and how to block it. 
  2. ippon kumite - one person does one strike (punch to the chin, punch to the chest, front kick) the other person blocks but practices moving out of the way and blocking at the same time.
  3. ???? kumite - not sure what this one is called. You both bow and put up your dukes. The announces the strike and then takes three steps forward and strikes. The blocker acknowledges the announcement and  takes three steps back, blocking the strike and throwing a counter punch on the third step.
  4. Kaeshiwaza - Almost free sparring.  One person announces upper or middle attack and then throws three quick strikes while moving forward, the other person blocks. 
  5. jiyu kumite - free sparring.  You bow and go.  
Flower made it all the way through number 3 today.  It was the first time.  Admittedly I sort of had to drag her through it but she did it.  It depends on who she is working with but she doesn't feel comfortable working with everyone yet.  She works better with some folks.  She works well with me, when we are alone and I am on my knees.

I never realized how intimidating a bigger person can be until today.  Now I think I understand a little why the kids don't attack me harder than they do.  Today I had the chance to spar with Kon-sensei, who is as big, if not bigger/taller than I.  It was only for about 30 seconds but it was intimidating and exhilarating at the same time.  He punched me in the head I think. I'm not sure, but I do remember getting pushed back at the start. After that he tried several kicks. It was the first time I had ever stood in front of an adult close to my age and size. For the next class I will try to be less intimidating for the kids so they can have more confidence to attack. I'm not sure how I'll be able to accomplish that, but I'll try.

As a side note, I am thinking that with a taller opponent it may be possible to use an uppercut like the one practiced in Heian godan.    Also, the bigger a person is, the stronger they have to be to move quickly because it takes more strength to move heavier limbs (lets loose those extra pounds). So I am thinking that a tall opponent who is lean and strong with little extra weight would have an advantage as they would have a long reach and be able to punch and kick quickly.