Friday, July 25, 2014

Mirrors, stances and a little leap

When practicing on my own, there is not a whole lot I can do so mostly I just do Kata.  But I'll also do punches (打ち込み?) and I always think that I should be doing knee ups (100 ups) too, but I don't.

Over lunch I did one set instead of 5 of my rehab stretches and then I did a set of pull ups and grabbed some cables and did some body twists and then I found an empty studio with a big mirror and practiced kata in front of the mirror.  Our local public gym here in Japan has a martial arts gym, a regular gym where you can play ball sports etc, a strength training gym and a room that is set up as a dance studio.

Doing them in front of the mirror was useful.  I would recommend doing your kata in front of a mirror if you can.  Otherwise, you might want to take some video of yourself practicing and review the video.  I was able to see just how shallow my stances were.  I'm still having a hard time with my stances.  They don't feel all that stable to me, especially when turning during kata.

Heian Yondan

I was browsing over a website that was linked to from the Shotokan entry on Wikipedia and noticed something I hadn't before.  They said there was a "leap" in Heian Yondan.  A leap?  I immediately imagined where the leap would be but is it really a leap?  I checked my PDF of the kata and it didn't say to leap.  Then I checked an old, old video of the kata and..... there was a little leap in there.  More like a big step done with verve.

I also noticed some more details here today that I hadn't before when reading The Kata Book by Rob Redmond of  At this movement, movement 8, your left hand is open palm down at waist high and your right fist comes up somewhat over your (behind?) your head as you bring it down in a back fist strike simultaneously pulling your left hand back (hikite?) and making it into a fist.