Nothing new with Kihon.
Same old Kumite. Everyone is getting better. The AB brothers are improving quickly, especially the older brother. He seems to be holding back recently when working with me. A decided he had a headache and would skip Kumite, but he said he would do Kata. H did a little Kumite and and don't know if she did any kata. A did Kata but tried to leave the formation and hide behind a pillar. Muto-sensei got him to join the group again.
This time, Muto-sensei told Kon-sensei to take me with him so I could work with the brown and black belts. We worked on Kanku Dai, only.
We only worked on Kanku Dai. Which was great, because we usually don't spend a lot of time on one thing so it is hard to learn the details.
There are, depending on how you count them, 65 separate movements in Kanku Dai.
Advice I was given:
Keep your body upright, don't lean forward. (This is a constant problem of mine.
I don't realize that I am bending forward so it is hard for me to fix the problem).
Somewhere around movement 44, the lower level knife hand block, when you do the mid-level knife hand block, I was doing it at a 45 degree angle, and it should be done straight ahead, directly to the back (south).
Be careful to keep in mind the half-way-point when moving from one movement to the next. For example, when moving from the elbow strike into the knife hand block, keep in mind to first get your body pointed in the right direction, to get your mark hand out and then to perform the block.
Make sure your rear stance (kokutsu dachi) looks good and make sure your other stances (rear, front, horse stances) are good and low. This is SHOTOKAN Karate, not some other style. Make it look like Shotokan.
I noticed after looking at an illustration of the kata, that I had my hands in fists, when preparing for the ridge hand strike to the neck when they should have been open. For move 16 and 36, it's an open hand, for move 18 and 25, it's a closed fist. For 16 and 36 you are preparing for the ridge hand strike to the neck.
Also notice the angle of the back arm in these two prep-motions. When in the fist as a block, the fist should not be leaning in towards your head, but should be pointing straight up to the ceiling. When in an open hand when getting ready for the strike to the neck, the forearm is leaning forward toward the head.
When doing the back fist strike, hammer fist strike, elbow strike combination around move 55~57, keep in good horse stance and shuffle your feet towards your opponent 6 inches for back fist strike (uraken) and then perform a hammer fist strike (tessui). There should be no pause between the two strikes. Perform an elbow strike into the left hand, bring the two hands down to the left waist in a cup and saucer position, then look to the right and perform a downward block to the right with your right hand while still in horse stance.
Hmm, I'm trying to remember all the things that I learned during this last practice.
I'm planning on getting a new video camera and a tripod so that I can take video of myself and the kids practicing and at tournaments and tests. It will be a useful tool for evaluating our form.